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“Authentic and unforgettable”

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Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Treasure Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We spent 6 nights at Jakes in March, and feel like we experienced Jamaica for the first time despite prior visits. This hotel isn’t segregated from the countryside. Treasure Beach is a rural fishing village, and you are visiting a neighborhood. We stayed in Calabash Cottage with our 2 kids, 10 and 8. Our front door opened onto a spacious porch, beyond that a garden, beach and the sea. The cottage is off property, and each morning we would trek the 10 minutes to Jakes or Pardy’s for a delicious breakfast.

If you love fresh homemade food, with ingredients that never saw the inside of a freezer, this is the spot. In the morning, men on motorbikes would sell fresh-picked callaloo door to door. The menus changed every night, or you could arrange with a local eatery like Smurfs or Strikeys to prepare what you like. At the restaurant on-site, there were excellent vegetarian dishes and the jerk shrimp at Jack Sprats was amazing.

Jakes is unique, and each room is different. Some, like Cowrie, are filled with charming touches like stained glass and an open-room kitchen. Conch and Coral is another, but it is right off the pool, as is Sweet Lip, another 2 bedroom cottage. Our Cottage had a fairly private outdoor shower with funky tiling.

The best: We met locals, took a visit to a waterfall you can swim in, and found five dolphins with Captain Joseph. We made friends among other guests. This seems a place where friendly and like-minded people congregate. Nothing was rushed. Jakes is totally integrated into the community, and owner Jason Henzell is working on a Sports Park up the road that is a mecca for local soccer and cricket players. The staff was amazing, particularly Grace in the restaurant, Samantha who babysat, Rhonda the resident artist and Damian who maintained the Calabash properties. (There is also a pool in the Villa next door to our cottage). Also, a Rock N Roll Hall of Famer came by for dinner our first night.

Also notable: The Driftwood Spa had an amazing view and the scented oils were top notch. Even the library was well-stocked with books on everything from Jamaican birds to the The Help.

The not-so-great: The mosquitoes will find you, but the bites weren’t as itchy as those in the states. But the bigger issue was the expense. We weren’t expecting an all-inclusive, but breakfast was usually $50. The transport to the falls was $90. Our daily expenses in addition to the room were $200-$300 a day. We felt better knowing the money was going into the local economy rather than a multinational chain. I would advise you to keep track of your receipts if you are staying a while. Or, make better use of your kitchen than we did or off property restaurants that don’t add the 10% tax and 10% gratuity into the bill. (We always tipped more.)

The upshot: We met people who return year after year despite the 2+ hour drive through the mountains to get there. I will recommend it to anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. We will likely return again, but not before investigating ways to make it less of a strain on our finances.

Room Tip: We stayed in the off-property Calabash Cottage, which had it's own private beach. There is no be...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank TravelingJane22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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343 - 349 of 697 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

The location is great. In additon, this is one of the few properties on the island which does not have indoor air qulaity issues. The rooms are hippy chic, nothing fancy but clean. The staff is on island time, so you need to just relax, soon come. I will be back.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Dr Gary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

The Driftwood Spa is a ripoff and they should be ashamed for charging the outrageous prices. The staff are young Jamaican girls with no formal training. Yet they charge $50 for a pedicure and $35 for manicure. The girls are nice and try their best but it is obvious no training. Massages $100! I don't even want to know how much the girls actually make for the service. I am not sure what I expected but at least staff with some training would be expected.

Also the pool looked so dirty I didn't even get in.

What a disappointment.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Snowbunny8358
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakeshotel, Manager at Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 29, 2013

