Monday, 25 December 2017
JAMAICA: Kingston, Not Safe Driving To Countryside After Dark, Homosexuality Not Condoned, Most Homophobic City
Located on the southeastern coast of the island. It faces a natural harbour protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town of Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island.
In the Americas, Kingston is the largest predominantly English-speaking city south of the United States.
Kingston, as the capital, is the financial, cultural, economic and industrial centre of Jamaica. Many financial institutions are based in Kingston, and the city boasts the largest number of hospitals, schools, universities and cultural attractions of any urban area on the island.
Notable Kingston landmarks include the University of the West Indies, Jamaica Defence Force Museum, and Bob Marley Museum.
The local government bodies of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew were amalgamated by the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act of 1923, to form the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).
Greater Kingston, or the Corporate Area refers to those areas under the KSAC; however, it does not solely refer to Kingston Parish, which only consists of the old downtown and Port Royal. Kingston Parish had a population of 96,052, and St. Andrew Parish had a population of 555,828 in 2001.
Kingston is only bordered by Saint Andrew to the east, west and north.
The geographical border for the parish of Kingston encompasses the following communities, Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town, downtown Kingston, National Heroes Park, Kingston Gardens, Rae Town, Bournemouth Gardens, Norman Gardens, Springfield, Rennock Lodge, Port Royal along with portions of Allman Town, Franklyn Town and Rollington Town.
The city is bounded by Six Miles to the west, Stony Hill to the north, Papine to the northeast and Harbour View to the east, communities in urban and suburban Saint Andrew.
Communities in rural St. Andrew such as Gordon Town, Mavis Bank, Lawrence Tavern, Mt. Airy and Bull Bay would not be described as being in Kingston city.
Two parts make up the central area of Kingston, the historic Downtown, and New Kingston. Both are served by Norman Manley International Airport and also by the smaller and primarily domestic Tinson Pen Aerodrome.
The majority of the population of Kingston is of African descent. Large minority ethnic groups include East Indians and Chinese, who came to the country as indentured servants in the late 19th century.
The Chinese occupy important roles in Jamaica's economy especially in the retail markets in Downtown Kingston and the wider metropolitan area.
There is also a minority of Europeans, mostly descending from immigrants from Germany and Great Britain. Syrians and Lebanese form one of the most influential ethnic groups in not only Kingston, but the entire island.
Though a minority ethnic group, the Lebanese were able to give Jamaica one of its prime ministers, Edward Philip George Seaga. There is a strong undercurrent of bias based on skin color as darker skinned Jamaicans are usually at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
Evidenced by the disproportionate representation of foreigners and mixed-race individuals in lucrative private sector and government positions. Multi-racial Jamaicans continue to form the second largest racial group, and there is also a small Jewish population in the city.
There is a wide variety of Christian churches in the city. Most are Protestant, a legacy of British colonisation of the island. The chief denominations are Church of God, Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal.
There is a strong Roman Catholic community, with the Holy Trinity Cathedral which is the seat of metropolitan archbishop and was consecrated in 1911.
A few Catholic schools and institutions such as the Immaculate Conception High School, St Francis Primary and Infant School, Holy Childhood High School which was founded and is owned by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of our Lady of Perpetual Help (FMS) in Jamaica.
Afro-Christian syncretic religions such as the Rastafari movement also have a significant following.
The Shaare Shalom Synagogue serves Kingston's Jewish population. The city also has communities of Buddhists and Muslims. The Islamic Council of Jamaica and the Islamic Education and Dawah Centre are both located in Kingston. There are three units of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the city.
Kingston plays a central role in Jamaica's economy. The vast majority of economic activity takes place within Kingston, and as most government ministries are located in the city, it is a key force in legislation in regards to Jamaica's finances.
The high population density of the capital city means that the majority of monetary transactions occur in Kingston stimulating much of Jamaica's local economy. The city is also home to the highest number of schools, hospitals and universities anywhere in Jamaica.
Kingston is also the island's main transportation hub and its largest seaport.
Many multinational conglomerates and financial institutions are headquartered in and around the Kingston Metropolitan Area. Air Jamaica was headquartered in Kingston.
Making Jamaica an International Financial Centre has also been proposed as a way to boost the city's financial sector and create more jobs, especially for professionals such as accountants and lawyers.
The city's major industries include tourism, apparel manufacturing, and shipping. Many international exports are traded through the city's seaport, with major exports including bauxite, sugar and coffee.
The city is also a major tourist destination, and tourism is one of its largest sources of economic activity. The city has suffered economic troubles recently, however, along with the rest of the country of Jamaica.
Plans to help the city's economy have made downtown Kingston the subject of numerous redevelopment plans. There have also been attempts to grow the manufacturing industry in the area and to attract call centres to the city.
Kingston is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, Red Hills, Long Mountain and the Kingston Harbour. The city is on the Liguanea plain, an alluvial plain alongside the Hope River. Kingston experiences frequent earthquakes, including the 1907 earthquake.
Kingston has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet-and-dry climate, that borders on a hot-semi arid climate. Characterised by a wet season from May to November, which coincides with the hurricane season, and a dry season from December to April.
During the dry season, there is not much rainfall, however, cold and stationary fronts occur at this time, and often bring heavy showers, especially in March.
Kingston is in the rain shadow of the Blue Mountains; therefore, little to none of the moisture carried by the Northeast Trade Winds falls over Kingston, causing Kingston to be very dry in comparison to Portland and Saint Mary on the windward side of the Blue Mountains.
Kingston is on a coastal location, hence it comes under the influence of the sea, though dense urban development can negate this effect. In the 21st century, Kingston has experienced temperatures as high as 38.8 °C (102 °F) and as low as 13.4 °C (56 °F).
Snow, fog, hail, thunder and tornadoes are all extremely rare.
The Jamaican government expanded Kingston by constructing new homes in the west, north and east of the city. This housing became highly segregated in terms of race and class and by 1860 the majority of white elites lived on the outskirts of the city.
As Kingston’s population grew, existing settlements became so densely occupied that marshes in the southwest were filled in to allow the development of new housing. By 1935, continued population growth and poverty resulted in the emergence of slums in the east and west of the city.
Later these areas were demolished by the government and residents were rehoused in Denham Town. This development accommodated 3,000 people, leaving more than one sixth of displaced resident homeless.
Consequently, overcrowding persisted throughout the city and cramped living condition resulted in public health issues.
Suburbanization also became significant and by the 1960s this residential area spread to the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Subsequently, the lack of space and continued consumerism meant this area then expanded to the east of the mountains.
In Kingston, 20% of the population now live in squatter settlements. Contrastingly, Kingston is also home to the Goldilocks zone, a suburb that holds some of the most expensive houses in all of Jamaica.
The city of Kingston is home to a number of urban parks which are frequently transformed to accommodate various events and festivities on the Jamaican calendar. The most popular parks include: Emancipation Park, Hope Gardens, Devon House, National Heroes' Park, St William Grant Park and Mandela Park.
Emancipation Park, the Liguanea Club, a recreational and social club for the upper class in society, located on Knutsford Boulevard, owned over 35 acres (14 ha) of land including the former Liguanea Park now the site of Emancipation Park. The club gave the land measuring seven acres as a gift to the Jamaican Government.
Several government members argued that the land should be converted into a business district, while others felt a multi-functional entertainment complex should be built on the site. The large financial input needed for either venture, was not forthcoming.
In 2002 Cabinet granted approval for the transfer of the land to the National Housing Trust on the condition that a park was built and maintained at that location. The land was transferred for one Jamaican dollar.
The park is well known for the 11 ft. (approximately 3m) high bronze sculpture done by Jamaican artist Laura Facey-Cooper, situated at the park's main entrance.
This prominent sculpture comprises two naked black male and female statues gazing to the skies,symbolic of their triumphant rise from the horrors of slavery.
The statue was unveiled in July 2003, in time for the park's first anniversary which caused an out cry from the Jamaican populace who believed that the blatant nudity and generous bodily proportions of the figures were very inappropriate to depict the freedom of black people.
