We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Terrible food, subpar service”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Port Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Terrible food, subpar service”
Reviewed 4 August 2009

extremely disappointing four-night visit. the best aspects of mockingbird hill are the lush, well-tended grounds and gorgeous sunset view from the 2nd floor lounge. the upgraded room we had was clean & compfortable, but nothing spectacular. and it didn't make-up for the bland, hit & miss meals; especially since there are no other restaurants close by. from local fare like ackee and saltfish - mastered at any roadside stand, but inspid here - to a veggie burger that crumbled like mush, the food was appalling. a few good desserts and an inventive collection of homemade breads, but no real flair or consistency in the kitchen. and the well-meaning, but ill-equipped interns staffing the dining room this summer rendered an overall amateurish vibe. we also had a poor customer service experience with one of the owner operators: when we realized we were being charged a la carte for our first breakfast, i showed her our email confirmation - signed by her partner - that detailed up signing up for the meal plan. she got huffy and told us she didn't know anything about it, because it was "computer generated" and waved her handwritten notes in our faces. this is a great location, near lovely frenchman's cove beach and the bustling, historic town of port antonio. if you chose this hotel, plan to eat elsewhere. the staff also exerts lots of pressure to sign up for outings/taxis arranged by them which are overpriced. you're better off getting a contact for the gov't sanctioned JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travellers Association) taxi company from your local tourist board - (kingston headquarters (876) [--] or [--] - and making your own arrangements.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank badvibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mbhpot, Owner/Manager at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, responded to this review, 8 August 2009
We request guests when booking to let us know in advance if they have special dietary requirements so that we can be prepared and also purchase necessary food items which we often have to source in Kingston as they are not available in Port Antonio. These clients were Vegans and this is a specialized form of cuisine for which we were ill prepared and we had to scramble. With regards to the veggie burgers, other clients had and enjoyed them. Her comment after the meal was that they were not to her taste. This is two kettle of fish -bad food, or food that is not to one's taste. The interns currently here are receiving nothing but praise from and encouragement from many of our guests. We try to allow interns to do as much as possible so that they are fully exposed and have an intense learning experience with us and prepare them for their career in the industry. Because we are cognisant of the fact that interns are not fully versed we ask them to introduce themselves as such so that guests will take this into consideration when judging their skills. This is the first time that this has gone amiss. We do not force tours on anyone. Rates for tours and transfers are placed in the guest information folders. We inquire each day if we can arrange anything for our guests and they choose whether or not we should make the arrangements for them. Were we not to inquire if we can assist we would be told that we are providing poor service. As a point of interest, the company who takes care of transportation for us charges US$ 100 for a day tour to Reich Falls, Long Bay and Boston Beach (the driver stays with the guests all day),US$ 88 for Rio Grande Rafting and US$ 27.50 for Winnifred Beach, JUTA charges well over US$ 100 for the Reich Falls trip, US$ 90 for rafting and US$ 40 for Winnifred Beach. Rafting on the Rio Grande officially costs US$ 72. There are illegal rafts available on the river (no insurance coverage) which are cheaper and these ladies chose this option and were also surprised when they stopped at the riverside eatery that there was not enough food there for them although other clients of ours had lunch there -which we had pre-arranged. With regards to the error about the meal plan, this was immediately corrected and an apology made. There was no huffiness and we cannot do more than explain, correct and apologize.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

398 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    304
    52
    12
    14
    16
See reviews for
38
203
36
25
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2009

I'm a repeat guest to mockingbird hill and it's fantastic sitting in the deluxe room listening to whistling frogs and watching jungle firefiles through floor to ceiling louvres. Lots of shade in the 'Javan heat' of true rainforest with 'electric punkas' overhead, no a/cs here till the solar ones go in. All this in a room with my own PC and full web and audio hook-up!!!. Amazingly, this place was almost chilly at Christmas time...

THE FOOD IS haute slow movement cuisine AND THESE LADIES ARE SERIOUS ABOUT GREEN ....THE PLACE IS ALMOST A SELF SUFFICIENT WATER AND ENERGY BUNKER....JAMAICA'S FOREMOST AND TRULY GREEN HOTEL

IT'S FULL OF SURPRISES TOO.....ONE OWNER IS AN ARTIST AND THE PLACE IS ONE VAST GALLERY THAT RAMBLES OVER THE BUILDINGS AND GARDENS....AND YOU CAN often catch the staff 'popping' A DANCE HALL JIG WHILE ON THE JOB.....WONDERFUL

KEEP IT UP LADIES

GAYLORD SOMES (PROF.)