Dear Guest,
We are sorry that you were not satisfied with your experience at the Driftwood Spa. As we were unable to track down your reservation at the spa and the hotel, we are asking you kindly to email us (stay@jakeshotel.com) the name of the therapist who worked with you so we may act upon and improve because of the feedback you have provided.
We take our spa services very seriously at Jakes and as such wanted to clarify that we offer twice annually onsite development training sessions for our therapists with our spa consultant who has been working in the field for over 20 years.
As it pertains to the cost of the treatments, we annually review and revise our price list so as to provide the most competitive rates and range of prices we hope will suit all our guests.
Lastly, our pool is a saltwater pool -- that is sea water is pumped from the sea in front of the property to the pool and back again -- which means on days when the sea is rough, the water in the pool will appear cloudy.
Again we thank you for your feedback and hope that this has clarified your concerns.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just returned from our first stay at Jake's. We were there from March 17 - March 22 so 5 nights, 4 full days. Initially, when we booked, we figured that would be enough time, but it was very difficult to leave on that last day.
We flew in from Boston to Montego Bay and were greeted by Richard, who was our driver from Jake's Hotel who we hired to pick us up. We prearranged this with Jake's prior to arrival and he was right there waiting for us with a smile. He was very professional and so easy to talk to, which made the 2 hours and 20 minute drive to Jake's (treasure beach) from Montego pretty enjoyable. It cost $135 for 1-3 ppl and we tipped him 18%. We arrived there in the middle of the day so it really gave us a chance to see the Jamaican landscape and teeny fishing villages on the way there. Richard also brought us to Border Jerk, which is about a 45 minute ride from Montego and is a good halfway point place to stop and grab some fantastic jerk chicken and a few ice cold red stripes. Definitely recommend doing this because it is really the only place accessible for authentic jamaican jerk chicken during your stay as Treasure beach area didn't offer anything like it.
We arrived at Jake's around 4:30p and we were greeted by a woman at the front desk who was incredibly hospitable and welcoming. We were brought to our room: Starfish, which is a Standard Ocean View. The funny part about this was, the room was so nice that we thought we were upgraded or it was a mistake..we had to check with the staff to make sure it wasn't a deluxe ocean view and we would be charged extra. No, it was the standard. It has an outdoor shower and indoor private bathroom with a queen size bed complete with a mosquito net. Also, the room has a safe for those who want to store their valuables.
We went off to Dougie's Bar after settling into the room and met Dougie, who is a staple at Jake's. Can I just say that his special rum punch is one of the best drinks I've ever had?? Apparently, it is a secret recipe that he will not give out. Also, the pina coladas are the best ones I've ever had and I've had a lot. They also have fresh coconut juice right out of the coconut!! We had these 1-2x a day to stay well hydrated.
The beaches in the area are pretty small and occupied by many fisherman's boats so it wasn't your classic Caribbean beach to hang out on. The best one we found was Calabash Bay because it's pretty private and a great swim spot. The one at the hotel in front of Jack Spratt's was okay, but we didn't spend any time there because it was very busy and you have to walk out really far in the water to even get waist deep.
We actually spent a lot of time in front of Dougie's Bar and by the pool at Jake's because it was accessible to food, drink, and our room if we needed to go back.
We did have a spa treatment (50 minute massages), which were amazing. I highly recommend getting a least one spa treatment just to see how ridiculously awesome the spa is. I also did Yoga in the evening (4pm) with Maureen, who was so sweet. It cost $20 for a session, but totally worth it and I took many photos of the yoga space to bring back to my favorite studio in Massachusetts to make everyone jealous ; ).
On to the food. We found out about Jake's when reading both Food and Wine and Bon Appetit mags so clearly that says a lot already. The food was incredible. Fresh. Local. Vegetables and fruits aplenty and this place is a vegetarians DREAM. I'm not vegetarian, but I ended up ordering a lot of vegetarian food while I was there. They offer great options: seafood, chicken, beef, etc. The menu changes for each meal; breakfast, lunch, dinner, which was great because you never have to eat the same thing.
We definitely wandered over to Jack Spratt's, which is another restaurant owned/operated by Jake's Hotel. They literally only have seafood and pizza. Maybe chicken fingers for kids, but that's it. We ordered the Red Snapper Escovietch, which I think was the best way to get it. I tried the curry and I really didn't like it as much. It comes out as a whole fish head to tail bone and all so be prepared. The pizza really is as good as they say and makes for a nice quick meal.
We also went to Strikey T's, which is in Billy's Bay (about 15 minute drive). You can ask the hotel to set you up with a ride there. It is delicious and they have jerk chicken (not the same as border jerk, but good) and my husband said that he had the best shrimp he's ever had at Strikey's. I highly recommend checking it out. Pardy's is a great place for breakfast. Take a left outside of the hotel and walk straight - it's on the right. They have great coffee and an amazing cheese omelet. I think they're toast is homemade.
As for activities, we were told that YS falls was a must see, but we didn't get ourselves there because we were having too much fun in Treasure Beach. We did get out to Pelican bar, which we booked through the hotel ($80 round trip to get there). It is a must see.
Overall, this place is great for those looking for rest, relaxation, good food, friendly people, and a break from the world (tv, computers, phones, people, etc). It is not for people who are looking for the glitz and glam of a Caribbean resort because you will not find it here.
As for us, we will definitely be back at some point.

Room Tip: We stayed at room starfish and sleep quality was average only because we are used to sleeping in chi...
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ekcharpentier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I spent 7 nights at Jake's the first week in March and really loved it. My room--Conch--was conveniently located next to the dining area and Dougie's bar and was comfy and cozy for me as a solo traveler. The food was good overall, and the farm-to-table dinner prepared for the yoga group I was part of was truly fantastic. We dined with the owners of Jake's--Jason and Laura, and the farmer who produced our food. Hearing about the history of Jakes, and seeing how integrally connected Jake's is with the local community, was inspiring. The staff at Jake's were warm and friendly. The spa services were great, there's wi-fi in the lobby/dining area...and the weather was perfect. It's a pretty quiet place, which is my cup of tea for a winter getaway!

Room Tip: The ocean-front rooms offer more privacy and quiet.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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Thank dbsnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed five nights at Jakes and they were very acommadating to deal with our room was a bit noisy and they moved us with no problem . We did have to pay the upgrade but the room was awesome . We found the place a bit quuiet for our tastes and when we sat around the pool I never saw anyone that ever cracked a smile or looked like they were having a great time . Everything is well maintained and clean. The prices in the restaurants was a bit high but we walked about 5 minutes down the road to Waikiki on the Beach and she made us breakfast for $3.00 and dinner for $10 and it is awesome super nice lady . It is a nice quiet area to stay at but a long way from anything. If you want quiet laid back this is the place to be. The staff are fantastic and all smile at you all the time.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank colleenTuscany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

I had an awesome time at Jakes. The food was fabulous and the drinks were delicious. The rooms were spacious and and had beautiful views. It was a well needed vacation. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something unique.

Room Tip: We could see the ocean from our garden room, so any room is fine here.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Ginnydpe
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: $102 - $754 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa 3.5*
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 And Spa
Jake`s Hotel, Villa Hotel Treasure Beach
Jakes St Elizabeth
Jakes Hotel St Elizabeth
Jakes Jamaica
Jakes Hotel, Villas & Spa Jamaica/Treasure Beach

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