Jackie’s On the Reef is like nothing else I have ever experienced. My sister and I found a great deal for Jackie’s while researching possible destinations. We had no idea what to expect out of a “spa retreat”, and there was nothing that could have prepared us for our experience.
Jackie’s is extremely secluded from the hustle-bustle of Negril. It is on the very far end of the island, which is good and bad. It’s an amazing place to escape from your busy and fast-paced lives. However, there is also no cell phone service of any kind. I made sure to activate my international cell phone plan before I left, but my sister and I both had to drive into Negril to have any service. This made it extremely difficult to communicate with our loved ones back home. Another downfall to the location is that you have to pay for a taxi service to get anywhere. The taxi costs can really add up if you’re planning to leave for any excursions.
Jackie’s is truly is one of the most relaxing and spiritual places I have ever been. Stepping onto the grounds, your stress is immediately washed away. Be prepared to shower and use the bathroom in an outdoor space. While I got used to it very quickly, many people would be very uncomfortable with the set up. Be prepared to be one with nature – and possibly the folks who vacationing in the hotel next door!
The food was fresh ingredients every day and delicious – we didn’t have a bad meal.
Every morning began with a yoga class and the yoga instructors were amazing. I have taken many classes and have never had such a positive experience.
Several important things that I wish I would have known before I went: 1. Jackie does not accept credit cards for anything. And, ATMs are not easy to find Negril. Be prepared with plenty of cash! 2. If you are looking for a vacation that includes enjoying the local nightlife, this may not be the trip for you. In addition to being a good distance from any nightlife, Jackie’s gates are locked around dusk and it is no easy task to return to the resort after-hours.
Ironically, as relaxing and serene as this location is, Jackie brings a certain level tension to the experience. There were several times that our schedules were thrown off (we are on vacation in a foreign country and some things can’t be planned to the minute – nor do we want them to!) and we felt reprimanded by Jackie for being late for a meal or a class. I took it in stride, but feel as though a portion of our vacation was compromised by the lack of flexibility and by the overall sense of unease around Jackie.
If you are looking for a real getaway to decompress with zero distractions, Jackie’s is the perfect destination. Come with an extremely open mind and a desire to do nothing but de-stress.