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“Outstanding Jamaican Hospitality” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast

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The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #1 of 19 Ocho Rios B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding Jamaican Hospitality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2014

Our one week stay in the cozy cottage was oh so comfortable and homey. Sleep quality was top-notch with the shuttered windows which work better than black-out blinds. Surrounded by treed hills and foliage the cottage deck was the perfect spot to enjoy morning coffee or an afternoon/evening glass of wine. The hammock was ideal.

The Jamaican and Asian cusine prepared by Darryl is a unique offering of the Blue House. the pictures are on the website, but the delicious flavour of fresh and locally sourced food expertly cooked by Darryl is a lasting memory.

There was so much to do off-property: Reggae Beach (clean,fun, great food), swimming in the White River (pure, clear water -- great to jump in after a trip to the beach), Dunn's River Falls on the Cool Runnings catamaran, golf at the Sandals course (a shout-out to Patrick for all his expert driving) We also rented a car for a couple of days to see the sights around Ocho Rios (Darryl -- thanks for drawing us a map to make it easier to find the landmarks)

Thanks to Elise for her knowledge of the island and recommendations all served up with lively conversation and a good dash of humour.

We are a couple with a ten year old daughter always looking for a vacation experience beyond the sheltered acreage of a large resort. We look forward to coming back next year.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank banksymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elise_Yap, Owner at The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, May 12, 2014
Some guests come to totally relax and do nothing but enjoy the serenity, the glorious nature and the heavenly meals at our B&B. Some come with a whirlwind of energy determined to experience as much as they can possibly cram into their time with us.

You guys, proved to be somewhere in the middle, Banksymom. The activities you wrote about experiencing painted a great picture of the diversity of what's available in Ocho Rios. Kudos to you for being adventuresome enough to rent a car and just drive out into the clear blue yonder ! It is indeed a great way to experience the Real Jamaica beyond the sheltered acreage of the large resorts that dot our landscape.

So happy to know that you all loved staying in our Cozy Cottage ! It is by far one of our guests's favourite. You'll be pleased to know that we've added an outdoor shower, which will be an added treat for you to enjoy when you come back next year.

Banksymom, reading here that you created lasting memories during your vacation with us is the reward we work for every day. Thank you so much ! Thank you even more for taking the time to share your experiences online here on Tripadvisor.

Much Love and Blessings,
Elise
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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330 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hermosa Beach, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2014

POSITIVES:
Good food
Nice views from balcony
Daryl the cook

NEGATIVES:
Didn’t get a single rest-full night
Bugs/ cockroaches noted in main house bathroom toilet and floor of cottage
Mosquitos!
Not easy to get places unless you find a driver (driver recommended by Elise is about 30-40% higher than other official tourist licensed drivers)
Noisy
Expensive drinks

I booked the cottage for $270 a night (+ taxes and fees?) in March 2014 for 4 nights and I have to say how much of a letdown I felt based on previous reviews. Daryl, the cook, is the only reason I raised a star from one.

The cottage is separate from the main house. At first notice it is cute. There are no glass windows but wooden shutters. Not only is this difficult to shut at night but noise filters through pretty easily. There were very noisy birds that were chirping all night and the noise reverberates through the wood shutters. One bird decided to sit in a tree next to the cottage for 2 of the nights. I was forced to take a sleeping pill and use ear plugs the first 2 nights. Also, "Jamaicans are noisy people" and some other guests staying in the house complained about loud music the night prior to our arrival. They had trouble sleeping as well. I only heard music in the background when I arrived only a couple nights. There are several dogs nearby but we only got awoken a couple times by them.

After our first night we noticed that we had to apply our bug spray as we were getting bit while asleep. In addition, there are plentiful mosquitos when on the porch of the main house. Also, we were sure to check our baggage completely before coming home as we noticed several cockroaches roaming around. One was in the toilet in the main house that I flushed!

We were disappointed by the lack of generosity of Elise, who manages the establishment. As a matter of fact, I feel that maybe she is a bit selfish. We received a "welcome drink" and upon check out she ended up charging us. Also, wine is very expensive here about 8$ a glass. A bottle that we can get at California for 8 dollars was about 45$. We decided to buy a bottle of Appleton rum from a supermarket downtown that we paid 13$ for. We did this to mix with the virgin punches that their helper, Orlando mixes. The punches alone cost 1 to 2 $ per punch and we clearly requested them not to have any rum as we had our own. Apparently, Orlando gave us rum punches (5$ each) and didn't hold the rum as we clearly asked. Interestingly enough, he gave us virgin punches just prior to the rum punches? We were not clearly aware of this until check out when you get the tally of all drinks. We were charged for all the punches as if they were rum punches. When we complained Elise took the money out of Orlando's pay. Keep in mind Orlando is a local Jamaican who probably only makes about 50$ a week! Also, she ended up adding 25% for "taxes and fees". Admittedly she did claim that "the government takes 16.5%"

Probably the most disappointing factor of this B&B is the transportation. We were quoted a price of 200$ for one of Elise's drivers to go to Kingston for a stop then drop us off at Strawberry Hill resort in the Blue mountains. When another family of 4 also wanted to be dropped off on the way to Kingston we figured we could split the 200$ trip. The price went up to 150$ for us and 150$ for the family of 4 for the same exact distance and exact same vehicle. I privately discussed this with Elise how this doesn't look good. She took my private conversation public in front of all the people staying there. She claimed that the drivers she uses are medically trained, etc. but did in a very harsh, embarrassing and argumentative manner. She became very defensive and probably felt a bit of guilt.

We found a tourist board and licensed driver on our own who charged us 230$ total. We decided to use another qualified fully licensed and insured driver and saved so much money. I wonder if there are any secondary benefits that this establishment receives for using the 2 drivers, Patrick and Dalton exclusively. One could only guess

Daryl, Elise's brother is the only saving grace of this place. What a nice, kind gentleman. He even offered to drive us a couple miles up the street to a great snorkeling establishment called Maxon's. He was a breath of fresh air. Overall, I loved Jamaica. The Blue House was a stain on our wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joseph D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elise_Yap, Owner at The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast, responded to this review, April 29, 2014
This guest's ‘if-I-complain-enough-I-will-get-free-stuff’ habits and the insulting insinuations he threw at me in my office one morning left such a harsh, bitter taste in my soul that I initially decided NOT to reply to his very deceitful review riddled with misleading half-truths and blatant untruths. I decided I would simply let our almost 200 excellent reviews stand in defense of the outstanding reputation our guests have built for us on Tripadvisor.

However, having just been advised by my bank that the guest in question has refused to honour the credit card charges for the dinners they consumed during their stay, I have changed my mind.

From the very beginning of his stay this guest complained about the price of drinks. Having read his rant here regarding $8 bottles of wine, it should be obvious to anyone who reads his review that he is manipulating prices to justify his half-truths. Never in all my travels across the US have I ever come across a wine list in a top notch, upscale restaurant or boutique B&B that offers an $8 bottle of wine. Have you ?

As a courtesy to guests who love our superbly blended ‘secret recipe’ rum punch cocktail, we feature it as our House Special and generously discount it to the price of a virgin rum punch. The $2 fruit punch we serve as a beverage in no way compares to the cocktails he ordered no matter how he twists the story. The bottom line is, despite my attempt at appealing to his conscience by pretending that our bartender, Orlando, would have to pay for the cocktails he consumed, this guest ended up ‘stiffing’ our bar for 4 drinks.

Couple that story to him now declining to honour the credit card charge for the dinners they consumed and you have a crystal clear window into the soul of the man who wrote this poisoned review with concocted stories about bugs, roaches, mosquitoes, loud music etc.

Our small, intimate, boutique property attracts travelers, some well heeled, some not, who are interested in exploring the true essence of Jamaica. These travelers prefer staying in comfortable, nature filled, unpretentious, upscale boutique properties with all the comforts of home. They understand and value the high standards provided at our five room property and they are savvy enough to appreciating that these standards come at a price. They especially appreciate the bounty of awe inspiring food and the warm, personal, friendly, non-intrusive hospitality offered by both my brother and myself. Up til now, they have been quality guests who, well heeled or not, would never think to cheapen their vacation or their female partner by nickel-and–dime-ing and bad-mouthing their way at every turn.

