The Villa Life, Jamaica

So you’ve rented a villa for
your Jamaica vacation. Now
what? Well if you’ve rented a
luxury, staffed villa here’s what you
might expect:

Your driver will meet you at
the airport in a comfortable,
air-conditioned van. On the
drive to your villa, he will indicate
points of interest along
the road and provide refreshments-
if it is a long drive do
not hesitate to request a stop.
Upon arrival at your villa you
will be greeted by your staff;
they are your caretakers for
the duration of your stay and
you should feel completely at
ease making reasonable
requests of them. Get to know
your head-of-house as he or
she will be your primary point
of contact should you have any
questions about the villa and
how it operates. Your cook will
handle grocery shopping and
meal preparation. She will prepurchase
your first few meals
plus pantry staples, then finish
the week’s shopping after
meeting with you. A typical
grocery budget is US$210 per
adult per week (more in some
villas) … less for children. This
may vary up or down depending
on market prices and
menus. If you wish to go to the
various markets with your
cook, feel free to do so.
Otherwise, simply review with
her your likes and dislikes and
she will handle everything
while you stay at the villa and
relax. At some of the villa
colonies, like Tryall, it is possible
for your cook to charge
groceries to your account,
which you then settle at the
end of your stay. At most of the
independent villas, unless
you’ve arranged for a mealplan,
your cook will request
money for shopping; she’ll
bring you receipts and change.

The day starts while guests
are still asleep. The cook quietly
places pots of steaming
Jamaican coffee and platters of
fresh fruit outside your bedroom
door or at the breakfast
table. Full breakfast is served
when all guests are ready. A
typical breakfast may include
fresh orange juice and several
fruits, banana fritters or plantain,
eggs, bacon, pancakes or
cereal. Light lunches are usual
in Jamaica, then for dinner
your cook will prepare her own
mix of Jamaican specialties …
including delicious homemade
soups and desserts, ackee and
saltfish, jerk pork or chicken,
shrimp or curried goat.
Lobster, too, when in season …
she can of course also serve
traditional American fare as
you request. Warning:
Jamaican cooks are excellent
and portions are big.
Your chambermaid and laundress
will care for every detail
of your bedroom and bath …
providing a daily supply of
fresh linens and flowers and
returning your neatly-folded
laundry each afternoon before
turning down your bed each
evening. The gardener will
maintain the pool and grounds
immaculately each day. Larger
villas are staffed by a butler
who serves, tends bar and generally
facilitates. Available on
request are a masseuse, children’s
nanny and chauffeur.
At the conclusion of your
stay it is customary to tip for
good service. Villa staffs, like
most jobs in the service industry,
rely on tips as part of their
overall compensation.

Recommended gratuities
tend to be around 10{56e94487539310e8c611ec1a332f28059d6b4b561a913cf06d6420f600d8537b} of the
villa rental in High Season ~
15{56e94487539310e8c611ec1a332f28059d6b4b561a913cf06d6420f600d8537b} of the villa rental in Low
Season (some villas have more
specific guidelines). These percentages
apply to the entire
staff, not to each individual
staff member. In each villa,
you will find a gratuity guide
advising you how tips should
be distributed among your
staff members based on their
seniority- in some cases you
can pay the entire amount to
the head of house or directly to
the property manager for distribution.
Once you have experienced
the villa lifestyle, it is only natural
to be intrigued by the
prospect of owning one of
these extraordinary properties.
Whether it is an existing villa
or a home site on which to
build the vacation house of
your dreams Jamaica’s experienced
real estate agents will
help you find it.

What are the advantages to staying in a villa over a hotel?
The only true privacy you get in a hotel is in your bedroom or
suite. In a villa everything belongs to you ~ the pool, the sun
beds, the terrace, the music, the TV ~ it is your home every
minute of the day. You will only see the people you wish to see.
Even your staff will become “invisible” if that is what you want,
appearing only at those times you ask them to serve you. In a
villa you decide everything from what you eat to the time you
eat it. And yet, despite having all these major advantages, a villa
vacation compares very favorably on price with a hotel.

Certain villas include temporary memberships in private clubs
such as Tryall, Round Hill and Wyndham Rose Hall that offer a
host of activities including golf, tennis and watersports. Those
actually located within a villa colony offer the best-of-both
worlds, with the complete privacy of a villa vacation and all the
amenities and social opportunities of a fine resort.

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