What if someone told you, there is a stunning overwater resort in Jamaica overlooking the Caribbean see that costs as much as a good dinner for two at your local restaurant?
“Nah, sounds like a pure manipulation..”, you say. Yet, this incredible hotel has proved it otherwise.
Nestled alongside the scenic cliffs at Western End of Jamaica, in Negril, Rockhouse Hotel is probably one of the most hidden gems in the whole Caribbean.
You’ll love kind of a "jungle vibe" to the entire site, with paths between hotel areas through lush gardens which are constantly being maintained.
The property is owned by Australians and it’s run and operated by extremely helpful, friendly and fun-to-be-around crew.
Hotel rooms with an upscale bamboo furniture, king-size bed and fresh linen is no longer a surprise but rather a natural expectation. And here you have everything and beyond.
When you stay at Rock House Hotel you are in for a treat.
Falling asleep listening to the sound of the waves hitting the rocks. In the afternoon, opening you slider and jumping right into the ocean. Gazing over the setting sun in the dusk colors of the Caribbean night.
If you choose to stay in a private villa, you’ll have your private outdoor shower and your own staircase to the ocean, carved into the rock. It gets you down to the crystal clean water of the cove for swimming, snorkeling or just soaking up the sun on a floaty - totally your choice.
In the morning, get your juices flowing (quite literally) with a heaven-delicious Jamaican breakfast.
As opposed to a popular belief, Jamaica's most beloved meal isn't a jerk lunch or dinner—it's breakfast. And boy, it’s good.
The classic Jamaican breakfast tends to be savory and includes an all-out variety of dishes, the most iconic of which is ackee and saltfish (codfish) - Jamaica's national dish.
It’s served with any or all of the following: fried dumpling, fried Jamaican cassava flatbread - bammy, boiled banana, boiled dumpling and yam.
The hotel is home to three of Jamaica's most talked-about restaurants:
Rockhouse Restaurant - perched on the water’s edge, right on the volcanic cliffs of the Pristine Voce. It’s an upscale, fine-dining experience featuring modern Caribbean cuisine which is masterfully mixed in with traditional Jamaican cooking.
Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar - is made for unforgettable jamaican food experience and booze. (Just kidding about the later) Well, or maybe not.
In any case, I doubt the fact that classic Jamaican “Jerk Center” with all kind of smoked and seasoned meat, fish, seafood and what not, combined with vast selection of the Caribbean's finest rums and cherry-topped with live real deal Jamaican reggie can be anything less than a “vacation nirvana”.
And as if this wasn’t enough, there is also a fresh Juice Bar and Grill & Bar by the (infinity) pool.
Soak up in the sun right at the edge of the ocean with a freshly made Mai Tai <-- heavenly.
If you’ve been following through (I hope you have!) this Jamaican resort, it should have already gotten to your bucket list. But before you go, make sure to take notes of some other, pretty amazing things you can do while staying at the Rockhouse hotel.
If it’s your first time here, the best way to let the fun begin is getting a “Passport”.
A checklist developed by the resort staff of things to do and see in the area. What an amazing little trick to encourage you to get out, see and try things you might have otherwise missed, well and simply have fun. For each “completed” activity your “Passport” will be stamped.
Fun thing (and man, so necessary for many of us!!) - take their 24 hour cell phone challenge, which is also a part of the “Passport” thing.
If you never want to leave, they have plenty ON the resort to keep you fed and relaxed. You’ll never be bored between:
- Cooking classes
- Zumba dance lessons
- African drumming
- Morning yoga overlooking the sea
- Bob Marley portraiture
- Painting classes
- Sunset cocktail parties
- And, of course, Spa.
If you’re my kind of crazy, you are sure to try cliff jumping (after all, there are not so many hotels in the world that let you dive into the ocean right from your hotel room, right?).
There is also a little bridge you can dive from. It's quite a jump but the water below is deep. As long as you jump towards the ocean, not towards the cliffs, LOL.
Up for more fun in the sun? Go snorkeling with Captain Vincent. See the incredible coral reefs. If you are like me, love to see/touch cool things from the reef, make sure you leave everything there how it is, OK? :)
Quiet relaxation or active exploration - whichever you choose - you cannot go wrong.
Fly into Montego Bay - the closest airport (Sangster). It’s around 1 hour 15 minutes from Negril.
Use Kenny's for your airport transfer, they are courteous and fun to be around.
Room rates start at $95/night for a Standard Room. But I suggest you get a villa. An oceanfront villa we’ve talked a lot about.
Food is great but somewhat pricey. There are other great dining options just a few steps from the hotel.
For breakfast try local place called Sips and Bites.
For everything else Margaritaville and Murphy's are also great choices.
If you like to snorkel, bring your own gear, even though onsite rental is also available.
Bring enough sunscreen (especially when visiting during the summer time).
Love beautiful scenery, easy ocean access, no sand, amazing resort staff.
On the downside, expect 20% add on to every onsite purchase.
Sales people (if you ever encounter any) will leave you alone after a polite "no thanks".
√ American dollars work. But, as you may already know, small bills are the best, because they make you not worry about the change. Besides, they cannot always break the larger ones.
√ Don’t overpack. It’s a really laid back property.
A couple of shorts, t-shirts for guys, beach dresses, shorts and t-shirts for gals. Flip flops for both :) No high heels needed, you’ll be bringing them back unworn.
√ Visit the boutique across the street, at Aunt Judy's. Girls, you DO want to get one of those bikinis!
Even if you don't like to go back to many places, and prefer to try new things instead, I’m pretty sure this place will make it onto the "do over" list. Because Rockhouse hotel just rocks :)
So far, we’ve given you plenty of reasons to love Jamaica and this fascinating resort (or at least got you curious).
Now, your turn :) Are you going to give it a try on your next vacation in Jamaica? Would love to hear your thoughts. And if you’ve been there, would love to hear about your experience too!