What We Love
- Individually designed bungalows and suites sprinkled around lush tropical forest
- Extraordinary Caribbean views from just about everywhere
- Full-blown private recording studio, should you should want to cut an album during your stay
- Extreme privacy — you won’t have to worry about the paparazzi snooping around
- Helicopter transfers on request
What To Know
- A 10 percent service charge (plus tax) per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Geejam isn’t directly on the coast, and its private beach is a short walk or drive down a hill
- More like staying in a posh private home than at a hotel or resort
- The spa and gym are on the small side, and the property features just one small swimming pool
- The only way to reach downtown Port Antonio, Blue Lagoon and other local sights is by car or taxi
- It’s a long haul (two to three hours) from the nearest international airport
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Geejam sprawls across a heavily wooded tropical hillside overlooking the Jamaican coast east of Port Antonio. Once a private retreat for musicians, the property continues to exude a laid-back cool. There’s a state-of-the-art music studio where Gwen Stefani and Drake, among other artists, have recorded. Each of the five freestanding guest units (there are three cabins, one suite and a three-bedroom villa) is individually named (monikers include Rocksteady, Ska and Drum & Bass), but all are sleek, with white and Caribbean blue fabrics, blond wood and exposed stone — an organic look that blends nicely with the surrounding jungle canopy.
Bed and Bath
Diversity is the trademark of this seven-room boutique. With its red tile roof, whitewashed walls and breezy passageways, the three-room Sanwood villa has a California/Mediterranean feel. Opening onto an oval pool, the huge main space does double duty as a living room and media lounge, with an extensive audiovisual collection and original Pop Art by the likes of British graffiti maestro Banksy. Three bungalows — all of them named after Jamaican musical styles — are scattered around the tropical gardens and reached by way of narrow jungle pathways. Mounted on wooden stilts above the forest floor, they feature spacious decks with ocean views, modern bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers, and either a steam room or an outdoor whirlpool. With its stark white furnishings and oversized Philippe Starck TK, the Drum & Bass suite, beneath the music studio, is the hippest of all. A custom-made digital entertainment system called George feeds the music and movies of Apple TV into each room. Wireless broadband Internet keeps guests in touch with the outside world, as does the free cell phone they receive upon check-in.
While the bungalows are comfortable enough to tempt you never to leave, there’s plenty around the grounds to reward exploration. Just about everyone gathers at the Bushbar around sunset for an ice-cold Red Stripe, homemade rum punch or a Green Daisy cocktail, and perhaps a game of pool on the outdoor table. You can choose to eat on the adjacent dining deck or order room service for a romantic candlelit meal on your own terrace or balcony. The menu largely revolves around Asia-Pacific dishes such as stir-fry and Jamaican favorites like jerk chicken, salt fish and ackee, and seafood pasta. Live music around dinnertime is often provided by the Jolly Boys, a renowned local mento band. Geejam’s only pool is right outside Sanwood, and it’s available to other guests only when the villa isn’t occupied. The hotel’s private “beach” — a series of sandy terraces on a rocky ledge above Mack Bay — is a five-minute walk down the hill on the other side of the coast road. The protected bay makes for good snorkeling. Or relax with a Swedish massage on an outdoor table with a view of the sea. Geejam’s recording studio is available for serious recording or casual strumming on the guitars and piano.
In the Area
The northwest shore of Jamaica is the island’s lushest region, a tangle of rain forest and tropical flowers, waterfalls, and rushing rivers that tumble into turquoise coves. One of the world’s most beautiful beaches — Frenchman’s Cove — is just up the coast from Geejam. And if it looks familiar, that’s because the cove has starred in several movies, including Night and Day, with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The ethereal Blue Hole is ready-made for swimming, kayaking or simply a drink at the end of the dock. Jerk cooking was pioneered in the John Crow Mountains behind this coast, and the island’s best pimento-barbecued meats are found in the roadside stalls at Boston Bay. Other ways to pass the time are running the Rio Grande River on a bamboo raft or cruising the coffee plantations of the Blue Mountains on a downhill bicycle ride.
How to Get There
Had the best evening at GeeJam. The staff along with the chef made us feel special
When they set the stage for a wonderful night. We enjoyed the Jolly Boys music laced with a few I entertaining, provocative lyrics. The oxtail and rice and peas was excellent.
The owner Steve who was just so cool made our night extra special with a drink he called “ting-a-ling”
You must try that drink. Big up GeeJam!
A group of 14 of us visited the bar on a Friday night to catch the Jolly Boys. Bush bar is a special place, nestled in the forest, the twinkling lights of Pt. Antonio in the distance. Great atmosphere, food and vibe. Steve is the consummate host. As they say in Jamaica, the place is irie.
Great boutique hotel way away from the main tourist crowds and all inclusive hotels. Been there twice. Fascinating part of Jamaica with great local spots that the hotel workers will helpfully tell you about. I recommend getting a car from the hotel to take you on a day tour around the area. Lovely people and good vibes
Only place to stay when you’re in Portland,service is excellent and so was the ambiance. The hotel is very private and offers a full staff with the villa and chef on call. No need to go far for the beach it has its own private beach as well.
Geejam is a very, very special place. My family and I stayed at Sanwood for four days and it was magical! We were inside of a tropical forest with the most stunning views of the ocean and Port Antonio. Steve, the owner, is a gem: truly incredible guy made sure that all the time we were happy and well taken care of. The property has a little slice of a beach, a private piece of heaven with turquoise waters and lush vegetation surrounding it. The food at the Bushbar is excellent as it is the ambiance at night at the bar and the lounge. Make sure to check the recording studio, if at all possible. Everything here feels fabulous, unique and authentic.