Jamaica Heights Resort Circa 2007
In 2011 the Jamaica Heights Resort had been closed because of a tragic event. On the Lonely Planet forum an inquiry was made asking "if the superb affordable Jamaica Heights in Port Antonio is still in operation? I have stayed there twice with my partner in the past and absolutely loved it." One chilling reply was "It is closed. (Helmut was murdered.)"So RIP Helmet.
However, in a 2011 Trip Advisor forum thread, one person mentioned that Jamaica Heights Resort had reopened and they were taking reservations.
NOW jump ahead to the present. The new owners of this site's domain can not confirm if the resort is still open in 2018. Therefore visitors will have to be content with this nostalgic trip back to when one could book a room at the delightful Jamaica Heights Resort paradise in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
The content below is from the site's 2007 archived pages.
Welcome to the page of Jamaica Heights Resort.
The Owners of Jamaica Heights
Helmut Steiner is your host and lives here permanently with his wife Charmaine and their young children Zora and Marcus. Helmut left Germany in 1976 on his sailing vessel, sailing around the world for several years until he discovered and fell in love with Port Antonio.
"I like it here and there is no place in the world that i would trade for. When i told this to my friends, they came to visit, then they told their friends, who also came and then told everybody. It's a great international community of special guests that just keep coming back. - that is really nice."
Jamaica Heights is located in the small town of Port Antonio. You can fly into Kingston or Montego Bay. Driving time from Kingston is approximately 2 hours, from Montego Bay 3-4 hours.
We can provide up to date information about private charter flights to Port Antonio and car rentals, and arrange either for you - or have a personal driver pick you up.
On the reservation page you can select the type of transport you wish to use.
Prices for transport vary and we will let you know how much it is when we confirm your reservation.
For confirmed reservations we request a minimum stay of three days and a deposit of 20% for the total accommodation. The deposit is not refundable if you cancel but can be credited towards future visits.
The four rooms on the mountain top are 95 US$ downstairs and 125 US$ upstairs, each, per day.
The two rooms at the pool are 75 US$ each per day.
The exclusive rental gives you the option to share all above with family and friends.
The exclusive rental is 500 US$ per day.
The Ridge Cottage is 175 US$ per day and is not included in the exclusive rental.
Our gate house for backpackers and students is 45 US$ per day.
The deposit is 20% of total.
Breakfast is 12.50 US$
Dinner is 18 to 28 US$
The Place, Jahs Resort
One half of the property resembles an impressionistic painting. For fifteen years we planted every available flower, palm and fruit tree, with no other concept than shape and color. You will find an Italian fountain shaded by a breadfruit tree. There are tables and benches to hide out, rest or read: in the pimento grove, under the coconut trees or the banana leaves or next to the small fish pond with papyrus and waterlillies under the outstretching almondtree.
The other half we left untouched: bamboo and tropical rainforest. Three hundred steps lead you to your own private waterfall and river-jacuzzi away from any sound of civilisation, surrounded only by nature and hummingbirds. You can rest at the river gazebo and after ascending from this hidden paradise swim again in the pool. For no-sun-seekers: half of the pool area is covered by a cedar-shingled roof.
We have a total of six rooms and the Ridge Cottage. The two story building on top of the mountain has two rooms on each floor. They are connected by double doors. All four rooms have a large private terrace, hot water in their bathrooms and a queen size four-poster bed. The rooms offer a breathtaking view over Port Antonio, the ocean and the Blue Mountains. One level below a few steps away is the restaurant. The large gazebo on top of it is perfect for meditation, yoga exercises or a more secluded breakfast or dinner. The restaurant consists of a dining room, a bar, a lounge, a beautiful terrace and a state of the art kitchen. On the level below the restaurant you find a ping-pong pavilion, a fishpond under the almond tree and a palm garden. The whole compound is enclosed by a high wall that surrounds the entire hilltop. Two steel gated entrances and a fence overgrown with bouganvilleas on top of this wall guaranty total privacy and create the feeling of a small Mediterranean castle.
Just below this compound is the swimming pool with two small rooms adjoined to it. They each have a queen size bed, two small balconies, their own bathroom with hot water and a small terrace.
