DAY 1: -Yes, we have arrived in Jamaica! Get settled in our own private fully staffed villa. This is the life! Making ourselves at home because I know we are in for a treat! Our own private Jamaican home, our own private cook, our villa staff have always looked forward to making our vacation a pleasurable one, just as much as we are ready to recieve their Jamaican warmth and laughter as we have many times before. Enjoying pool time, tropical drinks, this is true wind down time! This is were the rejuvenation starts….. Now this is what I call a real vacation!
First Nights Dinner: What a treat! Lets see……. I did not have to go grocery shopping and I did not have to cook, nor do I even have to clean the dishes! This is the life! Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken and Curried lobster with Rice and Peas, plantain and a steamed vegetable medley. We wanted to do it all Jamaican and all on our first night! But we though we better take it easy on our cook! She is now catering for serious Jamaican food lovers! Our first meal was devine and so well presented. Rubbing my belly….. Totally full and content, we sat back with our tropical drinks served by our butler and we kicked back and chatted about good ole times! Our kids were playing dominoes in the background with the butler. Oh, away from the laptops and cell phones! Wow! I always find that when we stay in a villa, we feel like we are “home” and we are social again. We really sit and chat, I hear laughter, and we catch up andreminisce….. No hotels for me, I want to get away from that noise and crowd and mass eating session. This is family time, me time….. our lives are so fast paced back home that I am really enjoying this new “family time” in our beautiful home in Jamaica.
DAY 2: Starting the day right with a great breakfast! Our butler had my favourite Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee brewing and served as I woke up to see the morning sunrise. For breakfast, we had Jamaica’s famous “Ackee n Saltfish”, fresh tropical fruit plates, bacon, eggs, johnny cakes and roasted breadfruit. Coffee and Tea and freshly squeezed juice! Yes, our cook would not have it any other way. She said “No box juice for you! You have to have the real thing, freshly squeezed orange juice…… now that you are in Jamaica!”
After breakfast, we went for a drive into Montego Bay. We recommend Dr. Cave Beach which has a small entrance fee. Dr. Cave is located on the Hip Strip with many restaurants and shops nearby. Historically, it is one of Jamaica’s finest beaches. In the end of early 1920’s, Sir Herbert Barker, a famous British Osteopath visited the beach and later published an article boosting it by declaring that the waters have curative powers and that he was restored to good health after bathing there. This heightened the allure of the beach and Doctor’s Cave became famous overnight as foreigners, many rich and famous came to try the water. Today there is a great selection of beachside restaurants and rum bars to enjoy. Very family friendly, great snorkeling! For a more private beach next door, you can also experience Cornwall Beach. Cornwall Beach also has a small entry fee with a beach bar and grill.
Another local eatery we enjoyed – “Scotchies” – Casual outdoor eatery, cheap beer, and alcohol, one of the most famous on the island for authentic Jamaican Jerk pork, chicken and fish. The main difference here is that they “jerk” their chicken and pork on pimento sticks so the flavour of the meats is awesome and only in Jamaica!
Going back home to our private villa to relax and enjoy appetizers and cocktail drinks and the local Red Stripe beer by the pool and witnessing a tropical sunset. The sunsets always look more awesome somehow……this lifestyle is kind of addictive!
DAY 3: Day Trip to Ocho Rios
If you have not booked a van and driver package for the week, (the best and most economical way to get around the island) you can ask Jamaican Treasures to get a driver for the day and he will take you to Ocho Rios (“Ochi” as locals call the town affectionately) for the day (an hour and a half from MoBay ). Your cook can pack sandwiches, wraps or snacks for early lunch.
OCHO RIOS: You have got to go to Ocho Rios….This is Jamaica’s waterfall parish (St Anns), beautiful and lush! We climbed the falls, all of us, kids and adults and it was so exhilarating! Go around twice, it is a great work out and so beautiful!
