I have stayed at Starlight Chalet on three occasions and will definitely return again. But first lets be honest: the hotel does have shortcomings and these are mentioned in other reviews. The arrangements for meals first. You have little choice (and I have certainly never been offered a menu to select from): the cook/receptionist asks you if you would like chicken and I always do, so not a problem for me! You let her know in advance and its ready for the time of your choice. Not big portions but tasty enough and its basic, typical Jamaican home style preparation. And yes, it may be a little overpriced. It could all be much better but I take into account that this hotel really is miles from anywhere and compared to the next nearest Blue Mountain hotels its room rates are very reasonable. Its not a busy hotel and on two of the occasions I have been there I have been the sole resident (low season) so I can understand the limited catering options... although a menu, if only half a dozen options, would be a real improvement.
As for the staff: I think I have only met the cook/receptionist, cleaning person and gardener. All have been perfectly polite and friendly with me. I often find Jamaicans tend to be overly formal in dealing with customers and this can sometimes seem like surliness... but offer a smile and you invariably get a bigger one back.
Rooms. Mine have always been a bit fusty but, hey, you are up in the mist swept slopes of high tropical forest here. I take the basic rooms and they are a bit dark and could do with a bit of love and care. But I've always found them to be clean and the beds comfortable.
So why will I return to Starlight. Simple. I like it. Its a mountain retreat that you will find difficult to beat in terms of location without paying twice or three times as much. High forest and coffee clothed ridges, swirling mists, wide skies, solitude and peace. Its like the road to Starlight from Kingston via Newcastle. Its a bit rough on the edges but the vistas are breathtaking (NB the mile or so of 'road' from the Section junction is VERY rough).
Local activities: You can hire a local guide to take you along high paths to the mystical Cinchona Gardens where few, except occasional local farmers, tread. Expect this to be an eye-opening learning experience and not a Health and Safety seminar and you will have wonderful memories to take home with you (you may pass through cloud that will be damp so take a waterproof if the slopes look misty).
A final note: On the way up to Starlight you might be flagged down at Section village by a person selling coffee .... haggle a little then buy some. Best price you will get for Blue Mountain coffee.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the lush bossom of the Blue Mountains, simple country elegance,and comfort is Starlight Chalet & health Spa. Spacious, warm and cozy suites, snug apartments on a backdrop of beautiful gardens, cool mountain breeze and surrounded by seemingly endless mountain ranges. Starlight Chalet & Health Spa is famous for its endemic birds, mountains, gardens and for absolute relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Starlight Chalet & Health Hotel Blue Mountains National Park
- Starlight Chalet And Health Spa
- Starlight Chalet & Health Spa Jamaica/Blue Mountains National Park