Hope Gardens, Royal Botanical Gardens at Hope, popularly called Hope Gardens serves as a national attraction. The Hope Gardens is a part of the 2,000 acres (809 ha) of land making it the largest botanical garden in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The land situated by the foothills of the Blue Mountains was originally owned by Major Richard Hope from whom it got its name. Two hundred acres of this land was obtained by the Government of Jamaica in 1880 and was originally established as a plant introduction and crop-testing facility for plants such as pineapple, cocoa, coffee and tobacco.
The formal Botanical Gardens were laid out on approximately 60 acres (24 ha) of this land with the assistance of personnel from the Kew Gardens in England.
In the 1950s, the Queen, after visiting the island and being pleased with the state of the gardens, gave permission for it to be called the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hope. The Gardens have many exotic species along with some endemic trees of Jamaica.
Over the years, the ravages of hurricanes and other disasters have resulted in the loss of a significant number of species. However, there are still some prominent trees and popular sites to be viewed in the Gardens.
At Hope Gardens, visitors can view a number of other features including the Coconut Museum, the Sunken Gardens, the Orchid House, the Lily Pond, the Maze and Palm Avenue.
The Hope Gardens has an adjoining zoo referred to as Hope Gardens Zoo. The gardens and zoo are currently undergoing redevelopment to improve the physical landscape and the animal inventory as a part of Bring Back The Hope campaign.
The St William Grant Park (Parade) in the heart of downtown Kingston is the starting point for three of Jamaica's four A roads, namely the A1 Kingston to Lucea, the A3 Kingston to Saint Ann's Bay and the A4 Kingston to Annotto Bay, while the city itself is provided with a dense network of trunk, main, secondary and minor roads.
It also consists of the Highway 2000, Jamaica which runs through Portmore, Ocho Rios and Mandeville. A new section of Highway 2000, Jamaica called T3 was recently opened to the public. It has greatly reduced the travel time between Kingston and Montego Bay from 4 hours to a mere 2 1/2 hours.
Kingston is served well by a modern bus system, mini buses and taxis, which operate throughout the city with major hubs at Parade, Cross Roads, Half Way Tree and elsewhere.
Private car ownership levels are high, and like many major urban conurbations Kingston suffers from frequent traffic jams and pollution.
In June 1898, the existing mule car service was phased out and a transition to electric trams, initially operated by the West India Electric Company and later by the Jamaica Public Service Company, was undertaken. This transition to the electric tram was completed on 31 March 1899.
This service continued to operate, but the inflexibility of a tram service could not keep pace with a growing city, and the tram service ceased to operate on 7 August 1948.
From 1953 to 1983 the Jamaica Omnibus Service operated a service, which at its peak consisted of over 600 buses and served an area spanning Spanish Town, Border, Mt. James, Bull Bay and Port Royal. It was wound up by the government in 1983 after being nationalised in 1974.
Kingston is served well by a modern bus system, the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), mini buses, and taxis, which operate throughout the city with major hubs at Parade, Cross Roads, Half Way Tree and elsewhere.
The now disused Kingston railway station served the Kingston to Montego Bay main line with branches from Spanish Town to Ewarton, Bog Walk to Port Antonio, Linstead to New Works and May pen to Frankfield.
The railway station opened in 1845 and closed in October 1992 when all passenger traffic on Jamaica's railways abruptly ceased.
Kingston's international airport is Norman Manley International Airport while Tinson Pen Aerodrome provides domestic services.
The Kingston waterfront was Jamaica's main port with many finger piers at which freighters and passenger liners could dock. More recently, with the containerisation of freight, the port has moved to Newport West.
Jamaica's police force, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, is based on Old Hope Road near Liguanea. Smaller police stations, such as Hunt's Bay, Matilda's Corner and Half-Way-Tree, are dispersed across the Corporate Area. The Supreme Court of Jamaica is also located in Kingston.
Other courts, such as the Half-Way-Tree Resident Magistrate's Court, Gun Court, Traffic Court and Family Court, make Kingston their home. The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) has its headquarters at Up Park Camp near New Kingston and Cross Roads. The JDF also operates a major naval base at Port Royal.
