We had the privilege of staying in the Heavenly Suite at Gingerbread Hill in October of 2010. Looking at the current reviews of the property, not much has changed. We wanted an "off the beaten path" holiday in a beautiful place, and Montserrat and the Gingerbread Hill delivered.
The reservations process was easy, emailing with Clover and Kristina. I had provided my flight details, and David picked us up at the airport. He recognized us right away. We were later told that we were two of the five tourists on the island at the time (I think scientists outnumbered tourists about 4 to 1 at the time). David assisted us with some driving paperwork, and stopped in for groceries and a quick bite at John's shack before taking us "home."
The Heavenly Suite met our expectations and is appropriately named. It is airy, clean and has a patio and rooftop that has some of the nicest views we have experienced. There is a kitchen, living room and bedroom, as well as outside patio/dining area and upstairs / rooftop terrace. even though we were traveling heavy, there was ample room for our bags.
We rented the car and used it for the week. Driving around the island was not difficult (though I did have experience driving on the left).
The bed was very comfortable, and windows right above it were a special treat. We would sleep with the windows open, which was scary at first, but WOW. We did get a bit of the rooster noise that others have spoke of, but you get used to it after the 2nd or 3rd night. And once when they did wake me up at 3am, I looked out the window and had to awaken my wife, because the stars were sooo beautiful. No moon and a black sky yielded more stars than I have ever seen, all from the comfort of bed.
The bathroom was sufficient. It is by no means the Amanpuri, but the shower worked and had a small window. Once during our stay we did not have hot water, but David was quick to address this and we got it back very quickly.
An avid diver, I dove with Green Monkey almost daily during our weeklong stay. Often times I was the only diver but Troy still ran the trips. A few times I was joined by a scientist who happened to be there. We took the Plymouth boat trip which was eye opening. The diving in Montserrat was great on good days, and terrible on bad days. The current and wind direction have a lot to do with the visibility, as the ash clouds up the water. On the good days, the diving was some of the best I have done in the area.
We did the Island tour with Sunny which was superb and highly recommended. We also did a hike with a local guide, which was also great, though his name eludes me at the moment.
We made use of the cash machine on island which gave us a reasonable exchange rate and easy access to cash.
For eating, my favorite place was the Gourmet Gardens, though some might consider it "touristy" (if there is such a thing on Montserrat) and a bit pricey. Chef/owner Mariet was there each time and extremely friendly. One night when the power went out while she was cooking, it was no problem, the candles were already lit and the kitchen is gas powered. Dinner was as excellent as other nights.
We also ate at Olveston House which was a real treat. Food was good, drinks were good and service was good, if a bit slow (it is the Caribbean). Photographs from Montserrat's good times were on display, including a few Autographed photos taken by Linda McCartney. What a treat.
Peoples Place and Tinas were both good, though by about the third night I was getting tired of the Island's typical "Chicken or Fish or Ribs" offerings. Ponts Beach View was nice too, ate here a few times while diving with the Green Monkey.
If I had to pick something to nitpick about, it would be the beaches. There was a beautiful beach by the nature walk at Little Bay, but we were disappointed by the others. Perhaps our expectations in this area were set a little high, considering the neighboring islands. Or perhaps the really good beaches are in the exclusion zone.
In closing, our trip to Montserrat hit the spot for an adventure in a paradisiacal place that was off the beaten path. The beautiful accommodations and superb hospitality of the Gingerbread Hill Heavenly Suite and the Lea family perfectly complimented the natural beauty of the island and the people, and made this a holiday to be remembered. We hope to visit again, even though we now live on the other side of the planet. I highly recommend The Heavenly Suite at Gingerbread Hill.
- Also Known As:
- Gingerbread Hill Montserrat, Caribbean
- Gingerbread Hill Hotel Montserrat