Blow Hole Villa – Oracabessa, Jamaica

There’s a reason this villa got its name…check out the video and scroll through the photos to enjoy one of nature’s rare events…a natural “blow hole.”

You can stay in this beautiful oceanfront villa in Oracabessa, Jamaica with its three-bedroom main house and recently added two-bedroom cottage and witness this phenomenon yourself.

IMG_0951Natural blow holes are rare.  Especially ones you can actually enjoy “up close and personal.”  Blow Hole villa boasts one of the world’s most spectacular – PLUS – it is bracketed by two wonderful private sea pools which are constantly fed by the wave action spilling crystal clear warm water over the surrounding rocks.

Blow hole spoutingThere are numerous places to sit, soak, play or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking scene at your own private oceanfront villa…Blow Hole! 

_DSC4618newBe sure to visit the villa on our website – https://www.sunvillas.com/villa/Blow_Hole

Contact me at 800-396-0258 to learn how you can enjoy this experience for yourself.

Villa Turrasann – A beachfront paradise

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This newly refurbished 3-bedroom, two-story villa has a large living and dining area, located on ground level. Cable TV, speakers, and an iPod dock are available in the living room.

Wide sliding glass doors open from the living area leading to a newly renovated pool and poolside dining. The villa includes a beach garden at the back of the property perfect for throwing a Frisbee, relaxing in the gazebo or simply sipping a Caribbean cocktail on the  lounge chairs beneath the shade of a large tree. A gate, at end of the garden, leads to the soft white sands of Cardiff Hall beach.

The caring, capable and pleasant Villa staff includes a cook, housekeeper and gardener who will look after your every need. On arrival, no matter what time of the day, a meal will be provided free of charge. Before arrival, arrangements will be made with SunVillas regarding any dietary preferences for this meal. You may choose Villa Turrasann’s optional meal plan, which is $50 a day per person, and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with nonalcoholic drinks. If you would rather purchase your own food, the villa chef will work with you on menus of your choosing, accompany you to the local grocery stores and markets if you like…or shop for you.

The villa is packed with amenities:

  • 3 air-conditioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, ceiling fans, safes and Bluetooth speakers
  • Large fresh water pool with floats and accessories
  • WiFi connection throughout villa
  • Cable, flat screen TV
  • Indoor/outdoor dining options
  • Gazebo
  • Spacious outdoor covered veranda for dining or relaxing
  • Convenient to all sights and shopping in nearby Ocho Rios (20 minutes)
  • Arrival meal is complimentary.
  • Optional meal plan available ($50/person/day)
  • Nighttime security.
  • On-site villa manager
  • Full staff

See the full listing for Villa Turrasann please visit: https://www.sunvillas.com/villa/Villa_Turrasann

Just give me a call and I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Warm and sunny regards,

Donna

 

 

Bengal Beach Villas in Rio Bueno

If you’re looking for a three or four bedroom villa directly on the beach or have a large group of guests and want to “spread out” …then a villa or two…or maybe three or four along Bengal Beach in Rio Bueno is the perfect choice.Bengal Bay map for Blog

Rio Bueno is a small village located about 60 minutes east of Montego Bay.  Its harbor is the deepest harbor in Jamaica and is believed to have been where Columbus first touched land on the island.

Visitors to the village of Rio Bueno can tour the ruins of a fort that dates to the 18th century and several historic buildings and churches that overlook the Caribbean Sea.

The main attraction in Rio Bueno, however, is the Rio Bueno River.  The river is situated in a beautiful tropical setting and movie buffs may recognize it as the location of the classic 1964 film, A High Wind in Jamaica, starring Anthony Quinn and James Coburn. The River is a favorite destination for kayaking, rafting, tubing and river boarding. The swift currents of the river make for an adventure that’s exciting yet tame enough to bring the entire family.

The villas of Bengal Beach

From 3 to 21 bedrooms (if you book all six villas) along a private, gated road…you will find six delightful and inviting villas directly on the beach.   All offer a serene setting, away from crowds, but conveniently located so that many of Jamaica’s attractions are only a short distance away.