The Gleaner Company, the Jamaica Observer and the Sunday Herald, three of Jamaica's large newspaper companies, make their home in Kingston.
Several television and radio stations including Television Jamaica (TVJ), CVM TV, RJR 94 FM, TBC Radio 88.5 FM, Hitz 92 FM, FAME 95 FM, LOVE TV, ZIP 103, Kool 97 FM and LOVE FM, are all based in Kingston.
The capital is home to four association football teams who play in the Jamaican Premier League. The teams are Arnett Gardens, Boy's Town, Harbour View, Maverley Hughenden, Waterhouse.
Mobile voice and broadband services in Kingston are dominated by incumbents, FLOW & Digicel. Both carriers provide GSM, EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE connectivity in and around the city.
Currently, FLOW offers HSPA+ of up to 21 Mbit/s on 850 MHz and 1900 MHz. FLOW also offers DC-HSDPA (commonly known as DC-HSPA+) allowing capable devices speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s on contiguous 1900 MHz spectrum.
Digicel also offers 21 Mbit/s HSPA+ however, they also offer DC-HSDPA (commonly known as DC-HSPA+) allowing capable devices speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s on contiguous 850 MHz spectrum. Digicel was also first to market with LTE in Jamaica.
Their network covers all of Kingston Parish and most of the populous areas in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, capable of speeds of up to 75 Mbit/s on 10 MHz of Band 17 spectrum.
FLOW also offers LTE in Kingston. FLOW's LTE network is accessible on Band 4 or AWS spectrum. Due to the network delaying its rollout to acquire more spectrum, its network is theoretically faster than both Digicel and Caricel, to the tune of 150 Mbit/s (20 MHz of Bandwidth) with further plans to add low band spectrum, possibly increasing theoretical speeds up to 225 Mbit/s.
Kingston is also home to Caricel, Jamaica's newest telecoms operator, which deployed its LTE network first to the Kingston Metropolitan Area.
In addition, both carriers have their Jamaican head offices in the city with the exception of Digicel, which has its company headquarters in Kingston rather than a regional office there as is the case with FLOW, which is based in Miami
Norman Manley International Airport, located in the southeastern part of the island, overlooking Kingston Harbour on the Palisadoes peninsula. Served by Air Canada, Air Jamaica, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, and a number of Caribbean airlines.
Be prepared for queues at the airport, to clear both immigration and customs, which are fairly strict. It is important that you know where you will be staying and write it down on your immigration form.
There are taxi vans between the airport and town - one person US$28; a group $33, potentially negotiable. Payment can be in US$. The cheapest way is to take bus 98 straight to the Parade in downtown Kingston for J$80.
The bus stop outside the arrivals terminal is for bus 98 going towards Port Royal. Just passed the bus stop is where bus 98 stops on its way to downtown.
Kingston Tinson Pen There is a smaller airport closer to downtown but it does not have any regularly scheduled passenger service any more.
Island Rental Cars has offices at the NMIA airport, in downtown Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, and will allow you to do one-way rentals. Remember to drive on the left.
Here there are some companies that offer private airport transfers like Karandas Tours and Jamaica Airport Transfers.
Kingston has an extensive and modern bus system. The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) runs the bus system for the government, while private contractors also run the same routes. There are also minibuses and route taxis which are very affordable.
Whenever in doubt, ask a bus driver how to get somewhere or where to find a certain bus; they are generally very helpful.
Public transit generally goes through one or more of the three central transportation hubs.
Downtown Parade and The Downtown Transport Center, keep a tight hold of your bags as petty theft is possible as in any large metropolis.
The ultra-modern Half-Way Tree Transport Center (HWT) in uptown Kingston is generally a safer area, but there are less buses.
Cross Roads an older, congested hub not suggested for tourists.
The bus service in Jamaica has now been upgraded with express buses cost ranging from $80 to $100, and another bus also air conditioned can be found in yellow with the Jamaican flag at the front costs for regular fares $15 and for children under 12 $50 12+ prices are expected to raise for the new buses soon because of the increase of gas. The original unconditioned buses still function, nobody knows until when.
All official taxis have red license plates that start with PPV.
