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“Rockhouse--WoW!”
Review of Rockhouse Hotel

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Rockhouse Hotel
Ranked #2 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Since we appreciated reading the reviews by others before traveling to the Rockhouse, we wanted to return the favor. We chose to celebrate our 25th anniversary here and were not disappointed. This was our first time to the Rockhouse and first time to Jamaica as well.

We chose an early Sunday morning departure from Atlanta that allowed us to arrive in Montego Bay just before lunch time. This allowed us to eventually arrive at the Rockhouse by ~ 2 P.M. in time to enjoy the rest of the day—we’re glad we did this.

Before departing Atlanta, we stopped by duty free and picked up a bottle of our favorite spirit—another great tip we picked up from a review we read. We indulged in some of the Rockhouse specialty drinks while at the pool and during meals, but it was nice to drink our own favorite concoction in the evening while sitting on our villa patio. We pre-arranged through Rockhouse for Kenney Tours to pick us up in Montego Bay. Kenney and his crew are great. On the ride to the Rockhouse, our driver, Nelson, was even nice enough to stop at a small convenience store on our route so we could pick up some incidentals—water, coke, etc. We learned later there was a grocery store 5 min taxi ride away from the Rockhouse. Next time, we'd go there early in our stay to get a few other food/drink items for our room vice purchasing everything from the Rockhouse. A previous review forewarned the reader to prepare your mental state for the 1.5 hour ride through poverty—very true. I started to second guess whether I had chosen a great place to spend our 25th. However, once we arrived to the Rockhouse, we were in a different world—well worth the trip.

Upon arriving at the Rockhouse, our room was not quite ready, so we took the opportunity to wander about and familiarize ourselves with the property. We were quickly approached by “Bally,” the senior grounds keeper, who then showed us all around—what a fantastic gentleman—and the rest of the staff is just like him.

Accommodations: we stayed in a Premium Villa. I had requested #3 or #10 (based on the reviews we had read). Those were initially unavailable, so they assigned us to #2. However, #3 became available the next day, so we chose to change rooms for the remainder of our five day stay. #3 had a better view of the entire property and ocean and I have to agree with the others, if you are staying in a Premium Villa, then #3 is king if you can get it—simply for the view—I think all the Premium Villa amenities are the same. With all that said, “when” we return (not if), I think we will choose to save ~ $90 per night and stay in a regular “Villa.” They also are right on the water—we would have been equally pleased. Another couple we met indicated #16 or 18 are the best “villa’s” to stay in. There are some hotel-like rooms on the property for less than $200 per night. If your budget can only afford that, then there are several sunning pads around the property that are not designed specifically for a room that will still allow you to soak in the Rockhouse experience. But clearly the Rockhouse experience is all about staying in one of 19 water front villas for both day and night-time relaxation—worth the splurge if you can.

Food/drink: as you would expect, all seafood dishes here are great. Snapper sandwich at the pool—fantastic. There’s a “tenderloin” on the menu and as a meat lover, I decided to try it one night (even after they told me it was a “filet”). Ughh—not good. Tough sirloin at best—I should have known—don’t waste your $24 on that dish. The couple at the next table made the same mistake. It then became the running joke between us every time we would see them on the property. The lobster is out of this world! Great specialty drinks. If you are a beer lover, get ready for three choices—Red Stripe, Red Stripe Light and Heineken.

Cigars: men (and ladies who partake), Cuban and Jamaican cigars are $20+. I brought a few of my own--glad I did--very nice evenings to enjoy a slow smoke.

Room Service: there’s no extra charge for room service. We followed the advice of a previous reviewer and had breakfast ordered in every day—this was fantastic. Banana Nut bread was delicious.

Weather: you’re in the tropics—some days are crystal clear and other days you have some rain—but nothing that stays around for a long time. Perfect temps—mid-80’s to low 70s.

Activities/Excursions: The Rockhouse is not about activities and excursions—it is all about relaxing; soaking in the sun; swimming/diving/snorkeling in the crystal clear waters; sipping your favorite drink by the pool and watching gorgeous sunsets (the property points due-West). Yes, there are some excursions inland you could take, but that would have diluted the Rockhouse experience in my opinion.

Spa: we followed another great review tip and had a couple’s massage in one of the cabana’s on the water—a must! Also did yoga in the mornings—gents, if you’ve never done yoga (I had not), prepare yourself, it’s harder than it looks!

Insects: definitely need to spritz yourself with repellent—mainly when you are “inside” your rooms for the skeeters—although there’s not many at all. When you are outside, there’s enough breeze to keep them away.

Electricity: 110 in the rooms—no need for converters--outlets are the same as in the U.S.

Internet: for those that can't resist being disconnected, free WiFi is available in the lobby and restaurant with plans to expand WiFi throughout the resort (didn't give a timetable).

Cell Phone: cell phone coverage everywhere--don't forget to explore with your cell provider short term international calling/data plans if you plan to use.

