After extensive research for an oceanside villa in Jamaica, we chose Hidden Bay By The Sea and boy are we happy we did. We stayed in early December from Saturday to Saturday, still in the "low season" where the rates are quite reasonable and less than high season starting a week or two later. Yet the warmth and beauty of the villa, the ocean, and the island are wonderful at this time of year. In the mid- to upper 80 degrees F temperatures every day, plenty of sun, and of course a few showers.
It's difficult to know where to start a review of this rental, but I will do my best starting with the Staff: Chef Marlon, Butler Richie, Maids and Lauderess Samoy and Chadile, and Derrick. Outstanding service and treatment from start to finish. Chef Marlon prepared daily dishes ranging from traditional Jamaican to Italian and Asian. All first class lunches and dinners including fresh caught crab, lobster and lobster bisque, native Jamaican fruits and juices for breakfast and lunch, and the list goes on forever including equisite deserts! Closing night was unbelievable, ending with a wonderful celebration. I won't spoil the suprise if you so choose to stay at this wondrful villa.
Richie, our Butler, was tremendously efficient, personable and friendly, and took care of our every need. These folks got it down as far as taking care of guests. As one reviewer put it, the staff are always there anticipating your every desire yet they are unobtrusive and leave you to your privacy. I can't say enough about them, and my wife even traded recipes with Chef Marlon, who is every bit a gentleman as he is a great chef.
I could go on about this villa forever. The estate is gorgeous, well kept, extremely secure, covers plenty of oceanside ground between the main villa, the cottage, and the staff quarters. The pool is beautiful, and the hot tub adds a nice touch for chilly night resting and having a cocktail or two. The villa also has a bar next to the main villa that Richie and Derrick man - Never a need to run out for drink. The master bedroom in the main villa has a shower that is semi-outside and is beautiful. All the bedrooms are beautiful and have air conditioning, power for charging your devices, etc. They also have a landline for making calls to the U.S. free of charge if you so need or you do not have cell service with your personal provider on the Island. I have Verizon, and so no issue connecting with Digicell or Flow in Jamaica.
There are far too many compliments and insights to provide for me to list here. All I can say is you need to experience this place. My family of 7 including my wife and I, my two sons and their wives, and our 4 yr old granddaughter absolutely loved Hidden Bay and everyone felt like royalty because of the staff, the facilities, the location, and how were catered to from morning until close of night. A must stay.
Now, a few points of note: First, mosquitos are plentiful. They are tiny in size, but they can be a little annoying - ankle biters - so make sure to bring or pick up plenty of repellent. Second, the villa is fairly close to the roadway and as other reviewers have mentioned, you will note loud trucks and motorcycles driving by from time to time. It didn't really bother us and you do get accustomed to it. It certainly didn't detract anything from the villa or our stay, but I just wanted to mention this if you are of the type that want total silence at your villa. Personally, I don't see any of these oceanside villas providing that, so again... not a big negative. Also, make sure you hire a driver and try to avoid renting a car unless you have experience driving in Jamaica. We used Denton (our driver's name was Marvin). Driving in places like MoBay or Ocho Rios can be a challenge, or like to Blue Hole where the mountain roads get real sketchy. Finally, make sure you tip the staff according to the rental property manager's suggestion. They work extremely hard taking care of their guests and perfection is what they deliver. Normally, 10% of the Villa rental agreement during high season, and 15% of the rental preice during low season. The property manager provides the suggested percentage breakdown between the Chef, Butler, and maids.
There is so much more I could say, and I wish you could see all the underwater coral reef and sea life photos my boys took while snorkeling right off the villa point. Once again, do not miss this opportunity to visit and stay in Jamaica in probably one of the most beautiful and best staffed villas on the island. Truly a wonderful experience!
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