I only been to Port Antonio once and that was well over 15 years ago so I had no idea where to stay. We were driving around looking for a hotel, some of the places were too expensive, some were full. We stopped near by Blue Lagoon to chat with a rastaman. We trusted he'd know whats up in Port Antonio. He jumped in the car with us and showed us to the Crest Hotel.
So by now you are wondering how we just have a guy jump in the car and trust to be safe. I've been to Jamaica lots of times and I know how to flex, also I was with our Jamaican driver and my Jamaican/Canadian boyfriend. We were touring the island for a couple weeks in January 2010. Previously, I spent alot of time in Kingston and I say if you can make it in Kingston you can make it anywhere in Jamaica ;-)
As for the hotel:
For the area, it's a huge high rise hotel (but seemed empty) & private villas on a large property within a few minutes walk to Winifred beach. I negotiated a deal with the receptionist. It worked out to about $60 or $70 a night. We stayed for 3 nights. The rooms in the tower were clean and really spacious. Actually huge. Beautiful view of the mountain side and the ocean.
There was a ton of peacocks on the property. They were beautiful. Sometimes 2 of them perched on the balcony railings just hanging around for hours.
Overall the place was nice and quiet, the staff was a bit off the wall: ie: we ordered a couple fish dinners for room service 1 evening. The food was good. Yardie style, red snapper, crackers, & vegies. We were up late that evening, just the 2 of us having a nice time, chilling & talking, we went to sleep real late, probably 3 or 4 in the morning. At 9 am while sound asleep there was several loud knocks on our door. Startled I jumped out of bed. The stern banging on the door sounded like the police. I was confused having just woke up, I went to the door asked who it was...the male voice behind the door asked if we were finished with our plates.
I was freaked out I couldnt believe that that we just got woken up by the staff who wanted to collect the plates and thought it would be good to wake us up. We werent going anywhere yet, we paid for our room up front and certainly we weren't gonna steel their dishes.
This event kind of set the tone for the day as I was really irritated and in a bad mood. That day we had planned to go rafting on the Rio Grande and our Rastaman was coming for us at 11.
We had arranged for him to raft us for $60US. We took a taxi to downtown Port Antonio and then another taxi up the road along the river. The raft ride was most beautiful & peaceful, about 2 hours, down the river Rio Grande. The Rastaman (Im sorry I can't remember his name) was most skillful navigating the river. He said he'd been doing it for over 20 years. I believe him. He took us through some corners, turns, swirls & swifts with no problem.
We stopped midway on the river by the rocks. There was 1 vendor in the middle of nowwhere really..we got a couple beers and relaxed on the rock beach for a few minutes. Even though the sun was behind the clouds it was still hot & sticky. After the raft we took a taxi to downtown, got some food, walked around by the Errol Flynn docks, then went on to Blue Lagoon.
The Rastaman was most kind. He took pics for us and didnt rush us at all. He was most insightful about everything Port Antonio as that's his hood all his life.
Back to the hotel: when we came back from our day tripping our room wasn't cleaned. I was irked. I asked if they would send somebody up, they said yes but nobody ever came. After a couple of hours they said we could just move to the adjacent room which was clean & made up. I really didnt feel like doing that but it was just over through the connecting door and to eliminate any further stress I agreed. Afterall we were living out of our suitcases so we just dragged them over to the next room.
Jamaica no problem.
The next day the staff wasnt too friendly though. When I went down to get my morning coffee wearing a bikini top & a wrap, they told me I couldnt come into the restaurant part without a shirt, even though no other custormer were anywhere to be found. Ok now I thought. I managed to persuade them to give my coffee and let me go back up to my room.
It was Saturday we were going back to Kingston. We were getting ready to leave, there was some sort of prayer thingy going on just below the hotel at the main road. I dont know if this is part of the hotel property but you sure could hear it. Church people singing for something like 3 hours.
We were waiting for our driver, even though the hotel seemed empty (We did not see any other guests the whole 3 days we were there), they asked us to wait downstairs, anotherwords check out. Our driver got lost coming from Kingston, we waited for 3 hours just sitting around the front of the hotel.
This place is a true gem of a hotel except for the staff and obviously the marketing department.
- Also Known As:
- Jamaica Crest Hotel Port Antonio