As a perfect hideaway there is the Ridge Cottage. It has two floors. The bedroom at the top is surrounded by four terraces. From its queen size four-poster bed you have a 360 degree view over the town, the harbour, the ocean, the Blue Mountains and our garden. On the bottom floor is the living room with a futon bed, the bathroom, a kitchenette and the breakfast terrace. The cottage has cable tv on both floors and broadband internet connection.
Guide Ratings / Reviews
THE ROUGH GUIDE - JAMAICA
by Polly Thomas and Adam Vaitilingam - Third Edition Nov. 2003 page 130
Port Antonio Small historic town with lots of character set around two pretty bays. Jamaica Heights, right above the town, is one of the best guesthouses on the island. see page 161
Jamaica Heights Resort Spring Bank Rd. tel. 993 3305 website www.jamaicaheights.net
Mellow guesthouse in great location, high up in the hills. It's easily the best in Port Antonio. Beautiful and spacious rooms are excellent value, and views over the town are staggering. Facilities include it's own "private" river and waterfall, as well as a pool and Ping - Pong table.
Frommer's Caribbean 2001 and Frommer's Jamaica, 2000 edition.
By Danforth Prince, co-author.
If you're not particularly adventurous, and if a bland, mass-produced motel beside an interstate highway is your idea of a great vacation, this is definitely not the hotel for you. But if you're looking for a hyper-sophisticated retreat where you might run into a band of holidaymaking rock stars from Düsseldorf, a team of avant-garde filmmakers cranking out tomorrow's cult film, or a place where your artistic hopes and dreams might actually be encouraged and nurtured, this might be the place for you.
It's set at the top of a rutted and very steep series of roads, the best of which were privately built by the very worldly and attractively jaded owner, Helmut Steiner, former professor of philosophy and literature in Berlin, who built the place between 1984 and 1996 after skippering his own sailboat around the world. (He awoke one morning after a circumnavigation of Cuba and a nighttime entrance into Port Antonio, and became entranced with his view of the surrounding hills). Today, with his wife Charmaine and their two children, he maintains the funkiest, most amusing, and most hyper-hip guesthouse in town. Scattered amid the wedge-shaped eight-acre property are a half-dozen buildings, each white-walled with blue shutters, artfully scattered gazebos, masses of climbing vines, and a Moghul-inspired pavilion that was specifically designed for meditating over views of the forested terrain that cascades down to Port Antonio's harbor. Amid sturdy retaining walls that might remind you of a postmodern version of a castello in Italy, you'll find a garden of exotic palms, a gurgling stream with its own waterfalls, the most elegant ping-pong pavilion in the world, and dozens of botanical oddities imported from around the world.
Accommodations are spotlessly clean, evoking feelings that are both nautical and minimalist-the kind of place where you might improve both your yoga skills and interpersonal friendships. Each has a four-poster bed and unusual lighting fixtures whose rays filter through soldered-together computer circuit boards. Doors can be opened or closed within this scattered hotel to create suites with between two and four bedrooms. Don't overlook the possibility of renting the entire compound for a worldly, and ultra-private retreat at a place that's much, much more iconoclastic than what you might have found at a typical hotel or guesthouse.
Dining/Entertainment: There's an in-house restaurant that's open only to residents of the hotel and their guests, a swimming pool, a riverfront gazebo for swimming, and the possibility, through Helmut, of arranging any of the land- or watersports available in the surrounding region.
Lonely Planet - Jamaica
by Christopher P Parker, 3rd edition - Jan.2003 page 195
Jamaica Heights Hotel tel. 993 2156... Spring Bank Rd.... southwest of Boundbrook Crescent, is a splendid option. The exquisite hilltop plantation home is set amid lush gardens with a spectacular setting and incredible views. Columned verandas, whitewashed walls, aged brick, dark hardwood floors, louvered windows, French doors, and a cool white - and - blue color scheme combine to provide a gracious environment. The six rooms and two studios are tastefully furnished with white wicker and antiques, plus four - poster beds with romantic netting. A two - bedroom cottage was being added. A spa offers massage and treatments, and there's a beautiful plunge pool plus a nature trail.
THE ROUGH GUIDE - CARIBBEAN
First Edition - Oct. 2002 page 259
Jamaica Heights Spring Bank Road (off Boundbrook Road) Tel. 993 2156
By far the prettiest place to stay in town, this mellow guesthouse offers a grand view of the twin harbours. The spacious rooms have four - poster beds and big balconies. There's a pool and meals are available, as are walks to nearby waterfalls.
REVIEW FROM CARIBYA.COM
The owners of Jamaican Heights Resort have taken years and lots of effort to create an oasis on this property, consisting of hundreds of plants and trees on one half of the property and a tropical rainforest on the other which features a waterfall. There really is no better way to get away from it all than with a stay here.
Jamaica Heights is the perfect spot for travelers looking to go out after dinner, since there is a great selection of late-night venues in the area. Among other options, you'll have the chance to relax at their very own bar, which is conveniently located on the property.
Positioned near the center of Port Antonio, Jamaica Heights Resort happily welcomes vacationers who are interested in basing their vacation in this town or an adjacent area.
Guests have the option of staying in the six room main house, or the Ridge Cottage. The rooms in the main house connect in order to create suites when needed, and each have queen-sized four poster beds.
The cottage, meanwhile, has a living room with futon bed, kitchenette, breakfast nook, and bathroom on the first floor, and a bedroom with a four-poster queen-sized bed on the second floor. Cable television is available to all guests, as is broadband Internet.
Jamaica Heights is a very small option featuring a grand total of 7 units. Since it is a cozy and charming place, it appeals to travelers who like a less commercialized atmosphere. These cottages have received a 3 star rating, for a number of reasons, including overall quality, amenities, and service.
Below, you'll find a listing of in-room amenities offered by Jamaica Heights Resort.
- Private Bath
- Cable/Satellite TV
- Temperature Control
- TV Remote Control
- Rollaway Beds
Please consider that some amenities may only be available for some room types, so if you desire a certain amenity for your stay, contact the cottages to see if it is available.
Activities and Amenities
Offerings at Jamaica Heights resort include a gazebo which is perfect for yoga, a fish pond, a palm garden, and a ping-pong pavilion.
For this lodging's general amenities, check the following list:
- Sports Available
- Hiking/Nature Walk
- Outdoor Parking
- Highspeed Internet
If you want to be certain the hotel has exactly what you expect, it's best to contact the lodging just in case some of the amenities vary. Visit this page to read our complete discussion about the activities and recreation opportunities offered at Jamaica Heights Resort.
In addition to the dining options on-site, travelers looking for more culinary variety might also want to consider some of the area's other nearby dining establishments. Vacationers who stay at Jamaica Heights Resort will discover a limited but good selection of restaurants in the vicinity. It may be helpful to learn which choices are available nearby, even though Jamaica Heights does have dining of its own.
The services available at Jamaica Heights Resort, including the one named below, could make your trip even more enjoyable.
You will notice a fair number of attractions in the vicinity of Jamaica Heights. Some of the closest attractions are Neville Antonio Park and Folly Lighthouse. If you plan to do a little lounging in the sand, like most travelers who visit Jamaica, your itinerary would be incomplete without ample time at the beach. Fortunately, Errol Flynn Marina Beach is to be one of the closest beaches to the cottages.
One of the nearest notable areas to these cottages is Port Antonio. To maximize what you see and learn during your trip, escape for a day trip to a couple nearby towns to see what else the country has to offer.
Reach Falls . Winnifred Beach . Blue Mountains 'Jahsresort Naturewalk' . Rio Grande Rafting . Long Bay Beach . Roof Club . Folly Point . Frenchman's Cove . Jahsresort's Waterfall . Port Antonio Market . Sommerset Falls . Navy Island . Blue Lagoon
"My husband and I just returned from Jamaica Heights and we're already planning our return trip. We are so glad we had the chance to meet our wonderful host, Helmut. We wouldn't have known what to do in Port Antonio besides lounging by the pool, but Helmut was full of ideas for us and always arranged for a taxi for us (or even gave us a lift or, better yet, came with us!). Even the rainy days were fun, he taught us to play dominoes and now we're hooked!..."
Our children were so happy and thrived in that natural environment. We will be back soon!
Mahen and Luca Bonetti, New York City
"If your more of an all inclusive type and do not enjoy being surrounded by all of the wonderful Jamaican culture then Port Antonio may not be for you. It was amazing to be able to visit all of the hot spots around Port Antonio (Blue Lagoon, Frenchmans Cove, etc.) without feeling surrounded and this is another part of why we want to go back!..."
