Posted May 29, 2011
I stayed at the Casa Maria for a few days, wanting to be near the ocean without the craziness of too many tourists. This was the perfect place! The room was quiet and clean, and the staff of the Casa Maria were fantastic. A late night dip in the pool and drinks from the "007 Bar" topped it off.
The only tricky thing was navigating how to get there without a car. If you ask, the hotel can help you arrange a taxi from Ocho Rios to the Casa Maria (about a 40 minute drive). Their taxi driver was fantastic, and we had a great chat. He was very helpful. This is the quickest and easiest way- but not the cheapest way. There are also shared buses that run along the road between Port Maria and Ocho Rios if you prefer the significantly less expensive (somewhere around 150 Jamaican dollars) and more adventurous route. They can be picked up from downtown Ocho Rios, and also can be hailed down outside the Casa Maria hotel. You may feel like a sardine, packed into the tiny hot bus with 15 other people - cruising very quickly along the shore - but it is a fun memory!
There are also shared buses/taxis that go into Port Maria from near the hotel (about a 5 minute drive) if you want to hit up a local beach.
Overall, I was VERY satisfied with my stay and would indeed recommend it!