Cancelled flights, Marley songs, Bolt runs and Robbie Earle goals…it was finally time for me to visit the home of The Reggae Boys. 💚🇯🇲I would be arriving by jet plane into the realms of Kingston Town…
“And my queen will come at dawn. She’ll be waiting in Kingston Town” – UB40.
I got wind of an absolute gem of a hostel to stay in in Kingston. I have to say that if you want a Jamaican dance, art and music experience, this is THE place to sleep in Kingston. Welcome to the famous Dancehall Hostel which is owned and run by record producer Syl Gordon. It’s superb!
Why is this THE place to stay when backpacking in Kingston Town?
1.Your Host Is Syl Gordon!
Syl Gordon a renowned audio engineer has worked with artists selling more than 20 million albums and delivering more than 50 number #1 hit records. The owner of Cell Block recording studio and 321 Strong label is one of the most recognized engineers in Jamaica. He toured with Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton and has worked for the most part of his career with the major studios and labels like Music Works, Two Friends, Black Scorpio, Xterminator, Bobby Digital, One Blood and Penthouse Records naturally.
Return on his career and his collaboration with Donovan Germain’s label in the early 90’s.
2.The Famous History
On the outside it looks like a normal house on a normal street that has been turned into a hostel…but it’s much more than that on the inside. This hostel is the same building where the likes of Shaggy, Shabba Ranks and Buju Banton recorded their hit songs. The Cell Block Studio Recordings were made here.
If you ask Syl Gordon nicely, he can even provide you with a tour of the studio and a history lesson of it all. Syl Gordon was the producer behind it all. It’s so famous that it can’t be touched. The Jamaican prime minister called in one day to honour the importance of the building. To this day, Syl Gordon still makes huge waves in the music and film industry. His latest project, The Bartender is a YouTube sitcom which won critical acclaim in 2022. In fact, when I was staying here, Syl went off to collect the award!
The budget backpacker in me still exists. While I sometimes backpack to five star hostels, there is magic in a dorm room. I had a yellow bed in the dorm called Roots Rock. All the dorms and rooms have names related to Jamaican music.
4.Hostel Bar and Music
Drink away to your hearts content at the lovely hostel bar on the ground floor. You can also chill above on the rooftop balcony.
I love to dander around and here I explored 4 local neighbourhoods on foot. We are based in Queensbury so I backpacked it first. Then I visited Hughenden, a little shopping area with a few bars and shops. I also visited Maverley, and the football stadium there which is the birth district of current Chelsea and England forward Raheem Sterling.
Further afield in Kingston, I also had dinner in Usain Bolt’s Tracks And Records Bar, I toured Bob Marley’s House and Museum, tried the famous Jerk Chicken, visited the national football stadium and downtown Kingston Town.
There are murals all over the hostel walls at Dancehall Hostel. It’s a deliberate artistic vibe but it’s also because this attracts creative people.
Getting online with fast Wi-Fi has often been a mission on my previous jaunts to Central America and The Caribbean. Here at the Dancehall Hostel it worked well in my dorm room and in the reception. I was finally able to get my flight into Haiti booked (after 2 cancellations) and my trip onwards to Curacao.
Here are a few more photos from my excellent time backpacking in Jamaica and staying at the Dancehall Hostel.
Here are the details for booking a room or dorm at the Dancehall Hostel in Kingston Town, Jamaica:
321 Molynes Road & 11 Embers Way
Kingston 19, Jamaica | 1-876-827-6761
Email: [email protected]
Here are some videos from my stay At The Dancehall Hostel in Kingston Town, Jamaica:
And here is another great video on Dancehall Hostel by a Polish Dancer: