Jake's and/or Treasure Beach

Dec 8th, 2007, 07:30 PM
  #1  
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Jake's and/or Treasure Beach

Hi all! I've not been at the Caribbean board in a while, but I try to pop in now and then.

Here's the set up: Went to Negril in June of this year and had a great experience at Idle Awhile and then The Caves. This time around we want to take our 4 y/o dd on a beach trip. Was thinking of doing something different and considered Harbour Island, Bahamas. Dh was unimpressed and has particularly fell in love with Jamaica and wants to go back. I just want to try something a little different. I loved the feel/vibe of The Caves (isolated, bohemian), but obviously it's not for small children and the cost is more than we'd like to spend. So, we're thinking of Jake's at Treasure Beach.

A few questions: Are children welcome there? She's in swim lessons currently, but not yet swimming on her own and I read there is quite the undertow at this beach. Obviously we'd be supervising her at all times, but I just wonder if the beach here would be okay for here.

Also, I'm totally open to any other recommendations at this point. Other islands and/or properties that would work for us. I just want something "special". We love boutique hotels -- no mega resorts!
laustic is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Wish there was an edit button!

He has particularly *fallen* in love with Jamaica.....
laustic is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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Laustic: Why do you feel the need to "stray" from Negril? The beach there is absolutely perfect for a 4 year old, as you have obviously seen for yourself. You most likely won't find another beach that compares on Jamaica...let alone many in the entire Caribbean. Rondel Village, Coco La Palm and Idle Awhile remain the absolute best small hotels to stay at right on the beach....and all are very kid friendly.
CaribbeanSoul is offline  
Dec 8th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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CS -- you're right and dh keeps trying to tell me this! And, of course, if we go back to Negril we'll be staying at CCLP (a favorite of your family's I believe). While I thought IA was more aesthetically pleasing, I found the food, service and vibe was so much nicer at CCLP. I may be getting with you to help me pick a room if this is the route we go. How far in advance do you recommend booking at CCLP?

We have a while to think about this -- we're planning on going later in 2008. I always want to try something different when I travel. But I'm all talk -- I'm headed back for my second trip to London within 2 years in March. I guess when you find a place you love...
laustic is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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There's very little beach at Jake's in Calabash Bay and the waters are rough, choppy, with undertow considerable. Far better for kids
are Great Bay, Billy's Bay and
Fort Charles areas in Treasure Beach. Jake's is a love it/hate it kind of place (see reviews on tripadvisor) (count me in the latter camp. Boho chic is one thing;unkempt, uncared for and
overpriced belies what little charm there is.
If you're thinking Treasure Beach,
go to the community Web site at http://www.treasurebeach.net
tivertonhouse is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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I totally get your wanting to check out Jake's after staying at the Caves. I thought I wanted to stay there, too, during my trip to Treasure Beach until I saw Mar Blue. (you can see it on www.jamaicaescapes.com)

We loved our stay at Mar Blue, which is a lovingly tended property that has small touches of luxury and stylish flair. It's a short walk to Jake's, where we went a few times for the congenial bar and to eat lunch, but after seeing Jake's we were happy to head "home" to Mar Blue at the end of the day. For one thing, the food was much better at Mar Blue (I would go so far as to number the food among our best meals in the Caribbean). For another, thing, the property was much better kept up. No broken pool tiles, no stagnant looking water in the pool. (To be fair, I was told later that the pool water at Jake's was ocean water and not dirty at all, but my first impression stayed with me.)

The beach immediately in front of Mar Blue had been eroded by a hurricane during our visit in 2005. This was not an issue for us because there were several calm coves of water less than 5 minutes' walk away. Also, the rocks in front of Mar Blue made for really wonderful wave noises that we fell asleep to at night.

We just loved Treasure Beach--how the tourism in the area took a backseat to the rest of the community, and how there seemed to be plenty of opportunities to interact with locals.

I just did a quick look at their website and didn't see any restrictions about children, but it's worth looking into. There weren't any children staying there during our visit, but that could have just been by chance.
ejcrowe is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Tiverton and ejcrowe -- I read through the reviews on Tripadvisor for Jake's more thoroughly last night and it seems that your impressions would probably be my impressions as well. I figured the price was probably too good to match The Caves experience. Will I ever find another Caves experience? I'm going to look into your other suggestions and also reconsider returning to Negril (as CS recommends). Thanks for all of the advice so far!
laustic is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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The Caves is a one-off place in Jamaica. You'll find an offbeat
idiosyncratic style at Strawberry
Hill in Irish Town 45 min.or so in
the mountains overlooking Kingston (best for couples, no beach tho and not a kid place)
and Goldeneye, tho the latter is adding villas/lots and should be checked on construction status given your dates. Port Antonio is another 'backwater' on island, largely unexplored and a favorite
of weekending and old family Kingstonians. There's major investment afoot in old classic
places like Trident and The Blue Hole, both reset to open this December. And a number of old family
estates up on Alligator Head with
a beach 2 min.below great for kids.
Porty is rainforest Jamaica, so timing is everything. But even in the rain, for diehard and non=Jamaica fans, Porty is hard to beat. Like Treasure Beach, it's largely ignored by package tourists
and those unwilling to rough it a bit...which is much rewarded.
tivertonhouse is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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I like Treasure Beach with kids but agree that the beach at Jakes isn't ideal. I'd look hard at Great Bay - that means renting a private, staffed villa which my family loves but may be too quiet for your family? There are a few villas in Great Bay, and local kids as well, so you aren't isolated, and that beach is nice and calm.

Lots of activities can be arranged too...boat trips, waterfalls, hikes, drives to sights, etc. Tb is also the kind of quiet area where you can rent bicycles and not get run over by speeding cars
liza is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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PS: I've been to Jake's a few times, not stayed there, and always seen children around, using the saltwater pool and generally hanging out. It is very casual, and maybe a bit rustic for the money, but the people were interesting and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was a nice resort feel to it, like all all the guests had met each other and the staff, and the kids were able to move around without parents on their heels all the time. Still the small beach right at the pool area is really not swimmable, and there are cliffs. The beach to the right as you face the water was much larger and nicer, albeit a little rough.

I did spend 3 nights at Mar Blue and loved it but at least at that time (2003) it didn't seem like a kid place. I know they have expanded and may now cater to families a bit more but to me it was a great grownup escape...and there too the beach wasn't ideal for kids, very rocky.
liza is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Thanks for your input Liza. Treasure beach sounds really great to me. Perhaps there is a way that we could split time between there and Negril.
laustic is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Another place in Negril to consider would be Nirvana. The property is fenced in and has a play area for kids. With the security at the entrance, no worried for the little one. Not as upscale as The Caves, but you can get a cottage with a cook available for at least one meal a day, full kitchen.
eyeski is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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My family loved Nirvana. We had a 3BR cottage with my husband, our 2 kids and my mom in law took the 3rd bedroom. We had meals cooked for us each day, 1 or 2, then went out to one of the many, many nearby restaurants when we felt like it.

I loved letting the kids run around (inside the fence) and there are kayaks, a swingset, a playhouse and lots of open sandy shady garden area.
liza is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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I may have to look into Nirvana. The reviews on tripadvisor are a little mixed. I also remember seeing a cute property called Lazy Dayz when I was there last, but I can't find out much about it (other than a few pictures on the website). Does anyone know anything about this place?
laustic is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Lazy Dayz is right by Nirvana, if not actually next door. There's one nice beachfront building I'd love to stay in, the other cabins are pretty rustic.

Their web site stinks, as you saw...hard to get prices and photos.

Location is very good.
liza is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Hmmm, I may just have to contact them and see if I can find out more.
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