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“Restful, Gorgeous, Restoring Visit”
Review of Strawberry Hill

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Strawberry Hill
Ranked #4 of 25 Hotels in Kingston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We had a perfect visit at Strawberry Hill.

1.The on time airport pick-up was on time
2.The ride up the twisting roads to the resort was a trip of its own.
3. We were met by the manager Wills at check-in and the entire staff was wonderful.
4. Food was really excellent especially the Jamaican breakfast and specialties. The Jamaican style eggs Benedict with smoked marlin was to die for. Okay, the lobster wasnt great but the other eleven meals were really exceptional. The drink prices were not exorbitant.
5. The room was clean and the housekeeping was like clockwork. Straightened up while we were at breakfast and turndown while we were at dinner. No pictures can give the views justice.
6. Dont miss the lemongrass wrap at the spa. worth every penny.
7. One morning we wanted lemongrass tea but it wasnt on the menu. They cut some lemongrass from the Spa's plants and served us a pot. yum.

Thank you all and hope to visit again (I missed the Sunday brunch this time. Will plan accordingly next time)

Room Tip: We were in Birdshill. huge and comfortable.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paul-From-Philly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregory S, Director of Sales at Strawberry Hill, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Thanks for taking the time out to share the “Restful, Gorgeous and Restoring” experience you had recently with us. The GM has shared your review with the entire staff and we certainly wish you could have been there to have seen each and everyone of them beaming with pride.

Though we place equal value on each and every review, yours is especially touching as it is coming just after significant changes were made in response guest feedback (highlighted in the two previous reviews). This reinforces that the changes made were the right ones and that is especially important to know for anyone considering us for the future.

We still have work to do and must now create the ‘perfect Lobster experience’ well in advance of your next visit.

Thanks again from all the team and we look forward to welcoming you back soon to Strawberry Hill Hotel Spa and Gardens.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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247 - 253 of 346 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2013

I'm a jamaicaphile and have stayed at Strawberry hill many times. Just returned from a 5 night stay over New Year and am writing this more in sorrow than anger, as I feel that standards have slipped since we last visited in 09. Much of it is still wonderful - the ethereally beautiful location and the meditative spa. But there's a lack of management, particularly in the restaurant. Because SH is half way up a mountain, there is nowhere else to eat, but that's no excuse for taking up to an hour to serve each course, serving overcooked food, frequently getting the order wrong, running out of things 20 minutes after you order them, etc. If I was a local who had trekked up from Kingston for the dining experience (as many do) I'd be pretty miffed - particularly given the price. My impression is that no one is running the show and frankly, I'd avoid SH until they put a competent manager in place

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Arthur P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregory S, Director of Sales at Strawberry Hill, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2013

Dear Reviewer,

Please be assured that we take all concerns raised with regards to our restaurant, particularly over the past month, very, very seriously. We hope you will accept our deepest apologies for the less-than-satisfactory experience you have related and take comfort in the fact that we have since made effective changes that we hope will exceed all your previous ‘best ever’ dining experiences. Having recognized a serious deficiency in this area, even before we read your review, we have since parted ways with our Executive Chef and Senior Sous Chef, and are now pleased to announce that the renowned Chef Colin Brown (www.chefcollinbrown.com), the first ever Caribbean chef to be awarded the AA Rosette Award for Excellence, has come on board and taken over all Food & Beverage operations at Strawberry Hill just this past week. Chef Colin had been consulting with us over the past two months behind the scenes designing new menus and tailoring a more spectacular restaurant dining experience, and we will be rolling out all these changes over the next few weeks. In addition, we have ramped up our on-going team member training program in the restaurant to purposely coincide with Colin’s recent take over, and taken on new hires to the team as well. Look out for many new dining options and the upcoming official launch party!

We so appreciate your feedback, even when it is far from stellar, as this helps us to quickly correct any shortcomings and better meet guest expectations. Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa and Gardens wants to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your support over the years; thanks to customers like you, we have one of the highest repeat guest ratios among similar boutique luxury hotels in the world.

We will be contacting you and other recent reviewers directly to extend further regrets. With thanks.

