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Polkerris Bed and Breakfast 3.5

Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • 10-minute walk to Montego Bay’s tourist district; five minutes to beach
  • Beautiful hillside location with sweeping harbor views
  • Charming rooms with Tuscan decor and patios in most
  • All rooms include mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and high-end bathrooms
  • Two immaculate pools -- one with panoramic water views
  • Free, hot, made-to-order breakfast with Jamaican and standard dishes
  • Off-street parking in a gated lot
  • Free spring water
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • No lunch or dinner service at on-site restaurant
  • Not right on the beach

Bottom Line

Situated atop a quiet, residential hill, Polkerris Bed and Breakfast offers some of the most charming lodging in the area, all in a compact and refined package. While only a 10-minute walk to the Montego Bay tourist district, it feels worlds away. Each of its 10 upper-middle-range rooms is individually designed with a Tuscan-inspired decor. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and most feature patios with garden or ocean views. The list of common amenities is solid for a hotel of this size, including two pools, a lovely open-air lounge, and commanding harbor views from almost anywhere on the property. Emerald View Resort offers a similarly-appointed, beachfront alternative for less cash, but lacks the same quaint, boutique vibe.

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Scene

Charming bed-and-breakfast with a relaxed, refined atmosphere

Unlike the area’s packaged, me-too all-inclusives, Polkerris Bed and Breakfast offers quaint, boutique accommodations with plenty of style. The property is split between two buildings -- the Polkerris building, closer to the street, and the Vista de la Bahia, closer to the harbor. The lobby -- housed in the Polkerris building -- combines a lounge area, the hotel’s only dining area, and a pool into an expansive, open-air space with excellent water views. The overall decor is an eclectic mix of Tuscan-inspired furnishings and subtle Caribbean touches -- think: dark oak wood, wrought iron accents, pops of bright color, and faux finishes on many of the walls. The social spaces provide enough room for guests to spread out without feeling overcrowded. The surrounding area won’t win any awards for charm, but within the property’s gates, it seems miles away from the hustle of downtown Montego Bay. While children are allowed, the quiet, relaxed atmosphere is clearly better for adult couples.

Location

On an unassuming, residential street just outside Montego Bay’s tourist district

Situated on a quiet hillside just outside the center of downtown Montego Bay, Polkerris Bed and Breakfast offers sweeping views of the harbor. The immediate residential area isn't the most dazzling, but it's quiet and feels removed from the bustling center of town. Dozens of bars, restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions are all within a 10-minute walk or a three-minute drive. The nearest beach -- Walter Fletcher Beach -- is less than five minutes away on foot.

Sangster International Airport is only a five-minute drive from the property. Given that Jamaican taxi service is relatively affordable, and the hotel is within walking distance of many attractions, travelers can likely skip the rental car counter. As with most Caribbean islands, shuttle vans are often the most affordable transportation option, assuming passengers don’t mind sharing their ride with a dozen strangers.

Rooms

Quaint and individually decorated, with mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and patios in most

The Caribbean-by-way-of-Tuscany decor in the hotel's common areas continues in each of its individually-decorated guest room. Attractively patterned wallpaper, bold bed linens, and chunky, dark oak furniture accented with wrought iron details adorn every room. All rooms also have glimmering marble floors and tropical wall art. Overall, the feel is rich and polished, and quite a step up from so many of the area's smaller hotels. 

Rooms are divided between two two-story buildings. Polkerris-side rooms sit higher on the hill, with excellent views of the mountains and ocean. Vista de la Bahia is located lower on the hill, with panoramic views of Montego Bay. Layouts also vary from room to room, with above-average floor space, particularly for a tiny bed-and-breakfast. One-room floor plans are standard with a spacious sleeping area and a small seating/dining space. First-floor rooms in both buildings feature a single queen or “double-double” bed configuration and most offer a shared patio. Second-floor rooms are available in double-double, single queen, or single king configurations and, not surprisingly, offer the best harbor views.

While the decor has an Old World charm, each room also features a solid list of modern amenities. Large, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and air-conditioning are all standard. Most rooms feature terraces or patios with optional harbor views, but only some are private. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property and, in our experience, it’s fast and reliable. Beds in all rooms are well-reviewed as plush and comfortable.

Bathrooms are similarly unique to each room. Sharp marble tile covers the walls and floors while wide pedestal sinks, ornate mirrors, and upmarket fixtures add a dose of sophistication. Oversized glass shower stalls are standard in every room on the Polkerris side of the property while Vista de la Bahia rooms offer bathtub/shower combinations.

Features

Two lovely pools and an open-air lounge plus excellent free breakfast

Polkerris Bed and Breakfast offers a decent list of amenities for such a small property. Two pools and two spacious outdoor terraces are among the most noteworthy. The lovely open-air lounge provides additional social space that’s more than capable of accommodating ten rooms' worth of guests.

The hotel offers two clean, well-maintained pools, each located in a separate building. The Polkerris Pool is situated in the interior of the building, adjacent to the lobby. The building wraps around its edges in a horseshoe shape, giving the feel of being in a private courtyard. Across the street on the Vista de la Bahia side, a second pool has a more open layout with beautiful, 180-degree views of Montego Bay. Both pools have around a dozen cushioned lounge chairs, and standard patio chairs are provided. Neither of the pool terraces is ever crowded.

Located on the Polkerris side of the property, a large open-air area encompasses a pool, a reading area, and the property’s only restaurant. The reading area has seating for a handful of guests, a few random stacks of books, and a large flat-screen TV. Immediately adjacent, a wide terrace, simply furnished with a few chairs and dining tables, serves as the hotel’s unnamed restaurant. A free, hot breakfast is provided each morning, with a great a la carte menu of Western-inspired fare and Jamaican favorites. The entire space also serves as an informal lobby and reception desk at check-in.

While it is a three-and-a-half-pearl property, there are no on-site wellness amenities such as a spa or fitness center.

A small, but adequate, gated lot provides free self-parking for guest cars. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

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Address

13 Corniche Road, Montego Bay JMCJS, Caribbean

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