Far from the madding crowd lies a secret little slice of heaven known as Bluefields Bay Villas. Remote and low-key, charming and exclusive, the welcoming Jamaican respite is just what the doctor ordered as we face travel’s “new normal.”
Washington, D.C. couple Braxton and Debbie Moncure first discovered the hidden gem of the Caribbean, located on Jamaica’s south coast, some four decades ago. The now expats fell in love with the pristine surroundings and purchased a beach house on the hilly seaside that eventually turned into six villas, and soon an exclusive resort was born.
Off the beaten path, just an hour’s drive from Montego Bay Airport, or if you’re feeling luxe, a 12-minute scenic flight via helicopter, this is not your typical beach resort. Void of Olympic-size pools, children’s waterslides, 18-hole golf courses and masses of sunbathers, the allure of Bluefields Bay Villas lies in its private sandy beaches, old-school charm and elegance.
A who’s who of luminaries—rock royalty, celebrities and politicians—have visited the hideaway since its inception in the early 1980s, enjoying the paparazzi-free privacy. And it’s the perfect spot for mere mortals, particularly honeymooners and families, who want a place to relax and disconnect (while television is not available, you can still access the internet).
The six all-inclusive villas—designed by Debbie, an accomplished architect—represent a sense of place that is best described as Colonial charm (four-poster mahogany beds and heirloom silver). From two to six bedrooms, each villa is distinctive, filled with Jamaican antiques, lovingly curated by Braxton and his eye for detail. Offering unspoiled views of the ocean, the private villas are built with indigenous materials such as Jamaican stone, marble, cedar and mahogany.
From the stately elegance of the arch-filled Hermitage villa and the grand palatial style San Michele to the honeymoon favorite Milestone Cottage, each carefully thought-out floor plan utilizes the scenery to its fullest with private pools, open-air showers and well-placed balconies that maximize the ocean breezes. Each villa also comes with its own incredibly attentive staff that caters to your every whim.
With a dozen chefs on the property and using locally sourced food, incredible Jamaican fusion cuisine is the order of the day along with personal requests that ensure there is something for every palate (Wednesday’s Jamaican jerk chicken is a must). Activities are also plentiful, ranging from tennis, paddleboarding, kayaking and deep-sea fishing to visiting the private YS waterfalls or neighboring Negril. And be sure to add a cocktail cruise at sunset to your itinerary.
The family-owned, 5-star property is a study in giving back, as making an impact on the community is at the core of everything they do. The staff is hired and trained locally, and several have been there since the resort’s inception. Canine lovers will enjoy the rescue pups who call Bluefields Bay home, and guests can make donations to the local Montego Bay Animal Haven to be matched by the Moncures.
Last but certainly not least, take time to enjoy cocktail hour with the owners before you head back home. Settle in for an entertaining evening, as they regale you with tales of the property’s storied history. A stay at Bluefields Bay Villas is truly a one-of-a-kind visit where you can experience a peaceful Jamaica.
For up-to-date travel requirements and restrictions, visit jm.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-jamaica