Jakes Hotel, Villas and Spa

Hotel in Treasure Beach

3-Star Boutique Hotel

Jakes is a boho-style hotel in Jamaica where guests find a warm family vibe and undeniably quirky charm. It’s a bumpy two to three hour drive from the island’s main airports to rural Treasure Beach, but it’s worth it. You’ll be far away from the tourist drags and close to the ‘real’ Caribbean.

Sally Henzell was the architectural brain behind Jakes. And from the moment you’re handed a refreshing rum punch on arrival, photos and collectibles from the family’s artistic heritage can be found throughout the property.

Wife of Perry Henzell – the late writer and director of the motion picture ‘The Harder They Come’ – Sally found her artistic vision for Jakes from her love of Barcelona’s Antoni Gaudi.

It started out as a restaurant in 1993 and the rooms came later when their son, Jason, quit his investment-banking job to help grow the business. From the mermaid mosaics that surround the saltwater swimming pool to the curved wall edges and bold colours, the Gaudi interpretation works remarkably well in this island setting.

Seashell decoration and glass bottles notched into the walls add a rustic quality to the buildings. Meandering garden paths take you to a series of seaside-themed rooms and villas that look like they’ve come straight out of a storybook.

The playful feel continues to the Octopussy honeymoon suites where we stay. Jakes describes these candy-coloured abodes as a ‘trio of queen bees’. I’d like to describe them as your real-life Hansel and Gretel house, with just a patio and jagged rocks separating your bed and the crashing Caribbean waves.

Inside, the décor is minimal but the quirkiness reaches extraordinary levels. In the centre of the room sits pretty mosaic lamps and a thrown-like bed draped with mosquito nets. A memory foam mattress, choice of three different pillows and the sea as your lullaby, make for the perfect night’s sleep.

A small, suspended rail acts as a makeshift wardrobe and you’ll find a set of drawers for storage. A cabinet filled with glasses and cups sits above a small fridge and coffee making facilities. There’s also a safety deposit box and reasonable Wi-Fi throughout.

Toiletries here are branded with the hotel’s Driftwood Spa and the amusingly retro hairdryer reminds you to leave your hair cares at the door. Cut-out shapes in the building walls covered with mesh or wooden shutters keep the mosquitoes out – and if you don’t want to use the ceiling fan or air conditioning – the refreshing Jamaican breeze in. The silky soft bathrobes add a welcoming touch of comfort.

Paintings on the walls are a mismatch of traditional Caribbean watercolours and playful paintings. There’s no TV, but a collection of well-worn books, an iPod docking station and menu of daily activities such as yoga (available at an extra charge), should keep you more than occupied.

During our stay, we visit YS Falls, The Black River and Floyd's Pelican Bar, which sits on stilts in the middle of the ocean (you can hire a captain to take you there for US$80 for 2 people). We also enjoy the hotel’s monthly Farm-to-Table dining experience at a local farm. Jakes prides itself on promoting sustainable tourism and in keeping with the community tourism of Treasure Beach, supports Breds – a charity that promotes education and welfare in this rural enclave.

The final talking points of our stay in Octopussy include its fantastic rooftop space for spectacular sunset views and the ‘al fresco’ bath and shower. It takes a day or two to get used to, but with little more than some driftwood between you in your birthday suit and the Caribbean Sea, it’s just one of the things that make Jakes a truly liberating and charming experience.

Lucy McGuire is an award-winning journalist based in London who writes on travel, food and lifestyle for both print and online

Photographs courtesy of Jakes Hotel and by Lucy McGuire

Reviewer's Rating
Relaxation, Beach / Sun
Services Free High Speed Internet, Restaurant, Swimming Pool, Health Spa
Dress Code Beach Casual
Cost High
Ambience Hidden Gem, Romantic, Rustic
Number of Rooms 42 rooms, suites and villas

Additional Ambience Information

Friendly staff, with a rustic and creative vibe. Perfect for travellers looking to explore rural Jamaica.

Additional Price Comments

Rooms start from $99 per night or choose the honeymoon two storey Octopussy suite complete with private verandas and private outdoor bath and shower overlooking the sea from $350 per room per night. A bottle of house wine costs from $20 and a main meal from the menu at Jakes Country Kitchen restaurant costs around $20. Spa treatments are available in Driftwood Spa and the price for Jakes ‘Drift Away’ massage starts from $50.

Last updated on 15-04-2016

blog comments powered by Disqus

Show me more: