Call me lucky but I always find the greatest things and places in Jamaica by accident. If I hadn’t been shopping for pillows in Santa Cruz one day last month I may never have run into Bill and Shirley who happen to own the cutest little B&B on Parottee Beach near Black River. After meeting the couple in a plaza parking lot and chatting about what each of us does they invited me to come stay with them for a couple of nights and I’m so glad I did!
S&B Sunset Gardens couldn’t be a more accurate name for this little oasis in the south. The stunning Jamaican sunset each evening is a direct hit onto their piece of beach and the yard has been lovingly groomed into the most beautiful tropical gardens. Honestly, one could stay in their yard all day with a camera capturing delightful photos and never take the same picture twice. From unique flowers and plants to a variety of tropical fruit trees, there’s no shortage of eye candy inside their gates and on their private sand dune beach.
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S&B Sunset Gardens offers just one guest room that is run as a bed and breakfast, which means daily breakfast is included in the cost of your stay. The room was custom built and designed by Bill himself and it was a treat listening to the couple tell me about the heart and soul they poured into creating it.
The guest room has its own separate entrance and private veranda facing the lush front yard. It’s a perfect place to sit and enjoy your first cup of morning coffee while watching the sun rise on that side of the house. Inside the room feels like a little cottage with all the wood trim and custom made fixtures that Bill created himself. It features a queen size bed, full bathroom with hot water, ceiling fan, window fan, mini-fridge and coffee maker. With screened windows on 3 sides of this guest room I didn’t even need to turn on a fan at all. The sea breeze took care of it all for me.
The room is spotless and fresh with the bright colored bed linens and white towels.
Each morning I joined Bill and Shirley on the back veranda facing the beach for breakfast. Guests have the option of being served breakfast in the privacy of their room or sitting at the outdoor dining table on the beachside veranda. Breakfast options include everything from traditional Jamaican breakfasts to eggs any style, pancakes or whatever your heart desires. Coffee and orange juice are also included. Lunch and dinner are available by request at an additional charge. The one dinner I enjoyed at the guest house was sweet and sour chicken prepared by Shirley and it was to die for!
The surroundings of this guest house are quite possibly its most amazing selling feature. For those of you who have never been to the beach in the Black River / Parottee area you should know that you’ll quite likely be the ONLY person on the beach for miles in each direction. Bill, Shirley and I went on a six-mile beach hike from the house and encountered only one person on our trek. From their piece of beach you can clearly see the world famous Pelican Bar and if you walk east up the beach and just keep walking you’ll eventually reach Parottee Point which is where the real magic begins. Once you round that point you come upon a giant, uninhabited piece of beach full of natural sand dunes and a clear view of Fort Charles in the distance. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my travels around Jamaica. It appears that the water by this beach is also protected by a reef so it was gentle enough to swim in. It’s simply amazing.
Wondering what else there is to do in this area? As I mentioned you can see Pelican Bar out in the sea clearly from the guest house so if you wish to go out there, a boat can pick you up right outside the gate. If you’re not familiar with the south coast, famous attractions include the Black River safari tour, YS Falls, Lovers Leap, Appleton rum estate, the Black River heritage tour, Treasure Beach, Little Ochie and SO much more. There’s enough to do on this side of the island to keep you busy for a week easily.
Within walking distance from the guest house are a few local bars, cook shops, and local fishermen’s beaches. The town of Black River is about 10 minutes drive by car or route taxi that will cost you about $150 JMD (approx one dollar!)
At the time of this writing the nightly rate for your private guest room here is $75.00 USD which includes breakfast each day.
Now for the fun part….would I recommend staying at S&B Sunset Gardens? The answer is a big, fat YES! This is the perfect place to get away from the hustle of touristy Jamaica and experience some true local Jamaican life. Places like this are what Jamaica is all about!
To get in touch with Bill and Shirley for bookings please contact them directly. You can visit (and like) their Facebook page and send them a message or find their phone number listed on the page.