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Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Jamaica, Jamaica, I finally got to go to Jamaica! For years I've been dying to go to Jakes Resort in Treasure Beach. And last month I finally got to go. Treasure Beach is a bumpy 2 1/2-hour drive from the Montego Bay airport where my sister, Jackie and her husband, Craig met us. Andre, our friendly and informative driver from Jakes got us safely to the hotel around 4pm. We were greeted with 4 ice cold Red Stripe beers that were much needed after the long trip.

Treasure Beach is off the beaten path and not at all touristy. Jakes is a bohemian style family run boutique hotel. It is run by the Henzell family whose patriarch, Perry Henzell directed Jamaica's first major motion picture, The Harder They Come in 1972. The hotel is directly on the water and is comprised of individual cottages, bungalows and villas, all uniquely designed to house their guests. Our room, which was named, "Cockles" was labeled "deluxe ocean view". We were directly on the water! Couldn't get any closer. Our two rooms were contained in a 2 story building, Dave and I had the bottom room (Cockles Down) and Jackie and Craig had the top (Cockles Up).

The goal of our trip was to just relax, get some sun and drink. After we settled in, we walked over to Jack Sprat, a local bar that is also owned by the hotel. We were introduced to "rum punch" with Appleton, the Jamaican rum. Jack Sprat is a local hangout and is directly on the beach. Dave and I ordered the snapper with rice & peas and festival (Jamaican dumpling or fried dough). Everything was delicious, it was the start of an awesome vacation.

After a great night's sleep, we all walked over to Jakes Restaurant for breakfast. Jakes restaurant is a farm-to-table restaurant therefore the menu is always changing based on the ingredients they have. The daily menu is written on the chalkboard at the front of the restaurant. I found a new favorite breakfast dish, callaloo and eggs.

The prices were always written in both American and Jamaican dollars so you didn't have to worry about the conversion which was $155 JMD to $1 USD. The restaurant has tables both outside and inside but almost no one ever sat indoor because the weather was so beautiful. The tables were situated around the saltwater pool which overlooks the Caribbean Sea. A great way to start the day.

After breakfast we walked to the public beach over by Jack Sprat. We were the first people there although it never really filled up. The water was a nice comfortable temperature that never got too deep or rough. At noon Jack Spat opened up and we ordered a cold drink along with a large lobster pizza. Jackie wasn't too excited about lobster being on her pizza however, it was so good that we ended up ordering another one on our last night there.

Later on in the day we took a walk to see what else was around. I found a small shop that sold only local products, mostly handmade and made a purchase. We also scouted out a breakfast spot called Smurf's for the next morning. After that, Jackie and I had our facial treatments back at the hotel at the Driftwood Spa.

On our second full day we decided to take a boat tour to Black River and the Pelican Bar. We walked for about 10 minutes to Frenchman's Beach where we met our captain, Khani. After boarding our boat we cruised along the coastline for approximately 15 miles before entering the Black River. The deeper we went into the river the blacker the water appeared to get. We came across many egrets and a few large crocodiles before stopping at Sister Lou's for stuffed crab backs and a Red Stripe.

Next, Khani took us back down the river and out to sea again. We stopped at the Pelican Bar for some drinks and conch. The bar completely on stilts standing in the middle of the sea. The only way to get there is by boat. The food was tasty, although pricy but the Red Stripe was nice and cold and only $5 a bottle. Jackie, Craig and I decided to drink our beer in the water while Dave stayed dry. That night, like all 4 nights we watched the amazing sunset on the pier at the hotel.

In the morning all of our knees were completely sunburnt from sitting on the boat the day before. We decided to take it easy and just lay out at the hotel's private beach for the day before going back to the spa. We were all too sunburnt to get the massage that we originally booked so we opted for a wrap instead. We closed out the night with a lobster pizza at Jack Sprat before

taking our "after" picture. The next morning we were up bright and early for our 7:30am 2 1/2-hour ride back to the airport. Since Jackie and Craig's flight left 3 hours before ours, we reserved a spot in the airport's Club Mobay Lounge . It cost us $33 per person and it was totally worth it. It started with expedited security check and then entrance to the lounge which was downstairs and just happened to be directly across from our gate. At the lounge they sat us at our own table with comfy chairs and were waited on with an open bar. The lounge also included a buffet and private bathrooms. There was also a business center, family room and for an extra fee you can get a spa service while you wait for your plane.

We were all sad to go and began talking about planning our next trip back. Jakes Resort did not disappoint, it was everything I expected and wanted it to be. We could have stayed on our porch forever!


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