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Reviewed October 16, 2006

Jake's is many places described as a chic place to stay. That may be true, but there are definately scratches in the varnish:

Our room was extremely hot (flat concrete roof/no aircon) which forced us to leave all shutters open for a bit of a breeze. The inefficient mosquito net over the bed was not enough to keep the hundreds of mosquitos to bite throughout the entire night.

The irie decor definately needs a touch-up as it is starting to look run-down.

The service was a bit too "irie". The waiters seemed to be uninterested in their work. It was as if they were irritated if the orders were not delivered promptly.

The food was average for Jamaica. One would expect a little more variety especially in seafood. The lobster was great.

The bar served the best Pina Colada we ever had!

  • Stayed: October 2006, travelled with family
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13  Thank LH69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 21, 2006

Before I went I read the reviews and couldn't really understand how some people really loved this placed and others really disliked it. Now I've been, I understand.
I loved it and will certainly stay again. Treasure Beach is my kind of place, quiet, peaceful, friendly and a little rough round the edges. Jakes fits in perfectly here.
I had a look at a couple of the rooms. They're all different, some are more luxury than the others, but generally i thought they were all very pretty with varying degrees of comfort. I stayed in Abalone1 which had a lovely verandah overlooking the sea. I was grateful for the air con if nothing else to help keep those pesky mossies at bay. And boy there were plenty of those. Use LOADS of repellent all the time, they were even hungry during the day. I did comment to the hotel that for the price of the room they should probably replace some of the mosquito nets, but we bought a roll of sticky tape and blocked up the gaps and hey presto - no more bites over night.
The gardens are beautiful. Dougie's bar is friendly and well stocked but, like everywhere I went in Jamaica, wine is excrutiatingly expensive. The food was excellent (mmmm banana pancakes) and of course you can always stroll down to Jack Sprats for a change of scene. The service is really good, there's always loads of people. If I had a complaint it would be about being charged for my 2nd cup of coffee (bit of a rip off). I liked the small but ever-changing menu. The chef is interested, and came to talk to us about his cooking, and gave us some tasters.
The salt water pool is cool and shady. It's small but the sea is about a foot away so who cares. There's a few sun loungers dotted around the place. It was quiet while I was there so it was always peaceful by the pool, but I'm guessing it would get full if the hotel was fully booked.
Generally it's very relaxing, very chilled and has a rather special atmosphere. Probably not for everyone. It really isnt a luxury resort (although the prices might make you think it is). I loved it!
Yes there are lizards everywhere, but I'd rather have them then not, they eat the mossies!
Oh and check out Shirley's place. What a fantastic, interesting and full of life woman she is. It's not "by the book" massage, but she's good and I felt great after an hour and a half sweating it out in her hut.

  • Stayed: September 2006, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank JMuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 15, 2006

We immensely enjoyed our stay at Jakes from July 1-4, 2006. I've been reading some of the negative reviews, and it seems they were only negative because the poster did no research, and thus were not prepared for this type of hotel experience. I'm not able to rate the hotel as excellent, only because it is not a luxury type resort, however, our experience was exactly that. A wonderful, perfect, not-think-about-anything-at-all, laid back experience.

We picked up an Air Jamaica package with transfers included. Although the price was right, I would recommend paying a bit more and hiring a driver directly from Jakes. Air Jamaica uses JTL tours, and the drivers are "you get what they got at the time". Which was not to say the drivers were not very friendly and knowledgeable, the transportation itself on the way to Jakes was less than desireable; an old Toyota mini-van with no shocks and insulation and a 60 mph ride through the mountains for two hours. Which we expected, but not at such speeds and with such an old taxi. The ride back was different as we were picked up in a new Toyota Camry. This ride is not for the faint of heart, so beware. Most of the roads sustained damage during Hurricane Ivan and have not been fixed, so there are many, many potholes and not a whole lot of room to avoid them; very narrow roads, and people walking all over; makes one a bit nervous when a tractor-trailer is coming your way on the other side of the road and the roads are very narrow.

