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“great place”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Rockhouse Hotel

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Rockhouse Hotel
Ranked #3 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“great place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2013

my wife and i stayed here with our 14 year old daughter for 3 nights.The setting is spectacular.our villa was perched on a cliff,about 20 feet above the ocean,,,the room was nice,a bit small but comfortable.The staff is excellent,extremely helpful and friendly.There is good news and bad news about the food-----both restaurants have great views overlooking the ocean and the food is very good...unfortunately the service is painfully slow-----prepare to spend at least 30 minutes from the time you order until you are eating, this is true of every meal,including breakfast today and we were the only people eating at the time...food service at the pool is actually even slower.

Room Tip: be sure to stay in an oceanfront villa
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mzheutlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,084 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (261)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

The location is stunning. The cliffs beautiful, the sunsets gorgeous and the water warm and clear. But the hotel? The positive adjectives stop here. The service is beyond slow and poor. There was more waitstaff eating at the restaurants than guests. And if you wanted service, you better not interrupt your servers lunch in hopes of having your own. But, do you really want the food served at the hotel or even the highly rated Pushcart? No, you don't. Typically our vacation days are planned around meal times. Here, we were glad that I always travel with a stock of Kind Bars and snacks. We get better Jamaican food in NY, at the property's sister restaurant- Miss Lily's. We LOVE Miss Lily's in NY and expected the food to be on par with the restaurant.

On top of the poor service and food, another negative was the catamarans that came by several times a day with booze cruisers shouting and partying. Particulary disturbing was the one that came by several times from Hedonism. A loud party boat filled with nude party goers doing jumps off the side of the boat and sliding down the on-boat slide. Nude.

As for the rooms, they were ok. The rooms are feet away from the road, which made evenings a little noisy with car alarms, dogs and passerbys easily heard from within the room. Also, a heads up would have been appreciated that the bathroom has no door. At all. The toilet is open to the rest of the room (the bathroom space was in a separate space behind the bedroom wall). So, if you're a couple or a friend sharing the room, you need to be very comfortable with one another. And with your fellow guests as the rooms offer little privacy from the other nearby villas.

Maybe it was us, but this hotel did not meet our expecations. Overall, we will never go back to Rockhouse or Negril again. We love Jamaica, just not here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank SearchingForVeggies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

I visited the Rockhouse over the December holiday and had an amazing time. The cliffside location is secluded and offers something different from your basic beach resort. My villa had an outdoor (love, love, love it!!) shower and the restaurant is probably the best in Negril. The jerk chicken sered at the pool was out of this world good!! The staff was very attentative and pleasant. The views from the cliff is unparalled as you relax in a lounge chair overlooking the azure blue waters of the Caribbean. The villas are rustic so be sure to manage your expectations ....you will not be able to check in with some TV at the end of the day. This however is a big part of the charm of this wonderful spot!!

Room Tip: The resort does not guarantee villas in advance and I am told that #10 with the incredible view is o...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JUSTGOFortLauderdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

I've been to Negril many times in the past ten years, and I've stayed at Many places in the West End of Negril . But there is No place like The Rockhouse , in the World . It is so tranquil and Surreal , it is like being in Heaven. The most beautiful spot in West End Negril, on the Cliffs. With Swimming and diving and snorkeling , and the Cottages each on there own little piece of Cliff,So Wonderful. I was there recently , March 2013 , and they were full,so I stayed up the road , BUT,,,I still went for Breakfast and supper,and had Coffee in the lounge , with there Wifi.It was wonderful. As I said,,,,,there is no other place on Earth like The Rockhouse in Negril , and I have tried them all .....

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank deanweanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We booked 12 nights at this hotel and were very disappointed:
We arrived at the hotel at night after a long journey and the first thing we were asked to do was to sign a blank credit card slip. It seemed to me that, while giving the hotel complete security of payment, it gave us no security at all. I reluctantly signed with a well-insured credit card as it was clear that we would not get in otherwise (You can imagine what this welcome was like after a 10-hour flight).

The room:
Then we were shown to our room. The room was one of three in a Jamaican styled building with a common balcony/room access. The room was fairly basic, with much of the furniture having seen better days. A big four-poster bed (comfortable) with a mosquito net (necessary!) took up much of the room. There was a minibar and a small bathroom. On closer inspection the next day we realized that there were no facilities for making tea or coffee, and that the small refrigerator was the minibar, leaving us no room for any food we might have. We were woken at 7am by staff sweeping the leaves. The leaf-sweeping seemed to go on for most of the morning. In the evenings, motorbikes on the road behind the room kept us awake. We tried to relax on the balcony but found it very difficult due to the constant buzz of activity from the staff around us. We even had someone come in to “check” the minibar every day, which seemed unnecessary and intrusive. When I said that we hadn’t taken anything, the member of staff came into our room and checked anyway! So this is definitely not somewhere to relax in or outside your room. Basic at best and no facilities, the standard room certainly does not warrant the almost $200/night (incl. service charge and tax) price tag.

