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“Beautifully Strange”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Kanopi House

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Kanopi House
Certificate of Excellence
USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautifully Strange”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2010

We had a nice time at Kanopi House but it was not what we expected at all. Firstly, the rooms are gorgeous, we loved our 'treehouse'. Most of my rating is for the design of the actual rooms and their location and views. They were spectacular. Waking up in the jungle was amazing. unfortunately everything else was sub-par. Note that this place is set up more like a bed-and-breakfast. You will have shared meals with the other guests, and the timing of the meals is at the mercy of the Jamaicans and dependent on their moods. We had nights where dinner was not served until 10pm and we were starving. There was a couple of days where there was no water left and we had to boil our own in our room. There are only a few kayaks and if you dont have a car then you are stuck on the remote property/in your room. I would recommend that you bring watershoes as there is a good chance of stepping on sea urchins. I would also recommend hiring a car and then you would have the option of eating your meals in any of the nearby restaurants or nearby beach shacks/jerk chicken joints. We didnt feel that the price we paid was returned in service and the cost of the inclusive meals was definitely not value for money. There was a day when we turned up for lunch at 1pm and were told the next meal was 'Dinner' and after asking again only then were we reluctantly served lunch.
I had some suspicions about this place before we booked it as we couldnt find much information on Kanopi online even though it had been opened for 2 years and it turns out that from the beginning of 2010 was the first time it has been open to 'real' guests and not just to friends-of-the-owners. Perhaps they will work out the kinks this year I hope as it really is a beautiful and unique place to stay with alot of potential. Overall though, we had a nice time and would consider coming back for the beauty of the location and the 'treehouses'. One other important thing to note is that Kanopi is a harrowing almost-3-hour drive from the nearest airport on the worst roads imaginable.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Redothead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2009

Just back from the most amazing trip staying in the tree-houses in Kanopi house,Jamaica,
waking up in the high 4 poster bed in almond house,with the front wall doors open wide to reveal the jungle treetops,blue lagoon glittering below.My stresses not only melted away,i forgot i had any! my friends and i were catered to in our every need by the warm friendly staff,swimming the lagoon,snorkelling the reef,bbq's,canoeing out on the lagoon at night to see the magical phosphorescence in the water.trips to hidden waterfalls,breathtaking Frenchman's cove beach.
this is the place to relax,in the lounge you feel completely at home,reclining on the luxurious day beds,taking in the stunning view of the caribbean ocean,helping yourself to a fully stocked fridge,homecooked food appearing before you even realised how hungry you were! Kanopi the ecologically sound resort,the luxurious treehouses all blend into the jungle,
the weather was glorious all week,but never too hot at kanopi due to the dappled shade from the jungle trees...i cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank mikkibless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sugabear
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2009

After a 3 day stay at Kanopi House I was sad to have to leave! The grounds are lush and beautiful. The treehouses are stunning and rustic all in one. But the best part of the stay was the staff. Carla and Michael made my stay wonderful and lots of fun.

The place is nice for a solo traveller like me because you get the chance to meet some wonderful guests. However, if you are planning a honeymoon or romantic retreat this place will be your slice of heaven on earth. Beautiful, peaceful and remote...perfect place to relax and rejuvenate in Jamaica.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank sugabear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2009

We had never been to Jamaica due to the concern that the only option was to stay in a large, impersonal resort where you get no feel for the people or culture of the country. But when we decided to run away and get married in secret, we found that Jamaica was the most convenient place for such a plan. So began the research on how to make this trip one that would suit our style... and wow, did we ever find it in Kanopi House!

First off, my initial call resulted in an hour's discussion with Jackie in the office about the hotel and its history, the activities in the area, and even suggestions about the rest of the country. When I mentioned that we wanted to get married while we were there, I think Jackie was even more enthusiastic than I was about it! Over the next weeks he put everything together as though he were a professional wedding planner, and we knew that we were in good hands. Despite our high expectations, upon arrival we were surprised to find that the place and its staff exceeded them all, and that it only got better over the next 4 days we were there.

It is hard to describe this as a hotel- the use of "House" in the name seems to sum it up more accurately. When we arrived we were met at the car (driven by an awesome Kingston local named Mickey, arranged by Jackie. We highly recommend that you request him to drive you around!) and escorted to the "Living Room" by Carla, the best host you could ever ask for. This is the common area of the grounds, and like all of the rooms, it is all wood with high beams and completely open and surrounded by the jungle. Best of all, it has a spectacular view of the sea and the sunset. We relaxed there with another couple and enjoyed the view and the conversation until we were escorted to our gorgeous "tree house", Spanish Elm.

Spanish Elm is one of the "rooms" offered at Kanopi. I write the word room with quotation marks because it is more like a large studio apartment than a room. The first half of it consists of a large sitting area with day bed, lounge chair and a small dining table, and just off of this area is a small kitchen stocked with snacks, teas and coffees. The rest of the room is devoted to the gorgeous, hand-carved, raised 4-poster king bed, as well as a seating area with Bose IPod dock. The bathroom is beautiful as well, with a huge shower and shower head and plenty of hot water with good pressure. Everything in the room is classy, well-made, comfortable and perfectly suited to each other as well as to the jungle environment.

Which takes me to the surroundings. Jackie once described the place to me as "jungle chic", which is exactly what it is! The rooms are built into the trees (apparently no trees on the property were cut down in the construction of the place), and their design involves wrap-around open windows that make you feel like you are sleeping right in the middle of the jungle (in the most comfortable bed ever!). While you can close the shutters and turn on the AC, we chose to leave everything wide open and instead utilize the ceiling fans and the mosquito coil and really experience nature. All night you can hear the chirping of insects, frogs and other creatures, as well as the rustling of the trees and lush foliage. Each night we were there included a gorgeous tropical thunderstorm that whipped around us as we were snuggled comfortably in bed, watching the fire flies blinking like little stars high in the rafters above us. Again, you have the option of closing up the room to avoid all this nature, but we found this to be one of the best aspects of staying at Kanopi!

