, ,

I drove to the north coast on Friday, to play in a golf tournament. I booked a hotel at short notice and am staying in a long-established place on the ‘hip strip’. Well, there’s nothing really hip about the strip, which looks like it got stuck in the 1990s.

I’ve only ever stayed in the beach front hotels, which are larger, filled with European and American visitors, and offer lots of amenities. Here, I get a room and little else.

It has a touch of Fawlty Towers.
I should have been warned by that sign in my room. I should have been warned by the surrounding clubs and the noise that drummed my head. Sound proofing? Forget it.

The place is wanting in terms of some basic upgrades and maintenance. My little TV is so small it’s almost dwarfed by an ice bucket. I have sit in the single armchair about one meter from the screen to watch. Often, the picture goes and I have sound only. I can pretend it’s a radio.

On Saturday morning, I wanted breakfast before heading out to practice. I’d been told it was served from 7am. Well, several guests were wondering where was the grub well after 7. “It’s minutes away,” a server told us. One lady had to get to the airport and her shuttle was here: she left, after grabbing a cup of coffee and some fruit. Another group were headed to a conference. One of them said “These people are not f***ing serious!” He left in disgust to register for his event. I asked if any food was ready and was told it was being cooked: kidneys and boiled bananas. Bring it!

Like the steamed fish I’d eaten in my room the night before, the food was solid Jamaica home-style. No complaints, except the fish had kept me waiting an hour and now the breakfast slow train.

Most of the guests were Jamaicans. I don’t know if they felt unloved. Even though all the staff smiled and spoke nicely, we got little else.

I met a friend for dinner last night. He’s staying in a beach front boutique hotel and paying US $160 a night. I’m paying $100. “You get what you pay for,” he told me. I couldn’t disagree. But, why so little?

Spartans would be happy here. I just needed a bed as I was out all day but I like cozy. Quaint and quirky needs something more than that to survive. This place feels like it’s dying and no one cares. Shame.