Runaway Bay on the north coast of Jamaica is said to be one of the island’s most beautiful towns. The town consists of hilly terrain which gently slopes towards charming white sand beaches, pristine reefs and imposing all-inclusive resorts. Runaway Bay is an important tourist hub. It lies 27km away from the bustling resort town of Ocho Rios, and is an hour’s drive away from the island’s largest international airport in the city of Montego Bay. The meaning of the town’s name isn’t clear. Some say it is so-called because of slaves who used the beach to escape to Cuba; others say the name has to do with the Spanish soldiers who fled Jamaica from this beach after invasion by the British. Nonetheless, people would rather pay money nowadays to escape to Runaway Bay; not from! Here are three delightful villas in Runaway Bay at which one can enjoy a great vacation.
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1. Villa Cupola
Villa Cupola is a luxury villa in Runaway Bay with a private infinity pool. As a creative, I couldn’t help but feel inspired at Villa Cupola. This unique villa and geodesic dome home is an exquisite architectural masterpiece that was tastefully furnished and richly decorated. Villa Cupola features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, cable TV, a laundry room, a spacious on-site parking lot and a large deck and patio with outdoor dining options. This striking property is further enhanced by its lush gardens and shady trees. The villa is fully staffed with a chef and housekeeper (optional), and is perfect for hosting groups of friends and family reunions. Guests of Villa Cupola have access to a nearby private beach and golf course. The property is also conveniently located near to several attractions and restaurants which I’ll cover later in the article. Prices for Villa Cupola on Airbnb start at US$531 per night.
2. Escape Villa at Richmond
The Escape Villa is located near to Runaway Bay in the upscale gated community of Richmond Estate. This posh three bedroom, two bathroom home boasts its own private pool, hot tub and deck– a home-owner’s dream. The kitchen is well-equipped and fully stocked with indoor and outdoor dining options available. Escape Villa also features an expansive driveway, lovingly tended gardens, air conditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi, a laundry room, board games and a BBQ grill. Guests of Escape Villa have full access to Richmond’s amenities such as a jogging trail, mini golf course and clubhouse with a shared gym, pool and bar. You won’t want for anything in this luxurious neighbourhood and the villa is perfect for a large family or party of friends. There’s a small room near the back patio which is currently empty, but I imagine it will eventually be transformed into a games room or another sitting room. Prices for Escape Villa on Airbnb start at US$349 per night.
3. Escape Villa at Vista
The Escape Villa at Vista is a modern townhouse located inside the quiet gated community of Savannah at the Vistas. This tastefully furnished two-storey home features two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and balconies. On the ground floor, there is a comfortable sitting room, fully stocked kitchen, dining room, powder room and laundry room. Escape Villa at Vista has a cool energy-saving feature with sensors that will automatically turn off the air conditioning if windows and doors are left open, or if no motion is detected after 15 minutes. The villa also has cable TV, excellent Wi-Fi and a back patio. Guests have access to the neighbourhood’s amenities which include a shared pool, gym, tennis court, basketball court and football field. Prices for the Escape Villa at Vista on Airbnb start at US$119 per night.
Things to Do & Where to Eat in Runaway Bay
Runaway Bay has loads of attractions and eateries to offer in and around its quiet coastal environs. These include:
- Beaches: Flavours public beach, Salem public beach, Fantasy Beach and Puerto Seco Beach Park. The first three beaches are free, while Puerto Seco is commercialized ($$). If you stay at the villas mentioned above, you’ll get a free beach pass which grants access to the private Cardiff Hall beach club.
- Other Attractions: Green Grotto Caves, Columbus Park, Seville Heritage Park, the 18-hole Runaway Bay Golf Course and Chukka Cove & Cliffs at Llandovery.
Chukka is the Caribbean’s largest nature adventure tour operator since 1982. Chukka offers tubing, cliff-jumping, ziplining, snorkeling, catamaran cruises, waterfall excursions, ATV and horseback riding through an old colonial estate and along a picturesque cove in Jamaica. I visited Chukka’s Island Village Outpost while staying at the Escape Villa at Vista. Chukka Cove & Cliffs at Llandovery is located fifteen minutes away (11km) from Escape Villa at Vista and Villa Cupola, and a mere five minutes away (3km) from the Escape Villa at Richmond. I had a blast! This was my first time on horseback and ATV riding. I went on to experience the Blue Hole, White River Tubing & Zipline on the last day of my stay at the Escape Villa, but these attractions are a bit further on the hilly outskirts of Ocho Rios. Both tours included a delicious Jamaican lunch. I highly recommend visiting Chukka while staying in Runaway Bay. Look out for my full review of the Chukka Ocho Rios experience next week.
What’s a vacation without food, right? There are numerous eateries in and around Runaway Bay which include L’Escargot, Milestone Restaurant, Flavours Seafood Restaurant, Sharkies Seafood Restaurant and its sister restaurant, the Plantation Smokehouse. Plantation Smokehouse is an excellent option for authentic Jamaican food. This is my third time dining at the Plantation Smokehouse and the service is always excellent. I highly recommend their curry goat and oxtail which are juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender. Plantation Smokehouse is located only three minutes away (1km) from the Escape Villa at Richmond. The drive from Villa Cupola or the Escape Villa at Vista is longer but worth it. Also, please stop by Just Coool The Pudding Man in Priory for Jamaican sweet potato and cornmeal pones (known as pudding locally).
By this point, I hope you’re plotting an escape to Runaway Bay. Which of these Airbnb villas in Runaway Bay was your favourite? Let me know in the comments. Please share, pin and bookmark this list for later. Also, remember to subscribe for new posts. New posts publish every Friday.
‘Til next time.
** Disclosure: This stay was gifted, but all opinions are my own.