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“great service - great experience!”

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Tamarind Great House
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Frankfurt, Germany
1 review
“great service - great experience!”
Reviewed March 27, 2011

we spent 2 nights at the tamarind great house and it was a great experience.
although the way up the hill was a little adventureous we made it finally up there and didnt regret it. it was a rainy and stormy night and we just had a normal car... we have to admit we were a bit scared. the roads condition was... well... not the best... but after an hour drive in the dark we finally made it. and the heartfull and warm welcome made us forget our stressfull journey. it s beautiful and quite... really a little gem in the jungle.
very good service, beautiful house, really a good place to relax. just to let you know: it s a little away from the beach and the sea... it is in the mountains in the jungle... but it s perfect if you wanna relax from the loud and crowded ocho rios or another crowded city or attraction.

kurz auf deutsch:
war echt eine tolle erfahrung, die wir jederzeit wieder machen würden!
kann das tamarind great house nur empfehlen... ist aber nichts für jemanden der den trubel einer großstadt und/oder nachtleben sucht.
es ist ein schönes renoviertes herrenhaus, geführt von einem englischen paar, das einen sehr herzlich und persönlich aufnimmt und auf wunsch auch ein leckeres abendessen bereitet. das frühstück war auch klasse!
es ist nicht sehr günstig aber auf jeden fall war es die erfahrung wert.
vielen dank für dieses tolle erlebnis

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank hapa76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed January 18, 2011

This place felt like we were in "the real Jamaica" after 7 days at an all inclusive concrete mall of a resort. the drive up the hill is amazing ( and somewhat treacherous!) and when we arrived we felt immediately at home. Gillian and Barry have done an amazing job with teh place- everywhere you look there is beauty, natural jungle, gardens, small sculptural 'moments' and the amazing air and colors of Jamaica. Gillian greeted us in bare feet, always a good sign- and gave us fresh squeezed orange juice and direction to 2 beautiful walks- up a magnificent ridge with amazing sights of jungle, cows, spiders and birds, and the other to a river leading to a waterfall. too cold to climb that day but Barry said there are two pools on the river- one 3 ft deep! They farm the land for mangoes, lettuces, oranges, herbs, lettuces, chickens, and coconuts so the food Gillian prepare was amazing. Living in Chicago we have paid much more for much less in quality and quantity and the room was beautiful and clean in a lovely romantic setting. Drinks on the veranda with the mountains and stars behind and a lovely pool that would have made for a delightful late night swim were the temperature a tad warmer. I kept envisioning yoga sessions with a view of the mountains, a sail with Barry out of Oracabessa and days of walks and conversations. Our only regret was having only one night to spend. Intimate but not isolated, an easy drive up the hills to a place that seems out of this world.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank nvkchicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

My friend and I wanted to drive around Jamaica in order to see the beautiful sites . We like to stay somewhat off the beaten path and that is exactly where Tamarind Great house is located. We made the mistake of getting there at night but had a guardian angel of a man drive in front of us up the mountain to this spot. Not that it was dangerous, but no street lights and the roads look like an earthquake hit them yesterday. So definitely get there before dark. It took us 30 minutes to get to the house from the main road. Normally Gillian emails people with directions, but we didn't receive (but got their anyway).

Once we finally arrived, we were greeted by Barry and Gillian and their 2 dobermans. All 4 were incredibly friendly and welcoming. We were starving and Gillian offered us the most delicious pumpkin soup and gourmet salad, all made from the garden. We also shared a glass of wine with her during dinner. We got to choose b/w 2 bedrooms and we chose the bottom floor because of the patio access. Linens, mattresses, and towels were definitely not luxurious (thin, scratchy and terribly lumpy old pillows) and due to the exquisite beauty of the house, I expected better. That's probably the only improvement I could suggest.

The next morning Gillian made us one of the best breakfasts I've ever eaten with more fruit from the garden and delicious eggs . The blue mountain coffee was delish .

I assumed the food would be extra, but was surprised at the price of breakfast when we settled the bill. But, it was all so delicious that it wasn't an issue - I was happy to pay it. However, we spent our last dollar on the bill (note to all that you have to pay in cash ) which was not expected. Because of that, we weren't able to go to James Bond beach (because of the $5 entrance charge). That was a real drag and hopefully when you stay there you will have read this review and plan better than we did.

