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“Get off the resort and see the real Jamaica” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Whitfield Hall

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Whitfield Hall
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Blue Mountains, Kingston, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Get off the resort and see the real Jamaica”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

I visited Jamaica last week with two friends (one male and one female) to experience as much of the real country as we could. I can't remember how we found Whitfield Hall, but it was an amazing place to stay the night before climbing to Blue Mountain peak. The staff was incredibly friendly and accommodating. Robert, who's mom (Miss Lynette) has welcomed guest here for decades, was our host, cook, and guide to the peak. He could not have been more helpful and welcoming despite the fact that he had the flu. He made the three of us several awesome Jamaican meals...chicken, callaloo, johnny cakes, rice and peas. He even made us coffee at two AM before we headed up the peak. I forgot a flashlight and suffered a bit in the feet. Don't forget yours.

Roydell was the driver who met us in Mavis Bank and took us up to Whitfield Hall - great guy. We found a driver from Ocho Rios to Mavis Bank, but there are enough buses to make it practical and affordable.

We stayed in the two bedroom cottage, which had an amazing west facing proch, perfect for sunset. It was hot most of the night, but hey, that's Jamaica. We drank the well water and the bathroom was totally acceptable.

Seriously, if you go to Jamaica get the heck off the resort and climb the peak of the blue mountains. You will find the most friendly people and beautiful countryside in the world. If you get to Whitfield Hall, tell them Peter sent you. I told them you would.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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25 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

My husband and I were looking for an adventure and set-off to trek to the highest mountain top in the Blue Mountains. We found Whitfield Hall in the Moon Jamaica Handbook and rang them up. 24 hours later we were making our way by bus first to Kingston, then hopped another local bus to Papine, then another to Mavis Bank. We were excited to find our next driver, Roydell, waiting for us with his Land Rover pick-up truck. The ride through the lush terrain, past board homes, and chatting it up with the occasional local rider in the bed of the pick-up and into the mountains is one of our best memories of our trip to Jamaica.

We made it to Whitfield Hall just before sundown and stepped inside the dark plantain house with the sweet smells of Jamaican cooking and kerosene lamps mingling in the dusty air. We were the only guests that evening, and all of the caretakers were poised to take care of us. One man showed us our room, while another sat fireside and chatted with us through dinner. Yet another cooked and served our meal. And another would knock on our door at 2 AM to lead us up through Portland Gap and to the highest point in Jamaica.

The starlit hike was exhilarating and moderate-to-easy, as far as hikes go. We reached to top by 6 am and waited inside of the dilapidated bunk house, wrecked by a hurricane, until we saw the first indication of sunrise. The air was brisk and the winds were high, probably 40 (f) degrees - this was the only time we were cold in Jamaica, so not a big deal.

We were lucky - the sky was clear and sunrise incredible (friends of ours who've made the trek have not been so lucky). We could see the ocean from both sides of the mountain tops. Our hike down was easy, and we took in all of beauty of the tropical flowers, coffee bushes, and birds. Fragrant Eucalyptus trees welcomed us back to the plantain house, where a hot breakfast awaited us. Breakfast was a little disappointing, because of the mix of Jamaican & American breakfast food - we prefer eating local cuisine when we travel.

We also realized we didn't have enough cash on us to pay for everything: Land Rover transport, lodging, meals, hiking guide, and coffee. As a result, we had to ask Roydell to take us all the way down to Papine to use the nearest ATM machine. Thus, our ride back down was a hefty toll at $90! - Our mistake. Make sure you bring plenty of cash, and expect to pay for everything they offer - including a cup of coffee awaiting you when you wake at 2 AM, a fire in the fireplace, etc.

All-in-all this was a great, one-of-a-kind get-away from the sometimes hectic nature of being a tourist in Jamaica. You have to be willing to "rough-it" to do it, but it is well worth it for the experience of a day-in-the-life of remote Jamaica. We spent less than 24 hours up here, and would recommend taking a few more days at least - we missed exploring the coffee plantain and really getting to know the locals here.

  • Liked — Unique Experience
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2008

My husband and I would normally celebrate our special holidays by selecting some of the most luxurious hotels that pampered you in all-inclusive indulgences. On this our 4th anniversary, I wanted to be away from man-made entertainment and all the noise that usually accompanies that type of vacation (by the way our last trip was to Las Vegas which was absolutely awesome).

