from $35

Riverside Retreat

Hope Bay, Portland
6 Guests2 Rooms4 Beds
Verified Listing
Laaji is an avid fitness enthusiast who loves every sport under the sun! He enjoys creating new vegetarian dishes as well as making the most out of the great outdoors through practicing yoga and hiking in the surrounding mountains. He is also a keen farmer, who loves to show people the range of fruits and vegetables on his eco-farm.

Beautiful secluded guest house located right on the banks of a stunning river. The perfect mix of rural charm and modern comfort. The property is run by a local Rasta family who want to share their little piece of Jamaican paradise with you.

Want to chill out and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Relax in our stunning Guest House situated right on the waterfront ! We are located in the charming mountain town of Swift River, Portland. Swift River can be found within a 10 minute drive from Hope Bay and a 25 minutes drive from Port Antonio. The area is named in honour of the stunning river which streams ‘swiftly’ through the town. The river flows directly from the western side of the world famous Blue Mountains, travelling down stream for more than 30 miles and joining the sea at Hope Bay. We are located right on the river banks, in fact we are the last house in town. After passing the house, there are no neighbours or development, just an uninterrupted mountain path leading straight to Blue Mountain peak. The sheer greenness of the fertile hillside is so beautiful that everything seems to be an enchanting misty blue. Let nature dictate the pace of life in one of the prettiest little riverside towns in Jamaica.

First thing is first- the stunning river! Walk a few footsteps down from your room and jump in for a swim in the cooling mountain river pools. Our location is also right on the edge of a mountain footpath so you will have direct access to a beautiful mountain trek, following the river upstream straight into the jungle. Guests also have access to farming excursions and we can arrange a guided tour of the surrounding mountains, those who are fit enough to make the journey can even climb 30 miles to the river’s source in Blue Mountains! We also offer onsite Kemetic Yoga lessons- where guests can experience the rejuvenating powers of yoga in the most beautiful natural setting. There are weekly ‘dances’ in the town square, where guests can experience the rural Jamaican party scene, with music, rum and lots of dancing.

Please note that any overnight visitors must be arranged with the host in advance. The house is beautifully decorated and kept, please respect it by keeping it nice and tidy.

Rooms & Prices

The property has 4 large rooms and 3 are offered as guests rooms. All the rooms have comfortable double beds and fresh white bed linen. There is large modern bathroom and kitchen which is shared with other visiting guests. There are also common lounging areas with a variety of comfortable seating: a large patio at the front and a large balcony at the back. There is also a well furnished living room with sofas and a television. In line with the host families Rastafari faith the inside kitchen is an Ital (vegetarian) zone, though for the convenience of visitors,there is a separate outside kitchen which can be used to cook anything else. The host lives in the property and is always happy to offer guided tours of the area and recommend local attractions and restaurants.

  • 1 person for $35 / night
  • 2 persons for $50 / night
  • 3 persons for $70 / night


The neighbourhood is a small, peaceful and friendly farming village. There is much happening in terms of music and food festivals. Swift River is deeply rural and off the beaten path. Those who visit this riverside town will enjoy an authentic Jamaican experience. The local inhabitants are 95% farmers and the town is dotted with farming plots which sprawl across the surrounding hillsides. The majority of the community do not make a living from tourism and unlike in Jamaica’s big resort towns, visitors will notice the absence of ‘hustlers’. Nevertheless like most Jamaicans, the locals are fiercely proud of their cultural heritage and are always happy to engage with a friendly stranger who wants to learn more about their customs and traditions. Swift River is a pretty little mountain side community which is perfect for nature lovers and those are seeking a a ‘private get away’.

How to get here

The neighbourhood is served by many taxis and buses and trips can also be arranged with the property’s host. The retreat’s main selling point is its exclusively tucked away location way up in the hills, right by the river. And although we try our best to provide clear directions, our very rural location means that some guests find it a little tricky navigating their way up to us. Please do not hesitate to ask for further directions by calling if you get lost along the way! If you do not feel confident making your own way up from Hope Bay, the host will be more than happy to come and meet you! Once you arrive to our locations, your drive will be more than worth it!

Portland Parish JM
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1 review

  1. I highly recommend

    I highly recommend Portland Riverside Retreat to travelers seeking a very calm and friendly accommodation. Yes, beaches are nice, but what about diving into the refreshing and crystal clear river water, that is so pure that you can drink it? Nature-lovers, this is the ideal spot for you to dive deep into the Jamaican bush, walk along the river side or just relax in the hammock all day. Ras Laaji, his wife Karen and their adorable son Zaki are such wonderful hosts and their home is not lacking of any comfort. The rooms are spacious and clean with big and comfortable beds. Also, you should make sure you get to try the delicious Ital food offered on demand!

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