Jakes Hotel, Villas and Spa is probably the most talked about place to stay in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. The quintessential bohemian hang-out on the untouched south coast that has grown organically over the last two plus decades as an antithesis to the all-inclusive hotels huddled on the north coast. With a three night mini break on the very near horizon I seized the opportunity to make a reservation at the hip Treasure Beach hotel to see what all the fuss was about and explore the area.
Our three night stay at Jakes lent itself to a fair bit of reporting and photography. So I have broken the trip down into mini-series to cover as much detail as possible! This post will cover a review of our first night and the Coral Room at Jakes Hotel, Villas and Spa.
Jakes Here We Come!
With just four days until our proposed arrival date, I called Jakes to check if they had availability for the following week. I was cheerfully advised that there were three unoccupied rooms and with two of them way out of our budget, we opted for the Garden View Room – Coral. After paying online we received a confirmation email and counted down the days until our arrival…
In case you missed it – Check out this post about our Journey to Jakes, Treasure Beach!
With the official check in time at 3.00pm and it now being around 8.30pm, we received a call from Jakes reception to check we were ok and if we needed anything special arranged for our arrival. We explained that we were on our way, but likely to arrive late. We were assured that was no problem and that although the reception closes at 9.00pm, the security would be made aware of our arrival and would show us to our room if we arrived any later than that….
Arriving at Jakes Hotel, Treasure Beach
After following the signposts for Jack Sprat all the way from the town of ‘Gutters’, we knew we had found Jakes Hotel when we saw the old Ford Prefect parked up right out front. We pulled into the last vacant parking spot and for the first time noticed it was really quiet and there wasn’t anyone else around. It felt quite strange to be in Jamaica and not hear music playing, not even in the distance. Just total SILENCE.
We pushed open the gate and followed the pathway through the lush garden. After passing the locked gift shop, we came across an open sided building that housed the reception and a covered eating area. The security guard was camped out here and despite the late arrival was very friendly and welcoming. We gave him our name and he went inside the office and came back with the keys. After walking us the short distance through the garden to our room, he came inside and checked all was in order, before handing over the keys.
After we put our things in the room we couldn’t resist having a little look around the grounds. At just past midnight on a Tuesday evening, we literally had the place to ourselves as everyone else seemed to be tucked up in bed. Quietly walking around by the light of the twinkling calabash lights in the trees and with the moon glistening on the surface of the water, we felt really excited to explore more in the daylight and headed back to our room.
The Garden View Rooms – Coral and Conch
Coral and Conch make up the two ‘Garden View’ rooms that are housed in one building, situated directly opposite the outside dining patio of Jakes Restaurant. The story goes that this was the first building that Sally Henzell designed after tipsy diners requested a place to stay overnight. There is no doubt that these two rooms are full of charm, but they only begin to show the full extent of Sally’s bold and unashamed creative design flair that is evident across the rest of the Jakes properties.
Despite being housed in the same building the two rooms have a separate identity, with private entrances and patios in an area of the garden away from the restaurant. The Coral side of the building is painted in a rustic terracotta colour and had the more private of the two patios, whilst the Conch side is painted in light blue, with a patio that overlooks the saltwater swimming pool.
The building is traditionally Jamaican in design with a high ceiling, corrugated zinc roof and a rendered exterior with open fretwork blocks in the bathrooms. The dark wooden shuttered windows fully open to pour in light and the cool sea breeze to reveal polished concrete floors, with a mosaic tile border and a cheerfully painted wooden door. On stepping inside the interior has touches of Moroccan and Spanish design features, which combined to make a warm and cosy space.
Review of the Garden View Room – ‘Coral’
The interior of the ‘Coral’ room is rough rendered, with an Ibiza-esque fabricated structure that snakes across two sides of the room. Painted in a beautiful burnt orange colour, it forms a curvy and flowing inbuilt bench seating area, the base for the bed, a shelf and the bedside cabinet. The bench seating was a great spot to relax and there was also a desk that had been fashioned out of the base of an old singer sewing machine, which was interesting!
