My boyfriend and I are in our late-20s and had never been to Jamaica. Both of us are American grad students who wanted to see as much of the country as we could without falling into mega tourist traps/secluded resorts that don't allow one to see much of the country. We also had a limited amount of time and a strict (ie. broke student) budget. We found this B+B through Delta Airlines, and were able to book it using Sky Miles without any problems! We paid for our stay in full using our miles without any hidden fees or surprises upon check out--very happy about this!
We stayed at Emerald View for two nights--the first and last nights of our 5 day trip. Both of us were very, very pleased with the service and rooms! Below is an outline of points for those debating on staying here:
- If you are not renting a car, make sure you make arrangements with Emerald View's staff in advance for a pick up. We did not do this when we got into town, and definitely wish we had. The B+B does charge a fee for driving, but it is less expensive than cabs. (Also, it's nice to not be hounded by cab drivers at the airport--was a tad overwhelming esp since neither of use had been to Jamaica before.)
- The B+B is located about 25 minutes from the airport. This means that it is also about 25-30 minutes away from the city. If you are interested in staying near the "hip strip" (ie. businesses on the water that seem mostly for tourists-- souvenir shops, restaraunts, bars, etc. We really liked a place called Pier 1...) so that you can walk to these places, then you should probably not stay at Emerald Views. HOWEVER, this B+B was really great about providing transportation to the places that we wanted to see (for a reasonable fee), AND being removed from the hip strip was great because it meant QUIET nights :) Plus, it let you see more of Montego Bay which was exactly what we wanted.
- Payment for transportation was accepted using American dollars. Word to the wise: please learn from our mistake and don't exchange money at the airport--most places in Montego Bay preferred American $$$, and the exchange rate at the airport was a total rip off.
- Emerald Views is located pretty high up on a mountain which, as the name suggests, makes for great views!!! The drive up goes through residential areaof Greenwood, and the road is not entirely paved. In other words, if you're used to Disney-esque resorts then this might test your comfort zone. Never fear-- we felt totally safe, secure, at peace while there! (I'll openly admit that having had some bad experiences in the past regarding my safety in America I am a big skeptic no matter where I travel, but had no problems here at all--and I was a full-time major airline flight attendant for years!) If you want to go to the beach, though, I would suggest getting a ride--walk seemed kind of far and up hill on the route back.
- The rooms were clean and quiet with AC, tons of TV channels, hot water, and free wifi. Also the breeze from the beach was FABULOUS--we didn't need the AC at all. On our second/last night there they set us up in a really nice room in the back of the property with a jacuzzi--it was great :)
- There is a touristy restaurant near the B+B called the Chill Out that is on the water. It's literally on the beach, and really lets you "chill out." Good food, great mixed drinks, a pier, live band, canopy beds on the sand, etc. People of all ages. And again, super close to Emerald Views and not as crowded as places on hip strip. Worth a visit.
Bottomline, Emerald Views was a nice spot. It definitely allows for quiet, and is an escape from societal craziness without being too removed from civilization. Everyone was very kind and hospitable. The grounds and gardens are very well-kept and beautiful. The rooms were clean had personality--not the cookie cutter uniform of the big resorts. I'd recommend it to anyone going to Montego Bay, esp those who want a little remove from the city.