Working in travel has it’s perks. One of them is free trips… to Jamaica… in GIANT mansions… with butlers. Actually, more staff waiting on me than I could ever dream of or actually afford in any kind of reality (or so I thought).
It’s not always just fun and games though. When on these trips it is often that I spend a majority of the sweltering hot days doing site inspections of as many properties one can feasibly fit into a day. The only thing that normally keeps me going is the welcome refreshments at every stop.
I think the one thing that I learned on this holiday was how possible it is to afford some of these spectacular properties for my own holidays. Of course, it would never be something that I can afford on my own, but something that could easily be shared among a group or for a special occasion.
My favourite house was Flower Hill. Ranging from $2860 – $5715 per night (based on seasonality and bedrooms required) this 6 bedroom, 14 bathroom house was more than memorable. Including a full staff, panoramic views, membership access to Half Moon Bay, movie and game room, private and very spacious verandas, elevator and hill top picture perfect 360 degree views of Montego Bay, this house is something out of a magazine.
Doing the math: 6 bed rooms = 12 people
12 people / $2860 a night = $238
$238 per person, per night x 7 nights = $1668
I stayed in the bedroom Bird of Paradise which is located on the second floor with an attached sitting room/king murphy bed and seperate bathroom. Although it was all amazing I have to say that the pool and the views from the pool were incomparable to anything else I had seen on this trip. A great thing about this pool was if hosting an event at the house, a plexiglass cover can be placed overtop to make it a dance floor. Looking at this house, hosting an event like a wedding here is very reasonable when you think about the average cost of a wedding vs. this nightly rate that can be split with some attending guests, it is doable!
My next favourite was Roaring Pavilion. This house was unique as it had a huge staff, beautiful infinity pool, included spa services with full time massage therapist, access to a full range of motorized and non-motorized water sports and is the home of the James Bond beach featured in Dr. No. Staying in the Balinese room was a treat as it featured a heated Jacuzzi and a beautiful airy four-poster bead. This being one of 5 bedrooms with a total of 5 bathrooms and rates starting at $3900 a night with all the inclusions. I was impressed.
Doing the math: 5 bedrooms = 10 people
10 people / $3900 a night = $390
$390 per person x 7 days = $2730
Looking at what that includes and what people pay to go on holiday at an upgraded all inclusive, this is MUCH better value and overall an experience! Having a butler serving you lobster and finding you the best Jamaican patties on the island for you to eat on the plane as well as waking up and starting your morning off with a 4 hour massage is priceless. It is worth spoiling yourself at least once if you can and this is the BEST way to do it!
Villas are always a great option when you are traveling with a group. You are guaranteed to be staying together, can choose your meals, eat when you choose with no lineups and 5* quality fresh food, have the privacy of a private home and pool and/or beach and the the overall quality is much higher than most all inclusives can offer you. Something to think about for your next holiday!