The bed was deceptively comfortable, with a deep mattress, a cute ‘towel art’ centre piece and a mosquito net. There was a super quiet and insanely powerful overhead fan, plus an AC unit on the wall opposite the bed. But I am not a fan (no pun intended) of using AC and found there was no need for it.
The wooden windows have slats on them to let in air and light and can also be fully opened. As the room looks directly over the dining area, we only ever opened the slats at the front of the room, but mostly kept them closed for reasons of privacy.
Point of Note! At meal times and especially in the morning, the dining area fills up with guests and the noise levels can be a bit intrusive if you are trying to sleep – Looking for something further away from the action? Check out the rest of the accommodation at Jakes.
The en-suite bathroom has a cute punched tin door and was a decent size. There is white sanitary ware and a huge walk-in shower, which is powerful and had a pretty consistent hot water supply. Plenty of clean and fluffy white towels, small bottles of Driftwood Spa (Jakes Spa) toiletries and a good hairdryer where all supplied.
The shower has open fretwork blocks across the entire wall, that overlooks the outside dining area at Jakes restaurant. There is an extra shower curtain covering the blocks to protect your modesty and there is an insect screen attached to the outside; no worries about peeping toms there!
Jakes have an eco-friendly policy, which enables them to cut down on unnecessary energy usage and water waste. I think this is a great initiative where you as a visitor, can easily take part and do your bit.
Coral Room Amenities
Hidden behind another punched tin door was a small closet with a hanging rail fashioned from a piece of bamboo, complete with a few clothes hangers. There were also some shelves with a comforter (blanket) for the bed, a digital safe (that you could set yourself), a coffee maker with complimentary sachets of filter coffee, creamer and sugar, two cups, two glasses, a spoon, two small bottles of ‘Wata’ water and a mini fridge! A couple of peg hook boards on the wall in the bedroom area also provided somewhere to hang things.
Point of note! There wasn’t masses of space to ‘unpack’ everything from our bags, as many people like to do when they go away. But as we were only there for three nights, we didn’t find this to be an issue – There are plenty of other properties at Jakes that have more storage!
A simple, but appreciated touch was a personally addressed and hand-written postcard, welcoming us to Jakes. Along with the postcard, there was an informational folder in the room with a map and details of the resort and spa that included opening hours, local area information, activities and excursions.
Private Patio Area
One of our favourite parts of our room was the private patio, directly off the bedroom. We literally opened the double wooden doors and stepped out into our own little oasis. There were a couple of wooden sun loungers with padded cushion covers at our disposal, where we could lay and chat and relax. Much to our amusement, a resident family of Mongoose kept appearing in the garden and we had lots of fun watching their activities whilst drinking our tea.
The garden was simple in design and apart from the tropical backdrop of flowers and foliage, there is a huge and majestic tree naturally dividing the area from the Conch Room garden. The tree is strewn with beautiful calabash lanterns that softly illuminated the area in the night time and gave the area a romantic, magical air about it. Due to the clever use of planting and fencing in our garden, we felt sheltered from the next nearest buildings and the other guests who were walking to and from their rooms.
We spent an inordinate amount of time on that patio, all things considered. But we loved opening the door when we woke up and having tea and a light breakfast together away from the milieu of the noisy breakfast crowd at Jakes restaurant. In the afternoon, we would come back to the room and lounge around for a while in the garden before showering for dinner. And, in the evening we would push open the doors and have a nightcap out there looking up at the stars! It was just perfect.
The whole booking process at Jakes was very smooth and straight forward and we were able to pay online through their website using an overseas debit card. On our day of arrival we felt that Jakes went the extra mile with small personal touches, such as calling twice to check we were successfully making our way there and leaving a hand-written welcome note on the back of postcard in our room.
Our room was spotlessly clean and room service cleaned inside and swept the patio during our stay. Overall, we were very comfortable and content in the space and the secluded private patio more than made up for the noise made during busy meal times at the nearby restaurant.
Our midweek stay in the Coral Garden View Room was approx. US$120 per night.
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