For me the journey started when we got to a little town in Jamaica called Mavis Bank. We stopped at the police station and asked for directions to Whitfield Hall, and before giving us the directions they asked "do you have a four wheel drive vehicle?" A question which I pondered on for awhile until we had to cross a river valley (Oh my Gosh!! not for the faint-hearted).

The journey from there was all uphill into the most beautiful mountains I have ever had the opportunity to set my eyes on. The air was crisp and refreshing, and the children of the village ran alongside the car, this was so much fun for them.

Whitfield Hall is nestled in these majestic mountains amidst the clouds and hidden among enormous eucalyptus trees. The scent of ginger lilies embraced your nostrils as you stroll from the main house to the cabins just below....absolutely awesome.

The accommodation is very simple, clean and comfortable and the food and the staff is great. Climbing the mountains is now in my books as my most physically enduring challenge...but I would do this ten times over to see one of the most spectacular and romantic sunrise in my entire life.

Life is about creating memories as each day goes by...and this is one of my most memorable vacations. ( I can't remember where we went on our 2nd anniversary...it was some all-inclusive somewhere)

  • Liked — Comfortable, Clean, Simple
  • Disliked — Cold Water
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2007

Visiting here was a great experience. The air is fresh, the water is pure, straight from a spring and above all, the people are wonderful. It is far from being luxurious (i.e. cold water showers and no electricity) but that is only a temporary inconvenience. What will last in my mind is how great a quality of life can exist without all the frills. The people who live here are wonderful and enjoy a life that money can't buy. My time here was spent hiking, reading and chatting with the locals. I was completely relaxed by the end of my second day here. I did hire a guide to go to Blue Mountain summit. It is recommended leaving very early ( 2 a.m.) and arriving at the top for the sunrise. The hike was great and the sky completely clear until the last half hour where there we were enveloped in thick fog. After spending 90 minutes at the top without the fog lifting we headed back. In spite of this, I would do it again. There are several other great hills to hike up as well, all with fantastic views. I had elected to have the hostel cook my meals for me and they did a great job. I had alerted them that I was a vegetarian. What they came up with was an excellent assortment of meals. Of course, being a coffee lover, the trip was worth it for the coffee alone. I highly recommend Whitfield Hall if you want a feel for the true Jamaica.

  • Liked — location and seclusion, the true Jamaica expereince
  • Disliked — no hot water
  • Tips/Secrets — treat it like a camping experience, don't expect nearby luxuries but enjoy what it is there
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh,PA USA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2006

My wife and I just got back today from spending a fantastic week at Whitfield Hall.

I must say up front that I love going to Jamaica, this has been our fifth time in four years.

This trip was especially relaxing and on the other side of the coin the most physically challenging.

The roads that you drive to get to Whitfield Hall are an adventure into themselves. The road conditions for driving up the moutains
are the craziest---you NEED a four wheel drive vehicle. Fortunately we had an excellent driver named Roydell, who drove the vintage Range Rover up the scenic mountain like a pro.
Once inside the Hall we were met by Vinny --the" Keeper of the Fire and Coffee" a very kind and wise man who we enjoyed learning from during the week.

Inside the place is a large fireplace that Vinny mantains at night that provided our entertainment almost everynight. There is no electricity only Tilleys provide light.

The food that Miss Lynette prepared during the week was excellent traditional Jamaican dishes. Every meal was tasty. Not to mention the hand roasted, freshly picked right on the premises Blue Mountain coffee that was out of this world.

The hikes to Blue Mountain Peak are not a walk in the park, They were quite a challenge. It takes about 6-8 hours to travel to and from the Peak. The second time was a bit easier as well as thankfully rain free.
We took about 220 pictures--the grounds as well as the mountains themselves are very scenic an awe inspring.

The showers at the Hall are one of a kind. The first time I took a shower, my heart almost stopped because of the temperature, it is like jumping in a cold mountain spring. Quite nicely by the third day those cold showers were actually refreshing. My wife however, never really shared my views on this matter.

We also met people from Poland, Boston, British Columbia Trinidad,a large family of loud people, Jamaicans who were hiking the peak at night, Chec Republic. This was like a mini United Nations in the Hall.

My wife and I had a great time.

