Do you ever have that vacation that is so good that you’re conflicted between wanting to share it with the world versus tucking the memories snugly under your pillow so that no one ever finds out about this specific sliver of paradise? So that it just remains yours, special and private, and just for you? I’m opting to go with the former on this (begrudgingly, I might add).
The Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica is the kind of spot that leaves you daydreaming about it long after you’ve returned to alarm clocks, rush hour traffic, and people asking how you’re doing but never listening for the answer. There is a special kind of calm that fills me when I’m there, much of it having to do with the off the beaten track locale of the property, and the warmth of the people (everything really is “irie”).
After only a few days in Negril, I felt instantly renewed. Morning yoga in front of the cool Caribbean sea, afternoon cliff jumping into the water, and dinners where my best accessory was always the jerk sauce covering my face after a perfect meal. Three Dives Restaurant was a standout for its incomparable grilled chicken & lobster, rice and peas, and cold Red Stripe beer, pulled from a small red ice box behind the counter. Their live reggae band doesn’t hurt either.
But this is not to trump Presley’s across the street from the hotel, where the namesake owner and chef asks you in the morning what you want for dinner that night, and then catches it that afternoon. I mean…epic. An inimitable way to wind down after an afternoon of hand diving for sea urchin & climbing an ackee tree with the locals – oh yes, that happened.
Massages, sunbathing, and jerk salmon sandwiches on cocoa bread round out the usual suspects for the day. Before bed a big piece of homemade coconut cream pie tucks you in for a perfect slumber on crisp white sheets and an ocean breeze lulling you to sleep.
Yea mon. Just go.
Here are a few vacation essentials I can’t live without for my Jamaican jaunts. Caribbean chic at it’s finest: