Travellers: Two families with small kids (two 3-year olds, and two 5-9 month olds), and one auntie – total 5 adults and 4 kids.
Villa: Hang Time – 3 bedrooms at $2200 US (High Season), booked directly though the owner
Chef and Housekeeper: Ingrid and Lucille (respectively). The house staff is specific to each villa.
Date of Travel: 1-week stay from Jan. 5-Jan.12, 2011
Believe all the great reviews! You’ve got to try it and you’ll see what all the hype is about! We’ve rented villas/houses before for vacation, but never have we had a personal cook and housekeeper available to us from 9-5! We were completely pampered by them, and with our large group with young children, we kind of felt like we were over-working our wonderful staff, but they never complained once!
Please read the mysilversands.com site for further information, particularly this one to see if this will be the type of vacation for you: http://www.mysilversands.com/content/dont_come.aspx
Silver Sands was perfect for us because we have young children, and are looking for a relaxing and fun time without the hassles of cooking and cleaning. An all-inclusive might seem like the logical choice, but we’ve tried it before with our friends in adjacent rooms, but after the kids were asleep, we were just stuck in our rooms or hanging out outside the doors, monitoring our sleeping kids. A runner would go to the bar for drinks and what-not, but it was inconvenient and a real pain. However, in the villa, once the kids were asleep, we were free to chat, play games, have drinks and desserts etc., all in the comfort of the villa.
Food and Housekeeping : (our son has food allergies, and we chose this type of vacation so we could readily control most of the food ingredients, unlike at an all-inclusive)
You will have to purchase all the food you want to eat, and the cook will prepare the meals for you. We spoke with a family who had been to Silver Sands before from last year, and based on their experience, they said that it’s best to show up ready with a daily food plan, then get one large delivery of food at the beginning of the week to last you for nearly the entire stay. Extras can probably be purchased at the Villa Mart on site, which has slightly elevated, but reasonable prices. You can also purchase fresh fruit and veggies from a truck that makes rounds through the villas. Our villa came with a “menu” of items that were mostly authentic Jamaican dishes and were specialties of the cook. However, you can always ask for common things like spaghetti, burgers, etc. Ingrid was amazing, and worked extremely hard for us to prepare 3 meals a day, including delicious desserts! She was also extremely accommodating, making separate versions of the meals for the kids when things got a bit too spicy for them. The food was incredible! Keep in mind however that the chef typically leaves at 5 PM, so the final supper is typically cooked ahead of time and will need to be reheated (we just microwaved everything). If you want your food hot and ready, you’ll likely either have to eat early or arrange something with the chef.
Lucille took care of most of the clean-up, dishes, laundry, and bed making. She also worked tirelessly to make sure we were very comfortable.
We were extremely happy with Hang Time villa. One of its best features is its awesome layout, with each bedroom having doors from both the interior hallway, AND doors leading outside to the pool deck for easy access. The pool and outdoor dining area were great! We barely used the breezy room or upper deck at all. The bedrooms are very spacious, clean, and comfortable. However, nothing is ever 100% perfect. Hang Time is a bit farther from the beach than most villas, but we were provided with an electric golf cart that transported most of us with ease to and from the beach (not many villas provide this feature). The walk to the beach isn’t very far anyway though. The villa was built around ’94, so at around 15 years old or so, some things are starting to show some wear, and the bathrooms are a bit dull and lacking inspiration. However, this is really nothing to complain about as everything was still functional. (Pay close attention to #4 of Don’t come if… on the link above!)
I’m sure most bookings are made using mysilversands.com or other similar websites where you can use your credit card with travel protection and what-not. However, we did not go this route because after scoping out the villas, Hang Time piqued our interest and as luck would have it, a quick Google search revealed that this villa has its own website at http://www.cozhtv.com/index.html
My wife contacted the owner of the villa directly (Cosma Earle), and he gave us the rundown of nearly everything we needed to know, and in the end we booked the villa directly through him. Cosma is a truly genuine, trustworthy, and friendly guy, and we were happy that we booked the place through him this way. Anyway, I don’t know how many other villas have their own website, but it could be good to talk with the owner of the villa and make good with him/her if it suits your needs. Tourism is likely their #1 industry so we found that most Jamaicans in this field of work definitely went out of their way to make sure we had a good time and stay. (see conclusion at end for why booking like this might be a good idea!)
We were picked up at the airport promptly by our driver Billy. What a hilarious guy! I don’t think he ever stops joking around. When he stopped for some gas on the way in, he got us all some complimentary drinks at the station, which was a very nice touch. We did one excursion during our stay and ended up hiring Billy again to take us to the historic city of Falmouth. At first we thought it would just be a drop off and pick up, but he parked his bus and essentially took us on a guided walking tour of the town! We got so much more out of it than if we just wondered around town like lost tourists.
Breathtaking, picturesque, wonderful. White powdery sand, blue waters, not crowded, beautiful weather. You can’t ask for more than that. It’s pretty low key out there, but you can still do some activities like sea kayaking or windsurfing. There are also some coral in the swimming beach near the Jetty and also straight out from the Ebb Tide Villa where you can snorkel and see some fish.
Just go! We would recommend Silver Sands to anyone looking to have a relaxing sun and beach vacation . I can’t stop thinking about when the next time will be when we come back. I find it extremely shocking and unfortunate that some negative reviews have popped up claiming “bait and switch tactics”, theft, shoddy accommodations, or rude staff. After staying at Hang Time and meeting the owner and its 2 fantastic staff Ingrid and Lucille, I wouldn’t think things like that were possible at Silver Sands, but who knows. Most villas are individually owned and perhaps some owners don’t background check their workers or management company very well, and unfortunate things can happen. I don’t know. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the legitimacy of these claims because everyone has different expectations, and some people are just downright difficult. All I know is that for us everything worked out as close to perfection as it could have. We recently finalized and split our bills and after factoring all expenses (food purchases, tip, flights, villa costs, etc.) this 1-week incredible vacation ran us $2600 US for a family of 4. NOT expensive at all for a vacation like this!
- Also Known As:
- Silver Sands Vacation Villas Hotel Jamaica
- Silver Sands Vacation Villas Jamaica/Duncans