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“Unique location, poor service”
Review of Kanopi House

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Kanopi House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 May 2013

We recently stayed here for 1 night while visiting from out of town. We had read about the hotel in our guidebook and had borrowed a car from a friend, so we drove to the property to enquire about rooms available. You drive up this very long and rocky dirt road, not a problem if you have a decent car. There is a front guest area that has a beautiful view of the water amidst the jungle and trees, free coffee and tea, and some magazines, though very small.

The red flag arose when the reception woman came to greet us and looked us up and down and said "well, do you know about our prices?" I said that I had the Rough Guide, and had an idea of what rooms cost, but how much exactly? I had read that there were 'backpacker' rates (not true) that were less expensive. She then said "well how much is less expensive to you?", and gave us this sarcastic smile. I was pretty taken aback (let's put aside that my husband and I are both doctors in the US, no need to mention that the cost will probably not be an issue). Again, I asked how much rooms are and we can decide. She finally said that there was one room for 300 dollars, and when we expressed interest in seeing it, she brightened up and her entire demeanor changed. I felt like I was in Pretty Woman, being judged for not being able to afford a room.

We ended up taking this very beautiful, wooden room up on stilts that looks out into the jungle. The room had a small kitchen, shower, and wood all around. It is quite beautiful and looks out onto the jungle, making you feel like you're in a real treehouse. Pretty cool.

The problem was, it started to rain. And rain it did. In our kitchen, our bathroom, and in multiple areas on the floor. It was like a sieve, leaking in about 6 different places. We placed bowls under each leak. The only place that was spared was the bed. We let her know and she shrugged and kept laughing it off, telling us that "it depends on the slant of the rain", "it never leaks usually", "good thing it's not leaking on the bed", and "sometimes it leaks, sometimes it doesn't". Ha ha ha... No mention at all of switching rooms, giving a discount, etc. We sucked it up and slept in this swiss cheese of a treehouse, enjoying the view and the sounds but walking on water everywhere. I couldn't believe the room cost as much as it did. The only reason I didn't demand a refund was because my husband really loved the place and I didn't really feel like making a big fuss, and I knew that she would be totally resistant to this. I regret it, since we really should not have paid full price for this bungalow.

The other thing I thought was strange for a supposedly high-end place is that you feel totally abandoned after you check in. There is one person (see above) who manages the whole place, and she is sporadically around and available, so we would often look for someone and spend 30 minutes wandering around trying to find someone to help us with something. There is a sweet Jamaican guy named Baxter (Buxton?) who will show you around, but he doesn't handle any logistics, such as meals, prices, or enquiries about rafting, etc. This is all left up to the one and only Karla. I might have expected that someone show us the room (we were handed a key and told to go find the room ourselves after we handed over cash), tell us how things work, etc. Nothing. Also for a high-end place I would have thought there'd be some niceties that usually come with a B and B, a jug of water in the evening, an evening cocktail hour, etc. It was more like camping for a high price.

Overall disappointing. Not sure I'd stay here again but it was a gorgeous location and if it hadn't rained, I might not have felt so waterlogged. I wasn't very pleased with Karla's attitude and approach to guests and found her actually kind of annoying, trying very hard to make a small deal out of what was actually a big deal (a room that leaked water all night long is kind of unacceptable to me). There are better places I'd give my money.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Sacdoc32999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 - 64 of 104 reviews

Reviewed 12 May 2013

My boyfriend and I treated ourself to 3 nights stay here in February and it was perfect! We really didnt want to leave! We booked to stay in Upper Deck but due to a broken fridge we were fortunate enough to get upgraded to Almond Tree, it was absolutely beautiful!

Carla is a star and an amazing cook! we really enjoyed getting to know her and her warmth and laidback attitude is infectious! It was also a pleasure to meet Boxer, a real gent. Carla also made my boyfriend a scrummy cake on his birthday which was a lovely surprise and when we got engaged (on the balcony of Almond Tree) she celebrated with us!

While we were there we went on a rafting trip along the Rio Grande. This was our favourite day of our whole trip. The most beautiful experience. we drove to port antonio and got a taxi to the rafting centre where we got one of the official rafts, with a wonderful captain, Arly. we stopped off for chicken, rice and peas half way and floated about in the river for a while.

We also used one of the kanopi house kayaks to sail over to monkey island where we had a lovely afternoon lazing in the sun.

