Skylarking Villa at Silver Sands, Jamaica, is designed for luxurious idleness, where your days are made up of slow mornings, indulgent lazy afternoons, delicious meals to be slowly savored and numerous spots in which to nestle comfortably.
As a little girl, Sylvia Bostock was repeatedly told by her mother to ‘stop the skylarking’, a Jamaican phrase which means being completely idle and not doing anything useful.
So now that she is all grown up, Sylvia and her husband Paul decided to design a place just for that purpose. In 2019, Skylarking Villa in the Silver Sands community of Duncans, Trelawny began welcoming guests, and more and more people are discovering the absolute joy of skylarking.
The gardenia and white villa perched on the corner immediately gives the impression of warm tropical sunshine ready to embrace you, so much so that we piled out of the car to go explore without unpacking a thing.
The long fifty foot pool sparkled in the sun, begging us to come take a dip, while loungers lined up on the far side decorated with bright towels beckoned as the place to slowly warm up again after a swim.
The chef and staff were standing on the shaded long verandah with cool towels and drinks on trays, the signature refreshing lemongrass iced tea which we would consume in large quantities over the next few days, serving to cool us off in the meantime as there was still the villa to explore.
Horace Andy’s ‘Skylarking’ was playing over the villa’s sound system which immediately put us all into vacation mode as the staff started showing us around.
Entering the villa, the first impression is of how spacious it all is. The main living room’s couches are ideal for sinking into while a large complementary chair seems built for only one decision, that is, exactly how to relax; watching TV, reading, or taking a good long nap.
Another daybed sits under a window, a planters chair in a snug corner surrounded by Areca palms, a piano in another, all inviting moments of utter relaxation in this large communal space, whether on your own with a good book or simply snuggling with that special someone.
Within easy reach of the gleaming, large, white kitchen with soft grey marble accents, where the chef prepared gourmet meal after delicious gourmet meal for us, is the final feature in the heart of the house.
The elegant, wooden colonial dining set, with whimsical touches of tropical fabrics warmly invites you to table, while modern dimmable lighting overhead sets the mood. There, waiting for us was our lunch of home-made, hearty traditional Jamaican chicken soup with bread, fresh from the bakery just down the road. This one space captures the blending atmosphere of Skylarking Villa. Everywhere we turned we found ourselves embraced by the relaxed Jamaican island vibe while every modern amenity ensured our absolute comfort.
Central air in the main areas of the house is enhanced by individual air conditioning units throughout. Free Wifi was available from the moment we arrived at Skylarking Villa allowing us to stay connected (if we wanted to that is!).
Bluetooth is integrated with a state of the art BOSE sound system in the living room, while each bedroom has its own Bluetooth speaker to link to personal devices.
Smart TVs were mounted in the main living room as well as in each of the four luxurious bedrooms, with cable TV available, as well as the ability for us to sign in to our own Netflix accounts so we could keep enjoying the shows we were watching back home.
Everyone called dibs on the room of their choice, each one with beds that offer the best night’s sleep after a full day under the sun and powerful rainfall showerheads in modern bathrooms with the extra touches of luxury, like mounted dispensers filled with a lovely scented lemongrass and ginger shower gel.
The room at the end of the hall went to my father as this one is specially designed for those with limited mobility. With its own private entrance, private patio with a ramp for accessibility, bathroom with grab bars, fold down shower seats and the space to wheel in a wheelchair, it was the answer to a common issue we have when we go on a family vacation.
The house itself, being all one story, and the pool’s wide deck area, railing and wide steps into the pool are ideal for those with limited mobility or guests vacationing with small children.
As evening fell, the next delicious feast of our stay was presented to us, shrimp in a coconut sauce accompanied by light fluffy rice and a beautifully plated salad. It almost seemed a shame to eat this culinary work of art but we definitely cleared every plate. Satisfied, everyone settled in to watch a movie while we digested our meal and sipped on our after dinner gourmet Blue Mountain coffee.
