The Big White Villa - Vacation rental villa in Jamaica

FAQs

Why should I choose a villa?

A private villa is a unique vacation experience!

Many travelers return to The Big White Villa year after year and come to think of the property as their Jamaican “home away from home”. This is because villa vacations are all about personalized attention and service. Do you prefer breakfast at noon? No problem. Would you like having a pool all to yourself? Lounging in a hammock in your own private tropical garden? This is what a private villa vacation can provide. Privacy, the ability to set your own schedule, genuine relaxation, and the opportunity to experience true Jamaican hospitality and service.

What is the difference between a villa, apartment/condo and cottage resort?

A villa is a freestanding private home that is made available for rent to vacation travelers.

Our Villa has 4 bedrooms inside and offers additional living space such as living rooms, dining area, bar, patios or verandas, along with a private pool and full staff. The villa also has 2 poolside independent units with bedroom, en suite bathroom and kitchenette each.

What is the maximum occupancy of the Villa?

As a general rule, our Villa has a maximum occupancy of 2 guests per bedroom. Therefore, if you are a party of six, we suggest three individual bedrooms. If you are a party of eight, four bedrooms is most suitable, etc.

Since our Villa is a wonderful accommodation choice for families, additional children may be accommodated beyond the maximum occupancy, as enough bedding can be put in place. In some cases, additional adults can be accommodated; however, additional person charges or cot fees may apply.

What is the minimum night-stay?

Our Villa has a 3-night minimum, shorter stays are available on a request basis. Over the Christmas/New Years holiday, our Villa has a 7-night minimum stay.

What are the dates for high and low season?

High Season is 15 December to 14 April. Low season is 15 April to 14 December.

Are damage deposits required at the Villa?

Our Villa requires a prepaid damage deposit. The amount varies depending on the unit you are renting, whether it is the Main House or one of the poolside Suites. This deposit is refunded to you after departure as long as no damage has occurred to the property and its contents.

Is tax and gratuity included?

Our Villa includes tax in our rates. Staff gratuity however, is not included and we suggest a minimum of 10-15% gratuity for staff services.

Gratuity should be paid to the staff directly at the end of your stay. Additionally, we suggest you divvy up the tip among the staff instead of leaving one lump sum.

Using your own discretion, you may choose to give a larger portion of the tip to the staff member who provided the majority of the services or who provided services above and beyond the call of duty.

Is The Big White Villa fully staffed?

Yes, our Villa is fully staffed. Whether you are staying at the Main House or at one of the poolside Suites, you will have the services of our Housekeeper, Cook and Night Watchman.

What services do the staff provide

The staff are responsible for all aspects of meal preparation (when requested or included in our all-inclusive package) as well as keeping the property and grounds clean and maintained. The staff can also do grocery shopping for you if you like. Household laundry is done by the staff. However, personal laundry may be done at an additional cost, upon request.

You will also find the staff to be an invaluable source of information on the area. They can tell you about local restaurants, attractions and entertainment. If you need a nanny or a taxi, they can also assist in setting up these types of services.

How is meal preparation and grocery shopping handled?

We will send you a preliminary grocery/menu planner with your final documents if you have selected the all-inclusive plan.

A few weeks prior to arrival, we ask that you use this list as a guide and choose what you would like the staff to pre-stock at your villa as well as what you’d like them to prepare for your first night’s dinner and first morning’s breakfast. If any member of your group has food allergies or special dietary needs, we ask that you let us know this as well, so the staff can be forewarned. You will be presented with a bill from the grocery store for the items that have been pre-purchased. After that, you simply communicate with the staff as to what you’d like for the balance of your stay. Our cooks excel at Caribbean-style meals, but are also very adept at American and continental cuisine.

Please remember that our Villa is not run like restaurants in which each person orders a different meal. Plan for “family style” meals with one or two main entrees. The cook will always do his or her best to accommodate for individual tastes. For example, you may opt to order Jerk Chicken for dinner, but ask for some to be “mild” and some to be “spicy”.

Shopping for groceries can be accomplished in several ways. You may do your own shopping, you may ask the staff to shop for you, and some grocery stores may deliver. Many guests opt to ask the cook to join them on a shopping excursion – this is an excellent way to get a good sense of the products available in Jamaica as well as where to go to get the best fresh produce, fresh fish, fruit, etc.

What additional costs should we plan for?

Food, transportation, tours & excursions and incidentals (e.g. phone calls) are not included in the cost of your rental.

Food costs can vary greatly depending on your tastes and needs. Simple meals like a traditional Jamaican chicken fricasee with rice and salad can be quite affordable. If you prefer multi-course meals or entrees requiring imported ingredients, then the food cost can rise significantly.

An estimated average would be about USD $200-$225 per person for a week for meals. Costs for tours and excursions can be obtained by contacting local tour operators – inquire with your staff upon arrival for recommendations.

Can I use my cell phone in Jamaica?

Jamaica’s cellular system operates on the TDMA and/or GSM network. If your cell phone is TDMA or GSM compatible and your provider has a roaming agreement with Jamaica’s Cable & Wireless Mobile or Digicel Jamaica, you may use your cell phone in Jamaica. Be warned however that the roaming charges can be very expensive. We recommend you check with your cellular service provider in advance to make sure of compatibility.

Alternatively, you may also rent a cell phone in Jamaica or purchase a SIM card from a local cellular provider at a minimal cost (eg. USD $5.00).

Can I access the internet in Jamaica?

If you choose to bring your laptop and would like to access the internet while in Jamaica, you may use our wi-fi system free of charge at the Villa.

To protect your computer, we highly recommend taking a surge protector along. Alternatively, you may also visit a cyber center in any of the major resort areas in order to access the internet.

What is the electrical system in Jamaica?

Jamaica’s electrical system is the same as the U.S. – 110 volts / 50 cycles – so you will not need an adapter if you opt to bring items requiring electricity such as hairdryers or portable stereos when traveling from the U.S.

Guests traveling from UK or Europe are advised to bring an adapter.

What is the currency in Jamaica?

The official currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar.

Currently the exchange rate is approximately USD $1.00 = JMD $89.25 (this fluctuates).

You may exchange money into Jamaican Dollars at banks or licensed exchange bureaus in the airport or in resort towns. Most establishments also accept US Dollars, traveler’s cheques, and credit cards.

What options do we have for ground transportation and/or car rentals?

We can provide at your request and at an additional charge, a personalized car for the duration of your trip. Otherwise, transfers are the way to go. However, transfers vary in price depending on how many people require the service and to which area in Jamaica.

Car and van rentals range between $245 to $650 per week, depending on seasonal factors and vehicle type. All rental rates are subject to GCT tax, insurance, and liability deposits.

Please remember that in Jamaica you must drive on the left!