Being able to spend 4 nights together with my husband soaking up the sun, unwinding, and gazing at the ocean was just what we needed to forget our hectic lives in the snow.
We stayed in Octopussy 3 and it was the most unique room with the most amazing view we've ever had. The ocean is about 5 feet from the edge of your patio! It We spent 4 days and nights at Jakes with almost no people and nothing but the sound of the ocean at our feet. Much different than the crowded pools and beaches and clanging dishes of the kitchens at a mega hotel. Well, the ceiling fan was a little noisy at first, but it quieted down after a few minutes and we slept comfortably with it on all night. The mattresses are never comfortable in Jamaica, but we each found our dip and slept just fine. The lounge chairs on the patio were the most comfortable we've ever been in. The outdoor shower had an open view to the ocean so you might want to turn if a boat comes by, but I'm pretty sure no one really cares. It was THE coolest outdoor shower anywhere!! There's even a tub out there if you're so inclined. The floors are cement, but cool and very clean. The upper balcony was ultra cool and extrememly hot. It made for great pictures of sunset and the property. It was difficult to spend any time up there during the heat of the day. The room itself was a little warm, but we made sure the louvers were wide open at night with the ceiling fan on and we were cool enough. We never turned on the air conditioning. The mosquitos didn't bother us much, but we made sure the doors were closed before sundown each day and did not sleep with them open.
The pool was in fact saltwater, but plenty good for a refreshing dip after frying in the sun. We didn't spend a ton of time around the pool as it didn't seem you could get much sun there. We soaked up the sun on our patio and cooled off in our outdoor shower. When we needed a change of scenery and couldn't take anymore sun we headed down to the pool to stare at the water there and check out what Dougie was up to.
Yes, we did get to meet Dougie. He's very nice and makes some killer drinks. (Even the virgin kind as I was 4 months pregnant.) Just sit at the bar and talk to him a little. I've found that -Newsflash- when you're nice to people, they're usually pretty nice back. Ask him about the Absolut Jakes picture hanging in the bar.
We've spent lots of time in the caribbean vacationing 1-2 times per year for the 13 years of our marriage to either the caribbean (Turks & Caicos, St. John, 8 trips to Key West, 5 trips to Jamaica and 2 cruises) or the pacific coast of Mexico (Puerto Vallarta and 3 trips to Cabo). We do love Jamaica, the beautiful land and the friendly people. If you've never been before, do not expect "Fantasy Island." These are 3rd world countries and very poor. Do your research. Know what to expect coming in. If you expect marble bathrooms, Frette towels and linens, everything in perfect repair all the time, high end amenities and amazingly fast service, then stay in the US and pay $1000 per night - and even then there're no guarantees. If you're vacationing in the Caribbean, understand you're going to get a taste of their world on their time. Everything is usually a little 'off' and the mini fridges are usually rusty, but relax, and enjoy the experience of a different culture.
You will be offered various types of merchandise for sale. Just chat with the people, ask their name, tell them you're "good" but you think their merchandise is beautiful, ask them how long they've been in the carving/boat making/jewelry making/drug pushing business, and to have a great day. They're just regular folks tring to make a living. Heck, it's too hot for them to be too pushy. :)
The cd player in our room didn't work, just the radio portion and the stations aren't that great unless you like rap. I apologize to whomever had the room after us because we didn't say anything. Sorry. Bring your ipod with you and an fm transmitter to avoid any inconvenience.
I agree with one reviewer who thought more than 3-4 nights may get a little boring considering there's not much to do. The food at Jakes and Jack Sprat was good to very good, yes, even the pizza. I wish we would have ventured into town to check out one or two other places. It was just too hot to do much of anything. Service is slow by US standards, but just right for island time. Try not to kick over the mosquito coils on the floors.
You do have to check out the Pelican Bar and get lunch while you're out there. The food is delicious!! You have the choice of curried Lobster or garlic lobster or grilled fish. You probably should order before you go out, but some people did place orders after they arrived and they were served at the same time as we were. It takes about 30-45 minutes by boat to get there and back and the water taxi drivers are very nice and will tell you about the coastline on the way there and back. Everyone there thought their driver was the best. We had Peck and he was very nice, even let us reel in a fish on the trip out.
We saw a good size sting ray while we were sitting in the bar and met a nice family from Pennsylvania and another nice couple from Santa Monica. Locals and the water taxi drivers all hang out here and it lends to the ambiance. The water is very shallow around the bar so you can swim or snorkel if you like. Bring your own snorkle gear and a towel if you're going to swim. If you're not going to swim, you don't need to wear a swim suit. The boat can drop you off right by the stairs which look more rickety than they were, although not for everyone. I wouldn't put my older old out of shape mom/dad/aunt on them. The rungs are kinda far apart, only about 3" in diameter and on the way up, I had to climb through a smallish opening between a bench and rail. There were a one or two well behaved dogs in the bar and they helped clean up after lunch. Bring some cash. The method of payment is very strange. There are no posted prices for drinks or lunch and definitely no menu of any kind. We didn't really understand what to do, but we brought plenty of cash and when we were ready to leave the bartender told us how much we owed. We're not sure if we paid for lunch at the hotel when we booked the trip or if we paid while we were at the bar. It didn't cause us any concern, I just mention it because some people might freak out if they think they're being jipped out of a few $$. Just ask when you book the trip to Pelican Bar for details about when and how much you pay for food, transportation and drinks.
We left after our 4th night to spend 4 nights at Rockhouse in Negril. (Also highly recommended.) It was another perfect vacation.
OH! And I would be remiss if I didn't tell you, when you're in Jamaica, call CLIVE'S TRANSPORT SERVICE. He has a website and is very good about responding quickly. He's the best!!! Clive's will do transfers to and from the airport as well as tours during your stay. They really understands customer service, are always prompt, and the cars are clean. We've used them the last 3 times we were in Jamaica and all of the drivers are great. We've been lucky enough to get a car or mini bus to ourselves almost every time, but then we never travel on Saturdays or Sundays. Too many crazy tourists!! :)
- 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