Royal Plantation Villas



Flowers are always in bloom at Rio Chico Estate, one of Royal Plantation’s private villas in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.



In search of a private luxury villa experience in Jamaica? Check out Rio Chico Private Estate on the north coast of Ocho Rios, a six-bedroom estate on 14 acres. The fully staffed retreat is part of the Royal Plantation Villas collection, the ultra-luxury arm of Sandals Resorts.

Those familiar with the high level of service at Royal Plantation won’t be surprised by the attentive care they receive at Rio Chico; however, there is little one can do to prepare for the glorious expanse of this property.

Living areas seem to lead graciously from one to the next, with bedrooms having their own patios, and dining and seating areas at every turn.


Dining and seating areas await guests at every turn.


Outdoor areas are even more impressive; the property has its own beach (just beyond is the entry point to Dunn’s River Falls), two freshwater pools and its own share of rivers and waterfalls flowing through its idyllic grounds.

With areas set on different levels, there is no dearth of places where one can recline and socialize in luxury. There is even a private chapel overlooking the Caribbean, which holds Mass on request. A two-bedroom cottage in the property comes to the rescue whenever it hosts a large group. Throughout the estate, a full staff, including groundsmen, managers and butlers, is on hand to attend to the guests, be it conducting private tours to other parts of the island, or arranging for local bands to play.


Bedrooms in the villa have their own patios.


Booking Rio Chico is a pure takeover play; rooms are not rented out individually, so the inconvenience of having to stay with strangers is ruled out. Prior to a “takeover,” Rio Chico’s private chef consults with guests to determine their dining preferences and then shops for the ingredients needed for the week.

So who all have stayed at Rio Chico? Well, we are told Martin Lawrence, Donatella Versace, Ben Stiller and Robin Williams have enjoyed the experience; other guests have been grandparents gathering the entire family for a Thanksgiving celebration. One woman fortunate enough to have won a lottery also booked her vacation here.

Pricing is set generally around $70,000 for a week’s stay (not inclusive of food) but it varies from season to season. Filing a request for reservation is just the beginning. All guest-stay requests must be reviewed and approved by Butch Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts.

Those who wish for a taste of resort life can take the short ride over to Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios, under the care of the very professional Peter Fraser.


Two freshwater pools aside, the property has its own beach.



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