Strawberry Hill

Remote, intimate, luxurious

Island Outpost, Irish Town, St Andrew


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At a Glance

This low-key hideaway is located deep in the heart of Jamaica's lush Blue Mountains. Playing host to a mix of honeymooners and tranquility seekers, Strawberry Hill is castaway jungle paradise ideal for travellers looking to escape from it all.


A small cluster of Georgian cottages, Strawberry Hill was the original 18th century home of Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford and son of British Prime Minister Robert Walpole. After several centuries, the property was taken over by famed music producer Chris Blackwell, the man credited with introducing the world to Bob Marley, Grace Jones, U2 and a who’s who list of musicians—many of whom were regular guests at his Jamaican hilltop home. In the 1990’s, Blackwell shifted his focus from recording hits to operating luxury hotels and villas, with Strawberry Hill becoming the first hotel in his portfolio of Jamaican properties called Island Outpost.

Set at an elevation of more than 3,000 feet, this 11-room boutique hotel offers exceptional quietude and privacy. Guests reach the property from Kingston Airport by driving through winding mountain roads offering panoramic views, though many may opt to arrive via helicopter from Norman Washington Manley Airport in Kingston instead.

The hotel’s white wood-framed cottages and villas vary in size from 400- to 3,000-square-feet with studios and one- and two- bedroom options. All accommodations feature original antiques from the property’s past: four-poster beds, white bed linens accented with African fabrics, artisan-made fretwork fanlights and bath products scented with herbs from Island Outpost’s own Blue Mountains Aromatics brand. Footpaths weave through tropical gardens and lead guests between the cottages, restaurant, bar, infinity pool and full-service spa. The resort’s public spaces are decorated with photographs that pay homage to notable musicians, celebrities and royalty (many of whom stayed at Strawberry Hill during the Island Record heyday). WiFi is free throughout the property and bicycles are available upon request.

Come evening, the bar is the place to be, as the epicenter of the property where guests can be found mingling to the sounds of live piano while sipping tropical cocktails (often with Blackwell’s own blend of spiced rum). Nearby on the wraparound veranda is the sumptuous restaurant. Tables are set under a blanket of stars with spectacular views of Kingston below and the cuisine celebrates Jamaica’s multi-cultural heritage with the best local ingredients. The menu boasts traditional dishes like slow-grilled jerk chicken and Jamaican oxtail, plus a Sunday brunch that features Strawberry Hill’s signature eggs Florentine made with cassava shrub and fresh mimosas.

Excursions, such as guided hikes and cultural activities in the surrounding towns, can be arranged through the hotel’s concierge. Still, given the romantic setting of Strawberry Hill, many guests are content to stay on property for the entirety of their stay.

Who Should Stay

Travelers craving downtime and barefoot, laid-back luxury in a rural location.

Written by Chris Osburn

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