My first stay at Viking's Rasta Retreats was in 2005, when I did not manage to book somewhere I originally wanted to go and found then Viking's House in the internet. We were touring Jamaica for a month for our honeymoon and were a bit scared because of the things you hear about especially Kingston in the news. When we arrived from Kingston in the middle of the night and found this house which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere we wondered where we had come... Next morning we realized we were not in the center of the touristic Treasure Beach but in the fully Jamaican Great Bay. No hustlers anywhere, everybody we saw was friendly, talkative when we were talkative but also left us alone when we wanted privacy. We spent 8 days that time and have gone back four times ever since, now planning our next trip in January, this time with our baby.
The rooms in the house are pretty bare but beautiful and well kept. Every room has a private bathroom and a small kitchenette (not sure about the kitchenette). There is no ac, but there are ceiling fans. The house catches a very nice breeze and at nights it really works and I never suffered from the heat. The upstairs rooms have really nice views of the mountains and the sea. The windows have mosquito "nets" so no mosquitos in the rooms. You can cook in your own kitchenette or using the main kitchen.
The ocean is very near: one minute walk through a field takes you to a pretty bay which is almost always empty for you to enjoy it all by yourself! 10 minute walk by the shore takes you to Great Bay where you have a several km long beach with very little waves and good for swimming, and if you walk the opposite way in 30 minutes you are in Treasure Beach and on the way there are several bays to swim in, some with more, some with less waves.
When it comes to food, we normally ask Viking to cook for us, but if you want to cook for yourself you can do that also. There is a supermarket in Great Bay and if you ask Viking, he can take you to a bigger supermarket in Junction that has a very good selection, it is about 15 min drive. There is a veggie/fruit van that comes a few times every week and a local "King Check" that sells fruit and veggies from his cart daily. In Treasure Beach there are restaurants, worth mentioning is Jack Sprat that serves seafood and pizzas outdoors by the beach, one of my favourite restaurants in the world. :) You can either walk or ask Viking to take you a ride.
In the evenings people mostly mingle and chat on the porch. Viking is from a big family and his siblings live in the neighboring houses and the extended Genus family members also come as the porch gets the best breeze in the area. There is a bar next door, run by Viking's little brother, which is normally closed in the evenings, but Viking has the key. :) If you want to be by yourself, the social activities very rarely produce much noise. If you want to party, at times there are stage shows at the Great Bay beach, and dances are organized several times a week around the area.
What is best about staying at Viking's Rasta Retreats is the host family. Viking is a man with wisdom, spirituality and a big heart and it is truly enjoyable to talk with him. His family takes such good care of you and you may start feeling like home very soon. Sitting under the mango tree at nights is something that I start thinking about immediately when the winter starts approaching Europe... :)
So if you are looking for real Jamaica and want to know real friendly Jamaican people, this is the perfect place to go. If you are looking for a resort, go elsewhere... Also this is really rural, so not much shopping to be done and moving around needs some planning or lots of walking... Also, you can do good hiking if that is your thing, I rather sit under that mango three. :)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.