Route Taxis,a taxi that has a set route and picks up multiple people along it are also common and often mirror bus routes and are not much more expensive than buses. These are a bit more complicated to get used to, so ask for help.
Charter Taxis or normal taxis,negotiate a price before getting in the car. Fares range from J$400 to J$5000 for long routes.
With some practice, bravery, and chutzpah you can rent a car, Island Rent a car allows for one-way car rental. Take a good map and be willing to ask and keep asking to get a consensus for directions along the way.
It's not safe to drive in the countryside after dark. If you get in a wreck or hit someone, drive to the nearest police station.
Attractions in Kingston
Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road. Open Mon-Sat, Tours last 1hr, including a 20min film. The first tour begins at 9:30am and the last tour at 4pm. Filled with tons of memorabilia and Bob Marley's personal belongings, the museum is a must for any fan.
The museum itself is an attraction as it was once Bob Marley's home and recording studio. The house is a preserved historical site, so even the bullet holes from the attempted murder of Bob Marley remain. He lived here until his death in 1981.
Every visitor will be added to a tour upon entry. residents J$500, non-residents US$20,credit cards are accepted.
National Gallery of Jamaica, 12 Ocean Blvd. Tues. to Thurs. 10 AM to 4:30 PM, Fri. 10 AM to 4 PM, Sat. 10 AM to 3 PM. The museum features artwork by Jamaicans from throughout its history, from the native Taino Indians through the colonial period to works by modern artists.
The gallery hosts its annual National Visual Arts Exhibition, which began in 1963 as a way to promote post-colonial art and to showcase the works of rising artists from Jamaica. Entrance fees are waved during the exhibition period. J$100, students and senior citizens over 65 may enter for J$50.
Port Royal. Once known as the Richest and wickedest city in the world, Port Royal is a notorious 17th century pirate haven. The most famous pirate who operated from Port Royal was Sir Henry Morgan who plundered Spanish vessels travelling in the Caribbean.
The city prospered as the pirates gathered riches, but a strong earthquake struck the area on June 7, 1692 sinking the ships in the harbor and killing many people as the earthquake moved much of the city into the sea.
It has been said that the earthquake was caused by God himself to punish the evildoers of Port Royal. This disaster helped to establish Kingston as the new capital, and many of the survivors of the earthquake moved to Kingston.
Although most of the buildings at the port today are not the original buildings, the walls of Fort Charles have been preserved since the rebuilding two years after the earthquake, Saint Peter's Church built in the early 18th century, and the ruins of Fort Rocky remain.
There is also a museum to learn more about the history and see artifacts from its hayday.
Devon House, 26 Hope Road. The Mansion is open Mon. to Sat. from 9:30 AM to 5 PM, the courtyard from 10 AM to 6 PM, and the gardens are open daily from 9:30 AM to 10 PM,. One of the best example of Jamaican architecture, the Devon House was built by George Stiebel, the nation's first black millionaire.
Much of the interior furniture is not original, but it upholds the 19th Century mansion style. The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island. J$700 for a tour of the mansion. Entry to garden and shops is free.
Hope Botanical Gardens. Open daily 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM. The Largest Botanical Garden in the Caribbean. The garden gets its name from the man Richard Hope who helped capture Jamaica for Great Britain and was given the property to reward him for his faithfulness to the Crown. Entry is Free.
Hope Zoo, Next to the Botanical Gardens. 10 AM to 5 PM. J$20.
Arawak Museum or Taino Museum. A small museum with artifacts and information about the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawak or Taino Indians.
People's Museum of Craft and Technology. A small museum with pottery, instruments, and farming tools used in Jamaica. J$100.
Lime Cay. Beach off the coast of Port Royale must take a boat from Port Royal fisherman or the hotel to island. Island is famous as the location for final scene in The Harder they Come.
Crowded party spot on the weekends with food and drink available for purchase, much more sedate and often deserted on weekdays. You can camp overnight if you pre-arrange a next-day pickup time, but be careful, as you can't exactly swim to shore.
Emancipation Park. Offers free concert occasionally in the summer and during the Christmas.
Putt and Play. Offers miniature golf and pool tables for a nice round of pool.