Sandpebbles Villa is an exciting addition to the Jamaican villa rental market.  Until recently, this lovely 4-bedroom villa was the exclusive beach get-away of its owners, but is now available just for you.  https://sunvillas.com/villa/Sandpebbles

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Completely renovated in 2016, Seahorse is a lovely 3 bedroom villa located directly on Bengal Beach, just 5 minutes west of Discovery Bay.   https://sunvillas.com/villa/Seahorse

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Sun Kissed Villa is a beautiful newly renovated 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bathroom, beachfront villa completed in the spring of 2014.   https://sunvillas.com/villa/Sun_Kissed

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Kayak out into the Bay from Beachnuta delightful 3-bedroom beach house located directly on the beach in Bengal Bay. This home with its tropical landscaped property offers the ideal setting for a truly memorable holiday. https://sunvillas.com/villa/Beachnut

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Villa Fantasy is a charming 3-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom beachfront villa located on the golden sands of Bengal Beach and the beautiful Bengal Bay.  https://sunvillas.com/villa/Fantasy

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Spacious and playful describe Sleepy Shallows…the perfect 4-bedroom family vacation home. Luxurious thunbergia, allamanda, plumbago, palms and various fruit and other trees adorn the gardens and welcome you to your home in Jamaica. The white sand beach runs the entire length of the property and offers easy access into the water for both adults and small children.   https://sunvillas.com/villa/Sleepy_Shallows

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Take your pick…there’s no bad choice!  These villas are blessed with an enviable location and you will be the envy of all your friends when you book one.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  Just give me a call at 800-396-0258 and I’ll be most happy to answer any questions you have.  I just visited Bengal Beach a short time ago and I’m telling you, I know you’ll have a fabulous time.

’til next time…

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling in high season

If you’re traveling to Jamaica during high season…January through mid-April, I strongly suggest that you consider the services of Club Mobay.  For just $80/person ($50 for arrival and $30 for departure), you can enjoy the arrival and departure services that will surely make your trip more pleasant.  Travel can be a hassle…especially when you arrive in an unfamiliar and super-busy island airport.

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The Club provides a “Meet and Greet” service when you arrive that “Fast-Tracks” you through Immigration and Customs.   Even if there weren’t a bunch of other useful services, in high season, or if you’re just staying a short time, this alone would make it worth the expense.   It can save you major amount of time not standing in lines.

When we were leaving the island they will also “Fast-Track” you through Security and Immigration.  The VIP lounge is really nice, with complimentary food and drinks.   This is especially useful if there is any delay in your departure.

Check it out.  Click on the link below for a full description of the amenities and everything you can expect and decide for yourself.  You can even book the service through this link.

https://www.sunvillas.com/services_clubmobay

Our last visit to Jamaica was amazing.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of what we learned on that trip about gated community and large villas.  Venues designed to accommodate large numbers of staying guests as well as “outside” guests – invited friends and/or family for big events like weddings and family reunions.  Spoiler alert: We now have two villas that can accommodate up to 24 overnight guests…all on one property…more on them next time.

‘Till then…warm and sunny regards,

Donna

 

 

 

Upcoming visit to Jamaica

I’m going on this visit with Alan.  For those of you who may not know, Alan is one of the owners of SunVillas.  He and I will be meeting up with our concierge, Latoya, to visit many of our current villas, explore a few new ones, take lots of pictures and find some interesting things to share with you in future blogs.

It’s going to be a busy trip.  While we’re there, we’ll be checking in with owners, visiting dozens of villas and staying at three different properties – Nutmeg in Spring Farm, Selah in Runaway Bay and Jasmin Hill in Ocho Rios.

I’m extremely excited about staying at Nutmeg Villa.  It was recently renovated and is now a beautiful, 6-bedroom, 4,600 sq. ft. villa, located in the Spring Farm area of Montego Bay…just up the “mountain” from Half Moon Resort. The villa is enviably located on five acres of tropical gardens with magnificent views of the Caribbean Sea.  https://www.sunvillas.com/villa/nutmeg

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On our last trip to Jamaica, we drove past a really cool looking driveway and I couldn’t tell what it lead to or where it went.  Alan said…Selah (Say-la).  Well, this time we’re staying there. The villa sits on a private beach at the edge of the Caribbean Sea in Runaway Bay.  I can feel the sand and surf on my toes right now.    https://www.sunvillas.com/villa/selah

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Jasmin Hill Villa is located directly on the ocean in Ocho Rios, just a little over an hour’s drive east from the Montego Bay airport.  My husband and I have been visiting this quintessential Jamaican villa since the late 80’s.  What I love about Jasmin Hill, in addition to its excellent service, is that it is walking distance to the center of town.  I’m especially happy about catching up with the staff who have become our friends over the years and seeing the new kitchen they just opened up.  https://www.sunvillas.com/villa/jasmin_hill

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Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for more spectacular photos and a first-hand report of the visit.

