We thoroughly enjoyed our too-short stay at Zioncountry Eco-Beach Cabins. If you are looking for the Ritz-Carlton please go elsewhere-life is a lot simpler and rustic here. The 4 cabins are simply furnished and sturdily built, it kind of reminds me of the Adirondack cabins I used to go to as a kid, but with lush, beautiful tropical surroundings. You can unwind with a book and sit on your cabin porch, listen to the waves lapping onto the shores of Machioneal Bay after a day of visiting the local beaches and sights. Although Free-I the owner was on holiday while we were there, Owen, who makes fabulous meals, took care of us the entire time and was a most gracious host. If you need a car, for example, he is the man to call to get you a cab to go into town. Mokko, a Rasta and our hiking guide to Reach Falls, was terrific, and quite the entertaining tour guide. He loves to hike! Hire him for a day or two during your stay here, although he does run his own cabins near Bath.
The grounds are lush, with wild flora, almond and calabash trees all around. During our 4 nights there we slept with the cabin door open and let the crow of a local rooster be our alarm clock.
If I had a couple of weeks to work on a book or some writing–sans computer of course– this place would be where I’d stay. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of city living. Port Antonio is about 45 minutes away,and Long Bay with its great beach seems to be the halfway point. There is a communal dining area where meals and drinks (beer, juices) are served. Food is extremely inexpensive here. On Long Road, Mama Joyce has a roadside shack where a delicious chicken plate can be bought for J$175, or you can just eat at a jerk chicken stand. Red Stripe is about J$250. Yum!
The best place !
For us just what we expected: simplicity, friendly people, good atmosphere, excellent food, nice view, moderate price. What else do you need?
The location is very good, close to Reach falls, and it’s extremely easy to move around with taxi transportation (very inexpensive). The area is our favorite in the island: beautiful beaches and super green explosive nature.
Would like to be still there.
While visiting my boss in Kingston (I’m from New Hampshire) we decided to check out the Eco-Cabins at Zion Country for some out of the way relaxing. Can’t say enough about the good hospitality and accomodations. The cabins, showers, toilets were clean and the beach area perfect for floating in the ocean. The manatees were in the cove which were thrilling to watch. Free-I hooked us up with a local Rastafarian to traverse the river up to Reach Falls. The pools of water were crystal clear to swim in. Spent an afternoon on a beach up the coast swimming and taking in the Reggae music blasting from speakers courtesy of a ride with Free-I and Owen. The area is good for taking walks to see the local sights, the ocean and the mountains. Good Hosts, good food, good place to vacation.
Jamaica should give tanks that Free-I came to settle pon da rock. Here at Zion country is a shining example of eco tourism in action. Free-I’s vision & hard work has created a place that is very hard to leave.
The sea & sky was wicked an wild & lazing in The cabin & on verandah felt like the bough of a ship.
The view is spectacular across the bay & river mouth (1 of the best in all jamaica) & the first breakfast was interupted with Owens shout of “Man-ateeeee” from the main house upper deck verandah, where us guests were invited to come look with binoculars at a rare sight of this endangered mammal that frequents the warm river water flowing out to the bay. Owen keeps a record of sightings & we were lucky as the manatee hadnt been around for a few weeks.
Free-i’s horticultural experience is demonsrated in the labelling of every plant found in the lushious landscaped Gardens. The cabins cling to the cliffside & the property is graced by a shallow bay thats great for snorkelling, & it was while we were out in the water the next morning we heard Tamar & Owen shouting again. Floating on Free-i’s surfboard we slowly made our approach towards the gently bobbing creature & were blessed to get within metres to carefully study him, it was an approaching fishermans engine that eventually scared him away. This unique experience was a highlight of the Trip. Along with Rennies 2hr Ramble through the river to enter the Reach falls the back way, Happy to pay him for what was an amazing trek, i was not informed that the going rate is just $400JA per person & i had gone way over that, giving him what the UDC charge to enter the falls! oh well it was he’s lucky day..
As you cannot see the sunrise from the property ,Owen pointed us down the lane & up a path to the east facing volcanic Blowholes,3 hrs were whiled away before breakfast marvelling at the ferocity of the ocean smashing against the rugged coast & spraying a fine salt mist on our windswept faces.
After reading the visitors book,the only regret is not having the satisfaction of tasting Owens evening dinners,as we had ventured down the main road to the lovable Mama Joice’s to enjoy her home cooking( $300JA)& a belly full meant we had no room for Owens renowned flavours.
My only disappointment was after spending almost 1 month yamming the traditional Jamaican cooked breakfast, we were served a simple continental style,(cornflakes,Toast) oh well i suppose it saves gas & energy keeping in tune with the ethos of the Zion Style……..
As we were still on a high from the manatee swim, we left without contributing to the comments book.
I hope Free-i will read this & extend our thanx & gratitude to He, Owen & Tamar for such a welcome respite from the Jamaican tourist trail, This place is For real.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful time we spent at Zion Country. Free-I has definately captured a piece of paradise. Not only are the cabins affordable, but Free-I and his staff when out of their way to show us a part of Jamaica that other resorts keep their guests from seeing. We visited Winniford Beach, a party for a resturant (which included a disc jockey with the best old reggae) and with some directions we ventured out ourselves to discover more great places to eat and see.
Thank you so much for create a place where the beauty of the land is a part of the Jamaican experience.
PS: The view from the cabin is spectacular!
Our experience in Jamaica up until Zion Country had not been so pleasant. But once we arrived there, it was wonderful. The people were friendly, the food was great, the view was gorgeous, and the flowers and trees were absolutely stunning! It’s close to Reach Falls which is the best waterfall in Jamaica. Zion Country has it’s own little beach, a bar, and is walking distance to food in the small town nearby. The open showers were a lot of fun and we were lucky enough to be the only ones staying there for the few days we were there. It was like our own private Eden. We definately recommend staying here if you can appreciate charm and beauty. It is not an upscale resort- but that is not what we wanted so it was perfect.
cheers to free-i and owen for the wonderfull time they made my stay at zion. it was truly remakable and very relaxing and maybe the best part of my trip.
i’m very pleased to have stayed there and can only tell everybody who wants to visit jamaica for the nice people and the wonderfull nature to stay at zion country cause it makes sure, that you meet lovely people and have a great time on jamaica, with the possibility to get to know the culture and get some insights on how life should be lived everywhere.
soon come (again) sebi
What to say about this beautiful little peace of heaven on earth. Surrounded by a beautiful lush garden, overlooking a nice tranquil bay and Manchioneal. Free-I (the dutch owner) always makes you feel welcome. The whole crew, Owen, Tamar and Free-I are the best.
They make me feel like im at home.
Zion country is far away from any tourist resort, in the middle of a Jamaican community. So if you like to see the ‘real’ Jamaica go to Zion country.
We stayed at Zion County for three days in the lush, green Portland, and it was a lovely little getaway paradise, perfect for a honeymoon. During our stay we got to know the originally Dutch owner and the staff, and they even drove us to the wonderful nearby Long Bay beach with its rum bars and beach restaurants and made us feel very welcome. I would recommend this to travellers who would like to see the real rural Jamaica while being taken care of by European/Jamaican staff. We loved our eco beach cabin and the private beach and the general quietness provided by the location. It was a perfect getaway from the busy Kingston area.
We had a great stay in Zion Country. The staff there is great and made us feel comfortable from the very beginning. Great beaches are close and the nature in this part of Jamaica is amazing.
The kitchen in Zion Country is very good, serving Jamacain chicken, fish or vegi. We ate there almost every night.
Thanks for the great holiday 😉