Nestled in the hills above Runaway Bay, on 88 acres of land, lies Mt. Pleasant, a splendid reminder of times past in Jamaica. Parts of the original house date from the 1880's. As you pass the imposing gate columns and ascend the long driveway, you are immediately transported to another place and time. And your first sight of this lovely house, perched on its rise, does nothing to dispel this.
As you enter up the double sided stairs and through the bright red doors, you reach the foyer with its hand-painted walls of tropical foliage. A door on the right opens into a powder room and a door on the left opens into the elegant dining room, lit by an antique Murano glass chandelier. The room is beautifully wall-papered, and has an antique, painted mahogany dining table with brass legs, and chairs in traditional Jamaican style.
The dining room also opens into a cosy breakfast nook which leads into the kitchen. There you will find a large fireplace, original to the house, and made of local cut-stone. Your barbecues will never be the same. Especially when you add ingredients, from the newly created organic garden. Reap your own food, fresh as it gets.
The foyer opens into the huge living area, which spans the width of the house. French doors open at either end onto the spacious veranda at the front of the house, with its spectacular views of trees and coastline, or the large lawn at back, with its Wedgwood blue fountain. There is ample seating for everyone in the overstuffed chairs, waiting to be curled up in, with a good book. A separate seating area with tongue and groove wood paneled ceilings, houses the TV set with satellite for those who wish to stay connected.
Adjoining the sitting area is a games room which is also the width of the house. This area has a card table, pool table and skittles table, to keep all guests entertained. More French doors open onto an enclosed patio area, partially shaded, offering views of sky, garden and tennis court beyond.
The large veranda has every kind of seating for everyoneÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s comfort. There are sofas, lounge chairs and single-seaters. In addition there is a table and chairs for semi-outdoor dining. Everywhere you look is nature at its best. The Caribbean Sea in front, the coastline to the west, and trees everywhere. Birdsong will be your music on this vacation.
For the more active guests, to the west of the house lies the newly installed tennis court. There is a pool at front and a small putting green. And best of all is the nature path which winds its way through the property. 1.5 miles of trees and birds and you. There is also access to the beach at Runaway Bay, a 10 minute drive down the hill.
Four of the 5 bedrooms open off the living areas, each with a small entryway. As the house is a single story they are all on the same level with the exception of one room, which has two small steps at the entrance. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and have ceiling fans.
Bedroom #1 has a king size traditional four-poster bed, made from cedar from the property, with garden views through floor to ceiling sash windows, with louvered shutters. An old-fashioned mahogany dressing table with 3-sided mirror puts you firmly in a particular moment in time, and an oriental rug placed on the wooden floor, made of guango and breadnut, harvested from the property, completes the feeling of coziness. This room has an en-suite bathroom complete with tub and shower.
Bedroom 2 is a smaller room adjoining the larger Bedroom 3. It can be entered either from the enclosed patio off the living area, or though Bedroom 3. This room is decorated in deep reds and golds, giving it a boudoir feel. It also has wooden floors and an old-fashioned dressing table. The bed is a queen size with a love seat at the end. Floor to ceiling sash windows, with louvered shutters, open onto views of the front lawn looking out to sea. The adjoining bathroom has a shower, double sinks and a bidet.
Bedroom 3 springs a surprise with a modern interpretation of the four-poster bed. This king sized bed is made purely of metal, in an intricate design. However it blends perfectly with the dressing table, mahogany chaise lounge, oriental rug and wooden floor. The view from this room through the floor to ceiling windows, are of the front lawn and pool area, looking out to sea. The spacious en-suite bathroom is beautifully tiled with seating. It boasts a granite counter-top with double sinks and double mirrors. There is also a separate tub and shower.
Bedroom #4 has a king sized bed with hand-painted wooden headboard. Surrounded by floor to ceiling sash windows on two sides, this room offers expansive views of the garden and pool area, looking out to sea. Two comfortable chairs with matching footrest are placed by one expanse of windows, giving guests a place to contemplate. And bookshelves lined with books provide endless reading material. The en suite bathroom has a shower, toilet and basin.
Bedroom #5 can be accessed either through the back garden area or through the kitchen. This room, which was recently updated, has its own spacious sitting area. This area has a sofa with cushy hassocks for seating, a TV set and two games tables. The TV in this area can access separate channels from the one in the official TV room. The sitting area opens into the bedroom with two queen size beds. This room has the Piece de resistance. An entryway with the basin inset in a large counter on one side, and shower/tub combo on the other, opens onto a fabulous outdoor shower. Walled in for privacy it is tiled with slate and river pebbles. This is where everyone will want to bathe on a starry night.
All in all Mt. Pleasant is even more than the name can describe. It is the perfect vacation spot for the discerning visitor, who wants to experience just that much more of Jamaica.