If you're looking for a peaceful, serene place to contemplate life, swim in a crystal clear blue cove, and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit, I can think of no better place than Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica. During my recent visit to Jamaica, we were given a tour of the property, and treated to dinner at the delicious Pushcart Restaurant. While we didn't have a chance to stay there, many of the bloggers in our group expressed a desire to return.
Rockhouse gets it name from its place in the 1970's music scene, when music legends like Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones used to frequent the hotel, to escape from the spotlight and relax. Nestled among the sea cliffs overlooking Pristine Cove (yes, that is what it is called), Rockhouse blends seamlessly into the environment, and offers guests a peaceful, restful oasis from everyday life.
The members of our tour group had a debate over whether we would characterize Rockhouse as "rustic" or "artsy" and I'd have to say a little bit of both. With the stone exteriors that mirror the rocky cliffs and wooden Adirondack chairs on the deck, I think "rustic." With the colorful interior walls, simple furnishings reminiscent of a yoga retreat, I'd go with "artsy". It reminded me of a lovely inn we once stayed in on a trip to the Galapagos--simultaneously at one with the environment and inviting to humanity.
The hotel features a full-service spa, with all kinds of luxurious treatments in a tranquil setting. Couples can get side-by-side massages together, either inside or outdoors overlooking the ocean. It's the perfect place to be pampered.
The hotel boutique features locally-made and imported artwork, clothing, and bath products to make your stay more comfortable, or to take home and remind yourself of your time at Rockhouse. I bought a few things to bring home, and I'm torn as to whether to keep them or give them out as gifts. I'm selfish like that sometimes.
The Rockhouse has a swimming pool overlooking the ocean, with cliff-side chairs where visitors can relax and enjoy gorgeous sunsets and ocean views. For more adventurous spirits, there is a small footbridge that you can dive off, or just take a series of stone staircases down to the water to snorkel under a cave in the amazingly clear waters of the Caribbean.
Families should note that Rockhouse only accommodates children 12 and over, except during the winter holidays. At that time, younger children are welcome, but check with the hotel before booking to make sure your kids are welcome. I thought the stone stairs might be a bit dangerous for young kids, so plan to take along rubber soled shoes with good grips to avoid tumbles. Or, just leave the kiddos at home and enjoy a romantic break with your significant other, or a fun getaway with your besties, or just some rest and alone time.
If you want to make your trip a little more meaningful than the average vacation, check out the hotel's website description of the Rockhouse Foundation's participation in Pack for a Purpose. Fill up your suitcase before you leave home with school supplies, soccer balls, and other things that local kids can use, and Rockhouse will donate them for you. You'll need the extra space in your suitcase for all the cool souvenirs you'll buy while you're in Jamaica. It's a great trade-off.
Reid from Dotting the Map takes a backflip off the bridge at Rockhouse
Disclosure: My trip, including airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals were sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board. I did not receive any additional compensation or incentive to write this post. The opinions expressed in this post are original and my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jamaica Tourist Board or Rockhouse Hotel.
All photos were taken by Glennia Campbell, Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.