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“Relaxed Escape in Paradise”
Review of Rockhouse Hotel

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Rockhouse Hotel
Ranked #3 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Relaxed Escape in Paradise”
Reviewed August 20, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I spent 3 nights here at the start of our week in Negril. It was as beautiful as the photos suggest. We instantly fell into a relaxed groove, enjoying everything that make Rockhouse a one-of-a-kind paradise. Our trip from the airport was fine. I fell asleep, but woke up as we entered Negril. I appreciated that Rockhouse is at the far end of town, so we had a bit of a tour as we drove past the beach resorts and through the center of town, before heading uphill into the cliff area at the southwest edge of town. The roads are narrow and many people walk or ride bicycles, so we were glad we weren't driving and could enjoy the view. We booked the least expensive Garden Room, but were pleased with the comfortable bed and daybed.

We headed out to the pool, where the view and surroundings are more breathtaking than the photos suggest. Mid-July is rainy season, so we weren't surprised by the building clouds and eventual shower. The pool bar and the lanai are both covered and provide pleasant places to stay dry, enjoy the view, and visit with the other guests. A Manager's cocktail party explained the work of the Rockhouse Foundation, which has invested over $1M in Negril's schools and Library over 10 years. I had read about the library, and brought 3 bags of books with me to contribute when we attended the Thursday morning tour of the library. I'm impressed by the commitment Rockhouse has made to the community, and was happy to be a part of it.

We loved the food at the Rockhouse Restaurant (Old Time Synting, served in a coconut shell, was superb) and the Conch dinner at the Pushcart was out-of-this-world! We ate a breakfast next door, but the price was the same as at Rockhouse. It gave us a better view of the life of the locals, but I missed my view of the water. We walked about 3/4 mile to Rick's Cafe one day, which is worth the experience, but the food was so-so. Our last dinner was at 3 Dives, just beyond the Pushcart. Their Jerk Chicken was fantastic! I would have no trouble making do with these options for a full week.

Finally, we fully enjoyed the cliffs and sea. I snorkled in the little cove at least twice a day, while my husband stayed by the pool. I even jumped off the high cliff by the restaurant once. What a thrill!

The staff was polite, friendly without being intrusive, and kept the resort in beautiful shape. We made friends with various guests, all of whom were enjoying their escape from civilization. I had to use the wi-fi for my iPad a few times (fluctuating availability by the pool and in our room) but could also use the 2 computers set up outside the office. I didn't see anyone else even use a cell phone. This was a relaxed, comfortable, yet elegant escape. My husband and I can't wait to return, for a longer stay.

Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank MarinaInMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Arrived to Rockhouse Hotel to celebrate Jamaica's 50th anniversary. I fell in love with this property the moment we arrived. It was an all female trip, so we had two villas rented. This property is definately a couples retreat. The staff was wonderful and friendly, always at your service. You can see the beautiful view of the ocean while laying in bed. The shower was an outside shower, which was amazing to me. Rooms are clean, and very spacious. Although it shows the villas can only have 3-4 ppl, it can accomodate more than that because there were two more beds in the loft. Did not go to the restaurant, the food are not authentic. Theres a small shack right across the street called Presley's, You have to order a day before and they will actually fish or dive for your food and have it prepared in time. Food was really great there and affordable. Visit Rockhouse, it is even more beautiful in person. Loved it soo much!! It will definately be my spot whenever I return to Negril.

Room Tip: All the villas have spectacular views, their all located right on the cliffs. Very secluded and safe...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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1 Thank bahatianmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2012

The venue, situated in Negril, is flat-out gorgeous. Looking at some of the premium studio suites, I would very much recommend paying a bit extra and getting one of the villas. We stayed in villa number 12 and it may have been the best view out of all of them. Look at some of the pictures; looking out into the clear blue ocean from a cliffside is astonishing. You'll feel instantly comfortable wherever you stay, but even in the villa we felt that the rooms could be a bit less condensed with more amenities. For example, the AC in the room shuts off whenever you leave through the main door, and the portable fan shuts off every hour. I understand that the hotel is eco-friendly, but sometimes that Jamaican heat can be sweltering.

I felt the management and service was lacking for the price we paid. It was often times hard to reach the main office, and they did not seem very knowledgable about booking excursions. The lack of a common lounge or waiting area made it hard to relax anywhere but your room.

The two restaurants (Rockhouse and Pushcart) are both okay but in my opinion very overrated. Pushcart serves local Jamaican food, which is interesting but gets a bit monotonous after a while (The jerk pork was my favorite). Try going to local eateries such as Sips & Bites to get a cheaper, flavorful experience. The Rockhouse serves other seafood dishes, and I think this was the better restaurant especially for dinner. My recommendations are the Rockhouse BLT for lunch and the coconut cream pie for dessert. In tandem, the two restaurants don't provide much of a varied or interesting dining experience, although the ambience is nice and very romantic.

