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“One of my best memories from Jamaica!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Great Huts

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Great Huts
3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   8-10 Boston Bay Road, Port Antonio, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 22 Port Antonio B&B and Inns
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“One of my best memories from Jamaica!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

If you want to try something a little off the beaten track in Jamaica, Great Huts is the place. It felt like living in a tree house and the structure is perfectly suited to the surrounding nature. We watched the sunset while waves were crashing on the cliffs and fireflies were all around us. It is just a very special place that I will never forget. The houses are wonderful and I love the decor, which is crafted by local artists. The staff is kind and helpful. We felt at home immediately. I will recommend it to everyone!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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445 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

Great Huts on Jamaica’s northeastern shore is a great alternative to the all-inclusive resorts that dot the likes of Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. You won’t find a swim-up bar or a need for a color-coded wrist band here; what you will find is authenticity—both to the land and to the African background of the majority of Jamaica’s people.

The resort is located in the lushest part of Jamaica, with natural stone walkways that meander among African-styled huts atop a cliff covered in jungle vegetation that doesn’t stop at the entrance. Oversized outdoor bathrooms with showers affixed to trees and toilets set among leafy plants make this a true rainforest experience. Yet you don’t have to worry about your neighbors peeking in on your bathroom rituals. Bamboo fences provide privacy where the jungle foliage has gaps and curtained entrance doors and shutters provide privacy in the huts themselves.

Dr. Paul Rhodes, the owner and designer of Great Huts, explained that his idea was to incorporate the trees and rocks into the design of the huts so that no two huts (or bathrooms) are alike. What a brilliant and original concept! While each hut is unique in design, all come with Afrocentric furniture, sculptures, mud-cloths and paintings. It’s like sleeping in an art gallery or museum.

My husband and I spent five glorious days at Great Huts. Our accommodations were in the Sea Grape and we couldn’t have been more pleased. We had a lovely private outdoor bathtub perched on the edge of the cliff looking over the sea, a mosquito net that we never used even though the windows were open, and a beautiful seating area with hand-hewn table and chairs that faced the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea.

During our stay we had ample opportunity to tour the grounds and the other huts. The hut known as the Queen of Sheba was, in my opinion, the most extravagant—three floors connected by ladders and a lacy coral cave on the ground floor that was part of the wall between the main room and the bathroom in the outdoor courtyard. A huge window cut in the shape of an elongated Star of David provided one of many links between Judaic and Rasta beliefs. Elsewhere on the grounds, it was enlightening to find many sculptures and paintings that depicted the historical and cultural connections between Africans and Jews. A stay at Great Huts is not only relaxing but educational in a low-key kind of way.

But the highlight of our stay was the electrifying Saturday night cultural show with dancers and singers from Manchioneal performing in the Great Huts dining Room. The night we attended, Dr. Paul proved himself a man of many talents as he sang three opening numbers before introducing the guests at Great Huts to each other. At the end of the show guests were invited to participate in the dancing and did we ever! A special treat was the display of art by some of Jamaica’s most talented sculptors and painters, available for guests to purchase. We love the beaded painting by Mazola wa Mwashighadi, which we bought as a reminder of our great time at Great Huts.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Dr. Paul Rhodes and his dedicated staff—especially Yannicke, Gordon, Lloyda, Paul and all the servers, bar-tenders and wait-staff—Jingles, who chauffeured us to and from the airport as well as to attractions around Port Antonio, Honey who drove us to Reach Falls (a must see!) and Leonard our intrepid guide at Reach Falls. Additional thanks go to Captain Marley for the boat ride from Port Antonio to Great Huts and Captain Granville for the bamboo raft trip down the Rio Grande. All arrangements for side trips were made for us by the friendly staff of Great Huts. Thank you, all!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Huntington, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

If you are looking for a place with gym and other amenities, keep searching. However, you will miss the most authentic experience and one of the most exquisite views of your life. Immediately as you close the entrance gate behind you, you feel like you just entered into a piece of Africa. And you never stop of being amazed and enchanted by every single detail. You will be greeted by either Gordon or Lloyda, fantastic people. The rooms are rustic and rudimentary to bring that African atmosphere, but also very genuine and artistically created. The furniture is amazingly and naturally beautiful in every room. Not one of the same and neither are the rooms. Food is deliciously prepared by fantastic chefs, Lance and Alton. At breakfast you will savor the dish (plenty!) with coconut shell utensils (adorable!). Dinner is served upstairs in a beautifully and originally decorated room - regular utensils this time, don't worry! At the back of the dining room is the bar, where Andre will proudly prepare your drink. He loves his job, let him be creative. On Saturdays there is this fantastic African show by a local dance group. Then, you will just follow the trails for amazing wild views. Sleep with the sound of the waves and the crickets. We will return again to this magical place, no doubt about it.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Great Huts is truly a wonderful place ...hidden jewel.
Truly unique place to stay. Our group has been going there for the past 5 years and find the staff and management so helpful and we are grateful for all they do for us.
The new additions to the place are wonderful. It truly is my home away from home.
It is a magical place that helps you relax and the surronding community is wonderful.
I encourage everyone to check this place out if your looking for fun, relaxation and a place that truly is inviting.
Thanks to all the staff that make my stay such a wonderful place

