Villa in Jamaica FAQs

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Villa in Jamaica FAQs

Q. Does offer trip cancellation insurance?

VillasInJamaica has offered travel insurance with Travel Guard for over 35 years.  We highly recommend travel insurance for the best way to recoup your deposit payment or full payment for your villa vacation.  If you are traveling from outside the Continental United States we suggest looking into travel insurance that covers international travel.

Travel Insurance provided by Travel Guard

"No matter how hard you try, the weather is one thing you just can't plan for. Every year snowstorms, hurricanes and other unexpected weather events cause travelers to delay, interrupt or even cancel their trips completely.   That's why there's Travel Guard - it's what you need to help cover your vacation investment"

Q. What are cancellation policies?

In general, private villa reservations are nonrefundable. We therefore highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is available to all clients within the continental United States and can be added to your booking anytime, but not once you have advised of cancellation of a reservation.  Please read all coverage details that pertain to pre-existing health concerns. If you are traveling from outside the Continental United States we suggest looking into travel insurance that covers international travel.

Should you need to cancel your reservation, and have not taken travel insurance, we will always do our best to negotiate a refund, or a credit for a future stay, for you with the property owner, however success cannot be guaranteed. If we are able to negotiate a refund for you, a cancellation fee will be assessed at the time of negotiation, in most cases this is 20% of the funds / deposits that have been paid, plus an Administration fee of $200.00.    Please note that some villas require their final payments 90 and 120 days prior to arrival.  This is the general policy for Christmas and New Years.  If those villas have a cancellation within 90 to 120 days prior to arrival all payments are non-refundable.

If we are able to negotiate with a villa owner to postpone your dates, this is usually granted for one postponement within one year of the original dates booked.
There are no refunds once you have postponed your travel dates once.

Please note that all villas are non-refundable inside of 61 days prior to your arrival.  Some owners have non-refundable deposits.  Most villa owners have a "non-refundable" policy for holiday bookings; Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and Easter.   Changes and/or revisions are subject to a $200.00 fee per change.

Q. What are the payment requirements?

Once you have selected your property, and are ready to confirm, a 25% deposit is required for dates in Low and High Season.
The final payments are due 60 days prior to your arrival at the villa.  

For Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years reservations, the deposit amount is 50% with final payments due 90 days prior / some are due 120 days prior to arrival.
Some owners will allow 60 days prior for final payment for Thanksgiving - again this depends on the villa owner's policy.  
Payments can be made by personal check, cashiers check, money order, wire transfer, zelle, PayPal, or official bank check.  

Q. When is hurricane season and what are the chances a hurricane will hit Jamaica?

Hurricane season begins June 1st and ends October 31st.  No one can predict if or when a hurricane or tropical storm will hit Jamaica with 100% accuracy.  However, with today's technology, these storms can be discovered well in advance and their paths can be fairly accurately projected.  We highly recommend travel insurance and will always provide the link with all details on our "Confirmation/ Invoice".

Q. What should we bring with us?

Jamaica is a tropical climate and day-time temperatures are usually in the 80's or 90's, so light summer clothing is recommended.

You may wish to bring a light sweater for winter evenings when the temperature can get into the 70's or for air-conditioned restaurants.  

In general, Jamaica is casual in style and we therefore recommend you not bring expensive jewelry along.  

Please bring personal toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo.  Sun block and mosquito repellent are also good items to have handy.  

Villas provide bed linens and bath towels, however you may wish to carry your own beach towel.  

You may also reduce your grocery budget by bringing NON-perishable food items like canned tuna fish, peanut butter, cereal, etc. Items such as these are not locally produced and can therefore be fairly expensive.

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

Round trip aiport transfers vary in price, depending on how many people require the service and the location of your villa in Jamaica.

Please call or email us for prices for Round Trip Airport Transfers from Montego Bay or Kingston, Jamaica.

