Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Relaxing at Skylark

Published:Sunday | December 15, 2019 | 12:00 AMKareem LaTouche
The outside spa area is in front of the beach.
These tent-like canopies distinguish the property from any other.
Each room is equipped with a vintage –themed radio.
The colours in the room are vibrant and promote happiness.
The interior shot of Miss Lily’s restaurant.
Skylark
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Negril’s Seven-Mile beach is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful stretches of land and it attracts a large influx of tourists each year. There are countless boutique hotels in the vicinity; however, some stand out more than others, and this is the case for Skylark.

The property was bought and renovated over four years ago, when the owner manifested an architectural synergy with the Jamaican culture and music. The colour palette is very vibrant, with pastels complementing the white walls and bamboo accents strategically placed throughout the property.

The lobby area is spacious and clean, which allows easy access for persons to move about. Design-wise, it’s an ode to dub reggae and the early years of dancehall, with posters of prominent figures in the music industry plastered all over.

Adjacent to the lobby area is the gift shop, that is outfitted with items produced mainly by local artists. The most outstanding pieces are the cartoonesque drawings, which the creators give their ingenious interpretation of Jamaican life.

Providing peace and tranquility

The hotel seems to pride itself on not just being a space to relax, but somewhere guests can recharge their creative batteries. The philosophy of the property embodies centred beings, laid-back and enjoying simpler things.

Above the gift shop is the spa, which is outfitted with a team of four and is arranged in a very efficient manner to utilise the compact area. There is a waiting area which oversees the well-manicured garden, with the smell of burning incense to soothe the mind. At the receptionist area are locally made oils and other massaging products for sale. For a more intimate experience, there is another designated spa area on the beach, which is partially cordoned off by plants.

At the centre of the property is the open garden, which is covered with zoysia grass and outlined with palm trees and a breadfruit tree that stands in front of the spa. It provides both shade and privacy for persons receiving treatment, and also bears fruits. The potential exists to do much more with this area and I suspect in several months, the management will be adding their creative finger to the spot.

Accommodating with style

The 28 rooms are simplistic and clean, with vibrant colours to accent the predominantly white interior. It reminds me of a simpler time with modernised furniture and the noticeably absence of a TV. There are posters of iconic reggae artistes on the walls, like Yellowman and his infamous Nobody Moves album cover.

Each room has a fridge with a mini bar, and all the fixtures have a modern vibe, like the desk lamp that sits beside the retro-styled radio. The layout promotes peace of mind and relaxation, where persons are expected to socialise and become worry-free.

Heading to the beach area, there are uniformly laid out lounge chairs, each having an innovative canopy that shares the silhouette of a tent, rather than an umbrella. It provides the perfect relaxation, while staring at the majestic Caribbean Sea and all the nautical activities taking place. There is the opportunity for parasailing, touring the coastal reef on a catamaran, or travelling on a floating bar.

What is also great, is that the hotel has security guards monitoring this section of the beach to protect guests from persistent vendors.

Behind this area, about 12 feet away, is the resident restaurant, Miss Lily’s, where each meal is freshly prepared. This is the most artistically creative space on the property, as sections of the interior walls are layered with speaker boxers, and cut-out images of people dancing are plastered on the roof.

The uniqueness and elegance of the décor is matched only by the quality of the food served. A must-try is the smokehouse platter, which is a mixture of jerked chicken, jerk pork sausage and their signature pork spare ribs, which is served with rice and peas, festival and sweet potato. The serving size is quite substantial and can easily feed two.

Skylark feels like a habitat where culture, music and food collide in a way that relaxes the mind and spirit.

Who is it for: Mature persons who like culture, music and have a spiritual awareness.

Standout point: Security on the beach to ensure guests are not harassed; the Wi-Fi signal is strong throughout the property.

Must-try: Dining at Miss Lily’s, the hotel’s restaurant, just before the sun starts to set.

Skylark Negril Beach Resort, Norman Manley Blvd, (876) 957-4364, info@skylarknegril.com, and bookings@rockhousehotel.com.