Advice: When we arrived we had been on the road for 4 hours from Mandeville and were starving, the 'hamper' only contains a few cookies, crackers and couple of bottles of juice, so I would advise if you're planning to retreat here for a few days that you pick up some supplies enroute because you dont want to be coming and going along the steep entrance track too often! incidently, we were able to manage the access track ok with our toyota yaris hire car.

If you want to drink with your dinner, you should probably take along your own booze as there didnt seem to be much of a bar.

I would highly recommend staying in this beautiful spot and I really hope that one day we will be fortunate enough to return.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, treat yourself to Almond Tree!
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Frances P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2013

We spent a long time selecting the perfect place for a dream getaway and this hidden Oasis in the Jungle provided it all. It is built for couples. Romantic, serene, secluded, and stunningly beautiful. We stayed in the Upper Deck but got a sneak peak at Spanish Elm and will choose it on our next trip. The upper deck was perfect for us however. It is an intimate setting beautifully furnished in wood which gave us the feeling of having nature on the inside as well as the out. We choose room only because we wanted to get out and have the jamaican food we love so much. Lots of places were recommended but we ate where the locals did and had amazing meals. We went to Boston Beach, about 5 to 10 minutes drive from Kanopi (its a must) but we also took a dip in the lagoon just steps below the treehouse.
Kanopi is primarily for couples who want to get lost in each other and nature. Simply one of the most Sensual spaces I have ever encountered.

Room Tip: Upper Deck is everything you need. fans, air conditioned, kitchenette.. and beautiful bath. After h...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Bria S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2013

I am quite sad about departing from this beautiful oasis hidden in the jungle overlooking the reknowned Blue Lagoon. Kanopi House is the real deal! This place has beautifully crafted, open-air wood framed cottages on stilts that allow for spectacular views. I will never forget waking up each morning to the sweet sounds of crickets, birds and the soft whirl of the fan. I felt the pressure, anxiety and worry of life ease away in this idealic spot. Carla and staff greeted us with open arms and created an atmosphere of simple elegance. She arranged tours and was quickly able to understand the type of adventure we were seeking. Pearl was so attentive and gave us an inside look into Jamaican culture and food. He created an amazing dish of salt fish "Run Down" that will forever be etched in my memory. If you are looking for an alternative to the sterilized "all-inclusive" resort, ---this is your answer. I promise you won't be disappointed

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Mango-Julie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Yesterday we got back from our holiday at Kanopi, and we are extremely pleased with the experience. We spent 9 days in the "Upper Deck", and thanks to Carla (the person who runs the property) we immediately felt at home. She was always there for us, with a smile on her face and giving any piece of information we needed to know, helping us plan our trips and excursions, booking taxis whenever necessary, and recommending us places to eat or serving delicious breakfast and dinners.
If you want to get away from everything, then, Kanopi is your place. The setting is wonderful, and you get to be in the middle of nature, deep into the wilderness but yet with all comforts (bathroom, Internet access, kitchen area with fridge and microwave).
Almost everyday we took one of their kayaks, and paddled to Monkey Island and around the Blue Lagoon.
If we ever were to return to Jamaica, we wouldn't hesitate about going back to Kanopi.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank massimocosimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

From the start to finish our experience at Kanopi House was wonderful. The hotel itself is beautiful. It was a long trip from the airport, but it is well worth the journey. The hotel is extremely secluded and quite. High up in the treetops and overlooking the blue lagoon, this lodging consists of little tree houses. We stayed in the Spanish Elm, which consisted of a nice sized bedroom, living room, kitchen, balcony, and an outdoor shower, which was incredible. The view is spectacular. I felt as if I were immersed in the jungle, which overlooked the lagoon. The room was very clean and well maintained and was stocked with water, juices, coffee, and tea. There is an honor bar in the main house where meals are served.

Not only is this hotel lovely on the exterior, but it is the incredibly caring and devoted staff that make it such a special experience. On arrival Boxer met us and took us around the blue lagoon in the hotels boat. Later in the day we met our wonderful host Carla who took care of everything from arranging cabs, day trips, and dinner reservations. Carla and Isabelle were wonderful cooks and prepared a great breakfast for us every morning and a wonderful dinner. The rafting on the rio grande is an exceptional experience. We felt like we were the only ones on the river it was magical and incredibly relaxing. We also took a day trip to Reach Falls and were escorted by Carla's sons and Isabelle. It was an amazing experience as there was no one else at the falls but us. Carla really strives to create the most authentic experience for her guests. Nothing was touristy or contrived, everything felt completely authentic.

