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“Off the beaten track and wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa

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Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, Jamaica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Treasure Beach
A TripAdvisor Member
“Off the beaten track and wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2005

I had dreamed of staying at Jakes since I saw a press article about it a full year before our visit. It is the only place ever to exceed every photograph I've seen of it and, believe me, I looked for plenty.

We stayed in Sweetlips which is a two bedroomed cottage with air conditioning in the bedrooms. Myself and my husband were there with our two teenage daughters. For us oldies it was our retreat from the busy all inclusive we had chosen for the rest of our vacation for the sake of our daughters' social lives! Within minutes of being there both girls said, quite independently, that they loved it and were fully intending to spend their honeymoon at Jakes (not bad when you think that the younger one is 14 and has - I hope! - no plans to marry for quite some time yet).

We were only there for two nights. I would recommend you spend a little longer. There is as much to do in the area as you want to do though some of it is a little expensive.

The food in the restaurant was uniformly good and reasonably priced. The service (in the restaurant and elsewere) was the most friendly I have ever experienced. For those people who don't like to go to places alone I have one message - on our first morning there I woke up long before the rest of the family and really wanted to enjoy the view from our cottage with a juice and a coffee. I'm always wary of going to unfamiliar places on my own but felt safe enough to try going to the restaurant and asking to take the drinks to our room. I was greeted immediately with "Hello [my first name] and how are you this morning". I couldn't have felt more at home if I was sitting in front of my grandmother's fire.

The pizzas at Jack Sprats were great and cheap and there was a great atmosphere about the place. The bar at Jakes was great. There have been comments posted about Dougie being a little grumpy but the only evidence I saw of that was when he was being treated with disrespect and he simply stood up for what was right. We thought he was wonderful as, apparently, did many of the (very friendly and welcoming) locals who popped in for a Red Stripe or two.

I cannot recommend this place highly enough for people who don't want absolute luxury but do want somewhere very comfortable that you can get a taste of the real country and real people. Oh, and about the insects. There are mosquitoes in this part of Jamaica. They do bite (surprise, surprise!) but with the appropriate antihistamines the bites stop itching within 24 hours and disappear completely within 48 hours. So even the insects are more friendly here than elsewhere!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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445 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2005

My trip to Jake's this past weekend was like coming home. I never fully unpack on vacation, but this time, though it was for only two nights, I did.

The property was even more beautiful and romantic than pictured on the internet. The sheer beauty was the highlight for me and my fiance.

On a less pleasant note: after the initial thrill of arriving and falling asleep to the the sounds of the ocean, I woke with multiple mosquito bites. Neither the net nor the electronic device helped. For the second night I purchased 'no mosquito' a spray which worked fine, though I had to reapply it during the night. The bed and pillow were also uncomfortable.

I would have been more relaxed on leaving but the stay was so short. The property does take some getting used to. It has a very well earned reputation of being eclectic.

Some advice, take your own cd's with you. Their cd library needs serious updating. There are games that you can borrow but you might want to take along something to keep you occupied, outside of likely in-room adventures that is.

All in all - a good place to relax and unwind. Make it a minimum of 3 nights and go heavy on the insect repellant.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2005

We went in late March 2005, and were not thrilled with Jake's. Our first accommodation was in Jellyfish, a tiny room with a ceiling fan that wobbled and shook so dangerously above the bed that I was afraid it was going to fall on us in the middle of the night. The room was hardly bigger than a closet, not even enough room to unpack our bags and no storage for clothing to speak of if there had been. The tiny bathroom smelled awful (barely enough room for a toilet and sink and infested with ants that got into our toiletries). Before we left we did get one night in Abalone Down which was much nicer (and air conditioned!). But the beach was non existent and the pool quite dirty. Not enough lounge chairs either, particularly in the sun if you wanted to work on your tan. I don't know what the hype about Dougie the bartender is all about, we found him quite unfriendly.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2005

Just back after 10 days in Jamaica. Was with college students on a Rotary project in Kingston, and we spend the weekend at Jakes to check out out their community foundation, BREDS.
I have stayed at all the major tourist places in Jamaica...Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios...and this is the best by far. If you want to experience the REAL Jamaica, or Jamaica how it was 30 years ago, then Jakes and Treasure Beach is the shot! We went to a street session at a gas station with speakers 10ft. tall put on by Guinness, not one problem, and the next day went to a funeral..Miss 'Nicey' ..that says it all!
Dougie is a stitch, keeps his bar open until the last man falls..usually in the pool, which is so small and intimate you meet everyone, even the two lobsters in the pool next door. Food there and at Jack Spratt is excellent..even the pizza, but the brown stew and steam fish is to die for. Dennis took us in his canoe to Black River and Pelican Bar on the Sunday....imagine Robinson Crusoe on a sandbar in the Caribbean and you might have an inkling...
Owner Jason Henzell and his two dogs came along for the ride...he's as cool as his property.
Do it...you will not regret it, 'specially if its romance you have in mind....
Rob Mullally.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2005

Spent four nights at Jakes recently and it definately surpassed all expectations. The vibe there is definately laid back, and if you are a big activities person, this might not be the best place. Definately no golf, tennis, scuba, jet skiing, drag racing or whale hunting; for that (and more) you'd be better seved in one of the resort towns like Negril. There are a number of day trips organized from the resort like fishing, a boat trip to the Black River, and a trip to natural springs. These are a nice way to break up the day, but they're expensive.

