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“Relaxing, pampered, getaway”
Review of Strawberry Hill

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Strawberry Hill
Ranked #6 of 25 Hotels in Kingston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2013

WOW! We just returned home after a 4 night stay at Strawberry Hill for a combo business/pleasure trip. I had a business meeting in Kingston on day 3. We chose to rent a car for the whole trip so we could have mobility. The funniest thing about driving on the ‘wrong side’ of the road was that I always turned on the windshield wipers every time I wanted to use my turning indicator…Be aware most streets don’t actually have street signs, so you may miss a few turns in town. Once you make it to Old Hope Road, the rest is easy. Take it easy driving up the mountain and you’ll be fine.

Strawberry Hill is very much a ‘retreat’ type of vacation. The opposite of staying at a bustling beach resort. We never even turned on our flat screen TV! My wife and I completely entered into the peaceful vibe of the place.

Very personal service. Each time we left the gates for a walk, we were greeted by name.
We walked over to UCC Craighton Coffee Estate, and Jerome gave us a very interesting background on the history of coffee (Thank-You Pope Clement!), and a taste of their Blue Mountain coffee. We then walked up to the plantation. At the top of the hill, we left the official Coffee tour, and walked down past the elementary school over to St. Mark’s Church, and down into Redlight. We bought patties and festivals at Yatty Patty before heading back.

While I was in Kingston on business, my wife walked down to Café Blue for a Frappuccino and Rum Cake, and continued on to find two brothers that sell Jerk Chicken and pork at the next ‘store’. She brought the meat and cake back to our minibar fridge, and we enjoyed it for lunch the next day!

To get a real feel for rural Blue Mountain Jamaica take the Gordon Trail walking tour that they offer at the hotel. I highly recommend ‘Rastaman Dave’. He is full of stories, and points out all the different plants and fruits. Stopping at a waterfall, while we swam, he prepared fresh pineapple and papaya for us. He is really focused on the guest experience, and walking with him is like having a Gold Pass into the lives of the people who live in the mountains. ‘Bless Up Family’
The name of our cottage was Mountain View 1. The name says it all. Not on the Kingston side, our balcony was perched over a quiet valley with stunning views. Shangri-La. The rooms have French Press Coffee makers, so we enjoyed morning coffees on the balcony before heading off to breakfast. (We’d now like to re-do our bedroom in Jamaican Colonial).

Excellent, fast, very stable Wi-Fi is available everywhere on the grounds, including our own balcony. My phone and laptop were always connected.

Between my wife and I, we tried everything on the dinner menu. Salmon, Oxtail, Curried Goat, Jerk Chicken, Pork Tenderloin, Lamb chops, Shrimp, and the soups. Every dish was well prepared and delicious.

We 100% recommend Strawberry Hill for a relaxing, pampered, getaway.

Room Tip: Mountain View 1 is on a quiet valley, we loved it!
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Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Jack C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 - 236 of 363 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2013

We spent two nights at Strawberry Hill on our all around Jamaica tour.

We arrived quite late after a very long drive and were thus really exhausted (the place is not easy to find when you don't know and the way up the mountains could prove stressful and difficult especially if you do it at night like we did - i won't recommend that).

But after you arrived, things get better as you are welcomed by a smiling person offering you a drink (go for the Rhum Punch, they use the Blackwell one produce by the owner Chris Blackwell - the best I got on the island and believe me, I had some!)

We stayed on the Gong room which was very nice. It is big, with a strong colonial style, nice wood furniture, beautiful wood floor, some artwork in the wood representing Bob Marley and Tuff Gong, a nice terrace with a stunning view on Kingston and on the mountains, a outside shower (the only room on property with that feature - really nice especially as the bathroom is a bit outdated). Nothing to complaint about the room, I really like it.

The property is really amazing, perhaps the most beautiful garden i've seen on the island, breathtaking 360° views on the mountains, arguably one of the most beautiful infinity pool on the island....really impressive.

The restaurant is also beautifully made, all in wood with fantastic views.
There is also a beautiful bar and a beautiful meeting room where you can admire the gold/platinum disc of Bob Marley, U2 and other artists at Island Records owned by Chris Blackwell. You feel the history and it is kind of cool of staying in a place where Bob Marley stayed on numerous occasions.

I had one spa treatment, massage, and I was totally happy. The therapist was really good and I was not the only one happy about it according to conversations with other guests.

As less positive point, I would say the place is a bit isolated (up in the mountains) so some could feel a bit bored if stay more than 3 nights.

Some activities are however organised by the hotel and we did one which I would strongly recommend : the hike down to Gordon Town. You will join Rastafari Dave, wise and full of knowledge man from the area, he will entertain you and you will learn a lot of fruits, plants, flowers, etc....as the guy know the mountain like the back of his hand. The hike is not challenging so suited for everyone and last 3-4 hours. I strongly recommend it.

Another point of improvement in my view is the quality of the food in the restaurant. Menu is not big which is fine for short stay but less for longer stay. Some dishes are of really good quality (Jerk Chicken was one of the best I had on the island - the Lamb was nice too - Butterflies Shrimps also and soup of the day was always a winner) some are quite disappointing (Pork and Salads for example). In general, taking into account the fantastic place and the price of the menu, you would expect a bit better from the restaurant (service is nice - no worries on that). I'm sure newly appointed manager Gordon will settle that to make Strawberry Hill restaurant in line with the rest of the place.

