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“A night in history” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Whitfield Hall

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Whitfield Hall
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Blue Mountains, Kingston, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“A night in history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2010

Do you have a 200 year old restored building/museum in your home town? You know how they smell? Well, Whitfield Hall smells exactly like that! It was like spending a night at the museum! Too cool, if you like that sort of thing! No electricity, no hot water, smoke from a million fires on the ceiling, Tilley lamps after dark. And, of course, being a coffee estate, the best campfire coffee ever!! The supper and Jamaican heavy breakfast were rustic and fried, but tasted great! Your traditional Jamaican favourites, fried chicken, rice and peas, johnny cakes, salt fish, fried plantain - yum! The Colonel Whitfield room was exactly as represented on the website. Tiny and rustic. The bed was very lumpy, and the pillows rather thin. But we were only sleeping till 2am, so who cared!

We drove our gutless 2wd Toyota Yaris up to Mavis Bank (stopped a few times to confirm we were on the right road) took about an hour from Papine. Parked at the Police Station (used the washroom!). Were met only half an hour late (Jamaican time) by a 4wd Toyota to go the remaining few miles at about 10kmh, extremely bumpy - I was worn out by the time we reached the Hall, about another hour later.

Had a nice walk on the estate and up and down the road, but whose kidding, we were there for the walk to the summit, and that`s what we did! In 6 hours, 45 mins. Not bad for oldies! Cloud on the summit as usual, too bad!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Worcs
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2010

Getting to Whitfield Hall was an adventure in itself; the road from Mavis Bank is 4 wheel drive only, dirt with occasional tarmac, hair pin bends and glorious views over the hills and valleys. We stayed in the Cottage, a simple but comfortable cabin with kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms, within walking distance of the Hall. There is no electricity but the Tilley Lamps are very efffective. We had dinner in the Hall, which was excellent, and enjoyed the company of the other guests around the enormous log fire. We were up at 2am for the climb to the summit, arriving just at sunrise, which was magnificent. The path is steep in places, rocky in others but well defined and goes through beautiful countryside. We had lunch at the Hall on our return which was again very tasty. The staff were really friendly and helpful and were as shocked as we were when we discovered our binoculars had been taken from the locked cottage. One of those things which happens anywhere but just be aware of your posssessions.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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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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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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.
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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 12 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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