Jamaica

Frequently Asked Questions

A valid passport is required for all passengers including infants. This must be presented at the airline check-in counter to ensure you will be permitted to board a flight to Jamaica. All US citizens are required to carry a valid US passport to travel outside the country.

US dollars are accepted island wide. Exchange rates vary if you choose to purchase Jamaican dollars. You can see the latest Jamaican-USD conversion rate for reference. Most commercial establishments, including grocery and liquor stores, accept credit cards. For credit card purchases, you may be asked to show identification such as your driver’s license or passport.

Staff and driver gratuities, however, must be paid in cash locally unless you have prepaid for these items. 

All passengers 18 years and over, are allowed the following without payment of duty, provided they do not exceed the amount indicated and the items are properly declared.

  • Perfume – 170ml
  • Eau de Toilettes – 340ml
  • Alcoholic Beverages – 1 litre
  • Tobacoo (sticks) – 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 230 grams of processed tobacco

We can arrange round-trip airport transfers or a fulltime driver. Cost depends on number of guests and size of vehicle needed. For instance, if you are staying in Montego Bay for 4 or more days and want to have an active vacation that includes exploring Ocho Rios or Negril or beyond, a fulltime driver will be the more convenient and economical alternative. But if you plan a more sedentary vacation enjoying the sun, pool, massages and home-cooked meals at your own villa, then you’ll probably need only round trip transfers. If you change your mind mid-week, your staff will be happy to handle whatever arrangements you need and your driver will simply run a tab for you to pay at week’s end. In any case, cost is based on number of passengers, size of van and destination.

Low Season: from mid-April* to December 14 (generally starts April 16)
High Season: from December 15 to mid-April* (generally ends April 15)

*April dates depend on Easter holiday dates each year

Holidays:

  • Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks have their own rates.
  • Easter holiday week has its own rate — Easter week is any 7 nights that includes Easter Sunday.
  • Thanksgiving holiday week often has its own rate (check Rates tab for each villa).

All of our villas are fully staffed. A full-time dedicated chef, butler, housekeeper and personal laundress attend exclusively to your villa.

Other basics include a pool, television, internet, and an air-conditioned house. And there’s more. Every villa offers a varied set of additional amenities.

Your cook will handle grocery shopping and meal preparation. They will pre-purchase your first few meals plus pantry staples, then finish the week’s shopping after meeting with you. At week’s end, they will present receipts for all food and beverage and reconcile your account.

Your cook will also pre-purchase a small starter bar (a few bottles of Red Stripe, moderately-priced wine and rum). Additional alcohol requests will increase your budget. If you wish to go to the various markets with them, you are welcome. Otherwise, simply review your tastes and distastes with them and they’ll handle it all while you stay at the villa and relax.

The day starts while guests are still asleep. The cook quietly places pots of steaming Jamaican coffee on the verandah. Full breakfast is served when all guests are ready. A typical breakfast may include fresh-squeezed orange juice and fresh fruits, banana fritters or plantain, eggs, bacon, pancakes or cereal ~ or Jamaican ackee and saltfish. For lunches and dinners, your cook will prepare her own mix of Jamaican specialties ~ including delicious homemade soups and desserts, lobster, curried goat, jerk pork or chicken, pasta, lamb, beef, fresh fish ~ or serve traditional American fare as you request. Warning: Jamaican cooks are excellent and portions are generous!

Your chambermaid and laundress will care for every detail of your bedroom and bath ~ providing fresh linens and flowers, returning your neatly-folded laundry, and turning down your bed each evening. The gardener will maintain the pool and grounds immaculately each day. Most villas are staffed by a butler as well who serves, tends bar and generally facilitates.

Recommended staff gratuity at the end of your stay is 10% of the villa rental in High Season, 15% in Low Season, divided among your staff members in accordance with the Gratuity Guide you’ll find in your Welcome Book at the villa. Plan to pay your grocery and gratuity monies in cash: US dollars or Jamaican dollars.

Most of our villas are located within 10 miles of Montego Bay on the North shore of Jamaica. Montego Bay has an international airport where tourist flights come in, enabling guests to reach “home” 20 minutes after clearing Customs. Eleven of our villas are on beautiful Discovery Bay, one is on the beach in Runaway Bay and seven are oceanfront in Ocho Rios.

Check-in time is 1:00 p.m. in most villas, 3:00 p.m. in others. Check-out time is 11:00 a.m. in most, 12 noon in others. Ask us when you have selected your villa what times apply to you. If no other guests are scheduled to occupy your villa on arrival and departure days, you are welcome to check in early and check out as late as you wish. Ask any agent in our office to advise you of the occupancy schedule of your villa. Remember that the schedule may change prior to your travel date, so you may wish to check with us again the week prior to your trip.

Be sure to select your own villa chef’s Continental fare which will be superb. Also try the villa chef’s own recipes for Jerk Chicken or Fish, Ackee & Saltfish, soups and curries. For a nearby local Jamaican experience in the Montego Bay area, try Sky Beach (request a thatch gazebo over the sea for Jamaica’s best fried fish) or reserve a picnic table at the seaside Lobster Trap for the island’s freshest lobster (both 7 minutes away) and don’t even think of missing Scotchie’s on the side of the road 7 minutes east of town. Every villa cook and chef is happy to serve children their favorite mommy meals. Cheerios, burgers, chicken fingers, pizza, corn and fries, etc. always available. Please note that an environmental moratorium on lobster fishing is in effect every summer in April-May-June.

Yes to both. Some Kosher meat is available here. A Halal butcher is in Montego Bay. While not always available, some supermarkets stock Halal including CPJ (Caribbean Producers of Jamaica). If you bring Kosher meats to Jamaica with you, it must be vacuum packed and you must show proof of religion as you clear Immigration and Customs.

No teenager may drive a villa cart unless they are at least 18 and have a valid driver’s license. Driving age in Jamaica is 18, which also covers the golf/transportation carts provided by many villa homeowners as well as within Tryall Club and Round Hill resort grounds. Drivers must be 18 or older and must have a valid driver’s license to legally drive a golf cart or transportation cart within the villa and/or resort grounds. Parents are asked to sign a waiver that explains the driving age rules, and to monitor their teenager’s caution and respect for the homeowner’s cart. Accidents caused by teens who are reckless can be devastating.

Plan your Trip

  • Take a current passport! Every passenger must present a valid passport or will be denied passage by your airline.
  • Take your driver’s license or your ID!  You will be asked for identification when using your credit card in any retail establishment.
  • If you are planning to travel during Christmas, New Year’s, February, March or April, Book early!
  • Want to get the best possible rates? Book between April 15 thru November 15 for Low Season rates.
  • Bring cash (US$ are welcomed) for villa staff tips, drivers, nannies, spa technicians, caddies, waiters or any other who provide services to you. Service personnel cannot accept credit cards or cheques.
  • Don’t over-pack! Dress casual. Remember that most villas comes with laundress on staff.
  • Do pack mosquito repellent and sunscreen.
  • Talk to your staff! Remember that your villa staff wants to please you.
  • Dine in your villa! Whether you have a cook or a chef, allow them to show off his/her best dishes. You can’t go wrong.
  • If you wish to dine out a time or two, just ask. We will guide you and recommend the restaurants in the island or in your resort. 
  • Meet the locals! Reach out to discover this for yourselves and your children.
  • Do not put on your agenda any of the following: food shopping, cooking, making beds, washing dishes or doing laundry … Enjoy your holiday!

Need any Help?

If you have any other questions please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.
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