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“A Secluded Place of Rest”

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The Resort at Wilks Bay
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Port Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
kalamazoo, michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A Secluded Place of Rest”
Reviewed 5 August 2012

We were looking for a quiet place away from the traditional tourist areas of Jamaica and we found what we were looking for at The Resort at Wilks Bay. The villas are set in an idyllic cove with the waves pounding the sand and crashing against the rocks. There are no other rental properties on the cove, which provides a perfect setting to relax and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. There are many trees which provide shade, and are wonderful locations to enjoy reading a book or talking with friends. Jim and Mary own the resort and were very helpful in all aspects of our stay.

The villa we stayed in (two bedrooms on the second floor) was built recently and was attractive and had sufficient space for our family of four. The two bedrooms were air conditioned. The living room is large and is a good place to gather. The balcony runs the length of the villa, and offers a great view of the ocean while you enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The balcony also has a comfortable lounge chair.

The coral and rocks come very close to the shore, so it is a good idea to bring beach shoes, although some are provided at the resort. Wilks Bay has a jetty which extends to a point where you can jump into the water for snorkeling. The snorkeling is very good as you get past the initial rock and coral formations to the two rocks that extend above the water. It is a blast to swim between the rocks, and there are countless fish and even a few eels. Jim is very knowledgable about the layout of the coral and guided me a couple of times to the best spots.

Although there is a lot of coral and rocks at Wilks Bay, Jim and Mary wisely have passes to San San Beach which is protected by a coral reef, so that it is very calm. San San has a gorgeous, long beach with soft sand. My wife and daughters enjoyed floating and swimming in the calm surf. It is a very easy walk (pretty much right next door). You do not need to walk all the way to the parking entrance, but can go through the small opening and stairs. The great thing about the two beaches is that one offers great snorkelling and the other offers great swimming.

Brenda did a fantastic job with our meals and housekeeping. She was very mindful when we needed something done and anticipated a number of our needs. Her cooking is very good and she can cook a number of different styles, though we especially enjoyed the more traditional
Jamaican food. You can get lobster very inexpensively and we had it two times for dinner. Your cook will go to the store daily to purchase the food, so make sure you have Jamacian dollars. It is a blessing to have someone purchase and cook the food you request. In addition, it is wise to plan your first day or two of meals before you arrive, making sure to be specific about what you want. All of the staff is fantastic and very helpful.

The best part of our stay was Jim and Mary's helpfulness in making sure our stay was enjoyable. Jim took us to his bank and helped expediate obtaining Jamaican dollars. He also set up a fantastic trip to Reach Falls, and tracked down fresh caught lobster. Jim and Mary also let us visit another property they own by Monkey Island (which is within snorkeling distance). Jim and Mary have a vision for Wilks Bay to be a place of rest and healing, and their kindness and helpfulness are already accomplishing their dream. It is a wonderful place to stay to relax and enjoy many blessings.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank k-zootravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Jamaica
Level Contributor
42 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Just got back from our short all girls Port Antonio getaway. I'm normally a big all inclusive fan, but I think I may have found my special place in Jamaica. Per my previous post, I was sorely disappointed by the offerings in Port Antonio for my price range. Though Wilks Bay is still on the higher end of the budget, I would say it is so worth it to splurge and stay here. Where to begin? Jim and Mary, the owners are such a delight. They are always so helpful, gracious and hospitable with any questions we have, and offering us extras such as fresh coconut and bananas from the property; Jim going the extra mile and snorkeling with us to show good spots; guiding our car to Geejam so we don't get lost for our dinner reservations; calling Reach Falls early Sunday morning to ask them if they're open already, and giving us the name of the best guide; I can go on and on. So many special touches that they don't even have to do. I felt so welcome, almost like staying with family members you really like and who like you :-). It is clear that they really enjoy having guests.

