I’m back from a 10 day trip and have a lot to say but it will be a little at a time…to start off, I submitted the following review to TripAdvisor about the hotel I stayed at the first few days, Catcha Falling Star Gardens. .
I just returned from 4 nights at Catcha Gardens. I had Fern, downstairs near the pool, a room I booked on a summer special that offered rooms with fans only, no AC (there ARE rooms with AC but they cost more and IMO AC is not necessary in spring). I came with a larger group taking 4-5 rooms in all.
Let me say that this stay was even better than my last one in 2010. From my arrival and service at the front desk (Shereece? Darn I forget!) to Wayne the amazing groundskeeper to the nighttime security (Marshall, mainly), to Lorette who cleaned my room, the staff was absolutely top notch.
Shereece was there for any need and always with a huge smile. Wayne not only offered a pool towel when I went in the pool, but climbed a tree to get us Jamaican apples, presented me with a thoughtful gift of flowers on my birthday, and was just always around to help with anything. Lorette is sweet and kind and not only cleans the room but puts out little towel hearts with flowers ever day. Marshall made us feel super safe at night and sat with us and chatted a few times, and was always good for grabbing us a taxi late if we needed it. This tops service I’ve had at much, much more expensive hotels. So big up yourselves CFSG, you are awesome!
My room was comfy. Large, two beds, mosquito nets (did not use), ceiling fan and stand fan, sitting area with TV (did not use), clean bathroom with hot water and great water pressure, large verandah with hammock, table, chairs. Cold fridge that does not cost extra, safe that does not cost extra, wi-fi that does not cost extra. You are not going to be nickel and dimed here for that as some other hotels do.
We spent a lot of time at and in the pool. The pool is thoughtfully designed with a free form shape, steps in, a table and chairs submerged in the water, a “cave” with waterfall and underwater chaise lounge, plenty of loungers and tables and chairs set in sun and shade, and a library with couches and tables where we set up most days. I like to run around Jamaica a bit when I am there but I spent a LOT of time laying around and in that pool because it was so nice. Perfect temperature, clean, refreshing. Met some of my fellow guests there and everyone was fun and cool which is, IMO, a feature of somewhat less expensive cliff hotels.
Guests are given a room key and a gate key and the gate is kept locked. Between that and the safe and the excellent security, I felt 100% secure staying there and leaving my things there when out.
We often ate breakfast just across the street at LTU Pub, which was tasty and convenient and low-priced at breakfast time. There are several good places to eat close by, we also enjoyed Soupie’s (cheap, fast, delicious) and Catcha Falling Star (not cheap but tasty and lovely setting), and also close is Ahbees, Seastar, Rick’s, Mango Tree…no shortage of very walkable food and drink places.
I walked around the area a lot alone and with friends with no issues. Unlike at the beach or even further down the cliffs the salespeople are very mellow up in that area. When “rush hour” (aka sunset at Rick’s) is not happening it is very quiet with little traffic. I rented a scooter from Tyke’s for a few days and rode it away from town, out into the country on several occasions, and it was lovely.
I really can’t say enough great things about this place. It is not a 5 star hotel but it has 5 star service and delivers on every expectation. I will be back!!
Some photos I took…
|Best pool ever. Loved the waterfall.|
|Very tall bamboo…made such a cool noise when the breeze was blowing.|
|Friends enjoying the water|
|Sitting in the “library” by the pool|
|Flowers from Wayne the groundskeeper on my birthday.|
|Lorette made these every day for me.|
Continue reading this series:
Phoning Home (and everywhere else) from Jamaica