Thursday, December 10, 2009


One of the primary reasons that I fell in love with Jamaica was due to the incredible hotel that we stayed at. It's featured in my Design Hotels book that I'm always referring to at work, it's on Tablet hotels (an equally great resource for boutique hotels), and it's got the highest ratings on every travel website. The Rockhouse is definitely a place that stands out from the crowd. We wandered up and down the beach checking out all the resorts, and there was honestly nothing that even came close.

It's a small group of rooms (only 34) situated on the western cliffs of the island. You have to book early because they go fast. Each villa is integrated seamlessly into the landscape and connected by a meandering garden path. If you're like us and still working on that first million, there's a lower budget option in the small 2 story hotel room block. The furnishings are exactly like the villas, you're just next door to someone. They still have outdoor showers and a beautiful/ timeless set-up that's completely suited to the climate. No TV's. This is where you go to escape it all.

Throughout the resort there are multiple vignettes that serve as your own private oasis. A little hut perched on the top of a high cliff or a couple of lounge chairs at the edge of the water... you'd think that you'd be interrupted by other guests at some point, but there seem to be plenty of hide aways for everyone. There's lots of opportunities for cliff jumping, snorkeling, yoga, and more. You can cap off the day at the pool which is perfectly situated to take in the magnificent sunsets every night.

Follow that up with a fantastic dinner at the Rockhouse restaurant (consistently rated one of the best in Jamaica) or the more traditional Jamaican Pushcart restaurant a little further up the path with live reggae every night. The food is good and the service is great, but it's the ambiance that's absolutely unparalleled. The restaurants sit atop caves within the cliffs. They're lit by ticki torches and you can hear the waves crashing beneath you. One table stands apart from the rest on the next rock outcropping over. It's alone out on the ledge and surrounded by votive candles. It's definitely a dining experience like no other. We had to reserve it for our last night. It seemed like the perfect way to cap off the trip.

Basically, you have everything you could want or need within easy reach. It was pretty tempting to stay put, but we couldn't resist exploring. There were just too many interesting things to see. You always need more time...

1 comment:

  1. Oh i'm so jealous!
    I went to jamaica a fews ago and our place was nice but the rockhouse sounds absolutely amazing. Plus I got a parasite. :-( I'll have to give it another try at the rockhouse!
    I love your blog and the places you share!