The design of the resort is really exceptional. Many of the rooms (we stayed in Abalone Down) are beautiful. Unique and clever with a great private sitting area with nice wooden deck chairs with a private view of the water. Taken as a whole, one of the nicest rooms I've stayed in. Ours also had A/C which was fantastic.

The pool area isn't like what you'll find at a big resort. The pool is small and salt-water and fits perfectly with the asthetic of the place. It's great for a dip and there's lots of places to sit and nurse a Red Stripe and read your book. The food is better than you'd expect and there's plenty of choices at the 2 restaurants (and good jerk outside the resort on Friday and Saturday nights). The restaurant did an amazing job and cooked up a fish I cought for 4 of us, served it for lunch with sides, all at no charge.

Service is genuinely friendly, laid back and informal; like the place as a whole. Expect at 20% service charge to the total bill added on the end.

You might NOT have a great time there if:
You need a lot of activity, clubs, dancing or nightlife.
You want a more formal 'upscale' environment or are used to all-inclusive
or big hotels which can (for better or worse) isolate you from the
community

For us, it was perfect. After a week I would have been bored, though.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

A true bohemian honeymooner's paradise...My new husband and I had the privilege to stay at Jake's for three nights after a four night stay in Negril. Negril was absolutely wonderful but it was also great to travel to Southern Jamaica and experience an even more relaxed, less touristy side of Jamaica. We arrived after a long, hot cab ride to Jake's so upon arrival, our lovely cab driver Trevor (817-2824 or 787-9389) and I headed to the bar to grad a cold Red Stripe. There I met the fabulous and famous Dougie - he is so pleasant and I must admit, I was a little star struck.

Our time at Jake's was honeymoon bliss. My husband and I are very laid back people and we truly enjoyed lounging by the ocean in a makeshift hammock, hanging out on our back porch while playing Scrabble and soaking up the good karma of Jamaica.

There is a little point just west of Jake's and next to Frenchman's Beach where we met many locals and joined them for a few beers. We met a man selling coconut cake and mangos and another nice man who took us on a boat tour to Pelican Bar. You must give Roland a call or go search him out at the little bar on the beach. He was a great captain and tour guide. Mr. Nice Guy Tours 433-0252.

Make sure to view my picture of the Pelican Bar - it's surrounded by the ocean and you must get there by boat. We took a 25 minute ride and tied up to watch the sunset and drink a few Red Stripes. The boat ride back was at night and we went so fast we went airborne a bit.

We loved exploring and were lucky enough to find a pool hall down the road. We played pool and foosball with some of the locals at the small tavern and felt very welcomed. Andy at Jake's will take you there if you ask him. Everyone in Jamaica has a great attitude and will shake your hand and ask your name. A Jamaican's creed is "No problem Mon."

The sites at Jake's were amazing. It's the most laid back colorful place - a true island adventure. Our little cottage was a bohemian delight - no TV, no phone and no clock. Truly relaxing. We even stayed in the Brown Room – the cheapest but we had no regrets. On Sunday we listened to the nearby church sing hymns and praise, it was all so perfect for us.

If you are thinking of staying at Jake’s you must ask yourself a few questions, “Do I feel comfortable not having a McDonald’s within in cab distance,” “Can I handle not having air conditioning or screens covering the windows,” “What is my idea of fun – hanging out poolside with my mate, staring at the sea without speaking for hours or hanging poolside of a luxury hotel while my waiter fetches me another drink.” If you have a taste for culture and a curiosity of local Jamaican flair and do not mind a lack of modern conveniences like hairdryers—then Jake’s is for you.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2005

....if you're a 'tourist,' you should visit somewhere else. My girlfriend and I spent 5 days in March and loved every bit of it. If you are into the culture and meeting people from a new area, Jake's is wonderful. Townspeople regularly visit the property for a drink. There are not a whole lot of things walking distance aside from some nice restaurants and the grounds which you can wander, but if you want to do low-key tours there are plenty that can be arranged at the front desk. Food was delicious. I've traveled a lot and I had no complaints, whether a $10 lunch for two at a local restaurant, or a nice dinner at the on site restaurant. Nice variety as well. The best food I've encountered in my travels, no, but solid nontheless. I'm not a huge swimmer, so while others had issues with the pool, I didn't. Quick 10 minute dips to cool off were fine. Could have been a bit cleaner, but in no way did it detract from my trip. If you spend hours in the pool, you might have a problem, but it was fine. Staff and grounds and views were spectacular. Not a bad word to say. Rooms were rustic, but expected. Amenities were actually nicer than I thought - good water pressure and hot water in the shower, which is not always the case at expensive places I've been to in the Caribbean. All in all, it was great, relaxing, and wonderful people. If you're a traveler, you will get a taste of Jamaica, you'd never get at the all-inclusives. I think people who research Jake's know it they're the type to enjoy it. But as I said, if you're a traveler, this is a great place to go. Inexpensive and a wonderful bit of Jamaican culture. The transfer is a journey, so take a dramamine as a precaution.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa

Address: Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Elizabeth Parish > Treasure Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Treasure Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Chicest shack in the Caribbean" – Vogue Magazine. --- "Welcome to one of Caribbean's funkiest resorts, where reggae and rock stars, doctors and lawyers, writers and artists come to taste the real Jamaica." - Island Magazine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jake`s Hotel, Villa Hotel Treasure Beach
Jake`s Hotel, Villa And Spa
Jakes St Elizabeth
Jakes Hotel St Elizabeth
Jakes Jamaica
Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa Jamaica/Treasure Beach

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