Caribbean Paradise: Bluefields Bay, Jamaica
Less than an hour away from the hustle and bustle of Montego Bay, Bluefields Bay is one of Jamaica’s undiscovered treasures. Located on the southwest coast, the area features pristine beaches, small villages, and dramatic waterfalls that are not overrun by tourists. They beckon vacationers who prefer nature over noise.
What makes this destination even more special are The Villas At Bluefields Bay. Designed and owned by Washington DC architect Deborah Moncure and her husband Braxton, the property consists of five waterfront houses.
Each is available to rent by the week and comes with a personal chef, attentive yet unobtrusive staff, an open bar and amenities you probably never even imagined.
Each villa has its own stretch of beach, a private pool and a seaside patio.
The “treehouse” is actually a spacious beach pavillion perched high above the bay. Shared by all of the villas, it’s the perfect place for practicing the art of doing nothing or for hosting a private party.
Located just down the road from the other four houses, the cottage called “San Michele” comes with its own private mini-island reached by a narrow causeway. The view of the bay from the point is beyond compare.
Stroll in the gardens to enjoy fragrant tropical flowers, edible fruit and exotic species of butterflies and birds.
And, if bird calls don’t provide enough music for your ears, feel free to return home to listen to your favorite CDs or iPod on your cottage’s hidden sound system. Forgot to bring your personal music collection? You’ll find numerous discs of reggae hits, classical standards and jazz classics on a bookshelf.
The villas are furnished with exquisite antiques and Jamaican-crafted reproductions, such as canopied four poster beds and carved armoires. Some of the nature-inspired art works are by local artists; others hail from Bali, where they were commissioned specially for the villas’ living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and hallways.
Although each villa differs in style and number of guests it can accommodate, most boast private patios, outdoor showers and intimate nooks for hiding away from the world.
The bookshelves, lined with eclectic books and family knickknacks, make you feel as if you are staying with friends… friends who know how to live well.
Staff pay attention to the smallest detail, from the morning custom of drawing the net curtains on the carved mahogany canopy beds to the evening ritual of closing the louvers on the windows.
Unlike a stay at an ordinary hotel–where you might feel the urge to wander off the property–there’s no real reason to leave Bluefields.
You’ll find kayaks, floats, snorkeling gear, even sun tan lotion is provided for your use. Packing for a stay at Bluefields is easy–just bring is your swimsuit! If you do bring more, when you depart all items will all be freshly laundered! It’s a thoughtful touch that makes arriving home much easier.
Instead of going out to dine, the local cuisine comes to you. Your accommodating chef will prepare scrumptious island specialties, such as stuffed local lobster, jerk chicken and grilled fish. Special requests are welcome!
What could be more romantic than watching the waves lapping at the shore while you dawdle over breakfast or gazing at a sunset while sipping a frothy pina colada served with smoked marlin on toast, callaloo tarts, or curried ackee appetizers?
While some guests never leave the property, the staff are happy to suggest a variety of activities to suit your interests and to drive you to them.
Nature lovers can explore Y.S. Falls (Jamaica’s highest waterfall) or Roaring River caves, go horseback riding at Paradise Plantation (along sand, shore and wooded trails) or take a pontoon boat along the Black River to spy on crocodiles, herons, and egrets.
And, if you have the urge to catch your own dinner, a morning fishing expedition can be arranged.
Take a 40-minute drive day trip to Negril and go bar hopping or go shopping in Savanna La Mar. Called Sav by the locals, the town offers supermarkets, specialty shops, snack bars and plenty of local color. It’s a chance to experience Jamaican life as the locals live it!
You can also explore a working coffee, rum or sugar plantation or follow the trail of legendary pirates. The notorious adventurer Henry Morgan used Bluefields Bay as one of his hideaways. After one stay at The Villas, you’ll want to make this low-key Caribbean resort your personal haven, too.
To Learn More: Visit www.bluefieldsvillas.com. Ready to go? Jet Blue is now flying non-stop from NYC to Montego Bay. But even better, try Air Jamaica and you’ll feel as if you arrived already as soon as you board.
Photos by Dan Mayers.