We spent two nights at Strawberry Hill on our all around Jamaica tour.
We arrived quite late after a very long drive and were thus really exhausted (the place is not easy to find when you don't know and the way up the mountains could prove stressful and difficult especially if you do it at night like we did - i won't recommend that).
But after you arrived, things get better as you are welcomed by a smiling person offering you a drink (go for the Rhum Punch, they use the Blackwell one produce by the owner Chris Blackwell - the best I got on the island and believe me, I had some!)
We stayed on the Gong room which was very nice. It is big, with a strong colonial style, nice wood furniture, beautiful wood floor, some artwork in the wood representing Bob Marley and Tuff Gong, a nice terrace with a stunning view on Kingston and on the mountains, a outside shower (the only room on property with that feature - really nice especially as the bathroom is a bit outdated). Nothing to complaint about the room, I really like it.
The property is really amazing, perhaps the most beautiful garden i've seen on the island, breathtaking 360° views on the mountains, arguably one of the most beautiful infinity pool on the island....really impressive.
The restaurant is also beautifully made, all in wood with fantastic views.
There is also a beautiful bar and a beautiful meeting room where you can admire the gold/platinum disc of Bob Marley, U2 and other artists at Island Records owned by Chris Blackwell. You feel the history and it is kind of cool of staying in a place where Bob Marley stayed on numerous occasions.
I had one spa treatment, massage, and I was totally happy. The therapist was really good and I was not the only one happy about it according to conversations with other guests.
As less positive point, I would say the place is a bit isolated (up in the mountains) so some could feel a bit bored if stay more than 3 nights.
Some activities are however organised by the hotel and we did one which I would strongly recommend : the hike down to Gordon Town. You will join Rastafari Dave, wise and full of knowledge man from the area, he will entertain you and you will learn a lot of fruits, plants, flowers, etc....as the guy know the mountain like the back of his hand. The hike is not challenging so suited for everyone and last 3-4 hours. I strongly recommend it.
Another point of improvement in my view is the quality of the food in the restaurant. Menu is not big which is fine for short stay but less for longer stay. Some dishes are of really good quality (Jerk Chicken was one of the best I had on the island - the Lamb was nice too - Butterflies Shrimps also and soup of the day was always a winner) some are quite disappointing (Pork and Salads for example). In general, taking into account the fantastic place and the price of the menu, you would expect a bit better from the restaurant (service is nice - no worries on that). I'm sure newly appointed manager Gordon will settle that to make Strawberry Hill restaurant in line with the rest of the place.
In conclusion, I do recommend to stay there but for maximum two nights. The views are worth it and the place is nice. Go there with the idea of a retreat as Kingston is a bit far and difficult to access due to the road (it is not ideal as a base to explore Kingston). But if you're in for some mountain feeling, retreat and relax you will love it like I did.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens, a 26-acre mountain top resort, is located in the heart of one of the world's most famous coffee-producing mountain ranges, Jamaica's Blue Mountains. Listed in the New York Times #1 bestselling book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, Strawberry Hill is 3100 feet above sea level and features one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Blue Mountains in one direction as well as the city of Kingston in the other. On a clear day, one can see up to 100 miles from the property's infinity-edge pool, and at night the city far below becomes a twinkling mirror of the night sky. The property's 12 Georgian-style cottages, spa, exotic gardens and restaurant offerings underwent an extensive refurbishment in October 2011. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Strawberry Hill Irish Town
- Strawberry Hill Jamaica/Kingston