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What I Packed for a Few Days of Sun and Relaxation at Jamaicas Rockhouse Hotel

It had been a while since I’d had a vacation vacation—the type where hours blend into nothing and your only responsibilities are to claim a lounge chair, choose a book, and try to remember where you left your sunglasses. A few days at the legendary Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica, delivered just that and then some: think jerk chicken sandwiches off the grill, party vibes that start way before sundown, and an endless soundtrack of reggae and dancehall. Of course, I also needed to curate a packing list fit for the setting, one that included a swimsuit for making the most of my villa’s private ladder into the Caribbean sea, reading material guaranteed to immerse me in Jamaican culture and history, and a versatile tote bag that would look just as appropriate on the way to the spa as it would during a clifftop dinner come nighttime. Below, a few of my favorite items from the trip.

Where I stayed

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The Rockhouse has long been at the top of my to-stay list for its iconic clifftop location and storied musical history (Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones both stayed here back in the 1970s). Fifty years since the hotel first opened, and it’s still drawing loyal guests back time and time again: mornings start with freshly ground Blue Mountain coffee, the villas have uninterrupted views of the Caribbean sunset, and the water really is that blue. Rent some snorkeling gear and float through the caves before breakfast—and if you have the guts, honor the tradition among guests and staff alike and jump off the bridge into the sea.

What I packed

Solid & Striped The Anne-Marie Ribbed one piece

I always return to Solid & Striped when shopping for swimsuits. The colors—like this shade of chartreuse—are guaranteed to pop, and the styles are simple, flattering, and comfy.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Body SPF 40

This gel formula sunscreen from Supergoop is lightweight on your skin, scentless, and applies like a dream.

Wales Bonner Organic Cotton-blend Jacquard shorts

Wales Bonner is one of my favorite fashion brands right now, and these casual cotton shorts were the perfect thing to throw over a swimsuit before grabbing lunch at the pool bar.

Prada Crochet Tote Bag

The hotel is filled with sunspots along the rocks to bake on for the day. I opted for a woven tote bag to bring all my essentials with me, everything from coverups to plenty of reading material.

History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

What better novel to immerse yourself in than Marlon James’ epic dive into Jamaica’s history? Packed with a bounty of characters spanning drug dealers, ghosts, and journalists, it weaves a web of stories that are all linked to the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976.

Sun Buddies Edgar Tortoise sunglasses

This Sweden-based sunglasses brand has a great selection of cat-eyes, as well as other versatile shapes and color options.

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