This review only relates to Hanover House, not Noble House, although we also stayed at the latter in 2005 for our wedding and thought it was great. Over the years we have booked all our villas through Villas by Linda and have found her/them to provide pretty much exactly what they advertise.
This time around, we picked Hanover House because we anticipated a relatively large crowd of family and eventually filled up all the rooms with 11 adults or larger kids and one two year old. We were looking for a place on the west side of Montego Bay (less developed, slower pace and not so dry and flat as the east side), up the hill by the Great River, great view, mountain breezes, close to Round Hill (for the beach and other sundries), and convenient layout.
Hanover House, like many of the villas in and around Montego Bay, is a somewhat aging villa built in the "old days" - my best guess is sometime in the 1940s or 50s and certainly before independence. It has been very well maintained, though, and all of the rooms are pleasantly decorated and comfortable. With the exception of the little "nanny" (or in our case 2 year old ) room adjacent to the very large master bedroom upstairs and the other two non-master bedrooms upstairs that share a bath, the 3 downstairs bedrooms are large and pleasant. There is air conditioning that works in all of the bedrooms (except the nanny room which (as represented) can be cooled by leaving the door open from the master bedroom. All of the bathrooms other than the shared bathroom upstairs are relatively large and function well enough, although many of them could use upgrades in both decor and appliances - this is not an unusual phenomenon in our experience and, after all, you don't go down there to spend your life in the bathroom anyway.
Hanover House has an amazing view of the ocean and Montego Bay, particularly from the upper deck that runs around the pool and from the private deck off the master bedroom. The downstairs living room is nicely furnished; there are a number of sporadically working TVs in various bedrooms and the living room; there are various kinds of electronics and the WiFi works. The pool is large and convenient and generally is good shape although some of the upper tiles are broken and reasonable rehab probably warranted. There are a couple of random dogs that hang around the place, but other than the fact that one of them persistently ate all of the ping pong balls, they were friendly enough.
The staff is generally very efficient and hospitable and everyone agreed that the food was very good - not really fancy, but high end at dinner. Big breakfasts and light "salad" kind of lunches. We ate all of our meals there except for one lunch and one night out at the Round Hill Beach buffet ( get ready to spend some money) one dinner at Marguerite's on the waterfront in Montego Bay ( this will also set you back a wad). Lay in a stock of rum, beer and wine and you really don't have to worry about much. We concluded that (other than liquor costs) the food estimates that are listed on Linda's web page are about 25% higher than what we spent.
Hanover House is a truly delightful place, run by a competent and pleasant staff and a great value besides. We recommend it without hesitation, but offer the following general observations:
1. Jamaica is not Hawaii and if you are looking for a truly antiseptic vacation experience, a non-compound villa like this may not be for you. There tend to be people (other than the staff of course) chilling out in and around around the premises of these properties; others trying to sell you clothes or souvenirs; brush fires and smoke wafting by; an occasional hint of ganja in the air; lots of music from lots of places.
2. if you have a big crowd of people, getting a driver and a van is worthwhile, although rental cars are not prohibitively expensive and the main roads are in much better condition than they used to be. Still, driving is a little tricky on the left in Montego Bay traffic and dodging the occasional goat or dog on the road is somewhat disconcerting. "Damage" assessments on rentals is huge.
3. Remember that Hanover House is in Hanover. Over the years, we got sloppy and wrote down on our immigration forms the address of whatever villa were stayed in as "Montego Bay." We did that again this time and it created a folderol in immigration for everyone in our party. Some of the immigration officers actually demanded that we produce our confirmation receipt for Hanover House which was somewhat embarrassing as it had all of the charges listed. So, even while the privatized airport in Montego Bay is quite new and improved these days, the attitude of the immigration officials we encountered is more reminiscent of the bad old days of the seventies. Blue or black pen only. No exceptions. Bottom line: make sure your proverbial papers are in order.
- Also Known As:
- Hanover House And Noble House Hotel Jamaica