Neita’s Nest is a creative nook tucked away in the hilly outskirts of Kingston and St. Andrew. Located in Bridgemount, a quiet suburban and historic neighbourhood, Neita’s Nest began as a private dwelling where the Neita family would often entertain relatives and friends. However, in 2010 its proprietor and host, Michelle Neita, opened her charming home to guests as a local homestay and bed & breakfast. Michelle’s gracious willingness to share her knowledge of Kingston’s rich history and culture to guests makes Neita’s Nest a useful resource and base for visiting creatives, researchers and scholars. As they would say, the rest is history. Neita’s Nest is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Kingston but close enough to all its amenities, making it a desired place to stay for visitors to Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city.
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The Charming History of Neita’s Nest & Bridgemount
Jamaica has a strong colonial history and its last ruler before independence in 1962 was the British. The British took control of Jamaica from the Spaniards in 1655. The island’s strategic location made the British fearful that Jamaica would be invaded by another European power, hence they quickly set to work in fortifying the island’s defense. British troops were stationed at the Kingston Harbour, Port Royal, on the plains at Up Park Camp and at Stony Hill. The Stoney Hill Barracks were built in the 1700s and situated close to Ram’s Horn Ridge at 284m (932ft) above sea level, east of Jack’s Hill. These barracks lie in present-day Bridgemount, Stony Hill. It is on this property which once housed the Captain’s quarters, that Neita’s Nest was built. As a result, this 1960’s chalet-style home and B&B offers a commanding view of the mountains surrounding Kingston’s Liguanea Plains. If you’re fortunate enough, you may get to visit Neita’s neighbour and admire three canons which remain mounted in his private garden, a testament to Stony Hill’s military history.
What to Expect at Neita’s Nest
Neita’s Nest is located in Bridgemount, 3.5km (5 minutes) away from Manor Park and only 10km (20 minutes) away from New Kingston. This means that there are a wealth of nearby activities to enjoy. Michelle, your host, can provide suggestions or you may even take ideas from this three-day Kingston itinerary. The winding mountain roads which lead to this B&B are among the oldest roads in St. Andrew, built by African slave labour centuries ago. Neita’s Nest is always several degrees cooler than the hot Kingston plains, and enjoys a light mist after rainfall even in the peak of summer. Its lovingly tended gardens create the perfect home for over twenty species of local and migrant birds. You can admire these birds from Neita’s verandah or garden as they pop in and out for a visit. There’s an old treehouse on the property which was built for Michelle’s sons as children. It’s a renovation project she hopes to accomplish soon.
The glass bottle arrangement below pays homage to our West African ancestors who would hang blue bottles from trees and huts as talismans to ward off evil spirits. It is believed that the spirits would become mesmerized by the colour of the bottles in the sun. Once they enter the bottle, they can’t find their way out. This practice was brought to the Caribbean by enslaved Africans.
Neita’s Nest offers two bedrooms with a mountain view which can comfortably sleep up to five guests. The large windows let in lots of natural light and cool mountain breeze. There’s a minifridge, desk and chair in the main bedroom which can serve as workspace for research and remote work. Check out Neita’s book recommendations. There’s also a private bathroom, living room, dining room and verandah for guests to enjoy. Airport pickup services are available. Neita’s Nest works closely with local drivers and tour operators who can ensure that your stay in Kingston is a fulfilling one. You can fill your itinerary with nearby golf, museum and art gallery tours, a Blue Mountain coffee farm tour, reggae concerts, restaurants and parties. Add in a few free activities if you’re visiting Kingston on a tight budget.
A daily continental breakfast is included which consists of only homemade or locally sourced ingredients. These include breads, local cheeses, yoghurt, spreads, hummus, peanut butter and a tropical fruit plate. Instead of imported maple syrup, you’ll find Michelle drizzling her pancakes with honey from a local apiary. Her fruit plate will feature local Otaheite apples instead of imported apples. That way, Neita’s Nest is a proud supporter of ‘Buy Jamaican, Build Jamaica.’
Neita’s Nest is tastefully furnished and decorated with Jamaican pieces, but you may find interesting trinkets from across the globe in Neita’s home. Inside and out, Neita’s Nest is bound to leave you inspired. Wake early enough to catch the peep of sunrise over the hills, and sit on the verandah at dusk to catch the full moon. Let Michelle tell you about the beautiful tropical plants on her property such as the bougainvillea, ferns and periwinkles. In summer, bright orange blossoms from the Royal Poinciana trees set the mountains ablaze. I visited too close to the end of summer to catch the full poinciana splendour, but I was fortunate enough to catch the Queen of the Night orchid cactus in bloom.
I’m happy to feature a place to stay in my city as a proud Kingston & St. Andrew native. I’m very fond of the suburban misty hills which border Kingston, as well as the Jamaican Blue Mountains. If you’re visiting Kingston, I hope you’ll consider staying at Neita’s Nest. Please share, pin and bookmark this article for later. Also, subscribe for new posts which publish every Friday.
Thanks for recommending this gem to me, Duncan. ‘Til next time.