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Bluefields Bay Villas
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Reviewed October 14, 2013

I'm going to try my best to describe my stay at San Michele without being long winded. In summary: it was life-changing!

The location is pristine -- awe-inspiring, tourist free, private and relaxing. Our Villa was HUGE, and while it screamed luxury, had this distinct "home-like" feeling to it that made everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. The grounds were equally impressive, with a "private island" that was perfect for watching the sunset and another outdoor roofed area where we ate most of our meals. There was a pool. But most important, we were RIGHT ON THE SEA. I could see it from everywhere, including my bedroom.

Each meal I ate (at our lavishly adorned table with real china and silver) was the best I've ever had. I was there 5 nights and had lobster 3 times--seriously! I have dreams about the Bluefields Eggs Benedict. And if you've think you've had jerk chicken before, clearly you haven't met James the Jerk Master.

But perhaps the thing I'll remember most was the fantastic staff, many of which have been working with Bluefields Villas for over 20 years! To Percy our driver, to Owen our butler, to our chef Ms. Rose, to our nightman Rayon, to Marvin, to Nicholas, and everyone else, please know that YOU ALL are what makes this place so special. There was never anything we wanted that we didn't get immediately, and with a smile. But also you all taught us about Jamaica, your culture, and even taught us some Patois. (The contributions of the staff cannot be overstated. These men and women are doing everything from cleaning, to cooking, to driving, to serving, and more. They felt like family to us, and we were very sad to leave them!)

And we didn't just spend our time at the Villa, we also ventured out to YS Falls (a must see), the Black River (another must see), the local school, Bluefields mountain, the capital: Savanna-la-mar, and more. Everywhere we went people were friendly and eager to hear about our trip. I learned that the Villas contribute a great deal to the community in terms of employment, education, and infrastructure, and shockingly it seemed like the locals actually wanted us there! (When does that happen?) Any place we went we had the option of bringing a picnic, and we always had a driver ready to take us wherever we wanted.

I could go on and on, but in short, like I said earlier, no words can do this place justice. I've been home for about a week and a half now and have been exclusively listening to reggae music just because I miss Bluefields Villas THAT much. On one hand this vacation ruined every other vacation I've ever been on, on the other hand now I know exactly where to go for all future vacations. To all of the staff that made this trip so unforgettable: RESPECT!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Luke G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our 10 day respite in this lovely corner of paradise. From the outset, working with the Bluefields Villas team was a pleasure. We spoke at length with Debbie to identify a suitable window to travel and to identify an ideal villa that would meet our needs. She listened and worked with us to set the stage for a very personal vacation experience.
Upon arrival at the property we were met by the General Manager, Alfred and a wonderful group of talented men and women who would be caring for our every need over the next ten days. We stayed at Cottonwood Cottage which is a lovely two-bedroom villa that overlooks the beautiful blue waters and is steps away from the pristine sandy beach.
The villa is simply beautiful with wonderful furnishings that help highlight a fantastic architectural design The villa was built to not only show off the beauty of the surroundings but to create a sanctuary for relaxation and privacy, The team that staffs the villa enhance the experience and make your stay even more personal and intimate. There were many staff members that contributed to our awesome vacation: Shaki and Tamara prepared wonderful meals while Dwight our butler, served those meals. Our nightman had my coffee ready when I awoke at 5AM to walk on the beach and I would be remiss if I failed to mention James, who is a master gardner who met me every morning with the best smile. He is also serves as the jerk chicken chef and prepares that chicken with the same passion that he has for his gardens, Nicolas gave me the best deep tissue massage of my life but he also oversees the beach team of Ray and Paul. Those guys groomed the sand, prepared the lounges and served great drinks while we floated in the warm Caribbean water, Property managers Carmen and Venecia were conveniently on hand to oversee any possible other need.
Everyone smiles, everyone seeks to meet your every desire but everyone also respects your privacy by quietly and discretely stepping away so you can be alone to take in the entire experience. Oh, lest I forget the infinity pool overlooking the sea is over the top. A very private place to reflect and share time with people you love.
We have stayed at many places in Jamaica and across the Caribbean but we feel that Bluefields Villas was our best vacation experience. This place isn’t for the limbo, t-shirt contest crowd that wants to be entertained by someone else but if you want great food, personal service in an idyllic setting where you can remember why you love each other or you want to spend quality time with friends or family in a fantastically beautiful setting then head to Bluefields because you will enjoy every second.

