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“Home from home at the Master's former homw”

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Noel Coward's Blue Harbour
Ranked #19 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Home from home at the Master's former homw”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2008

"I couldn't have liked it more!" as Mr Coward once sang.

I can confirm that the new road is now completed, meaning that the old road outside the hotel now has little traffic travelling along it.

I have always been a big fan of Noel Coward's work and so when I learnt that you could actually stay at his orignal home in Jamaica, I jumped at the chance!

Hotel arranged pick-up for me from Mo-Bay airport and it took around 1.5 hours to reach Blue Harbour with very friendly taxi driver called Trevor.

The hotel itself is like something from the bygone days of the 1950s and all the better for it. It is well worn - maybe "shabby chic" would describe it well. I stayed in the smallest villa, "Villa Chica" which is the closest to the sea. Huge amount of room, with walk in closet, bathroom and bedroom, plus a terrace with chairs and a hammock. As I said earlier, everything is very old but was spotlessly clean. Shower worked well too. There is no AC and although nights were quite humid, I slept well with fans on and sea breeze passing through.

The saltwater swimming pool was lovely to hang out by - much more pleasant than a chlorine filled pool. Beach is small, but good swimming still posssible.

Staff were super friendly and helped with anything I needed. Leroy the main guy in charge is very nice and even took me into Port Maria on market day to look around and help carry the shopping. I travelled as a single, but never felt isolated as in the evenings lots of locals came round for a chat and a game of dominoes!

Food was great, very Jamaican. I said I wanted to try all the Jamaican food so I sampled the likes of ackee, callaloo and oxtail while I was there. The only drink you will be provided with is water, but staff will happily buy your tipple at the local shop for you (no rip-off hotel bars!).

Spent a morning at Firefly, Coward's final home and now a museum. Very interesting, as the house is still as he left it and views spectacular.

Please be aware, that you book Blue Harbour directly with its owner Michael and Michelle Gleeson. I did this all by email and everything went smoothly. Payments must be made in cash or traveller's cheques (I used the latter).

As they say in Jamaica, I hope to "soon come" to Blue harbour once again!

  • Liked — Location, views and staff
  • Disliked — Leaving it and the 9-hour flight back to London
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank globetrottingboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2007

May 2007, the new road is far from being all built; all the roads in NE Jamaica are in atrocious condition and this deterred me from doing more than the bare minimum of driving around. I stayed in Villa Chica; the other 2 houses would get more road and construction noise. Villa Chica is basic but pleasant, set in lush gardens above the excellent pool. A small fridge in the room would have been good, and the colour TV (in the main house) needs replacing. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I recommend staying here.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
3 Thank MTLUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dahlonega, GA USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2005

I should say, above avg to excellent. The setting for this hotel is incomprable, romantic, overlooking a bay with an island. This was part of our honeymoon, but I would think that families would like the place and the Villas, just as much (mindful of no beach). If you want to be overwhelmed, pay $10 for a half day to visit Firefly historic site on the hill behind hotel. That view is the best in all the Carribean and compares with Megan's Bay, St. Thomas. I stayed in the main house at Blue Harbour in Port Maria in Feb. 2005 and loved having the whole floor and hugely spaciou s accomodations to ourselves.

Be advised, rates are per person and include 3 meals. Rooms are breezy no A/C and look out onto the bay. Veranda is wide and spacious, wonderful and you could spend you vacation there. We are active but spent much time enthralled by the full moon over the bay and morning sunrises. Could be a little noisy with truck traffic on the road behind. Villas on property rent for same price but are lower down the hill (but away from the traffic). In any case , by 2006 a new road should be completed routing most traffic away from the hotel. If you are into history and theater and film this is a great place. Noel Coward effects are all around. Film star portraits of who stayed in your room.

Firefly on the hill was Pirate Morgan's lair and he looked out across the bay.
Staff is very friendly. Owners, Michelle and Micheal are very engaging, supervise everything daily and cooking. Michael's an ethnobotanist / anthropologist and can tell you about the area. Michele has Jamaican roots and knows the culture. Later done by Jamaican chefs and fresh caught fish. Dinners above average to excellent and cater to American tastes, so not a lot of Jerk or heavy spices. Some Jamaican specialties do enter as at breakfast and wonderful spice and Johhny cakes. Grounds pretty, well maintained, although some hurricane damage (Ivan, '04). Only very small beach, really no beach. Sea swimming pretty good, esp. on calm days. Pool wonderful on the ocean. Snorkelling fairly good. On calm days snorkel, swim, or kayaks (later provided free) to the outer fringing reef in the bay.

I liked the nearby area of Port Maria and Oracbessa better than the tourist towns of Ocho and Negril, but due to remote location you may find you need a car at this resort or rely on cabs and rides from the staff into town. People nicer and less hassling and hustle than big towns. From my stay I came to like the owners very much is why I wrote this review and would recommend this hotel especially to those wanting an "away from the maddening crowds" and interesting, peaceful vacation at beautiful spot.
Great value. Michael Rund, Kansas City, MO

Helpful?
30 Thank Mike33travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Noel Coward's Blue Harbour

Property: Noel Coward's Blue Harbour
Address: North Coast Highway | Castle Gardens, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking Jamaica's scenic north coast, Blue Harbour a lush seven acre estate built in the fifties by Noel Coward the prolific British playwright, songwriter and entertainer;offers the ideal setting for relaxation and recreation. The saltwater swimming pool, gardens and seaside cottages complete this haven where the guestbook included such luminaries as Winston Churchill, Errol Flynn, Marlene Dietrich, Sean Connery, Alec Guinness, Katherine Hepburn, Patricia Neil Noel Cowards friends were drawn to what their host so fondly dubbed "Doctor Jamaica" the creative and restorative island where many completed their painting, musical and literary endeavors. Blue Harbour accommodations are fully staffed and offer lodging so you can come alone or with up to 12 guest. For larger informal groups accommodations can be provided on request. Each room opens to one of the large verandas with sweeping views of the coast and cooling air of the trade winds. Come vacation with us. Swim, explore and delight in native Jamaican cooking. Blue Harbour has preserved the spirit and style of the real Jamaica. Blue Harbour is a safe ,secure, eco-friendly and private holiday destination. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Noel Coward`s Blue Harbour Hotel Ocho Rios
Noel Coward's Blue Harbour Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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