on September 15, 2005
Rockhouse Hotel was recommended to us by a friend who spent the previous Labor Day weekend there. I checked out the other websites for the surrounding hotels, and Rockhouse's was definitely the best designed. I'm very partial to pretty websites, so it was an easy decision to make. Rockhouse stretches across the cliffs of Pristine Cove on the West End Road of Negril. The "backyard" boasts a swimming pool on the highest point of the cliff. It reminded me of a hip-hop video set in Miami. During our three-day lazy stay, we thought Diddy would show up with bottles of Cristal while we lounged on one of the chairs equipped with umbrellas. Rockhouse forms the westernmost point of Negril, so the sunset views are unbeatable. There are ladders and stairs carved into the rocks that lead down to the water because there is no beach to speak of. This easy access was perfect when an urgent need to take a dip and snorkel came upon us. Whenever it got too hot, I was able to collect myself and stand to go in the salty Carribean Sea. The villas (US$195-$275) have thatched roofs and private sun decks. They are all situated on the cliffs right above the water. The studios (US$100-$150) look more like hotel rooms, but they still have balconies with beautiful water views. We stayed in one of the standard rooms (US$75-$125) because all the villas were booked, but we did not feel like we weren't part of the Rockhouse vibe at all. Our colorful room was right by the garden where harmless lizards played with each other on the trees. We had a queen-sized bed equipped with a mosquito net. We had the oscillating fan on the ceiling and also an air conditioner. We had our own private bathroom and our own safe deposit box for our valuables. Our fridge was stocked with the essentials: water and Red Stripe beers. We did not stay long enough to experience the rumored exceptional service, but all our needs were met with a No problem, mon whenever we asked. Our rooms were clean whenever we returned from a day of lazing around, valuables intact. We would go back to see our ganja buds untouched like our unfinished game of Scrabble. When we scheduled for a full body scrub and massage (US$60 per person for 55 minutes) on Sunday afternoon, our masseuse was able to set up her own table inside our room. For those who have more time to kill, Rockhouse arranges tours to the waterfalls. But if you are on a tight budget, you can start bargaining with the Jamaicans to take you there instead. They might even throw in a trip to a ganja plantation while you're at it.
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