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beachlover Jan 14th, 2003 09:06 AM

7 nights in Jamaica
I'm planning a trip to Jamaica from April 19 to 27, and would like some advice!<BR><BR>I've been to JA several times already and have been to Negril and South Coast each time, but only once to Port Antonio. This time I'd like to spend a few days in Negril but 8 days is too long so I need some advice for excursions/another place to stay.<BR><BR>In Negril, I love the Rockhouse but might try Tensing Pen this time. Any other similar hotels either on the cliffs or on the beach?<BR><BR>As for side trips, I'd like to go to Port Antonio but am worried it might be too much of a pain to get to from Negril... Can I take a puddle jumper from Negril? Also where is a nice place to stay in Portee that isn't too expensive (ie under $250 a night) and is oceanfront?<BR><BR>Thank you! (Hoping you respond, Tivertonhouse!)

tivertonhouse Jan 14th, 2003 10:52 AM

Look at SEA RANCH COTTAGE (on the promontory seaside) at Horizon ( 1 hour from Negril on the South Coast at Bluefields Bay/Belmont if you want to dip into/ stay a night or two in Negril --but not the whole trip. Two self-catering very well kit-out private cottages on oceanfront estate,mini beach,long jetty,thatch house,snorkeling,locals,not tourists. Owned by former wife of US novelsit Russell Banks (Rule of the Bone, Book of Jamaica, Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter,etc.)and her Jamaican husband -- well connected islanders.Oasis day spa/yoga and beauty pampering is 2 houses down,Culloden Cafe 10$675/week per cottage. It's generally the first place I go when I'm on island to fully de-stress from the States.Porty from Negril would be a hassle (fly back to MoBay and then to Porty direct or via Kingston and then to Porty--it'll consume a whole day,easy.But Portee really IS worth the travel aggravation. We have two new VERY simple louvered all-the-way-round hexagonal one big mosquito-netted bedroom coldwater cottages with private bathrooms smack dab on the two-mile beach at Long Bay just down the strand from Cool Runnings restaurant (there are lots of little locals/markets on the road as well). Long Bay is surfer's paradise. Each sleeps 2/US$75/night.<BR>They're all a beachlover could want...In Negril, Tensing Pen and Jackies on the Reef might be best bets.<BR>

andreaac20 Jan 14th, 2003 11:37 AM

To soften the travel blow between Negril and PA, you may try stopping over in Ocho Rios for a day. I think a good idea would be spending only 2 days in Negril then travel to PA directly or Ocho Rios then PA.

tivertonhouse Jan 14th, 2003 12:03 PM

To bowlderize WC FIELDS, Ochee is like Philadelphia -- best flown over.

beachlover Jan 14th, 2003 12:11 PM

yeah, thanks andrea, but i'd rather skip ochee - never been too interested in it nor mobay either.<BR><BR>are there no direct flights from negril to port antonio? do i have to go through mobay/kingston?<BR><BR>also do you have photos of the cottages in long bay tivertonhouse? i have been there (long bay) and know cool runnings.<BR><BR>

andrea Jan 14th, 2003 12:54 PM

Okay, I do understand your sentiment about Ocho Rios. I'm not sure what the flight options are from Negril to PA. Like Tiv said before, you may have to go back to Mobay and catch a flight from there. When visiting PA, I generally arrive in Mobay and then leave from Kingston.<BR><BR>Let us know what you decide.

liza Jan 14th, 2003 01:25 PM

We're having siilar issues earlier in April. We have 8 nights in Negril and 3 before that and 3 after that. We're pretty settled on Treasure Beach for the last 3, still thinking porti for the first 3...but resigned to driving, I think.<BR><BR>When I looked into flying last year, you could not go directly to Porti from Negirl (unless maybe you have enough people to charter the plane).

beachlover Jan 14th, 2003 01:39 PM

thanks for that info liza<BR>i guess i'll have to do port antonio on another trip then, too bad...<BR>TB is great, you'll enjoy it, but i've been there enough times so don't want to do it again<BR>andrea, based on tivertonhouse's suggestions i am looking into bluefields. but you have a point there about the mobay/kingston idea. might look into that then.<BR>thanks all!