I could continue to rebuff this guest's untruths one by one and reveal the real reason behind his underhanded plan to discredit our business and the wonderful driver/tour-guides that we recommend but I trust that you, our future guests, are discerning enough to know when someone has an axe to grind. I look forward to welcoming you soon to our precious little corner of paradise !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

Three months ago we celebrated my husband’s. This time it was mine. It was our ninth stay at The Blue House. Couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate. As usual had great gourmet meals prepared by Darryl, the barefoot chef. Lively conversation around the breakfast and dinner tables with wonderful guest and our lovely proprietor, Elise. She arranged a day tour to Kingston where we saw interesting sites. Only regret that our stay was too short.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank monkeymommy35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014

My family of 9 recently returned from a two week stay at The Blue House. We were so pleased with every aspect of our stay! The Blue House was beautiful and the staff were fantastic. Elise went above and beyond to ensure our trip was perfect. She gave us rides to the beach and even went back one day to fetch my camera when I forgot it. We had read reviews about Darryl's famous cooking, and we weren't disappointed! We got to try many authentic Jamaican meals and fabulous desserts. He even took requests of things we wanted to have again. Our children spent every evening in the pool and loved taking the five minute walk to swim in the White River. As part of our holiday, we spent five days working in Elise's ministry building a house for a family in need. This experience enabled us to truly get to know the Jamaican people and culture. Our children fell in love with the Jamaican kids and had the opportunity to see another way of life up close. I fear they will never want to go anywhere else on vacation again. We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

Absolutely wonderful experience here. Elise is an excellent hostess and Darryl is a chef beyond compare. Beautiful place, wonderful food and the hummingbirds are really entertaining! It was good to learn about the missions projects and some of Jamaican culture that Elise was willing to share. Will be recommending this place to friends and family.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Dixie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lloydminster, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2014

Our trip to Jamaica was and stay at the Blue House was INCREDIBLE!! I would HIGHLY recommend staying at the Blue House whether you are wanting to help others in need, or spend time on vacation. We came with our family, and another family that we are friends with, and met up with return visitors from Florida for the first week, to work on building a house together for a single Mom and her two kids. This first week was an incredible experience. We had kids of all ages help out, from 2 to 16! We had been looking for a mission trip that would be conducive for a family, and they are really difficult to find for younger kids. We did not want to wait until all of our kids were teenagers to experience helping others in this way, and I am SO glad that we didn't!! This experience changes you, and gave us an entirely new perspective on so many things! I think our entire family now understands how fortunate we really are, and that we are called to help those in need!! Meeting the kids that Elise helps out with Bread Basket Ministries was a highlight for us for sure! Our kids absolutely LOVED meeting and getting to know the kids, and are already asking when we can go back to see them all!! We stayed for an additional week to vacation and see some of the sights, and Elise was wonderful in helping to give us tips and organize different day trips! I also have to comment on the Food!! Darryl, the chef goes above and beyond!! We all like to try new things and experience local cuisine, and his meals were a highlight of our trip FOR SURE!! If you are a "foodie" like we all are, this is the place for you!! You cannot get a bad meal there!! Also, if you have food allergies they cater to you! I cannot eat gluten, and there was ALWAYS a gluten free dessert waiting for me at the end of the meal….it was a REAL treat! Also, we have a daughter with a severe peanut allergy, and they were very careful with that as well! It would be an understatement to say the Food was PHENOMENAL!!!! Also, the entire staff that Elise has at the Blue House was SO friendly!! They were all so good about making us feel at home!! I would rate this experience an 11 out of 10!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tara A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

We stayed during New Year's week and enjoyed every moment. First, Elise strikes the perfect balance by managing to take care of everything you need and any questions you have, and at the same time it feels like the beautiful grounds of the house are your own little slice of Ocho Rios. Tied with the first, Darryl is a genius with ingredients; breakfasts and dinners were out of this world. Really. If you appreciate innovative cuisine, you will realize how special this place really is. A real find. The result is a place where, as Elise said one night, travelers, not tourists, come to experience true Jamaican culture, an amazing culinary experience and awesome dinner conversations!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Property: The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast
Address: White River Estates, Ocho Rios Caribbean, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Blue House Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Ocho Rios Jamaica offers all the intimacy and charm of a small boutique hotel at an affordable cost. Here's your chance to experience REAL JAMAICA in a cozy, elegant guest house with mouth-watering cuisine and genial, hospitable hosts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Blue House Hotel Ocho Rios
The Blue House Boutique Bed & Breakfast Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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