AirBnB was still new to me, I had heard others raving about it, so decided to see what all the hype was about. I created an account and enjoyed looking at all the options laid out neatly on an interactive map. So far, so good. I found a charming little apartment overlooking the beach in our destination; Ocho Rios.
After landing in Kingston in the late afternoon, we had a bit of a problem finding a rental car company at the airport with any cars available. Eventually we were on our way, driving through unfamiliar roads with the ambitious highway over the mountains to the other side of the island looming ahead of us.
Naturally, we arrived at the apartment a little later than expected, but were able to keep in touch with the owner Alexei, and Lulu who was at the property. The complex was a little hard to locate, but only because we weren’t sure what we were looking for. We drove into a gated and guarded parking area where a staff member came out to greet us. Check in was easy as they were expecting us. The night guard then guided us around in the car to a side parking area closer to our apartment. It was all very secure and safe.
Lulu met us at the apartment and kindly showed us round and instructed us on how to work everything which was helpful. The air conditioning was already on which was heavenly after a 24 hours travelling.
The one bedroom apartment was spacious with a well-appointed kitchenette, bathroom and stunning view of the beach. It had a comfortable double bed and lots of drawer storage. There were two large wardrobes in the hallway which housed an ironing board, iron, extra pillows, blankets and a safe.
The bathroom was slightly dated, but clean and tidy with fresh white towels presented nicely. The shower was powerful and hot, the large mirror and hair dryer were also a bonus.
The open plan living, dining and kitchenette had its own air conditioning unit which cooled the room adequately and also featured a single bed.
There was a full dining table and chairs, sofa and TV should you want to spend time cooling off inside.
The kitchenette was very well stocked with everything you would need for a stay with paper towels, crockery and utensils. There was also a large fridge/freezer which came in handy.
The balcony had two seats that over looked the communal gardens which lead to a gate opposite the beach. It was so lovely to wake up, open the curtains and see the ocean!
Ocho Rios is truly a fascinating place, with stunning waterfalls, verdant greenery and delicious food (which I have written about here, here and here). It will leave you with a sense of satisfaction and wonder. I couldn’t recommend a visit here enough. The apartment in the Sandcastles complex is on the main road through Ocho Rios but set far enough back that there is no excessive noise. The location is perfect to access anywhere in Ocho Rios, as well as easy connections to roads leading to the rest of the island.
What made our stay special?
Alexei and Lulu made us feel very welcome. Being met personally at the apartment and shown around was a lovely touch. They were always available to call too if you needed anything.
Although the air conditioning unit is very effective, it was a bit on the loud side. I could sleep through a hail storm though so this didn’t bother me at all.
Overall this apartment was slightly dated in style, but clean and well thought out with visitor’s needs in mind. It is situated in such a great location that it was a great base whilst in Ocho Rios. We felt safe at all times and would definitely return should we visit the area again. AirBnB was easy to use and connected us to this perfect little apartment on the other side of the world. We will definitely be using it again.
If you would like to book a stay or find out more, you can contact Alexei through his AirBnB page here.
Last modified: 11th August 2016