Saint Thomas is one of the most interesting and beautiful corners of Jamaica. I visited for one night to get away from the heat and bustle of Kingston and to try to find out a bit more about the history of the Lyssons sugar plantation and its former owners as part of a bigger history research project that I'm working on. Golden Shore is right by the present-day town of Lyssons and next to the site of the old plantation of the same name, so I chose this as my place to stay and was not at all disappointed.
This is not an expensive place to stay. I was extremely impressed with the room rate and with the cost of the food. The room was simple but very comfortable indeed, more than big enough, with a good bathroom, and cable TV. More importantly that all of that, you can hear muffled sound of the waves breaking softly on the shore as you drift off to sleep! The staff were efficient and friendly, and I was lucky enough to meet and chat with the owner, who was welcoming and helpful when it came to finding out about who best to speak to in the local area about my research. The food was also very good. They will cook what you want for you when you need it (within reason, of course!), and what you get - essentially - is good home cooking for about the price of a take-out meal in the UK.
The beach here is beautiful and right next to the hotel. The sea is fantastic for a swim, and the scenery from and around the beach is sublime: a world away from the high-rise hotels which are familiar scars on the north-coast landscape in tourist resorts like Ocho-Rios or Montego Bay. People here are also very friendly and laid back. There is none of the hustle and hassle associated with Kingston or the more touristy resorts (even in Negril, which is more relaxed in my experience than the north coast).
Getting into Morant Bay from Golden Shore is easy and cheap via the route taxis that go along the main coastal road. In Morant Bay you can visit sites associated with the infamous 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion and its bloody repression, one of the most important episodes in the history of Jamaica, and a significant event in the history of the British Empire. I took a taxi into the hills to Stony Gut, where there is a memorial to Paul Bogle, a Jamaican National Hero and leader of the 1865 rebellion. I had no trouble making this trip, even on a Sunday, and met interesting, helpful, and friendly people when I chose to walk some of the way back to Morant Bay from Stoney Gut.
Overall, I would really recommend Golden Shore, particularly if you are travelling alone or as a couple on a bit of a budget. You can spend days on the beach or use it as a jumping off point for trips into the local hills, into the Blue Mountains, or to Morant Bay. As a bolt-hole for a quick and reasonably priced weekend getaway from Kingston, it was perfect!
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Shore Beach Hotel Jamaica
- Golden Shore Beach Jamaica