By Tova Syrowicz
While there’s certainly no shortage of vacation villas on Jamaica’s lush shores, the petite Your Jamaican Villas collection, comprising three private homes of Sandals Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, stands out for the completely carefree, truly Jamaican experience it guarantees guests.
Villa vacations are often more immersive than resort retreats, but with Your Jamaican Villas, you’ll find yourself more in touch and in tune with the local rhythms and natural beauty of the island than you might have thought possible.
Whether you choose to base your Jamaican holiday on the island’s quiet southern coast, or in the more developed, happening areas of Discovery Bay and Ocho Rios in the north, a full private staff (think personal chef, host/butler, housekeeper, groundskeeper, and 24-hour security, many of whom have worked at the homes for years) will cater naturally, discreetly, and intuitively to your every need. This could of course mean anything from staging a romantic seaside gazebo dinner under the stars to taking the kids out for a boat ride to planning a last-minute diving excursion.
Though Jamaica teems with activities and attractions, including horseback riding, zip lining and Dunn’s River Falls, to name just a few, many guests of Your Jamaican Villas prefer to spend most of their time “at home.” Each villa was handpicked to be a secluded family home, and each is perched on verdant grounds rich with tropical flowers and fruit trees. Families and groups of friends alike enjoy private pools, private beaches, and plenty of outdoor lounging space. Interiors are breezy and unabashedly Caribbean—designed to be luxurious, livable, and evocative of their locale. And, as you’d expect, tech amenities haven’t been overlooked: From wireless to flat-screen TVs to Xboxes to DVD players, you’ll have everything you need to stay connected and digitally entertained.
The common thread of standout service and tricked-out, laid-back homes ties the collection together, but each property does have a unique persona. On the south coast, five-bedroom Lime Acre is the epitome of a relaxed beach home (bonus: all its bathrooms have just been redone), while Sundown, tucked away yet smack in the middle of Discovery Bay’s action, just expanded its five-bedroom capacity to nine with the addition of a four-bedroom guest house.
Rio Chico, also in the north and just 15 minutes by car from the Ian Fleming jetport, is a grand estate set on 14 sprawling acres with two private beaches, two swimming pools, an oversized Jacuzzi, a natural water pool, fresh mountain streams from Dunn’s River Falls that cascade into the Caribbean, and many private corners to be discovered. Six bedrooms in the main house, plus a cozy two-bedroom cottage, make it ideal for unforgettable multigenerational or group getaways, which are trending across the globe in luxury travel.