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Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, Jamaica

Posted by Richard Hammond at 05:56 on Saturday 07 October 2006

The Caribbean in winter is tempting but you do have to pick your hotel carefully if you want to avoid being dragged onto a rum-fuelled "pirate cruise" by Barry from the entertainment team. For a more relaxing time, I recommend Hotel Mocking Bird Hill in the north-east of Jamaica. It's a small, solar-powered 10-room hotel in the rainforest between the Blue Mountains and the coast.

It's twice won the Caribbean Green Hotel of the Year award. The owners Barbara and Shireen have designed the hotel so that air wafts in. So much nicer than enduring cold blasts from an energy-sucking air-con unit.  

Breakfast comes with homemade bread and jam, and in the evening the hotel's restaurant, Mille Fleurs, offers "nouvelle Caribbean cuisine" served on the terrace overlooking the harbour of the capital Port Antonio.

Head into the Blue mountains for downhill biking or river rafting on the Rio Grande. Or flop on the nearby beach at Frenchman's Cove. Back at the hotel's Massage Gazebo, spa treatments use local products, including beeswax, papaya and coconut oil. ·

A room at Hotel Mocking Bird Hill costs from US$165 (hotelmockingbirdhill.com", 001 876 993 7134), including the fee to use Frenchman's Cove.

This article, by Richard Hammond, was first published in the Guardian

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