Mocking Bird Hill Hotel

, Port Antonio, Jamaica
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Mocking Bird Hill Hotel

, Port Antonio
4 star

Rooms: 10

Port Antonio, - Port Antonio - Jamaica Hotel Website | | 876-993-7134
165 Traveller

Reviews - Mocking Bird Hill Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Mocking Bird Hill Hotel

It can be a nice place. but....

from A TripAdvisor Member
The positive sides of the Mockingbird Hill Hotel were the location on the hillside overlooking the ocean (if you book a room with ocean view), the extremely friendly and professional staff (except of the owners, who give you that feeling that you are only wellcome if you do not disturb but leave your money in their restaurant and at their bar), the ecological principles (e.g. use of rain water) and the social engagement. However, we did not feel comfortable and left before planned (without refund as it is stated in the agreement), because the room was only separated from the outside by wooden blades (you hear everything, especially when they start to clean outside at 6:45 and knock with a broom at the stairs so that you have to wake up)and the balcony was open to each side, which gave us the feeling to sit in the public with everybody hearing and seeing you. Imagine you wake up and you want to run to the balcony to great the sun, but at the door you realize that you should dress up first. Imagine you want to enjoy sunset, but you hear every single voice of your neighbour, inclusive the flush toilet. Value for money [290 US$ for an room with ocean view) does not fit.
We changed to Frenchman Cove, a place which need renovation. However, we found privacy for have of the price in one of their villas.

t Waste your time here...

from A TripAdvisor Member
I wish I would of checked here before we went. I see that others had many of the same problems we had. I'll keep it short, Over priced plain food. Owners are something else... Money grabing, rude. I am not here to bash them but they do need a lesson in customer service. After a short stay we moved to Goblin Hills. MUCH better. Already have a reservation for next year there...

Attractive but noisy at night

from A TripAdvisor Member
Like most of the hotels around Port Antonio, Mocking Bird Hill has a problem with noise. The prime offender here is a bar down the hill on the main highway. It's quiet during the day, so try to get your sleep then. Otherwise, the hotel is nice. If you have to stay at Port Antonio, this is the place I'd recommend. The food is expensive but that cannot be helped in Jamaica because of the weak currency and diseconomies of scale on a small island. You could always eat plain stews on a bench in a local restaurant. We actually did that and enjoyed the occasion. I notice that some other people have complained about unfriendly service. The Jamaican people, from my experience, are not prone to false displays of diffidence just to please tourists. I say, let them keep their dignity and look somewhere else for trained smilers.

A very disappointing meal.

from A TripAdvisor Member
Didn't stay here but went for dinner. We were told by a friend that this was one of two places we HAD to eat at in Port Antonio. There were no prices on the menu but were told the daily offering was about $35. This turned out to be an unimpressive appetizer followed by stir-fried chicken. So we ended up ordering ala carte only to find that we spent around $50 for two courses and a shared dessert. I will say that the bread and butter offering was quite good. The first course ("Feta" with citrus-garlic sauce) was tasty, but not terribly generous or superlative. The house salad was average, made much better by a delicious balsamic dressing. Entree was shrimp with orange-onion sauce. For some reason I ordered this thinking it would be interesting. It was shrimp with marmelade and was DISGUSTING. There was a little pile of fried potatoes on the side, which were good enough. Worse still, they charged me $35 for it. For SIX SHRIMP WITH MARMELADE. The dessert sampler was good, although again, not superlative. When we suggested to the server (after clearly not enjoying the shrimp ... leaving 5 of the 6 on the plate) that the shrimp was not to our liking, her only response was to take away the plates.

IMHO ... this place needs a serious attitude adjustment. It is not ALL THAT.

Gorgeous location, but beware !

from A TripAdvisor Member
I would describe the Mockingbird Hill Hotel as a good, overpriced, bed and breakfast with unpredictable, moody service from the owners. The other staff are exceptionally pleasant, but unfortunately to arrange any trips, taxis etc you have to deal with the owners. This is a real problem. We found one of the owners charming one minute and very rude and money grabbing the next. The location is amazing and would recommend it only for max of 2 nights for the scenery, birdlife, bedrooms and hotel verandahs, but not the food quality and food prices. Also take note this is one of the rainiest parts of the island, but exceptionally beautiful. We had 3 days cloud/rain and 2 days sun mid-dec.

