renting villas in jamaica

12 Helpful Tips for Renting Villas in Jamaica

Are you planning on renting villas in Jamaica for your upcoming vacation? We’re sure you have questions about your Jamaican vacation rental.

With so many choices when it comes to accommodation in Jamaica, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed.

Staff or no staff? How much does food cost? Will I be close to the beach and activities?

Luckily, you’re not the only one asking these questions. We have 12 of the best tips for finding the perfect villas in jamaica to rent and getting that luxurious beach vacation started.

  1. Read the terms of  the villa in Jamaica for rent

We’re starting with the most basic, and yes boring tip first. We know you don’t want to read the terms but it’s the best way to get a feel for whether renting the villa is a good idea. You’ll have real information from the source that you can then compare to competitors.

Most private villas in Jamaica have rules for how long you can stay and how many people are included in the price. They also have a cancellation policy. Pick a villa that works best for you. Learn the fine print before you pay.

Each homeowner has a different set of rules. Jamaica villa rental agencies may have their own various policies based on the type of house and the length of your rental period.

You might be asked for a security deposit when you book the Jamaica villa for your vacation. There might also be hidden fees. You won’t know any of this without reading the terms.

  1. Know what you’re renting.

For many Americans and tourists from abroad, a vacation rental sounds like a lot of work. Images of renting a house, cooking, and cleaning come to mind.

In Jamaica, vacation rental villas are different. Look for renting villas with staff. You don’t want to be running errands when you’re on vacation.

While most villas in Jamaica are staffed, notice how many people you will have waiting on you.

In some cases, you might just have one or two people. In more luxurious villas, you’ll have a staff member for your every need.

That means you’ll have a butler, chauffeur/tour guide, personal chef, cleaning staff, and laundry service at villas like Villa Serenity.

Think of villas as a rich person’s private residence: it has the privacy of a home, with the luxury of a resort.

  1. Budget for extra fees.

Depending on how all-inclusive you want your stay to be, there may be extra expenses at the end of your visit.

Each villa features different amenities. Some are all-inclusive, others offer add-on packages, and still, others have very limited choices.

Figure out whether or not you want meals, drinks, and chauffeur service included before picking your villa. If the estate contains these as add-ons, calculate how much extra that will cost for you to accurately price compare.

Many rental villas in jamaica have a chef who will cook and shop for you, but you’ll still be responsible for paying for the groceries. You might also want to pay for international calls or texts. You’ll also want to tip the staff at the end of the stay (more on that below).

Many villas include packages that you can purchase in advance, so there aren’t any surprise costs at the end.

Check for packages before you book a Jamaica villa rental.

  1. Figure out what type of villa you want to be at.

What does a villa even mean? It might seem like every vacation rental in Jamaica is a villa.

A villa is basically just a fancy vacation rental home. It is a free-standing private residence that is available for vacationers to rent. 

A private villa varies in size, with anywhere from one to ten bedrooms and a living room, dining area, patio, and a veranda. 

Villas also normally have a den or recreation room, a swimming pool, and a full staff.

That means you can rent a villa for one person or a whole wedding party or family reunion.

If you’re traveling with a large group of people, it’s worthwhile to check the square footage of the place you’re looking at.

You don’t want to be cramped in the bedroom or a small living room if you’ve brought your whole family or a group of friends.

If you’re traveling with couples, family, or a bunch of singles, the configuration and layout also matter.

Villas should advertise how many square feet and their layout they have so you can choose one that suits your needs.

  1. Where are the rental villas in jamaica located?

Wherever you’re staying, you want to make sure it’s in a great location. Think about what you want to do in Jamaica before settling on a rental villa in Jamaica villa.

There are many beautiful tourist cities to visit on the island, and within those cities, there are different activities and diverse scenery for your villa rental.

Here’s an overview of the most popular cities in Jamaica to rent a villa from.

Montego Bay: Most Choices of Resorts.

Stay here if you’re looking to spend your whole time in Jamaica on a resort.

Negril: Best Beaches.

Stay here if all you want to do is lay on the beach.

Ocho Rios: Best Variety of Activities.

Stay here if you want to combine beach living with other fun events and activities.

We’re completely biased, but if you’re renting a villa, you probably are a little independent and like trying new things. Ocho Rios is probably the place for you.

  1. How close to the beach?

Let’s face it. Most of you are going to Jamaica for a relaxing beach vacation. What’s better than a private villa in the Caribbean?

