“NOT a Club Med experience: exactly what I wanted” I was born and grew up in Kingston, so when my adult daughters wanted to holiday like a local, I looked for a Columbus Heights condominium. Only disadvantage is the long walk to Turtle Beach for which you have to pay a small entrance fee, but I rented a car so we wouldn't have to walk uphill to go "home."
I like the architecture and the Jamaican landscaping, the view, the breeze, and being high above the bay. My daughters suffered from the mosquitoes but I think the stinging insects are far worse closer to the beach. Being close to the pool was great to relieve the humid heat without an overdose of tropical sun. I was able to engage a cook for dinners and we went food shopping together in the supermarket and the open air market on day one. Ms Brown is a lovely person and very flexible. Only the bedroom is air-conditioned which ensures a cool restful sleep. Even with the ceiling fans, you may not be comfortable inside the rest of the condo unless a breeze is blowing. The hexagonal open verandah is great except when it rains. So we really felt the vagaries of the weather and were Internet-free for a week, which is what I wanted.
Driving on Main Street is a harrowing experience and not recommended for non-Jamaicans. If you walk around and stay out of hotels and hotel restaurants as we did, you will notice the poverty and the grime and you will be stared at and invited to buy many things you may not want. I admit I used my broadest Jamaican accent but even without, you will get better prices if you exchange money and ask to pay in Jamaican dollars. My US-born and bred adult daughters enjoyed the visit and the many conversations with local merchants and service workers, and we all loved the "home-cooked" Jamaican food: escoveitched red snapper, curry goat, roasted breadfruit, stewed oxtail, green bananas, ackee, festival, bammy and more. Guineps were in season and sold on street corners.
If you want my kind of holiday and have a sense of humor and an appreciation of natural beauty, this rental will work for you. Janet was very responsive, helpful and a pleasure to deal with.