Room Tip: Work with Debbie and describe your needs. Each villa is unique, all are special and staffed by great people. We toured every property only to find all were impeccably decorated and appointed. Some are larger for bigger groups such as San Michele, Mullins Cove and Hermitage while Providence, Cottonwood and Milestone have fewer bedrooms. We enjoyed Cottonwood because it was an intimate two bedroom with an infinity pool on the sandy beach. No matter which villa you choose you will be very pleased.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank John54946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We arrived in Montego Bay on the night before our check-in day at Bluefields Bay Villas. We checked into a hotel near the airport and, per our arrangement with Bluefields staff, were picked up the following afternoon. Our driver (and butler), Neville, arrived and offered us a couple of cold Heinekens for the one hour drive to our villa, the Milestone Cottage.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by Alfred (General Manager), Carmen (Guest Services Manager), Dawn (cook), Thermogene (cook/housekeeper), Steve (relief butler) and Lawrence (maintenance), who welcomed us with a glass of champagne. Carmen then showed us around our villa.

The Milestone Cottage sits on an elevated lot that overlooks the Caribbean Sea. The master bedroom has green marble flooring and is furnished with a queen-size, four-poster canopy bed with mosquito netting. The bedroom opens out to a yard (via a side door) and swimming pool (via the main door). The closet has enough shelves and hanging space that a couple would need (don't over-pack as laundry service is provided). Outside the bedroom, on the patio is a sitting area furnished with several padded chairs, a table and a lamp. The second bedroom has two twin beds and room for a crib. There are two full bathrooms; the larger of the two can be accessed from either bedroom. The living room is open-air and provides excellent views of the sea. On the covered patio, between the living room and swimming pool is a dining table where most meals are served. The Oriental rugs and antique Jamaican mahogany furniture add to the beauty of the villa. The swimming pool is basically an over-sized plunge pool; 6' deep in the center with underwater seats at one end and steps at the other.

Down a steep flight of about 40 steps and just above the small, rocky, private beach is a covered pavilion, furnished with four padded chairs, two lounge chairs, a hammock and a dining table. The pavilion is a great place to have lunch, and we did on several occasions. Three kayaks were pulled up on the beach and ready for our use (snorkel gear is also available if needed).

The bar was stocked with the types of liquor, beer, wine and mixes we had requested. There are no televisions (which weren't missed), however there is a well-stocked library, a CD player and the all-important wireless internet connection. Samoya, an elderly female dog, comes with the property and Timer, a one year old male dog often visited from the adjacent property. Samoya was ambivalent about our presence but enjoyed laying on the ground near us. The animals can be removed if they are not a welcome addition.

After settling in, my wife and our cook, Dawn discussed menu choices/requests for the next day's meals. This turned out to be a daily event between the two of them.

Later in the afternoon, we attended a welcome cocktail party at the Tree House, a pavilion which is part of the Cottonwood Cottage property. Staff served the best rum punch I ever had (made with a potent Appleton rum) and a wonderful assortment of appetizers. After chatting with some of the other guests and staff members, we returned to Milestone and dined on baked snapper, twice-baked potatoes, mixed vegetables and pineapple sherbet for desert.

Steve, our relief butler left the villa around 8:30 p.m. and was relieved by Levi, the night watchman. It was comforting to know Levi would be on the property all night.

DAY 2:

I woke up around 5:30 a.m., to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and banana muffins. I spent time conducting business on the computer while my wife slept in and Levi cleaned the pool and villa grounds. Samoya showed up and laid at my feet while we watched the sunrise together. A calm day with a light breeze but a cloudy sky. The sea was also calm and beautiful.

Thermogene, our cook/housekeeper arrived around 8:00 a.m. and prepared a delicious Callaloo (spinach-like vegetable) omelet with bacon and toast. After breakfast, I headed down to the beach, for a quick swim and a kayak ride. The water was very warm, I'm guessing in the mid to high 70's. I paddled over to Bluefields private, sandy beach, located less than .2 mile from Milestone. It was an easy ten minute paddle in both directions. Our butler, Neville arrived around 11:00 a.m., while Dawn was preparing our lunch which we took at the pavilion: Snapper fillet with hash brown potatoes, plantains and a green salad.

It started to rain after lunch and continued until dinner time. Good thing Neville was on hand to make some terrific Pina Coladas. Dawn prepared a delightful ginger lobster dinner with flavored rice and vegetables, and coconut pie for desert.

