My yogi retreat to Jamaica last month was a success, largely because I committed to every class except for one and used that time for mind/body reflection and a long walk on the beach. Wellness was the order of the day — see my write up on our yoga adventures. Some of the yoga venues happen to be hotels and resorts as well so there’s a bit of overlap between articles, but take a look at the “resort” features of each of these places that put an emphasis and focus on wellness and serenity.
Blissful yet simple, these rooms are in cottages that overlook the ocean — on one side, you get a westerly view and on the other side, you look to the east — a thin but sturdy wooden bridge connects the two.
There are plenty of places to lounge about so you can bask in the sun, read a book or simply go for a walk.
The water is warm enough to swim any time of day and it’s so crystal blue, it’s easy to be tempted. They also have healthy and luscious meals where you can sit outside and overlook the ocean and a tea kettle with plenty of organic herbal options in the main lounge available anytime of day. Call it intimate luxury boutique at its finest.
Tensing Pen Resort
Rui Hotel @ Tropical Bay (Negril)
To be fair, Rui Hotel is a chain so there are a few of them in Jamaica. We stayed at the one @ Tropical Bay in Negril, a larger property than most. They have a gym, plenty of beach front and a lovely pool, so there are plenty of opportunities to work out, go for long beach walks or visit their spa for a treatment.
Its warm pink is inviting as are the surrounding palm trees that scatter around the property – ask for a room on an upper level (quieter) and one that faces the ocean so you can hear the crashing waves at night.
The beach area to the front — note that it is fairly large so it’s a little tougher to find that solitude place than some of the smaller properties covered here, however the beach extends, so you can go for long walks beyond the property as well, which is a nice feature. I’d suggest that it would make for a great family stay since there are plenty of things for kids to do as well — while you keep them busy, head to the spa and pamper yourself.
Riu Hotel @ Tropical Bay
Norman Manley Boulevard
Bloody Bay Beach – Negril
(+187) 695 759 00
The Rockhouse Hotel
Rockhouse is known for its organic garden, it’s commitment to sustainability and it’s unique features throughout. We LOVED this property and wished we had more time to soak it up, even if to hang out in their lounge and play backgammon for a few hours. Below, a view from one of the sitting areas.
A view of the water below as you walk from one area to the next. Stunning and this photo wasn’t even touched up – the water is about as crystal blue and inviting as it gets.
The lounge area where you can simply relax, play chess, read a book or order a pot of tea.
West End Road
Negril Yoga Center
The Negril Yoga Center is simple but divine. If you’re into all the perks and frills that a luxury boutique has to offer, this isn’t the place. If you’re serious about your yoga and meditation and want a cost-conscious option, then this place is a great bet. While the rooms are simple, they are also set among a series of gardens and trees, all lined with flowers and beautiful tropical plants.
They have an outdoor (covered) yoga area and offer classes daily — health conscious meals are available and there’s a great thatched hut with chairs and hammocks, which is a great choice when you just want to get away from it all.
Negril Yoga Centre
1 Norman Manley Boulevard
239-566-2284 or 876-957-4397
Jake’s at Treasure Beach
Jake’s is where we hung our hat for the longest while in Jamaica and I absolutely loved the bright and warm colors they had in their upgraded villas, most of which faced the beach. A few faced the side, but were still close enough to the crashing waves, that it would be easy to still hear their energy while sitting on your open porch at night. Mine had a lovely patio area with a day bed, two padded lounge chairs and two Adirondack chairs — in front of me were flowers, a few trees and cliffs which overlooked the ocean ahead. If this isn’t the sight of luxury I don’t know what is — take a look!
A short walk brings you to the main sitting area of the resort, which has a salt water pool. In front of the pool is a long dock where you can sit in Adirondack chairs and watch the day go by while sipping on a Margarita or scrumptious freshly squeezed juice or you can have lunch in their outdoor cafe, which offers plenty of healthy organic choices on the menu.
Above photo credit: Mary Apesos.
This was me and how I felt on the last morning of our trip — it was in fact, the last thing I did before we headed to the airport. Indeed, t’was so hard to leave this serene and peaceful place. They are committed to yoga here in a big way, so much so that they have a number of instructors, some of which are seasonal and only come in during busier seasons to teach. They host yoga retreats here as well — since they have two large yoga studios, they can accommodate larger groups. Two thumbs up – I loved my sessions here and the energy of the teachers, the guides and the hotel staff.
Jake’s at Treasure Beach
Jackie’s on the Reef
Jackie’s has been around for awhile. A native New Yorker, she moved to Jamaica in the 1970’s to start a yoga and meditation retreat. Since then, it has become much more well known however her commitment to simplicity and sustainability has stayed the same. The rooms while basic, are clean and fresh yet simple to remind you how much better you sleep when you have fewer distractions. Outside in the main lounge area which is open and faces the sea, there are multiple day beds (above) and hammocks. They offer massages as well which are done in an open thatched hut which also faces the sea, and yes….you can hear the crashing waves during your treatment.
All of the bathrooms are outside but connected to the rooms, except for the rooms that are in the main building. They offer yoga classes regularly and you can also arrange private sessions as well, which as I mentioned, you can also do at Jakes.
Jackie’s on the Reef
West Cliff West End Road