Tipping/currency: We arrived with very little U.S. cash in our pocket since we had read that everything can be charged to your room (this is true). However, any extra “tip” you add to your dinner bill for example, goes into a general tipping pool that all employees share in. If you want to reward a specific employee for great service, you have to give them cash directly. I wish we had come with extra cash specifically for this reason. Rockhouse doesn’t have an ATM on property. Nearest one is a 5 minute taxi ride away. But since we knew in advance we were coming to stay on the property and just relax with no excursions, we never had the opportunity to get extra cash and reward several key employees with our generosity. If you do take an excursion or go out, the community readily takes U.S. dollars, but you’ll get Jamaican currency in return for change.

Gear: We brought our snorkel gear—this was nice to have and easy to bring vice renting a set every day.

Music/Laptop: if you like your own music, then consider purchasing the Bose Soundlink (this is not an endorsement, just a statement of fact)—connects via Bluetooth (or auxiliary wire) and produces a wonderful sound typical of Bose devices. It was fantastic to have some light music playing in the background at times (without earphones) while still listening to the waves. It also produced a mini-theater sound when we chose to watch a DVD on our laptop one night.

That’s it—thank you to all previous reviewers that allowed us to plan our trip better. And to all who will read this and make your first trip to the Rockhouse—enjoy!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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27  Thank Choosin-To-Be-Happy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 March 2012

We stayed for 5 beautiful days and the staff, food and location of the Rock House were perfection. Take time to go to the cart bar/restaurant ask for the Achee fritters, taste sensation!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank cosmo2Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

If you are a busy person who lives life at a frenetic pace and want a simple relaxing vacation, you will find no better than Rockhouse! My boyfriend and I just returned from our second trip to Rockhouse, having stayed there a year ago. I am someone who is intent on seeing, doing, living every moment, which I do in the typical fashion of trying to check off as many places on my travel bucket list as possible. After staying at Rockhouse last Feb, however, I discovered the value of the chillaxed vaca!

This place is a little piece of heaven in a crazy world. Both of us find a peacefulness there that is unrivaled...the scenery...the service...the villas...the chairs overlooking the water...banana pancakes delivered cliffside for breakfast...waking up to watch the sun rise through three floor to ceiling windows surrounding the bed...watching the world's best sunset...showering outside amidst the roots of old trees...Sting Rays, Red Stripes and snapper sandwiches from the pool bar...a couples massage on the cliffs...swimming in the clearest water off the cliffs...and of course the best and cutest little bartender at the pool! (That one is for you, Chevon!)

Check out the little bar down the road across the street called De Bar where Eddie will serve you the best jerk chicken and rice/peas you've ever eaten! Food is terrific at Rockhouse and Push Cart as well. We are already planning our return trip next year!

Last year we stayed in a standard room and this year a villa; the difference is totally worth the money! We were in villa 18, which was near the pool for beverage replenishment and had a killer view. It became quite the adventure to hop along the step stones on the cliffs after so much "relaxation"!!

Careful of the mosquitoes; they ate me alive the last night we were there! Always light the coil before going to sleep and tuck in the ends of that bed netting!!

Rockhouse simply has an amazing thing going and is the perfect place to chill with someone you love.

Room Tip: Villas are totally worth it; would recommend 18!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank annabelle4090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

This hotel is gorgeous. The grounds are kept immaculate, the infinity pool is great and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Snorkeling is fairly good off of the cliffs. The restaurants are really good too. We stayed in one of the regular rooms as the ocean front villas book long in advance. That being said our room was still great. We loved the outdoor shower. Overall the perfect place for couples looking to get away from the overcrowded all inclusives on the 7Mile beach.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank Frank R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Everything we were hoping for and so much more! Hotel, Spa, Pool and Restaurants are ALL fantastic!
Rooms - We stayed in a studio and loved it. While the Villas are nicer, the studio was exactly what we needed and we'll stay in one again when we return. I recommend staying in room 27(where we stayed) or 28, they both have great water views. The A/C turns off everytime you open/close the door, however, it cools the room down very quick so it wasn't a problem. I simply can't live without a tv, so we rented one from the giftshop. It's a flat-screen with a dvd player, so if you're planning on renting one I suggest bringing your own movies, their selection is very limited. Housekeeping did a great job, the room was spotless when we arrived as well as everytime they stopped by. The giftshop has a great selection of cover-ups, artwork, flip flops, etc. It's a little spendy, but well worth it! I bought one of the Callaloo cover-ups as well as one of the beautiful paintings of the pool - be on the lookout the artist is at the RH painting quite a bit and will do special requests.

Pool - even more beautiful in person. While the actual pool itself is showing it's age, it didn't matter it was a gorgeous setting. The chairs do tend to fill up pretty quick each morning, however, let maintenance/bartender know and they'll find more for you. I suggest bringing rafts, they only three for the resort. The food at the Pool Grill is FANTASTIC, I had the snapper sandwich several times and it was excellent, the chicken kabobs and jerk chicken were also very good. As with everywhere in Jamaica, service can be slow, so order well before you're hungry, it took about 45 minutes- hour each day for our lunch to be done. Drinks were also fantastic, the best Pina Colada I've had - yum!

Spa - I only had one treatment but it was awesome. I had the Rockhouse Signature Foot Ceremony and it was the best foot massage I've ever had! Next time I'll sign up for more spa treatments!