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Reviewed December 24, 2012

I am a local -- i have visited strawberry hill with out of town guests several times over several years
I brought my cousin to visit for lunch on wednesday december12 th
The view continues to be spectacular. The staff were very friendly - and apologetic. My rating is solely based on the food.
We ordered the seafood grill platter for two -- which was the most expensive item on the menu.
The food took about 40 minutes to arrive
We were each served a tiny lobster tail, a small slice each of grilled zucchini and sweet pepper these were OK. But the grilled shrimp and salmon were both overcooked and extremely tough-- they felt as if they were frozen and quickly thawed out and grilled
The food was barely palatable , this is a major change from the meals that i have had at strawberry hill in the past
Please do whats needed to return to your previous standards
YH

Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
8  Thank Yvette H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Myself & my family have arrived @ Strawberry Hills, haven been met with a scented towel and a Signature Rum Punch, we proceeded to enjoy a traditional Jamaica feast for a lunch.We were then showed to a bedsit in Kingston, if you had told me i would fall in love with a bedsit in Kingston i would have said your crazy, but this bedsit has a few special features, for instance a view from 3.5k ft above the city with a beautiful balcony to sit and sip a cocktail while you drink in the view of the caribbean, a four poster bed with equal views, and a cocktail bar that is second to none. Oh and that wonderful pool not to mention an simply amazing spa.

I read a few views that appeared to not get this place, its steeped in musical legend and history its a totally unique property in a fantastic part of a wonderful island. Its mystical to be sitting in the clouds enjoying such world class service.

Strawberry Hill is unique the ultimate boutique hotel experience if i could i would move in.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Tlee313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

I've spent a good deal of time in Jamaica over the years for both pleasure and business, so when I planned our honeymoon I knew I wanted to show my husband one of my favorite countries in the world. Since hubby isn't a beach person I figured we'd start out at Strawberry Hill, and it was totally worth it!

I made our reservations about 3 months in advance- we booked Timbuk 2 for 3 days and got the 4th day free. We also pre-booked transport from the airport and to the express bus station in Kingston, along with a 3 hour hike. There were no problems with communication, our ride was at the airport when we arrived and we got a nice early morning ride down to the bus station when we checked out. The bill came out to exactly the amount I'd expected- no hidden charges or confusion. I was very happy with that!

The room was perfect for us and most certainly worth the price. Nicely decorated- comfortable, not flashy. Flatscreen tv, water heater and coffee press, a big fridge. The bathtub was deep and the showerhead had great water pressure. Our bed had 2 separate heating pads, so each of us could control how warm we wanted our mattress- that was a really nice touch! The view from our balcony was amazing and it was great to wake up and hear so many different types of birds right outside our window.

We lounged around the pool one afternoon- they provide big strpied beach towels on each chair. The pool was very cold (it uses local river water and since it's an infinity pool the water is constantly cycling), but I thought it was refreshing. The pool area has an insanely gorgeous view. In general it's a great area to hang out, have a drink and soak up the atmosphere.

Also, I'd definitely recommend the Gordon Town hike. It's a 3-hour hike roundtrip, and on a scale of 1 to 5 I'd rate it at a difficulty of 1.5. Super easy and really pleasant. Again, definitely worth the expense.

I'd have to say the only thing not worth the expense was the food. It's wasn't bad per se (the baked goods were excellent, as was the coffee), but it was very, very expensive for what it was. My husband had an 8 dollar bowl of porridge one morning, but aside from that we took a short walk down the hill to the small cafe and ate all our meals down there (the food there was pretty good and the beers were inexpensive). But if you have the money to spend and you're not feeling like having to leave the property for meals then I'm sure the menu is fine.

All in all, I have to thank the folks at Strawberry Hill for making the first leg of our Jamaican honeymoon so enjoyable.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank greene_ave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

My wife & I live quite close to Jamaica & some of our friends visited this resort & highly recommended it. After reading the reviews on TripAdvisor this further supported what I expected to be an amazing weekend. I think we must have been extremely unlucky as it just didn't live up to it.

Firstly we had confirmed our transport 2 days before arrival, to then turn up at the airport & no-one to be waiting. We called the hotel who did not have our booking & then spent the next hour on the phone back & forth being told it was on the way, then told to use someone from the airport. The drive from the airport is about an hour & is reasonably comfortable although the road loops around & around so be aware if you get travel sick easily. Upon arrival the hotel more than redeemed the fiasco at the airport by giving us a complimentary dinner & spa treatment. I do feel if the problem with the transport hadn't happened I may not have been as disappointed with everything else that went wrong! However as I am about to explain, the lack of co-ordination seemed to be apparent throughout our stay.

