Uncommon Attraction: Floyd’s Pelican Bar in the Sea, Jamaica
I’ve never been to Treasure Beach, Jamaica, though I’ve long desired to check in at this amazingly uncommon hotel there. If/when this travel dream ever does come true, though, I’m thinking that a good bit of my time in the area will not be spent safely on land at any hotel, but rather out to sea. Or better said, out above the sea…
Of all the distinctive watering holes in all of the Caribbean, Floyd’s Pelican Bar is certainly among the most uncommon, requiring of its patrons a true sense of adventure and a comfort level with a decided lack of comforts in order to truly appreciate the experience.
Even Robinson Crusoe would likely find the Pelican Bar too spartan for his shipwrecked sensibilities, its twisted collection of well-weathered woods, tired thatched roof, and lack of terra firma presenting a bit of a turn off to the more pretentious among us.
I think it looks awesome, of course. I also think most any uncommon traveler, pretentious or otherwise, would like it too if they’d heard the same great stories of the laid back vibe and good times available therein.
My good friend and fellow travel industry marketing pro, Javier Morales, has spent more than a few afternoons limin at the Pelican Bar. Every time he talks about the place it’s with a mischievous grin. His words…
A true Jamaican experience… A relaxing oasis completely surrounded by the sea… Just pure fun…
Looks and sounds like a dream, right? Well, in actuality, the owner, a local fisherman named Floyd, was really and truly inspired by a dream to build the Pelican Bar. Little by little, he hauled old pieces of wood and other materials to a calm and shallow sand bank located nearly a mile out to sea, slowly building the bar of his dreams by hand.
When the Pelican Bar opened in 2001, Floyd originally intended it to be a personal limin spot where he and a few of his fisherman buddies could cool out after reeling in the day’s catch. The bar’s singularly uncommon look and location, though, soon attracted adventurous visitors to the area, who’d hire local fisherman to take them out for a cold Red Stripe and the freshest seafood imaginable with Floyd.
Hiring a local fisherman is still the best way to get out to the Pelican Bar today. Area hotels like Jakes can hook you up.
*Lead photo credit: Paul Jonusaitis via Flickr.