A friend and I just returned to Canada from a week-long stay at Chrisanns Beach Resort. My parents are renting unit number 24 from Daniela for a month and we joined them for their third week.
Our driver Kristy picked us up from the airport (Mobay) and we felt very safe with him. He was so friendly and knowledgeable about Jamaica and the areas we drove through on the way to Chrisanns.
When we arrived, we were greeted by the security guard, Chase, who was very pleasent. We did not have much interaction with the office staff as my parents checked in; however, they too were quite friendly and accomodating. They quickly assisted us when we had questions about activities in the area and made calls to gather additional information for us.
The housekeepers for unit 24, Kathy and Charmaine, were so nice! . Trevor, the groundskeeper was very kind and even climbed a coconut tree to get us each a fresh coconut one morning.
Throughout the week, we became closer with the resort staff. My parents who had already been there for two weeks planned to have them for lunch while we were visiting for a bowl of Newfoundland style pea soup! We made friends with Chase since he was around our age (18 and 19) (he is 24). He went above and beyond the call of duty during our stay and even took me with him to town on his day off and hung out around Ochie. He brought his own fishing rods for my Dad and I to use down by the gazebo.
The apartment my parents rented was decorated tastefully by Daniela and her husband who I understand are both artists. We felt very comfortable there and it was like we were were at our summer home in Newfoundland (minus the rain and fog and much hotter!). We definitely think that it is the BEST apartment at the complex. It is the closest to the beach and has the nicest furniture on the veranda (not completely sure but it looked like the rest just had plastic chairs and tables). The hammocks viewed in pictures belong to this unit and were very comfortable to have a nap in.
My friend and I enjoyed sleeping in the window beds which were quite spacious. We did find some ants around them a couple times, but those were quickly removed with some VAPE (same as raid) which we only had to use around the window edges. We were uneasy about this but quickly remembered that we were in Jamaica now! If we had been home in NL we would be fending off the mosquitoes and checking for spiders.
Across the road from Chrissans is a little restaurant called Glens which we thought was was only ok (My friend and I just ate there once; however, my parents had eaten there a couple times and were satisfied). We had a Jamaican breakfast of salt fish and ackee. A little bit further down and you will find a Jerk Centre (also a bar). The staff here are very friendly! Debbie and Lisa were our favourite bartenders. Next you will find a small supermarket, another upstairs bar, and another small bar a little bit further, but we were most impressed with the Jerk Centre. A man named Bill who works at a car rental next to the Jerk Centre may seem sketchy at first but he is just hilarious once you get chatting! We were told that he looks out for all the tourists in the area and makes sure they make it back to wherever it is they are staying.
For some fresh fruit and veggies keep an eye out for a white van that services the Jerk Centre and supermarket - you will get a much better price when buying directly from the driver. We would suggest being cautious when out around at night. One evening we went to the Jerk Centre (the power had been flicking that day due to a bit of wind) and Debbie was closing up when we arrived. She said that there were unfamiliar faces around that night because the power was coming and going and suggested we come back the next day. We didn't worry but decided to take her advice and headed back to Chrisanns (a one minute walk).
We had a BLAST staying at Chrisanns and visiting the area around it! I think we can all say that the best part of the trip was meeting the locals and staff. You are VERY safe in the hands of the Chrisanns staff. Be a smart tourist though and keep your head up when venturing outside the complex and especially if walking around in the heart of Ocho Rios.
A HUGE thanks to Kristy, Kevin, Trevor, Kathy, and Charmaine who were excellent to us! Chase really made us feel at home at Chrisanns and is a very cool. Daniela, we are so glad that we stayed in your place!
A few notes:
- if you are looking for the all-inclusive experience do not stay here. If you want more freedom, no buffet line-ups or hoards of people and taste of the real Jamaica then this place is highly recommended!
-during the day we used the route cabs (unless going a long distance) which drive past Chrissans every minute. It was fun taking these cabs and you can't beat it for 100 Jamaican dollars (roughly 1 dollar U.S.). Some nights we went out to eat and always used our driver Kevin for the added safety.
-would also HIGHLY recommend dining at Scotchies which is a bar and grill. Evitas and Spring Garden Cafe & Seafood Grill are fancier with higher prices but if you don't mind spending a bit extra they are so worth it.
-not much to do at Chrisanns for younger kids but if Chase is around he would be more than happy to make a lizard noose from a coconut tree leaf! He made one for me and like a child I could have spent hours walking around trying to catch (and release!) lizards. People watching me must have had a laugh though because after a few hours spread over two or three days I still couldn't manage to catch one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chrisanns Beach Resort is a complex of beachfront vacation apartments located four miles east of Ocho Rios that offers any holidaymaker an experience of Jamaca they could never forget. This enchanting property has its own private pool and beach with a gazebo that overlooks the ocean. Facilities include: air conditioning, cable television, housekeeping, fully equipped kitchen, 24 hours security and safety deposit box. Each apartment is privately owned and therefore has something different to offer. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chrisanns Beach Hotel Ocho Rios
- Chrisanns Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios