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Reviewed June 27, 2018

Wilks Bay

Can't wait to return!

My Fiancé and I stayed at Wilks Bay for 7 nights June, and we were lucky to have the place all to ourselves.

It was the perfect mix of a dream vacation in paradise, combined with a "Home away from Home". We felt like we were being looked after like family (but we were given plenty of space and privacy to relax and unwind). We're definitely not into the all-inclusive resort vibe where it feels very commercial and removed from the local culture, and Wilks Bay was the opposite of this.

I am so thankful to Mary and James for the attention to detail, care, and generosity of spirit that they put into everything. This is also true for their team.

THE GROUNDS AND ACCOMMODATIONS
The accommodations are impeccably clean, comfortable, and beautifully styled in a modern, simple fashion. - we had everything we needed. The grounds are stunning, gorgeous pool, comfortable loungers, and the view is stunning.
The bay itself has the best snorkeling out of any of the spots we went during our stay - it was like an underwater city with beautiful colorful fish at every turn.

THE SURROUNDING AREA
Port Antonia is truly a hidden gem. It's not overrun with tourists, it is lush and green, with crystal clear aqua blue waters. Being right beside Frenchman's Cove and San San Beach is amazing.
Reach falls was incredible, as was snorkeling around Monkey Island and swimming in the Blue lagoon.

ACTIVITIES
James taught us Chi Gong, snorkeling, and took us for a locals tour of Port Antonio.
Mary gave us a tour of the garden, and set up a little jam-session of their mini music studio (thanks to Daniel for accompanying us on the keys).
We joined both Mary and James for cocktails at Goblin Hill, Sunday vinyl night, and also took to an amazing cultural night / dance performance.

FOOD
Our house-keeper and cook, Dana was beyond amazing. Every meal we ate was delicious, and she made sure we had everything we needed throughout the day.
Dana would set us a table for breakfast outside under a tree overlooking the bay every morning, it was the most beautiful way to start the day.
James took us to the best local spots for music and food. The local Jerk spot in Boston is no joke, James even called ahead and ordered extra Jerk sauce for us so we could bring it home.

PAYMENT
One note that might be helpful to other new guests - we were asked to wire transfer the pay the accommodation via wire transfer to their son in the US. Rest assured, it's all totally legit.

  • Stayed: June 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Elektra O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2018

We enjoy off-the-beaten-path and getting the local experience when we travel. We had largely written off Jamaica as the all-inclusive lined beaches east side of the island was not at all our idea of fun. When we learned about Port Antonio, we immediately planned a trip. I extensively researched accommodations and was a hairs breath away from booking elsewhere when Wilks Bay showed up in one last search. I am so glad it did, because we had an experience with Wilks Bay that extended well beyond the gate of the resort that we would not have otherwise had. Mary's help even before we arrived was so hands on and personalized that by the time we left for our trip, I felt like I was going to visit family. It felt that way the entire time we were there. James and Mary showed us the true Port Antonio experience. We got the royal Port Antonio tour from James who was born and raised there -- and knows everyone. We visited evening events around town including sunset rum punch parties, cultural shows and my favorite the Sunday vinyl night at a spot a little ways up the road. James and Mary often called ahead to make special arrangements for us to do things or to make sure that the best place for Jerk set aside a portion for us to ensure they wouldn't sell out before we got there. And their property is just as lovely as they are. A beautiful and secluded private beach with a bay full of coral that could be snorkeled for days. And if you don't know how to snorkel, James will teach you. Lush grounds with fruit trees. Inviting pool. And if you lounge about the pool, Norman or Sophie or other Wilks Bay crew will show up with fresh coconut water. Our housekeeper Stacey was an amazing cook and fantastic hostess. She prepared some amazing authentic Jamaican dishes and made an insane lemon meringue pie. It was some of the best food I have ever eaten. Mary also arranged our transportation to and from Wilks Bay with Warren, who was also amazing. He stopped at fruit stands and photo spots along the way. We had a great time just traveling two and from Wilks Bay. The property is also located right next to Frenchman's Cove. So you can walk less than 5 minutes and be on that beautiful sandy beach as well. We are very excited to visit Wilks Bay again very soon. We are planning a trip with our daughters. We hope also to plan a larger trip with extended family and friends. Wilks Bay would be an ideal property for a large family vacation. We love it there and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: June 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Lindsey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2018

I just got back from my fifth stay at Wilks Bay. This time I took 17 members of my extended family who fell in love, just as I have, with this fabulous property. Wilks Bay is the perfect place to relax and recharge. The setting is magnificently dreamy and there are so many beautiful spots to discover all over the property. Mary, James and their wonderful staff go over board to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. The food is fresh and just fabulous. We are still talking about Angela's pineapple upside down cake. The accomodation consisting of separate units was perfect for our group. It's a nice touch that all the units have a good size living space. It truly feels like a home from home All the housekeepers and grounds crew were warm, friendly and extremely attentive. So many personal touches to mention. We got fresh coconut water every day ( even got to get our own coconuts down from the tree). We practiced Qi gong with James every morning, and had a magical evening of music which Mary and Nadia arranged. The party on the beach for us was fabulous. Last but not least, James makes the best rum punch on the island. James's punch was a big hit with the group. We were in paradise for seven days. Thank you Mary, James, and the staff at Wilks Bay for one of the best holidays ever.

  • Stayed: April 2018, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Jacqueline M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2018 via mobile

Well, all I can say is what an absolutely beautiful place to stay. The hosts Mary and James were fantastic, nothing too much trouble.

Have to mention our lovely housekeeper/cook Verona, she was brilliant and made sure we had all we wanted, she cooked the most amazing food exactly how we wanted.thank you.

We visited Frenchmans cove, which is only a five minute walk away from Wilkes bay. I would strongly recommend you pay it a visit......its beautiful. The locals of Port Antonio were all very welcoming and friendly, a nice place to go for veggie burgers is woody's, you have to try them as they are nothing like you've tried before, best veggie burger I've eaten!

If you are looking for a totally relaxing place to unwind, then a visit to Wilkes bay is a must! Thank you so much Mary and James for making our stay with you unforgettable.

Mandy and Patrick

Stayed: April 2018, traveled with family
Thank Amanda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2018

I had a wonderful time in Wilks Bay. The owners Mary and James made the experience absolutely heavenly. Just waking up to doing Qi gong with James to the delicious breakfast Lunch and Dinner always served with a smile and the extra festivities were superb always done with elegance by Mary and our Chefs.

I am definitely looking forward to going again and again. I was definitely impressed!!

Room Tip: All Villas were quiet with an awesome view of the sea!!
  • Stayed: April 2018, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ddawkins09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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