I've never wanted to stay at a B&B but talking to both Gillian and Barry was an absolute treat ! If you have some extra time and like to stay at interesting spots (we're not into resorts) then Tamarind House is a must ! And we honestly had 2 of the best meals here , from our entire trip.

Gillian was also kind enough to let us use her cell for a call to local hotel and their computer to search for said hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank elvisatc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

the latter part of the journey to Tamarind Great House is somewhat hampered by the island-wide government inability to maintain local roads, but so worth it nonetheless (off-road vehicles advisable).
The House is truly impressive and the location stunning. Gill and Barry are the perfect hosts, who will go out of their way to make your stay everything you could wish for.
The food is excellent - a lot of the meals are made with ingredients produced and grown on the estate.
Not only is it ideal as a base to explore the island, but I spent many days relasing by the pool.
In my 10-year sojourn on the island it became my favourite home-from-home and the ideal Christmas location

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
Thank daisydaydream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2010

I've been living in Jamaica for the last two years and have had a chance to dine at a variety of restaurants and hotels, some highly rated. I want to say that the meals I and my companions have enjoyed at Tamarind Great House have been, hands down, the best I've had on the island. The rooms are spacious, the view from our room's large balcony were of the verdant green hills above Oracabessa, and Jillian and Barry are gracious and entertaining hosts. We first visited for my birthday last December and so enjoyed the experience that we came again this year. The house is really magnificent--you'll be awestruck by the beautiful wood floors made from a single guango tree--airy and light, and designed to catch the breeze and offer cool shade on the hottest days. If you're not content to stay behind the gates of an all-inclusive, but want to experience more of the real Jamaica, I strongly recommend a stay at Tamarind Great House

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank JamaicaBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Derbyshire
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2010

If you’re looking for a beach holiday in a custom-built resort then read no further, this is not for you. If, however, you want a great base to explore the beautiful island that is Jamaica, and get a real taste of the Caribbean, Tamarind Great House is just the place.
We stayed there for two weeks, using it as a base to visit relatives on the island. This is a hidden gem tucked away off the main road about 5 km south of Orocabessa, near to the Sun Valley Plantation. Tamarind Great House is built on the site of the original plantation house and it is a wonderful and authentic recreation. It sits on a hillside with 360˚, panoramic views and is surrounded by extensive grounds making it very private and peaceful. The entrance hall to the house is dominated by a magnificent wooden staircase and the house is tastefully furnished and decorated throughout and spotlessly clean. Our room was spacious, well-appointed, comfortable and had a wide balcony with a spectacular view. The grounds are well-maintained and there’s a nice pool area, away from the main house. Breakfast and the evening meals were taken on the terrace, with a similar view to the one from our balcony. The food was excellent and plentiful. I’m surprised that a previous reviewer found the charge for the evening meal expensive. The cooking is of a high standard, food was cooked to our requirements and all of it was locally sourced and fresh, quite a lot grown on the property. For what we got, I thought the price was very reasonable. The owners, Gill and Barry Chambers, are friendly and attentive, without being intrusive. They’ve lived on Jamaica for some years now and are a reliable source of local information. On the nights we chose to stay in they were always happy to share their company with us. We were looking for accommodation for a while before coming across Tamarind and couldn’t even find self-catering accommodation anywhere near as cheap. Even allowing for unexpected taxes, that upset another reviewer, the place is a bargain. We made sure we confirmed the prices when we booked, and were made aware of the total cost. Tamarind is ideal for exploring the northern coast. As stated above, Oracabessa is just up the road, as is James Bond Beach. Firefly and Golden Eye resort are a few km further east. 10 km in the other direction are the delights of Ocho Rios and Dunn’s River Falls. We also quite easily managed a leisurely day out in the Blue Mountains and a few cross-island trips to Kingston and Spanish town without any difficulty. One word of warning, though. The main roads are good but, if you are doing any exploring off the beaten track, the minor roads can be quite rough. Jacks River Road, which leads to Tamarind, is a case in point. We hired a small compact and we coped well enough in that, but we may have been a bit more comfortable in a small 4x4. I’d love to visit Jamaica again sometime and, if I do, I wouldn’t consider staying anywhere other than Tamarind Great House.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank LeBeauChef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sheffield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 27, 2010

The journey from the airport to tamarind was at the time of day when daylight is fading, and daylight fading happens quickly in this part of the world. But we were armed with directions, which though seemingly scant were very accurate and got us there with no problem. We had a hire car waiting for us at the airport and picking it up, paying for it etc. went superbly smoothly.
Road signs on main roads are fine but side roads have few or no signs so you need to watch out for pointers that locals may have posted, or maybe hosts of accommodation have made sure are there to guide guests.