Make sure to go out and experience Negril (and Jamaica) for what it is, rather than staying stuffed up in your room. We visited some local supermarkets and fruit vendors in the Roundabout downtown to save some money. Mayfield Falls was the best part of Jamaica for us - fun, interactive, and cost-effective to boot! Bring some water shoes and try to get Dwight as the tour guide. We did a bit of scuba diving at Negril Scuba Center as well.

Overall, I would recommend this trip to honeymooners and couples. We went on a family vacation and found ourselves pretty bored before starting to go on more excursions. This is a place to sit & relax with someone you love, not necessarily a place to go out and do things. If you're looking to book a family vacation, I'd encourage you to look at other hotels such as Anse Chastenet in St. Lucia (we stayed there earlier, and found that more amenable to our needs). Take my advice with a grain of salt, but I found this hotel to be a good amount worse than it was hyped up to be.

Room Tip: Book a villa, preferably one closer to either of the two restaurants (Rockhouse)
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank tramily_faveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte_WallaceGM, General Manager at Rockhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 6, 2012
I would like to first thank this guest for taking the time to write a review of our property and for sharing their opinion on the hotel being flat-out gorgeous and that they would recommend it for honeymooners and couples.

As part of our ongoing quest for meeting our environmental objectives and maintaining our Green Globe certified status which we first achieved in 2009 auto-cut off on our air conditioners have been installed to prevent rooms from being air conditioned while the occupants are outside of the room. Our experience is the guest rooms cool very quickly after the ac is activated. We apologize for the inconvenience suffered with the standing fan which is provided for the loft area of our villas. These fans have a timer switch on them which can be by-passed if it is not pressed, therefore preventing the fans from switching off automatically. This should have been communicated more clearly during their stay and would have saved any inconvenience. We have undertaken some retraining of our front office and porters to ensure the guest is properly orientated when shown to these loft rooms. We also apoloqize for the switchboard not being answered readily enough and have also undertaken further training with our team.

The Pushcart Restaurant was opened by us in 2009 to offer a distinctly different dining experience from our 2 existing dining options at the hotel—the Rockhouse main restaurant and the Pool Bar and Grill. Specializing in local cuisine and offering nightly live entertainment and an entirely different menu we are proud of the culinary diversity available at Rockhouse. We are sorry that this guest did not see this as adequate, but many of our guests come specifically for our food and love the wide range of choices and dining alternatives offered for a small boutique hotel like Rockhouse.
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Santa Monica, California
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2012

This place is an architectural beauty and a steal for the prices.

We went in thinking that the prices were unusually low (was it too good to be true? It wasn't!) and then the concierge also gave us an additional 20% discount (without our request) as there were minor renovations on the property. We were stunned by this thoughtful gift.

Try to request a villa that stands on its own near the water and then enjoy the hidden private decks with a good book or wine. We were here for five nights and not bored for a second.

The food in the hotel is A+, particulary the shrimp dishes. At breakfast, don't miss the banana bread!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Calif0rnia007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2012

There were few things we liked at the Rockhouse: beautiful view, good food at the restaurants in decent sized portions. The pool was beautiful too.
However there were other things I wasn't aware of and wish I was, so I have to write about those.
The resort charges 10% tax and additional 10% service charge from your stay which is distributed to the staff at the end of each week. You are explained this in your confirmation. They also add that if you wish to recognize an extraordinary service, an additional tip is appreciated. I assumed that overall tips were paid. That was not the case. Tips were expected as usually. To my surprise, even at restaurants your bill included automatically the two 10% , plus a line to add your tip.
The ride from the airport is one hour and a half long and very difficult. I was open to a more adventurous trip, not necessarily comfy and happy to see the local places and not just resorts, but after hours of flight, more than one hour was too much for me. The streets are narrow and a couple of times the car in front of us came suddenly to a complete stop. However, our driver did a good job avoiding a collision.
The resort is right on one of these busy streets. We didn't venture outside the gates, and security people were there from place to place, so we felt quite safe.
Our villa didn't look like one of those I had seen on TripAdvisor. Maybe those were premium villas or villas in the new area of the resort. The doors didn't close all the way. During our three-day stay, we found a big roach, a big crab-looking spider and other small dead ones in our room. The shower door (the shower is outside) didn't reach the floor, so we thought that a towel placed there might help. The toilet seat and the sink are in the room, behind a half-wall.
The mosquitoes are a serious problem. We always had the doors closed, covered the bed with the net, and sprayed ourselves each evening. My advice is to keep yourself sprayed at night too. We also had a stick with anesthetic which helps with the itchiness.
We are not sorry we stayed there, it was an interesting experience, however are not willing to visit again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank dancingbird7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte_WallaceGM, General Manager at Rockhouse Hotel, responded to this review, September 6, 2012
I would like to first thank this guest for taking the time to write a review of our property and for sharing their opinion on our beautiful views and pool and the good food and portion sizes.