The next morning, a couple of us excitedly decided to head to the beach. After all, Silver Sands has a reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. The fresh morning air and view down to the sea from the villa were complemented by countless yellow butterflies flying from flower to flower in the villa’s colorful garden. Practically a ‘postcard-perfect’ vision of paradise. We headed out of the small side gate and started off under a glorious blue sky on the short three minute walk to the beach, which while convenient, could have happily gone on a little longer.
Stepping off the road into the powder fine sand feels like the most perfect way to start a day, and as you catch sight of the curved bay with the impossible shifting blues of the Caribbean Sea stretched out before you in the morning sun, it truly takes your breath away.
After a glorious swim down by the main clubhouse of the community, we headed back up having worked up a hearty appetite, to be greeted by a breakfast spread on the verandah of local Jamaican favorites. Johnny cakes (a soft bread dumpling), together with ackee and saltfish sat on a beautifully laid table with freshly sliced fruits and a choice of cold and hot drinks. Afterwards we all chose to float lazily in the pool, swim laps, sun ourselves with a good book or simply nap. This was to be the pattern over the next few days;
Delectable meals, movie nights, loud board games and swimming in the pool with the occasional trip down to the clubhouse for a swim in the sea and to make use of the water sports equipment for a bit of kayaking.
The clubhouse is a great hang out spot for a day spent on the beach itself, as you can grab a good game of table tennis and there is quite a good menu with great choices for picky kids. Not to mention a bar offering drinks like a cold Red Stripe for the adults.
On occasion there are even hosted turtle hatchings organized here as this is a beach where turtles lay their eggs and conservationists invite people to participate and lend a hand, which makes for a fantastic holiday memory for adults and kids alike.
Villa vacations provide the best of both worlds, with these large communal gathering spaces, like the living room and the long verandah with its overhead fans and comfortable seats to enjoy everyone’s company. However, it also provides areas for more private moments. Skylarking Villa offers a unique space that we took advantage of both during the day and at night; a small courtyard in the middle of the villa with the open sky overhead.
One day it hosted us as a small dining space while on another, comfortable loungers helped us soak up the sun; a delicious hideaway in the midst of it all, especially if poolside things get a little boisterous. At night, it became a magical grotto, as colored bottles embedded in stone make up an entire wall and can be lit up while the stars overhead dot the night sky.
Afterwards, I would go for a solo night swim and simply breathe in the tropical night air, completely and utterly relaxed.
The villa itself enchants, with picturesque, colonial furnishings and carved wooden details on the edges of the roof and sconces dotting the walls, also give this spacious holiday accommodation a truly exotic Caribbean feel. The service however, took our luxurious villa vacation to an entirely new level of pampering. Without even asking, drinks were bought to us poolside with small snacks to keep us satisfied throughout the day without our having to lift a finger.
Before evening fell, tiki torches and aromatic candles were lit to enhance the atmosphere and keep away the flying bugs that come with any tropical vacation. We were checked on to see if we needed any laundry done before we left and we were told that, should we return for another vacation there with little ones, arrangements can be made to ensure their laundry needs would be met.
On a personal note, one of my favorite unseen aspects of the villa is the use of solar panels to help power the house and some amenities, utilizing the sun beyond providing a marvelous tan, to actually enhance a guest’s stay, providing comfort as well as peace of mind of a smaller carbon footprint.
Speaking of footprints, if you don’t feel like walking, you can choose to drive down to the beach as there is a parking spot there but the villa also has its own golf cart which makes it really easy to just pop down if you really are feeling far too lazy after one of the chef’s amazing meals.
The golf cart also makes for a fun way to explore the community and get the sense of how special this place is. Many people return again and again, year after year to Silver Sands for their vacations and most tend to return to the same villa. It’s because a villa offers something a hotel really can’t. It feels like your dream home away from home. A place that feels like yours yet without any of the cares and worries you have back home.
At Skylarking Villa, everyone who visits receives the unique gift of getting to live out Sylvia’s dream, of finding a place to spend every moment of their day skylarking.
To book your stay at Skylarking Villa at Silver Sands in Jamaica, visit www.skylarkingatsilversands.com today.
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