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Where To Stay

Some advice for first-time visitors

A perfect house, whether you like food or sleep, or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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If you are coming for a short visit you need to decide where to stay. Here is some advice.

This page is in indexes: Island Place Saint Helena Island Info Where To StayIsland Place, Island ACTIVITY Saint Helena Island Info Where To StayIsland Activity, Island Detail Saint Helena Island Info Where To StayIsland Detail

Houses in Jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
Houses in Jamestown

This page should be read in conjunction with our Visitor Information and Getting Here pages. If you are coming here for a longer period we recommend reading our Could you live here? page.

Below: Types of accommodationLocation, Location, LocationCan you camp?Where you can’t stayFamous Visitors, exiles, etc.Useful linksRead More

NOTE Saint Helena Island Info does not advertise or promote any individual establishment and does not carry advertising so this page therefore gives general advice. Please do not contact us to help with reservations! You can find useful contact information below and you can also contact our Tourist Office.

Types of accommodation 

Apart from large resort-hotels, of which there are none, St Helena has everything you might expect to find in a holiday destination. There are three hotels-proper - two in Jamestown and one ‘up country’; various guest-houses; many self-catering flats and houses; and plenty of bed-and-breakfast options. Styles vary from the relatively formal (though on St Helena nothing is ever truly formal) to the ‘pitch in with the family’ approach, but guests are always treated with friendliness, courtesy and respect. Prices vary enormously, not just between establishments but also according to the time-of-year, with Winter (July-August) being cheapest and peak-season around Christmas. Prior booking is essential at all times of year; you will not find a hotel booking facility at our Airport.

One factor in chosing your accommodation is Location. More about this below.

Location, Location, Location 

For most holiday destinations you need to decide where to base yourself. Near to the beach? In the centre of the metropolis? In a quiet country village? You choose based on your personal preference, and based on what you most need to be close to. The good news about St Helena is this really doesn’t matter! The island is only 16 by 8 kilometres, or 121 km² - see our How Small Is St Helena? page to understand this better, and nowhere is more than half an hour's drive from anywhere else (though allowing for photographic pit-stops it can take much longer if you let it). So everything is accessible to you, wherever you stay.

Security is not an issue - there are no areas on St Helena that are not safe for visitors. Transport can be an issue because there is effectively no public transport{2}, so wherever you stay you will need to arrange taxis or hire a car.

Below: JamestownHalf Tree HollowSt Paul’sAlarm ForestLongwoodLevelwood, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill

Jamestown

Location map:
Location Map jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Jamestown is where most activities happen and is the location of the Museum of St Helena and many of our important Historic Buildings. Diving & Dolphin watching trips and most tours start from Jamestown. It’s also a good location if you want a choice of nightlife without the need to drive home afterwards - even the top (hospital) end of town is only about twenty minutes’ walk from the centre, though it is uphill! Lower Jamestown can be a bit noisy on a Saturday night - there is no zoning so your accommodation might be close to a bar which will play loud music until 1:30am. Accommodation is usually in an older building, often with an interesting history. Because it is the island’s capital, Jamestown is well connected to everywhere on the island. Jamestown has all types of accommodation available.

Another airborne view Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
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Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Sunset over James’ Bay Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
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Central Jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
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The Castle & Grand Parade Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Jacob’s Ladder Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Seaside and lower town Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

The Arch Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Castle Gardens Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Upper Town from Side Path Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

From the bay 2018 Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

 

Half Tree Hollow

Location map:
Location Map halftreehollow Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Half Tree Hollow is close to Jamestown, though somewhat quieter, but unless you are very fit you will need a car or taxi to get home at night - walking up Jacob’s Ladder is hard work after an evening’s revelling. Most Saints live in ‘HTH’ so there are plenty of bed-and-breakfast offerings, but also many flats and houses available for short-term rental (including a purpose-built estate). HTH is well connected to Jamestown and to the central and western areas, though to reach the eastern part you are probably best to travel via Jamestown.

Half Tree Hollow from the air Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Half Tree Hollow in more detail Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Half Tree Hollow from High Knoll Fort 2005 Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

 

St Paul’s

Location map:
Location Map stpauls Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

St Paul’s is the next place up the road from Half Tree Hollow, so also close to Jamestown. Our only up-country hotel is in St Paul’s, as well as many self-catering flats/houses and bed-and-breakfast opportunities. St Paul’s is in the centre of the island, so well connected to everywhere. Jamestown is a 15 minute drive away. Not much actually happens in St Paul’s but it is a good base if the bustle of Jamestown is not for you.

St Paul’s Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Houses in St Paul’s Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

‘Built-up area’ Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Farm Lodge Hotel Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Countryside Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
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Alarm Forest

Location map:
Location Map alarmforest Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Alarm Forest is the area you pass through if you head east out of Jamestown towards Longwood and the Napoleonic Sites. It has no hotels or guest houses but self-catering and bed-and-breakfast are available. Communications to the rest of the island are good.

Alarm House Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
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Two Gun Saddle from High Knoll Fort Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

The Briars (center) and Seaview (left) Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

 

Longwood

Location map:
Location Map longwood Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Longwood is about a 20 minute drive from Jamestown. Not much actually happens in Longwood, but it is convenient for access to the Napoleonic Sites such as Longwood House and Napoleon’s Tomb (The Briars Pavilion is in Alarm Forest). Jamestown is around 20 minutes drive away and cross-country routes exist to all parts of the island. Accommodation is limited to self-catering or bed-and-breakfast.

