located in the foothills of jamaicas blue mountains,mango ridge cottages nestle along a ridge looking down to the sea and the market town of port antonio with its picturesque twin (website hidden) ridge cottages are within walking distance to public transportation,a town boardwalk and a vibrant crafts and produce market.several excellent beaches are minutes away by taxi..the cottages are an excellent base camp for rafting and hiking in the nearby rio grande valley..bird watchers will find many native species on the jungled property at mango ridge..the cottages are secluded amongst banana mango and coconut palms..all selfcontained units with small kitchen and bath,some wth internet access.the neighborhood is a typical working class community of small homes..the town is not dependent on tourism to its benefit and harassment is not an issue as with the major tourism centers..all in all,its a interesting place to live and work..some people dont sleep soundly their first night or two here due to the sounds of early morning roosters,dogs,parrots andwoodpeckers..this particular cottage is about 250 steps up the hill..the bathroom is downstairs from the bedroom..this cottage is ideally suited for a couple with one or two small children..one queen bed and two twins in an adjoining small bedroom..... a certain level of fitness is helpful...comfortable walking shoes with good grip soles are advisable...running water is not hot,unless you heat it on the stove...average year round (website hidden) in the 80s..the air is conditioned by fans and sea breezes...there are mosquitoes...ants and lizards as well..sometimes in your room...beds are covered with netting..long pants and socks are advisable in the evenings especially for children...i would go so far as to say that if you are allergic to insect bites,this rainforest setting might not be the right spot for you...their is occasionally loud music down in the town,but it is usually muted...if u are looking for the amenities of a hotel,i will be happy to recommend one to you....finally,a tip on luggage..suitcases are unwieldy and impractical for mango ridge.due to the steep terrain..backpacks are much more suitable..a third adult incurs an additional charge of 30$us per nite for this cottage..wifi in office courtyard..best to arrive before dark..
Our two-week stay in Port Antonio became an unforgettable and absolutely brilliant holiday, much thanks to Michael and his one of a kind cottages. We rented the second one from the top, and tellingly started referring to it as "home" during our visit. You're basically smack bang in the middle of a beautiful rainforest, in a private cottage with lovely views from the balcony, surrounded by fruit trees, flowers and tropical birds – yet just a 10 minute walk from the centre of town, with easy access to route taxis to go to one of the world class-beaches in the area or on day trips around Portland. Sure, you have to climb a bunch of steps to get up there, but it's really no hassle. I would recommend Michael's cottages to anyone who wants a blend of comfort and adventure. Our host and his family were all very friendly and helpful, and Michael is a great cook :)
Since we stayed in Port Antonio/Portland for the duration of our trip I can't really compare it to the rest of the island, but it was truly the most beautiful place I've ever visited and I'm DYING to go back!
Mike is a fantastic host. He helped with every phase of our trip, arranging for a driver to take us from Kingston to Port Antonio and back, giving us great travel tips and even serving us a delicious bowl of pumpkin soup when we first arrived. His property is truly unique, perched on a lush hillside above Port Antonio with a view of the town, bay and far off lighthouse. It's a hike to get to, but worth the effort. The cottage itself is charming but bare bones, to be expected in a generally poor town like PA (and generally in Jamaica). The balcony is an amazing perch to take in the view, enjoy a cold beer (a few of which Mike left in our fridge) and listen to the live music emanating from the church not far below. And if it rains, which it often does in PA, it will sound beautiful on the tin roof overhead. All in all, if you're looking to experience authentic Jamaica/PA, Mike's cottages are a great starting point.
This is an amazing place to spend holidays if you want to discover Portland Parish, relax and enjoy the nature. Michael did an amazing job at constructing the 5 beautiful, all equipped and artfully decorated cottages which are located 10 minutes from Port Antonio's centre. The view at the top is amazing. This is perfect if you want to experience both city life and nature in Jamaica. Very nice place and atmosphere, I will come back!
Staying at Mango Ridge is a real experience! We loved everything about... Our favorite moment of the day was stepping out in the early morning and simply sit there enjoying the view on the bay... We will come back for sure! Oh! And nothing to be scared of with the steps!
Our stay at the Mango Ridge Cottages was so, so indescribably wonderful! We arrived far after dark with no map or information about Port Antonio and were blown away by the graciousness of the residents of the city... not to mention the kindness of Robin, who waited on the street, trying desperately to hail us down multiple times! This was just the beginning of the enormous hospitality we were shown by the good folks on "the hill."