The Grounds - they do a spectacular job of keeping the grounds looking clean and gorgeous. The groundskeepers are constantly sweeping and working to make it look great. While we felt completely safe during our entire stay, security makes its presence known at night by walking around and having stations.

Overall, this was our favorite vacation/hotel we've ever had or stayed at. The Rockhouse goes out of their way to give great service and all you have to do is ask if you're in need of something. We were a bit suprised at how many families were at the resort, while they were all very well behaved it changed the atmosphere a bit for us. We were there over Presidents Day so thay may have had something to do with it, but just know this definitely is not an adults-only resort. We most definitely will be back, we love the Rockhouse AND Negril!

Room Tip: If you're staying in a studio ask for 27 or 28, both have great ocean views and are close to the...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank beachluvr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Such a wonderful experience. Like paradise! Great food and amazing spa service. You don't even need to leave the hotel if you don't want to.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tera W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We kept seeing various articles about the Rockhouse throughout a variety of magazines and each of the articles kept describing in their own way how great this place was. Could it be true…well there was only one way to find out? So we booked our flights, packed our bags and were on our way to a 5 day getaway from the cold northeastern USA. Our expectations were very high given all of the great articles we read in addition to the massive amount of positive reviews on TripAdvisor. First, we highly recommend using Kenny Tours as your private transfer from the airport in Montego Bay to Negril. They are very friendly, professional and really make the 1.5 hour trip more enjoyable. This round-trip transfer can be arranged through the Rockhouse.

The moment we arrived we could tell immediately that we made the right choice, and the rest of the time spent at the Rockhouse just further reaffirmed this choice. We arrived around mid-afternoon the day after Thanksgiving to a beautiful day, calm water, warm breeze and an instantaneous vibe of relaxation. We checked into our room (Villa #12), changed and headed straight to the pool area for some lunch. We can’t say enough about the quality of service, especially at the pool bar and grill. Chevon and Vinroy were always on point with tip-top service and I could talk about the amazing food Vanal prepared for hours, but I will spare you. Just know that half of our meals were spent at the pool bar. Best food and view in the entire place. Speaking of food, do not miss the Push Cart and breakfast on your villa patio. Just call room-service and in less than 30 minutes you will be enjoying an amazing meal from the privacy of your personal patio. Not a bad way to start the day. It’s also important to know that when we typically travel, we are very adventurous and never stay at home base too long, but with the Rockhouse, I’m pleased to say that we only left once during the 5 day stay. That says a lot in my opinion. Our daily routine consisted of an amazing breakfast to start the day, setting up camp at one of the many great spots around the pool area, swims around the rock point to the caves, snorkeling, cliff diving and jumping, lunch at the pool, reading, multiple Red Stripes and banana rum punch all while waiting for the amazing sunset each evening. Do not miss this event.

A few things I wish I knew before I arrived are as follows: 1.You can basically charge every drink, meal, or service to your room, so there is really no need to carry cash which is nice. Additionally, the charges can be added to your final bill, so there is no related foreign credit card transaction fees associated as long as you keep it on the original card you booked with. 2. The free WiFi is best picked up by the office or the lounge area in the main restaurant. 3. If you do decide to leave the Rockhouse there are cabs ready to take you where you please in Negril pretty much anytime you want. They will even come back and get you if you pre-arrange a pickup time with your driver. This will save you from having to make international calls. 4. The mosquitoes in the evening are legit. Bring Deet, Off and be prepared to use your bed net for sleeping. They are a non-issue during the daytime.

Overall, this is a place that we will be visiting again soon and I wish there was more that I could say, but based on the amount and quality of the other reviews…there really isn’t anything new that hasn’t already been said. You will not be disappointed if you choose this as your vacation destination.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank etrain33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rockhouse Hotel

Address: West End Rd, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#2 Spa Hotel in Negril
#3 Romantic Hotel in Negril
#5 Business Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $138 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rockhouse Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rockhouse is a boutique hotel stretching across the cliffs of Pristine Cove. Nestled amongst eight acres of tropical lush gardens, thatched roofed villas are perched on the water's edge. Guests swim in the sixty foot horizon pool or take the stairs carved into the rock down to the cove for snorkeling on the reef. Home to two award winning restaurants - the Rockhouse Restaurant & Bar and the Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar. The renowned Rockhouse Spa has a philosophy that is a simple, holistic approach to well-being, health and happiness. Spa treatments are undertaken "on-the-rocks" in the cliff-edge Massage Cabana or at the eight room garden spa. Yoga classes are offered daily overlooking the sea.Consistently ranked one of the top resorts in the Caribbean, the Rockhouse won the Caribbean's Leading Boutique Hotel 2014 and Jamaica's Leading Spa 2014 at the World Travel Awards. In addition, the Rockhouse was also voted the No. 1 "Best Value Hotel in the Caribbean" in Travel + Leisure's "World's Best Value Awards" and included in Conde Naste Traveler's Readers Choice list of "Best in the World". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockhouse Hotel Negril
Rock House Jamaica
Rockhouse Jamaica
Rockhouse Hotel Jamaica

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