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank plinkumplinkum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2009

This hotel is in a superb location with well appointed rooms but the owners and staff appeared to find us, the only guests, a nuisance to be endured. They repeatedly asked us as "the only " guests to fit in with them i.e. to change our dinner time so that the cook could go home early. The dense vegatation grows so close to the building that the humidity in the rooms is extremely uncomfortable with restricted air flow thus our pleasant room was decidedly uncomfrtable with damp linen In fact the dampness was such that the matches to light the mosquito burner were too wet to strike. The owners make a great deal of their eco credentials this adds a 5% energy charge to your bill and they also expect you to remove all your own recyclable rubbish (though they will compress it for you) not great if you are heading for a plane. Quite frankly we coul not get away quick enough.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Explorer36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mbhpot, Owner/manager at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, responded to this review, 10 July 2009
It never ceases to amaze us that we are responsible for the weather and the climate. Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is located in the parish of Portland in Jamaica, the wettest part of the island, home to lush tropical forests. Humidity is high here particularly during the rainy seasons. The hotel is situated in lush tropical gardens and this is very clearly described in all our collateral material. Jamaica has two main rainy seasons, the first on May.June and the second in October/November. It is therefore quite normal for it to be not only rainy, but also very damp during these months and there is very little we can do about it. Rooms are aired every as we are quite cognisant of the effects of the climate in which we live. The mosquito repellents in the rooms are electric and require the mere flick of a switch and not a matchstick to turn them on. Why are we being made responsible for the quality of the matches available here -we do not maufacture them. If the guests had wanted another box of matches, they could have asked us for a new box and we would have been happy to provide one. Our restaurant is open to the public and the last order is 9.30pm. This information is provided in all our collateral material and in the restaurant description on our website. We do ask guests who are not on our meal plan if they will dine with us and at what time. This is not to ensure that the cook can go home early, but rather to allow the cook to be properly prepared and ensure good and prompt service as we prepare everything freshly and cook to order. It is not possible for us to have repeatedly have asked these guests to change their dinner time as they only stayed with us for two nights, and only dined in on one of the two nights. And on the the eco-credentials, these have been confirmed independently by Green Globe and others. The energy surcharge has to do with the price of energy (as with airlines) and the fact that despite our initial investment in renewable energy (we operate 4 rooms, the office and the gallery on solar energy) most of the hotel's operations are still run on conventional power which is extremely expensive in Jamaica. The energy surcharge therefore relates to the cost of energy and has nothing to do with our eco credentials. We do not ask our guests to take home their recyclable rubbish -we deal with this here. What we do ask is for our guests to take their toxic and non-compostable waste home with them as Jamaica does not have special facilities to deal with this and everything lands on very toxic and overburned landfills all over the island. It would appear that these guests had not read the extensive information that we provide on our website about the facility, our environmental efforts, the location, the climate and had come to us perhaps with other expectations. I would like to add that I did serve these guests myself in the bar and they said nothing to me. Had they, we could have had a conversation and much of the cause for there irritation could have been removed.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2009

Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is a few minutes drive from Port Antonio, perched on a hill. It has fabulous views of the surrounding area. Our room was very clean, spacious and tastefully decorated with a seating area, (and a hammock!), overlooking the gardens to the sea. Kettle, hairdryer, mozzie killers are all supplied, although I could have done with an iron or ironing service. We had complimentary gifts in our room on arrival which were so nice we bought some extra to take home. The restaurant and food was good, with a reasonable choice for breakfast and dinner. The gardens are extensive , I think you can see nearly every species of bird in Jamaica in the gardens.. Barbara, one of the hotel proprietor's is a sculptress, and she is at present organsing a display for the garden which should be amazing when it is completed. The sculptures and paintings around the hotel are great. We were disappointed not to be able to purchase something as a reminder of our wedding anniversary, but the gallery close to the hotel was closed at the time. During our stay we visited Reich falls a definite rival to Dunns River. This is a trip not to be missed. Dont forget to take your swimming gear, and something to wear on your feet that can get wet. Wednesday is a good day to go as you could get a 'lifeguard' to yourself, as it is not as busy as other days. They have just improved the facilities there which include changing rooms. Kenton our lifeguard had to show us what the swimming etc was like, as we had not brought the appropriate clothing. Dont forget the obligatory coconut water and jelly from the roadside which is very refreshing. Frenchman's Cove is nice, but the meals are expensive, and they are still in the process of upgrading the facilities. A good quality eco hotel, with lots of facilities.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KristaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mbhpot, Owner/Manager at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, responded to this review, 4 July 2009
Thank you for your positive feedback. Your comments are much appreciated. We do provide ironing services on request. This is perhaps not clear so we will include it in the quick facts folder that our guests receive on arrival. We hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quebec City, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2009

