Home Sweet Home?

Home Sweet Home… the name evokes warm memories, security and comfort, doesn’t it? And, if you couple that warm, old homestead ambience with the incredible vista that is available for a select few from the Negril cliffs in Jamaica, wow – what a vacation destination.

We did all the research we could, living as we do in a different country.

We checked every source we could find, we saw the old HSH website and the spanking new website just launched (www.homesweethomeresort.com) in the last couple of months or so, for
the Home Sweet Home hotel on Jamaica’s Negril cliffs. And it is a real, nice, website!

Every comment we saw on line was positive.

The pictures on the Home Sweet Home website showed green, green grass, trees and shrubs in flowering glory, brightly painted and clean looking rooms, and man, we couldn’t wait to get there, gob-smacked by winter as we were.

Home Sweet Home resort in Jamaica

Despite the many images on their website showing the lush grounds, this depleted and unlovely landscape was the reality we saw our first morning staying at Home Sweet Home resort in Jamaica in 2011.

Charlie Rossley, the owner of Home Sweet Home, seems like a real nice guy. He plucks a mean guitar, and was kind enough to jam (if you can call the fumble fingered efforts I extended that evening, jamming). I like him.

The staff at Home Sweet Home; Tina (manager), Petal (room caretaking), Sycamore (bartender and restaurant server), Terry (kitchen boss and cook) and Chris (driver) were friendly, helpful, and quick to respond. All hotels in Negril should have caring staff like these.

Yet our experience at the Home Sweet Home “resort”  on the Jamaican cliffs was horrid. Here is why.

(Please note: these pages were written after our return from Jamaica in 2011. To be fair to them, we do not know the conditions of the Home Sweet Home property today, though to this day their website is still showing the same images and photos and information that had convinced us, to our continuing regret, to stay there then. Apparently then, nothing has changed.)

The cliffs of Jamaica

It was images like this one that convinced us to spend part of our Jamaican stay at a resort on the cliffs near Negril Village

Arrival at Home Sweet Home Resort, Jamaica

We had arranged transport to Home Sweet Home from Montego Bay ourselves. I remember how excited I was as the van approached One Love Boulevard up on the Negril cliffs, and then, after careening around yet another blind corner on the narrow, sidewalk-less road, was the Home Sweet Home resort. Yes!

We turned into the driveway, late in January 2011, for what was for us, to be an extended stay.

Almost immediately Sycamore arrived in the driveway, although we didn’t learn his name until he greeted us, flashing a big grin, with his hand extended. He helped offloaded our gear, and we headed up to check in.

The signs pointing to the cliffs, the bar, the office were cute, if a little weatherworn. The pathway between the rock borders was a mix of uneven, multi-hued concrete and stone. The entrance to the office was unimpressive, and as we entered, my heart sank.

The office was dirty, run-down,  looking like it was long overdue for either a good cleaning or full blown renovation.

Nevertheless, another staff member – Ms Tina – bubbled into the office, her flip-flops flipping and flopping on the pathway, as she rushed to greet us. With her help we checked in, and then headed over to our guestroom.

On the short walk to our room, we saw that the pathway was in poor shape. The lawns and gardens that blossomed in green and the multi-hued rainbows of West Indies colour in photos on the website were actually barren. The trees looked stripped. The lawns were not much more than bare dirt with the,  what I guessed to be, irrigation and water supply pipes lying on the surface. What decorative fencing that was there was leaning, parts missing, the pots of barely living plants offering scant colour and no beauty to the premises.

We arrived at our room. Oh my, the experience got worse. Here’s more of our sad Jamaican tale of experiences at Home Sweet Home Jamaica.

 

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