DAY 3:

A beautiful sunny morning with clear skies. Thermogene prepared another great breakfast: a bowl of fresh fruit (bananas, watermelon and pineapple), scrambled eggs with peppers and onions, O'Brien potatoes, bacon and toast.

Alfred (General Manager) stopped in to see how we were doing and confirmed our interest to view several of the other villas this morning. Carmen (Guest Services) also stopped by to make sure we were enjoying our stay.

Neville drove us to view the San Michele and Providence villas, for a possible future stay with several of our friends. Both properties are stunning, which complicates our decision on which one to stay at on our next visit. Neville also drove us to the neighboring fishing village of Belmont, the birth and final resting place of reggae legend, Peter Tosh.

Upon returning to our villa, Dawn prepared an appetizer of sweet potato chips and guacamole - excellent! Guest lunch today at the Tree House at Cottonwood villa. We had a chance to meet some of the other guests before having Jerk Chicken, Mahi-Mahi, bread fruit salad and banana bread. We returned to Milestone and spent the rest of the afternoon poolside. Another outstanding dinner, compliments of Dawn: Roast pork tenderloin, browned potatoes and zucchini, topped off with fruit custard for desert.

DAY 4:

A beautiful morning and the ocean is smooth as glass. Breakfast served today by Nalicka, Thermogene's relief: Scrambled eggs with cheese and sweet peppers, bacon, French toast and fresh fruit.

We snorkeled off our private beach after breakfast and I was a little disappointed. The water visibility was limited (15 to 20 feet) and no sea life to speak of. We then kayaked down to Bluefield's beach, next to the Cottonwood Cottage. Bayfields staff was on hand to help us haul out the kayas and provide towels and drinks. We spent the morning in the water, talking with several other guests. We paddled back to Milestone a little before lunch time. Neville had a cooler full of Heinekens waiting in the pavilion where we had our lunch: lobster crepes, sweet potato wedges and sautéed zucchini, carrots beans and cauliflower.

We spent the afternoon pool-side, sipping Pina Coladas and drinking vodka and tonics. Dinner was prepared by Dawn: Butterfish, roasted potato wedges and mixed vegetables with fruit cake (not the American kind) for desert.

Nalicka laundered our clothes today; neatly folding them on a chair in our room.

DAY 5:

A beautiful morning with some clouds and a very calm sea. Thermogene, back from her day off, prepared eggs Benedict with bacon and fresh fruit.

We kayaked down to the beach after breakfast and spent the morning enjoying a few drinks and talking with some of the other guests. We compared notes on the "pros" and "cons" of our respective villas (none of us were coming up with too many "cons").

We returned to Milestone and asked Neville to make us one of his delicious Pina Coladas. Lunch today was a delicious Chines chicken with Festival (a dumpling-like creation made with corn meal, flour and sugar) and cucumber salad with dressing. We spent the afternoon poolside, where we were when Veneisha from the front office stopped in to check on us.

For dinner, Dawn cooked a delicious Snapper, covered in an outstanding sweet and sour sauce which she made from scratch. Side dishes included rice and boiled cabbage & carrots, with a rich chocolate cake for desert.

DAY 6:

Slept in until 5:30 a.m. and, as usual the coffee was ready. I was greeted by Steadman, the relief night watchman. Another great day in paradise; a calm sea and light clouds. Thermogene prepared a traditional Jamaican breakfast this morning: Ackee and salt fish; made with salt cod, ackee and other locally grown vegetables, mixed in a delicious creamy sauce. It was served with breadfruit and bacon.

We kayaked down to the beach after breakfast and had a few beers. Ominous clouds overhead suggested we head back to Milestone; making it back with five minutes to spare, as a heavy downpour ensued. Lunch today compliments of Anna Kay (relief cook): Fish (snapper) & Chips with a garden salad. After the rain subsided, we lounged in the pool, drinking Appleton rum and Diet Coke. Tonight's dinner included corn chowder, baked chicken with a light bullion sauce, French friend potato wedges and boiled cucumbers.

DAY 7:

We had a dolphin sighting this morning. The solo mammal was swimming close to shore as it lazily made its way up the coast. Today's breakfast: Fresh fruit plate, ham, cheese, green pepper and tomato omelet with bacon and French toast. If Thermogene ever makes it to San Diego, we're taking her out for breakfast!

We snorkeled at our private beach after breakfast. The water visibility was better than on the previous day; about 20 to 25' with more variety of fish around the rocks. Snorkeling in general was not that good, especially for the experienced.

