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“Beauty on the quiet side of Jamaica”

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Frenchman's Cove Resort
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Port Antonio
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Amazing views, amazing values for the Villas, gorgeous property, and an amazing beach.

The grounds are beautiful and spread out - you could have a football game in the open area that the east villa drive passes. There is a path along the bluff with beautiful views of the waves breaking against the dark rocks, just about 20 feet from our patio. Many places to walk about here. The great house is up the hill behind the reservation office, and the villas are strung out along the bluffs to the front, sea side, of the office, with the beach in the middle of the villas.

And that beach, which is listed as an attraction of it's own here on Travelocity - folks pay just to come to the beach. Those rocky bluffs have a 30 foot break in them protecting a 100 foot wide cove with a sandy beach. You can walk out to the opening and let the breakers knock you around - it's about 5 foot deep there but that varies as the sandy bottom is carved up by the waves, and those waves can add/subtract 2 feet too! Or relax more in the middle of the cove where the waves have spread way out. Then chill on the beach on one of the wooden lounges with a nice drink on your matching beach table. It's all great.

Know that Frenchman's Cove is not an All-In-One, no phone or TV in the villas (and some with no wi-fi) and it is showing it's age with some of the doorwalls frozen and not ant-proof. No wifi in some of the villas, but if you have one of those you can connect at the beach, the beach restaurant, the main house (where breakfast is served), or sit under a palm somewhere. We were looking for wi-fi but after seeing the villa (#15) we just didn't care about that - at least 100 feet from the neighboring villas with flowering bushes providing even more privacy, massive stoneworked living/dining area, beautifully tiled throughout, nice kitchen, large dressing area, sunken tub/shower, and massive bedroom with a nice sitting area.

The negatives did not bother us at all. We grabbed burgers at Howie's one night, brought 'em back and had them on our patio, watching the speedy Jamaican fireflys zip around. The beach restaurant has a short menu, but what they offered was very good. Breakfast at the main house was buffet style, well staffed, with breads, rolls, cheeses, and a wide selection of fresh fruits.

Frenchman's cove was THE place 30-40 years ago, the first all-in-one ever, and the vacation choice of princes and rock stars. She's showing her age, but she's still a gem.

Room Tip: We loved Villa 15, but if internet is a must get a villa nearer to the beach or main house and check...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KenJ5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 - 86 of 127 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2012

I want to give this hotel more than a 4 star so badly! The atmosphere is idyllic. The grounds an absolute FEAST for the eyes. There are fireflies at night!!! The beach is picture perfect and just beautiful. And, we had dinner one night at the beachside restaurant and the jerk chicken was some of the most flavorful and juicy, I have ever eaten and quite affordable. Excellent.

The room itself was nice and clean, each and every day. The wireless worked without fail (we were in the Great House) in the room with a nice strong connection. The included breakfast was more than enough, with coffee, fresh fruits (great bananas!!), toast...

There were just a couple of things that were lacking. The first night, the water was shut off in the middle of the night. The next morning, we had to walk downstairs to use the public washrooms. Not good. The other thing is that the hot water gets shut off mid-afternoon. When you come back from a day at the beach, there is no hot water. This was for the duration of our trip. Really disappointing. The other thing was that there was not a tv or a phone in the room - which was ok. But there was also no alarm clock. I'm sure for many people this would not be a problem but for us - a little disconcerting. The day we were to leave we had and early flight and were using the sunrise as a time catcher!

Like I said, even with the quirks, we would definitely go back. The property is breath taking and Port Antonio is a hidden gem in Jamaica.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ClementineSomewhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2012

In common with many reviewers, the enormous beautiful landscaped grounds, the peace and quiet, the spaciousness of each secluded villa, the virtually private beautiful beach were all just about perfect. Equally, however, the villas do need renovation - not to make them over glam, just to have new windows, upgraded bathrooms, and softened a little with a rug or two, and a few paintings or wall hangings. We liked the lack of television, but there could maybe be a DVD for the occasional bad weather or evening in? Breakfasts were OK, in a lovely semi open setting - it would be good to have a publicised option of a cooked Jamaican breakfast. (We managed to order one, which was excellent, but seemingly had to be made offsite and brought in.) The beach bar could also be renovated and brightened up a bit. It's a shame there are no proper restaurant facilities on site - seemingly the owner doesn't want to take business away from the local establishments, but he would presumably employ locals on site anyway and could source all the ingredients locally too. Whilst there are places to eat nearby, none are walking distance. Staff were friendly and helpful. The place really grows on you - if you want peace and quiet, privacy, sea views, an excellent beach, great value, not too worried about 100% luxury, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Each villas is different - look at the plan on the website to see where they are. We'd definitel...
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Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Rosemary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

I love Frenchman's Cove, the gardens and landscape is beautiful and tranquil. The private beach is beautiful. The staff was lovely and the history of the place was very interesting. I like the idea of separate houses for privacy and relaxation, even without TV's! But the houses needed much renovations! With some much needed upgrades I'm sure that it would bring it back to the days of the rich and famous playground.

