Green might be a buzzword for some, but it’s the rootstock of Jake’s, the 49-room Bohemian hideaway on Jamaica’s Treasure Beach. Sprung from the fertile imagination of owner-artist Sally Henzell and established as a restaurant in 1991, Jake’s has gradually expanded. Now you can spend the night in quirky cottages where seashell-and-rock walls assure privacy in outdoor showers, recycled bottles simulate stained glass, and twig awnings provide shade. Henzell and her family have always been good neighbors, contributing to the construction of local classrooms and establishing a sports park. Now, monthly full-moon harvest dinners bring guests to a nearby family farm for locavore meals in the most delicious expression of the resort’s community values. From $95. (877) 526-2428, jakeshotel.com.
This story appeared in the November/December 2011 issue.
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Fairytales Do Come True
Jake's is a collection of individual fairytale-style cottages scattered along the ocean on Jamaica's lesser traveled South Coast.
Rooms are equipped with outdoor rain-showers, ceiling fans and brightly-colored glass bottles re-purposed as peek-a-boo windows – no phones, no TVs, just the sound of waves crashing outside of your door. It’s not surprising to hear that the meticulously detailed grounds were styled by a former set designer, Sally Henzel.
Don't miss Dougie’s Bar, which serves a potent rum punch by day and stays open until the last guest is ready to call it a night, and Pelican Bar, an establishment built into a sandbar with just planks of wood 20 minutes out to sea.
To reach this off-the-beaten-path gem, guests can either zig-zag across the Jamaican countryside for 2 hours by car or opt for a heli ride instead -- the hotel has its own helipad.
One thing I absolutely love to do when abroad is play cricket. I have no idea why, as I despise baseball. Maybe it is the exoticness of it all, not really sure. First time I batted and bowled was deep in Kerala, India. It was nearly 100 degrees and I was playing with a bunch of kids aged around twelve years old. They laughed hysterically when I bowled but I didn't care, it was so much fun and I got close to the wickets about 20% of the time. They were impressed with my batting though, that is until I hit their ball over a small ledge and it took us some time to retrieve it from the neighbors yard (some things are similar in all cultures).
This shot was taken in southwest Jamaica. I was staying at Jake's Guest House and they recommended a day trip that included a boat ride to a private beach where we drank rum and beer, ate seafood that was caught in the waters right off of the beach and cooked in an oil-drum grill on the beach, snorkeled and played cricket with the cooks and fishermen. An incredible day!