Below is just a sampling of other guests comments, for the most recent comments, you can visit Trip Advisor anytime.



Heaven for our group of 14
Ginny S
Manhattan Beach, CA

Review Submitted: January 29, 2010Date of Stay: December 2009

I led my family of 14 (5 adults, 9 teenagers) on what turned out to be the vacation of a lifetime at Joyce and Henri Verne's magnificent Castles on the Sea. I barely have the words to describe how perfect this "double" villa is for a relaxing vacation.

First of all, the gorgeous pictures on the internet are all true, but of course, what makes this place better than the internet is the incredible, doting, lovely staff: Warren--a world class chef, Sylvan--the hardworking houseman who keeps the grounds perfect and Curlene and Beverly who keep the villas spotless and do your clothes as well!

The nice thing about the grounds is that there are so many places to gather to be together--and to be alone if you wish to quietly read or nap. My teenagers took to croquet as if they had played their entire lives and by the end of the week as if their lives depended on it. We had a serious croquet tournament! Being able to swim in the gorgeous water right off the villa was heavenly and actually, far better than going in off a beach where you ended up full of sand. Waking up each morning, we would swim, eat a fabulous breakfast and then lounge. We never had to worry about getting a chair, or crowds or lines. "No worries, mon"--it is true.

The owners, Henri and Joyce are lovely, so pleasant to deal with and are happy to answer any questions and make suggestions about things to do. It is also very nice to have 2 villas--versus one big house, because our group sort of split up into the early to bed crowd and those who stay up until 2 am. We could have killer scrabble games going on and not disturb the others in the other villa. The villa is comfortable, not so fancy that you feel like you're afraid to relax and put your feet up.

The food was spectacular and we all enjoyed gathering every night to whatever Warren made--lobster, fresh fish, chicken and oh, those desserts. Yes, as others have indicated, the key lime pie is the best and this from a lifelong pie baker.

The home is always kept immaculate by Beverly and Curlene--they are like church mice, you don't see them--they just stealthily kept our messes under control. Your privacy is never compromised by the large staff that maintains this home.

I saw a case of Red Stripe on sale today in the grocery store and my heart went pitter-pat--not for my love of beer, which I don't even drink, but for my fond memories of Jamaica and Castles on the Sea.

I feel lucky to have stayed there.

Recommended for: Girls Getaway, Tourists without a Car, Families with Teenagers, Romantic Getaway

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Traveler review for this vacation rental (359385) 5/5

A True Dream Paradise
Dale & Pam Centennial, Colorado, USA.
Date Submitted: January 19, 2010 Date of Stay: January 2010
Our family of seven (six adults and one baby) just returned from the vacation of our lifetime at Castles. The beautiful pictures cannot begin to describe how truly gorgeous and relaxing this property is. Imagine sleeping in heavenly beds, listening to the waves rocking up into the cliffside, a light Caribbean breeze blowing through the room. We awoke to the delicious scents coming from the kitchen..fresh fruit platters, pancakes cooked to perfection, platters of bacon and eggs, even ackee and saltfish!
The grounds are impeccably kept by Sylvan. He is a super snorkeling guide or spearfishing expert. He'll eagerly give a tour of the estate, pointing out the different fruit trees and plants. You'll want to stop for a croquet tournament or a little basketball. Carlene and Beverly kept the houses so perfect, it was as if we were royalty. The fresh flower arrangements nightly on the tables are breathtaking! In fact, our daughter had so much faith in these wonderful ladies that she entrusted them to watch her baby for an afternooon so that we could ride horseback through the plantations and the ocean. The little guy loved the spoiling, too!
Warren is magic in the kitchen. We requested Jamaican specialties and fell in love with the brown stew chicken and lobster dishes. The rum bread pudding with hot caramel sauce is a must! We believe that was the best key lime pie we have had in our lives!
Oftentimes, vacations can be hectic, but here, there was no fighting for lounge chairs, no standing in line for food, no noise or loudness from other visitors, just our own family laughter as we sat in the hot tub enjoying rum punch (mmmm...) or playing card games late into the night.
We had heard some interesting comments on the city of Ocho Rios prior to our arrrival. However, we never ran into any disagreeable characters, only friendly, hospitable Jamaicans who are proud of their island and heritage. Always a smiling, friendly face. The city was quite safe and clean.
The owner did call us several times throughout the week, just to make sure that all was well. Of course it was! Not one thing to bring to his attention.
All agreed that this was the best vacation ever. There is really nothing to compare. Thank you to all that made it possible and we truly hope to see you again. May God bless you all.