  • Liked — the friendly people
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saraasota, FL; Miami, Fl; Kingston, Jamaica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2006

I just recently stayed at Whitfield Hall and can report that it is indeed a wonderful spot in the Blue Mountains. One of my favorite things to do during my short stay was to sit with a book in front of the fireplace at night. My second favorite was to drink a cup of coffee (Blue Mountain coffee, of course) outside looking up at enormous eucalyptus trees that must have been 4 stories high. I also enjoyed more strenuous hiking in the mountains. The mountains can't really be described in words. Not even pictures. I read on one website that they're the tallest mountains east of the Mississippi; I believe it. Magnificent, glorious, the words sound trite.

I stayed in a room with bunkbeds. The room was simple and spartan. They provided sheets but I had to bring my own towel. But then, it was the cheapest hotel room I've had in a long, long time. Next time I go I'll stay in their new room, which looks more like a B&B room. (I admit, I'm a wimp and like my little comforts.) The owners were re-doing the room while I was actually THERE, fresh paint, pictures, the works, and what they were doing looked adorable. More my speed. A regular bed and cute things. Towels & soap included. (Which is helpful since I don't normally carry my own towel.)

While I was there, there was a small group of Jamaicans who came up to hike to the Peak. This was one of the main differences I found -- there were Jamaicans actually staying in a Jamaican hotel. Sometimes on the north coast beaches, I began to wonder why I'd traveled to Jamaica if I was mostly going to see fellow Americans as well as Europeans. At Whitfield Hall and in the Mountains, I actually felt like I was in a foreign country. Which is one of the reasons why I travel -- to see something new and meet people who aren't like myself.

Of course, there was a fellow American tourist while I stayed at Whitfield. She was very nice, and we had an interesting chat. This was another thing that struck me as different: it's conducive to conversation. No telephone, no electricity, no email. There are cell phones that the staff has, in case of emergency, but otherwise -- completely detached from office, advertising, loud noises. Peaceful. That's the word. Peaceful and relaxing and very beautiful. I was sorry to say good-bye to my little spartan room and come back down the mountains.

I will undoubtably go back to Jamaica, and back up the mountains. I bought some Blue Mountain coffee there. Delish. Next time I'm in Jamaica, I'll go back to the mountains and also try another spot on the water, like Port Antonio or Treasure Beach.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2006

I had read about Whitfield Hall in a couple of guidebooks and decided to try it out when I was in Jamaica. For $15 a night, I wasn't sure what to expect. This is what I had: a bunkbed in a room in a historic house. A good deal, I agree. The place wasn't full so I didn't have to share a room. Did share a bath. If I ever went back with a group of friends, I might try out their private cottage, or the new room that they're redecorating, which is supposed to be a little nicer. I loved the people who worked there -- no hustle, just helpful, nice people. Loved the big fireplace and the grounds.

Mr. John Allgrove knows everything about plants and told me a lot about how coffee is grown up there. I'm glad I didn't miss this spot, even if it's waaaaay off the beaten track. I've been to mountains in North Carolina and Switzerland, but these mountains were awesome. There was something surreal about walking through the mountains in Jamaica -- I even saw MANGO trees up near Whitfield Hall.

I would go back again, and try their other rooms, too. I'm a good sport, and this is a place for people who are good sports -- people who don't need thousand dollar sheets or a masseuse on staff (not that there's anything wrong with massage!).

I found the place by going through their website, which is pretty good. Another thing, I felt safe. This is a big plus. It's not about selling you crafts or getting your hair braided or whatever. It's where you go to appreciate nature and relax. And if that's what you want, and you're on a budget but don't want to skimp on views, and you don't want to deal with the sell-sell-sell mentality, Whitfield Hall is perfect.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whitfield Hall

Address: Blue Mountains, Kingston, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Kingston Parish > Kingston
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Kingston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whitfield Hall sits at 4000 feet directly on the main hiking trail that travels up to Blue Mountain Peak. The hall itself, dating from the late 18th century, can provide rustic accommodation for up to 30 guests. Most rooms have bunkbeds, although the Colonel Whitfield room has a double (full) bed and is private. Guides to the Peak can be arranged for trekkers. Hearty, home-cooked meals and other refreshments, including cups of, Blue Mountain coffee brewed with fresh spring water, are available (with advance notice). Guests may also use our kitchen to cook. A campsite is also available. You can hire our driver to provide safe, 4 wheel drive transportation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Whitfield Hall Hotel Kingston
Whitfield Hall Jamaica/Kingston

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