Frequently Asked Questions
We are 60 miles from Montego Bay’s (“MoBay’s”) Sangster International Airport, the place where most of our guests arrive. Given the fact that driving is on the left, the uncertain condition of most Jamaican roads, and the numerous goats and cows that wander onto the roads, we allow 2-1/2 hours for the drive to Treasure Beach. Some guests, especially from Europe, arrive at Kingston’s Norman Manley Airport, 85 miles from Treasure Beach, roughly a 3-hour ride.
Most of our guests prefer to be picked up by one of our experienced drivers in a comfortable minivan. He will be waiting for you when you arrive. He’ll offer you personalized, warm service; if you’d like, he’ll stop along the way to help you exchange currency and have a snack or a meal. If you wish to drive yourself, there are several car rental agencies at the airport, and we’d be pleased to recommend one.
One of our drivers will be pleased to take you on tours, to restaurants, or shopping. Also, there are local “route” taxis for the more adventurous. And, if you want to take a boat trip, we have staff members with boats who will be pleased to accommodate your needs. Also, there are bicycles available for rental in the village.
Treasure Beach has its own microclimate and is in an especially dry area of Jamaica; there can be little or no rain for months on end. Treasure Beach is often sunny, even when it’s raining just a few miles away. The average summer and winter temperatures vary by only about 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) and tend to be in the low to mid 80s during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night. The humidity averages 60-65%.
The Jamaican power available in villas, such as ours, is 110 volt AC, 50 cycles. Receptacles accept standard U.S. plugs. Electronic equipment such as radios, CD players, and iPods operate normally on this. Electric motors, such as found in hair dryers, will run slightly slower.
Each bedroom has a split A/C unit. The air-handling portion is discreetly mounted high on a wall, and the compressor/condenser is outside. Most guests prefer not to use the A/C units and rely on cool sea breezes and the overhead fans for comfort. (There are overhead paddle fans throughout the entire villa.)
Absolutely! The power service in Jamaica is not especially reliable—and can go out for long periods of time. Our generator is sufficient to keep the refrigerator, deep freeze, overhead fans, and lights working. It also enables your internet connection to stay up. Our hot water is solar, as is our pool pump.
Government-supplied water is treated with chlorine and, as such, is totally fine to drink. Nonetheless, as some travelers have problems with any changes in water, we provide spring water in a large “bubbler”; you can feel free to refill any water bottles from that. Our staff uses that spring water for making ice.
We have a huge holding tank (cistern) for water. As is electric service, adequate water service is not always reliable in Treasure Beach.
Yes, we have wireless internet access which works throughout the entire villa.
We have a TV equipped with a DVD player. In addition, we have an amplifier with a CD player which accommodates CDs and to which you can attach your MP-3 player. This connects to speakers located both inside the villa and on the veranda. Please note that we do not have TV reception; however, you should be able to pull up virtually any TV broadcast on your computer.
We have cell phones available to our guests. Inexpensive phone cards allow you to use the villa cell phone to make inexpensive calls throughout Jamaica, as well as internationally.
All our staff members are loving parents themselves and can provide some childcare. If you desire more extensive care, they will be pleased to arrange a reliable person from the village to watch your children for a modest fee.
We have a large freshwater pool adjacent to the villa. It has two large sun shelters plus a gazebo. There are numerous comfortable chaise lounges (plus chairs and tables) on the large pool deck.
Rainbow Tree is situated on 5-1/2 acres directly on an uncrowded, sandy swimming beach. Steps take you from the villa down to the pathway to Rainbow Tree’s beach–which is more than 500 feet wide. The villa sits about 200 feet back from that beach on a 30-foot rise, affording glorious sunset views. We are about a half-mile walk down the beach to the fishing beach. There, you can watch the fishermen come in with their boats from sea—and buy fresh seafood from them as they land. Our staff will gladly buy fish and lobster for you, but it is a great chance to see how fishing has been conducted for generations. It’s also one of the numerous photo opportunities in and near Treasure Beach.
Jamaica is a third-world country and, as such, you should not expect the type of care that you might experience at home. However, there are doctors and nurses available in the area, as well as several clinics. There is a public hospital in Black River and both a private and public hospital in Mandeville. Our staff can help you if you need medical attention. Our local manager is also trained in CPR, and we have a basic first aid kit.
All Caribbean islands have their share of insects; however, Treasure Beach is in a unique microclimate which is the driest part of Jamaica. The natural trade winds also tend to suppress bugs. Therefore, it is less prone to insects, including mosquitoes. For the comfort of our guests, all our villa windows are screened, and we have overhead fans located throughout the villas. We suggest, however, that visitors who are prone to getting bitten wear bug repellent, especially around sunset.
You will need no fancy clothes. The lifestyle in Treasure Beach is totally laid-back. You will be quite comfortable in bathing suits, shorts, tee-shirts, and sandals and/or athletic shoes. You might want a long-sleeved shirt for the intense mid-day sun if you are going on a boat trip—or a dress or skirt if you are going into town or to church. We also recommend all our guests wear sunscreen whenever they are outside the villa during the day.
The Jamaican dollar is the legal tender. U.S. dollars are accepted virtually everywhere. Credit cards are accepted at many of the larger restaurants and more sophisticated stores.
We ask for an advance food and beverage allowance to allow a member of our staff to be able to shop for your food and beverage needs—and have the villa stocked for you when you arrive. We do not mark-up any such purchases, and you will be given the receipts, whenever possible, during your stay. Your food and beverage allowance is based upon the number of people in your group as well as your meal and beverage preferences (e.g., it costs less per person when there is a larger group, and wine and premium alcoholic beverages cost more). In any case, the staff will settle up with you during your stay; you will either be given a refund for any overage or asked for additional money. If your stay is for longer than one week, the staff will ask you for additional money toward the end of the first week; you can expect that the allowance for subsequent weeks will cost less than the initial week.
In addition to the “regular” inside kitchen, our staff makes a lot of use of the outside kitchen. It is specially equipped to cook such Jamaican dishes as jerk chicken and pork, soups and stews, and grilled lobster and fish.
We have planned and hosted numerous weddings at Rainbow Tree, but these are only for our guests; we do not rent out the villa as a wedding venue. We can handle all the details for lovely, memorable weddings. Everything will be done according to your tastes, not from a set “menu” of look-alike weddings. This includes making arrangements with local clergy; obtaining the flowers, decorations, and music; arranging for a photographer or videographer; and anything else necessary for your special day. Our staff will also handle all the details for your reception including the décor and floral arrangements; baking and decorating a delectable wedding cake; cooking delicious food—and presenting a buffet-style meal (or serving each guest individually); obtaining liquor; obtaining musicians; and anything else that will make your special day even more special in a setting and atmosphere you will remember for the rest of your lives.
We strongly recommend that our guests avail themselves of the excellent services provided at both Jamaican airports. If you opt for Arrival Service, you will be met at your airplane and personally escorted through an expedited immigration line, assisted finding your luggage, and walked through custom. You’ll then be able to use a lounge to relax, have a cool drink, and be walked to your ground transportation. The Departure Service expedites you through immigration and security and enables you to use one of several large, comfortable lounges in which to relax, dine, drink, and use wi-fi. You may learn more or book using our special code: http://www.vipattractions.com/eticket.php?refid=24. We urge you to book as early as possible, as these services get sold out very quickly.