“Peaceful, hilltop eco-hideaway with an excellent restaurant - a great base for exploring the unspoilt Port Antonio region”
Friendly and informal, the hotel has excellent eco credentials and has twice been voted Caribbean Green Hotel of the Year. Rooms are airy and light, simply furnished with white louvered doors, bamboo furniture, handpicked flowers and hammocks on their balconies. Even better, the popular restaurant wins plaudits for its sustainable ethos and excellent homegrown fare.
Welcoming owners and staff provide top tips on where to go and what to see, so the hotel tends to be empty during the day - ideal if you're in search of solitude. Honeymooners love the romantic setting and candelit bedrooms, active types enjoy hiking, rafting and snorkelling nearby, and with over 40 bird types in the garden (including 2 endangered species), birders will be in their element.
- Peaceful hillside setting that offers panoramic views of the Blue Mountains and coastline
- Impressive green policy that isn’t just lip-service to the cause: breeze cooled rooms, solar water heating, UV treated drinking water, chlorine free pool
- Extensive gardens with pretty terraces and plenty of room to sit, read, and hide
- Great attention to detail - excellent service and simple things are done well
- Delicious food - try the pawpaw carpaccio, mahi-mahi with sage and coconut milk, or orange custard with wild orange liqueur
- Mosquito nets are provided, but squeamish types may not like the geckos, mosquitoes, tree frogs and moths (especially at dusk and after rainfall)
- The owners have 2 large (well-behaved) dogs who follow them around (although they are tied up at meal times) - not to everyone's taste
- It is a 45-minute walk into town along a busy (unlit) road and taxis can take 15-20 minutes to arrive, so it requires advance notice and planning to eat out in the evenings
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 12 rooms
- Restaurant + bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Art gallery
- Board games
The 12 breeze-cooled rooms have white tile floors, pretty sea-blue and white fabrics and handmade bamboo furniture. Kingsize beds are comfy (some can be made up as twins), and we loved the local artwork and lashings of handpicked flowers. The overall impression is light and airy, enhanced by most rooms having balconies with hammocks and views over the garden and beyond.
Superior Rooms are on the upper level with great views overlooking the sea. Superior Room 10 is particularly popular with honeymooners as it has 2 terraces.Deluxe Rooms are a little larger with an additional seating area and folding doors which open up so that the room and balcony become one in good weather. Garden View Rooms, as you may imagine, have wonderful views over the lush grounds.
The smallest room at the hotel, The Den, is conveniently close to the pool for dipping in and out of, and The Pad has its own private patio and living room. Both are suited to travellers on a budget.
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Meals are taken on the open terrace of the Mille Fleurs restaurant, which has a terrific ocean view, and is one of the best on the island. The a la carte menu changes daily and is a sumptuous mixture of Jamaican and Continental food, using locally sourced seasonal produce.
Breakfast is a generous spread of artisan cheeses, callaloo omelettes, homemade museli and yoghurt, fresh fruit, local jams (papaya, mango) and several types of home-baked bread (mango and banana were our favourites); you can also order something hot from the a la carte menu.
Lunch could be grilled tuna salad with cashews and Jamaica spices or jerk chicken, but most guests are out and about dining at one of the informal beachside eateries; the hotel can also make up a picnic lunch on request.
The inventive 3-course dinner menu offers several delicious options, such as shrimp-filled plantain boats, seared citrus Mahi Mahi with orange cucumber, or lobster and crab steamed in beer, with treats like mango souffle for dessert.
In keeping with the hotel's drive to reduce carbon emissions, the restaurant offers Meatless Mondays, where the menu showcases a choice of fusion vegetarian dishes such as callaloo and feta quiche, spicy okra and tomato with yoghurt or ackee soufflé with a creamy thyme sauce.
If you're staying for a few days and want a change of scene, venture downhill to the eateries in Port Antonio.
- Coffee / tea making
- Organic produce
- Vegetarian menu
- This region is one of the best places in Jamaica to go bird watching - there are 40 different birds on the hotel's property alone, of which 2 are on the endangered list: the Ring-tailed pigeon and the Black-billed Streamertail
- Visit the local beaches: take the complimentary 5-minute shuttle to the beautiful white sands of Frenchman's Cove. Nearby Winifred Beach is good for snorkelling
- Hike in the Blue Mountains under misty, forested canopies, and keep your eyes peeled for miniature orchids, primordial ferns, and, with luck, the endangered Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
- There’s plenty to do if you stay home: have a massage, hang by the pool, tour the grounds, relax in the wellness garden
- There are tonnes of recommended walks, and for a real treat, hike up from the river and walk to the Reich waterfalls (take swimming gear to take full advantage)
- Take a boat from Port Antonio to the 180ft deep Blue Lagoon for beautiful scenery and swimming
- Local dive sites are within a 15-minute boat ride, and with almost no current year round it’s a great place to scuba or snorkel
- The hotel offer music tours of the island which explore the history of Jamaica’s most acclaimed musicians and producers
- Soak up the Spanish and English colonial past of the nearby rural township of Port Antonio
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Plantlife / flora
- Scuba diving
Children are welcome but most guests seem to bring babies or teenagers - younger kids may be bored at this hotel, though there are heaps of great family adventures in the vicinity.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Garden View Rooms are the best for families as they are on the ground floor and can easily accommodate an extra bed. The Den is close to the pool area, and though it's the smallest room here, it's in an ideal spot.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Airport: 90 minutes
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill is set on the eastern coast of Jamaica, in Portland Parish, a short drive from Port Antonio.
Jamaica is served by 2 airports: Norman Manley International Airport (90km) and Sangster International Airport (180km). Both are served by many airlines from the US mainland, Europe and the Caribbean. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
Airport transfers can be arranged - see Rates.
If you plan to rent a car, be aware that the minimum age of a driver is 23, and rentals often require a huge deposit. Some roads are rough, and the eastern coast road from Kingston is badly eroded by landslides, so a 4x4 is advisable if you are going to explore. See our car rental recommendations.
There are 2 official types of taxis in Jamaica: Charter Taxis (officially licensed and insured, for sole use of passenger) and Route Taxis (a collective taxi, with red license plates). Robots are also collective taxis, but are often not licensed or insured and are not recommended by the hotel.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
- Norman Manley International Airport 90.0 km KIN
- Sangster International Airport 180.0 km MBJ
- Beach 1.5 km
- Shops 7.0 km
- Restaurant 7.0 km