We arrived on a Sat. night - downtown Ocho Rios was teaming with people. Our car made it thru the throngs and to the Hibiscus Lodge. After a day of travel we decided to stay and have dinner at Hibiscus' restaurant the Almond Tree, having heard many good reports. There was a wedding reception inside, so we were seated on the patio. We had a very hard time reading the menu in the very dim candlelight. The service was spotty and slow (i.e. Jamaican). We decided on 2 different fish dishes. They were okay, but not outstanding considering the price.
Our room, #25, was at the end closest to downtown. The partying went until after 3:00am - we could hear the loudspeaker and music very well from within our room with the TV and A/C going. Even if it had been quiet, the bed was so hard and uncomfortable, I doubt we'd have slept very well. Our room was upstairs; there are no elevators and the stairs are a little on the steep side. Have someone help you with the bags - worth every penny you might tip. To be fair, I must add that elevators don’t seem to be the norm in Jamaica – even at the Sans Souci they didn’t have elevators.
After having been out all day Sunday on a tour of the surrounding area, we arrived hot and ready for a cool room. Unfortunately the power was out (there had been a few clouds and light rain that day which seems to affect the power supply in Jamaica). The Hibiscus offered to find us another room if the power didn’t come on soon. Thankfully cool air was blowing once again in short order. Except for this short time of no A/C, it worked extremely well. The first night we couldn’t believe finding a blanket on the bed and just laughed. In the middle of the night we were so glad to have that blanket – it was cold! There are no room phones, which would have been okay, but the hotel phone system was out for 2 days. The desk clerk was kind enough to make calls on her cell phone for us to arrange the bike tour.
The bathroom lacked an A/C vent (using a hair dryer made it quite warm so I moved out into the main room to dry hair), and the sink was in one spot and the mirror over to the right - a little unusual. They have a nice little closet with bottom shelves (no hangers), but the door wouldn't open more than 8-10" due to the bottom of the door not being able to clear the rug, so we really couldn’t make much use of it. The room could use some sprucing up; they were painting the room next door so perhaps they are in the process of updating the rooms.
The complimentary full breakfast is served on a delightful covered patio overlooking the water. While the choices for breakfast are not large, the portions are ample and the food arrives hot. Additionally, a plate of fresh fruit, choice of pastries and a slice of delicious cheese is promptly brought to your table upon being seated. An almond tree, the namesake of the restaurant, grows right up through the breakfast area. The food and service were both very good. They remembered us and saved the same table for us every morning (3 mornings). The Hibiscus has a nice bar and they accommodated us one evening and let us order a hamburger without going to the restaurant. The bar is known for the "swing" chairs instead of the usual bar stools. Don't drink too much while sitting on these moving chairs.
The view of the ocean was glorious. Early in the morning men would slowly row across in front of us and just a little ways out past them you could see the cruise ship slowly make its way to port.
The grounds are attractive; there is an aviary with a couple of parrots included and a nice pool area. There is a small man made "beach" you can walk down to that is actually a bricked in raised area, with some chaise lounges. Never saw anyone down there.
This would be a good location if you were interested in exploring downtown.
The staff was courteous and accommodating, but I wouldn't call them overly friendly.
Our stay was satisfactory, with a few minor annoyances. If we were to go to Ocho Rios again, we'd probably try other non-inclusive lodging just to compare.
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- Also Known As:
- Hibiscus Hotel Ocho Rios
- Hibiscus Lodge Hotel Jamaica/Ocho Rios
- Hibiscus Ocho Rios