A Piece of Jamaica
January 1, 1970
by Yulando G. Lee
Welcome to Jamaica
If you are planning a getaway, Jamaica – the land of wood and water, has a lot to offer: friendly and happy people, delicious and exotic foods, natural beauty, music, nightlife, rest and relaxation, white sand beaches and everything else you think you need to make your vacation great. Welcome to Jamaica (or as the locals say – Welcome to Jamrock). I want to introduce you to one of my favourite spots to visit, Jakes Treasure Beach Hotel in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. Though this is not not your typical 5 star hotel, it may do you more good than being couped up in the usual fancy hotel suite. It is also easy on the pocket and most certainly not lacking in amenities – not a bad idea when you are travelling on a budget.
Beside being a budget friendly hotel, Jakes has an amazing rustic and natural vibe for nature lovers and adventurers. Now how do you find this gem of a stay? If you happen to be staying in Kingston, you take the South Coast route to get to St. Elizabeth which about a 3 hours drive. If your flight arrives in Montego Bay, then your next means of transportation (personal car, rental or taxi) will continue along the North Coast to St. Elizabeth, roughly a 2 hours drive. Either way it’s a good drive but there are lots to see on your way and many rest stops you can make along the way to ease your journey. For exact directions, google maps works in Jamaica [you will need data service] so you can use the app to navigate. Just be careful on the roads and stay within the speed limit, follow road rule and keep to your side of the road [driving on the left].
When you arrive at Jakes, the first artistic piece that will stop you in your tracks is the entry. An old volkswagon [the bug] is the main signage at the gate that let’s you know you are here. and yes, don’t forget to take a picture for the memory book.
Then make your way down a beautiful shaded walkway leading up the lobby/front desk. Here you are greeted with a pleasant clerk who goes through all the necessary process to have you settled into your cottage. Also a waiter offers you a cool refreshing beverage made from fresh local fruits, no preservatives, no additives. In the lobby you will notice a display of local fruits and produce. Jakes is very big on supporting its local farmers in keeping with providing your food using the best and finest fresh produce.
Before I get to the best part in my opinion – the food, lets talk a little about your cottage. Remember I mentioned rustic vibe, now this is it. You get all the perks for a good night rest: bed big enough for 2, closet, dining, living room area, bathroom and a peaceful environment. I’m sure while you may need rest you are more likely to spend most of your time outside of the cottage taking in the panoramic views, breathing in crisp fresh air, satisfying your taste buds with a variety of foods and simply being one with nature.
There is just so much you can do to make Jakes a great stay for your, your significant other, family or a group of friends but let me tell you the food is what will keep you there and have you coming back for more. Talk about a good home cooked meal – it is like than a whole lot more. You have to open your taste buds as they serve local cuisine at every meal but if you let them know what your preferences are they will go above and beyond to satisfy your appetite.
My first morning, I had my local favourite and Jamaica’s national dish for breakfast – ackee and saltfish. This was served with my choice of fried dumplings and plantains. My boyfriend had Mackerel Run down – another local favourite. It was such a vibrant plate: well seasoned and presented. I can still taste that yummy goodness. If this doesn’t do it for you they can always whip you up something else, they aim to please so you won’t be shortchanged. I looked forward to each meal but then again I’m such a foodie. And yes, there is a bar so you can have your cold beer or special mixed drinks, sit by the pool or lounge in a hammock and chill.
Now to the part you really came for: sun, sea and frolic. Jakes has a beautiful beach and pool to get your soak on. They have other activities and guided tours you can ask about: YS Falls, Visit to Appleton Estate, Farm Tours, Cooking Lessons, Mosaic Workshops, Black River Safari and you can also rent a bike/bicycle and ride around the community and make your own adventure. Nothing short of being an adventurer, I did the Black River Safari Tour and for the mister, we did the Appleton Estate Tour. I highly recommend these activities to be on the to do list for when you visit Jakes. In your leisure just stroll around Jakes property, you will be amazed by each and every object. There is also a spa for you to really get some pampering, rest and relaxation.
There is so much more to see and do on this rock called Jamaica and I encourage you, if there is any intention to visit a Caribbean Island, make Jamaica (Jamrock) one of your stops. You will not be disappointed by the vibrant culture of this little island but you must visit Jakes Treasure Beach Hotel (St. Elizabeth) – a place that boasts a well preserved nature and promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle. What better way to have an awesome getaway no matter the length of the stay. Good Food, Good People, Good Music and Good Vibes Only is out there waiting for you to make the most of it.
Make it a great vacation, travel, go see Jamaica, go experience Jakes.