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From Jamaica, global citizen, love my country, community, family, and meeting new people.
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Beautiful home, excellent hospitality! Enjoyed every second of my stay!
This was a lovely place and made such a relaxing break. What made it so enjoyable was the kindness and friendliness of the family. Nothing was too much trouble and they really made the holiday special. I wouldn't hesitate to go back or to recommend it to others.
My wife and I wanted to experience the 'real' Jamaica away from all the resorts, and Howard and co. were the perfect warm, welcoming bunch to show us the way. To give context, Shaari is a US-based point of contact (and relative of) to the local family you'll be staying with, and she was incredibly quick to respond as we planned our trip. Howard supplied us with a list of taxis and places to see - even suggesting the beautiful Strawberry Fields in Robin's Bay (highly recommended!).
As for the cottage, it is one half of a large 'guest cottage' duplex located high up on a steep hill, with beautiful views of Oracabessa bay. There's lovely landscaping with all types of tropical plants, flowers, and birds -- such a wonderful escape from the noise of a big city. The interior of the cottage is spare but cute, and is well represented in the photos. Again, you get the feeling you're living like a local, far away from the big-name resorts. For the price, the cottage is exactly what we expected, and we'd stay there again if we ever find ourselves on the north Jamaican coast.
Also: we highly recommend taking advantage of the meals that can be purchased separately through Howard. Their staff made some amazing traditional Jamaican dishes for us, including ackee and saltfish, johnny cakes, and boiled plantains (and that was just breakfast!). As the cottage is located a pretty good walk from the town of Oracabessa, there were several nights we didn't want to trek down in search of food, but dinner on location was delicious and beautifully presented.
We hope to be back!
Shaari was wonderful. She met me at the airport and toke me to buy some grocery and food. The property is about 30 mins from the town but if you walk 5 mins to the square you can get a taxi which cost you about $150 to drop you off or you can rent a car. There is a neighbor Ms.Connie who works at Island Car Rental who will give you a good deal. The town-home is beautifully breathtaking with a spacious main bedroom on the main floor and a balcony overlooking the river which lulls you to sleep at night. Upstairs presented two bedrooms with bathroom and a connecting balcony overlooking the river as well. Fully equipped kitchen with everything you would need and a spacing living and dining room area with a TV. Very antique and vintage feel also their was a pool on the property which was convenient when my family and I needed to cool off. I also met her uncle Howard the owner of the property the day I arrived but they left to go home. The head of committee Ms.Tulloch was a bit unbearable I suppose she was doing her job but all in all it was nice only thing I hope to improve is maintenance and communication on certain things. Thank you for sharing your wonderful home.
My fiance and i stayed here for nine nights and we were at home. Directions to the cottage were very lucid and precise and the cottage is just as advertised. Upon arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome and shown to our cottage. After settling in Howard came by and made sure everything was okay. If you're interested in taking a dip there is a beach walking distance from the cottage and if you decide to stay in, there is always the pool just next to the cottage where you can swim or just relax on the lounge chairs provided and surf the net with the many wifi connections available at hand. The staff were very friendly and easy to talk with. I must say thanks to Tiny she made sure to come by and ensure that the place was clean and the linens were fresh. During the stay there was a power cut in the area and i was in the middle of preparing a meal on the electric burner and without even asking Howard offered to let me finish up in the main house. I must say thanks to the Pottingers and staff for a wonderful stay. I would definitely recommend this cottage if you're thinking of staying in St. Mary
Thank you so much for your kind review, Matthew. It was a pleasure to host you and your fiance. We hope in the future that you will consider staying with us again!
Since I booked another month with that host, I have a second review. It’s a very nice and safe place to stay. It’s easy to reach public transport (route taxis). Authentic description and picture of a beautiful cottage. Family Pottinger and Shaari himself are lovely persons and make you feel at home. Again: I definitely recommend this place!
I really felt home in this lovely cottage. Family Pottinger, the owner, is very friendly and I am glad that I met them. You get help whenever you need. The beach is not that far and you can reach it by walk. Further in Oracabessa is a small town but you have all what you need. A Postoffice, Supermarket, Barber, Restaurants etc. If you plan a stay here in St. Mary, I really recommend this host.
Title: The Perfect Hideaway I really loved my stay here, so much so that I came back later in my travels to spend my final days here. I love it so much, I kind of don't want to tell people how awesome it is because I don't want to have booking issues when I return next summer. But the Pottingers are such good people, I couldn't ignore the opportunity to comment upon their awesomeness. All of the pictures are true to form. The house is a duplex, one side is a bit larger with a full size bed. The other side--the side I stayed in--is a bit smaller with two twin beds. I admired the other side, but I actually preferred my casita because it has a better flow of air off the ocean and from the mountains. There is no air conditioning but it is rarely, if ever, swelteringly hot. The heat comes on the most from around 11:30am - 2:00pm but that was usually the time that I swam in the pool, showered, and took a siesta. I was working on my book manuscript so the house is a swell place to write, contemplate, do some yoga, swim, head to the private beach to chill out (a walk down the hill) and walk around the property and eat directly from the 12 different varieties of mango trees. A note about the property--this is not a luxurious place in the middle of everything. This is a nice property in the hills of Jamaica. Oracabessa is a suburb of Ochos Rios, which is the closest central city. There is Ochie at the center, then Boscobel, then Oracabessa. A US reference would be the suburbs of New Jersey to NYC. This is not the place if you want to club all night every single day. Nor is it the place if you enjoy the sort of sterilized experience of the all-inclusive resorts. Oracabessa is quietish with a night life that is much closer to what every day Jamaicans experience. It was a bit more of a retreat where I could restore my balance and get work done while still being close enough to everything if I wanted to be an absolute tourist. Finally, I would recommend having the number of a taxi driver to hire occasionally to get around town. I would highly recommend Mr. Rambo who was my driver--just ask Roxy. Which leads me to... The extra factor that puts this property above others is that Shaari's family, The Pottingers, were absolutely wonderful hosts. They were kind, generous, and caring. If you want your space, they will absolutely stay away, but I would recommend talking with some members of the family and the property's caretakers. They know a lot about the area and are always willing to recommend places to go, people to see, and things to do. The family is large, loving, and live all over the world so there is always someone new to say hello to and...
We stayed with Shaari for 2 nights and the place is very nice (apartmentwise & a beautiful surrounding/view) & clean, also well equipped for self-(email hidden)ke in the pictures:). Her uncle was very helpful - since we are traveling with the bus he picked us up in Ocho Rios & went with us to the supermarket. He also brought us some cocunut water the other day & after we have left we recognized that we have forgot the phone charger - so he even organized that we get it back - thanks so much again:)!!! A small note on the side - we thought the accomodation is better for people with a car since it's a bit away/offside.
Great place to stay. U can choose which apartment u want to stay. they have 2 available and the both look really lovely. we stayed one night but we had a great experience. not difficult to find and it is very peaceful place i have to say. in the morning we had good breakfast next the pool. go and stay if u will be passing by.. we very happy.