Decide which activity the group would like to go on because there is so much to do here:
- Hike Dunns River Falls which is fairly easy for the whole family! Guides are available at an extra cost or it is possible to hike up thru the falls on your own. Water shoes can be rented or purchased and are highly recommended. There is a beach also at Dunns River Falls.
- Mystic Mountain Bobsled through the Jungle and Canopy Tour through the Jungle. Mystic Mountain Excursions in Ocho Rios with a relaxing cable car run up the hills of Ocho Rios with exceptional views. I Love this place! Triple activies, all in one! There is also an infinity swimming pool with tubular waterslides, and restaurant so you could actually spend a lot of time here. It is also a very informative trip through history with a unique display of all the greats in Jamaica such as Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, and many more….
- Dolphin Cove – Swim with the Dolphins!
Shop for souvenirs at the newly built Island Village Shopping Center. There is also a beachside Margarittaville restaurant and shop there. Great for lunch!
Stop at the Ocho Rios Jerk Centre for a Casual Dinner and there is another Scotchies here too if you missed the one in Montego Bay or at Evitas on the hill for an Italian Dinner with a beautiful view! Ask for Eva at Evitas, she’s awesome!
NEGRIL: Try this for your Day 4 of touring the island!
If you have chosen to go to the western tip of the island to Negril, we recommend you spend the day at Margarittaville so you can enjoy the white sands of the famous 7 Mile Beach and swim in the crystal blue waters.
Five minutes drive from the beachside, head over to the famous Rick’s Café to watch the cliff divers and enjoy the sunset. Stay for dinner and drinks or bottle service under a cabana pool side!
Any Day: Enjoy A Spa Day at your villa.
Jamaican Treasures can arrange for in house massages in the comfort of your own villa. They can also arrange mani/pedi’s and facials.
Spa Lunch: finger sandwiches with salads and fruit smoothies. Or spend the day at the Half Moon Spa or Round Hill Resort Spa.
Get out for some live music! Montego Bay has some great places to see live music. Margaritaville, Blue Notes, Pier 1 and new night life venues on the “hip strip” just to name a few. Nights for live music may vary.
DAY 5: This day is for enjoying the Caribbean Sea! We took an Island Routes catamaran cruise and this was awesome! Experience the magic of an Island Routes catamaran cruise, one of the Caribbean’s most wet ‘n’ wild adventures full of delectable appetizers, exotic cocktails, and the best panoramic views! There is a mixture of reggae music, new and old, while learning the latest island dance moves and enjoying their signature catamaran cocktail.
DAY 6: This day, we wanted to do some horseback riding! Getting to see the Jamaican country side, we contacted Island Routes and booked in our Horseback riding tour! Exploring the incredibly gorgeous countryside of Jamaica on horseback, ambling through a tropical rainforest atop a sleek, gentle mare or serene stallion. Ride along a cliff and feast your eyes on panoramic vistas of the Jamaican coastline with the aquamarine ocean sparkling in the island sunshine. Then, prepare yourself for a totally unique experience, as you cross the white sand of a pristine beach on horseback and enter the warm waters of the Caribbean. Trot through the crystal seas together and enjoy the ride of your life.
DAY 7: Shopping and Relaxing. Get out to some of the nearby shops. The brand new Shops of Rose Hall is nice window shopping for most and a great spot to find lovely duty free jewelry. The Hip Strip is great for little trinkets and souvenirs.
Enjoy your relaxing time at the villa. Go for a swim in your own private swimming pool and enjoy some tropical drinks (Rum punch is my favorite, or a “Dark and Stormy” is the next best which is rum and ginger beer) Have the cook prepare a special goodbye dinner. No matter which restaurants we tried on the island, we always preferred the home cooked meal of our villa cook. Now I know why villa vacations are so addictive, the food, the privacy, the true Jamaican lifestyle! I am coming back!
Last but not least, and this is always my favourite……..We also visited a school in Jamaica and this was another memorable highlight of our trip. Our butler went with us and we took some school supplies. We did not want to leave! We will be back! We love Jamaica!
See you soon again!