Blue Mountain Coffee from the supermarket for cheap or get premium beans direct from the JABLUM manufacturers or craft/single estate roasters. Look into Rum Roast and Royals at Devon House for some better selections.
Parade's Coronation Market on weekends, where you can buy fruit and vegetables from across the island. This was gutted during the disturbances at the end of May and while there are plans to rebuild it, traders have temporarily moved to other areas.
Hot sauces. Jamaica is famous for its hot sauces, with the major ingrediant being the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, found throughout the island.
Supermarkets have a bewildering selection of such sauces, from several producers.
Jerk spice powder. Make your own jerk chicken when you get home.
What to Eat
- Jerk, curried, fricasseed or brown stew chicken, pork or fish
- Escoveitch fish is spicy.
- Ackee and saltfish or codfish the national dish of Jamaica
- Curried mutton or goat.
- Fruit: Mangoes, sugar cane, paw-paw (papaya), guava, june plum, jackfruit, star apples, guinep, naseberries.
- Roasted corn
- Bammy Cakes. 5-inch diameter cakes made from cassava.
- Patties from a bakery,Devon House makes excellent curried chicken patties, and both Juicy and Tastee are fast food patty restaurants. In Liguanea there's a vegetarian/vegan patty restaurant, across the parking lot from the Wendy's
- Ice cream from Devon House
Places to dine:
- Tastee Patty, Juicy Patty, Mother's - fast food, mostly patties, though Mother's also does hamburgers and fried foods,various places around town.
- Island Grill,upscale Jamaican fast food and jerk in New Kingston.
Jerk pans,see them on the street smelling good - get Jerked Chicken, rice and peas.
Akbar, 11 Holborn Rd., New Kingston 10 Jamaica, W.I. Indian food served in a wonderful calm atmosphere. Sister Thai restaurant next door with equally pleasing menu.
Hope Gardens Vegetarian Restaurant, in the middle of Hope Gardens. You have to ask where it is as there is no external sign. Basic vegetarian food with menu that varies daily. Nice garden setting. Excellent juices. US$10.
Redbones Blues Cafe, 1 Argyle Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I. Jazz & Blues themed Caribbean Fusion Cuisine restaurant & bar. Cultural Watering Hole with Live Music & Art Gallery
Norma's on the terrace, Devon House At the back of the Devon House mansion in the shopping area. Closed Sundays. Excellent upmarket restaurant with a fusion of Western and Jamaican cooking. Eat outside at large tables with very decorative flower arrangements.
White Bones Seafood, 1 Mannings Hill Road. Mon-Sat 11:30am-11:00pm, Sun 2:00pm-10:00pm. Highly recommended, but expensive, fish and seafood joint. Tuesdays are all-you-can-eat shellfish nights. J$3000.
Drink Red Stripe and Appleton Rum. If you've got the guts, try some Wray & Nephew overproof white rum,locals refer to it as whites a drink that is usually around 180 proof.
There's also refreshing coconut water, cane juice, sorrel only served around Christmas time, Irish Moss, and tamarind drink or genuine Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee,according to experts it is perhaps the best tasting, most expensive and most sought after coffee in the world.
You can get premium beans from Rum, Roast and Royals in the Devon House complex.
Good bars include Red Bones Blues Cafe, also a good restaurant.
Kingston is the host of many great clubs. Found in New Kingston, there are many clubs that party until the early morning hours. The Quad, and Asylum are only a couple of the very popular clubs.
QUAD Nightclub, 20-22 Trinidad Terrace in the middle of New Kingston. the only multi level nightclub in Jamaica. jazz, reggae, dancehall, r & b, soca. 12 USD.
The Deck, 14 Trafalgar Rd, New Kingston. Popular watering hole mainly patronised by those over 30. Disco and live music and excellent bar snacks.
The Liguanea Club, Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, Kingston 5, Jamaica. It offers 38 guest rooms , all of which have air-condition unit, cable television, and free wireless Internet. Some of its amenities include fitness room/gym, 8 tennis courts and 6 squash courts, and a swimming pool.
