TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS
to The Ruins at the Falls. We would like to introduce you to some
of the beautiful foliage of this island surrounding a 40-ft natural
waterfall and a touch of its rich history.
This property has its own unique history that is more interesting
than you might imagine. Originally, a part of a much larger property
called "Eden Bower", which was owned by the Geddes Family
in 1907, but has been cut up and sold off over the years. The Ruins
as it is known today only came into existence in the mid-ninteen
fifties, when a retired American Doctor, Robert Page, had the inspiration
to create his own historic Ruins, which is the octagonal building
seen by the courtyard.
The property is not a actual ruins of a plantation era but the
whimsical re-creation of Dr. Robert Page, who with the help of many
skilled labourers and artisans, created his own modern day ruin.
He felt that although there were plenty of ruins in Jamaica, they
slowly disappeared as the years went by, and so decided to re-create
his own ruins. The cut-stone work you see throughout the property
was Actually brought from the ruins of an old great house in Trelawny
and used to create these buildings. All the stones were numbered
in order to re-create an exact replica of a plantation building.
This beautiful property has a special history around its lush
garden and a spectacular waterfall. After Dr. Page'sdeath that building
was expanded to accommodate a Restaurant, but it was the present
owners, the Hendrickson family that made the greatest expansions
and conversions to its present state of a modern dining and banquet
facility, while still retaining the old charm of years gone by.
OUR OWN FERN GULLY
this pathway we have just over 50 species of ferns, a very small
sample of the over 600 species of ferns that are found in Jamaica.
These walkways are a tribute to the famous Fern Gully just outside
the towns limit of Ocho Rios that was created by a flash flood in
1766. It was then commonly called Ocho Rios Gully but because of
all the ferns that spouted out after the flood, the name was changed
to Fern Gully. In this gully, there are more varieties of ferns,
than exist on the whole North American Continent.
The current owners went to great lengths to preserve the natural
environment of the property and have literally built around the
trees. The conference rooms are designed to blend into the landscape
and the largest seat up to 200 for banquets.
Jamaica is known as the "land of wood and water" and
there are reported to be about 3,000 species of flowering plants
alone, 800 of which are not found anywhere else in the world, and
thus is haven for orchid and foliage plant collectors.
Today these buildings, with the courtyard, have become very popular
for weddings, conferences, meetings, fashion shows and beauty pageants.
Dining by day or night is spectacular with the 40-ft natural waterfalls
providing an ambiance never to be forgotten. A comprehensive menu
of Chinese, Jamaican and International Dishes are presented for
your selection to provide a true dining experience.
property is fed by the Milford Stream that is the last cataract
of the old Shaw Park Estate. This was also the pathway used by many
Spaniards. Jamaica was once ruled by Spain and the battle of the
Shaw Park in Feb. 1659, helped to bring about the defeat of the
Spanish by the British.
There are eight rivers in Ocho Rios, and this is how the area
got its name from the Spanish rulers, as Ocho Rios in Spanish means
"Eight Rivers". The river on this property is the smallest
of eight rivers, Dunn's River being the largest.
This property has many trees of interest such as the Ackee, our
national fruit, along with the Breadfruit, Pimento, Soursop, Sweetsop,
Mango, Avacado Pear, as well as a calabash tree. Jamaica's earliest
inhabitants, the Tainos and the Arawaks found use for the fruits
of the calabash tree, which was used as a storage vessel to carry
water. Today, it is used not only for storage but also making fashion
accessories and toys. The Tainos, as a people, became extinct with
the arrival of the Spanish and the British. However, some of their
cooking customs remain with us. For example, one of Jamaica's favourite
staples "the Bammy" which is eaten with Escoveitched Fish,
has passed the test of time. Bammy is made from Cassava, a root
vegetable similar to yam.
There is a spectacular Anthurium Garden. These flowers are used
for their decorative properties and floral arrangements, and are
also exported by Jamaican Horticulturalists to both the United States
and Europe along with the Heliconeas which grow in the hills of
There are two small turtle ponds containing fish and six local
turtles which somehow do not always appear at the same time.
THE ORCHID DECK
There is an underground spring that feeds the pond and stream
in which are the Kois. This water is from a different source than
that of the river and waterfalls, to which a special legend is attached.
Can you hear it? Legend has it that if you listen carefully, the
falls will tell its tales. But since we don't have all day, I will
tell you one tale that has been passed down over the generations.
It seems like sometime around 1831, there lived a plantation owner
who married a young local girl who was beautiful and mysterious.
This English planter however, spent little time here with his bride,
as still had to tend to his father's wishes back in the homeland.
After returning from a particularly long stint in England, he found
her beauty was no longer as warm as she used to be; yet he couldn't
Disenchanted, he went on many journeys to Montego Bay to drown
his sorrows in the town taverns. There he met a beautiful and intriguing
lady who stole his lonely heart. This lady was none other than Annie
Palmer, the infamous white witch of Rose Hall, whom it is said ,
killed her three husbands.
After many such visits to Montego Bay, he returned home one night
to find his wife atop the waterfalls in the arms of her lover
enraged he tied both his wife and her lover to a cave just under
the falls. A large boulder was moved by the servant to seal the
entrance. Legend has it that shortly after a Spring appeared and
the water is said to be the tears his wife shed. Today hundreds
of colourful Kois are displayed for the benefit of the guests in
the constantly crystal clear flowing spring.
Our last highlight of the tour belongs to the inhabitants of the
pond by the courtyard, Jamaican River Mullets. These fishes are
almost extinct. They are extremely strong swimmers and have managed
not to get washed downstream. They have a healthy appetite and are
well fed, and can attain weights of up to 4 pounds.