We want to swap jobs (and lifestyles) with this man… Gregory Hyatt is the manager of Pleasure Cove, a secluded beach haven just a stone’s skim away from the White River.
This is real “this is my island in the sun” stuff… how many generations back does the story go?
Three generations. The beach was passed down from my great grandmother to her two daughters — my grandmother and grandaunt — then it was passed down to my mother and her sisters and brother, and my grandaunt’s kids!
This beach has been your home since childhood?
Yes, this was my home and playground… I remember always running up and down and around in just my underwear, barefoot and all. But in the 1990s at the age of ten I left to go and live in the USA with my brother and sisters.
How well did the transition from family home to family business go?
Not too bad after some hard work! A few years after my grandmother passed away, my brother Christopher, my sister Tricia and myself decided that it would be a good idea to turn our place into a business — with bar and restaurant — and allow our guests free access to the beach. Our only condition was that no food or drinks brought from outside allowed, well we do have to fund the enterprise somehow.
Introduce us to the Pleasure Cove Team…
Apart from my brother and sister already mentioned, and I, Team Pleasure Cove is everyone that has ever visited us, shown support and had a good time! So our Team is ever-growing!
From sunrise to sundown, what does a typical day’s workload involve?
First and foremost, to ensure that everyone is pleased with the service. The beach and buildings need to be kept clean and maintained. Usual hospitality stuff, making sure we have everything we need to greet and serve our guests. It is hard work but most of the time it’s very rewarding, a lot of fun, and meeting new people daily is always a wonderful thing.
We unashamedly love drinking in bars… what’s your speciality?
Specialities… we don’t really have any as such, just come and pull up a stool and order up whatever you want. Though I must say our rum punch goes down a storm with tourists — who could say no to sipping rum punch on a Jamaican beach?
So what other facilities and things-to-do does Pleasure Cove offer? What’s the food like?
We have a shower and changing area for the use of our guests. You can play volleyball on the beach or just swim and relax and take in the cool breeze without anyone to hassle you.
Our restaurant in the shade serves up great seafood (lobster, fish, conch, crab, shrimp) cooked to order, and of course jerk chicken, oxtail — all the Jamaican favourites.
The Cove’s secluded nature is part of the charm — are you ever overrun by visitor numbers?
Sometimes we definitely are but always able to cope… thanks to visitors’ word of mouth, people come from all over for our location and great tasting food. While the business is growing steadily, we have managed to keep the ‘secret beach hideaway’ vibe.
Would you wish for the Cove to develop in any way?
We are always trying to better things up but a good 90% of visitors seem to love our Cove just the way it is. Tourists coming to Jamaica want to experience Jamaica, not feel like they are walking into a 7-11 or a Red Lobster in the States. So for now we are content with the place and just plan on growing as a business.
We assume this is your true vocation — can you imagine a more satisfying job?
Again, I love it here. It’s always good meeting new people and having good conversation — and just seeing everyone happy, guests and staff (and me lol), makes me appreciate it even more.
Okay, so we are jealous — can you sum up your lifestyle in a nutshell?
Who, me…? Just an everyday person, working till work is done, hanging out with friends, parties, more parties, just enjoying life, what more can I say.
To encourage a more tourist-friendly Ocho Rios, what needs to be done?
Ocho Rios is slowly heading in the right direction. The only thing I would say is that maybe the Clock needs to be cleaned up and made safe — it’s an important landmark and I’m sure tourists would like to know a bit of its history and take a few pictures.
Do carrots scream when you chop them?
Lol they can scream all they want… they’re still going into the Pleasure Cove pot.
Pleasure Cove Beach Bar & Restaurant is found near the White River, Ocho Rios, just over the parish line in St Mary. “Eat, drink and have fun in the sun… we hope to see you soon at Pleasure Cove!” Contact the Cove for directions, info and booking on 876-586-1902, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the beachy happenings at Facebook and Instagram.
Return to the OCHI INSIDERS' Hall of Fame >