What We Love
- A yoga deck with 180-degree Caribbean Sea views
- The free-form swimming pool
- Claw-footed outdoor tubs in each of the Octopussy Suites
- The onsite spa, which is built around a coral cove
What To Know
- Most of the meals here are made with just-caught seafood and/or produce from the surrounding fields
- The hotel was named after the owners’ parrot
- Visit between October and May, when the sea is at its calmest
- The hotel hosts the Calabash International Literary Festival every other year
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Rainbow-hued bohemian escape on southern Jamaica’s secluded Treasure Beach, with rustic cottages, a saltwater pool, and off-the-beaten-track charm
Jamaica’s southern coast is void of the opulent resorts found in rollicking Montego Bay or Ocho Rios—but that’s all part of its rugged charisma. This family-run establishment claims cinematic lineage (its owner, Sally Henzell, was married to one of the country’s most famous filmmakers) and is the antithesis of a flashy chain. Henzell, a former set designer, worked her movie magic on guest rooms, so no two are exactly alike in size or style. From the Gaudi-inspired suites, studded with shells and sea glass, to an Art Deco-style cottage that practically kisses the sea, nearly all 35 accommodations here offer beach views, so you’ll be treated to a surf soundtrack—the perfect accompaniment to a chilled afternoon drink. Sunsets, especially photogenic here, are best glimpsed from Dougies, an unassuming, thatched-roof bar that serves as the hotel’s unofficial headquarters, thanks, in part, to its crowd-pleasing rum punch. Happy hour should continue with a pie at Jack Sprat’s, the onsite pizzeria, which dishes up locally inspired toppings like lobster and jerk chicken, followed by stargazing from your rooftop.
In the Area
If you can brave the winding, pothole-heavy trip, Treasure Beach is just over a two-hour drive from Montego Bay Airport and three from Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. If you’d rather skip the wild ride, you can hop aboard a commuter plane, which lands at Lionel Denshome Aerodrome, just ten minutes from Jake’s (the front desk can assist you with booking a flight). Once you’re here, the hotel’s deep-rooted community connections mean that there are plenty of local operators to take you fishing and biking across this unvarnished part of the island.
How to Get There
If you are into the big glitzy tourist hotels with all the amenities and over hyped experiences then Jake's is not for you. If you however want to feel like a member of the family, experience Jamaica for what it is and completely relax then Jake's is a must!!
My wife and I honeymooned here in February 2019 and couldn't have wished for a better place. Jake's is where you go when you want to get away from it all but still be part of something. From the friendly staff, the great drinks, brilliant tours, outdoor shower, a room right on the edge of the sea, the amazing food and overall impression of belonging. It was the perfect place for us.
To everyone at Jake's from the bottom of our hearts - thank you. We will be back!
We recently visited with two families with teens, and I'd put Jake's among my very favorite hotels, and probably the place I’m most likely to visit again. It really has the feel of an artist's creation and that you're connected to and playing a positive role for the local community. Everything about the place is beautiful and thoughtfully designed, the staff is warm and friendly, the food/drinks are great, and the community is charming, very safe and has lots to offer.
Beaches: There are number of beautiful beaches, all different, to explore--the "black sand" beaches and rocky areas kept us away for years, but personally I like the beaches in Treasure Beach better than the one in Negril--more variety, more interesting, decent-to-good shore snorkeling and bodysurfing (neither of which you can do at Negril beach). If you want "white" sand beach (none are that dark), Frenchman's Bay is maybe 5+ mins walk and beautiful, with clear water, sand dollars and bodysurfing (at least when we were there, relatively calm). Neat tide pooling at Old Wharf... Didn't even make it to Great Bay, reportedly the nicest, didn't need to. There's no beach right in front of Jakes, but we loved the swimming area with nice sandy bottom--just climb down the ladder or jump off the dock (watch your aim). Chris at Dougie's made it into a swim-up bar by coming and taking my order for a rummy drink. Sprat's has a nice little beach (much prettier than in the pictures), always calm for snorkeling. But most beaches probably have decent snorkeling even if it's windy on the Eastern end where they tend to be sheltered. Good snorkeling right in front of Jake's, but visibility limited in most spots if it's rough (it was about half the days we were there).
Food: both restaurants very good and sometimes excellent. Jack Sprat's more traditional fare and more locals, a little more to our taste than the fancier Jake's but depended on our mood, both are great. (First night was a jazz band from Cape Cod, fantastic despite my initial doubts!) Nice to be able to put everything on our room at both. Eggie's was wonderful (esp the garlic lobster), very friendly, charming. Smurf's was great too, and Frenchman's Reef had good rum punch and curry goat was fine, though not as good as what I got from a roadside stand coming from airport. Other food ok from what we tried, but nice spot and big menu. Good patties, cake and ice cream at a little stand along the road, sweet young woman running it. Wish we'd gotten to try more of the little local joints. Seafood seems to have gotten pricier--I believe jerk chicken dinner at Sprat's was about $9, very reasonable, while lobster and shrimp generally were over $20 (there and elsewhere). I think this is happening everywhere, though—just getting more scarce. But it's all quite excellent and fresh. I’d have liked a few more options for rummy cocktails, but drinks were great.
