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“The Educated Traveler's Paradise”
Review of Kanopi House

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Kanopi House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 18, 2011

If you can go with the flow, an elegant and transformative experience awaits you here.

Once a vacation home to a wealthy family, it retains an intimate, elegant yet casual feel. But let's be clear: it's a gorgeous series of tree houses built with thoughtfulness and care on the edge of a JUNGLE, two and a half hours (without traffic) hours from Manley airport, four hours from Kingston, and the roads and images of poverty are often unforgiving.

The property is gorgeous. Each house has it's own small kitchenette and bathroom, as well as a living area. They are all separated from each other so you have a sense of privacy. We mostly kept our windows and doors open, which took us some time to get used to, being New Yorkers.

If you are adventurous and savor the sound of a storm on the leaves of a banana tree while firebugs light up the sky outside the open doors of your room, you will love it. If you want to be able to pick up the house phone (there are none) or flip through cable shows on TV (none) you will probably be better served at a resort where there is a pool (none) and the usual fare.

That said, you would miss the exquisite care of the manager Carla. She was beyond reproach. Helpful, funny, full of joy and kindness and an AMAZING Jamaican cook. Meeting her made me feel as if I got to know about the real spirit of Jamaica even though we rarely strayed from the property.

If you have had enough of the world, need a break, can handle a fair bit of adventure, and can go with the flow, this property will not disappoint. It has a very special magic all it's own.

Room Tip: Remember, most rooms have a jungle view, but the water is very close. Ask if you want a water view...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Blueglitterfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 - 83 of 104 reviews

Reviewed November 4, 2011

I booked and confirmed a booking for the night of Tuesday 11th October at the rate of $240. She confirmed that payment had been taken from my boyfriend's card by email at the time of booking. On Tuesday morning we set out from Ocho Rios to Port Antonio which is about an hour and a half drive.

The road to the hotel was apparently damaged in recent rain, however we attempted it in our rental which was a Toyota Yaris. In the attempt to get up the hill, we got a flat tyre and reversed down the hill as it had proved impossible in that type of car. We then decided to walk up the hill to the property which we did and found the reception cabin. We called out several times and we both even managed to use the restroom and still saw no sign of anyone.

We then returned to the car to proceed with changing the tyre ourselves at which point a lady came along from the direction of the main road. I explained what had happened and she very abruptly said "well all other cars make it up there". She then phoned a person called Michael and let me speak to him. I explained our predicament and he even agreed with me that that kind of car wouldn't make it up the hill. Due to the lack of any reception and the issue with the car, I then asked if we could have a refund as there was no way of us actually getting up to the property. Michael said that he didn't think that wouldn't be a problem and that he would have to speak to the office and he would phone back.

We then proceeded to deal with the flat tyre and the fair lady then sent down a gentleman named Buxton, who apologised and said he had been trying to fix the road a little by placing rocks in some of the potholes etc, but that he hadn't had a chance to do much. He helped my boyfriend with the tyre while I went up to the reception to speak to the lady. I explained to her that I was just awaiting confirmation from Michael that we would get a refund and she said quite off handedly that she didn't know if that would be possible as money had already been spent! She tried calling Michael again and there was no answer so she gave me his contact numbers and we returned to Ocho Rios very disappointed as we were so looking forward to staying at your property as had heard great things and blue lagoon is one of my favorite places in Jamaica.

I phoned Michael on Wednesday 12th oct in the morning and he confirmed that the refund was going to be processed that day but they may be a deduction for the housekeeper. To be honest, I thought that was a bit out of line, but I went with it as he said the charge was about $12 US. Michael said that I would get an email confirming the refund on Wednesday also. My boyfriend and I are now in England and there has been no refund to his card and I have not received an email as Michael had promised.

I have tried contacting Michael many times and to no avail and it is now 4th Nov.

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am. I am a Jamaican currently living in England and was visiting with my boyfriend and this was his first trip to Jamaica. I have emailed the owner of the property and still we have not been refunded. I feel that our money has been stolen as we tried our best to stay and arrived on time and there was no where for us to park and no offer of assistance with parking securely and taking luggage to the room.

