Jamaica can be a pretty pricey destination if you do not do your due research. Located in the Caribbean, you are painted a pretty picture of the humongous, all-inclusive, chain resorts located on the beach, charging a few hundred dollars per night. However, if you are looking for something closer to heart where where you can interact with the locals, and discover the real wonders of Jamaica, do consider Airbnb. The private accommodation provider offers great choice to interact with the locals, as well as get more value for your hard-earned money!
'SISU' Our Lovely Family Home
Price: 59 SGD USD
Number of Guests:
Travelers Review: Rating 5 out of 5(from 81 reviews)
Spectacular hillside location
While trawling through Airbnb for Montego Bay listings, one particular property stood out: Anthony Moyston’s family home in Brandon Hill. It is not particularly close to the Hip Strip, which is where all the restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are located, nor is it located in the downtown area either. However, the amazing view from the hill makes it stand out, giving you a more quiet and relaxing stay. It’s also close enough to the beach (around a 30-minute walk) and to the downtown area (around a 15-minute walk), which makes you feel like you are not really missing anything by staying in a different location.
Large room complete with a rain shower
Your private room in the family home is at least twice the size of a typical hotel room for half the price. The cost for two people sharing the room is around 65-90 USD, while it’s 25 USD less if you’re a solo traveler, depending on the time of the year you book. While there is no air conditioning, it’s still ventilated and breezy enough to cool down the room, and there’s a ceiling fan that you can use to your liking. There is a big desk that you can use for your laptop and do a bit of work (perfect for digital nomads), as well as a few magazines that you can read and peruse at your own leisure. There are tons of books that you can borrow as well from all sorts of genres! There is a large en-suite bathroom with a rain shower and hot water! There’s plenty of towels available, and even beach towels should you want to go to the beach, but you have to bring your own shampoo & soap or else it is available for an extra few dollars. The room is also equipped with mosquito repellant, and you may also buy a bottle directly from Anthony Moysten. After 6pm, tourist attractions in downtown Montego Bay will be closed, leaving you with only restaurants or bar options, which are plentiful at the Hip Strip.
Fun tours for half the price
Anthony offers various tour services for an extra cost, but with a twist: it has to be agreed to by all the other people renting rooms in his place. His tours are generally half the price charged by the other tour operators in Montego Bay, which range from 50 USD per person to as high as 100 USD, depending on the group’s chosen destination. The destinations include snorkeling in Negril, Ocho Rios, or swimming through a lovely river at Mayfield Falls. It’s a great and frugal way to see the destinations as guided by a local, and without the need to be crammed together with others in a big bus. You also get to meet the other guests who are staying with him, and you may end up making good friends at the end of your trip.
Outdoor breakfast with a beautiful view
Along with the comfortable private room in Anthony’s family home, you can look forward to free breakfast at the verandah, where you can get an option of bagels, Jamaican bread, or toast with a side of butter, cream cheese, or fruit preserve. You’ll also get orange juice and your choice of tea or coffee. As good as the food is, the views from the verandah overlooking Montego Bay are breathtaking. Breakfast hours start early, between 6 AM to 8:30 AM, and, as they say, early to bed, early to rise! You may get to use the kitchen for a nominal fee to make your own lunch and dinner, or you may also opt to get Anthony to drive and join you for dinner downtown for an extra fee. He has great recommendations on where to go for the best jerk chicken in town!
Stay at airbnb to experience Jamaica from a local's view
Overall, you will have a very pleasant, frugal stay with Anthony. If you do end up buying a few things or availing the tour, bring extra cash with you, or withdraw USD from Santander at Doctor’s Cave Beach to pay for the services/products you have consumed. The house is clean, view is to die-for, and getting to stay with a local as you tour around their country is priceless!
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