I think I’ve wanted to go to Jamaica ever since I first saw Tom Cruise and his permed love interest frolicking in waterfalls and white jeeps in Cocktail as a child. And the place I’ve always known I’d stay if I went was Jakes….
After a turbulent end of 2016, a big birthday on the way and a manic few months of work ahead of me, a holiday had never been more welcome… We needed Vitamin D, Sea and Bea(ch) stat. So, myself and my friend Phoebe headed to boutique hotel Jakes for five days of just what the doctor ordered. Jakes is one of those special kind of places that are a rarity these days. Small, quirky, independent and situated off the beaten track in ‘real Jamaica’ that is seemingly a million miles away from the resorts and cruise ships of Montego Bay, it’s free from frills and excesses, instead the focus is purely it’s rugged, beachside setting, family-run history and atmosphere, and colourful, homely interiors, all of which were created with love by the hotel’s founder and owner Sally Henzell. It’s instantly easy to get into the Jamaican rhythm here… The jerk on the menu is fresh, the rum punch is on ice, the sound of reggae is in the air and life is good. We allowed ourselves to be deliciously lazy, moving only from our room to our sun loungers to our daily quota of Macho Nachos and red stripe and back again. Located in the small community of Treasure Beach, Jakes has a lovely, friendly feel to it and we met lots of people who had been once, fell in love and came back every year since or had even gone as far as building a house nearby to relocate to. We alternated eating at Jakes mellow, poolside tables and the more low-key Jack Spratt at the other end of the hotel for sundowners, pizza or Jerk snapper and fries. Aside from that, a drink at Eggy’s Beach Bar and the must-do Pelican Bar (more on that next time) are definitely worth putting on the list and there are a few other local coffee shops, brunch spots and veggie restaurants dotted around Treasure Beach if you feel like a change/can tear yourself away from Jakes’ fresh, buttery lobster and Dougie’s Bar.
It’s definitely worth pumping for one of the sea-adjacent rooms here (or as close as you can get). We started our stay in Hammerhead 1 which, while a big, spacious, clean twin with a private terrace, but the our whole experience of Jakes shifted once we moved into Seashell 3. With an outdoor shower and headboard encrusted with brightly coloured glass bottles and a salty breeze that flowed through the shutters and through our mosquito net, suddenly we understand why this place really got under people’s skin. I don’t think anything can beat waking up to the sound of roaring waves or showering off the day under stars in a room as dreamily kitsch as ours was.
Jumpsuit | Revolve
White lace-up bikini | Marysia
Sun hat | Janessa Leone
Large black sunglasses | Celine (shop a selection here)
Floral bikini | Peony Swimwear
Wrap skirt | Dodo Bar Or
White tee | Redone
Raffia rucksack | Need Supply
Horn Necklace | Lucy Williams X Missoma
Oval sunglasses | Oliver Peoples X The Row
Rope Sandals | Bought in Lisbon. Try here.
Thanks to i-escape.com for helping to organise our trip.