While staying here, you can visit some interesting places like Bob Marley Museum, Emancipation Park, and The Barn Theatre. Best rates on official website start at USD 75.00.
Chelsea Hotel US$40.
Indie's and Mrs. J's Guest House on Holborn road.
Hope Pastures Great House Bed and Breakfast, 40 Charlemont Avenue Kingston 6 ,Wi fi Internet and cable. See review in Moons Guide to Jamaica.
Admiral's Inn, Port Royal, US$50 / room they have only 4 rooms, 17 Henry Morgan Blvd or Foreshore Rd.
Altamont Court Hotel, 1-5 Altamont Terrace New Kingston Jamaica, W.I. US$110.
Christar Villas Hotel, 99a Hope Rd., Kingston 6, Jamaica, W.I. Fascinating mid-range Jamaican hotel with a wide range of facilities and Jamaican mojo. US$115.
Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, 85 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5. The charming Courtleigh Hotel features up-scale mahogany furnishings in a traditional Caribbean style. Usual amenities for business travellers.
Mingles Pub is a popular meeting place and Alexander's restaurant has a good reputation. Offers handicapped access.
Wyndham Kingston, 77 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. Reports suggest that it has seen many better days and lost it's former Hilton franchise. Breakfasts not included in price and are expensive. Internet extremely unreliable. From $89/nt.
The Knutsford Court Hotel, 16 Chelsea Avenue, Kingston 5. A great new addition to New Kingston. This 170 room, newly refurbished property offers usual conveniences. Caters to business and leisure travelers. Located in the heart of the financial and shopping district of New Kingston.
Spanish Court Hotel, 1 St. Lucia Ave, Kingston 5. New hotel, with gym, swimming pool, etc. The architect seems to have almost forgotten windows in some of the rooms at the back, however, and others are a bit noisy if you want an early night.
Spanish Court Hotel is a business rather than a tourist hotel. Excellent internet, both wifi and cable, and a good restaurant. US140+ tax.
Pegasus, 81 Knutsford Bvd. Arguably Kingston's major hotel. In the New Kingston area close to most offices. Rates quoted on the web site start at US$300 but significant discounts are available.
Terra Nova Hotel, 17 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10. Definitely a splurge hotel the Terra Nova advertises itself as an All Suite hotel. Convenient location, good service and a highly regarded kitchen. US$200 plus.
Like any other large city anywhere in the world, Kingston is home to a higher number of crimes than the rest of the island. It has been rated one of the most dangerous cities in the world in previous years when measured by the murder rate.
It should be noted, also, that while the Trench Town section of Kingston does have an interesting history, nevertheless no visitor should dare go there unless they're part of a goodwill tour or something similar with a high level of pre-arranged security.
Common-sense and precaution should ensure a pleasant experience in the safer areas of the city, though. If you find yourself in need of the police, the emergency number is 119.
Homosexuality is not at all condoned and can elicit violent reactions. Jamaica has been ranked as the most homophobic nation on earth, so exercise extreme caution, this applies double to gay men. Take note of phrases like batty bwoy which is an anti-gay slur.
Try visiting these places while in Kingston:
- Blue Mountains (Jamaica), organize an overnight climb of Blue Mountain. Many outfits will come and pick you up from in town for an additional fee.
- Visit the Gap Cafe and Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains
- Hellshire Beach, a taste of the authentic Jamaican beach going experience
- Lime Cay, an uninhabited island beach with snorkeling opportunities, reachable from Port Royal for cheap via a fisherman's boat or by a more expensive fancier boat from Morgan's Harbour Hotel
- JABLUM, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee factory.
- Port Royal, the former pirate city that has been destroyed twice by earthquakes is a good place to relax and have a beer or visit the museum and learn about the piracy history.
- Portland (Jamaica), passed the Blue Mountains.
- Ocho Rios or Ochi, only 4 hours away by minibus/route taxi for ~J$500. Direct morning departures from the Downtown Transport Center and indirect via Port Maria from HWT
- Montego Bay, roughly 4 hours from Kingston for less than US$10 from the Downtown Transport Center.
- Port Antonio, take a direct minibus/route taxi from HWT for J$200-300.
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