The grounds of Kanopi are built onto a hill that leads down to the Blue Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. Winding little cement paths take you all over the property, where bananas grow, the trees are huge and lush with green leaves and flowers, and thick vines hang everywhere. There is no sandy beach, but instead a rocky area with chairs and kayaks that you can paddle around to explore the lagoon, San San beach, and Monkey Island. Because the area is protected by a reef it is very easy to kayak, even if you have no experience. There is a path along the water with several different options for entering the water for a swim, and there are local guys with canoes and boats who are eager to take you to other beaches in the area. The Blue Lagoon is very special- with its mix of fresh and salt water it is extremely refreshing and always changing colors. Watch how the mix of waters has a psychedelic effect when you move your arms and legs through it. There is a little platform in the lagoon where you can "dock" your kayak and lay in the sun or swim. We highly recommend that you get Carla's beautiful little boys to show you how to jump out of the almond tree there.

While the setting and the design of Kanopi are absolutely stunning, the place would not be as special as it is without the incredible staff. From Jackie to Carla to Elaine and Otis, everyone treated us like family and went out of their way to make sure that we not only enjoyed our stay at Kanopi, but that we also got to see and understand Jamaica on a level that you could never experience at a large resort or hotel. They will cook you incredible local meals, recommend places to eat and things to do, and they will do their best to take care of anything you need. We could not have had a more perfect wedding, and vacation, without them!

I would not recommend Kanopi for those who are looking for the experience of the typical Jamaican beach resort. It is a small, intimate and unique place, perfect for those who want quality accommodations that incorporate the culture and nature of Jamaica. You can be completely isolated from everyone and hide away the entire time you are there, or you can interact with the staff and (few) other guests and explore the amazing parish of Portland. It is entirely up to you, but rest assured that whatever you want, the staff at Kanopi will make sure it happens!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank skooba28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2009

We stayed at Kanopi House for 3 nights in July and it was truly paradise. This was our first visit to Portland and we loved this side of the island. Kanopi House is just an amazing beautiful place. We stayed in Spanish Elm and it was just incredible. It is one of 6 or 7 Treehouses as they call them. All of the Treehouses are set and tucked away in different spots on the property so each is very private and you have the feeling that the place is all your own. Each is beautifully furnished with handmade furniture and art by local artisans and has such a warm and comfortable feeling. Also each Treehouse has their own balcony or outside living area with comfortable lounge seats. You are surrounded by the most beautiful lush vegetation and the whole property is so well maintained. We did have breakfast each morning and it was very good. You have a choice between a traditional type American or Jamaican meal. One day we did have all 3 meals at Kanopi each being excellent. The location of this property can't be beat as it sits on the Blue Lagoon and is by far the most beautiful spot we have stayed in Jamaica. We used the canoe's that are provided and went out everywhere... San San, Monkey Island, the reef and all around the lagoon. We met a local fisherman and he took us to Winnifred Beach and Dragon's Bay. There is a path you can take through the jungle to Winnifred Beach which is a ways but we did not try that. There really is a lot to do and see in the area. The hostess there can take care of anything you may need or want. If interested she will set up any tours or arrange taxi service for you. One evening she called a taxi to go to Boston Jerk and pick up some chicken for us and bring it back to Kanopi....now that's service! It is a hike up and down the steps to the Lagoon but beauty surrounds and each day we saw something new. The staff goes above and beyond here to make sure your stay is comfortable and your needs are met. We really can't say enough about Kanopi House... it's just a piece of Heaven and just a peaceful and remarkable place to relax and have fun.

Kanopi House is now our #1 spot in Jamaica!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank WillowsWay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2009

I decided at the last minute to tag along with a few friends who'd booked this trip - was definitely one of the best things I've done all year. Seriously special place. The beauty of it really lies in the fact that it doesn't feel like a hotel/resort at all, more like a friend's personal retreat that you happen to be lucky enough to've been invited to for a soul-awakening window into "real" Jamaica (so far from the boring pearly white gated resorts that had always come to mind when thinking of the island in the past...shame on me). Its private blue lagoon is some of the most magical swimming imaginable with a layer of fresh water on top of the sea for a strangely dreamy cooling effect. The food was amazing too - again, why on earth did I always think Jamaica was just Jerk Chicken and goat? Got totally hooked on local specialties like Ackee (sp?) and salt cod, though they'll grill you lobster (or do 100% vegan!) for every meal if that's what you want. Such a fun sweet staff too. The whole experience was an absolute dream. Can't wait to go back. PS Most definitely worth the trek from Kingston too, which was my major hesitatation at first.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank talkingbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2009

I stayed at Kanopi House with a group of friends in May 2009.
Having never travelled to Jamaica, my initial reservations were soon forgotten on arriving at this magical 6 acre retreat set in the lush tropical jungle. From the perfectly built and stylishly designed tree houses that served as our accommodation and the crystal clear blue lagoon where we swam every morning, to the friendly staff and delicious food and fine wines we were served everyday, it was absolute paradise.
Our days were spent either relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches surrounding Kanopi or being more adventurous, rafting down the Rio Grande and taking in the phenomenally breathtaking scenery.
Whilst we didn’t manage to get a deal, at $5,000 per night for 10 we thought this represented very good value, especially as it included incredible food and fine wines.
I would definitely recommend Kanopi House for those looking for an unforgettable holiday.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MrSykesDJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kanopi House

Property: 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 24 Specialty Lodging in Port Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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