No privacy, high crime area, felt we were taken advantage of
Read all the reviews and were really looking forward to a private, peaceful vacation. We were 2 couples and we found out on dY one that the housekeeper lived in the house, and ran it like a fortress. Bars and locks on all the doors and windows and she had the keys - she warned us to only ask her for anything we needed as not safe anywhere outside the property. She took us for groceries, picking out all sorts of items we stupidly paid for and a lot of it never saw on our plates. We paid over $500 for groceries, popcorn for instance, which she popped every morning and put in boxes to take elsewhere, cake mixes we never saw, foil wrap, plastic wrap, all sorts of things I won't get into listing. Then we also had to pay the vegetable/fish man over $200 and we only had fish twice. We would come back from the beach in the afternoon and the housekeeper would be watching tv with her daughter in the living room, with her daughter's wares spread out for us to buy, or another day they were in the kitchen cooking up a meal to take out somewhere else that might for a birthday party, for which I am sure we paid the bill. On the last day, the housekeeper asked us for $150 US tip...we gave her $70 and she was very upset. She got on the phone and was yelling at someone, we felt very nervous and decided to forego our last swim and went to the airport four hours early. Also, there was an armed robbery at a house down the road, and a stabbing the week before in the neighbourhood. The housekeeper did warn us, and I would recommend staying in a resort or boutique hotel instead -even with the gates and heavy bars everywhere. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this to anyone, as no privacy, and we felt we were taken advantAge of. The housekeeper wanted us to mail her the rest of the money she says we were supposed to pay her...I wonder if she actually gets paid or lives there for board only. The food she cooked was good, but I had asked if she made soup, and she said she doesn't spend all day cooking...she likes to get it all done in an hour or so. I helped dry dished every night, and we brought gifts for her and it just didn't seem to be enough. Not an experience we wish to have again.
Owner's Response: To My Future Guests: I have almost 40 excellent 5 star (highest) reviews.This is the only one of this nature. I would like to address these concerns for you:
>The crime (stabbing) referred to happened last year between 2 local men. No tourist or guests were involved in this in any way. This incident was unrelated to my property.
>All of the established rental villas have a staff member on the property, this is for your convenience. If any of my guests are not wanting this I am willing to accommodate them. This service is so appreciated by my guests. The housekeeper has her own private entrance and sleeping quarters, this is so Privacy of my guests stays Priority. Upon arrival all guests are given their own keys.
>The food you purchase is up to you, The cook is there only to make suggestions. She is a fabulous cook and wants to please you with her culinary skills.
>The housekeeper/cook is paid a salary and tipping her is a kind gesture. Not Required. Most guests ask me what amount to tip , I suggest $20 per day is average. She is there to serve you well and her tip will reflect that.
> Many of my guests ask to meet family members of my staff. Sometimes guests go on outings with the housekeeper and enjoy going to her family home to meet her children and mother. They feel they are getting to know more of the Jamaican culture by meeting some of the locals. I have recently made it a policy that family members of my staff are not to come to the villa unless requested so by guests. Guests Privacy is Priority.
>I appreciate all feedback as it only helps me take my service to the next best level. My intention is that my guests are happy and enjoying their time in Jamaica.
<Many guests return again for more connection with my Staff, the local culture, the warm Jamaican Sun, The Sea, the Lushness and the easy that Jamaica offers.....One Love
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