Places can change you… and Jakes hotel in Treasure Beach, Jamaica, is one of those places.
Jakes feels to me like a spiritual amalgamation. Pitched in an untouched otherworldly town, its breathtaking motifs, mesmerizing interiors and exquisite vibrant color palettes are blended seamlessly by its owners, with copious amounts of love and goodness. This creates an extraordinary remedy for those flustered by life’s woes. Give it a day and the energy of Jakes will surely seep into the frazzled traveller and inspire sheer calm.
This boutique hotel is tucked-away seemingly in a world of its own on the far south end of the bitty, yet mighty, island.
Decades ago, I trudged across the country from bustling Kingston into the lazy fisherman’s village of Treasure Beach with my husband for our first Jakes stay.
While I felt like we had stumbled into a welcoming new galaxy of easy vibes, my husband, who then favored the refinement of all-inclusive vacationing, questioned our decision to get away to this unplugged place of bursting, bohemian artistry juxtaposed against simplicity and authentic culture. In his opinion it was way to ‘country’ and artsy for him.
Of course, in less than a day, his mind had changed. I watched the energy of Jakes soothe him, and, like so many other straight-laced travellers I’ve sent since, he fell in love with the place.
To me, Jakes’ design gives homage to the depth of beauty of life. Elements of nature are honored and built into stunning ornamental creations that are its villas, hotel rooms and the detailed accents that adorn them.
A cultured destination for globetrotters and local staycationers alike, Jakes is also the home of the lauded Calabash Literary Festival. Calabash is an extended weekend of literary abundance where the most recognized, game-changing writers drop in to read their work and participate in thought-provoking philosophical jabber. At Calabash, depth and celebration merge. Outbursts of laughter and music join the spoken and written words against a backdrop of blue skies and a limitless ocean view. It’s an unforgettably tranquilizing experience.
Social and environmental consciousness is Jakes’ heartbeat. The hotel takes great pride in tending to both the people of Treasure Beach, and the very sand and soil they live on. Year in and year out, Jakes leads the charge for many community development projects and events. BREDS, for example, is a sports park that has quickly grown into the town’s community center, which was formed to support the Treasure Beach community.
Over the years, I continue to relentlessly send many folks to this healing concoction of a place. Even the most maniacal lover of modern frills have ended up engrossed by Jakes. They agree – somehow, it is a medicinal dose of life via colorful cottages, unspoiled seascape, conscious culturalism, and mostly, the pure love felt in it all.
While some may start out wondering what peculiarity they’ve walked into, all are left the same. Jakes is a place that changes you, they say.