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“our San Michele experience”

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Bluefields Bay Villas
Certificate of Excellence
reston va
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“our San Michele experience”
Reviewed February 3, 2008

We felt as though we were in paradise, heaven or something other wordly. It was magical- a dream fantasy. The aqua sea, blue sky and greenery was a delight in January. Such a break from our reality. Here we were for a week with 10 of our favorite people, enjoying each other in a private tropical paradise. Our wish was the command of the staff in the most gracious way. They became extended family while we were there. My 5 and 7 year old grandsons as well as my parents (80's) had the time of their lives. Kirk (our nanny, part of the villa staff) had the uncanny ability to manage the little boys- he seemed to know exactly when it was time to let them share with the family and when it was time to whisk them away for another activity. It was a beautiful thing. We couln't have wished for more. We enjoyed complete privacy in an exclusive safe environment while being pampered by an excellent staff 24 hours a day. The coolers were always full of refreshments, outstanding meals appeared magically. The carribean was our private playground for a week that went entirely too quickly. We had definitely chosen an excellent location for a dream vacation. It worked seemlessly for the young, the seniors and all the in-between. I will be back!

  • Liked — beautiful location-privacy-safety-pampering
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jillzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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362 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Calvert County, Maryland
1 review
Reviewed January 31, 2008

We honeymooned at Milestone and just returned from Mullion Cove celebrating our 10 year anniversary with friends. I have to say this is the BEST vacation for moms. I haven't cleared my mind like that in years! What's not to like about daily laundry service and a staff of 6 to fulfill your every need? The homemade food was delicious - my husband especially liked the potato chips. We really got to know the staff better this time around and what it's like to live in Bluefields Bay. Visiting the local school and hiking the mountains ending up being highlights, rather than the touristy Negril. Not once did we feel unsafe being "off the tourist track", in fact, I can't imagine staying in a typical All-Inclusive resort after staying at these villas. Breakfast in my pj's, lunch in my bathing suit and dinner in my comfy shorts & tee - it doesn't get any better than that when on vacation!

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
Thank Mom2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2008

My wife and I stayed with our daughter and son in law and their twin baby daughters for the three weeks leading up to and including Christmas at Cottonwood cottage. Even though we have stayed at maybe 20 different hotels in the Caribbean over maybe 60 visits, the Villa experience is totally new to us.

It seems too simple to say that is different from the regular hotel in that you have all the same facilities but new thing is that they are wholly dedicated only to you in the villa. The villas in the group at Bluefields are separate and sufficiently spaced that there is no interaction between guests unless specifically organized. The villa pool is yours and used by no one else. The food is cooked especially and only for you and is different from the food in the other villas. And all is supplied by a large staff who are available as you want but disappear when not required. This is very refreshing and calming.

The bedrooms have an ambience which is a class above any other hotel in Jamaica, large, cool, classical, hard-wood, filled with antique furniture and “things” and a four-poster bed, with balconies overlooking your villa’s grounds. Hotel rooms in comparison are concrete and sparse, even the marble and glitz of Ritz Carlton does not match. That is not to say that all of the usual, slightly tatty nature of Jamaican structures, well known to the experienced traveler, and caused by the usual low level of Jamaican craftsmanship combined with the corrosive atmosphere of the coastal environment and the encroachment of nature, have been eradicated. But if you are willing to overlook this, as you should, the rooms are an absolute treat.

The dining table overlooks the bay from magnificent balconies and in some of the villas is high above the sea in the trees. An experience totally different from the typical hotel where the dining room is filled with “outsiders” and is often located indoors or at best away from the sea and with limited or no sea view.

The food is selected with the chef often based on what he has best available and is beautifully prepared to a high level of cuisine but with a delightful Jamaican character. One advantage is that, leaving the chef to do his thing caused me to be served food which I would not normally select from the hotel buffet or menu and stretched my palate to new experiences which I enjoyed immensely. Chef Harry is a delight and will create for you whatever you require

The twins were looked after by two lovely ladies who loved them and kept them entertained by carrying them on walks around the properties introducing them to people we never got to meet and waving to the passing traffic in the Jamaican road outside

The staff are all from the small rural community and retain their native Jamaican friendliness which has often been squeezed out by more formal hotel training.

Bluefields Bay is untouched by development and mostly empty of tourists and their traditional entertainment so that the view over the bay contains only the occasional fisherman and owner Debbie padding each morning in her kayak.

Anything you want is available either included or if you want special wines or other unusual item they are readily available at the fully stocked supermarket in Sav-la-mar or the liquor store in Mobay.

We had the pleasure of meeting the owners Debbie and Braxton who have done marvelously in Rural Jamaica to create a uniquely elegant, beautiful but slightly quirky atmosphere, closely mirroring their own beautiful, charming but slightly eccentric nature.

What a treat. We are going back in May with a group of friends to party and next Christmas to a larger one of the villas with a larger family group.

