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Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Just west of Ocho Rios on Jamaica's beautiful north coast you'll find Discovery Bay, a beach town that's known for its laid-back charm, prime location, and beautiful villas. In fact, these luxury villas are often the reason guests choose Discovery Bay over other parts of Jamaica. Oceanfront, fully staffed, and loaded with amenities, luxury villas rentals in Discovery Bay are the best way to fully experience this amazing destination and everything it has to offer.
That said, Discovery Bay is also close to some of Jamaica's best landscapes, and its central location between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay means you're never too far off from Jamaica's best restaurants, attractions, and activities. And if you prefer to just kick back and relax the whole trip, no problem – Discovery Bay is arguably the most laid-back destination in Jamaica.
Compared to Montego Bay or Negril, there are far fewer all-inclusives in Discovery Bay. What you'll find instead, however, are beautiful, private, and fully staffed villas that are often right on the beach. Each have their own sense of character architecturally, artistically, and in terms of décor, but the real soul of a villa in Discovery Bay comes from the staff. Attentive, skilled, professional, and friendly, the staff really go above and beyond to personalize your trip and make sure you have the best possible experience. Guests often tell us that the staff were one of the biggest highlights of their holiday.
Choosing the right luxury villa rental in Discovery Bay really depends on the size of your group, why you're traveling, and your budget. From there, it's simply a matter of taste. While your Rental Escapes reservation agent will be happy to present you some options to fall in love with, here are a few of our top picks for family-focussed, staffed, and beachfront villa rentals in Discovery Bay.
Discovery Bay is one of the best destinations for family vacations in the Caribbean. The locals are fun and friendly, there's a laid-back and relaxed vibe, and there are a ton of activities that kids love that are not too far. There are also plenty of Discovery Bay villas that are perfect for families, and, best of all, they're right on the sea.
Happy Hour: Set within the gated Fortlands Point and with its own strip of pristine white sand beach, Happy Hour is like having access to your own private resort. The modern construction is stunning inside and out, with fountains and islands giving it an aqueous beauty that stunningly complements the gorgeous 150-foot strip of private shoreline. There's also an infinity pool, games room, tennis and pickle ball court, fully stocked bar, 86-inch flat screen and so much more. Combine with an exceedingly professional staff and you have the ultimate Discovery Bay family villa.
Sea Haven: Rich in history and set on its own private acre of pristine waterfront, Sea Haven is a fantastic value for a family of eight or less, with two of its four bedrooms having single beds. The house itself also has a ton of character – it's a traditional West Indian cottage that has been converted into a luxury villa, and it features antiques dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. And while it also has plenty of modern appliances and amenities, it's the views and the time spent playing with the kids at sea in front of the villa that will remain timeless.
Fortlands Point: Set within an old fort and featuring several 18th century cannons directly on site, Fortlands Point is an amazing mix of history and location, punctuated by its own private sandy cove and adjacent coral reef featuring plenty of parrot fish, jackfish, sergeant majors and more. Inside, rich textures and modern amenities await guests, while the staff go above and beyond to meet any request, and even work to surprise with beachside bonfires, special meals, and more. It also has cribs, highchairs, children's games and media, lawn games, and a mini tree house, making it perfect for a family getaway.
As you can probably tell, one of the biggest advantages of staying in Discovery Bay is having access to private beachfront villas. Not only do Discovery Bay villas often have their own strip of beach, but they're also usually designed around that beach, with beautiful indoor/outdoor living areas and infinity pools with views that stretch out to the shimmering sea. Here are a few of our guests' favorites:
Whispering Waters: Whispering Waters is a recently constructed beachfront villa set along its own private cove in Discovery Bay. It has plenty of unique touches like distinctive tilework and bamboo-thatched ceilings, as well as a large private pool and shallow swimming pool that's perfect for the kids. Really, though, it's that idyllic strip of beach that's the star of the show, and the villa's design naturally orientates guests towards its picturesque beauty, as does its professional and friendly staff.
Keela Wee: Located just next door to Whispering Waters is Keela Wee, a beautiful 6-bedroom villa that's known for its direct access to a coral cove, its lush landscaping, and it's friendly and attentive staff. Its Mediterranean accents complement the setting perfectly, and the villa includes sea kayaks and a sunning platform to help you get the most of its incredible location.
Coral Cove Villa: Beachfront and fully staffed, the 5-bedroom Coral Cove Villa features a large swimming pool that guests are sure to love, as well as a private beach with kayaks, a swim up deck, and a floating bar. The staff is also particularly adept at making sure guests have a great time, and the cooks plan torchlight parties with barbeque, lobster, and fresh fish. And if you're traveling with another family, the neighboring villa – Linga Awhile - can also be rented.
While Discovery Bay is known specifically for its beachfront villas, Jamaica as a whole is known for its staffed villas. Staff usually includes a private chef, housekeepers, gardener, laundress, and often a butler and driver, all of whom really go above and beyond to make your villa rental a true luxury experience. From handling special requests to surprising and delighting guests in ways they never even thought about, it's their passion, skill, and experience that make staying in a staffed villa in Discovery Bay such a magical experience. Here are some great examples:
Makana: With a stunning mix of elegance and modernity, the beachfront Makana truly raises the bar for luxury villas in Discovery Bay. Its grand architecture perfectly matches its location along a private cove, while the interior design epitomizes modern beach luxury. Staff includes a private chef, butler, housekeeper, and gardener, all of whom work to surprise and delight, including with meals served alongside its gorgeous strip of private beach.