The local taxi's are expensive in Jamaica, so we highly recommend our weekly Van & Driver service and think this is a great value, hassle free, and a great option.  We have been using the same company for over 35 years and many of our repeat clients will request the drivers they had on their last villa vacation!  There are three sizes on the vans - please see below: 

A 15% gratuity should be paid to the driver at the end of your week for their excellent service. 
Airport porters or baggage handlers should be tipped when service is provided.
10 passenger van with driver is $1,190 weekly        (seats 7 - 8 people with luggage for airport transfers)   +15%
14  passenger van with driver is $1,610. weekly      (seats 10 people with luggage for airport transfers)     +15%
23 passenger van with driver is $1,960. weekly       (seats18 people with luggage  for airport transfers)    +15%    


Luggage vans are always available ... cost will depend on the location your villa is in.

Rates include dedicated, licensed drivers/tour guides for up to 10 hours per day.  

If 10 hours are exceeded in one day, an additional US$35 per hour is to be paid directly to your driver. 

The minimum period for fulltime service is 4 consecutive days.  All gas will be at the expense of the guest. 

Van service will come a full tank of gas and should be returned with a full tank of gas. 

Guests are responsible for all gas during their villa stay.

Fulltime service includes airport transfers service beginning and ending at the MBJ (Montego Bay), LAM (Private Jet Centre, Montego Bay) & The Ian Fleming International Airport (Oracabessa). 

The full-time driver service begins with guests meeting their driver at the airport and concludes at 2 pm on the day of departure. Additional hours resulting from late check-outs, flight delays, or waiting time will incur a fee of $60 per hour.

Fulltime service to KIN (Norman Manley) airport will incur extra charges of $160 (one way) & $320 (roundtrip) plus Toll Charges for new highway (pay locally in cash - approx. $30 each way). Trips to Port Antonio will incur an extra charge of $320 + tip (roundtrip). *Please add 15% tip to rates.

Child car seats are rented for $10 per airport transfer ($20 round trip) or $50 per week.  

Additonal driver hours, resulting from late check outs, flight detals, or waiting time, will incur a fee of US $60. per hour.

NOTE: Prices are subject to change without notice.

Vans with handicap lifts are available.
Handicap airport transfers are available.

Please call for Round trip airport transfer prices to your villas.

Q. What is the currency in Jamaica?

The official currency in Jamaica is the Jamaican Dollar.  You may exchange money into Jamaican Dollars at banks or licensed exchange bureaus.  

There are ATM's in Jamaica, they do limit about $280. Jamaican dollars per person per day.

In general all establishments accept US dollars and credit cards.

Q. What is the electrical current in Jamaica?

Jamaica's electrical current / voltage is the same as the U.S.  110 volts / 50 cycles  so you will not need an adapter.

Q. Do the private villas in Jamaica have Internet access?

Yes, the private villas have internet access.  

Q. 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 and set up a temporary account with Jamaica's cellular provider.

Q. 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 food preferences and quantity.  Simple meals like a traditional Jamaican chicken fricassee with rice and salad can be more affordable.  If you prefer multi-course meals or entrees requiring imported ingredients, seafood, steaks, etc, then the food cost can rise significantly.  

An estimated average would be about $60. - $75. USD per person per day /less for children.  

Food costs can fluctuate in Jamaica just as in the states. 


** There is a US$50. charge for all bookings made within 14 days of arrival. 


Q. How is meal preparation and grocery shopping handled?

We will send you a preliminary grocery/menu planner about 60 days prior to your arrival.  We ask that you use this list as a guide and choose what you would like the staff to pre stock for your first night dinner, first breakfast, and any snacks, beverages or bar items.  We like to receive this about three weeks prior to your arrival   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 informed. You will be presented with a bill from the grocery store for the items you have selected.  After that, you simply communicate with the staff for the balance of your stay for your meals, beverages, etc.