For the prices they charge, there are many other beautiful properties in Jamaica to stay at and they actually know the meaning of customer service!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Kris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

Our experience at Kanopi House was world class!
Jungle meets the ocean with amazing service and fabulous eco-luxury cottages!
The attractive all wooden cottages are scattered across an impressive rain forest property which throws itself into the world famous Blue Lagoon.
Absolutely breathtaking!
Kanopi House is definitely one of the Caribbean's best kept secrets!
A winning combination of luxury, nature, service, relaxation and intimacy!

Adrien Lemaire

Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
4  Thank Adrien L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2011

We arrived at Kanopi House via a 5 hour trip across the island from Treasure Beach ($500-). Our driver Micke (of Kanopi House), was fabulous answering all our questions and stopping for Red Stripes when our supply ran low. At the gate of the property, we were greeted by Boxer, who took our bags up to our house, Spanish Elm, with a smile. The house was beautiful and clean with two rooms, a bath, and a fabulous outdoor shower from which you can view the canopy and hear the waves crashing below. There was also an ice box which was stocked with snacks, a toaster oven, and fixings for coffee/tea. There are beautiful walkways all around the property and the lagoon is everything they say - spectacular! Kayaking was easy and sitting in the chairs on the raft, sipping champagne, is definitely a memory we will hold on to. The only snafu on this regard was when a young couple rented the house above ours and started playing the stereo loud - it didn't match the serenity of the jungle and waves...
Of course, one of the highlights of the visit was spending time with our hostesses Carla and her daughter Carmen. What a delight - they made us feel right at home. Every morning they were ready to go with fresh press-pot and breakfast. For meals, we could just tell them what and when - everything we ate was delicious and had local, authentic flavor. They took care of all our needs with an ease that made it feel like our requests were no problem at all. We would go back here just to hang with all of these wonderful people!!
Our trip to Port Antonio was a delight - it was a very safe town and you could really get a feel for the true Jamaica as opposed to spending time in a resort or in Kingston. We also spent a day at Winifred Beach, a lovely and small beach with food and drink available. Long Bay was also lovely and we had food from local shacks including jerk chicken from the infamous Boston Bay jerk shacks.
Last, ONE of our best meals was at Dickie's. A rickety restaurant perched on a cliff with plywood walls. The tables, however, were beautifully set with china and all the pieces of a traditional place setting. And the food was outstanding. However, they do not have wine so be prepared to bring your own beverage if you want alcohol other than Red Stripe.
The only downside of the trip (aside from leaving) was transportation - we didn't rent a car and have no regrets about that due to the right hand drive, so we either had to take a taxi (expensive) or the local bus - that was a great adventure but Carla and Carmen showed us the ropes by accompanying us and we were good to go. Their constant efforts and attention to our needs definitely made the distance and cost worth it! Thank you!!

Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Runner4life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2011

We stayed for 7 nights and had a wonderful time. We were looking for romance, privacy and a nice city break; it was all laid out there for us. The place is secluded and its secret is well kept. It's a gem in the jungle with wonderful attention from the staff, good food, nice things to see and do, whether it was to kayak to Monkey island at sunset, or venture in the Blue Mountains to drink one of the rarest coffee in the world, we felt lucky and priviledged. It was so romantic we told everyone it was our honey moon. A must see place.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Muriel075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

I'll preface this review by saying Kanopi House may not be for everyone. For most, however, this will be an incredible vacation you will not soon forget.

Overview:
Kanopi House is tucked away in one of the most pristine locations you'll ever see. The blue lagoon, the Mediterranean, the jungle... it's a fantastic combination one usually only sees in movies (in fact, Errol Flynn lived nearby and several movies including Cocktail and Blue Lagoon were filmed here). The view from the main lodge is breath-taking to say the least and the six bungalows feature decks that overlook the rain forest as well. The treehouses are comfortable and designed for relaxation. A small kitchen,bathroom (some houses contain outdoor showers) and living room complete each unit. The beds and chairs are extremely comfy and the wall-to-wall shutters and French doors provide for a unique experience with nature.

Positives:
1. The staff - Carla, Boxer and the rest of the small staff are extremely helpful and interested in sharing their beloved Jamaica with you. Carla is a wonderful cook and accompanies you for adventures into town, or to other activities like a visit to Reach Falls. She is truly one-of-a-kind and a wonderful person. For Valentine's Day, she baked us a cake in the shape of a heart... a much-appreciated gesture.
2. The real Jamaica - Kanopi is located off the beaten path. Port Antonio is not a resort town like Montego Bay, thus providing the opportunity to see this relaxed culture at its very best. Bumpy roads, unbelievably happy and friendly people, playing dominoes with locals and eating real jerk chicken from a roadside shack are experiences you won't get at an all-exclusive.
3. Sustainable living - The linens are washed and dried without utilizing chemicals that may harm the environment, the resort was built within the jungle without tearing down trees and all of the wonderful food is prepared with local ingredients.
4.

