Waterloo Guest House

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Black River, Jamaica

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Waterloo Guest House Black River Reviews

tj1777 tj1777
369 reviews
And they do have electricity Jun 07, 2014
We found a little guesthouse in Black River right down at the water side. It is a pretty historic guesthouse which has given shelter to travelers for more than a century by now. Back in the day it was the very first house in all of Jamaica to get electricity - hence in the old days it was a very modern place to spend a night. It doesn’t seem they have been investing much in renovation for the last century so what used to be cutting edge at the beginning of the 20th century isn’t really up to what you might expect in the 21st century.

The main building got two storages with a restaurant which doubles as a bar and reception in the bottom. The top floor used to be all the guest rooms some of which would have a pretty good view of the ocean right beneath the house. Unfortunately the first floor has gotten into such a state of disrepair that it is no longer used for safety reasons. Apparently the construction might break completely if you walk along the wooden floors which are probably rotten by now or eaten by bugs.

So the rooms is no longer located in the main building but a somewhat newer building in the back where there is an ugly looking building more resembling a 1960s US motel than the old Georgian main building you’ll see when driving by the road. Despite the fact this building must be a lot younger than the main building it is already showing signs of running into disrepair as well. I figure the owners haven’t got a very substantial budget for maintenance of their hotel.

We are offered a room in this back building - we get a choice between two different rooms - but there seems to be some people living here on a long term stay and the owner knows them. And then adds - one room might be a bit noise due to those long term stay people. So we decide on the somewhat more quite room.

The room isn’t much better than the building it clearly show the wear and tear left by time and not much love. The room do sort of have what you’ll expect from a room but everything is pretty old and worn down. There is an old television, a bathroom which do work and a couple of not so comfortable beds. In addition you’ll find a chair and a table if you have the urge to sit down and work or something like this. There is an air-condition in the room. But unfortunately the air-condition isn’t looked after either so during the night we realize the air-condition isn’t actually cooling the room - it is only making a lot of noise pretending to actually trying to cool the room. At least the electricity is still working here a hundred years after they got it originally.

There is a restaurant on the premise but service is a bit slow which turned out to be a problem in the morning. We thought we had a lot of time to enjoy breakfast since the receptionist had told us the trips up the Black River wouldn’t depart until 10. When breakfast finally arrived and we were done eating we were told the river trips probably started at nine instead of ten which only left us with about ten minutes to do a super quick check out and make our way across the town to the boat tour companies down at the river shore.
The sign they do have electricity
The guesthouse
Inside the reception and bar area
The restaurant
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
world-traveller123 says:
sounds great will consider when i am there
Posted on: Mar 05, 2015
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gingerbatik gingerba…
442 reviews
WaterLoo Guesthouse Jun 07, 2014
The guesthouse location is very good, the building is right in front of the shoreline water and city centre of Black River, with many shops nearly within walking distance and attractive sights as well. On the right side of the guesthouse, has several interesting and beautiful old houses which looks like Spanish village.

The guesthouse main building itself looks really beautiful – with Georgian colonial style building which stand more than one hundred years old and the guesthouse was famous as it was the first house in Jamaica to be wired for electricity. There were bar/ restaurant at the ground floor of the main building which open for public and guesthouse guests. Plenty of parking space around the main building and the annex building at the back.

Unfortunately, when we were there, the beautiful main house was closed for renovation and we could not stay there. However the annex building were open and the friendly receptionist which locate at the bar/ restaurant showed the room at the back to us. There were actually no reception area – only the bar/ restaurant which open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for hotel guests and public.

The room she showed us was pretty old and very basic but clean enough and it was pretty big with working air condition, and the room facing the garden. The bathroom was basic, at least it work well with hot and cold water. Unfortunately, at night time, the air condition stop blowing the cold air and it gets hot inside the room and I had trouble to sleep and keep awake all night. The mattress was not that good and I can feel the wood under it. At least it was pretty quiet around the area. I do not remember the cost of the room but it was reasonable down to cheap compare with other guesthouse we had stay in Jamaica.

We order dinner at the guesthouse bar/ restaurant, unfortunately the food was not that good and it seems they served the leftover food from the other tour group guests which was really shame. The food price was cheap but it does not justify the quality and I would not go back here for dinner ever.

In the morning, breakfast was okay but the staff were not honest.

We planned to do the Crocodile River safari tour and asked information from the guesthouse staff and she gives different and wrong information before and after breakfast.

We thought she just wants us to had breakfast there and get as much money from us instead of giving the proper information. She told us before we order breakfast that the tour start at 10am, after we order breakfast and the breakfast arrived at the table, she told us the tour start at 9.30pm, which make us eat quickly since we do not have much time left.

We were able to left the car at the guesthouse parking area while doing the tour but we check out before it to make sure they did not charge us another night.

Overall, it was an interesting stay albeit the food quality
the hotel sign outside
the hotel main building
the restaurant act as a reception
the view from the restaurant
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Chokk Chokk
1727 reviews
Nice but quite expensive for the region May 01, 2011
The Waterloo Guest House is a fascinating hotel situated facing the water just outside Black River city centre which by the way does not have much to burst about. If you come towards Black River from the Bluefields coast road you know you are there when you have the rusty old fishing boat wreck straight to the right.

The main house has enormous amount of charm. It is a yellow and white wooden house with blue corners dating back probably 200 years. I was sold straight away when I saw it; it just looked so cosy.

Around the whole house you have a porch, where you can sit on the rainy days, but it also hosts a part of the outdoor service of their restaurant. The ground floor is occupied with the bar to the right when you enter the premises; to the left you will find the indoor restaurant. Both the bar and the restaurant like stepping back in time and I especially liked that they had red and white checked table cloths on the tables like you were entering a European restaurant in the countryside.

The main house of the hotel had also historical value for Jamaica since they stated that it was the first house to have electricity on the island, and apparently because the racehorses then needed air-condition in the stables! This I found even funnier.

There were only rooms free in the new houses which were adjured to the main building. The rooms are nice; on a good average size with 1½ person beds. The rooms come with a fridge which is very nice because it was quite hot and humid. There were also a TV and a good size bathroom. The price when I was there in May 2011, was 56$ and it was not negotiable.

The people working there were quite nice and friendly; all young girls having their own responsibility area. The hotel is situated not far from the city centre; you would have to walk like just under 1 kilometre along the coast.
Cool ad!
Wreck of a fishing boat
The bartender and the receptionist…
In front of the hotel
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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photo by: tj1777