Warm and sunny regards,

Donna

Purely Jamaican Souvenirs

A Jamaican villa vacation is worthy of any bucket list, and once you’re here it won’t take long to fall in love with our island and its people.  But now it’s nearly time to leave.  You’ve just stayed a week – maybe two if you were lucky – basking in the warm Caribbean sun, bathing in the crystal clear, azure blue water…dining on some of the most delicious food in the world and now…the time has come to get the bags packed and think about what you’re going to take home.  Yep, it’s time to think about…souvenirs.

Maybe it’s because you want to give a gift to someone when you return or maybe you just want something to remember your wonderful Jamaican villa vacation.  In any case…think about all the things purely Jamaican that you can share with friends and family when you return.  Jamaican artwork seems to top the list of favorites, but there are plenty more to choose from.

Here are some ideas shared by other visitors…hope they’re inspirational and help you find just the perfect souvenir.

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  • “My suggestion as a keepsake for yourself is original artwork, which is typically watercolor & ink, sometimes oil or pastel. It can be rolled in a tube, to be later framed at home, and hung on a wall as a reminder of your trip.”
  •  “On our first trip we bought a black and white oil portrait of Bob Marley. We have a collection of black and whites of various artist, so we were thrilled.”
  •  “For my family I always purchase a carving or a piece of art. They too are my favorite purchases for myself.”
  •  “Wood carvings, rum cream, rum, blue mountain coffee, art work, Craven A cigarettes, seasonings, and clothes from downtown shops have all been gifts people have appreciated or that we have when we’ve come back home.”
  •  “Carved turtles with their names on them delighted the grand kids. The homemade bottle of jerk sauce direct from the villa chef thrilled the hot freaks.  A bottle or two of rum creme does it for us.” 
  • “I love the artwork, from carvings to paintings.”
  •  “For friends I love to bring back spices and sauces from Hi Lo and some of the various grocery stores.  Also Grey’s sauce for meat and fries. Jamaican shirts with flowers for the guys, they are so light weight and beautiful. Bags and purses for my gal pals.  For Moi: Jamaican floral dresses all colors and styles. They are great to wear in the heat here in Southern California.”

Let us know what choices you make.

Happy shopping!

Jamaica’s National Symbols

Jamaican Flag

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On August 6, 1962, the flag of Jamaica was unfurled for the first time. The birth of an independent Jamaica was, perhaps, the most significant event in the nation’s history. Today, Jamaicans celebrate the day to commemorate that historic moment.  It is a day of national pride and commemorates the country’s achievements.

Jamaican Coat of Arms

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The Jamaican national motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’, based on the population’s multiracial roots.  The motto is represented on the Coat of Arms, showing a male and female member of the Taino tribe (the island’s original inhabitants) standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples.  The crest shows a Jamaican crocodile mounted on the Royal Helmet of the British Monarchy.

The National Fruit – Ackee

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Ackee (Blighia sapida) is the national fruit of Jamaica as well as one of the major components of the island’s national dish – ackee and saltfish.  Although the ackee is not indigenous to Jamaica, it has deep rooted historic associations. Originally, it was imported to the island from West Africa, but now grows here luxuriantly, producing large quantities of edible fruit each year.

The National Bird – Doctor Bird

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The doctor bird, or swallow tail humming bird, is one of the most spectacular of the 320 species of hummingbirds. It lives only in Jamaica.  These birds’ beautiful feathers have no counterpart in the entire bird population and they produce iridescent colors characteristic only of this family. In addition to these beautiful feathers, the mature male has two long tails which stream behind him when he flies. For years the doctor bird has been immortalized in Jamaican folklore and song.

The National Flower – Lignum Vitae

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The island’s national flower, Lignum Vitae, was found here by Christopher Columbus. The flower is native to continental tropical American and the West Indies. In Jamaica, it grows in the dry woodland along the north and south coasts of the island.  The plant is highly ornamental, producing an attractive blue flower and orange-yellow fruit, while its crown has a distinctive rounded shape. Its name, translated from Latin, means “wood of life.”

The National Tree – Blue Mahoe

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The Blue Mahoe is the national tree of Jamaica. It is indigenous to the island and grows quite rapidly, often attaining 20 m (66 feet) or more in height. The tree is quite attractive with a straight trunk, broad green leaves and hibiscus-like flowers. The flowers change color as they mature, going from bright yellow to orange red and finally to crimson.  The name mahoe is derived from a Carib Indian word. The ‘blue’ refers to blue-green streaks in the polished wood which give it a truly unique appearance.