Longwood and The Barn Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Flagstaff & The Barn Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Turks Cap from The Barn Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Sunrise behind Flagstaff Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
{f}

 

Levelwood, Sandy Bay, Blue Hill

Location map:
Location Map levelsbbh Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

The Levelwood, Sandy Bay and Blue Hill areas are relatively remote and therefore provide few accommodation opportunities, but each area has its own charm and if you do stay in one of these you can be assured of peace and quiet. To get anywhere else you will need to drive for about 15 minutes to reach the centre of the island, from where everything is available.

Levelwood Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
Levelwood

Sandy Bay Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
Sandy Bay

Blue Hill Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
Blue Hill

 

Can you camp? 

Camping Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

We aren’t sure - we asked but nobody seems to know a definitive answer. There is no Ordinance that permits it, but then there is also no Ordinance that prohibits it! We know that the Immigration people at the Airport ask arrivals where they are staying but we have been advised that you are not required to answer.

There are no official campsites, and all land on the island is owned, either by private landowners or the Government of St Helena, but as far as we can tell, as long as you don’t do damage and interfere with crops or livestock (and especially Wirebirds) you will probably not be evicted. Best to camp out of site from the road, and store your vehicle somewhere out of sight (people report apparently abandoned vehicles to the Police just in case somebody has broken down and is in trouble).

Saints do actually camp, but only at Easter, usually up at Horse Pasture or in the Blue Hill Community Centre.

Where you can’t stay 

Plantation House Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
Plantation House

H M Prison Jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay
H M Prison, Jamestown

Unless you are a VIP you can’t stay at Plantation House. Only special guests of the The Governor of St Helena or Government of St Helena get to stay there. It has been suggested that the Government of St Helena could solve some of its financial problems if it did open up Plantation House to paying visitors, perhaps on a bed-and-breakfast basis, but we don’t expect anybody to follow up on these suggestions.

You also can’t - and almost certainly wouldn’t want to - stay at H M Prison, Jamestown, though we suppose if you do something really bad you might get a short stay until you are deported.

Famous Visitors, exiles, etc. 

Could you stay where our Famous Visitors, exiles, etc. stayed? Well, sadly, no…

Most of our Famous Visitors either did not stay the night, or were VIPs so stayed at Plantation House. Others seem to have stayed at Porteous House but sadly that was destroyed by fire in 1865 and its modern replacement is an office block. The rest stayed at some of the fine Country Houses which are now all either private residences or were destroyed in the 19th Century by the White Ants.

Our most famous exile, Napoleon, stayed at The Briars Pavilion and then at Longwood House, both of which are now museums and neither provides accommodation for visitors. The Boer Prisoners (1900-1902) stayed in tents on Deadwood Plain or Broad Bottom (a few ‘troublemakers’ were held in High Knoll Fort) and you could camp in one of these places if you are determined but you would need to be quite hardy because they are cold, damp and windy (and, in the case of High Knoll Fort you’d need the permission of the St Helena National Trust). The Bahraini Prisoners were held at Munden’s which is a ruin, and the rest we don’t know about.

So staying where our Famous Visitors, exiles, etc. stayed does not seem to be an option.

Did the Duke of Wellington stay at Wellington House?

It’s a popular belief that Wellington House is so-named because Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington stayed there during his visit in 1805. But actually he didn’t. In Jamestown he stayed at (Old) Porteous House, just across the road from Wellington House, which was destroyed by fire on 2nd April 1865 and recently re-built. He also stayed at The Briars. Wellington House is named in his honour - that’s all{3}.

Useful links 

These links are provided in an attempt to be helpful. Saint Helena Island Info does not recommend or promote any of the services offered and receives no benefit, financial or otherwise, from including these links. Links are only to booking agencies operating on St Helena, not to individual accommodation providers or international agencies. If your St Helena agency is not listed please contact us to be included.

Read More 

More stories on our page Read articles about St Helena.
For the avoidance of doubt, you participate in any activities described herein entirely at your own risk.

Comments by a visitor in 1795

From ‘A Modern Authentic and Complete System of Universal Geography of the Whole World including Captain Cook’s Voyages’ by the Rev. Thomas Bankes, Vicar of Dixton, Mon., c.1795, reproduced in the ‘Wirebird’, the magazine of Friends of St Helena{4}. Number 17, Spring 1998{5}

Every family has two houses, their town habitation being in St. James’s Valley, where they instantly repair on the arrival of a ship, to regale the sea faring people with the produce of their farms. Every house is let out into lodgings, which are very dear. Their profits must be great, particularly when it is considered they raise all their own stock, enjoy it with their lodgers and make them likewise pay most extravagantly dear for it.

We would like to point out that this is no longer remotely true!

Closing Humour Saint Helena Island Info Where To Stay

Laugh at funny Where To Stay humour LOL Saint Helena Island Info


Credits:

{a} Tourist Office{b} Matt Joshua{c} Marc Lavaud/Tourist Office{d} St Helena Travel on Facebook™{e} Ed Thorpe{f} St Helena National Trust



Footnotes:

{1} Showing St. John’s Church (right), the Hospital (centre) and Maldivia Gardens (left).{2} What little there is only operates to get people to and from their work in Jamestown.{3} See other debunked myths.{4} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{5} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.



Take Me Anywhere But Here!

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