Negatives:
1. No beach - This is the most glaring issue with Kanopi. One can easily grab a kayak and paddle out to Monkey Island (very small beach without chairs), or to San San Beach ($5 per person), but Kanopi should clear out a small area of their land and provide this amenity to guests.
2. The weather - Because it is located in the rain forest, Kanopi receives a fair amount of rain / overcast weather. It was always 80-85 when we were there, but we got extremely unlucky and barely saw any sun the week we stayed. With all the moisture and humidity, towels, shirts, etc. never seem to dry either.
3. Overall value - Kanopi is an expensive place to stay and I can't recommend it enough, but without a true beach, internet service, a stocked bar in your treehouse and refills on snacks, it should be priced a little lower. At times we felt a little "nickel and dimed," but we still enjoyed our stay immensely.

Helpful hints:
1. Bring cash. All of the additional activities and nearly all restaurants/stores do not accept credit cards.
2. Remember you're staying in the jungle. Although each bungalow is beautifully crafted, this isn't the Ritz with every available modern amenity. Open up your French doors and enjoy the sites, smells and sounds of this wonderful paradise. Sure there are a few bugs and critters, but you're in the wild... what do you expect!?! We left our room open to the wild every day for a week and only saw three bugs (2 small beetles and a walking stick).
3. The drive to Kanopi is an adventure. Jamaica is an extremely poor nation and the roads are in terrible shape. With a positive attitude and knowing that your drive will be 3 (from Kingston) or 4 (from Montego Bay) hours to Kanopi, enjoy the trip as Mickey or Michael give you a tour of the island and culture on your way to paradise.

Who is Kanopi for?
If you are looking for an adventure, want to experience a beautiful culture, love nature and enjoy trying new things, then Kanopi is for you. Carla will take wonderful care of you and you will truly feel like you're living in paradise. Kanopi is not just a place to sleep, it is an all-inclusive cultural experience.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank JoshJWilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2010

The pictures on website do not capture the true beauty of vibe of Kanopi House. I would recommend to everyone I know, except petty, bitter tourists like the reviewer who ranted about cockroaches. The rooms are always cleaned, and our room in particular Upper Deck was immaculate.

If traveling from Norman Manley airport to Port Antonio, be prepared to travel on rocky and windy terrain for about 3 hours. Very beautiful and interesting though, so soak it all in. When we arrived, we totally had a "where the hell am i?" moment. It was truly a jungle paradise. The best of both worlds really; the mountainous, green terrain which also sits on the gorgeous Blue Lagoon.

The staff is sincerely friendly and helpful. Karla, Boxer in particular made our trip the best.

I loved our room. Wooden floors, glass windows facing the jungle (no one can see inside) , comfortable wooden furniture, tropical flowers.

The moment that defined our trip, was when we woke up groggy, looked around us, then looked at each other and said simultaneously "This is paradise"

Fantastic. The food amenities could be improved though, and be more consistent - if they define their service as all inclusive.

Kanopi House is not for you, if you are a tight a$s. Yes its more relaxed than a hotel chain, but that makes it part of the great experience you will have there. Very therapeutic.

Make sure to leave a tip for the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank natsilicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kanopi House

Address: | Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Port Antonio
Price Range: $298 - $599 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away in the folds of the eco-friendly zone of Portland, where the shoreline hugs the sea and the nights glow as much as the days, stands the emblem of respite, relaxation and all things in between. It sits snugly among the trees, embraces the ideally cool temperatures and complements the natural habitat. It offers a peacefully endowed atmosphere, not uncommon to truly tranquil scenes and all those who enter therein can claim its soothing and rejuvenating powers. Kanopi House was created as the ideal getaway location and is unique since it offers no disturbance of its natural environments. Its structure also adds to its modern day charm and it is one with nature. Kanopi House features a certain inexplicable charisma which is further intensified by a secluded cove, blue lagoon, coral reef, surrounding rainforest and its one of a kind 'tree houses'. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kanopi House Hotel Port Antonio
Kanopi House Jamaica/Port Antonio

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