We had one superior room and one standard room (there were 3 ladies in our party). Both were a good size, clean and had amazing views of the tropical vegetation and nearby sea below. We had rooms 8 and 10. The verandahs are big and have hammocks and seats and tables. The difference between the two types of rooms was minimal. The superior rooms have much higher ceilings and slightly upgraded shower room, better quality blue mountain coffee and slightly more upmarket toiletries. Neither of our rooms had baths, but they did have double showers. The decor was good and plants and fresh flowers very welcome. There was no air conditioning, but there were mosquito nets (which weren't really needed), there were fans and a good breeze, and we felt this was adequate.

Despite the very beautiful location with amazing birdlife - (streamer tail hummingbirds everywhere as well as many other birds)we left one day early as we were so disappointed with the owners attitude, the food quality for its price and the general feeling that we were prisoners They charged us for both rooms full price when we left one day early from our 6 day stay and the hotel was not full at the time. I would perhaps recommend booking with Expedia rather than direct with the hotel, because then you can use their cancellation policy.

We booked direct with the hotel $195 superior, $155 standard room per night including continental breakfast of coffee, orange juice, fruit plate, savoury muffins and bread. We also received one cocktail free in the evening eg G&T or rum cocktail. Anything else was extra. The meal du jour was about $37 per night, but the hotel did not make it easy to identify it, and if you strayed off onto a la carte you could pay $40 for one course without knowing as no prices shown. We did not feel the quality of food was good enough for these prices. The menu sounded amazing but it tasted average. An average stir fry spaghetti with beef and broccoli, like I make at home everyday, for $28 is too expensive. I hope the hotel changes things for the future.

Our transfer from Montego Bay was US$240 for 3 people each way (we got a slight discount!!)- it took about 5 hours each way with a couple of not very interesting stops on the way. The distance is not too far (about 100 miles?) but the roads have alot of pot holes and are mainly single lane. The daytime journey was interesting and colourful and should not put you off visiting Port Antonio area, even my 70 yr old mother managed it. The hotel use 'Attraction Link' based in Port Antonio for transfers and taxis. Wayne the driver is an amazing character and a good driver, his son Lorenzo is also a good safe driver although much less talkative.

To get to Port Antonio return was US$30 for 3 people, or $20 for 2 for a 15 min journey but there is not much to see there and most other places around were closed or empty. I would recommend the harbour restaurant for lunch (Marthas?) there is a little beach there aswell. Unfortunately Blue Lagoon restaurant is closed and we were quoted $50 to get to the beach on bamboo rafts!! James Bond Beach closed, also San San beach at time of writing closed!! Frenchmans Cove is exceptionally beautiful beach - Free entry for mockingbird guests and free transfer from hotel (5 mins) - jungle, fresh water river, beautiful sea and beach. We were not hassled at all. The lunch although basic - chicken, rice etc was very, very tasty and cheap with waiter service to your sunlounger. We had a tablecloth on our little lunch table which the waiter moved to the shade for us. We also had cheap pina coladas all day brought to our sunloungers - heavenly.

We only had time for one day trip and this was amazing. The hotel arranged a bird watching trip into the forests. $75 transport and $100 for expert bird man. Unfortunately despite the owners rudely telling us the birdman would definitely arrive at 6am for birdwatching - he did not!!!! - There was no apology from the owners at all - and the hotel charged us $115 for transport later on. We went with the bus driver alone(Wayne) and had a beautiful early morning bird tour in the jungle with breakfast - we saw parrots, todys and many other birds. We then went to Reach falls which is very beautiful, but not managed by anyone now it seems and the facilities are run down (no restaurant etc). We paid about ten pounds for 3 people to walk down to the falls (with a local person), swim and I stood under the falls where Tom Cruise filmed Cocktail - it was like 50 massages all at once - invigorating. We then had lunch (Goat Curry) at the Chill bar in Long Bay - amazing long white beach - very, very relaxing, peaceful. We 3 ladies were not hassled at all. We then bought jerk chicken at Boston Bay on way back for dinner. The chicken is so moist and tasty in Jamaica.

