While Negril is one of Jamaica’s most famous tourist-centric towns known for its iconic 7 miles of white sand beaches and warm-hearted people, the Rockhouse hotel is arguably just as responsible for Negril’s fame status. Located in the West End of Negril, the Rockhouse hotel boasts one of the most eccentric local architectural designs for a resort. Being situated right on the coastal rocks of Negril contributes to the hotel’s star quality.
Aside from the stunning rocky architecture, what stood out to us at Jamaicans.com, was the wonderful welcome we got from the front desk agents like Ms. Donette who, by the end of our stay, became a friend. We were made to feel special and this made the experience one in a million. The Rockhouse staff are used to A-listers like Bella Hadid, but we were made to feel no less than A-listers ourselves.
Rockhouse Hotel is unique in the sense that each guest is given a passport of the Resort that provides a map of the hotel and a schedule of the activities. Donette did a fantastic job explaining to us that the more activities you do, the greater your chances of receiving a gift from the hotel such as a free massage at their spa. This certainly got us excited. Guests have the opportunity to engage in spiritually cleansing morning yoga, a cooking class, and many other activities including swimming in the saltwater infinity pool, and, snorkeling in the clear waters below the rocks. You literally could never be bored.
We chose to partake in the cooking class on the yoga deck where we could “Cook Like a Jamaican.” The recipe was “Old Time Synting” which incorporated fresh local seafood and Jamaican spices such as scotch-bonnet peppers and local thyme. The experience was interactive and guests were able to learn something truly Jamaican that they could use. I now know that when cooking a seafood stew, always add the snapper last and shrimp first (because shrimp takes longer to cook.) After the session, we were able to have a wonderful meal that we helped to prepare, making it extra special and, of course, tasty.
Our villas were nestled on the rocks in a cocoon of the natural tropical topography of Jamaica. Our rooms had panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and our own personal decks. The room itself could only be described in one word “IRIE”, where natural resources combine with eccentric Jamaican culture to make the most soothing space. The outdoor shower attached to our rooms created an even more earthy experience where showers felt like I was one with nature.
The Rockhouse environment is not without the trappings of comfortable modern technology. Rockhouse Hotel makes it their duty to stock your own personal mini-fridge with essential Jamaican rum, beers and your favorite snacks all at an affordable cost. Curate the best playlist of your favorite songs and blast from your personal radio set in your room whatever amount of time you spend there. Also, do not forget to Instagram, Tweet, or Facebook your experience because the Rockhouse Hotel literally has the best Wifi connectivity.
Food and Relaxation
The culinary experience at the Rockhouse Restaurant infused healthy living with authentic Jamaican food experiences. Smoothies are a big part of the experience. The most memorable was the Green Tea Smoothie that had infused flavors of moringa, macca, and mint among other ingredients. Having this ocean-side only added to the freshness of the drink itself. The crab quesadillas had a beautiful presentation and the flavors were just as triggering to the senses.
Pushcart, Rockhouse’s adjoining dancehall themed bar is the perfect spot to have a drink after a long day on the beach. Live DJ and dancehall music with great friends is the ideal cocktail for a great night at Pushcart.
The Rockhouse Spa offers guests a stellar spa experience and is a must do when you book this trip. Linda Hall, the hotel’s award-winning spa consultant created an experience that centers around holistic spa therapy in a natural and Caribbean ambiance. The spa offers massages, scrubs, wraps, and holistic mind, body and beauty therapy. Enjoy a soak in one of their special tubs while looking at the Caribbean sea.
Rockhouse Hotel is not just a majestic getaway. It is evident that they navigate the tourism industry with much care for the environment and the community they operate in. Rockhouse over the years has been able to transform primary schools in their area by extending philanthropic hands to these needy schools. What makes this even better is the ability guests have to directly visit these schools and take part in their philanthropic deeds. This is a final touch that you may not be able to get anywhere else. Green Globe certified, Rockhouse is big on recycling. The grounds are carefully laden with fully thought out recycling receptacles. This shows heart and it inspires environmental consciousness.
Rockhouse is the hotel for everyone: couples, family, the wanderlust millennial or the person who is looking for a spiritual getaway. This hotel is nothing short of a 5-star experience and one that should not be understated. We look forward to our next stay at Rockhouse with bated breath.
Words by Kimberly Roach. Images by Jeana Lindo.