In conclusion, I do recommend to stay there but for maximum two nights. The views are worth it and the place is nice. Go there with the idea of a retreat as Kingston is a bit far and difficult to access due to the road (it is not ideal as a base to explore Kingston). But if you're in for some mountain feeling, retreat and relax you will love it like I did.

Room Tip: I love the Gong room (see above) I would go back to this room for sure if i come back.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Luve_Luxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

I visited Jamaica with family and friends in early August.

As someone who thoroughly enjoys a good family brunch, I was eager to make the change from the Terra Nova to another Kingston restaurant.

I had heard of the Strawberry Hill Resort and Spa having previously stayed at one of the Island Outpost resorts, but had never made the trip until today. Whilst not quite in Kingston - more in the Blue Mountains region - the journey from Uptown Kingston to Irish Town took just over 30 minutes and the car ascent is at times hell raising, but exhilarating.

Up at 3100 feet above sea level the air is cool and clear. The views looking up to the Blue Mountains and down to Kingston in the south, are breathtaking, especially on a clear, sunny day.

The restaurant is perched on a hill top away from the main hotel making it an ideal destination for both hotel residents and visitors alike. The current resort is a former coffee plantation which is populated by tourists and upmarket Jamaicans alike and has a real stately, but not stuffy atmosphere.

We were running a 10 minutes late, however the staff were all smiles and were happy to welcome us. We were seated on the veranda and our waitress introduced herself whilst providing us with iced water and explaining the buffet. The brunch offer includes a cocktail (non and alcoholic versions available), and we enjoyed a Mimosa each.

The Jamaican buffet is served in a small room off the lounge, by dutiful servers who are are professional and unobtrusive. I started off with the red pea soup, followed by the ackee and salt fish with callaloo. I then went on a greedy streak by having a plate full of rice and peas, stewed oxtail, jerk pork, snapper with a side salad of beetroot and tomatoes!

The most appetising of dessert trolleys beckoned showcasing an array of Jamaican delights including coconut cake, cheesecake, potato caking as well as a beauty of tropical fresh fruits.

The buffet is pretty extensive and guests are encouraged to eat, and eat we did, all washed down with either iced water, a cocktail, or Blue Mountain coffee to finish up.

Diners are encouraged to explore the grounds after their meal and explore and take pictures we did. I really welcomed seeing a different aspect of Jamaica and all in all the afternoon was thoroughly enjoyed, and at approximately $40 USD per head it was money well spent. My tips: Book ahead and do not have breakfast beforehand!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank No1snoopyfanuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

I have to say that I was completely blown away by these two Cottages! Strawberry Hills delivered more than what I expected. When I looked at the photos online I was a little impressed but when I arrived in the mountains I felt as if I arrived in Heaven. There’s just no other way to express the feeling. The views from my cottage was spectacular I keep having to hold myself from daydreaming. The property itself had so many hidden Gems!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank goakley26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We spent 2 weeks in Jamaica: 6 days in Negril (Rockhouse), 6 days in Goldeneye and the last 2 days in Strawberry Hill. In the end we regretted going there and wished we had gone to Port Antonio (Geejam) instead... We have to give credit where credit is due: Strawberry Hills is a great luxury hotel but it's a bit run down. As mentioned before, we are a young couple that likes to interact with the locals and SH is far from everything. We found the menu to westernized and really enjoy pure local food, therefore we walked down to the local town to grab some jerk chicken (15min walk). We found the staff less pleasant and available than at Goldeneye. We got quite bored there (for the short 2 days we spent there! no beach or anything to do) and visited the coffee plantation (recommended as it's very interesting).
We asked for a driver to visit Kingston and they originally proposed an outrageous figure so i negotiated and in the end we got a much better rate (still very high, especially compared to what we had paid in other parts of the island) and while we got a very friendly driver, wou could tell he wan't used to picking up tourists from high end hotels. He didn't really know where to take us (even if i admit Kingston is no Paris in terms of places to visit....) and i felt unsafe at times. This is absolutely not the hotel's fault though, they couldn't know where he would bring us but still, he was recommended to us by them.

We are glad we saw what the hotel is like but we definitely wouldn't recommend it - not because it's not a good hotel but because there isn't much to see around it and it's not worth the detour.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Caroline R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2013

This is my fourth visit to Strawberry Hill and I am never disappointed. The view of the harbor and lights of Kingston are spectacular, the spa treatments amazing and the food scrumptious.

Upon arrival we were greeted with warm towels and a choice of either rum punch or champagne just what we need. Great service all around.

Will definitely keep coming back!

Room Tip: Request a room with city view
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank JED437
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

This place is beautiful and makes you forget you're in A big city like Kingston for a while, the Sunday brunch is a must, delicious and the views are amazing.....only downside is the drive from Kingston is not easy and may make you car sick if not used to the curves.....

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bryan M
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Kingston
#4 Luxury Hotel in Kingston
#4 Business Hotel in Kingston
Price Range: $293 - $761 (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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