This review is a year overdue though the terrible experience we had there is still fresh in our minds. We booked with this hotel because it seemed beautiful and run by owners who personalized their customer service unlike some chain hotels. We were very wrong. The one owner was rude and treated us like a severe irritation. We heard her yell at her staff and complain about her customers. We especially liked all the activities in the area so we contacted the owners via email before arrival to book our excursions. They didn't respond to our first emails and when they did respond, they said don't book now, book when we arrive and they'll sit down with us and go through all our options upon first arrival. When we arrived the owner put us off and said she'd discuss first thing the next morning. The next morning she was no where to be found. That night at dinner she again said to talk to her first thing the following morning. Already wasting a full day of possible things to do we were disappointed. The next morning, first thing, she was no where to be found. Finally, at mid morning she was available and because it was left late, she said our only choice was rafting. I asked her about the heat (I don't do well under direct sun) and she said it wasn't a problem and walked away. The rafting was terrible - in the dead heat, no shade - for hours. And boring. Needless to say I constantly sprayed sunblock on everywhere except not enough on my feet. My feet were so badly burned that the next day I spent in bed. This meant we couldn't hike (the trip highlight) because I was in pain and my feet expanded so badly I couldn't walk. I asked for anything to help with my feet (aloe vera, sunburn cream) and got no help (and no concern) from the staff or owners. There was no personalized service here. We were put on the wrong meal plan (and much more expensive). When we tried to correct it we weren't able to switch it (implying to us the staff were afraid of the owner). We ended up paying an expensive meal plan that we never requested and were forced to take. The staff were nice but again so afraid of the owner that their only concern to us was that we don't write a bad review of the hotel for fear of the owner. You are very isolated at Mockingbird so you can't get to town without a taxi. This means if you want other affordable meal choices or just change of scenery you're out of luck. We got stuck with the same taxi driver who was offensive, picked up friends when we were in the car and at every juncture was trying to solicit women. When we requested a new driver to take us to Montego Bay we were forced to explain why like it was a crime investigation. We didn't want to make into a big deal and we were forced to. They treated us like the problem. They lead us to believe we got a new taxi driver only to be driven by the taxi driver's boss into town who then explained that there were no other taxi drivers available. We had to drive with the same offensive driver to Mobay for six long hours. It was terrible. The roads to and from Port Antonio were a nightmare - a bone shaking experience interrupted with road construction that grinds cars into hot, messy spider web - entirely stuck and unable to move. I've lived in Jamaica and traveled the island, staying mostly in Kingston. I had great experiences everywhere else in JA. The Terra Nova in Kingston was excellent. Mockingbird and Port Antonio will go down in history as the worst experience - worst hotel - in JA and I'm sad to say so.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank estravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mbhpot, Owner/Manager at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, responded to this review, 3 July 2009
We find it highly peculiar that a review is written one year later and we wonder what has prompted such a delayed response.We are not rude to our clients, they are after all our customers and we work very hard to provide them with the best possible services. We respond quickly to guest emails, but even in this day and age of high tech things can go wrong, emails may not arrive, our internet service may be down, we may be experiencing power cuts -there are a host of reasons that could lead to the reply to emails not being immediate. There is a reason for not pre-arranging tours before guests arrive: the weather. The plans could be made, the guests arrive and it pours with rain, for example. Or guests plan a long hike and realize when they get here that they find that they cannot manage such a hike because of the temperature and humidity. We find it is best to plan excursions while the guests are here, have acclimatized and we see what the weather is doing. This is a small property and the owners can always be found. On the contrary to these clients' comment that we said that the heat is no problem, we make it a point to warn guests of the heat and the intensity of sun, in particular on the rafting trip because the sun reflects off the water. We cannot be held responsible for the fact that these guests did not like the rafting trip (a first in our 16 years here), nor can we be held responsible for the fact that the guests forgot to adequately protect their feet. When clients ask us for creams, etc we always provide what we have. Unfortunately we have no aloe vera on our property. We have tried growing it, but have been unsuccessful so far. We are sorry that this client was badly burnt, but really feel that it is going too far to make us responsible for the sun's intensity. It is not possible to be put on the wrong meal plan -we only have one meal plan which includes a full breakfast (freshly pressed fruit juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads and jams, muesli and yogurt, cheese and eggs to order and unlimited tea/coffee) and a three course a la carte dinner from our daily changing menu which last year cost US$ 68.00 per person including taxes - and it is the client who chooses whether or not they would like to be on the meal plan or not. We do not put people on a meal plan. In fact, some of our guests request the meal plan on some days of their stay and not on others leaving them with the flexibility to choose where they would like to eat on the days that they are off the plan. This has never been a problem and has always been facilitated. We must question the comments about our staff being terrified of us -this is entirely in the guests' minds and bears no relation to the facts. Most of our staff have been with us for many many years and we have a very good relationship with them, promote them, seek training possibilities for them, and so on. The hotel is not very isolated, it is about 15 minutes drive away from the town of Port Antonio, closer than some of the other hotels in the hills further east along the coast. The hotel location is described in detail on our website but we cannot force people to read the information we have provided before they book and come -disappointment often arises out of inadequate preparation for a trip. To leave the hotel merely requires the request for a taxi to be called, this would be done and the clients can go for meals or a change of scenery whenever they would like. We simply ask our guests to be aware that it can take 15 - 20 minutes so to give us a little lead time. The closest pub offering great Jamaican food is a mere 3 minutes drive away in the neighbouring village of Drapers. And while we are on the subject of taxis, the company we work with is fully licensed and they would put their license at risk if they were to pick up people along they way. Under the transport law in Jamaica, once a taxi is chartered the driver may not just pick people up along the way. This is done by what is known in Jamaica as the route taxi which we may not order for our guests for legal and liability reasons. Taxi drivers know a lot of people along they way, men and women and they often blow their horns and call out to people as they drive as a form of greeting. People from other countries who are not used to this culture may find it unusual and may even misconstrue it, as it seems to be the case here. The driver in question consistently gets good ratings from our clients, he is a very jovial, friendly chap. It is interesting to note that on the one hand these clients claim that we took no interest in them yet on the other hand claim that when we inquired about the reason for requesting another driver (so that we could discuss the issue with the taxi company and make sure that whatever it was would not happen again) this was seen as a 'crime investigation'. On the one hand we ignore and on the other hand we make too many inquiries. What then are we to do? And regarding the road, we certainly cannot be held responsible for the fact that it was being fully rehabilitated and under construction. Road construction may not be as orderly and tidy as it is in first world countries, but this certainly cannot be held against a hotel. The construction is now complete and the drive to Montego Bay is a very pleasant and smooth 4 hours. Just out of interest, we have spoken to one or two of our staff about this guest review and their immediate comment was 'why has the guest waited this long to write a review?' We have also spoken with the taxi company and their response was the same. This question lingers in our minds as well.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lewes, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2009

