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“Private beach, great villas, like a film set from the 50's” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Frenchman's Cove Resort

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Frenchman's Cove Resort
P.O. Box 101, Port Antonio, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 19 hotels in Port Antonio
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Private beach, great villas, like a film set from the 50's”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2010

Frenchamns Cove is on the least developed side of Jamaica (some call it the best side as life is calm, lush and safe). It's the side that doesn't see many package tourists or people who are afraid venturing out a bit. While all ratings are average, Frenchams Cove has real charm. It's private beach is well worth it..the villas are more recommended than the Great house where you stay in standard rooms. It's a place where you will absolutly have your privacy. Our villa had an amazing view of the ocean, it was perfect for us as we wanted rest and space. Don't worry that the hotel doesn' have its own restaurant, Boston Jerk Center is right down the road and so is Woody's..a local burger joint that serves great curried goat. This place deifnilty appeals more to the European set.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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77 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington state
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2010

The natural surroundings are amazing... rope swing on a beautiful river that runs into the ocean around a secluded bend, and a protected/secluded private swimming beach. Wonderful, and I'd recommend it to anyone. We did not stay at the facility, but instead had a pass from a nicer villa at the Blue Lagoon, by arrangement between the owners. We did talk to people there who were not impressed with the accomodations but did note that it looks like a major remodel is underway, so perhaps there is hope.
Regardless, the service is... well, it's not. We were at the beach for seven hours and had a visit from a surly waiter twice, though we walked over several times to the bar to order things. It was clear that we were inconveniencing them, and our lunch took 2++ hours to arrive.
The tone was set on our arrival. Since we have a large family, we'd rented a minivan. While we were admitted, the gate attendant said that there were no "tour buses" allowed, so made us park our car (which was in no way a tour bus) on the road and walk everyone down the road to the beach. It's not a long ways, but we were carrying small children and he wouldn't even let us drive down, drop them off, then come back up and park. If someone is not smart enough to understand the difference between a family minivan and a tour bus, perhaps he should be placed elsewhere other than at the front gate.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

We stayed there January 1-Jan 2 of this year. We called at the last minute to get a room for that evening. While the lady on the telephone was a little rude, I blew it off. Overall I loved the place - it is very rustic, no television or internet - very much like you are becoming one with nature. I was bothered the following morning when we got up to go for breakfast and one of my friends was asked if he was staying at the resort - no one else was approached. We had breakfast and went down to the beach and he tried to get a beach chair and again he was questioned about whether or not he was staying at the resort. This time it was not just the question that was asked but the manner in which it was asked.

I since sent an email to the company complaining about their obvious bias against darker complexioned guests as my friend was the only one in our party that was questioned about his activities during our stay. I have not heard back from the resort - this lack of response in itself shows the extent to which they are concerned with the general satisfaction of their clientelle.

It is a great place overall - don't expect bells and whistles and if you are darker, be prepared for the discrimination.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2009

Only positive aspects - Staff - Friendly/courteous/helpful/willing. Also, the location of the property if you like serenity and being at one with nature.

No TV in room. No internet available. N O T H I N G
This property sreams "maintain me". The beautiful brochures belie the experience. As we entered the property, slight fear/dread overcame us. The property was a nightmare that I could not wait to be over. We arrived close to dark so there was not anything we could do but check in. Stay at your own risk.
The room was extremly hot. I spent 12 long hours tossing and turning and wishing it was daylight. We called for assistance. The young man adjusted the "AC" system [alternate to cool/cold?]. The AC did not work. The FAN started to work. We had to push the bed within 2-3 feet to feel any air from the fan.
No AC and we were stuck. Apparently this was the better room. We also discovered that we were the only ones occupying a room in the 2-storey building, surrounded by trees and complete darkeness.
There are a few buildings on the property so the guests were scattered. We arrived at about 6:00 p.m. and left the following day at around 9:00 a.m. We saw maybe 6 other guests including couples that morning.
I asked to see the proprietor/owner and was told that he is a foreigner. I believe that that meant he was off the island. This place needs to be demolished and re-built. Stay at your own risk. I cannot honestly believe that anyone would sincerely rate this delipidated property higher than a -0- of 1 star.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Killeen, TX
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2009

My family and I were there attending a family reunion July 30-August 4th. We spent one night and ran the next morning, this place was so filthy and unkept my skin was crawled with the thought all night. First off, the shower drain was clogged, brown greasy stuff backed up in the bath tub when we tried to take a shower, second the linen were dirty. Bugs that were killed smeared the bedspread and pillowcases, the sheets felt as though they had not been washed in months, you could feel the dirt build-up. The bathroom was grimy. I could not believe that this facility is allowed to remain open to unsuspecting tourist like myself, it should be condemned, we stayed in villa #4. My husband and I were soooo upset we checked out the next morning at 6:30am and went to the Jamaica Palace Hotel instead.

NCampbell
Killeen, TX

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2009

Frenchman's Cove is a formerly grand resort that has not been very updated but provides clean, comfortable and relaxing accommodations in an amazingly lush and natural setting. You have the option of renting a room in the great house, or having a one or two bedroom villa to yourself. We didn't stay in or visit the rooms in the great house so can't comment on that.

**There are about a dozen villas spread over a large tropical area, leaving plenty of room in between, allowing for maximum privacy. The villas are clean and spacious decorated in what was probably a very modern style 40 years ago. If hip, modern style is important to you, you will not find it here. However, we felt it just added to the charm and were very happy with it. The main living area is cooled by ceiling fans only, but there is air-conditioning in the bedrooms. The villas have separate kitchens with full-size fridge but note that there is no stove for cooking.

**A continental breakfast is served in the great house, which includes bread for toasting, tea, coffee, and a selection of fresh fruits. It is served until 9:30am daily. We didn't find it particularly exciting but it's free and kept us going until lunch time. Note that the breakfast room is not air-conditioned either. Just mentioning this for those used to super-cool hotel accommodations.

**The beach is small but gorgeous and very private. It is open to tours groups a few times a week but we found the groups to be no larger than 10-15 people at a time. The beach is fed by a cool fresh water stream that makes for a very unique setting. Very chilly at first, but you'll eventually find it refreshing.

**The only meals available on the premises are continental breakfast and the lunch at the beach (which is only served from about 12-2); beer, soft drinks and rum punch are available on the beach all day. For dinner you will have to drive but there are sufficient options close by. We loved the burgers at Woody's, but again, no air-conditioning and nothing fancy-- just a lovely couple who are really friendly and the food is tasty and affordable. Everything is freshly made-- in fact, if you want traditional Jamaican food fro dinner, you have to place your order for it before noon!

Basically, we think this place is a hidden gem for anyone looking for something way off the beaten path in Jamaica. This is nothing like the mega all-inclusive resorts you'll find in Negril or Montego bay and Port Antonio is not exactly a "touristy" town. Frenchman's Cove is peaceful, quiet, great for a romantic getaway for a couple that is self-sufficient and doesn't really need for everything to be laid out at their finger tips, or a family that wants to feel like they've rented a private cottage and doesn't need all the amenities of a hotel. We felt like time moved more slowly there and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Thomas, VI
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2009

Our group of 40 arrived in the late night from two nights on Blue Mountain. We were tired and longed only for a comfortable bed and hot shower. Satisfied that Frenchman's Cove had both, we felt like human beings again!

But, after waking early to check out the "neighborhood," I began to feel like an heiress on a Caribbean estate. I followed a path from the main hotel (not one of the villas), thinking I was headed to the beach, and I chanced upon a blue heron who looked like he had also just awakened! He patiently posed for photos. I took pictures of some unusual tropical foliage and headed to the water, but instead of a beach, I found myself looking over a rocky cliff into the sea below. What a marvelous view! After taking more photos, I walked back on the path, and this time followed it in a different direction. Found myself crossing over a body of water on a little bridge (this is the river that flows into the beach), and after confirmation from "Bush Man" I found myself in a secluded cove with a very tranquil, picturesque, white sand beach with rocky cliffs jutting out from both sides as if to protect the beach from any intruders other than the sun and the sea. More photos and then off to breakfast.

The breakfast was comparable to Stateside continental breakfasts - bread, coffee, tea, juices, fruit, and cheese. Self-serve and I liked the fact that I didn't have to wait.

Back up to the room after breakfast to see what the room REALLY looked like, and got the biggest surprise when I went out on the balcony - a fruit-laden mango tree right within my reach! My Caribbean fantasy come true! Though they weren't ripe, I loved the idea that they encouraged their guests to enjoy fresh tropical fruits for FREE!

Lunch was served on the beach, and everybody in our group said it was good (chicken, fish, vegetarian), but I wasn't hungry, so I used the time to explore the grounds. This resort is almost like a suburban neighborhood with winding streets and large yards between the villas. Most of the villas had that killer sea cliff view, and though some looked a little dated, they kind of added to the laid back, timeless atmosphere of the place.

This is a place that leaves your entertainment up to you. Someone offers horseback riding right outside the gate, but there is little or no entertainment on the property that i saw. No tv. No gift shop. No full-service restaurant. Nothing to distract you from the sand, sea, and serenity. Perfect for someone who wants a relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Frenchman's Cove Resort

Address: P.O. Box 101, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Port Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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Also Known As:
Frenchman`s Cove Hotel Port Antonio
Frenchmans Cove Hotel
Frenchman's Cove Resort Jamaica/Port Antonio

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