  • Liked — Friendly staff
  • Disliked — Furniture a little dated
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank bridgnorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2007

In early November our group of four couples arrived at San Michele, one of the five Villas on Bluefields Bay. It was warm and raining when we arrived, having travelled from New England which made for a fairly long travel day.One of our bags had decided to go from Boston to Puerto Rico, not Montego Bay. We filed the papers with the airline baggage folks, giving them the phone at San Michele. When we got to the Villa, the manager said they had already co-ordinated with the airline and would take care of it.

Our first dinner prepared by Chef Harry was wonderful; soup to nuts with Ginger Lobster as the entree was the ideal end to a long day in airplane seats and airline terminals. We all retired early, looking forward to the week in Bluefields.

When we came down for coffee at 6:30AM Monday morning, the missing bag was sitting in the living room! I'm a Road Warrior and have had bags misplaced longer in a trip from New York to Boston. The Bluefields staff pulled the first of many rabbits out of their collective hats.

We were quickly immersed in the relaxing experience that Bluefields offers. A fresh fruit and cooked to order breakfast on the Lanai about 12 feet from the ocean set the tone. Breakfast discussion centered on activities choices for our first morning; goof off, read, snorkel, swim, or goof off. All the choices were elected as San Michele is large enough to either gather or separate as you wish. We lazed through our first morning and gathered again on the Lanai for lunch.

Lunch discussion focused mainly on what to wear at the Manager's Reception that afternoon at the "Tree House" in the main compound
of Bluefields Bay. As there was not a majority vote, we all wore whatever and it worked just fine. The Tree House is a gathering area high over the beach where all the Bluefields guests are invited every Monday for the cocktail hour to meet the managers and mingle. Carmen is the wonderful General Manager of the operation and she quickly made everyone welcome, getting feedback from the guests and offering suggestions on things to do. It was a good time, with good conversation, drinks, and H'ors d'ouvres watching the sun set over the Caribbean. Our van then whisked us back to San Michele for dinner. Day one est fini.

The rest of the week was a re-play of Monday but with more activities. Tennis and touring were added with half our group being tennis buffs. We toured Negril and took the Black River wildlife sanctuary tour. One of the highlights of the week was booking Althea to visit us and administer massages to most. Speaking for myself, it took two hours for me to return to full conciousness, just in time for lunch.

One could drone on with a daily recitation of the good times we had, but why? Four couples, all in need of major R&R, went to Bluefields and came back a week later with the goal achieved! We'll be back!

  • Liked — We didn't have to think about a thing. All was done for us.
  • Disliked — Touring was a bit of an effort as the property is fairly isolated
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BearMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 13, 2007

My husband and I visited Bluefields Bay with another couple and can only attempt to express what an incredible trip it was for us.

Aside from a great place to go with friends and a gorgeous spot for a romantic getaway, it was a worn out mother's dream. I never cooked, cleaned, folded clothes or made a bed. Everything I wished for somehow appeared. It was decadent, relaxing, fulfilling and it restored my soul - and I don't typically say things like that. But it really did. You'll know what I mean when you go.

We stayed at The Hermitage. The house is just beautiful. It hugs the little cliff it was built upon and is completely open on the sea side. The views it offers and the breezes it lets through are heavenly.

The people there, Jackie, Carmen, Jason, Percy and the many other kind and smiling faces who greeted us every day were....awesome. Just awesome. They care and it shows.

Then there are the meals. The meals take eating to a whole different level. It wasn't breakfast, it was a gourmet spread. It wasn't lunch, it was fresh ingredients on china and silver on the upper veranda, or the same but less formally by the pool. It wasn't dinner, it was a candlelit feast of bisques, salads, lobster and homemade key lime pie. It was unbelieveable. The candles were lit and the table was strewn with beautiful flowers. It was like eating in a 5 star restaurant for every meal without leaving the comforts of your Jamaican home or even changing out of your bathing suit!

We are counting the days until we return, and we will. And next time we want to take the kids as well so we can share this amazing experience. It was like nothing we have ever experienced. Go!

  • Liked — The service, food and accommodations!
  • Disliked — nothing!
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pml3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2007

We just got back from our honeymoon at Cottonwood Cottage on Bluefields Bay. Absolutely beautiful, relaxing, and private setting. Unbelievable service and food! I cannot think of a better place to go if you are looking for a private and relaxing tropical vacation. We were only there for a day before we started planning our next visit! I would not hesitate to recommend Bluefields to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rubyandjonny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2007

