Brief Survey of Hotels in Haïti
In nearly two dozen trips to Haïti (1972–90), on art–buying expeditions, I stayed at:
¶ Coconut Villa. Near the airport. Cheap but agreeable.
¶ Holiday Inn. Downtown. Decent restaurant, but no character. Not cheap.
¶ Olofsson. Near downtown, a gingerbread mansion with an annex built when it served as a military hospital during the first U S occupation (1915–34). A hotel with quirky charm, good food, and the best rum–cokes in Haïti. Fairly expensive.
¶ Castel Haïti. Up the hill from the Olofsson, a high–rise with the country's only elevator. Small, non–descript rooms. Decent pool and restaurant. Fairly cheap.
¶ Montana. Half–way up the hill to Petionville. Fine rooms, restaurant, and views. Not cheap.
¶ Kinam. Faux gingerbread in Petionville. Clean; good food; nice pool; reasonable.
¶ El Rancho. Poshest hotel in Haïti; superb food, huge pool, fine rooms, small casino. Expensive.
¶ Villa Creole. Petionville, just down the road from the El Rancho. Classy, superb food, expensive.
¶ Roi Christophe, a converted colonial-era mansion with rooms of varying size and comfort, excellent cuisine, and a small pool.
¶ Mont Jolie, a modern and spiffy motel-like place, superb restaurant, fine pool.
¶ La Jacmelienne, modern beach-front hotel, large and comfortable rooms, excellent food.
¶ Pension Kraft, run by the mulatre family that owns La Jacmelienne; a small house with rooms of varying quality and a decent kitchen. IN PORT-AU-PRINCE
1. The Olofsson for romantic types (and Graham Greene lovers).
2. The El Rancho for honeymooners, big–spenders, and gamblers.
3. The Villa Creole for quiet, understated luxury.
4. Kinam for comfort, modern and clean accommodations at a good price.
5. Montana for the kind of all–'round quality you'd expect at a Hyatt or Marriott (plus magnificent views).
6. Coconut Villa if you just need a bed for the night before getting on a plane.
7. Holiday Inn only if you really need to be near the center of P–au–P.
8. Castel Haïti only if nothing else is available — or you're really into elevators.
Both hotels are now under the same ownership. Christophe has more atmosphere, including fine grounds, and is close to the center of town. Mont Jolie is a bit distant, up a hill with nice views.
La Jacmelienne is first-class; Kraft is only for those on a very tight budget or those who arrive without a reservation at the former.