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“A Sustainable, Sophisticated Tropical Retreat!”

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Tamarind Great House
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Reviewed April 23, 2011

One of the objectives that my friend and I wanted to meet during our time in Jamaica was to stay on a plantation: backpacking about Jamaica with only our LONELY PLANET to guide us and up until this point staying in rather rustic accommodations, we were thrilled to discover the review of the Tamarind Great House and decided to make this the final stop, the treat, at the close of our trip. We couldn't have been more thrilled with our choice and still can hardly believe our GREAT fortune in arriving here. In fact, we ended up staying two nights rather than just the one that we'd planned initially because we fell so in love with the setting, and with the warm yet professional hospitality of our hosts, Barry and Gillian. The property is stunning. Period. The lush, manicured lawns, the profusion of flowers dripping over pergolas and bursting out of gorgeous antique pots, the plethora of fruit and vegetables organized into neat beds across the hillside, the sweeping patios, the elegant pool, the stately building itself, and the breathtaking vista from the front porch. Absolutely incredible. The house is rather remote-- but so peaceful as a result, and quite idyllic in its scenery, which includes a river with glorious cascades and pools in which to swim. Furthermore, the area is so removed from the madness of most of the tourist areas in Jamaica that one can real relax and feel safe. The food, all expertly prepared by Gillian in the house kitchen, is nearly all grown on-site-- including the farm-raised talapia from the pond in the back and the chicken as well. It is both artfully presented and deliciously rendered. Barry and Gillian are fascinating, brilliant, generous, and exceptionally welcoming proprietors whose goal it is to give guests the ultimate in comfort and satisfaction; and this is a goal which they meet and exceed! Absolutely DO stay in this fabulous spot if you happen to be in or even around the area...You will not be disappointed!

Room Tip: Call ahead!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank GretaGrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 - 38 of 46 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2011

My husband discovered Tamarind house around 2006, when we took the long drive from St Elizabeth to St Mary, Ocho Rios. The road was very bad, but I think we were used to it as the road was similar to where we were based. The thing to remember is not to be put off by the road, as it is worth every bump. But once we had arrived at Tamarind House, we were blown away by the beauty and the absolute peacefulness of this place. We were greeted by Gill and Barry, who were so friendly and welcoming. We got on immediately.
The grand entrance is a sight to behold and almost reminds you of the house in 'Gone with the Wind', there are these beautiful stairs that look so spectacular. At Christmas with the lights and Christmas tree, it is simply stunning. The bedrooms are large comfortable very clean and spacious. You are sure to get a good night sleep.
The food was excellent. Gill is a great cook. One of the great features of Tamarind House is that literally everything you eat at Tamarind House is sourced on the premises, i.e. Fruits, vegetables, Tilapia Fish and many more.
The grounds are well maintained and it was just nice to walk around or even sit by the swimming pool.
Tamarind House is a must for us every time we visit Jamaica.

Room Tip: Fruits and Vegetables are grown on the premises.
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  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Janlin21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2011

Our stay at Tamarind Great House was very pleasant. The room we were in was spacious and quiet, with a lovely balcony and fantastic views. The food at dinner was tasty and reasonably priced. Breakfast was interesting, with a range of tropical fruit as well as toast, tea/coffee.
Gillian and Barry were friendly and helpful and the pool was clean and relaxing.
If you are scared of dogs be warned, their guard dogs are large (and friendly to legitimate visitors).
The road to get to the house is horrendous but we made it (several times) in a Toyota Yaris, so you can too!
In town we ate at Susie's (between the ATM and the post office boxes). The food was delicious and they didn't charge us extra for being tourists instead of locals (unlike a lot of other places, sadly).

Room Tip: Eat at Susie's for some real Jamaican food
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank fatpigeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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Thank nvkchicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank elvisatc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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Thank daisydaydream
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

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: $102 - $104 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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