Generally the cooks excel at Caribbean-style meals, but are also very adept at American and continental cuisine.  Please remember that villas are 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.  The cooks taxi fare for the grocery shopping is typically $80. per trip.  If there are grocery delivery fees, they are added at the bottom of the bill.  (delivery fees will vary)

Q. What are the services that the staff provide?

The staff is responsible for all aspects of grocery shopping and meal preparation as well as keeping the villa and grounds clean and maintained.  They will provide fresh towels and linens as needed.  If you like, someone in your group can go with the cook to do the shopping, this way you can see what's in the market and the general costs.  Household laundry is done by the staff, please ask your housekeeper about personal laundry, there is no charge for laundry & ironing - a small tip is appreciated.  If you need something ironed during your stay please ask your housekeeper.  You will also find the staff to be an invaluable source of information.  If you need a nanny or a taxi, they can also assist in setting up these types of services.

Q. Do all the properties listed have full staff?

In general, all private villas provide a full staff. Most villas come with a staff of three including a cook, housekeeper and gardener/houseman.  Some villas have additional staff members including butlers, laundresses, and villa managers/concierges. 

Q. Is tax and gratuity included?

Most private villas include tax in their rates. Staff gratuity however, is not included and we suggest a minimum of 10% in high season and 15% gratuity in low season for staff services.

Gratuity is based on the total villa cost and should be paid to the staff directly at the end of your stay.  We suggest you split the gratuity between the staff instead of leaving one lump sum.  Using your own discretion, you may increase your staff grauity based on their excellent service!

Q. Are damage deposits required at all villas?

Most villa owners require a damage deposit to be paid with your final payment. The amount varies depending on the particular home, however the average deposit is US $ $1,000. per booking. This deposit is refunded to your after travel is complete as long as no damage to the villa or  it's contents.

Q. Are there any periods with surcharges or discounts?

A majority of properties have a surcharge for the Christmas/New Years period and some also have a surcharge for Easter and Thanksgiving.  In some cases, select properties also feature months in which rates are lowered or may go on "Special".  This might be in May and September/October.  It is also common that the villa owners require their full weekly rate over a holiday week, so if they lower the rate for fewer bedroom used, they would required all bedrooms be booked over the four holidays mentioned above.  There are also some Jamaican holiday where this might be required as well ... as well as a minimum of one week be rented; this might be for Jamaica Independence and SunFest in Montego Bay.  We will always double check this for you!   
There is a US$50. charge for all bookings made within 14 days of arrival. 

Q. What are the dates for high & low season?

High season runs from mid early mid December to mid April

Low season from mid April to mid December each year

There are holiday rates in most cases for Easter, Thanksgiving and sometimes for Early August / Jamaica Holidays

Q. Are the rates per person/per night / what is maximum occupancy?

All rates are based on Double Occupancy - 2 people per bedroom. 

The rate for a three bedroom would be for up to 6 guests, four bedrooms would be for up to 8 guests, etc.  

Extra persons (over double occpancy) may be allowed and most villa owners have an extra person rate.

This will vary from $30 to $150. per person per night, depending on the villa.

All rates are quoted in US dollars and subject to change - per the villa owners. 

Maximum occupany will depend on each owners policy.

Q. What is the minimum night-stay?

Most villas have a 5 - 7-night minimum year round, shorter stays are available on a request basis.  Stays of less or more than one week are pro-rated at the weekly rental rate in most cases.  Over the Christmas/New Year's holiday period the villa owners require a full week for each week: Christmas week and New Years week.  There are some villa owners that require 10 or 14 nights over Christmas & New Years.  (typically owners require weekend to weekend over the holidays)

Q. Why a Villa?

A private villa is a unique vacation experience!  Many travelers return to the same 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  11am, a picnic lunch to take on your excrustion?  No problem.  Would you like having a pool all to yourself?  Lounging in a hammock in your own private tropical garden? Your own private tennis and pickleball court, private gym and water sports ... 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.

If these features and amenities resonate with you then a Villa Vacation in Jamaica will be perfect for you and your family!