My husband and I came to the Hermitage for our honeymoon. It was our second trip to Bluefields. Our first time we stayed at the San Michele villa (We were blown away by this property in its relaxing ambiance and fabulous features!). When deciding on a honeymoon destination, we originally decided to go somewhere we had never been before. However, Bluefields was always in our minds (and hearts)! When I mentioned returning to my then fiancee, it was an easy decision that we KNEW we were both going to be happy with!
The Hermitage is a little piece of heaven. The beautiful blue sky, the tremendous view of the sea, the extraordinary design of the house, the furnishings within it, and the staff were fabulous.
The house is set steps above the coast of Bluefields Bay giving it an incredible view. The house itself is stunning and interesting. The wood-trimmed arches and doorways provide open air views of the pool and the sea from the living room, dining room, and a sitting area/library that is perfect for relaxing and reading a book with a hot cup of coffee in the morning. The house is furnished with beautiful antiques, including two master suites with tall king-sized beds draped with mosquito netting. The outdoor patios were comfortable and great places to relax and lay in the sun! Below the house is the coastline that has been reconstructed to include a few lounging areas. A pavilion has been built below the house that juts out into the water. It is stocked daily with a cooler full of drinks and has chairs and a hammock to use for your enjoyment and relaxation. Beside it is a rocky beach that is a great place to find sea shells and play in the water. There is also a large floating raft that is anchored to the sea bottom that you can climb on to and sunbathe. There are also kayaks there to use (single and double). We enjoyed paddling along the shoreline and stopping every now and then to collect various types of shells. It is truly awesome!
The staff at the Hermitage is wonderful and is comprised of lovely, local Jamaicans who dedicate their time at the Heritage to make your stay unforgettable. Jackie, our chef, cooked up some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten. Lobster was in season, so we ate it often and in many different ways (lobster quiche, lobster salad, fried lobster with a warm vinaigrette sauce, stuffed lobster, and grilled lobster with a light lime-butter sauce). She took into consideration our food preferences and prepared our meals with love and care in order to make our stay most memorable. Jason, our butler/server, became a dear friend. He knows how to make a killer pina colata or banana daiquiri if you prefer. The drinks choices are endless; these were our favorites! Jason was always on a mission to ensure that our time at the Hermitage was enjoyable. Sharon was our housekeeper. She moved about the house with a smile that radiated throughout. She had a way of invisibly beautifying the bedroom each morning without us knowing and took such care of our personal belongings in doing so. Our laundry needs were also taken care of in a timely manner and were pressed and hung up neatly in the closet. Percy is a kind and fun Jamaican fellow who picked us up from the airport. He also cooked the best breakfasts! (Eggs, bacon, French toast...or a traditional Jamaican breakfast if you prefer). Papilto was our night man. He stayed at the property each night and helped us with anything that we needed. He is a great guy who we really enjoyed getting to know! He ensured that the pool was free of debris each morning and brewed up the most delicious Blue Mountain coffee. Greg was the grounds keeper of the property and I just have to say that he does a magnificent job! The plants and general appearance of the grounds are beautiful and lovely to look at (in the morning, noon, and night)! Lastly there is Carmen, a beautiful Jamaican woman who was so welcoming and helpful in organizing activities during our stay. I write of each person individually because they each were so nice and we truly enjoyed talking with them and getting to know each of them. They each hold a place in our hearts!
Staying at a Villa at Bluefields is an unforgettable experience! During our stay, we opted not to go on any of the day trips, although we thought about a daytrip to Negril. The last time we visited, we went to the Y.S. Falls and really enjoyed ourselves- the hike was short and nice and we played in the water and tried out the rope swing a few times. This time we were enjoying being at the house so much that we did not want to leave! I had Patrick, a massage therapist, come to the house and he gave me a thoroughly therapeutic deep-tissue massage that further helped rid my body of the stresses of planning a wedding! It was great! The experience of having a massage in an open air room with the sound of the waves crashing below on the shore, the birds singing, and the breeze and sunlight dancing through the air is like experiencing one of those dreamy, spa pictures in a Caribbean travel magazine!
This is the place to go! Every aspect of our stay deserves a positive complement for the soul is enlightened and the senses awakened by beauty of Bluefields!

  • Liked — Beautiful house, food, view and the wonderful staff!
  • Disliked — I have nothing negative to say!
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tabascotusc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bluefields Bay Villas

Property: Bluefields Bay Villas
Address: Bluefields Bay, Bluefields, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Bluefields
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Bluefields
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfort, privacy, and luxury combine for a distinctive blend of all-inclusive Caribbean waterfront travel. Bluefields Bay offers the ultimate in personalized service at its six luxurious waterfront villas, each with a private pool and expertly-trained staff. Enjoy gourmet meals and tropical drinks as you vacation in natural settings beyond compare.The six secluded seafront villas are perched on the Caribbean Sea with dazzling views of crystal-clear sparkling blue calm waters perfect for snorkeling and sea-kayaking. Relish spectacular sunsets from this southwestern Jamaican fishing and farming village called Bluefields after an invigorating hike up the untouched mountain right behind the homes. This South Coast of Jamaica is unspoiled by commercialism, and so this is a place where visitors can interact easily with local residents who welcome them heartily.The private and luxurious villas offer gourmet meals prepared by your own chef to your personal specifications. Each house has a “headman” (Jamaican concierge) who serves meals, clarifies preferences on food and drink, and helps your experience unfold like the tropical foliage. Housekeepers not only keep rooms sparkling, but also send guests home with suitcases of clean clothes at no extra charge. And, if people bring children, devoted and caring nannies are provided. Each staff is rounded-out with a waterfront attendant, gardener, night porter for after-hours service, and driver when needed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bluefields Bay Villas Hotel Bluefields

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