Morning coffee and conversation on the patio.
The steady rake, rake, rake sound of the gardener going about his daily routine.
The breeze gently rustling through the trees.
Ocean waves roll into the channel, lapping at the white sand beach.
A symphony of birds sings along in harmony with the gardener’s rhythm.
The more you listen, the more you hear.
Nestled along the edge of Jamaica’s beautiful Discovery Bay, Coral Cove Villa is a beautiful, relaxing haven with plenty of space to spread out and make yourself at home. Indoor living spaces flow into outdoor spaces, blurring the line masterfully.
The fence line on either side of the property is a botanical garden featuring fruit, flower, leaf, and tree. If you are very still, you may see a land crab digging in the cool dirt or a cat walking along the garden wall.
The morning air is cool, but hints at the heat of the day to come. It is the perfect place for nature exploration, and we each take turns on a journey of discovery with our five-year-old adventurer.
Coral Cove was the site of a sort of epic family trip – eleven family members from three generations coming from New Zealand, North Dakota and Montana – and we couldn’t ask for a more perfect spot for it. We all settled easily into lounging, the largest moves being from the patio to the pool to the hammock to the beach. No stress or alarm clocks here.
As the locals say, “No worries, mon.”
The view from our upstairs suite was amazing, evoking feelings of absolute paradise.
But the real draw here, the thing that sets this place apart, is the staff. The delightful and attentive staff works a constant cycle to keep the villa looking pristine and to anticipate our every need, leaving us to just shut off and recharge. I don’t know how we could possibly say enough about the staff, they are absolutely amazing.
Kevin, Norma, Penny, Louise, Devon, and Paul could not have made Jamaica more fantastic for us.
We wake each morning to the smell of bacon cooking. In the afternoon, icy cocktails are by the pool. Each evening during dinner, our beds are turned down, the shutters are closed tight, and the air conditioning and fans are turned on so we can retire to a cool place. Touches like a bottle of water on each night stand are welcoming and sweet.
The housekeepers kept up with laundry from 11 people as though it were nothing (including all of our laundry from the week of vacation leading up to our arrival at the villa), leaving it freshly folded outside our rooms each afternoon.
And the food. Oh, the food!
Miss Norma is clearly the matriarch of a large Jamaican family, with years of experience putting out food for a crowd. She worked wonders with all of our food requests (most importantly – feed us local food!), and stretched a dollar like any good grandmother would.
In addition to the absolutely mandatory relaxation, the villa was an amazing place to cultivate family relationships.
We loved the pool and proximity to the beach, the children spending hours swimming and splashing, the older ones enjoying a paddle around the cove in a kayak when the winds are calm, or swimming out to the swim dock to dive to their heart’s content.
An entire undersea world is also ready to explore – simply don a snorkel and mask and set off on an adventure. Caribbean rays, a variety of tropical fish, white and black urchin, and much more revealed themselves under the crystal blue waters.
Discovery Bay is on the northside of Jamaica, between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The Coral Cove property actually offers two houses – we stayed in the larger of the two, a five bedroom, five bathroom home. The second house offers an additional three bedrooms and can be rented together with the first or separately. Each house has a pool and private beach.
The villa was a great fit for all ages. They catered exceedingly well to the youngest member of our party, with her own special play table, and plastic plates and cups at her place each meal, but it was also an excellent fit for the teenagers and the grandparents. Not every place can say that!
There is much to explore outside the gates, too, so lazy mornings roll into exciting days, filled with waterfalls, shopping, deep sea fishing, and tours. We were careful not to fill too much of our time, instead reserving exploration of Jamaica to every other day to optimize our time at the villa.
The last night of our stay, we had an amazing steak and lobster dinner.
Then Devon treated us to a bonfire on the beach, complete with marshmallows to roast and Jamaican music over the sound system. It was the perfect way to celebrate our last night.
Watch the blog all this week for more about our once-in-a-lifetime visit to this beautiful Caribbean nation!