Rooms: We stayed in a couple of 2 BR units--perfect for groups or families. Rooms are decorated in what Apartment Therapy blog labels as organic modern, which I love. Nice touches of driftwood type headboards, plant and flower accents, neutral colors, looks like teak patio and balcony furniture everywhere too. What you see in the pictures is what you get, even better, in my opinion. Bathroom faucets are Grohe, very nice, but I wasn't sure how to work the hot water, no biggie, as it was a nice way to cool off. I didn't bother to ask. Tiles look nice, almost like marble looking with some pebbles thrown to one side, towels were plentiful, and they also provide special towels for after swimming or beach time. The airconditioner works well, and the ceiling fan in the bedrooms help cool room off more. I really only used the AC at naptimes and at night, and just opened up the windows and let the winds and fan cool the room during the day.

Kitchen: Tiny but has everything, and the cooks do the cooking anyway. I peeked and it has a full sized fridge, hot water boiler, blender, stove, etc. Even spices for cooking.

Living Room: Very cute and nicely furnished--touches of driftwood looking tables, comfy couches and chairs, even has a dining table and chairs, though we ate all our meals outside. There's a small-medium sized tv with basic cable, which is nice to have if you're on vacation. A few magazines in the living room and some interesting metal wall art. Not airconditioned, but still comfortable with the breezes.

Pools and beach area: Very nicely kept pool and small beach area. It's nice to hang out in the pool and watch the waves coming in.

Snorkeling: I'm a bit of a snorkeling freak (Hawaii, Palau, Boracay, Palawan, Isla de Mujeres, Apo Island, San San Beach area, Chuuk, Kosrae) so I was thrilled to know that I can just jump off the dock and be on my way. Water was anywhere from 3 feet near the dock to between 10-20ish near the two coral rock formations on the far right corner of the resort. Saw some blue fish with electric blue dots, a large puffer type fish with yellowish dots that look just like coral, some small neon yellow fish, a brownish/black fish with a dog like face and orange fins (never saw these anywhere before), HUGE red crab, a couple of long fish that look like sticks, baby parrot fish (I think), some regular, silver, food looking fish. Coral isn't vividly colored like you'd find in some nature reserve areas in the South Pacific, but a lot of it looked fairly healthy. There were the round corals, many fan type corals, some yellowish and some purplish. Maybe the colors aren't so bright due to global warming....

Tips: 1) Make sure you try to go in with Jim and Mary to order special croissants, danishes and quiches made by a Belgian lady for the following day. So, so good! 2) Wifi seems stronger in the higher floors' balcony. Was weaker in the ground floor patio. 3) If you like super soft pillows, bring your portable travel down pillow

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank luvinarlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mandeville, Louisiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2012

Recently had the pleasure of spending a week in Jamaica at Wilks Bay resort. In short, the place is awesome. Great snorkeling right on site, oceanside pool, kayaks, superb view, better staff. Cooks were both flexible and versatile, everything was delicious and affordable. Port Antonio does not feel touristy but there is a lot to do in the area. Several waterfalls, an abundance of beaches and coves, river raft tours,and a marina are all in the vicinity of the resort. We felt safe in town and definitely on the resort. The staff at Wilks Bay was really top notch and made everything so easy. We were a group of four adults and we all felt beyond satisfied.

Room Tip: Wilks Bay offers a stand alone one bedroom villa that is adjacent to the pool, the two room villas...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Breadbeard2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

My family decided for my 70th birthday to take a vacation to Jamaica. We found this lovely place in Port Antonio and booked the place for 10 people. Jim and Mary were lovely and could not be more accomodating to us. Angela, Lorna and Franklin were exceptonally wonderful. Angela's cooking was superb. On my birthday, Jim took the time to gather some rocks on the dock and wrtie out "Happy Birthday". He certainly made my day special. Our 4 grandchildren were with us along with their parents and they had a great time snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. Jim allowed us to use his other home, a short walk up the road. We visited Monkey Island and the staff made us lunch when we returned, by kayak from the island. Jim also, gave us a 50 cent tour of the area. We hiked up to "Reach Falls" and had a great time. Warren was the driver and he was terrific. We stopped along the way for sugar cane and fresh cut coconut, as well as "Jerk" chicken, pork, shrimp, etc. Great time with Warren. The last night of our vacation, The Lowe's made a bonfire on the beach for my birthday. Angela baked a pineapple cake (delicious) for my birhtday. Nasdia (Mary & Jim's daughter) played the guitar and we both sang a favorite song of mine together. It was a really fun time. Went for dinner to Anna Banana on my birthday. Angela's cooking was so good, you really didn't need to go any where else. Thank you Jim, Mary and Nadia for helping me celebrate my birthday in such a memorable way.

