Have you ever been asked to go spelunking? You know, that little activity that leads you deep into black caves with just a small flashlight on your head and a hope that you will come out alive in the end? Sure, you could be into that sort of thing (count me out), but instead of bonding with local bats and large insects, you could just as well book a room at The Caves Hotel & Spa for a different kind of caving experience.
While not exactly the same kind of thrill, this four-star hotel is built into the limestone cliffs of Negril’s West End in Jamaica and wraps itself around the caves of the Caribbean Sea, so guests can still get a first-hand cave experience.
One of the most notable ways to do so is by enjoying a private dinner at their restaurant located within the underground grottos. Illuminated by candlelight, the romantic venue is strewn with fresh bougainvillea petals that color the cavities of the location. Serving local dishes with fresh meats, seafood and produce, the restaurant has a variety of menu items ranging from authentic Jamaican ‘Jerk’ barbeques to Succulent Rock Shrimp simmered in a Savory Coconut Sauce and elegant five-course affairs.
Created from two of the limestone caves, the Blackwell Rum Bar has a full open bar with signature drinks being made out of its namesake liquor. Open from 6-11 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays, the lounge area offers cocktail tables and cut stone tables. Drinks aside, the natural views aren’t so bad either.
The oceanfront sanctuary offers twelve cliff-side cottages, suites and villas with each boasting thatched roofs and bold Jamaican colors. The two bedroom cottages, cutely named Sun Dancer and Moon Shadow, are decorated in warm Jamaican colors and themes that are paired with modern technology and comforts. The three-bedroom deluxe Clandestino villa sits on half an acre of landscaped gardens and offers 3,500 square feet of space. Great for families and large groups, the accommodation comes with a private swimming pool, fully-equipped kitchen, BBQ grill, mosquito nets, butler service and a washer and dryer.
On-site, the hotel has a small plunge pool, salt water pool, Aveda spa and its own exclusive spot for cliff jumping and diving. From eight feet to 30 feet, the adventurous can toggle between different levels of jumps, even trying out a leap into one of the caves. Getting around the resort can be tricky though for those who may need assistance navigating the catwalks and its many stairwells (something to keep in mind before booking). For a real treat, reserve a private cave hot tubbing session at sunset. This will book up fast though, so make sure to get your name on the waiting list as early as you can.
Because the property is located near Negril’s seven-miles of beach, there are plenty of activities to enjoy either at the hotel or around the area like snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, dolphin watching, and horseback riding tours. While popular shopping, dining and explorations are close-by, The Caves is still secluded enough that it still feels like your own personal vacation, without the flurry of tourists crowding its beaches and public spaces.
A stay here is breath-taking and you can get your cave explorations in without all the unwanted pests flying around. The all-inclusive resort ranges from around USD $425 per night (doubles) during the off-season to $1,875 per night during high-season. From the airport, The Caves is a 90-minute car ride (so be sure to plan accordingly), and transportation can be arranged with the property for an additional cost.