Jamaica

Old Jan 11th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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lkd
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Jamaica

Where do I want to stay in Jamaica??Negil, Montego Bay, Ochos Rios. Need help with these locations. Thanks.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 02:49 PM
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Big choices --and it all depends what you like:city vs.country, resort vs. real life. Include the South Coast and Port Antonio in your list for more rewarding destinations than the usual suspects.
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Old Jan 11th, 2005, 09:19 PM
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Of those choices, definitely Negril. Montego Bay is too much of a city, Ocho Rios is too touristy/cruise port. Negril has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has a great laid back atmosphere whether you stay at an AI or regular hotel. I've done both there and was deliriously happy every time. Negril is like college. It is what you make of it. You can kick back and not do a thing for your entire trip but lay on the beach and eat and drink. Or you can snorkel, raft, hike and shop every day you're there. You can spend $2000 on a 5 day vacation there (Couples) or $800 (Tree House, which I recommend). Either way you'll have a wonderful time. Can you tell I'm leaving the snow and cold of Chicago in just 36 hours for Negril? I'm just a little excited. My husband and I have been there several times now. We keep going back. It's addictive (and I'm not just talking about the herb!) We've been going there since we were in our mid-20s and now we're pushing 40 and it's still our favorite place. The atmosphere and people are just so wonderful.
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Old Jan 12th, 2005, 01:23 AM
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If you're adventuresome, would recommend
Rio Vista Hotel and Port Antonio area for lush, non-touristy Jamaica; or the Treasure Beach area for remote, non-touristy Jamaica. Negril's a safe choice for simple relaxation on a great beach, albeit lots of tourists. Idle-A-While, Coco La Palm, the Caves and Rockhouse should be on your shortlist.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Hi, I just got back from Jamaica. We went to Port Antonio, Ochi, MoBay and Negril. If you want to enjoy the beach, there is no doubt about where to go: Negril. There is a big diference between the beach in Negril and the other places.
In Negril, we stayed at Idle Awhile, which we liked a lot. This hotel is right on the beach.
Rockhouse is on the cliffs. We went to the restaurant in Rockhouse almost everyday, it's wonderful. The villas here seem to be really nice, we wanted to move there but they didn't have availability.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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wayne , how did you like Portie ? Where did you end up staying ? Faith
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 01:09 PM
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I don't care for MoBay or Ochi, they're both cruise ship ports and largish cities. Both are in good locations if you are going to explore the island though, and MoBay is great if you want to be 5 minutes fromthe airport and plop on a beach and not get up until your 5 minute ride back.

Both have a lot of options for going out to eat and drink though.

Negril is a party town. Used to be a hippie town but not for decades now, it's a lot more mainstream. Still, there are little leftovers from that era, magic mushroom shops and such, and no high rises, things are spread out. THe 7 mile "sand highway" is diffrent from anyplace else in JA and if you like long white sand beaches with clear calm water and bars, restaurants and hotels in easy walking distance, that's the place. No need for a car.

Portland is to me the most visually stunning with lush mountians coming right down to the coast, small white sand beach coves, waterfalls, interesting places like Blue Lagoon. Useful to have a car or driver here.

Treasure Beach is desert-ey and laid back, think bicycles and never dressing up. Only small hotels nad villas here, no big resorts, and they like it that way.

hope that helps some.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 02:25 PM
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Hi Faithie,
We ended up choosing a villa at the Rio Vista. The place was warm and cozy, although a little pricey compared to the Fern Hill which seems more modern, with great location and good vaule rates. Notwithstanding, we would definitely stay at Rio Vista again. Henry was a great host and we enjoyed Sharon's cooking a lot.

We enjoyed the natural beauty of Port Antonio although the weather wasn't great - we got rain almost every day and the weather was mostly overcast. We rented a car which allowed us to do several driving excursions along the mountainside,etc. The roads weren't the greatest - winding and narrow roads with many potholes. Also, there are almost no street lights so we tried to stay off the roads at night.

It was good to go to Portie, however, Negril is more our speed because of the more consistent weather, beaches, restaurants, sunset, etc. Most importantly, found off all the places we visited (Portie, Ochie, Mobay, and Negril), we found Negril had close to zero harassment from locals to buy their stuff.

Both my wife and I agree on two critical things that made our vacation successful - 1) rent a car (if you're staying for a while and would like to explore a bit; and 2) Buy a Jamaica pre-paid SIM card for your Tri-band cellular phone, if you have one. With the purchase of a Jamaican SIM from Telestial (www.telestial.com) prior to departure from the US, we had a local telephone number in Jamaica and were able to communicate very effectively at local rates from Digicell.
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 03:04 PM
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Congrats, Wayne ,for being probably the most adventuresome long-distance first-time traveller in Jamaica in some time.
Porty to Ochi to MoBay to Negril is quite a hoof...
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Glad you enjoyed your trip ! I have not tried Negril yet , perhaps some day . I tend to like things off the beaten track a bit , I probably would have loved it more 20 yrs. ago !!! Still , it seems like a great spot and it is on my list ! Faith
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Old Jan 13th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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We absolutely loved Negril, however, I would be very remiss not to mention the place we stayed in St. Ann's Bay, just 10 mins west of Ochi - High Hope Estates. I can't say enough superlatives about this property. The property had great colonial architectural details; fantastic service; great food; fantastic views from our balcony in the Hibiscus room, etc.

Both my wife and I felt we were getting a steal in the rates considering all included (great customer service, great property, high quality room decor, and free daily breakfast and afternoon Tea and snacks, etc.).

We would highly recommend High Hope Estates to anyone considering Ochi (St. Anns Bay) as a destination in Jamaica.
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