A private home on the beach. Not every Jamaican villa has beach access. Shocking we know. Some are in scenic landscapes; others are close but don’t offer ocean views.

To avoid disappointment, check to see if your villa has (1) ocean view and (2) beach access.

If you’re staying at a villa, you likely value doing vacation your way, avoiding crowds, and fighting for space.

Some villas offer private beach access exclusive to their customers. That means, instead of fighting for space on the white sands of Jamaica, you’ll have your own waterfront to enjoy.

  1. How are you going to get around?

There are a lot of things to see in Jamaica, but many of them require a car. Cars drive on the left side of the road, which can be a challenge for many American visitors. Taxis are also expensive and not very safe.

Having a chauffeur is invaluable during your Jamaican holiday.

Many rental villas in jamaica offer chauffeur service in their package deal or as an add-on. At Villa Serenity, we have a variety of chauffeur packages that you can add to your stay. Make sure to add transportation considerations in your comparisons.

  1. You can get price deals by booking off-season.

If you want the best deal for your villa rental, choose to visit during the off or shoulder season. Villas change their rates depending on when you plan to stay.

From mid-December to mid-April are the most expensive times of the year to rent accommodation on the island. Play with different dates if you’re looking to budget. The best times to visit for the best weather AND prices are the end of November, early December, and mid-April.

The cheapest of all rates are in August to November, the hottest months turn into hurricane season that is rarely dangerous but can put a damper on plans.

If you want to go during peak season, make sure you book well in advance.

  1. You can save money by booking directly through the villa websites.

Here’s a secret Airbnb and Tripadvisor don’t want you to know booking directly is almost always cheaper. Sure, online travel agencies might seem to be the best deal initially. But, if you book directly, most villas will price match and add extra perks to your package.

At Villa Serenity, when you book directly, you can enjoy current villa promotions, up to $99 Instant Booking Credit, up to 10% off rack rates, and 1 FREE Night on select dates.

Always talk to villa owners directly before booking through third-party sites. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. What is the theme of your vacation?

There is a villa for every special occasion in Jamaica. Figure out what you want to do on the island, before settling on your perfect luxurious villa.

Some villas are part of a hotel, combining the large private accommodations with public amenities like pools and the beach.

Others might be going to Jamaica to enjoy world-class golf. In that case, you’re going to want to look for a villa close to one or many golf courses.

Still, others go to Jamaica to plan or celebrate a wedding. If so, you’ll want a villa in a beautiful location with room for everyone to spread out and party.

Many villas offer special wedding packages or group choices, so make sure to check the terms and talk to the owner, for the best deals and ideas.

Figuring out why you’re going to Jamaica, will help you narrow down your search.

  1. Don’t forget to budget for tipping.

Jamaicans pride themselves on their hospitality. Show your appreciation to the staff at your Jamaican villa by tipping. A standard tip is 10% of the villa rental rate. A 15% tip is nice in the low season. Accordingly, if you stay for $10,000, you should tip $1000.

But to clear up some common misconceptions, here is how you should do it.

On the last day of your stay, tip.

Divide the tip among the staff and distribute it individually. You can also place the staff member’s allotment in a sealed envelope with their name and give it to the house manager to distribute.

Chefs and house managers typically get most of the tip, but it depends on how many people served you and who stood out to you. Give someone a higher percentage if they went above and beyond for you.

If your tip allocation is unclear, tip the chef and house manager 20% each. This leaves 60% to split between the server, housekeeper, laundress, gardener, etc.

However you choose to tip, the villa staff will be grateful.

  1. Give yourself peace of mind with travel insurance.

Whenever you visit a foreign country, buying travel insurance is a good idea. This way, your travels are covered in the event of an accident.

Last minute-trip cancellations? No, problem! You’re covered by travel insurance. Sudden medical emergency? Travel insurance will reimburse you. Unexpected severe weather conditions make you miss your flight or must cancel your vacation entirely? Travel insurance has your back.

With travel insurance, you are protected in case of the unexpected, and you can enjoy your vacation worry-free.

We promise we know good villas.

In fact, we own one. While we’d love it if you stayed in one of our 8000 square-foot, 5 bedroom, fully staffed ocean view villas in Ocho Rios, we understand that every Jamaica vacationer has a different story.

We want you to enjoy Jamaica as much as we do.

If you’re wondering if Villa Serenity might be the right choice for you, you can ask us more questions here or find more information on our website.