Five years ago this month I had my first experience with a Jamaican butler. While many people pay for this service on purpose simply to be catered to, I just found it entertaining and had to make it fun for all involved. If you care to find out just how fun, you can read about it here.
Now, five years later I was asked to review a luxury villa in Port Antonio a couple of weeks ago and had no idea that this would be my next experience having a Jamaican butler at my service, 24/7. Here’s how it all went down.
I arrived at the beautiful villa mid-afternoon and I knew there was a housekeeper because I’d spoken with her on the phone before my arrival. She opened the gate when I drove up and helped me inside with my bags. She gave me the full tour of the property for my review purposes and then left me alone to get settled in. I went into the kitchen to put a few things into the fridge and there was a young man wearing a polo shirt branded with the villa name. He immediately introduced himself as Andre, my personal chef. I thought it was awesome that I now had a housekeeper and a chef. We chatted for a minute and I turned to exit the kitchen when another young man stepped up, put his hand out to shake mine and said, “Hi, I’m Glendon”. He was also wearing a branded polo shirt so I asked, “And who are you?”, to which he replied, “I’m your butler!”.
I’m not joking, as I type this I’m laughing out loud to myself because I remember at that point I said to them, “Come on! Really? How many more of you are there? I’m just one girl!” They both laughed and insisted that they’re at my service for my entire stay and that I should get used to it LOL.
Since it was late in the day and I was hungry I thought it best to take advantage of having a personal staff, and get them to prepare dinner. So the three of us hopped into my car to go grocery shopping. While we were on the road I decided to fill them in on something. I told them, “Let’s get something straight. I’m not like the average guests you get here. I’m very low maintenance so feel free to be yourselves, don’t worry much about me and let’s just have some fun with this”. They seemed to have an issue accepting that so I hit the Bluetooth button on the car stereo and the first song that played was a Vybz Kartel song, to which I sang along. After they both laughed their heads off I think it was settled. They got the hint.
Without further delay, here are 9 reasons why having a butler in Jamaica is awesome:
1. Instead of just hitting any old supermarket he’ll take you to a cool roadside market like this one, that you may not have found on your own.
2. When dinner is served it’s not JUST brown stew chicken. It’s brown stew chicken, beautifully plated with champagne and tropical plants in the background! Butler style.
3. Your butler will spend hours upon hours with you in the villa gazebo after dark, keeping you company while you watch stingrays swim around you. All the while, he will notice each time your glass is empty and fetch refills of rum and coke. You may even get a spear fishing demo while you’re out there.
4. If your butler knows you’re at the villa for the purpose of writing a review he will introduce you to every business in the parish as a “journalist” and do all the talking for you. This comes in handy for obtaining complimentary drinks and free admission into many different places because you’re a very important guest. He wears a uniform branded to the villa so that just adds to my credibility lol.
5. As a “journalist” who travels alone, having a butler double as your own personal photographer is awesome! I never get pictures of myself doing cute things like sitting on over-water swings on deserted islands. Or laying in the water while he just sits in the boat patiently waiting for you.
6. And your butler most certainly DOES NOT laugh at you when you fall on your a$$ while trying to get out of a rocking boat. He graciously helps you get back up.
7. While on road trips, if he’s in the passenger seat of your vehicle which also happens to be the on the seaside of the vehicle your butler will gladly take phenomenal shots of the Caribbean Sea out the passenger side window for you.
8. On those same road trips he’ll advise you to stop in at unique and different places which could turn into the next accommodation you’ll review. This actually did happen. We stopped to check out a new-ish hotel in the Portland area and I ended up meeting the owner, which turned into being offered a drink and a complimentary stay on my next trip to Portland. I can’t WAIT to go back to this place!
9. And last but not least, if you treat your butler like a person and not a butler you’ll get to enjoy many magical moments in Jamaica, under the disguise of having a butler. Chilling in a private boat on the Blue Lagoon was certainly one of those magical, peaceful moments.
In all seriousness, I had a wonderful two and a half days with my villa staff! Although professionally trained, Andre and Glendon are young guys so once they figured out I wasn’t some crotchety old writer that needed constant catering, the sound system in the villa was on full blast every day and we all shared a lot of laughs (and WICKED meals!). The review of their villa is coming up next so stay tuned.