Room Tip: WiFi is available so you can bring your electronics. I brought my little music box that I could pla...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank prettygirlNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

I have been coming to Frenchman´s Cove for many years now and it always feels like I am coming home. If you want luxury, forget it. This is just heaven. Granted there are some things lacking, villas need upgrading but then I think it would lose all it´s charm. Staff are very helpful. The breakfasts are delicious, fresh fruit, bread, eggs, and delicious Blue Mountain Coffee. Lunch can be eaten at the beach bar although I must admit after a few weeks it gets a bit boring. Needs to be changed on a regular basis. Unfortunately a lot of the good eating places in the area have closed down and it makes eating out in the evening a little difficult. Hopefully things will improve in the future. Please don´t miss a delightful experience. Do visit Frenchman´s Cove. It really is quite a famous place and was excellent in the past with many celebrities, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, the Beatles, to name but a few who have stayed there. Many films have also been done on it´s wonderful beach, Lord of the Flies and Knight and Day just two years ago was filmed here. Beach is wonderful as well. Enjoy!

Room Tip: The Great House has twin rooms all en suite. There are also two suites which have a sitting room...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LouiseInnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2012

I vacationed at Frenchman's Cove Resort in June 2011 and we loved every single minute of our experience.
We stayed at the Resort in Villa #3, it was very intimate, romantic and secluded. We were able to explore the entire property during our 5 night stay and still didn't see it all. The River flows through the property, which is amazing. The staff's service was impeccable, gracious and unobtrusive. The resort set up our driver for us for the week, making it so simple to travel into Port Antonio to shop and walk along the Harbor and even set up a private shopping experience that allowed us to buy all of our trinkets through one man and helped us haggle too! We floated the Rio Grande, they made our reservations for Anna Banana's.
If you are considering a family trip, destination wedding, corporate retreat or seminar, or event just time to exhale, this is the place to stay!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the Villas that surround the property. We stayed in Villa #3 and loved it but we were able...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank traciontheriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2011

Let me start off by saying that Frenchmans Cove Resort is not for everyone...if you want to be catered to, pampered, people waiting on you hand and foot, and want spotless accomodations, this place is NOT for you. However, if you enjoy the real Jamaica, away from the hustle and bustle of the north coast, and if you are content with decent rooms/villas in one of the most beautiful beach settings, then this place is great. I've stayed here twice, and I've visited the beach without spending the night, numerous times. The place was built in the 60's and once was very fancy and lavish. Those days are gone now, and though the villas are not new anymore, they have been partially refurbished and are quite sufficient for a nice vacation. Let's face it, with the beautiful, white-sand beach just steps away from your villa, who spends a lot of time indoors anyway?! The grounds are lovely...you are in a lush, tropical setting with a fresh-water river running thru the property...one can easily lounge there and spend an afternoon, without ever going on the beach. The beach itself is a beautiful cove, white sand, no sharp drops, no rocks in the water....the water is warm with little slightly cooler patches from the fresh water river, which meets the ocean right there. There is a cute sit-down restaurant on the beach with very reasonable prices. In a seperate building, there are changing rooms with toilets, showers, etc. It is possible to also have your meal on the beach. TIP: it does take about an hour for the food to arrive once you place your order, so just keep that in mind...you may want to order when you get there, then frolic around on the beach until the food is ready. The waiters will find you and bring your meal to you. Again, this is not a 5-star restaurant with waiters beckoning your every call....it's a simple establishment and if you have a nice, laid-back attitude, you will enjoy being here and eating here. The food is always good and the waiters have always been kind to us...it also depends on the attitude YOU display when dealing with the restaurant and hotel staff...a little kindness and a smile will get you much further, than a sour face with a "what's taking so long" look on your face.Keep in mind that you are not at home, you are on a Caribbean island, where the concept of time is a little different...so just let down your hair, go with the flow, be happy and all will be good! Frenchmans Cove Resort is a beautiful property with a nice "Old Hollywood" feel to it. You can tell that this place was once for the rich and glamorous. I can't wait to come back, I love it here!

Room Tip: the villas are all on cliffs, overlooking the sea or the beautiful property. The rooms in the Great...
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  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank GermaicanSpiceGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Frenchman's Cove Resort

Address: Port Antonio, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Port Antonio
Hotel Class:3 star — Frenchman's Cove Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Frenchman`s Cove Hotel Port Antonio
Frenchmans Cove Hotel
Frenchman's Cove Resort Jamaica/Port Antonio

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