I had dinner at the restaurant and did not stay. Definitely one of the best meals I've had in Jamaica so far. The restaurant took me without a reservation, provided me with an appetiser whilst looking at the menu on a lovely terrace, had a great cocktail menu and provided some delicious dishes together with 4 varities of home made bread and choices of butters.
I had chicken and it was cooked to perfection and accompanied by a rundown sauce. The dessert was banana & paypaya cream and was scrummy.
I will definitely return and intend to stay at the hotel itself.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
Helpful?
Thank Soaraway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 June 2009

The perfect place to enjoy peace, simplicity, exuberant nature, very welcoming staff. The philosophy of the hotel is worth mentioning: eco-friendly, respectful of the surrounding environment, they work with the local community in the framework of sustainable development projects, have their own water reservoir, solar panels, energy/water saving tips. At the same time you receive a four star treatment. The food is also excellent, the staff speaks French, German and English, they organize everything for you, from a trip to the beach to rafting on the Rio Grande or even waterfalls 'climbing'. What especially made the difference were all those small details, such as the bottle of massage oil in the room, the complimentary cocktail on arrival, the complimentary ride to Frenchman's cove, etc etc.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PtitVero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Port Antonio
0.5 mi away
Geejam
Geejam
#1 of 16 in Port Antonio
482 reviews
1.8 mi away
Moon San Villa
Moon San Villa
#7 of 16 in Port Antonio
162 reviews
0.7 mi away
The Trident Hotel
The Trident Hotel
#3 of 16 in Port Antonio
227 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.9 mi away
Tropical Lagoon Resort
Tropical Lagoon Resort
#8 of 16 in Port Antonio
89 reviews
0.3 mi away
Jamaica Palace Hotel
Jamaica Palace Hotel
#10 of 16 in Port Antonio
88 reviews
128.2 mi away
The SPA Retreat Boutique Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Mocking Bird Hill? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel Mocking Bird Hill

Property: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
Address: Mockingbird Hill | P.O. Box 254, Port Antonio JM, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Port Antonio
#3 Family Hotel in Port Antonio
#4 Romantic Hotel in Port Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Mocking Bird Hill 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Best eco boutique hotel in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Set on a hilltop on Jamaica's northeast coast between the majestic Blue Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Hotel Mockingbird Hill is Jamaica's foremost 'green' hotel minutes from the most romantic Frenchman's Cove Beach. A tranquil, serene, sanctuary with breathtaking vistas, laid back luxury and world class cuisine, Hotel Mockingbird Hill is the ultimate, authentic Jamaican experience. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, 5viajes2012 S.L., TripOnline SA and Evoline ltd so you can book your Hotel Mocking Bird Hill reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Mocking Bird Hill Hotel
Mocking Bird Hill Port Antonio
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill Jamaica/Port Antonio

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing