Goblin Hill Villas, Portland
Despite its name, Goblin Hill Villas are set in front of the some of the most picturesque views in Jamaica. Located on the northeast coast of Portland, the villas are billed as a home away from home.
The two bedroom villa is built like a modern Kingston townhouse. The sunken living room and large glass sliding door make for a more spacious feel. There is half bathroom downstairs and a full one in the main bedroom, which is air conditioned. Unfortunately the Wifi was down for the three days of my stay. Also on the lush expansive grounds are tennis courts, a refreshing swimming pool, an old wooden bar that’s centered around a 300-year-old ficus tree and looks like a movie set. The bar is currently closed for repairs, but hanging around there is still a cool thing to do. Just be sure to bring mosquito repellent. A meandering nature trail surrounds the property that passes through well- manicured lawns and the surrounding forest.
Staying at Goblin Villas is akin to reconnecting with nature. Portland is such a surreal parish. Every time I go there, I feel as if I am in old world Jamaica and I have no need for Wifi or cable television. The stunning beauty of my surroundings always keeps me occupied. The stars feel so much closer to the earth when I am there. The trees are much greener and birds fly a little lower overhead.
As a foodie, the best part of the Goblin Hill Villas is your own personal cook. I must admit, this sent shivers of excitement down my back. Arrange your meals with the front desk, at least three days before your arrival. Our cook/housekeeper was Desree, who was born and raised in Portland. I told Desree what we would like to eat for our stay and she happily went to the market to buy the goods and even the seasonings. I must admit, buying oil and powdered seasoning did irk me bit, why didn’t they have the basics like salt, black pepper and oil in the pantries? It just doesn’t make much sense for visitors to buy things they aren’t going to finish.
For three magnificent days we ate three square meals. We were so stuffed that we took naps after every meal. Desree made ackee and saltfish, Satdeh chicken and pumpkin soup, saltfish fritters, a traditional Sunday dinner of roast chicken, coconut rice and peas, callaloo and saltfish, june plum juice and my all time favourite, mackerel run dung in sweet and spicy coconut sauce.
I swear, I wanted to take Desree back home with me.
If all of this is just too Jamaican for you, the hotel has an arrangement with a French baker who makes the most delicious homemade pastries. I ordered a few almond tarts, plain and almond croissants, pain au chocolats and a callalloo and pumpkin quiche. All were simply delightful.
The hotel issues complimentary passes to Frenchman’s Beach and it is very near Blue Lagoon. You will need a car to get around.
I left Goblin Hill Villas wanting more. It is the kind of place that does your soul good. I will return for a longer stay, with my seasonings in tow.