A Summer Place: With a gingerbread-style construction, rich landscaping, and personal touches like a 250-year-old dining room table, A Summer Place is a beautiful beachfront villa with a lot of character. That extends to the staff, who consistently leave guests beaming. Just check the reviews – staff are consistently mentioned and remembered by name, and it's their attentiveness, friendliness, and overall presence that elevates this villa past even its magnificent beauty.
Sundown: With a rich wicker and mahogany interior and bright, traditional exterior, Sundown is everything you want in a Discovery Bay villa. Beachfront and with 9-bedrooms, it's perfect for large groups, especially those traveling with small children. Again, though, it's the staff that make this experience even more special. With a wealth of experience in hospitality, they're consistently heralded as some of the best in Jamaica and are a true point of differentiation for this lovely villa – even amid stiff competition.
Visitors to Jamaica must present a valid passport or another acceptable document upon entry, so it's important to make sure that your travel documentation is up to date, as you'll need to present it to Customs and Immigration upon entry. If you're a US or Canadian citizen, or a citizen of another Commonwealth country (as well as most European and Caribbean countries), all you will need is a passport, as well as a valid return ticket, or a ticket onward to another destination.
Most visitors to Discovery Bay will arrive via airplane to Donald Sangster Airport in Montego Bay. From there, it's easy to find shuttles, taxis, and transfers to Discovery Bay, which is about an hour away. If you're renting a villa in Discovery Bay with Rental Escapes, then a transfer can be arranged for you.
Getting around Discovery Bay is easier than other parts of Jamaica, but we still recommend hiring a private driver or taxi. Driving in Jamaica can be tough, and especially if you want to travel to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, or some of the attractions in between, a private driver will be your best bet when it comes to navigating the narrow roads, dealing with other drivers, and just knowing the best routes, times, and places to stop. If you're booking with Rental Escapes, then many of the villas will either include a driver, or a private driver can be arranged by your concierge.
Finding the best time of year to visit Discovery Bay really depends on your travel preferences. If you like to be in the middle of the action and want to make sure everything is open at full capacity, and you want to enjoy the mildest, driest, sunniest weather of the year, then visiting during peak season, from December-April, is a great idea.
If you prefer a more laid-back vacation and want to enjoy some great deals, as well as have more of Discovery Bay to yourself, then shoulder season from May-July is a perfect choice, and a favorite of many savvy travelers. It's a little more wet than peak season, though rainfalls are usually just brief showers in the afternoon.
Lastly, August-November is hurricane season. Though your chances of running into a hurricane are very low, rainfall – especially in the afternoon – is more common during this time, though this is also when you'll find the absolute best deals on Discovery Bay villas.
Visit Dunn's River Falls: About an hour drive from Discovery Bay, Dunn's River Falls is consistently ranked as one of Jamaica's best activities, and for good reason. These incredible falls are nothing less than a phenomenon, and guests love being able to climb up the falls and experience this one-of-a-kind attraction. The falls are also shallow, making this a great experience for the whole family.
Visit Columbus Park: Just five minutes from Discovery Bay you'll find Columbus Park, a testament to Jamaica's history and heritage. The park itself is not very big, but it does feature colonial ruins, 18th century cannons, canoes made by the pre-Colonial Arawak people, and more. It's a great place to spend an hour or two learning more about the country and experiencing some of its history firsthand – plus it overlooks the coast, making it a great spot for a picnic as well.
Relax by the Beach: It may seem obvious, but it's still the number one thing to do in Discovery Bay. People choose this destination specifically because of its laid-back charm, and there's nothing more laid back than reclining on a sun lounger with your toes in the sand and the soft sounds of waves in your ears – especially when it's your own private beach just outside your villa.
Jamaicans have a high standard for food, and that's something you'll certainly see in Discovery Bay. Whatever you order, expect it to be cooked with a high degree of care, passion, and respect.
In terms of ingredients, expect lot of fresh fish and seafood. Mackerel, mahi mahi, tuna, barracuda, conch, lobster, and shrimp are all abundant in these waters, and are usually the stars of the meal. If you like to turn up the heat a little more, jerk chicken and lamb are also favorites, as is spicy sausage. There's also plenty of fresh tropical fruits and vegetables to enjoy, including mangos, guava, plantains, tamarinds and so much more.
If you're staying with Rental Escapes, international ingredients can also be arranged and your villa pre-stocked with your favorite foods. Your concierge can also work with you to ensure that your private chef knows your preferences and can even set up a meal plan, though once you arrive, you'll be able to adjust the meals as you wish – or just let the chef surprise and delight you as you go.
Discovery Bay's weather is a major part of its appeal, with temperatures varying between 73°F - 89°F (23°C - 32°C) and only rarely rising above or falling below this range. Sunny with the occasional refreshing breeze, the weather is especially beautiful during the dry season from December to April. While May to July could see some light showers in the afternoon, the weather is still quite lovely during the shoulder season as well. Hurricane season can more accurately be called wet season and lasts from August-November, and it's during this time that you'll see the most rainfall.
If you're planning a trip to Discovery Bay, Rental Escapes can elevate your villa rental into a luxury experience that you and your group will never forget. Our portfolio includes the finest properties in Discovery Bay, and our reservation experts work directly with you to find the best villa for your group. Your concierge then works with you to personalize the trip and create the ultimate luxury villa experience. Contact us today to learn more about our luxury villa rentals in Discovery Bay and to start planning your next dream holiday.