Room Tip: The main house was very convenient for dining. The apartmens were closer to the pool and beach.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Arlene G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Special, magical, spiritual these are the words that first come to mind when I describe our stay at Wilks Bay. We were greeted at the airport in Kingston by Warren, who was our driver for the 3 hour journey to Wilks Bay. He made a stop for drinks and patties and pointed out things of interest on our way. When we arrived at Wilks Bay we were greeted by Mary & Jim our lovely hosts, and also enjoyed the company of their daughter Nadia whom soon became fast friends. Jim and Mary were always ready and available to help make our stay special.
We arrived to a lovely vegan dinner (I am a vegan) but other wonderful non- vegan dishes were prepared for my husband. Many thanks to our two wonderful cooks/housekeepers, Sherice and Angela. They were constantly available to indulge our every whim, from cooking, food shopping, laundry and even a cold drink.
Jim invited us to join him in Qi Gong and meditation every morning. My absolute favorite spot for meditation ever! What a delightful way to start each day out on the jetty (pier) with sounds of the sea and the cooling breeze. During our stay Jim took us on several tours of the area, suggesting places to visit and restaurants to try. Jim and Mary also invited us out to join them at their favorite restaurant and to hear music at two different resorts.
I was concerned that we may get bored during our long 5 week stay, but I was wrong. We mostly opted to stay on the property where we loved relaxing and reading on this very private, small, low key, beautiful resort, with our own private beach/bay .We loved staying in the small, but adequate cottage just steps from the beach. Also, there are two lovely swimming beaches within walking distance. We also enjoyed long walks up in the hills with access just across the street. We enjoyed snorkeling and kayaking too. We were surprised by a private candlelit dinner on the jetty during a full moon. And on Valentine’s Day, dinner on the beach complete with torches and music. We even spent a few days at their other house on San San Bay, another beautiful spot where you can kayak to Monkey Island and Blue Lagoon. But hurray, this other property is for sale.
If you stay at Wilks Bay you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks again for one of our favorite getaways, we will return.

Room Tip: The little cottage has privacy and fantastic views!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank bwoolfChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

My husband and I recently enjoyed a relaxing week at Wilks Bay. The service is excellent (housekeeper/cook accompanies each villa) and we quickly got used to being pampered. James obviously loves Port Antonio and is a great ambassador for Portand Parish which is not a regular tourist destination but a spot where Jamaicans come to relax. We felt a very authentic Jamaican vibe (thanks to a dose of mento music), not the hyped, tourist pace of Negril (where rap has unfortunately replaced reggae). The setting is gorgeous and secluded. There is little beach per se and swimming/snorkling is undertaken with care. Some villas are still being worked on, but mostly exterior finishing touches and nothing that would disturb or intrude upon the elegant serenity of the resort that Mary has worked hard to create. Perhaps not the best choice for families (because you have to travel to sandy beaches and activities), but a wonderful option for all other travelers.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank kiskatomcreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hearst
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

Wilks Bay was our choice to celebrate our 30th anniversary and a great choice it was! We had time to relax at this beautiful Jamaican hideaway by the sea and take in the unique sites of Port Antonio. Mary, Jim and their talented daughter Nadia were welcoming and very helpful. We packed in many memories - Jim's 50 cent tour of the bustling friendly market town, the classy reggae act of the "Jolly Boy's" at Gejam, Rufus's forest tour, kayaking, snorkeling and music night. The staff were wonderful and Brenda, our housekeeper, prepared the most delicious Jamaican dishes. Landing in Kingston airport meant that we had the opportunity to travel through the lush tropical blue mountains with an excellent driver.

Room Tip: The cottage unit by the sea was private, with excellent facilities and decor. Loved it!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Martha H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Resort at Wilks Bay

Property: The Resort at Wilks Bay
Address: Drapers P A, Port Antonio, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Portland Parish > Port Antonio
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Port Antonio
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Port Antonio
#3 Romantic Hotel in Port Antonio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
The Resort At Wilks Bay Jamaica/Port Antonio

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