The complex:
To be fair, the complex is very picturesque. There are “platforms” dotted around the cliffs with loungers for you to enjoy the sun and sea. The setting is beautiful. In fact, I have the feeling that the hotel relies too much on the location, and has become somewhat tired in other aspects (e.g. the room). However, it would have been nice to have more secluded spots to sunbathe or to simply sit and read as the platforms are very open and public. Again, if you want peace and quiet and/or to be private, there is nowhere in the complex for this… Oh, btw I am not convinced about the “environmentally friendly” credentials of the hotel (at least from a European perspective): Glass and plastic is collected separately, but paper goes in the general trash? Also, having air conditioning units in essentially open rooms (just shutters that do not seal closed) doesn't seem to make sense.

The staff:
The staff at reception was not very helpful. For example, when asked to reserve a rental car, they dialed the number and then handed the phone to me. When a shuttle bus to the town was organized, the staff at reception didn’t seem to know about it. So, despite the frequent “If you need anything…”, “How are you…?” from the all the staff, when you really needed some help, it was not forthcoming.
With the rest of the staff we had a mixed experience at best: The staff were either completely subservient in their behavior (uncomfortable for Europeans) or they were at times what I can only describe as “in-your-face”. My partner was propositioned at the pool bar despite my standing right next to her: not exactly what you would expect from a high-class establishment. The pool staff in general were unfriendly and slow. In contrast, the staff at the affiliated restaurant, “The push-cart”, was excellent. In fact this restaurant was one of the highlights: a very nice, decently priced restaurant with a great view. Oh, one thing I must mention: the cleaning staff were very genuine and friendly.

The location:
One of the (many) shocks of the vacation was the location of the hotel. The hotel is, in the local jargon: “on the cliffs”. The “cliffs” are about 5 kilometres from the main beach, and between the hotel and the main beach there is a kind of wasteland (at least that is my interpretation of it). This means that if you want to walk into town/to the beach, which we tried on the first morning, you will be hooped at, shouted at and generally harassed all the way, making it an extremely unpleasant experience. I feel the hotel should have warned us about this. The only way to get there is to take a $15 round-trip taxi ride (or less if you feel like haggling, which we didn’t). So overall, the location is far from ideal, and you may feel trapped if you don’t have a car.

And finally, as a reward for reading this long review ;) here are some travel tips (gained after many wrong moves):

-Push Cart restaurant (good, reasonably priced food, staff that is genuinely friendly and not at all pushy)
-Walk to the right as you come out of the hotel and you will find:
- “Catcha Falling Star” (great restaurant and hotel)
- “Just Natural” (fantastic veggie place with genuinely nice staff)
- “Out of Town Pastry (great patties/pasties)
- Take a trip to the Mayfield Falls!

Finally, just to mention: Some of our disappointment will be due to our European origin, i.e. London/Hamburg/Burgas (most guests are from the U.S. or Canada), but not all… We have the feeling that the hotel is still living off many reports in glossy magazines and has failed to invest and does not feel the need to genuinely help guests. I believe that some of the “atmosphere” problems at the hotel may come from the top: We saw the owner berating his staff very rudely twice during our stay… On the whole, we cannot recommend this hotel, but we have to give it 2 stars for the picturesque waterfront.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank pedrito69
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, April 8, 2013
I would like to thank this guest for sharing his experience at Rockhouse and for his raving review of our service team and food at the Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar.

At Rockhouse, we have built the success of our business based on our four most important commitments. Our first commitment is to provide an exceptional and authentically Jamaican experience for our guests. There have been many developments at the hotel as it expanded from 10 to 34 rooms, added a horizon pool, world-class spa and second restaurant over the past 19 years. We pride ourselves in our ongoing maintenance programmes and at the same time are committed to providing affordable vacations as evidenced by our 2012 vote as the No. 1 "Best Value Hotel in the Caribbean" by Travel + Leisure

Secondly, the hotel is committed to having a highly trained and motivated team of staff members. At Rockhouse, we are all committed to providing competent, friendly and unobtrusive service and I am sorry that this guest experienced anything other than this and we will address this in our ongoing training efforts.

Our third commitment is to operating in harmony with the environment by setting and improving on environmental targets since achieving Green Globe certification in 2009. Our environmental efforts are limited to the availability of recycling programmes in the region but we do in fact recycle all office-use paper, newspapers and cardboard boxes which may not have been noticed by this guest.

