Geejam is often frequented by musicians. // © 2017 Andrew Gray
Feature image (above): The Caves offers a dramatic cliffside setting. // © 2017 Island Outpost
Jamaica has a fantastic selection of all-inclusive resorts, as well as a range of iconic properties, such as the luxurious Half Moon and Round Hill Hotel and Villas. What’s harder to find in Jamaica, however, are properties that could be described as “boho chic” — boutique hotels that embrace the island’s unique culture while also providing sophisticated accommodations and services. If you have clients wishing to color outside the lines, these three Jamaica properties may be the perfect fit.
Celebrities can choose to vacation practically anywhere, so if they flock to a particular property, you know that hotel must be doing something right. Geejam (pronounced “gee-jom”) has been the top choice of musicians such as Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani. Many of these stars come to Geejam for its on-site recording studio, where they can lay down tracks in a serene, green setting.
The property also gets props for its attentive 24/7 service and the privacy afforded by its five villas and two private homes. Villas are decorated in a sleek style with lots of hip accents. One negative for some guests may be the lack of beach access or a communal pool, although some of the villas have their own private pools.
The resort offers complimentary transportation to Frenchman’s Cove, a beautiful beach where famous actors and lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton used to canoodle back in the 1970s. Other reasons to leave the resort include great birding, amazing jerk cooking in Boston Beach and rafting excursions on the Rio Grande river.
Geejam is located in Port Antonio, on the island’s north coast — a relatively hard-to-get-to area of Jamaica. But getting away from the crowds is part of its charm.
Jakes is in a class of its own — a socially conscious delight on the island’s southern coast, about a two-hour drive from the airport in Montego Bay. Owner Sally Henzell is an artist and designer who works magic with bits of shell, stone and glass to create inspired decor for the property’s rooms, villas and cottages. Guests can enjoy yoga, a mosaic-tile saltwater pool and an off-the-grid ambiance.
Jakes is a good choice for clients who want to mix and mingle with Jamaicans, since there’s a steady flow of locals at the hotel bar. They can also get to know residents at watering holes such as the famous Floyd’s Pelican Bar, which can only be reached by boat.
Negril is widely considered Jamaica’s most laid-back tourism region. Although there are lots of all-inclusive resorts in the area, there are more than a handful of independent hotels that are hardly cookie-cutter. One of the most dramatically hip of these boutique properties is adults-only The Caves, part of Chris Blackwell’s Island Outpost portfolio.
The Caves is a collection of cliffside cottages and villas hugging the rocky coastline. Decor and design are rustic Caribbean, and each villa has its own charm. The property features a saltwater pool, a whirlpool, a spa, on-site dining options and the ultimate showstopper: Blackwell Rum Bar, which is carved into the limestone cliff face. Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is also nearby, and the region is a great choice for clients in search of live music venues showcasing reggae artists.