Veneisha came by to see us and to advise of tomorrow's departure time.

Lunch was exceptional: Grilled Grouper with a mild curry sauce, fried tomatoes and zucchini with friend potatoes. Just after lunch, we got the thunderstorm/downpour we had feared all week long. It rained so hard it forced us from the covered patio into the living room. The clouds were so dark we couldn't see the ocean 150 feet away. Making the best of it with multiple trips to the bar and chit-chat with the staff. I can think of worse places to be stuck during a storm. When the rain stopped, it left us with a welcomed cool, gentle breeze.

Dawn saved the best dinner for last: lobster tails with rice and red beans and mixed vegetables. I put the vodka & tonic down long enough to enjoy a glass of white wine with my wife, on our final dinner at Milestone. Although not on the menu, but at the request of my wife, Dawn baked a key lime pie for desert and for good measure, baked some banana bread for us to have with tomorrow's breakfast. We said good-bye to Neville and Dawn tonight, as we will be gone before they return to work in the morning.

DEPARTURE DAY:

We said good-bye to Levi this morning and enjoyed one last outstanding breakfast by Thermogene: Jamaican-style scrambled eggs, friend potatoes, bacon and the banana bread Dawn had baked last night. Alfred and Venisha came down to see us off, then we were driven back to Montego Bay by Maurice.

SUMMARY:

We have had the fortune of staying at some pretty luxurious resorts that excelled in high quality of service; but the staff at Milestone Cottage takes a back seat to none of them. All of our meals were delicious and wonderfully prepared. With respect to our heavy diet of fish (especially snapper), it should be noted that this was by design, as we requested to be served sea food whenever possible, for both lunch and dinner.

Bluefields Bay Villas is a totally different experience that of a mega all-inclusive resort like Sandals. No restaurants (or dress code), no bars, no bands, no frills; just a lot of peace, quiet and all the privacy you want. This is what makes Bluefields such a perfect choice for that special anniversary or a honeymoon. If forced to complain about something, I guess it would be the one hour drive to/from Montego Bay. The winding road in some sections was pretty hazardous and replete with pot holes deep enough to break an axle. So glad we had drivers with plenty of experience navigating those roads. If we are fortunate enough to return to Bluefields, I will strongly consider arriving/departing by helicopter.

The only "problem" with returning to Bluefields is making the decision on which villa to choose, as each villa as its unique strong points.

Feel free to contact me, if you have any questions.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank sceneisle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

This was our second stay at Bluefields Bay Villas and we hope to be back again...soon. We stayed at Providence House and everything was perfect- the accommodations, staff and meals. The staff, particularily, Sara, Anna-Kay and Maurice went above and beyond in making sure that all of our needs were met and our stay was as enjoyable as possible.
We hardly sat still long enough to relax and enjoy our surroundings...the kayaking in the morning before breakfast was a wonderful start to the day. And the cave was a delightful beachside get-away. I definately suggest having Herman take you out snorkeling at the reef beyond San Michele...absolutely amazing!
We also had the opportunity to tour the Basic School- all of the kids melted my heart! It felt good to be back in Jamaica but seeing all the kids was great.
The house was beautiful and had a great lay-out. Having stayed previously at San Michele (great for a large group) and Mullion Cove as well as walking though The Hermitage- Providence House is definately my favorite.
Maurice made sure we saw everything we wanted and experienced "true" Jamaica rather than just all the "tourist spots". Sara is an absolute sweetheart making sure everything is to your satisfaction and she makes a fantastic ackee omlette. Anna-Kay's chef skills are outstanding! I am already craving her callaloo quiche and the other "surprise" foods she prepared for us because we were curious.
By the end of the week everyone at Bluefields isn't a friend- they are family. There truly is no place better to spend a vacation!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank LoriClark920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

My wife and I spent another glorious week at Bluefields villas at the end of July. We were celebrating her birthday. We have been coming to Bluefields since 1992 and have celebrated numerous birthdays, anniversaries and holidays here. We have come by ourselves, with family and with friends and have stayed in all of the properties except the new Providence House. While there have been changes and more organization in running the properties, certain things have remained consistent over the years: the beauty of Bluefields Bay, these magnificent properties that surround the bay and the wonderful Jamaicans who staff the houses, some who have been there for 20 years. We enjoy returning to see old friends and new friends made in more recent trips. It has been our favorite place to “chill out” for many years and remains so. We look forward to returning soon.
Steve S.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Steve23451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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