We were actually staying at Jamaica Heights in Port Antonio, and only visited Mocking Bird Hill for dinner one evening last weekend, but enjoyed the experience and it was interesting to compare the two hotels, so thought a review might help others.
We could see why MBH was rated as No 1 on TA for Port Antonio, and JH as No 3, as it is clearly more luxurious and manages to provide those finishing touches, however you also pay appropriately, as MBH is at least twice the price in terms of accommodation. We also thought the view wasn’t quite as extensive as at JH – from the dining terrace looking across the pool at MBH, the greenery blocked most of the view.
When we arrived on time, it was suggested that we might like to review the menu, and then have a drink in the bar whilst waiting to be called for dinner, which seemed a nice idea. We made our selections from a choice of about 5 starters, 5 mains and 3 desserts and thought there was a good variety, especially given the usual choice of either “fish or chicken” at other local eateries! Then we were shown to the bar where we were invited to sit down and the waitress said she would come back to us in a few minutes. Nothing happened, and after about 15mins my other half went to the bar himself and ordered our drinks. These then took another 15 mins to arrive. We then sat for another half an hour waiting to be called - now an hour after arrival and starving! We finally took ourselves off to the restaurant where they immediately seated us as if they’d been waiting for us!
Our starters arrived and we enjoyed a spicy beef salad and tasty soup, served with a selection of wonderful homemade breads and flavoured butters. For main course we both had a great lobster each served with fried plantain and corn cakes. However when we had finished the waitress who collected our plates asked if we hadn’t had our side salads – we weren’t aware we were missing anything but obviously we were, but by then it was too late – she would have been better to have kept quiet! (As we left we noticed two salads sitting on the sideboard behind us, obviously abandoned!) Next we were asked what we wanted for dessert, which we had ordered at the beginning! We finally enjoyed sharing a variety dessert platter consisting of a coffee ice cream, caramel shortcake concoction and a choc/peanut mousse. We loved them all.
So overall we enjoyed a very nice meal in classy surroundings, which we thought was reasonable value at US$120 for the 2 of us including the 2 drinks, especially given we had lobster each. But our experience was slightly tarnished by the forgetful service before and during the dinner, given the missing salads and second request for our dessert order. If they could just have been more on the ball, it would have been a perfect evening, as the quality was excellent. We would recommend this hotel for a special occasion romantic dinner and just hope that you are more lucky with the service than we were!
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