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
I'm doing a small tour of Jamaica as part of a work trip and my team and I were lucky enough to be shown around the Geejam property on a beautifully sunny afternoon, and then to return later that evening for dinner at the Bush Bar. The grounds are immaculately kept — completely spotless with beautiful gardens — the views are absolutely incredible, and the accommodations are stunning and feature a lot of interesting, artistic decor/touches — and I highly recommend checking out the Cocosan and Panorama villas if you have a bigger group and/or budget. Also, if you happen to be looking for a swanky recording studio to produce your next album — in a space that a myriad of the biggest names in music have also done so — this is your place. It's the ideal spot to find laidback luxury in the area.
Last but not least, the food in the restaurant was fantastic, the drinks delicious, and the owners and staff were all so sweet. One of my favorite spots I visit on the trip — highly recommended!
My group of four was staying at nearby property but heard about the wonderful dining experience at Geejam so we went for dinner. We were not disappointed. The service and selections, from appetizers thru dessert were excellent. After we finished eating, Steve Beaver, the property owner came over to greet us. He offered us a delicious complimentary drink called Ting-a-Ling. (I won't share the ingredients. I suggest you visit to find out). We chatted for a while then he generously offered to have one of his employees give us a tour of the property's studio where global heavy hitters of the music have recorded some of their music. It was a thrilling experience, especially for someone originally from the area who was have a well needed vacation. We couldn't have asked for a better experience.
We went for a sunset drink at the BushBar and decided to stay for dinner. First class service from our bartender, stunning sea views, sweet local music, great rum cocktails, delicious Mahi Mahi and the best Oxtail I’ve had in a long time. We were also lucky enough to get a quick tour of the studio! We will be back soon!!!
Three night experience with an Expedia-requested upgrade to the villa “ska” the first two nights, and then we moved down to “rocksteady”, which we actually preferred a little more. Ska was more secluded w the jacuzzi, but the view and the steam shower at rocksteady ticked our boxes. everyone working there was beyond helpful and warm. Location in regards to amazing beaches (frenchman’s Cove and Boston beach plus blue lagoon) was tops (just when arriving for the first time, GPS was a little off for us. Look for the sign that says San San Police station and then keep a look out for the small geejam arrows as you go up the hill). But over everything, the Jamaican breakfast each morning was the bee’s knees. I will be dreaming of the first morning’s salt fish rundown for a very long time. And the coffee. It was made so well. thanks for everything!
This is by far my favorite place in Port Antonio, Portland. We had to use the studio which is the top of the line, maybe anywhere in the world. The drum and bass cottage below the studio is where we stayed. OMG!!!
I remember it was raining cats and dogs and I sat in the bathtub and watched the rain beating the caribbean sea. I will never forget this experience. The staff, the settings, surrounded by nature, the uniqueness of this property and the way nature is respected...just everything about Geejam makes this the perfect spot to vacation in Jamaica. Close to everything. Ask Beyonce and Solange... :)