Luxury for less: The Caves versus Rockhouse Hotel
The West End Cliffs in Negril, Jamaica are among the most ruggedly beautiful places on earth, with spectacular sunsets and a handful of lovely eco-boutiques that seem to grow out of the rock. The chicest and best known of these eco boutiques is The Caves, a member of the Island Outpost hotel group (which also includes swank properties Geejam and Goldeneye). The Caves certainly is a spectacular place -- but it's hardly the only game in town. You can get an almost identical experience at the Rockhouse Hotel (and Tensing Pen, for that matter) -- for a fraction of the price.
Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves' 11 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there's no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive.
The lush, laid-back Rockhouse creates a holistic haven -- gourmet dining, morning yoga, cliffside loungers, a premium spa, no kids under 12, and beautiful eco-appropriate design. But most astounding are the reasonable rates.
Oyster's Take: Since the price of The Caves includes an all-inclusive meal plan, while the Rockhouse's does not, The Caves isn't quite as overpriced as it first appears. It's a fine place to splurge, if you can afford it. But if it's not in the budget, you can rest easy knowing you'll get a very comparable experience, in a comparable setting, at Rockhouse.