The location is stunning & the environment & views which the hotel provides are top class. They have about 12 seperate accomodations ranging in variety but all quite separately set into the hills. The one we stayed in was nice, a little dated, but this added to the effect of the place. On the down side, the water went off (around the whole resort) as I was in the shower one morning & didn't return until late afternoon, the light in the bathroom was broken, we had to ask twice for someone to come & fix the toilet, the electric (actually all over the resort rather than just our room) kept flicking off & on throughout the day, the cable TV stopped working altogether on our last night, the safe was locked on our arrival & although I asked 4 times it wasn't until the last night that someone confirmed that the key had been removed by previous guests & therefore we could not use the safe. On the plus no-one stole anything!!

As I say I think it was the bad start that maybe got me picking up on all these points & we probably got unlucky hence I still think given the environment & how friendly all the staff were i would have rated this a 4 as I justified that this was all just bad luck on our part.

However I need to knock off a further point for the general service which is maybe again harsh as I think it may just be the lifestyle there. Anyway, the main resort section is nice, a log fire for the windy cold nights in the bar & interesting music disks around the walls as the owner is also the owner of Island Records who is linked to Bob Marley & the early U2 albums amongst others. The views are spectacular. However although the service was always extremely friendly it just seemed like they needed some energy & co-ordination. We would be asked what we would like & then 10 minutes later a different server would come over to clarify. The brunch was supposed to start at 12pm but we were still waiting at 12.30pm. These are just examples. Once the food/drink does come it is actually pretty good (even though I have seen others saying differently on Trip Advisor), only problem I would see is if you stayed more than 3 nights it is a bit of a limited menu.

So in summary, putting the small things aside I would still recommend this to a certain degree to friends & family but for the city prices you pay to stay there you would expect there to be better co-ordination & more efficient service to justify the price.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank TravellerGC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregory S, Director of Sales at Strawberry Hill, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2012

Given so many options out there, we really appreciate that you both chose us for your recent stay. We certainly don’t take for granted the fact that the vast majority of guests to Strawberry Hill , including yourselves, come to us through recommendations both by friends and the favourable reviews from trusted sites like tripadvisor.com. Our aim is to make things right 100% of the time and whenever we fall short to ensure that the situation is not only identified but rectified so as to never occur again.
Unfortunately your stay occurred just after the passage of Hurricane Sandy which had a broad effect on our telecommunications, utility and service delivery. We really had to rely that much more on our staff who themselves had suffered losses and worked tirelessly through less efficient manual procedures. Thankfully for the most part we were able to maintain the high degree of service throughout that period and we are happy to report that those communications, utility and service delivery problems have been rectified and in most cases improved on.
Unfortunately you were one of the few unlucky ones (as you put it) and in recognizing that we wanted to make it apparent through this medium that we have subsequently reached out to you to make things right and welcome your acceptance of a return visit in the not too distant future.

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Reviewed October 11, 2012

All the different kind of flowers, the refreshing blue mountain breeze, all the birds, lizards and beautiful nature are just a small sample of what can you find in this place. If you visit Kingston and need to find a peaceful moment, this is the place you have to go. The view and the silence are amazing as well.
One of the greatest things that happened to me there was when I asked the waitress if they served blue mountain coffee...her answer was: "Sir, Blue Mountain coffee is the only coffee we serve in this place"...but she forgot to include in her comment that is one of the most delicious and complete coffees in the world.
BTW, the food is awesome too.
Had a great time here…

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Hernan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Strawberry Hill

Address: New Castle Road, Kingston, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Kingston Parish > Kingston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Kingston
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kingston
#4 Business Hotel in Kingston
Price Range: $279 - $582 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Strawberry Hill 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens, a 26-acre mountain top resort, is located in the heart of one of the world's most famous coffee-producing mountain ranges, Jamaica's Blue Mountains. Listed in the New York Times #1 bestselling book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, Strawberry Hill is 3100 feet above sea level and features one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Blue Mountains in one direction as well as the city of Kingston in the other. On a clear day, one can see up to 100 miles from the property's infinity-edge pool, and at night the city far below becomes a twinkling mirror of the night sky. The property's 12 Georgian-style cottages, spa, exotic gardens and restaurant offerings underwent an extensive refurbishment in October 2011. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strawberry Hill Irish Town
Strawberry Hill Jamaica/Kingston

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