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The Caves 4.0

Negril, Jamaica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Spectacular cliffside setting overlooking the sea
  • Rustic, colorful rooms and cottages with quirky decor and minibars
  • All-inclusive and adults-only (no kids under 16 allowed, except in villa)
  • Saltwater pool and whirlpool hot tub overlooking the ocean
  • High-quality food with emphasis on local ingredients plus free cooking classes
  • Blackwell Rum Bar (set in a grotto), private dining cave, and The Sands clifftop bar
  • Two open-air dining spaces plus room service
  • Aveda mini-spa perched over the sea
  • Snorkeling, kayaking, and cliff-jumping sessions available
  • Free on-site parking and bike rentals available
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No sandy beach on the property 
  • Only one small saltwater pool  
  • No in-room TVs (except by request)
  • Road noise can be heard from some rooms

Bottom Line

With its upscale boutique vibe, and dramatic cliffside setting, The Caves is considered one of Jamaica’s most romantic escapes. The 11 unique, private cottages and suites at this upscale all-inclusive property unfold along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs carved with steep stairways down to the water and into incredible grottos. There’s a clifftop bar, a grotto bar, and private candlelit cave dining on offer. Top-notch food celebrates local ingredients, and the scene is laid-back and bohemian -- suited to travelers who appreciate outdoor showers and artful decor in favor of conventional luxury. However, a stay here doesn't come cheap, and the Rockhouse Hotel nearby offers a less pricey alternative with an impressive pool in a similar settings.

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Scene

Artful cottages set along lush, garden paths atop dramatic limestone cliffs 

This artful cottage property is set on verdant jungle grounds along dramatic limestone cliffs

The Caves was opened by a Rastafarian artist couple, Bertram and Greer-Ann Saulter, in 1994. Bertram designed each of the unique cottages and furniture (much of which is hand-carved), and Greer-Ann dreamt up the whimsical interiors, which are heavy on colorful batik prints and Jamaican crafts. The hotel was subsequently acquired by Island Outpost, a hotel group owned by Jamaican music legend Chris Blackwell, best known for helping bring Bob Marley’s music to the world. 

One of the last hotels along Negril’s winding West End Road, The Caves is entered via a royal-blue gate. A commune-with-nature theme with a shabby-chic aesthetic unfolds just beyond. Quirky, vibrant cottages with mystical names are connected by garden paths cut from limestone cliffs with panoramic water views (and incredible sunsets). Every element of the hotel seems in sync with the nature surrounding it, from the junglesque landscape enveloping cottages, to limestone tables and chairs carved into the private dining caves down below.

An open-air bungalow serves breakfast and lunch, and dinner is served in a cozy cottage with alfresco treetop seating. With bamboo lounges and sandy floors, The Sands bar is perfect for star, sea, and sunset gazing in hippie-chic style. There’s no sandy beach, but stairs carved into the cliffs provide plenty of direct access into the water and deck chairs on limestone platforms and in private nooks allow for sun-bathing in privacy. Several grottos at the base of the cliffs have dining booths, lounging benches, and a bar carved into the rock, and candlelit dinners and drinks put the romantic ambience in overdrive. Due to its dramatic yet precarious location along Negril's cliffs, the resort does not accept children under 16 as guests (except in the on-site villa), which helps to preserve the calm atmosphere.

Location

About 90 minutes from Montego Bay airport, in quiet seclusion along Negril’s cliffs 

Map of The Caves

The Caves is set along a calm stretch of the West End Road that winds alongside Negril's limestone cliffs. It’s a 90-minute drive from Montego Bay, and the hotel can arrange transfers on request. A number of bars, including the famous Rick’s Café, are located about a five-minute walk away, and it’s a 15-minute drive from Seven Mile Beach, accessible via hotel shuttle (available upon request). Guests keen to explore are best off renting a car, and free on-site parking is available. Bike rentals are also available. 

Rooms

Unique cottages and suites with quirky decor, minibars -- some with outdoor showers

The “Blue Dolphin” is a cottage dwelling decorated in cheery cobalt blue, with homey touches like a minibar, CD player, and books

Accommodating 24 guests max, the resort offers one- and two-bedroom cottages and suites with enchanting names like “Sun Dancer” and “Moon Shadow,” plus a three-bedroom villa, Clandestino. All offer plenty of space and privacy, and most have sea views. Some add kitchenettes and dining areas. Decor and layout varies from room to room. A-framed cottage dwellings, for instance, feature large round open-plan spaces with stone floors, angular walls, and huge louvered windows. Bold, cheery colors are used throughout the units, from cobalt-blue staircases to emerald-green cabinets. Beds (in Queen or King sizes) sit on platform bed frames and have soft pillow-top mattresses with bright batik bedding. All rooms have cozy sitting areas and minibars that are re-stocked daily with free cold drinks including beer, water, juice, and liquor assortment along with basic snacks. All bathrooms offer a nice selection of individual, locally produced toiletries. Sun Dancer, Moon Shadow, Two Birds and One Drop have outdoor showers surrounded by high-privacy walls and trees. Sea Turtle and Bird’s Nest feature bathtubs. All rooms have air-conditioning, bathrobes, iPod docks, CD players, and a selection of island-inspired music. TVs and DVD players are available on request. While children under age 16 aren't allowed in rooms, the Clandestino Villa allows families. 

Features

Small pool, Aveda spa, free cooking classes, restaurant, and bar, plus drinks and dining in grottos

Blackwell Rum Bar serves drinks out of a grotto at the base of the limestone cliffs

As an all-inclusive property, dining is included in The Cave's room rates and local, seasonal ingredients dominate the creative menu. While offerings are limited given the hotel’s small-scale, guests consistently rave about the quality of meals. There are several grottos at the base of the cliffs, where private five-course dining by evening candlelight is available. It's included in the rates, but reservations are required. Blackwell Rum Bar occupies another grotto, while the clifftop bar -- The Sands -- offers outdoor imbibing and authentic jerk-barbecue nights. Room service is also available, and the hotel offers cooking classes on request once a week. 

While there’s no conventional beach with sand, stairways carved into the cliffs provide swimming access to the water, and there are plenty of lounge chairs overlooking the sea from private platforms. The property also offers free snorkeling and kayaking trips around the caves and along the cliffs, and lessons on how to safely cliff jump. 

Guests can also take a dip in a small saltwater pool and a whirlpool hot tub with sea views. An additional private indoor hot tub can be booked for sunsets. The Aveda mini-spa offers massages and treatments right over the sea. The hotel also has a small gift shop selling tropical attire, logo apparel, and Jamaican souvenirs. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel. 

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Things You Should Know About The Caves

Address

Light House Road, P.O. Box 3113, Negril, Caribbean

Phone

(876) 957-0270

Also Known As

  • Caves Hotel Negril
  • Caves Jamaica
  • Caves Negril
  • The Caves Resort Negril

Room Types

  • Birds Nest Room
  • Blue Dolphin Room
  • Blue Hole Room
  • Butterfly Room
  • Clandestino Deluxe Villa
  • Macka Tree Room
  • Moonshadow Two Bedroom Cottage
  • One Bedroom Downstairs Suite
  • One Bedroom Upstairs Suite
  • One Drop One Bedroom Cottage
  • Sea Turtle Room
  • Stardust One Bedroom Cottage
  • Sundancer Two Bedroom Cottage
  • Two Birds One Bedroom Cottage

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