Last week I covered the best all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica so now it’s time to talk about the best villas. Villas offer an intimate luxurious experience for small groups with complete privacy– no worries about strangers photobombing your pictures and you can laze around in the pool or common areas without worry of disrupting other guests. More importantly, villas allow you to have fun while maintaining social distance. As a result, Jamaican villas grew very popular during the pandemic and were the perfect place to be during lockdowns and curfews. Jamaica has officially reopened but the seclusion of villas will keep them popular for years to come. Nearly all have an oceanfront, river or mountain view, while many are beachfront or have a lovely private pool. Read on for how to book a Jamaican villa and get my top recommendations for which ones to visit.
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Also, check out Elle’s travel guide to Jamaica on Amazon. It’s available in eBook (US$9.99) and paperback ($16.99), ships worldwide.
Cost To Rent A Villa In Jamaica
The cheapest villas in Jamaica start at US$150 per room per night for double occupancy, and can go up to as high as $920. Bear in mind that the cost listed on booking websites such as airbnb.com or booking.com is the basic package which only includes lodging and use of the villa’s amenities such the air conditioning, TV, appliances, kitchen and pool. Additional services like private chef, grocery shopping and airport transfers will carry an additional cost and you’ll likely have to contact the owner directly for those rates. This is a far contrast to the all-inclusive hotel model where food, drinks and recreational activities are included in the listed price. Payment is usually done online with a credit or debit card. Most major cards are accepted.
Another important factor to consider is the number of bedrooms at the villa. Bedrooms are typically intended to sleep two. Most Jamaican villas are NOT rented by room, but rather the entire property is rented to maintain the privacy you crave by booking a villa in the first place. Therefore, bear in mind that if you’re travelling as a pair and book a three-bedroom villa, you’ll have to split the cost of all three bedrooms among two persons even though the villa would have been able to sleep four more guests. For villas to be cost-effective, ensure you book accommodation that matches the size of your party to a tee. In other words, only book a four-bedroom villa for a group of 8– unless you don’t mind paying for empty unused rooms. Also, if you book a two-bedroom villa for a group of five, you’ll have to pay for that extra person at a small cost. Most villa owners are flexible and will provide additional sleeping arrangements like a small cot or daybed. In terms of tipping the staff at villas in Jamaica, it is standard to tip a minimum of 10% of the cost of the villa rental rate.
Services Offered by Jamaican Villas
- Basic amenities in most villas include: air conditioning, fans, television, hot water, toiletries, linen, stove, refrigerator, microwave, cooking gas if applicable and kitchen cupboards fully stocked with pots, pans, plates, cups and utensils. Others may have an iron, ironing board, safe and hairdryer. Please read the fine print of your villa to know exactly what comes with it. If in doubt, contact the owner for clarification.
- The frequency of housekeeping services will vary widely. Some may only provide housekeeping and fresh linen upon request or at a schedule determined by you.
- A cook or private chef is optional and comes at an additional cost. You can either buy the groceries and have them prepared, or give the staff your menu or grocery list and reimburse them the full cost of the bill. Speak to the staff to agree upon a menu and notify them of any food allergies or preferences.
- Babysitting services are sometimes available at a cost.
- Airport transfers and day tours carry an additional cost. However, your local host will be able to assist with making those arrangements, and can suggest places to visit and where to buy stuff. They can also assist you with renting a car or may even be able to give you a lift.
1. Villa Ronai 📍 Stony Hill
Villa Ronai was built in the 1940s by a Hungarian couple and restored to its former glory in 1993 by Pulse Investments Ltd. This exquisite villa sleeps four guests comfortably in its two king suites and boasts a picturesque view of the Caribbean Sea, surrounding hills and city of Kingston. This villa is a bit less secluded than other places on the list and houses sculpture gardens, stone terraces, fountains, art pieces, a spa and sushi restaurant spread across a delightful 9-acre property. Rooms start at USD$150 per night for double occupancy.
