JAMAICA Ah, the sweet Caribbean villa life! Since the upswing in
island weddings, family reunions and “girls’ night out” getaways,
villa demand spells profits for savvy agents.
Jamaica was the first Caribbean destination to offer the concept
back in the ’50s, simplifying the booking process through the
Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments (JAVA). Now, half a
century later, JAVA represents over 200 properties across the
island, and all must continually meet the association’s high
“Value and quality are keywords in our operation,” said Carmen
McKnight, JAVA executive director. “We work closely with agents to
properly match villas and clients.” The term villa covers a wide
range of accommodations from the stand-alone home to a condo
located in a complex, so agents must carefully profile their
clients and determine their expectations.
Some families require a child-safe environment, while friends
traveling together generally prefer equally sized and similarly
appointed bedrooms. Villas on hotel premises are good choices for
Jamaica boasts a variety of attractions, and agents need to find
the right location where clients can enjoy their favorite
To cultivate happy clients, and earn extra commission in the
process, it’s always a good idea to make advance reservations for
car rentals, golf tee times and sightseeing tours.
It’s also important to choose the right location for your
Port Antonio, with its waterfalls, draws nature lovers who like
to hike and raft. Casual beach and watersports fans will enjoy
Negril. For shopping and nightlife, suggest Montego Bay and Ocho
Jamaica’s many “villa neighborhoods” clusters of rental villa
outfits offer opportunities to book corporate or leisure groups in
adjoining abodes. Some of the most popular areas are Runaway Bay,
Ironshore in Montego Bay, Mammee Bay near Dunn’s River Falls and
Port Antonio’s exclusive Blue Lagoon.
In all locations, JAVA provides a staff, security,
well-maintained properties and pays 10 percent commission.
Not included are food, drinks, tips and taxes. Local phone calls
are generally free. A security deposit is required at certain
See JAVA’s Web site for photos, descriptions and rates.
|Where to Stay|
Crystal Cove Vacation in Venice in a six-villa
cluster lining Port Antonio’s famous Blue Lagoon. JAVA’s two-story
turreted home features three bedrooms, each with private bath. The
living, dining and family rooms open to the sea. A tree-shaded
terrace and deck over the water invite dining, cocktail sipping and
snorkeling. Kayaks provide trips to a deserted beach.
Cost: $3,500 winter, $2,800 summer.
Sundance In this villa overlooking Discovery
Bay, clients can observe the beach below from the front porch and
wraparound pool deck with barbecue. Three bedrooms and baths adjoin
the wide recreation room, fitted with ping-pong and pool tables,
satellite TV, VCR and stereo. This room also has two daybeds in
case the kids fall asleep in front of the video games.
Cost: $2,100 winter, $1,700 summer.
Sonrise Beach Retreat Six one-bedroom cottages
nestle among tall trees at the edge of Robin’s Bay. Ideal for
eco-tourists and outdoorsmen, clients can fish, snorkel, hike, ride
horses, bird-watch or take nature tours. Vegetarian meals and yoga
are available. Cost: $1,094 winter, $983