With regard to the service charge added to our room and restaurant charges--this is quite customary in our service-based industry and many other hotels calculate this at 15%. We have been very careful to ensure that all of our charge slips, menus and other literature clearly indicate that the service charge is 10% which is shared equally amongst all staff members who have worked and distributed on a weekly basis via our payroll. The government-imposed tax of 10% (previously 8.25%) is mandatory and used by the government to fund schools, maintenance of roadways and other government-provided goods and services.

We regret that this guest found a bug and a crab in her villa, however being located in the tropics it is almost impossible to eliminate all these pests and provide a natural environment. We do have extensive preventative measures in place to deter these, including screened windows, mosquito nets covering our 4-poster bed frames, and property spraying on a regular periodic basis. Since this guests experience we have taken further measure in fogged the property and the mosquito population has declined considerably. Eliminating bites completely is something we strive for but does prove challenging as we try to balance preventative measures with a natural Caribbean environment.
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San Antonio, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2012

My husband and I booked the Rockhouse Hotel only 3.5 weeks out. Of course all the villas were taken so we settled on one of the studio suites. I have to say, for $150/night we were quite pleased. The room is small and intimate, but everything is very well taken care of. Excellent views of the ocean from your private patio.

The staff at the restaurant was fantasic including the food. My only comment would be that the rest of the staff, while super nice and very respectful of personal space, were a little on the reserved side, especially the front desk. I wish they would have been more open in offering up suggestions for tours, and just in general things to do/see. I felt like we were a little on our own in that aspect.

General Note: The waters around the rockhouse are pretty choppy with strong winds. I'm not sure if this is seasonal or not, but we were there in June 2012 and it was a lot rougher than what I thought. We were able to go out snorkeling in the cove one afternoon which was nice.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KoenigKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Our background & approach: Experienced resort travelers, young couple from Cali, 1st time in Jamaica. 1st 3 days spent at Breezes Grand for an all-inclusive beach experience then 2 days at Rockhouse Hotel for a Negril cliff-side boutique hotel experience.

Couldn't wait to experience Rockhouse and in hindsight, wished we spent more days at Rockhouse than Breezes.

Room #17, I love this room and love that it's further away from the main path. The only downside is that the ladder to the ocean was removed due to the slightly more dangerous water current in our jump off area.HOWEVER, any hotel guests are free to roam through the lounging/jump off areas despite what room it's prioritized for. Still, I would have rather stayed at room #15 because it's jump off spot is superb and more tranquil, pus you don't have the uncomfortable awkward feeling of imposing on someone else's designated area.

I love this resort, and I truly cant wait to go back. It is super romantic, sexy, tranquil, adventure, and absolutely gorgeous. There are some things that should remain a mystery so you can experience your own thrill of discovery.

Food was yum and cocktails where even more delish.We did venture out and walked to 3 Dives Restaurant for awesome jerk chicken with beautiful view. They were closed for lunch and opened around 3ish. If you're walking, it's an easy short walk but be sure to go while sunlight is out. It can be dangerous walking at night due to the fast cars, blind curves, and limited sidewalk.

One last tip is to go through the charges on your bill very carefully including your mini bar bill.

Did I say that I can't wait to go back to this gem of a place? This is where you can "unplug" (no wifi and tv) and connect with the ocean or with each other. I truly love it here.

Room Tip: Room #15 has a great jump off into tranquil water <3
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank amtaag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rockhouse Hotel

Property: Rockhouse Hotel
Address: West End Rd, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Negril
#3 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#3 Spa Hotel in Negril
#3 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#5 Business Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Rockhouse Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rockhouse is a boutique hotel stretching across the cliffs of Pristine Cove. Nestled amongst eight acres of tropical lush gardens, thatched roofed villas are perched on the water's edge. Guests swim in the sixty foot horizon pool or take the stairs carved into the rock down to the cove for snorkeling on the reef. Home to two award winning restaurants - the Rockhouse Restaurant & Bar and the Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar. The renowned Rockhouse Spa has a philosophy that is a simple, holistic approach to well-being, health and happiness. Spa treatments are undertaken "on-the-rocks" in the cliff-edge Massage Cabana or at the eight room garden spa. Yoga classes are offered daily overlooking the sea.Consistently ranked one of the top resorts in the Caribbean, the Rockhouse won the Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel 2014 and Jamaica's Leading Spa 2014 at the World Travel Awards. In addition, the Rockhouse was also voted the No. 1 "Best Value Hotel in the Caribbean" in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best Value Awards" and included in Conde Naste Traveler's Readers Choice list of "Best in the World". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockhouse Hotel Negril
Rock House Jamaica
Rockhouse Jamaica
Rockhouse Hotel Jamaica

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