2. Poet Reef 📍 Cousins Cove
Poet Reef is a luxury 2-bedroom waterfront villa which overlooks the expansive tranquil Cousins Cove in Hanover on the island’s northwestern coast. Poet Reef also has a loft which doubles as a third bedroom with four single beds, allowing the villa to sleep a total of eight guests. What’s appealing about this villa is its fine craftmanship. Poet Reef is built from hand-cut stone and hardwood, and furnished with locally made pieces. Its 150-foot stone pier juts out into the Caribbean Sea, and the views at sunset are just magical. You’ll have 100% privacy at this gem. Prices for renting this villa start at US$673 per night during low season.
3. Villa Cupola 📍 Runaway Bay
Villa Cupola is an architectural masterpiece nestled into the St. Ann hills and overlooks Runaway Bay. This self-sufficient geodesic dome has 5 bedrooms and sleeps 10 guests. Villa Cupola is rented as a whole unit and comes with a chef and housekeeper. There is a pool on the property, and a private golf course and beach are only minutes away. The cost for renting this villa starts at US$512 per night.
4. Turtle Nest Villa 📍 Treasure Beach
Turtle Nest Villa opens onto the beautiful Calabash Bay Beach in the bohemian south coast town of Treasure Beach. This light and airy holiday home has 3 bedrooms and sleeps up to 6 guests. You can choose to enjoy the beach, relax on the patio or splash around in their outdoor swimming pool. Turtle Nest Villa presents the perfect launchpad for exploring Jamaica’s south coast which has been spared from mass tourism to date. Prices start at US$500 per night for renting this villa.
5. Upful Villa 📍 Treasure Beach
I couldn’t resist sharing another Treasure Beach villa! I fell in love with this community last year and it has so many beautiful villas. With floor-to-ceiling louvered windows, high vaulted ceilings and nature-inspired décor, each room at Upful Villa lives up to its name by inspiring breezy happy ‘upful’ vibes. Each of the four airy bedrooms offer views of the garden, mountains and/or Caribbean Sea. Upful has an outdoor pool and lies a stone’s throw away from the Old Wharf Beach. Prices for renting Upful Villa start at US$510 per night.
6. Belfont Villa 📍 Whitehouse
Belfont Villa is located in the quiet fishing village of Whitehouse, Westmoreland on Jamaica’s southwestern coast. This stunning artistic property was recently completed in 2016 and features an infinity pool, sauna and art collection in addition to its balconies, fully stocked kitchen and 4 spacious bedrooms which sleep 8 guests comfortably. A beach popular with residents of the community is located five minutes away by car. Some of Jamaica’s best seafood is located nearby, and the popular resort town of Negril isn’t too far away either. Prices to rent Belfont Villa start at US$500 per night.
7. Adehya Villa 📍 Duncans
Named for the Jamaican creole phrase which means “I’ve arrived”, Adehya Villa in Duncans, Trelawny is an architectural masterpiece with a homey feel. This luxurious villa has 4 bedrooms and can comfortably sleep 8 guests. There’s also a pool, jacuzzi, access to a jogging trail, restaurant, bar and nearby beaches. Adehya provides the perfect platform for exploring more of Falmouth and its environs, including Luminous Lagoon and rafting on the Martha Brae River. Prices for renting Adehya Villa start at US$650 per night.
8. Tranquility Villa📍 Port Antonio
I had to round out this delightful list of villas with a gem from my favourite parish, Portland. Tranquility Villa is a charming two-bedroom property located in Port Antonio, about 1km from the town centre. The villa is well-named as these lush mountain and coastal views from the property is perfect for R&R. Tranquility Villa has a swimming pool, tennis court, and the Long Bay Beach is located 800km away. Use Tranquility Villa as your platform to explore Jamaica’s most beautiful parish which by some miracle has been spared from the mass tourism of other Jamaican coastal towns. Prices for renting this villa start at US$300 per night.
Have you found your next vacation spot? A trip to Jamaica (or staycation for my local readers) is calling your name. Look out for more lists of places to stay in Jamaica (boutique hotels, budget stays and nature retreats) in coming weeks. Subscribe to ensure you don’t miss them! Share, pin and bookmark this list to help you plan your Jamaican vacation, and make sure to pick up my Jamaica guide on Amazon to help you explore the best of the island.
Take care! ‘Til next time.
Disclosures: Nothing to disclose. At the time of publishing I’ve only visited 1/8 villas listed above. The other 7 places came highly recommended by friends and independent travel websites.