Robin took us up the many steps to our cottage; that night, it seemed like a real hike, but we quickly became accustomed and grew to love the ascension! And the view? There are no words! I have never been anywhere like it in my life... up in the trees, listening to the birds and roosters in the morning and rain on the tin roof at night. Ugh, I miss it so much. We were quickly taken in by Michael's family. I mean it, taken in! Not one day went by without us meeting to say hello in the morning, getting beach advice midday, or enjoying a game (or ten) of dominoes on his porch at night. We are typically pretty solitary travelers, setting off on our own to eat and drink anything we can get our hands on, but no matter where we were on this trip, we always ended up saying, "I wonder what's going on at Michael's?"
Now that I look back, I really wonder how Michael and his family do it. They host multiple guests on their hill every night and still manage to treat each person like a friend... lending out phones, sorting out supermarket confusions, even allowing folks to use their porch for feasts and get-togethers. Mango Ridge felt like home.
We will never forget our time in Port Antonio, but even more, we will never forget (and will often miss) Michael and his family. They are the very definitions of hosts. The meager cost of staying at their cottage could never repay their kindness. We hope to get back to the Island to lounge on the beach, eat jerk chicken, and play a raucous game of cards with Laila some time in the near future!
My little review won't cover the immensity of the amazing experience that I had at Michael's. I chose his place because I wanted something in the jungle with a friendly vibe and close to town. I got what I asked for. There are about 200-300 steps to get up to his place (which kept me in great shape). We'd always pass by his house and say hi, which was always welcoming. I saw large frogs, snails, and lizards along the tropical path to our place and the exotic smells were amazing. Our tree house (or cottage) was rustic and perfect for me. Downstairs was the kitchen and bathroom and up was our beds, a sitting room and balcony which over looked the jungle and the ocean in the distance. He leant me his binoculars and I was able to view many beautiful tropical birds. The morning and night sounds was music, crickets, croaks, and roosters, and dogs. Loved it. Michael was cool, friendly and enjoyable to chat with. I would go back there for sure!!! I am hopefully planning a hiking trip with some friends for next November!!!
Mango ridge was fantastic! living in "the bush" is so much cooler than ANY boring resort. Mike is a great and resourceful host and made my 2 week stay smooth as silk. The middle cottage is def recommended over the others. Be prepared to do battle with many Mosquitos as well as become super fit climbing loads of stairs. A real enriching experience.
One of the best things about Michael's place are his super cool and friendly kids. After a long day of travel, we were greeted by his oldest daughter on the way up to his place. She walked us up the mountain and later that day gave us a tour of Port Antonio with a friend in tow. Everything about the Mango Ridge Cottages is warm, friendly, and genuinely beautiful. From the views to the cottages, we found everything to be amazing. Gorgeous beaches are a 100 dollar cab ride per person. Getting there via public transportation and climbing all of those stairs are not for the faint of heart, but I cannot stress how worth it it is. The stairs are intimidating, but if you have to stop half way up, you get to play with Michael's puppy until you become less winded. My boyfriend and I were starting to become weary of the street harassment in tourist areas, and Port Antonio exhibited nothing of the sort. We loved staying at the Mango Ridge Cottages so much that we canceled our trip to Kingston to stay a little longer. We absolutely loved staying here, and loved playing (and losing at) games with Michael's amazing kids. Michael was very accommodating and even gave us some eggs and garlic. It was especially cute because his youngest daughter shared her 8th birthday with us.
The reservation was canceled 15 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
My husband and I stayed in the two story cottage on Michael’s recommendation since we were there for a week and it was more spacious. It’s an arduous climb to the top, but before you get scared off, I would have in no way described myself as a “fit person” and I climbed those steps 3-5 times a day. The view is gorgeous and the location is KEY - you are far enough away from the hustle and bustle of PA, while still being within walking distance of the town and it’s amenities.
There are mosquitoes and there is rain. The cottages are in a Jamaican jungle so you should be prepared for that; it has nothing to do with the cottages. Being in the jungle also means you are in the midst of mango, ackee, breadfruit, coconuts, and banana trees, all currently ripe for the picking!
The best part of our stay was the ability to connect with the people. Michael is definitely a gracious and professional host, but in addition to that, he’s also really cool to hang out and talk with as a friend. We wished we could have hung out more, but there is so much to do in the area! Also, with the help of Robin and his friend Randall, we threw an awesome barbecue for a bunch of neighbours towards the end of our stay for being so great (we hung out with them almost every day). For reference, we also went out to Gee Jam for dinner one night, and it cost us more there than it did to feed about 15 people at our barbecue (the guys climbed the trees to get free side dishes!), and both my husband and I agreed that the food and ambiance at the latter FAR exceeded the former. Plan a barbecue with Robin one night if he's available; I promise you will not be disappointed, he has some friends that can jerk some pretty mean chicken and fish!
In short, if you are looking for air conditioning and room service and all the bells and whistles, those places exist, but this is not the place for you. If you are willing to work a bit for a completely unique and wonderful experience, then you will be paid off in spades by the Mango Ridge cottages.
We’ll be returning.