It's been a couple years since I last stayed at Baboo's Garden, but after doing some nostalgic googling, I came across this page and felt the need to leave my review. First a word of warning – My ideal style of travel is backpacking. I don’t like being pampered in luxury resorts, being sheltered from experiencing what a country has to offer. I like to take as little as possible with me and go exploring. That being said, here’s my review -
I love Baboo’s garden! I’ll take tree-hut tents and long conversations over coffee and Red Stripe with Tony and Dowdy over getting elbowed by obnoxious tourists on their way to the buffet at an all-inclusive any day! Not only do you get away from the hustle and bustle of the regular tourist-traps, you get to actually talk to genuine locals and explore the real Jamaica. Having been once before, I took 3 friends who were new to the island to Baboo’s on our first night in Jamaica. At the end of the trip they all agreed we should have saved it for our last stop because it was definitely one of the best! The bbq pork he made for us was delicious, the red stripe was cold, and the conversation was entertaining enough to keep our jetlagged selves up way past a reasonable bedtime. When talking to him you can tell that Tony, the ex-pat American who owns Baboo’s, really cares about not only his guesthouse, but the people of his town. He’s not there to exploit the people or resources for his own gain…he’s there because he was sick of the rat race and wanted to escape to paradise. Which is exactly where this place is – there are no words to describe watching the sunset or sunrise from the hills here. Dowdy, the caretaker, also understands the importance of hospitality and will make you feel at home in a matter of minutes.
An earlier review wasn’t too positive for various reasons and I can understand some of them. But there’s a reason this place isn’t walled off with barbwire fences like the resorts in Mo Bay – it doesn’t need to be. Thieves go where the marks are and the marks are all in the tourist traps. I never for a second felt unsafe leaving my personal belongings with Tony or Dowdy. I loved the “au naturel” shower – the heating worked just fine when I used it and watching the miles of valley below while you scrub behind your ears is nothing short of an invigorating start to the day.
It’s an ideal place to stop for a couple days if you’re heading south to treasure beach (also highly recommended) or north back towards the airport. In my opinion, even if it is a little bit more on the “roughing it” side, this is way more relaxing than jostling with some 300 lb mouth breather from Detroit trying to find a chair by a pool at a mega-resort. I don’t know if Tony still offers rides to/from the airport, but it’s worth enquiring. If you’re adventurous enough to go off the beaten path and away from the resorts (which, if you’re reading this, implies that you are), then this place is a must-stay. Take the chance, you won’t regret it.