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Airbrushing & the Eye of the Beholder

/ Jamaica Travel Tips

Jolly Boys Play in Port Antonio“Bemused” often describes the feeling that Jamaicans have when reading the international tabloids’ portrayal of our holiday isle, particularly those that live in Jamaica’s less built-up, north eastern part of the island.  We frequently recall a story from one of our guests who was served by a mature Jamaican lady, who asked him: “Where you from, mon?”  “New York.”  “New York!” she replied. “Why you live there, mon – so dan-ger-ous!”  Danger is in the eye of the beholder.

Recently published was the UN’s International Crime Study, which we think is where you should go to read actual stats as opposed to the often lazy version of events seemingly fed by each particular country’s PR agency…

South Africa leads the way in robberies, almost 2.5 times as much as Jamaica, yet press coverage of this as a holiday destination remains enthusiastic.  In context the USA’s major assault rate is 281.6 compared to Jamaica’s 220 per 100,000.  Burglary is highest in Australia & Israel, Jamaica a fraction of these two countries but we have to confess we haven’t seen that listed as a warning for these holiday destinations?  Car theft in Switzerland leads the world, no doubt due to everyone driving such great cars, but does anyone say watch out in Switzerland?  Drug related crime in Barbados is 580 per 100,000 compared to Jamaica 463 & Israel’s 448, but again it’s not a widely known fact about the Cricket Isle.  Finally putting things into perspective for homicide per 1000,000 is Colombia 66.7, almost less than half the world leader is Jamaica at 34.5.

Rather than airbrushing and PR we thought we’d instead present an assortment of 4 real people who have recently visited Jamaica, all who have been our past guests.  We’ve already provided legitimate stats as to where Jamaica stands in the world of crime, so beyond this, now’s the time to centre on the holiday experience…

“Wonderful scenery, generous hospitality and the best coffee in the world – oh, and some of the most fascinating birds you’ll ever see. A visit to Jamaica is quite simply unforgettable. From the streamertails and lizard-cuckoos at Mockingbird Hill to the 26 other unique endemics found all over the island, it’s a birder’s paradise.” Stephen Moss

“Our tour through the mountainous island of Jamaica offered a vast diversity of habitats from the evergreen forests of the Blue Mountains to the beaches and ultramarine waters of the coast.  We successfully located all 28 of Jamaica’s endemic bird species while allowing time to soak in the unique atmosphere of the personalized lodges and resorts where we stayed, enjoy some fine river-rafting, partake in the flavorful tastes of the local cuisine, and immerse ourselves in some awesome scuba diving.’  We would especially like to thank Mockingbird Hill for their outstanding services.”  David Shackleford

“Just a few of the positives that Jamaica holds over its neighbours…Jamaica’s landscape has everything. From mountains to beaches, savannahs, rain forests. (With the exception of Cuba each of the other islands tend to only have ‘one’ of these features).  Its people and their character, creativity and natural comedy that help create an amazing number of ambassadors.  Its history, culture, music & food and its very unique unexplainable vibe.  The natural feel of areas such as Port Antonio & Treasure Beach. Sharon Hope

“Our recent stay in the Hotel Mockingbird was a truly wonderful experience. Arriving in the evening we were met by an unbelievable cacophony of night noises and a truly warm welcome by the staff. A light supper had been prepared for us and we were shown to a beautiful spacious room overlooking the lush tropical garden. That was just the start. This delightful boutique hotel is so friendly you soon feel at home and there were many personal touches throughout our stay that made our experience very special. The owners Barbara and Shireen are always on hand to make sure your stay is as enjoyable as possible. Enjoying our rum punch on the veranda overlooking the garden and beyond to Port Antonio, we watched the weather change in the skies above and around.  It was a place to rest and relax and enjoy Jamaican hospitality with great comfort. The chef produced wonderful meals and the organic breakfasts are truly a holiday treat. It is also a place where many of Jamaica’s endemic birds can easily be seen in the garden. This wonderful hotel must be visited for its setting, location, beautiful accommodation, delicious fare, friendliness and personal service. Jamaica is a truly beautiful Caribbean island, covered in lush and exotic vegetation and our stay was a wonderful stress-free experience.” Carol Hall


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