No hotel in Jamaica blends better with its surroundings than the aptly named Rockhouse, a string of villas clinging to the top of a sea cliff at the western tip of the island. Local stone, timber, and thatch are the building materials, and a harmony of design and setting is the result. The feel is rustic, but not rough (the showers might be outdoors, but the rooms are air-conditioned), and the feeling carries over to the pool, which sits on a rock platform halfway down the cliff face, from where sunbathers can don snorkel and mask and clamber down into a usually calm Caribbean. Even the restaurant hangs over the water, adding emphasis to the promise of dishes being fresh from the sea.

As does practically every hotel in Jamaica, Rockhouse has its celebrity stories, going back to the early ‘70s when Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones added their names to the guest register. But it wasn’t until 1994, when a group of Australian owners took over, that Rockhouse began to evolve its reputation as one of the most Jamaican of Jamaican hotels. It happened in part because Rockhouse has none of the formality that some of the island’s best-known hotels, with their British colonial roots, still possess. And in part because of its active role in funding local education projects, it’s a valued, and popular, part of the community. That, and the restaurant’s homemade jerk sausage is legendary.

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A pool with a view

While in Jamaica I stayed at Rockhouse Hotel in Negril. It is a great place to stay as it is right on the water and basically built in the rocks. Each night I would sit by the pool and watch the sunset while enjoying a cocktail (they have a great happy hour special). I definitely recommend staying here if you are ever in Jamaica.

Rock'n Grilled Snapper Sandwich

Rockhouse has four different places you can eat and all the food is excellent. My favorite lunch dish was the grilled snapper sandwich from the Pool Grill. The fish was grilled to perfection but it is the bread that really makes the dish. It is some sort of coconut bread that is to die for. I liked this sandwich so much I got it three of the four days I was there!

Sets in the West

Dusk is, what I like to call, the “filet of the day.” The temperature cools off, the sunlight becomes softer, cocktail hour begins as the light show of the sun and sky commences. Negril is the furthest west town in Jamaica. It is no wonder the sunsets are spectacular!! Pull up a chair around the Rockhouse pool and stare off to the West. You will not be disappointed.

Ocean front chillin in Jamaica

A short flight from NYC followed by a pretty 2 hour drive from Montego Bay airport will bring you to Rockhouse Resort. Jutting out of the western tip of Negril, the charming bungalows overlooking crystal clear water will immediately transform you to vacation mode and complete relaxation. The friendly owners, staff and guests alike are all as happy to be there as you will be and you’ll quickly settle into a great island vibe.

View from Rockhouse

Rockhouse is a gorgeous hotel set on the rocky coral of Negril, Jamaica. The cabins are beautiful, the food is simple and terrific, and the Dirty Banana drinks go down way too easily.

Snapper for Breakfast?

Who needs variety when you can get some of the freshest and best snapper in the Caribbean, delivered daily to the hotel for breakfast, lunch and dinner?! Negril is filled with great roadside jerk shacks, gourmet restaurants and typical tourist friendly hotel restaurants. But for a bit of all the above coupled with great nightly live music head to the Push Cart with great fresh food, very reasonable prices, and friendly staff.

No cliff diving allowed!

Or so the signs say, but hard to go a day at Rockhouse Hotel without seeing guests, staff and locals taking the leap. Villas 1-3 are perched over deep and crystal clear waters and just screaming for a morning dive. Be sure to swim around in the waters below a bit before to scout out any obstacles and/or wait to see the crowds start to line up around some of the friendlier entry and exit points.

Snorkeling in Negril

Don’t expect much in the way of coral, large fish or sea life. But the shadows cast by the intricate caves ringing the west side of Negril, great crystal clear waters and balmy temperatures make this a great place to lazily float around. No need to bring mask/fins unless you want to log a lap on the 1/2 mile swim lane ringing the hotel property. Daily morning yoga and laps in the crystal clear ocean water perfectly compliment the booze and food heavy afternoons.

Morning View with my Blue Mountain Coffee

Beautiful views of the Pristine Cove with my morning coffee, ackee and saltfish breakfast @Rockhouse.

Take a Leap - Rockhouse Hotel, Negril

Once tucked in to the Rockhouse, be sure to take a leap from the catwalk between Palapas 11 and 14. You’ll drop 20' into warm, clear water where you can swim to a ladder to do it again or spend time snorkeling. (Gear avail at the pool bar and grill; $5/day) After, prepare for a nap poolside post-grilled sandwiches and delish drinks.

Grilled Lobster and Fish @Rockhouse

Delicious dinner after a beautiful sunset and day of snorkeling.

Affordable Eco-Luxury in Jamaica

Rockhouse is a boutique eco-hotel stretching along the cliffs of Pristine Cove. It’s nestled amongst eight acres of tropical lush gardens, thatched roofed villas are perched on the water’s edge. Be sure to get the Blue Mountain Coffee Scrub at the Spa Pavillion. Guests can swim in the sixty foot horizon pool or just take the stairs carved into the rock down to the cove for snorkeling on the reef.

Yummy Food, Great, People, Gorgeous Setting!

Our time at Rockhouse in Negril is always amazing!

Tiki Torches and the Shimmering Sea

Experiencing the Rockhouse Restaurant is a must on any Negril visitor’s list, for any meal of the day. Dining here a lovely affair, particularly at night when the outdoor deck is lit with tiki torches and the Caribbean Sea shimmers below. But what really does it is the delicious menu of Jamaican-inspired dishes with a modern twist. You can’t go wrong here, just go. Likely, you’ll be back more than once.

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