When I'm in Berlin I feel stress out but then I think of Helmut's place and everything is better. Never have I seen such a sky. All colors, clouds, weather. Sitting on the terrace for 3 hours while having breakfast was fabulous.
At Helmut, i always find everything i desire for my good time... the food, the beach, the dirt motorbike, ginger beer, Reggae music and all these beautiful people.
Alex Kayser, New York City
I was at the Reach Falls with my five year old daughter. I carried her on my back across the river to the springs. It was warm and some local kids were playing in the water. When the sun broke through the jungle leaves, I had to remember that this is what paradise must look like.
Jamaica Heights Resort: "Money couldn't buy a better vacation"
***** Apr 24, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, Niagara Falls
My husband and I just returned from Jamaica Heights and we're already planning our return trip. We are so glad we had the chance to meet our wonderful host, Helmut. We wouldn't have known what to do in Port Antonio besides lounging by the pool, but Helmut was full of ideas for us and always arranged for a taxi for us (or even gave us a lift or, better yet, came with us!). Even the rainy days were fun, he taught us to play dominoes and now we're hooked!
Already we are longing for more of the delicious food we had during our stay. Willy, the house chef, prepared authentic Jamaican breakfasts and dinners incomparable to what you would find in most restaurants. He was also good company.
Like Helmut says, "you have to be comfortable with yourself to be comfortable at Jamaica Heights". Stay somewhere else if you are looking for cable tv, room service, air conditioning, etc. But if you desire breathtaking scenery, a relaxing terrace, great company, priceless advice, or just some peace and quiet away from the crowds and tourists, then you cannot beat Jamaica Heights.
Jamaica Heights Resort: "Nice Hilltop Hotel"
*** Mar 14, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, London, UK
Stayed at Jamaica Heights for 1 night in Feb.
Amazing views of Port Antonio below. A very peaceful and serene place to relax, only wish I had more time to enjoy it.
Helmut was very nice, had lots of advice and tips on what to do and how to get there. He also organised a dinner for us at a traditional Rasta restaurant and gave us a lift there too.
The rooms at the hotel are very bare, but very light and airy and each room has it own little balcony to enjoy the views from.
Jamaica Heights Resort: "Value for money? No."
** Feb 27, 2005: firstname.lastname@example.org, San Diego, LA
The Jamaica Heights Resort is nestled on the hillside, with panoramic views over Port Antonio and the luscious tropical rainforests behind. That, however, is it. For US$100 per night, this is not cheap by Port Antonio standards. If you want a view of the town (which is a must) then take a taxi to the hill top, breath-in the fresh, damp air, marvel the views - all for the price of a local taxi (apporx JM$300). What disappointed me with the Jam Heights is the lack of amenities. My bedroom was bare. A four-poster bed is certainly romantic, but there is no air conditioning, no TV, no fridge, no tea/coffee-making facilities. It is a bedroom. Thats it. And newly weds had better be careful to keep the noise down - I could hear the couple in the room next-door kissing! Good job their night-time activities didn't go further! Taking dinner in the restaurant is a treat - looking down onto the spectacular backdrop of Port Antonio - lights twinkling in the dark. But after dinner thats it. Chef goes home. No chance of room service here - whether its food or a nightcap.
Travelers on a budget will find cheaper hotels in Port Antonio. Premium travelers only have to travel a few miles out of Port Antonio for a selection of top range hotels. Travelers looking for a mountain retreat with views will do no better than to try Strawberry Hill (Irish Town, over looking Kingston).
I enjoyed my night at the Jamaica Heights - there is much going for it - but in and around Port Antonio, your Dollars can buy you so much more.
Jamaica Heights Resort: "A true hidden treasure"
***** Jan 16, 2004: A TripAdvisor Member, New York, NY
Was a magnificent experience. My Son & played table tennis (he for the first time and he mastered it), wonderful breakfasts nestled in the hills and taking a full and panoramic view of Port Antonio Harbour below, as well as inwards, of surrounding hills. Helmut Steiner also let you in on local dining's best kept secrets, and other non-touristy attractions. fantastic rooms and balcony views overlooking the valleys and the sea