When we arrived at Jakes and checked in, we were immediately impressed by the wonderful staff. I expected to have to put a depost on incidentals as is usual, but not here; we were greeted by name and immediately shown to our cottage, Cockles, the downstairs unit. We had originally reserved a garden view room for $95 per night, and then upgraded to an ocean view deluxe one-bedroom for $195.00. I am so very glad that we did this; when we arrived at the cottage through a meandering, beautiful walkway and entered our cottage, the french-style doors were thrown wide open onto a small tiled terrace with Adirondack chairs, and then a nice-sized wooden deck with loungers, and right off of the deck was the Caribbean Sea. Just a spectacular view! It was very windy the entire stay, thus, the ocean was more silver grey than Blue, but the waves crashing up and spraying on the rocks was just great to watch; almost hypnotizing if you sat there long enough. The sound from the ocean was loud enough that we had no idea that there were guests upstairs until we happened to see them one day.

I have to be honest and say that the room itself was very small, probably no more than 150 square feet; however, it was just perfect for two if you weren't entertaining, which we were not. The floor was dark plank flooring, the queen sized bed was very comfortable and there was mosquito netting. When I made the reservation I had specifically requested air conditioning which worked like a charm. I don't do well with sleeping in warm temperatures, or mosquitos, based upon the other reviews I'd read. Well, the ocean breeze was enough to keep the skeeters away, and my husband was so comfortable that the first night he slept right on the deck. However, if you go out after dusk, be sure to spray up as there are also some nasty no-see-ums that will eat you.
The bathroom was inside the cottage, with a big ol' terracotta tub with tiled walls, small sink and small window, and, of course, a toilet. The door to the bath, which was not a door but rather a folding door, never did stay shut, and the lighting was poor, with one bulb being out. But, seeing as this vacation I wore not a stitch of makeup, no problem, mon! I guess I would say that the cottage was more luxury camping than resort hotel, which was fine, as I had read that, and we have camped many times before. But as the reviews say; if you want Sandals, go to Sandals. Because of the drought conditions on this side of the island, the water would at times trickle, and at other times be non-existent. One quick call to the front desk on our cell (which, by the way works there) and the situation was remedied.

I had read that if you took a quick walk down the road to the small grocery store, there was a local that cooked some mean jerk, so off we went, starving. Oh, Yum!! Not a restaurant, but as is the real Jamaica, just a stand with a grill. The gentleman that did the grilling looked to be almost angry when we requested some jerk chicken and pork, however, once we said that the food was fabulous, his face lit up like an angel and he "Thanked us, Mon" several times. We were only once approached by a homeless woman, who was also in a very good mood, and never felt in the least bit threatened in any way, as you so often hear. I believe that the problems do lie outside of the big cities. Most of the people on this side are farmers and just as nice as can be. However, if you do venture out after dark, I would take the necessary precautions as one would do anywhere.

We walked back to Jakes, and even though our appetite was diminished somewhat by the jerk, we sat down at the outside dining area and ordered dinner. I honestly can't remember what we had, but each morning and evening, with the exception of one day, we ate at Jakes. The food was fresh, fabulous, local Jamaican cooking at what I would consider reasonable prices. The staff was wonderful. The Tiki Bar was terrific and the drinks had plenty of nice Jamaican Rum in them. Red Stripes were abundant. Another night we walked down to Jack Sprats and had a fabulous pizza.

While walking back to our room, be aware that there are no overhead lights, which makes the whole place look like a little fairy-land, as the low-level sidewalk lighting adds to the atmosphere. Carry a small flashlight.

Unfortunately, I ended up with a horrible sunburn, even with using a 50 sunscreen and only being out for 20 minutes. I'm on heart meds, and even that short time out did me in, so beware. You don't even know you're getting burned until the next day.

This vacation was just what we needed; we read and did absolutely nothing besides have dinner and drinks at 5 pm each day. We meet some wonderful people during our cocktail hours and had great conversation.