Rooms: my family spent two nights at Seaweed Cottage--Carleen and Merville were terrific and the food was amazing. Gorgeous house and setting, beautiful beach. About 15-20 min walk to Jake's but they have bikes. We loved this and would consider a villa/cottage like it again for a group outing, but ended up liking the more social setting of Jake's hotel area even better--super friendly clientele, very easy to meet people.
For the next 7 nights we shared 3 units with the other family--the teen girls stayed in Conch (a total bargain, very cute little bungalow); Seapuss--pricey but my favorite room of all time, right on the water overlooking the reef, complete with dog door for the owner's late terrier. Outdoor shower built around a tree--Jakes is generally built around the landscape including the trees, fitting in and not dominating it, one of my favorite things about it. Then two parents stayed with the 3 teen boys in Squid, a 2 bedroom cottage with a 3rd sleeping area at the edge of the property behind the spa, good for us as it sleeps 5. This is not listed and we knew nothing about it, but it was very reasonable and pleasant, if not showing so much of the artist's touch like the others. (We always get some candles on these trips which gives a much nicer light and makes any room more appealing than the usual fluorescent bulbs do.) We might use Squid again, as the kitchen can save a lot over eating out every meal (plenty of shops to get provisions nearby). Occasional noise from adjacent properties might bother light sleepers some nights, probably why it isn't normally listed and is very reasonably priced. But noise didn’t bother us much.
We could have just hung out the whole time but took the kids to YS Falls--a nice diversion esp if you want the zipline thing etc but about what I expected, I could have skipped it. Water was a little chilly for some, I thought it was fine. Black River/Pelican Bar tour with Captain Bernard was great, esp the Pelican Bar--saw neat critters around the bar including octopus, huge puffers, good-sized barracuda among the posts underneath, seemed friendly enough but I try to avoid sharing confined spaces with barracudas so I didn't linger. We heard so many great things about Capt Dennis but were assured they have lots of great captains and figured we should let them spread the business around and just let them choose, just told them we wanted someone chatty--Capt Bernard and his son were perfect, lots of interesting stories etc.
The older teens (17 and 18) liked it but probably would have preferred a more bustling area with more of their kind, but that can be a hard age to please and we've no interest in any more mega-resorts, prefer spending money where it helps the local community. Also, one of them was sick in bed most of the time with a bug she caught at home so of course that colored the experience for them. The adults absolutely loved it as did the younger teens (14 and 15), and the other kids staying there all seemed to be having great fun. We esp like that ours got a good cultural experience out of it.
So many great people on the staff, afraid to name any b/c I'll overlook many others, but Devona, Andrea, Chris, Adrian (x2 or 3?), Dennis.... When one of our kids was sick they were very helpful and kind.
This was my wife and my fourth stay in Jamaica--first 2x in Negril at Rockhouse and Tensing Pen, both great, then Geejam in Port Antonio, which is amazing and in another great part of Jamaica (it and TB are my favorites). Geejam is perfect for a romantic posh getaway but it's also much more expensive. Also less social and more polished, less accessible staff and vibe--still friendly, just not as warm and people tend to keep to themselves more (it's also smaller, and I liked that Jake’s has enough people to make for both seclusion and good people-watching).
Personally I like the more laid-back feel of Jake's. It has a few (very minor) rough edges, but a few rough edges isn't a bug—it’s a feature. Lizards are everywhere. The swimming pool is seawater, constantly refreshed and probably cleaner than any chlorinated pool, but yes it can have leaves floating on it from the trees thankfully above it and might not be totally clear if it’s rough, just like the sea. I think how you react to the pool is a pretty good sign of whether this place is right for you. To me it’s perfect. Jake's isn't the Four Seasons and you won't get the plastic retail smiles nor seamless perfection, with all the personality ironed out. It's real and it's human, and it's the sort of place an artist would build. I have a hard time thinking of what I'd do to improve it. Put curry goat on the menu?
Jake is exactly what we look for when we travel; artsy, friendly, local, unique... a true experience. The staff are warm and friendly, the vibe is casual and low key. Our family of three were kindly accommodated with a cot in a beautiful beachside cottage where we could throw open the doors to our covered deck and watch our own sunset every evening. For our adventurous side there was snorkeling right off the hotel's dock, an outdoor shower (!), a movie at Jack Spratt's on Thursday, an all-day water excursion with Captain Dennis to Pelican bar, hanging out for breakfast at Smurfs, a game/tv room, a great gift shop called Calalloo down the street, multiple beaches in walking distance... we need to go back. And while this would certainly tick all the boxes for a romantic getaway, it was equally welcoming and appealing to our family with an 11 year old (note: no tvs in the rooms). If you're like us and big name generic gated resorts are not your thing; you will fall in love with Jakes too.
After traveling to Jamaica for 20+ years we finally took the family to the much talked about Jakes - and loved it. It has a naturally relaxed and relaxing atmosphere, offers great local food which is mostly locally sourced and a great and discrete service.
Highly recommend for a larger group Hope House, a private villa which allows for private chef service. It is superbly maintained and venue for spectacular sunset viewingss
Enjoyable, reasonable, old school chill Jamaica. Not as fancy as a Strawberry Hill or Golden Eye, but it has a wonderful charm. Staff’s tremendous and food is solid. It’s a trip back into the goodness of Jamaica’s culture and incredible beauty.