Our forth commitment is to giving back to the community—which is done primarily through the extensive work in early childhood education by the Rockhouse Foundation. Rockhouse is also honored to have been recognized as a standard bearer for responsible tourism for its work in Community Building in winning Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award in October 2012

I regret that our practice of swiping guest credit cards so as to allow open credit at any of our 3 restaurants, our Spa and our boutique was seen as offensive to this guest. Following this experience it has caused us to rethink how this may make a guest feel and we are in the process of changing this policy. We greatly appreciate the feedback as it is only through understanding the guests experience that we can improve our policies. In addition we have briefed our team on not starting their sweeping or other noisy work too early to disturb our normally peaceful ambiance. Our mini bars are checked daily to ensure that they are fully re-stocked and that guests are updated on their charges quickly. We apologize for our staff being overzealous in this practice and agree that once the guests requests indicates that they do not need service or that it is inconvenient at that time that the guest wishes be most important.

Rockhouse is located on Negril’s West End which has risen in popularity in recent years and almost rivals the famous 7-mile beach as a desirable place to stay for many budget-conscious and high-end travelers. The West End is populated by numerous restaurants, bars, boutique hotels and road-side shops and offers easy access to waters good for snorkeling and diving. I am sorry that this guest did not have the opportunity to meet some of the characters or see some of the sites that make this part of Jamaica the fun and interesting locale that features the spirit of Jamaica and Jamaicans.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed in Villa #4 - at first we were a little disappointed not to be directly over the water and it seemed as though we shared deck space with others. But after the first day, we discovered that absolutely no one used the deck space in front of our villa. The lounge chairs were always open in several locations around our villa and all of the them had some sort of shade (umbrella or cabana). The room appointments were nice but not extravagant. The basics were provided - soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, iron, ironing board, i-pod dock, cd player (this was awesome because we had bought cds from the beach performers where we stayed previously - see our review on Couples Negril), etc.
If you have the chance, try the yoga class - it was great and a nice way to get some exercise/stretching in.
The food was excellent and I know everyone says this but the grilled snapper sandwich was awesome - we ordered it several times in our four-day stay. We also ate at the Push Cart one night and had the Jerk sampler - it was also very good and they had a live band. Room service is free and will be delivered to wherever you are - so if you're on the loungers in front of your villa, just tell them when you order and it will be brought there. So nice! There is a little grocery store right outside the resort entrance that sells beer, juice, water, etc. They don't have much but it is cheaper than resort prices.
Like anywhere, the friendliness of the employees varied. The grounds keepers were very friendly but not obtrusive. If we asked them something, they were happy to oblige by showing us the best jumping spots, where not jump and numerous other things. At one point, my husband had told, Uriel, one of grounds keepers, that it was our anniversary and that he wanted to buy me some flowers, a few minutes later, Uriel showed up with a bouquet of flowers he had picked. That was above and beyond. Our other grounds keeper sang the whole time he was working - this was cool because it gave some nice background noises while we were relaxing and it also let us know he was in the vincinity (sometimes you don't notice them until they are really close!). Also, they did an amazing job - the grounds are lovely.
If you have the opportunity, please do the school tour - it was incredible and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Jamaica. You really get to the see the scope of what the Rockhouse is trying to achieve and it makes you feel good knowing you're a part of it. Oh, and then - donate! What's another $20 (or more)? If you do the school tour, be prepared to be out for the better part of a day, it takes a long time to get there and back. I wish Rockhouse would incorporate some stops along the way - great photo opportunities, as well as, food & drink! I really wanted a cold beer after being in that hot van for 30 minutes!
We loved our stay and we hope to go back one day. We would like to commend Rockhouse for the impact they are making on the community and for allowing us (in some small way) to be a part of it. Go - you won't regret it!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zion76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Rockhouse for one night in the Garden Villa (Nr.9.) It was just as superb as the Waterfront villa. It has a second level with two twin beds. It's ideal for guests with children. The bungalow sat on a rock surrounded by water with our own private deck. It is a beautiful oasis. The shampoo and shower gel will tantalize your senses. It is aroma therapy at its best. The only disadvantage of villa nr.9 is that you'll need ear plugs or noise canceling headphones to drown out the waves crashing against the rock at night, if you want a quiet night sleep. In that case, ask for Garden villa nr. 18, 19, or 20. They sit in a quieter location on the property by the pool area.

Overall, the Rockhouse is magnificent. I'm going back in August during the summer when the rates are cheaper.

Room Tip: The Garden Villas 18, 19, and 20 are quieter.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fbfray
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 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#3 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#3 Spa 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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