Another traveller tip - we stayed in Royal Decameron Montego Beach hotel, Montego Bay on the first night before travelling to Port Antonio. This rested us after our flight from London and the hotel was fabulous and very good value. I booked on Expedia.

Very finally I hope things change at Mockingbird Hill Hotel in the future as they have huge potential, however, the owners are not making the customers feel relaxed and at ease at present.

Not the worst, not the best but be ready to walk!

from sammyboy
My fiance and I stayed at the Hotel Mockingbird due to the large volume of positive reviews that we had read from various travel sources and magazines., however I am of two minds on this property.
Firstly, if you choose to stay here, it is not inexpensive and it is definitely not on the beaten path. Port Antonio is a wonderful part of Jamaica and is unspoiled and not overly developed., but having said that NOTHING is within walking distance to Hotel Mockingbird.
The "nice" beaches are approx 5 kms away and the "city" of Port Antonio is about 3 kms away. The city is nothing to see really and isn't really worth the trouble unless you like to standard "made in china" trinkets. However, there are some amazing sites within the general area (waterfalls and great jungle scenery) but they take a long time to reach these destinations and nothing is moderately priced.
Hotel Mockingbird is situated on a nice high hill with a very steep roadway, so if you don't want to pay for a taxi, you will have to make like Sir Edmund Hilary and trek up all that way in the heat!
Taxi from the Airport to the Hotel was over $80 USD!, however we did know that in advance - I'm not complaining as much as warning you. Car rentals may be better but as with most of the Caribbean, you may be taking your life in your hands.
The food is overpriced and not really all that special - and there are only a handful of places to eat dinner off site of the Hotel and again they are expensive for what you get.
The rooms were fairly big and were clean but not very private - as many of the hotel walls are designed with an "open" concept so keep the noise down if you know what I mean...
The laides who run Hotel Mockingbird run it as you would your own home and the dogs never really bothered us, but I must admit that the owners weren't all that warm to us either, so I guess it really did remind us of home!! : ) They were slow to recommend any off site trips so you really need to pre-plan your trip as they will leave you to your own devices unless you press them for local details.
Go if you are looking for a no frills, relaxing type of get away, but do your research and be prepared for what you are getting yourself into.

Hidden Beauty

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have just returned from a wonderful extended weekend at the Hotel Mockingbird Hill Just on the outskirts of Port Antonio, Jamaica. This small (10 rooms) hotel is nestled in the hillside and has wonderful views. The surrounding gardens are rich with flora and fauna. Our primary reason for booking a room there was for birding and we were not disappointed. The flowering trees surrounding the pool were dripping with hummingbirds. The rooms were quaint and spotless. The food was of gourmet quality. While there the hotel arranged for several birding excursions for us and a trip to a local school at our request. Other couples we spoke with went rafting or went to the beach. We found the staff to be very friendly and attentive. The size of the hotel allows for personal touches that are impossible at a larger hotel (such as remembering our names). If you are looking for a place to party then this definatly is not the place. If, however, you are looking for a romantic get away don't miss the Hotel Mockingbird .

One of the best hotels in Jamaica

from huisman
As it was my 6th visit of Jamaica and my first stay at Mockingbirdhill Hotel, I must say that I was incredible pleased about the way the managers of this hotel do things to please the guests. Even with my experience of visiting Port Antonio, they arranged some excursions for me that I wouldn't have done or could have done without their experience and help. I never stayed in Port Antonio in rooms with such a nice view of the town and the ocean. The employees were incredibly friendly and as said in other reviews, I just arrived there and I felt allready home. We had the romantic retreat package and were very pleased with it. It is certainly a recommandation for people who like a very nice breakfast and a superb meal in the evening. The cocktail each day that you can take at the bar that is situated above the dining room and has a beautiful look over Port Antonio, is a moment to look at the sunset before you go dining.
If you have a problem you ask Shireen and she resolves it for you with a smile.
Concerning the other reviews I've read:
They have internetaccess now free for the guests.
About the dogs: They are never a problem. The dogs stay with the managers and are never disturbing you. Most of the time you don't see them at all.
The mille fleurs breakfast is incredible good. First you get a full plate of fresh fruits, than you get cereals, you get fresh bakened bread different kinds (very tasteful), you get different kinds of marmelade, then you get your own choice of eggs and of course real blue mountain coffee. Don't forget the "fresh" orange juice. mmm why couldn't I stay longer...
In the evening you get a three course menu with a good choice of dishes and several times we had a mix of desserts which was to Belgian standards very good (and we are spoiled concerning desserts). For the vegetarians: each day there was a choice of two different dishes, something I did not see a lot before (not that I am a vegetarian, but It's worth mentioning it)
As I have a lot of experience with Jamaica and Port Antonio, this is the hotel you must stay if you want a combination of a good hospitallity, good food, very nice employees and good information how to use your precious time in the most beautiful part of the island: Portland.
I also want to say that at first I was a little bit afraid about the "eco" label this hotel has, but all the things that they do for the environment does not affect the guests service: Everything is as it should be, no... even better.