The road to tamarind from the main road in Ocho Rios is not in the best of repair and with hindsight we would have been better equiped with a more robust vehicle than an ordinarly saloon car. However, it never let us down and no damage came to the vehicle either. The track roads slow down travel substantially so when you're unfamiliar with roads it can seem like it's taking a very long time to get to where you want to be.
We'd seen photos of Tamarind on the internet of course but the fist sighting of the house was very impressive. The owners/hosts immediately came out to greet us, made us feel very welcome and even helped to carry in our luggage.

Although we had booked a specific room, as there were other rooms available, we were given a choice of where to sleep. All the rooms are lovely, beautifully furnished and well apointed. There was nothing else we would have needed.
Food and drinks were provided and we felt happy and comfortable as we went off to bed.
The next morning, we opened curtains, doors and windows onto the most impressive and beautiful sight of the mountains in the distance and long views over the valley.
The usual sounds of birds, insects, dogs, people etc. only added to the thrill of just being there and drinking in the beauty.
We had booked for B&B at Tamarind but often ate there in an evening too and Gill was more than happy to provide food for journeys and day-trips if we let her know in advance. Staff that helped out at Tamarind were also lovely to talk with and happy to help.
The food we had there was fabulous, loads of it, well cooked and delicious.
Some evenings we sat with the family over drinks, which was so kind of them to give up their own leisure time and made us feel like we were long-standing friends.

Proximity to large shopping areas as Ocho Rios was easily navigated and we went there several times even just for drinks. We sampled a couple of fairly local restaurants - not planned, just popped in - and none disappointed.
The trip to the Blue Mountains was wonderful, including driving through the army base. Driving through the clouds was an experience but to have the use of an internet cafe that far up the mountains was brilliant. Lunching at a restaurant with humming birds/doctor birds within 4 feet of the table was magical. And of course .... the coffee ... Blue Mountain Coffee ... mmmmmm!
Trips over to Kingston took quite a while buit the hustle and bustle of the city was very different and vibrant and I wouldn't have wanted to miss that.

I tried to look like Ursula Andress aas I came out of the sea at James Bond beach - but you wouldn't have mistaken me for her :-)
Dunns River falls, Castleton Gardens and White Water rafting fulfilled all expectations and I'd recommend them to everyone.

To anyone considering Tamarind as a place to stay I would say that you will not be at all disappointed; you're more likely to be pleasantly surprised and like us you'll have such good memories that you'll consider staying there time and time again.
I had worried about our personal safety as we drove around remote areas without a clue of what to expect but I can honestly say that never once did we feel uncomfortable. everyone we met was helpful and happy to see us.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank wagtai1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamarind Great House

Property: Tamarind Great House
Address: Crescent Estate | St Mary, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Mary Parish > Oracabessa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tamarind Great House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer our guests at Tamarind a unique environmentally-friendly setting providing luxury accommodation at very affordable prices. Secluded waterfalls, plantation tours, James Bond Beach and Noel Coward's Firefly are only a few of the nearby attractions. Ocho Rios is a 30 minute drive, with its varied activities, such as botanical gardens, the famous Dunn's River Falls, Dolphin Cove as well as Mystic Mountain tree top tours. Of course there are lots of restaurants and duty free shopping, as well as a large local craft market. Tamarind Great House is built on the site of an original planters estate, first built in the 18th century. The house has solid wooden floors from locally sourced trees throughout the downstairs, with antiques and locally made furniture to enhance the feel of colonial Jamaica. Our guests enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Tamarind, with its spacious bedrooms and large balconies. Our 13 acre farm produces fresh organic fruits and vegetables used in our kitchen. The road to Tamarind is a Jamaican country road, and the scenery to the house shows you every side of the real Jamaica. We are an owner run guest house, therefore catering personally to your requests. Away from the main road, a relaxed and safe setting, surrounded by verdant hills, tropical flora and fauna. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind Great House Hotel Oracabessa
Tamarind Great House Jamaica/Oracabessa

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