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

Amazing setting,around every corner is a hidden chill out spot in the very tropical setting. Friendly and helpful staff. Lovely breakfast and amazing coffee!!! Boston beach is small but nice and Great Huts has its own little stretch of private beach.Lots of geckos but no nasty creepy crawlies to speak of just lovely open huts with awesome outdoor shower (sea grape hut). Vegetarian pizza with pineapple here was yummy. Didn't want to leave....

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

The Great huts "is" Jamaica's hidden one of a kind escape, It is full of sculptures which complainant the huts, They certainly fell short of phrase for themselves in their naming of the place. The food is soo tasty,the beaches are a 2min walk,So much to do or just nap and sleep,they have plenty of books to waste your days , Every time I come back to Jamaica this will be my last stop,as this is relaxing ,this is what a holiday is all about.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Great Huts is a truly unique place to go and stay. The idea behind it is wonderful and ties in well with the general vibe of Portland. Earthy, chilled and green and with a little more thought could be magical.

We arrived a day late to a two-night stay due to unforeseen circumstances to find they'd given away our room to someone who was 'on their way' and after what seemed like a long check in process, we were finally given a new 'hut' which was arguably better than the one we'd booked ans were shown to it by a security guard. 'The Queen of Sheba' - a huge three-storied job that probably could have slept 20 and boasted both inside and outside areas.

The hut was pretty spectacular - three completely open floors, little reading deck at the top, inside and outside baths, toilets and showers helping you feel at one with nature. Of course, mosquitos are there (its nature, deal with it) and I would have liked a bed mosquito net with less gaps in it but its not something that you need to worry about as long as you have repellent and bite cream.

We regretted not experiencing the cultural show but were happy enough with the basic breakfast offering (eggs and toast and/or fruit) and some lovely Blue Mountain coffee.

The location is quite random because far from being secluded, it’s situated next to Boston Bay beach, which unfortunately at times came with banging music to disrupt Mother Nature's finest efforts and crowd out the wonderful sound of the ocean and crickets, and a strip of bars and jerk eateries which you drive through to access the resort. (FYI Mickey's jerk pork is simply amazing).

There are a couple of areas they should consider to really capture the imagination. They are definitely not negatives but more potential to improve.

After ten minutes in reception, we were offered an overly sweet welcome juice, which came straight out of a ‘from concentrate’ bottle which jarred with the naturalistic tone of the place. 50ft away you could have bought all manner of freshly squeezed juices and coconut waters for nothing.

The hut itself had so many different features (we didn't discover the in-room waterfall until we were leaving) that it was a shame that no one was there to fully explain what we were staying in along with an intro to the ethos of the place. If they had, it would have blown our minds.

The only slight grievance we had was with the ‘beach’. You find it by walking down some steep steps and it’s more a sandy area surrounded by rocks with lots of hammocks which is a great place for chilling and reading except for when we were there, at least 20 kids had walked around on the rocks from the main public beach to have a ‘smoke’. Whilst everyone was cool and polite and there was no issues at all, they were using the hammocks for taking pictures of each other. I’m no kill joy but the idea of a romantic chill in a sun drenched hammock was kind of blown by the constant stream of teenagers walking past.
There’s no security whatsoever and I saw several walk through the gate into the resort unchecked. Which if you’re unfamiliar with how laid back Portland is and you consider your room doesn’t come with a key (at least ours didn’t) you will wonder.