Heaven on Earth aka. Hotel Mocking Bird Hill

from cacus
My wife an i stayed a week at the Mockingbird to celebrate our honeymoon. We absolutly loved it! The fresh flowers, the custom made food, the staff!!! All Great! The food was incrediable. My wife is a vegetarian and I am a Vegan, and we had nothing to worry about. I am from the NYC area where there are many world renouned vegetarian resturants and this would out shine them all. (They also have chiken and meat) The owners we great. They helpped us out in planning each day, and made sure all the food was ok for our diets. The staff was the icing on the cake. Each staff member knew your name and knew about you, very personalized. I would never go anywhere else other then the Mockingbird. If you are looking to just relax and take in some of the most unbelivable sights-this is your place.....

A True Vacation

from A TripAdvisor Member
I recently visited Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in Port Antonio, Jamaica with my family. This place truly defines a vacation. We were able to completely unwind and escape the pressures of work and school (not to mention TV and video games). It's not that there is nothing to do at Mocking Bird Hill; the gardens are beautiful and my sons (who are quite accomplished birders) were thrilled with the variety of birds to be seen right on the hotel grounds. The swimming pool is, of course, a great diversion and the hotel's pleasant staff also made it easy to visit the many local attractions. We spent a day at the beach and another with a local guide on a nature hike to a beautiful waterfall. We also took an afternoon to visit Boston Beach and gorged ourselves on the great jerk barbecue for which the area is famous.

Even with all the outside activities, we found ourselves just wanting to chill out right on the property. For once, I didn't feel the slightest bit guilty to swing in the hammock on my porch reading a book. Also, the food at Mocking Bird Hill is superb! I guess one of the best parts of the trip is to know that this hotel takes care of the environment. It has won numerous environmental awards and is certified by Green Globe 21. Many of the hotel's features show that the owners, Shireen Aga and Barbara Walker are taking steps to be responsible in this area. A stay at Mocking Bird Hill contributes not only to one's own peace of mind, but also to saving the natural beauty of our planet. I would recommend this spot to everyone!

Top Local Tips for Port Antonio

So much to see in this area of Jamaica The bamboo rafting is serene and surreal - amazing scenes, scenery and sights and lovely people. Reach Falls are fun and well set up as long as they keep it to very small numbers of people to best enjoy the peace and pace of the area. Port Antonio is cool for a walk around - friendly people, no hassles, interesting sights and sounds and not touristy. Hike into the Blue Mountains, go to a coffee plantation, buy coffee directly - great experience. Chill at Frenchman's Cove, the water and beach and scenery are great and there's few people. The people at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill set up some great trips and adventures. You can do so much, beach and nature-wise, and get to know some local folks - for non-touristy attractions, this area was the Best!

Stunning place PORT ANTONIO -GO THERE! you wont be dissapointed!

Warm and welcoming people of Jamaica Many guide books and articles talk about the beauty of Jamaica then caution readers about aggressive vendors and hustlers and about personal safety. Our experience in driving all around Jamaica and staying in Mandeville, Mavis Bank, Port Antonio, Uptown Kingston, Treasure Beach, and Negril was that people were universally warm, welcoming, and helpful.

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  • Address: Port Antonio, - Port Antonio - Jamaica
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