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Review 671: Villa Vacations, Chrysanda

www.villavacation.net

Recommended
Review by sblum807 from MD

4 bedroom, 3-1/2 bath house in Port Antonio, Argentina


When

January 2003, 1 week

Location

Waterfront house 10 minutes from Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Nearby Amenities

Staff handles grocery shopping.

The House/Apartment

House was beautifully and tastefully decorated, but not stuffy -- very comfortable.

Garden

Large, private outdoor sitting area with expansive view of Caribbean. No pool. None needed!

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Beautifully and tastefully decorated, but not stuffy - very comfortable. Everything in very good condition. Ample room and furnishings for 8. Could probably put in a cot for one more, or use sofa. House was spotless.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

Everything comfortable and spacious. Plenty of fluffy towels.

Kitchen

Staff cooked the meals.

Problems or Bonuses

All good.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Good locally based agency.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would definitely recommend this property, and others nearby, and would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Things to do in this area

See narrative

Review

Not enough is know about villa rentals in Jamaica -- and that's a shame because Jamaica is known for its staffed villas, as well as its all-inclusives. We had a great vacation earlier this year in Port Antonio, which is a quiet and laid-back part of Jamaica and perhaps the most beautiful. We stayed in one of the terrific "Blue Lagoon" villas which have a fabulous setting and view. I'd like to recommend a villa vacation to those who don't need or want an all-inclusive, think of themselves as independent travelers, and can find their own entertainment.

My husband and I and a number of other family members rented Chrysanda, a beautiful four-bedroom waterfront villa east of the town of Port Antonio. Port Antonio is on the northeastern part of the island and best reached by flying in to Kingston airport. You can either rent a car (remember, they drive on the left!) or negotiate with a taxi driver to take you to the villa, a drive of a couple of hours (will cost between $50 and $100 depending on how good a bargainer you are). The drive through the hills is very scenic, or you can drive along the coast. Either way, expect lots of potholes!

The villa is part of a group of about 10 waterfront homes, called the Blue Lagoon Villas because they are right next door to the Blue Lagoon, made famous by the Brooke Shield film of the same name. There is no beach (although there are several excellent beaches nearby), but you can catch rays on the spacious deck, and you step off the deck right into the Caribbean. The home is very comfortable and attractively furnished. Three large bedrooms plus one smaller, three and a half bathrooms, living room with cable (or is it satellite?) TV, games and books, indoor and outdoor dining areas, lots of comfortable lounge chairs on the spacious deck as well as a hammock. The villa also comes with 2 kayaks which we enjoyed very much.

The villa has a staff of housekeeper (the villa was spotless), an excellent cook, and houseman or butler (don't expect anything like an English butler but Chrysanda had a sweet young man who serves the meals, serves drinks and does other chores around the villa). We were happy to eat most of our meals at the villa. Just tell the cook what you like and don't like and she will prepare abundant, tasty meals. Guests pay just for the cost of groceries purchased for you. You can also eat a few meals out, of course. Tipping the staff 10% is recommended.

There's plenty to do in the area -- falls, caves, scuba diving and snorkeling (there's an excellent dive shop at Blue Lagoon), rafting on the Rio Grande, eating jerk at Boston Bay, original home of jerk food, visiting the craft market in Port Antonio -- or you can just relax and do nothing.

I highly recommend the company we rented our villa from: Villa Vacations, www.villavacation.net. They are based in Port Antonio and rent both waterfront and hillside villas in that part of the island. When I did my research for this trip, I discovered they charge less for renting the Blue Lagoon Villas than other companies.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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