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Inspiring Colour in the Caribbean - Jake's Hotel at Treasure Beach, Jamaica

Posted by: Heidi Nyline

One day I want to live in Jamaica. I want a little house that I can paint in lots of bold Caribbean colours and watch the sun slowly bleach them out.

My dream cottage in the caribbean might look like this.

But in the meantime...

I want to start repainting the inside of our house to replicate the colours from our recent vacation in Jamaica. Unfortunately, my husband keeps reminding me that we don't live in Jamaica; we live in Vancouver (well actually, Surrey), and we don't live in a Caribbean cottage and the sun is not going to bleach out the colours of our living room walls. He might have a small point but I have made a conscious decision to start incorporating more colour into our home.

So where does this colour love-in come from?

We were at Jake's Hotel, our very favourite family get away. So much so, it was our third trip in as many years to this magical spot. If I wasn't so inspired by the colours of Jake's, I would keep this place a secret.

There is nothing quite like a Jake's sunset.

Jake's Hotel is located on the South Western end of Jamaica in the parish of St. Elizabeth in a quiet little fishing town, aptly called Treasure Beach. Anyone that has ever been to Treasure Beach will tell you the same thing. It is unlike any other part of Jamaica.

Where else can you take an outdoor bath while dolphins swim by?

And Jake's is unlike any other hotel. It is owned and operated by the Henzell family and is a collection of 30 rooms, cottages and villas scattered along the beach and seaside of Treasure Beach. Jake's is the creation of Sally Henzell. Growing up, her family had a small beach side cottage in Treasure Beach where they vacationed, fished, laughed and loved. Over the years, Sally bought more land in Treasure Beach, built a restaurant, then a bar, pool and places to sleep.

Jake's has grown slowly and organically and has the feeling of actually being part of the landscape. It is the most un-hotel like place you could imagine and that is part of why it is so special. The architect and colour of the cottages and villas add to the beauty and uniqueness of the property.

Two of the Octopussy cottages - perfect for couples.

Sally's eye for colour and beautiful combinations comes from her varied background as a set designer, artist, and self-trained architect. She personally oversaw and directed the building of each one of the cottages on the property. They range from two story cottages, nestled back in amongst trees and shade, to one bedroom cottages jutting out over the jagged shore, outfitted with roof top lounges and outdoor showers and bathtubs. The perfect spot for honeymooners and lovers.

There are a total of 3 Octopussy cottages.

View from the rooftop deck.

This elephant enjoys the most beautiful sunsets.

Mosiac tiles create unique exterior art.

One of the very unique details of Jake's is Sally's incorporation of glass, wine bottles, sea shells, stones, tiles and even driftwood in the building of the cottages. Inset wine bottles in the the concrete walls create beautiful designs on the walls but also dramatic lighting effects inside the rooms. Outdoor showers are often made from a combination of wine bottles, driftwood, seashells and cement. I promise there is nothing like standing in one of these amazing outdoor showers while watching the sunset over the Caribbean sea.

I always wander the property when I am Jake's. I love following the tile and stone paths just to see what new little treasures have been planted and placed along the way and what little creatures might scury across my feet. This time, I took my camera so I could share with my readers examples of how unexpected colour combinations are often the ones that have the most wonderful results.

Hand painted entry ways add charm.

I love this green door.

There is a Moroccan influence in the design...

But the end result is entirely Jake's.

When friends ask my why I love Jake's so much, I often get a little tied up in answering because it is hard to explain the feeling you get being at Jake's.

It is easier to describe what Jake's isn't. It's not big. It's not pretentious. It's not commercial. It's not all inclusive. It's not a cruise ship.

Nestled amongst the gardens, sweet cottages adorn the seaside.
I love the use of the orangey red against the blue and brown of Cockles cottage.

There is sand on the floor of your cottage, that you have brought in from walking barefoot along the beach. There is an air conditioner you won't turn on because the breeze comes right off the water through your room. There is locally grown and farmed food on the menu that is prepared to perfection, in true Jamaican style cuisine. There is the best pizza at Jack Sprat's along with endless ice cream and red stripe beer.

Completely unique colour combinations that work perfectly together.

The Jake's menu changes daily depending on what is fresh from the local farmers.

And most of all there is family. Jake's becomes part of your family. The staff, the entire Henzell family and the local residents of Treasure Beach are what make Jake's so special. I think the name Treasure Beach is perfect for the area because the people that live there, truly treasure their beach.

We play in the pool, eat amazing food and drink dark and stormies at Dougie's Bar.

So if you are looking for somewhere truly unique to relax and unwind or looking for inspiration in the perfect setting, Jake's Hotel is your place. Once you experience Jake's you will understand why those who already know Jake's want to keep it a secret.

I am not sure my home in Canada will ever be as bold in colour as those at Jake's but it reminds me that unexpected colour combinations can be daring but can also can create the most perfect results. Most of all Jake's reminds me that colour can create happiness.

One love.

Posted by: Jil Sonia McDonald
Sounds divine! Can't wait to go someday.

You will love it Jil.

Posted by: Martine Walker
I am so happy to read your glowing report of Jake's:) I recently booked a trip there for our family for spring break. I've never been to the Caribbean, and have no idea what to expect, but Jake's looks like our kind of place for all the reasons you mention. We have two boys (13 and 11)... do you have suggestions of things we should do with them? Very excited! Thanks. Martine

Hi Martine, 

We love Jake's. Your boys will have a great time. Jack Sprat's pizza on the beach is awesome and there is tons for the boys to do (snorkeling, swimming, etc.) If you have time head up to the Falls and do the Black River tour. Its lots of fun. Enjoy your holiday and have a Dark and Stormy for us.


Posted by: Linda Holt
Heidi, SO beautiful!! We vacationed on a very remote island off Panama called Bocas Del Toro. Your photos took me right back there as it was everything to us that Jake's is to you. Something about unspoiled and non-commercialized beach resorts. Thanks for sharing this with us.


I am so glad you liked the post Linda. The only bad thing about Jake's is that it makes me not want to go anywhere else.

Posted by: Victoria @ Edin''s House
Absolutely stunning! The colours are so wonderful and vibrant, and the multiple combinations of colours (often unexpected combinations) are charmingly fun. I want a yellow cottage by the blue sea!! And I''m totally with you on that green door. Love it!! Truely an inspirational location and I''m so glad that you''ve shared the secret of Jake''s Hotel!! Victoria


Thanks Victoria. One day I want to be at Jake's with all my friends. It would be the perfect party.

Posted by: Kristie@thedecorologist
WOW. It sounds like an amazing place, Heidi. The colors are so beautiful and inspirational. Please let us know how you are going to incorporate those amazing colors into your own home! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family :)


I will for sure Kristie. I started with art that we bought on this trip. That and my new kitchen that will soon be ready to be revealed.

Posted by: Chris Haught
Heidi, I could almost smell the sea and feel the warm sun, as I sit here at my desk with a space heater looking out at the snow! Thanks for painting such a warm picture! Looks like a fabulous vacation!


Chris, I think this would be the perfect place for a Blogging Painters round up. :)

Posted by: Rosa Pearson
Wow! That looks amazing! How did you originally find out about this place?


Hi Rosa, We read about Jake's in a book called Hip Hotels and have been exploring Jamaica for years. Treasure Beach is by far our favourite place on the island.

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