liza Jan 14th, 2003 01:45 PM

I visited Sea Ranch/Rasta Ranch in Bluefields. I would stay there...nice private place with it's own small beach, zodiac, kayak, private bay...little local restaurant across the street.<BR><BR>My only personal hesitation is no screens.

beachlover Jan 14th, 2003 02:41 PM

good to know! thanks for that liza<BR>did you actually go inside and see the rooms?<BR><BR>anyone else have any suggestions for where to stay in port antonio? either hotels or villas?<BR><BR>

tivertonhouse Jan 15th, 2003 02:11 AM

Beachlover:e-mail me and I'll have a PhotoParade on 'Yahimba' Cottages sent your way (easily downloadable free program to view it,btw,if you don't have PhP installed. [email protected]<BR>Lack of screens I've never found a prob at Sea Ranch or Rasta Ranch. Where are you staying in TB? If you're there only a few days, check out also the new<BR>MAR BLUE DOMICIL...we also have 6 new pages coming up this week on THE BUCCANEER in Billy's Bay (looking at proofs this am...)but it's a one-week minimum rental

tivertonhouse Jan 15th, 2003 02:29 AM

We've also sent first-timers to island last October from this board -- diving afficinadoas -- to GOBLIN HILL in Portee (which they loved and are planning a return).Villas on hillside,decently priced,accessible to but not right on the beach.If you're a beach nut, the new Buccaneer at Billy's Bay sits right above the fishers landing -- and 3/4 mile beach shared by only 4 private villas -- with great bodysurfing at the Duna end.It's the Moorish/Moroccan/Cretan/South African/Taos/Jamaican fantasy villa Sally Henzel of Jake's designed -- nothing like it in tb or anywhere on island....<BR>

beachlover Jan 15th, 2003 06:06 AM

thanks tiverton - i've emailed you.<BR>i think i'll pass on TB this trip, i've been many times already and would rather try something new. next time i'd love to stay at buccaneer, i've seen it from sea on route to black river many times from jakes. do you manage that property too? i know sally's one of a kind but any chance there's something more chic than goblin hill in port antonio? everything in portee looks cheesy from what i've seen so far...<BR>thanks!

tivertonhouse Jan 15th, 2003 07:14 AM

Not much stylee in Portee EXCEPT the Blue Lagoon villas -- which are US$6k/up a week. Don't recommend Frenchman's Cove or MoonSan or Mockingbird Hill. Haven't stayed at Trident for a while so have no idea if it still posh. Dragon Bay has been bought by Sandals so that's out the window. PhP coming up to you on YAHIMBA from island/probably arrive tomorrow.<BR>Will e-mail you when new pages finished<BR>on BUCCANEER which we've been handling/sending guests to since December last...

liza Jan 15th, 2003 10:03 AM

Why no to Moon San? It's on our maybe list.

tivertonhouse Jan 15th, 2003 01:15 PM

Bad experiences (esp.w/owners) of previous guests. LIZ: Stay clear of this one...

liza Jan 15th, 2003 01:56 PM

Can you shoot me an email?<BR><BR>[email protected]

tivertonhouse Jan 15th, 2003 02:11 PM

Was going to suggest the same--en route in 5...

mariaa Sep 25th, 2004 01:37 PM

To Tivertonhouse, I seen in several threads you've suggested other hotels instead of Mockingbird Hill in Port Antonio, as I have seen other great reviews from, travel guides, etc. I am interested in exactly why you don't recommend this place. Your thoughts will be very helpful.

tivertonhouse Sep 26th, 2004 12:35 AM

We feel, as do our on-island guide services and people, that MH is neither the best value nor style choice. I personally just don't like the vibe there. Yes, it is ecologically-run. Yes, the restaurant serves tofu. Coffee is also 5 a cup. The publicized reviews just don't measure up to the reality. In comparison,Rio Vista, tho out of town, we like a lot. It's simple, very Jamaican, very friendly and accomodating with great views of the river and the Blue Mt.foothills; Fern Hill and Goblin Hill as well. There aren't too many choices in Port Antonio other than the Blue Lagoon-side villas which are pricey but worth the trip.

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