Overall, a great time, totally unique and something that will last in the memory but, like anything, not perfect.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Dr. Paul R, Owner at Great Huts, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Response to Trip Adviser Review
As the designer and sole proprietor of Great Huts, I am always thankful and derive much pride and life satisfaction by hearing about the satisfying and often joyful experience of our some 5000 past guests. Needless to say, I am sensitive to the criticisms and our 100 plus page policy and procedure manual and staff education and system of rewards and punishments have evolved in part related to the critiques of our guests, in essence to our outside, unpaid, travel “consultant – experts.” I thank the reviewer for his 4 stars and respond to his criticisms with respect but with a strong urge to address what I feel are erroneous conclusions in particular to our security policy and system.
1. Security – Great Huts has well -trained and attentive night security guards who man the gate and walk the grounds from 7 PM to 7 AM every day. The guests’ comment likely relates to his perception of what occurred on the beach during a particular time he was there. We have done an investigation and conclude that our beach security guard took a meal break and we did suffer a lapse in beach security. During this time, local persons walked from the public section of Boston Beach to our private beach. Although we cannot stop locals from walking along the beach up to the high tide line, we enforce strictly that unregistered guests cannot and must not use our cushioned, wooden chaise lounges or hammocks and must not sit in our baby sand pool or the sea tidal pool. Outside persons cannot smoke marijuana on our property. Great Hus management has instituted a revised policy that should our daytime beach security guard take even a sixty second toilet break, a manager or grounds man must assume temporary security post at the beach. Great Huts is also secured by 4 watch dogs and a sophisticated video surveillance system observed by the manager at front desk or security guard and recorded for analysis in the event of a situation. Our front gate is kept locked. All our huts and tents have safes and larger items can be locked in locked security areas. The claim that we have no security whatsoever is FALSE. It has caused us damage through cancelled reservations by persons who misunderstood the review.
2. Registration – The guest works at another hotel in Jamaica and had cancelled his reservations or rescheduled in the past. We had not been contacted about his intent not to check in on the date we were holding his reservation so had in fact given his unit to another guest but we did upgrade the guest who arrived one day late to our best hut, the Queen of Sheba. It is best to call or email if arrival a day other than the check in date is anticipated. Perhaps my staff should have made an attempt to phone call the guest. We do try to streamline check in time. Guests can check in on line by receiving a check in form by email. We will need to check ID’s and credit card info on actual check in however. Tours are available by staff from the moment of check in through departure if desired. And during busy periods we employ two persons whose role is to teach Jamaican history, culture, politics and current events. One a master African drummer and author and the other a noted Jamaican journalist and college level lecturer. I am on the grounds for three one month periods and am always eager to share my story of creating Great Hut and give an in depth tour. We have an extensive library of African art and history to explain the ethos of our resort. We also offer tours to the homeless shelter of Port Antonio we helped start and support.
3. Environmental challenges – Our beach is a sand covered, rocky outcropping of the cliff, the northern section of the horseshoe shaped Boston Beach. While long sandy beaches such as the public Winifred Beach and the exclusive fee of entry Frenchman’s Cove are nearby, the advantage or Great Hut beach is that it affords a view not only of the sea and horizon- as most north and west coast Jamaican beaches do- but a view of Boston Bay from the side, watching the surfers from the side line rather than from the front. And our location affords incredible view of fossilized coral boulders, the coast line of NE Jamaica and the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Also we provide comfortable cushioned chaise lounges and hammock and shady areas under the trees as well as sun exposed areas for tanning. And our beach continues on to a dramatic Tidal Pool / Natural Jacuzzi and a cliff side walking trail for rock scrambling and even rock climbing. On some -not all- nights music is played from nearby bars and clubs. We call the authorities if played beyond the legal times but otherwise must live with the sounds. The predominant nighttime sounds at Great Huts are the crash of the sea and the chirp of the tree frogs.
4. Breakfasts – Always include eggs any style including omelets, toast and (not or) but and fresh fruit plate and great coffee and always freshly squeezed with pulp orange juice or other fresh squeezed juices. If we give a guest a complimentary fruit drink I promise it will not be from a can or jar again. I apologize.
5. Holy nets. Mosquitoes are minimal along the sea. But our netting should be perfect. The seamstress has sewn the holes closed in a few of our nets and many new and larger nets will be delivered to the resort on Feb 27. We do provide mosquito coils and guests may use our or their own repellants.

Thanks to this guest for his positive re marks and I appreciate Trip Adviser’s opportunity to respond to clarify and defend, when appropriate, our policies and procedures.

Paul Scott Rhodes, M.D., Designer and Owner of Great Huts Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Great Huts

Address: 8-10 Boston Bay Road, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Port Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Huts 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great Huts: Paradise on the Edge – Aboriginal yet modern, minimalist yet complex, off the beaten path but near the night life and happenings of Boston Bay and Port Antonio. Of our little village-resort, many a guest has said: “At Great Huts, spirituality, nature, heritage and technology converge!”Great Huts is an oceanfront resort located at the lush north east point of Jamaica. Distinctive for its beach-jungle-cliff habitat and African hut and tree-house lodging, Great Huts is a unique ecological and cultural vacation experience. Each of our rustic dwellings – three Tree Houses, Three Tents and Seven Huts, are comfortably furnished, uniquely decorated, and spaciously nestled into your own corner of the Great Huts compound. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Great Huts Hotel Port Antonio
Great Huts Jamaica/Port Antonio

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