I would highly recommend Jakes for exactly this kind of vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2006
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21  Thank Darlene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 13, 2006

We stayed at Jake's for 3 wonderfully relaxing days and nights in Seahorses Up/Down. Jake's isn't for everyone, but we loved it. Quiet and peaceful. You can't help but slow your pace there. We had just spent 6 days in Montego Bay, so our pace went from 90 to 20 in a hurry. The rooms were very comfortable. There is no air conditioning, but there are ceiling fans. We opened the windows and shutters and enjoyed the ocean breeze. Seahorses Down has a front porch swing and lounge chairs on the back patio. Seahorses Up has a half bed, chairs and table, and hammock on the front porch. The showers and hugh bathtubs were perfect. The flowers in the rooms and on the beds each day were lovely touches. The beds were comfortable. The mosquito nets are not simply there for decoration. Use them! We've come to Jamaica for the past 7 years and know that you must pack mosquito spray. Avon Skin-so-Soft works best.

Yes there were lots of lizards. And to be honest I am not a fan of lizards, but it didn't take me long to realize that they weren't interested in me. They were doing what lizards do; catch insects. The frogs come out at night and take up where the lizards leave off. No big deal, they are courteous and let you pass. Everything is so natural at Jakes, which makes it such a charming place. There are walkways through out. No tv or telephone in the rooms, but a great portable stereo. There is a lounge where you can watch tv if you like. We did watch the NBA finals one night.

We loved the beach. Solitude. We found WHOLE seashells. Unlike the other beaches we've visited in Jamaica, this one has brown and black sand. There's a beautiful old tree at the water's edge that makes for a great photograph.

The food was really good. We tried most everything. It was wonderful having breakfast outside each morning .

Great staff. Janet, Colleen, Bevon and Roger took really good care of us while we were there. Everyone was very friendly and accommodating.

We took our time and read everything we could find written about Jakes before making our decision to visit. We were not disappointed at all. Would we visit again? Yes indeed.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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13  Thank Roving13775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 9, 2006

BUT Jake's is not for everyone. For those of you who can look past a lizard in your shower, or a few mosquitoes in your room, Jake’s is a unique, relaxing and spectacular getaway. For us, coming from NYC, Jake’s was just what we needed.

From the moment we met our driver outside the airport (I would definitely recommend getting a driver, we would have been completely lost if not), the trip was a perfect. The 2 ½ hour drive from the airport was long—but the ride through the mountains was amazing: most people do not see this part of Jamaica. Treasure Beach is very rural—there are few stores and bars—very little entertainment.

Most of the rooms are “rustic” (the honeymoon suites look amazing). We stayed in Starfish—which did not have air conditioning but you didn’t need it. There was a good breeze every night.

It has a lovely front porch with an outside shower, which I adored. It did have bugs in it—but it is an outside shower—what else would you expect? And all the bugs were polite enough to stay away from my soap.

We could see the water from bed. The mosquito net could have been a bit better. We got bitten at night, but once we got the whole procedure down—which was basically to spray the netting and make sure there aren’t any openings—we were okay.

We also had two lounge chairs rights on the cliff overlooking the water, if we were after an even better view.

The bathroom could have done with some better lighting but everything was clean and worked without any problems.

The pool is a bit small but clean and warm and who wants to swim in a pool when you can go down a path and basically be at your own private beach?! With clear, warm and inviting water?? A picture of me basking in my solitude is attached. We were the only people on the beach every time we went, save one. Walk down a bit to avoid the rocks.

The food was great. The seafood, veggies and fruit were the freshest I’ve ever had. The Oatmeal Porridge was to die for. Jack Sprat’s was also great—I had the shrimp curry at least 4 times.

The people who work there are also wonderful—our favorites were Zeb and Feron. They were both really nice, helpful and eager to show us around Treasure Beach—not that there’s much there—but again, this is exactly what we wanted.

YS Falls are a good side trip to take. Get up early and be the first ones there. We did and we had the entire place to ourselves and our own personal guide. It was beautiful. The Pelican Bar is also great--the perfect place to drink a few beers, play checkers or dominos and just relax.

We were at Jake’s for 5 nights and I would have stayed for another 5 if it were possible. All in all, Jake’s is a place to go if you want to get away from everything. You won’t find all the comforts you might find in the Four Seasons but the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages.

Jake’s is great! I can't wait to go back!

PS: Humpfrey the DOG rules!!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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12  Thank MoSmileyCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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