My one qualm, and I truly hate to do this, is that the beds were not comfortable and there wasn't a smoke alarm in our room. Also Dickies Best Kept Secret was recommended and that was an unenjoyable dinning experience, but I think other quests must enjoy it. I would have loved to have had one more of Carla's home cooked meals instead. Carla also recommended GeeJam for dinner and that was excellent.

If you are looking for something different and want to get away from tourist traps and experience the real Jamaica, look no further than Kanopi House...I only wish we could have stayed longer and look forward to our return.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank DancingTraveler85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2013

Okay friends...I have never written a review for a place that I have stayed before, but I felt compelled to do so today. I love to travel, especially in the Caribbean. I had been to the more touristy destinations of Jamaica (i.e Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios) a number of times before, so I was really in the mood for an off-the-beaten path experience. I have seen many beautiful places while adventuring, but I have never experienced the very special combination of elements that my husband and I encountered at Kanopi House. When we landed at the Kingston Airport, we were greeted by Mickey (who was really nice and very knowledgable about the island's history). While travelling in the van and winding through the mountains, we were wondering if we made the right decision. Then we pulled into this quiet albeit very long driveway. We walked into the main house which was filled with the smells of tropical flora and nutmeg. Bob Marley was pumping at low volume through the surround sound and we were astounded by the unbelievable (and very humbling) views of the Blue Lagoon, Monkey Island and the surrounding jungle. My husband and I have stressful jobs and we immediately felt a drop in our blood pressure. "Is this a joke...are we really here?", my husband asked. I said, "we are...now we need to figure out how to live here...at least part of the year." That was how it started, then it only got better. We were welcomed by Carla (who is the soul of Kanopi), Boxer (who clearly makes everyone happy with his presence), Isabelle (world traveler/adventurer from Belgium), Pearl (our kind-hearted-quick-to-laugh guide) and Carla's boys Beenie and Bounty. They became our Kanopi family. They are truly some of the most caring and down to earth people we have ever met.They had fabulous suggestions for adventures (Reach Falls, Snorkeling, Sunset rafting, Dickey's Best Kept Secret, Port Antonio) and they organized everything including negotiating the cost (very important). If you don't get to do anything else, you MUST go to Reach Falls, go snorkeling just past Monkey Island and have dinner at Dickey's Best Kept Secret. Dickey's looks like a small old house over the water from the outside, but inside is full of different rooms with casual outdoor furniture and the tables are set with lovely china. My husband and I had a four course meal including lobster tails for a total of $80. If you want to dine at Kanopi, Carla's cooking is phenomenal. She can whip up the best Jamaican breakfast or dinner and all of the ingredients are so fresh. My husband and I loved that we never had to look at a menu. We let people know what we liked and they had it all prepared by the time we arrived. One of the most delicious dishes was made by the soup lady on the side of the road. She makes the same soup (Pearl says it's the best soup anywhere) everyday and it was absolutely to die for. It was full of fish and shellfish. It was the best chowder I have ever had. There were no televisions or computers, so we really had to let everything go. One of our other favorite outings was going into Port Antonio. We just wanted to grab some snacks for our refrigerator, but we had so much fun walking around town and then we ran into Carla at the supermarket. She took us to Sasha's place where we met alot of wonderful local people. Everyone was so nice!!! We are so glad that we had this experience and we are so thankful to have met such an incredible group of people at Kanopi.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Malka5555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kanopi House

Address: | Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Port Antonio
Price Range: £226 - £454 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away in the folds of the eco-friendly zone of Portland, where the shoreline hugs the sea and the nights glow as much as the days, stands the emblem of respite, relaxation and all things in between. It sits snugly among the trees, embraces the ideally cool temperatures and complements the natural habitat. It offers a peacefully endowed atmosphere, not uncommon to truly tranquil scenes and all those who enter therein can claim its soothing and rejuvenating powers. Kanopi House was created as the ideal getaway location and is unique since it offers no disturbance of its natural environments. Its structure also adds to its modern day charm and it is one with nature. Kanopi House features a certain inexplicable charisma which is further intensified by a secluded cove, blue lagoon, coral reef, surrounding rainforest and its one of a kind 'tree houses'. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kanopi House Hotel Port Antonio
Kanopi House Jamaica/Port Antonio

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