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May 23 thru May 30th, 2009

Hi Verne,


One word . . . FABULOUS!!! Magnificent, and all the other adjectives!!! (oops, I did say one word)

We all had a wonderful time. Curlene, Warren, Beverly, and Sylvan were so attentive and made our stay so enjoyable. We have already shared our pictures with family and friends. I guess you could say that we have not come down from the clouds just yet. My family and "Quick" and I (that's how folks address John) have vacationed in Ocho Rios several times before and have never experienced such a great appreciation for the island.

Warren cooked the best meals ever and Quick has already duplicated one of the meals with all the trimmings (tomatoes, peppers, etc.). The staff attended to our every wish. My cousins' husbands even tagged along with Warren on one of the grocery shopping trips.

Upon our arrival, all tired, hot, and hungry, Sylvan and Curlene greeted us with cool drinks and, of course, lunch was instantly available. It was GREAT! From that point on, we all were just like family. To say the least, our experience was unforgettable.

The pool, hot tub, ocean, accommodations, scenic views, flowers, trees, birds, and even the little critters all contributed to the pleasure of our visit.

The day of our departure, we all gave a special presentation and thank you to Sylvan, Curlene, Beverly, and Warren. In the guest register, my brother drew a picture of a palm tree and I wrote a poem; just a little something special so that they could remember who we were in the months to come. We conducted our little program out on the mosaic patio and took pictures of the staff. Needless to say, most everyone was in tears.

My family and I will never forget the graciousness and hospitality that was extended. You are to be commended in the selection of staff attending to guests. It was great working with you and yes, we do plan to visit the Castles again.


Thanks from the Quick Party: John and Saundra Quick, Costello "CP" and Lorraine Wilson, Wil and Tonya Jones, and Ron and Gloria Henderson.

From: palavene@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 5:54 PM
To: exotica@webtv.net
Subject: Re: Castles - Lavene January reservation

Dear Henri,

Thank you for your kind words. We had the absolute best time at Castles this past week. As I put in the guestbook, if we had been on a cruise, the weather would have ruined our time. However, at Castles, it just added to our relaxation. Yes, it would have been nice to enjoy the pool area and the ocean, but we are grateful that we were not in Colorado with the 5 degrees and snow. We miss gentle warm rainfalls and truly enjoyed the cool air. (The Jamaicans thought that we were nuts, as they were bundled up and we were quite warm! In fact, Beverly and Carlene were concerned that we had the baby run around in a diaper all week!) But with the Arctic front coming down so low, what can one do?!? Again, can't complain much, after all, we were in Paradise!

Yes, the staff told us that you had called several times. That was most appreciated, but we were just out and about having so much fun. Sorry that we could not be around, but so many things to do and so little time!

You are so very blessed to have such a good, honest and professional staff working with you. Everyone goes out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. Sylvan and Carlene both gave us tours of the estate, pointing out different fruit and flower trees and sharing with us the medicinal treatments that the plants provide. Our daughter, Kim, who is a very nervous first-time mother, had no problem leaving her 8 month son with the women for an afternoon so that we could go horseback riding. Little Preston had no problem being spoiled either!

And of course, we gained weight with Warren's cooking talents. We appreciated the true tastes of Jamaica. Warren allowed our son and son-in-law to accompany him to the markets. I think that was definitely one of their highlights!

We are already discussing scheduling another visit sometime later, this time, closer to the summer months so we can see a different side of Jamaica!

Thank you for sharing your home with us. Everyone agreed that we had an absolutely fantastic time and have many, many memories. We'll send a picture after we have a chance to download!
Best wishes always,
Pam and Dale Lavene


http://reviews.homeaway.com/response/199507/1h%2FkJ1kPlNUqZvBpwQuN8w%3D%3D

December 26th thru January 2nd 2008 Chateau en Exotica "This is an absolutely beautiful place, it has been like a dream being here. Amazing views, meals superb, we didn't eat out once, best lobster ever. Ideal for the children, and the adults. Staff have been wonderful, they managed to cope with 7 adults and 2 small infants, with unfailing charm and kindness. Thank you (Henri & Joyce), June, Adam, James, Alicia, Ellie and Susanna, Milton, Jackie and April. (Westchester County N.Y. Two Doctors & Family)"

November 28th thru December 12th 2007 Chateau en Exotica "We save up all year to spend 2 weeks somewhere special for a vacation. Jamaica has been awesome. This is the best place ever. To have the beautiful view with a private pool and the house to ourselves, is just what we wanted. We drove all over Port Antonio to every adventure, we had so much fun at the falls and beach, but not as much fun as hanging out here at the pool and getting some sun. This was truly paradise to us. Thanks for sharing your house with us, thanks soooooo much. Jim & Shirley Burbank, Washington USA Yeah Mon"

2007 Chateau en Exotica San San Estate Port Antonio, Jamaica "After 6 visits to Jamaica we finally made it to Port Antonio! We started out at Henri's other house "Castles" in Ocho Rios, though that house or houses were beautiful, we fell in love with Chateau en Exotica. Port Antonio is just as they described it. Unspoiled! and way more laid back. Well to sum it up, we had a fantastic time, loved the house, Port Antonio and staff. Hope to come back with the kids one day. Vickie & Foy Jacksonville, FL and John & Traci Salt Lake City UT"
2007 Chateau en Exotica San San Estate Port Antonio, Jamaica "We'll savor our last day here, before we head home, truly relaxed and renewed. Afternoons relaxing with a cocktail in the pool, were only topped by the wonderful dinners. We loved Reach Falls, river rafting the cove, just chilling looking at the views. Doris, I'll be thinking about you next week when my breakfast will be a bowl of Special K, and Sylvia I will be making my own bed very soon, such kindness we will never forget. Des & Gerry Louisville Colorado"

OMG It was Paradise!
Miss Bobbi Hayward CA.
Date Submitted: January 15, 2009 Date of Stay: June 2008
My family, which consisted of 15 of us, oldest being 75 and youngest being 2.....including two teenagers, 15 and 17 respectively.....spent 10 days here June 22 2008!
What a wonderful experience for us all!!!!
It was breathtakingly beautiful...the very instant we entered the private grounds through the gilded gate to this Villa we fell in love. As we parked our cars and before we could even open the doors, the staff of 4 was there to great us. The smiles on their faces was heartwarming and genuine!! As we entered the front door to the Villa for a tour to familiarize us, it took our breath away, it was absolutely gorgeous and the view from the veranda momentarily stopped all of us in our tracks.........we all knew at that precise second.....we had truly stumbled into Paradise...
The grounds are covered in a lush green lawn that felt like the softest carpet on our bare feet...shoes? We discarded them from that very moment and never wore them again until we left for the Montego Bay Airport......
The Pool and Hot tub were always sparkling clean and instantly inviting. The views are opulent from any location on the estate! The smell from the flowers is tranquilizing!
The staff waited on us hand and foot, always very cordial and always with a big smile on their faces, making us feel very comfortable and very very welcome. The food was too-die-for....prepared fresh daily,served whenever and wherever we requested, be it by the seaside view private patio, on the hugh outdoor veranda,or in the cozy inside dinning area......always on time, always with crystal, china and fresh clean crisp linens and always with beautiful presentation!
The delicious "Special Rum Punch" , kept our thirsts quenched and our spirits HAPPY! LOL

Henri the owner, called every few days just to make sure our stay was pleasant and that all our needs were met. What wonderful hosts these people are!!

You can search the world over and you will never find a more beautiful,relaxing and exotic spot!!! In one exclamation OMG!!!!!!!

Bobbi & Family! (All 15 of Us!)
Owners Response: Its trully rewarding to have guests, such as these who really appreciate GOD'S gorgeous handywork, while vacationing on the grounds of Castles on the Sea.

We are also very pleased to have an honest, friendly and professional staff, that see to it that all guests requests are met, and then some, every day of their vacation. (at no additional charge)

As always it gives us much pleasure in offering every guest that special VIP service that makes their vacation at either Castles on the Sea, or sister estate, the Chateau en Exotica, hopefully their most fantastic and memorable vacation ever. A Profond THANK YOU, to these wonderful people, and ALL of our always SPECIAL GUESTS.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to your own special tropical Paradise, Henri & Joyce (owners)


Posted on: 8:47 pm, February 17, 2009

I just returned from staying at Castles. It was our 11th anniversary. It was absolutely beautiful and we had a wonderful time. I am going to try and describe this villa for you, as there has been several different posts on this thread.
First of all the owner was very helpful and went out of his way to make sure we had an enjoyable time. If there was anything to complain about I guess I would of liked to have a better FAQ about the villa as this was our first time staying in a villa with a staff and was not sure what to expect. The owner did go out of his way to answer all of my questions and provided a referral from a recent stay.
The location of the villa is just about 15 to 20 minutes outside of Ocho Rios. There is a secure gate to the property and we felt very safe the whole time. The property was beautiful and well maintained. There were plenty of flowers and fruit trees around the property. Of course the best part of this villa was the gorgeous views of the ocean. There are numerous areas to sit or eat all with wonderful views. Just for clarification there is not a beach on the property. There are several beaches close by. I did go snorkeling from the property and loved it.
There are two different buildings "castles" on the property. They are almost identical and wonderful. They are open floor plans with views to the ocean from almost every room. In fact we stayed in one of the master bedrooms with a bamboo canopy bed. All the bedrooms have a covered patio with double doors leading outside. We slept every night with both doors wide open each night. The bugs never bothered us and we woke up to beautiful view of the ocean and sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs.
Although we have stayed at several nice hotels before, I never stayed at a private villa like this before with our own personal staff. The staff was wonderful and great to be around. As this was our 11th anniversary and our "second" honeymoon they gave us plenty of privacy, but were available for anything that we needed. They were very friendly and we enjoyed speaking with them. The food was incredible. I enjoyed eating different types of food and never ate anything I did not like. They will cook whatever you prefer or you can request they surprise you. We did both and I am thankful that I did.
Feel free to contact me if you are considering staying at this location.
John Gabriel
Email: john.gabriel@state.tn.us

Feb 23 - March 2, 2009
CASTLES - "HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS........"
How to say how perfect this trip has been is difficult, but we'll try.

This was a trip planned for a "GIRL'S GETAWAY" 7 of us! all related - aunt's, cousins, sisters, niece, and all of us for one reason or another, in DIRE NEED of a stress - reliever.... And our time here DID THE TRICK!

Three of us missed our original flight & did'nt arrive until midnight, and yet our WONDERFUL STAFF were not only waiting up for us, they served us our 5 course meal at midnight!! WHAT A START!

And THE SERVICE NEVER LET UP! Beverly your keen eye for detail, along with Carlene, kept our quarters SPOTLESS & ALWAYS COMFORTABLE. Warren, we cant say enough about your "GASTRONOMIC" EXPERTICE! The MEALS WERE HEAVENLY - Sylvan you amazed us all with your tireless energy & how beautiful you kept the pool & grounds - ( you also made a great snorkeling guide).

We are all discussing how to do this again as soon as we can!! THANK YOU HENRI !
Rachel & company Rita, Michelle, Patsy Anna, Melt & Steph

letter to Henri, from Rachel
March 3rd 2009

"Henri, This week WAS EVERYTHING I'D IMAGINED FOR US, AND MORE. Your property, was SO BEAUTIFUL and the AMENITIES SO NICE, It really helped us all to HAVE THE MOST RELAXING VACATION.

I look forward to returning and staying at Exotica next time, hopefully in the not to distant future. The staff has been great in every way. I left them an appropriate gratuity I believe. They truly took care of our every need and desire.

My longtime dream has been to have my own island property! either as a vacation rental or full time home someday. Should you need a part time partner or booking agent until then, let me know (smiles)! Thanks again for LETTING US SHARE YOUR PIECE OF PARADISE! Rachel "

2/15/09 " my husband and I came here for our 11th anniversary. WHAT A TREAT, Beverly Curlene & Sylvan were absolutly wonderful! EVERYTHING was taken care of & they gave us ALL THE PRIVACY WE WANTED.

Th food was always timely & delicious. They worked around our schedule, which was super nice! We always LOOKED FORWARD to MEAL TIME, to see what was new, we tried everything and never had anything we did'nt like! The landscaping is gorgeous, scenery IS BREATHTAKING, the PERFECT PLACE to relax & ENJOY EACH OTHER.

We recomend Dolphins Cove swim w/ the dolphins a little pricey but worth it. AND dUNNS RIVER FALLS, w/o a guide when there aren't any ships in. We would love to come back w/ our kids. Thank you, THANK YOU FOR THE PERFECT GETAWAY.
JOHN & KATHY Burns, Tennessee
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1/4/09

highlights of our trip were:

Reggae Beach (dont visit James Bond beach)
(Chef) Warrens pumpkin soup and if vegitarian make sure you get the chicken from the grocery
Massages by the pool
Passage to India, if you want to go ut for a meal
The cool runnings cruise was just ok, definitly GO TO THE FALLS
The staff are ALL SO HELPFULL AND NICE. The place is kept so nicely, and with such obvious care.
The hottub is always ready to go, towels are always put out, and the table is always nicely set before each meal.
It HAS BEEN A PLEASURE STAYING HERE AND WE WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND CASTLES TO OUR FRIENDS BACK HOME.
8 from N.Y.C.

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12/27/08

We have ENJOYED EVERY SINGLE DAY AT THE CASTLES. The staff members were terrific. They kept the place clean & afe with their hard work, warm and enjoyable wth their smiles. The(y) offered all the help we needed. (Chef) Warren has kept our appette growing with delcious food. We will share his recipies with our friends back home. THIS IS THE BEST VACATION WE HAVE EVER HAD. WE CERTAINLY WILL RECOMMEND THE TWIN CASTLES to our friends. You are so special, we wish you a happy new year.

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12/12/08

The White House Company:

WE HAVE NEVER EATEN SO MUCH OR BEEN TAKEN CARE OF SO WELL IN OUR ENTIRE LIVES. Sadly must LEAVE THIS PARADISE & return to our normal lives.....
The staff was unbelievable, Bevery took the time out of her day to braid both my hsbands & my sons hair as well as taking us to the market. (Chef) Warren is an incredible Chef and EVERY MEAL WAS A TOTAL TREAT. I insist any guest wh reads this MUST request the KEY LIME PIE!
Curlene (or Curly Sue as we call her) catered to our every need, did our laundry & made us our much needed coffee diligently every single day. She never even complained about washing our kids socks! Sylvan is a doll& has aspirations! he sings, smiles, & takes care of the gronds with such compassion & care. He"ll take you snorkeling on a whim or share a bit of knowlege as needed!
We celebrated our son's 16th birthday while on the island. The staff treatedhim as if he was their own. They are truly special people.
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11/05/08

My husband and I REALLY ENJOYED OUR STAY AT CASTLES ON THE SEA.
The staff Carlene, Beverly & Sylvan were wonderful! We stayed "full" the whole time
we were here because the staff made sure of that & the FOOD WAS GREAT! We will definately tell our friends & family about our say at this beautiful home and country!! PS the bread pudding is out of this world, Jeff & Dawn Marlo, Georga U.S.A.

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"HEAVEN ON EARTH"
"HAVING JUST RETURNED (11/19/07) FROM OUR VISIT TO YOUR WONDERFUL HOME, I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR ONE OF THE BEST VACATIONS OF MY LIFE! THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN YOUR BEAUTIFUL HOME AND AMAZING VIEW WAS THE ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL STAFF. MELBA, BEVERLY AND NATION TOOK CARE OF OUR EVERY WISH. MELBA'S COOKING WAS SO DELICIOUS WE DECIDED IMMEDIATELY THERE WAS NO RESTAURANT TO COMPARE WITH THE FOOD OR AMBIANCE AT OUR CASTLE. YOU KNOW A VACATION IS GOOD WHEN YOU BEGIN PLANNING YOUR RETURN BEFORE YOU EVEN LEAVE. I HAVE DECIDED I WANT TO MAKE MY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT YOUR CASTLE AN ANNUAL EVENT.
THANKS AGAIN,
TAB H.
PRAIRIEVILLE, LOUISIANA"

"WE LOVED THE TERRIFIC SNORKELING AND DIVING, RIGHT OFF THE DOCK, AND ENJOYED THE BEAUTIFUL GROUNDS, AND TERRACES. THIS PLACE IS WELL NAMED, WE WERE TREATED LIKE ROYALTY!"
"THANKS ALSO TO THE GREAT STAFF"
SUSAN, SCOTT, CHRIS, STEVE, MARCUS, TOM, CHUB, FROM PENNSYLVANIA AND FLORIDA 2007

"BILL AND I HAD A FABULOUS TIME, UNTIL HURRICANE DEAN SHORTENED OUR PLANS (BY ONE NIGHT) WE ARE SAD TO GO, THE GROUNDS WERE GREAT, WE LOVED FRONT DOOR OCEAN SNORKELING, AND THE OUT DOOR SHOWER IS REASON BY ITSELF TO COME BACK. WE HAD EVERY MEAL WITH AN OCEAN VIEW, THE BEST OF ALL, POOL INCLUDED WAS THE STAFF" DARLENE C NORTH CAROLINA 8/07

"FOR BEN AND I THIS WAS A WONDERFUL HOME AWAY FROM HOME, THE CARE AND ATTENTION THAT WAS BESTOWED UPON US WAS IMPECCABLE. EVERYTHING WAS DONE WITH THE THOUGHT OF CREATING A PLEASURABLE EXPERIENCE, WONDERFUL AMBIENCE AT ALL TIMES, THANK YOU JOYCE AND HENRI FOR OPENING UP YOUR HOME TO US, WITH LOVE" BEN AND ELAINE SHELLIE" 3/07 ENGLAND

BEAUTIFUL HOME WITH A WONDERFUL SEA VIEW TO SPEND A RELAXING HOLIDAY, IT WILL REMAIN IN OUR HEARTS, S & M TROWELL 2007

" BECAUSE OF PLACES LIKE THIS AND PEOPLE LIKE THIS , MY HEART WILL ALWAYS BE HERE." T. MONTAGUE WASH.
2007

"PERFECT, JAMAICA IS NOW MY DREAM DESTINATION," NICK & SUSAN CHANDLER AZ 2007

"THANKS SO MUCH FOR OPENING UP YOUR HOME TO US, SHEER LUXURY WITH FABULOUS STAFF" MR. & MRS. WILLIAMS WAKE FOREST N.C. 2007

"BROUGHT HERE BY MY WIFE AND FRIENDS TO CELEBRATE 50TH BIRTHDAY, WHAT A GREAT RELAXING HOLIDAY, AWAY FROM OUR USUAL BUSY SCHEDULE" BILL & BETH MALVERN PA. MAY 2007

EASTER 2007 APRIL 14TH
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR A FAMILY VACATION THAT HAS BEEN UNFORGETTABLE, ALL THE BEST, ONE LOVE, GOD BLESS, THE BOMBARDIERS, USA

THIS WAS THE BEST SERVICE ANYONE COULD ASK FOR, THANK YOU SO MUCH, THE FOOD WAS EXCELLENT" THE GIRLS IN WILMINGTON, DE. USA 2007

"HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, AND MY HOME IS NOW IN JAMAICA, I'LL FOREVER MISS MY JAMAICAN FAMILY" (STAFF). L. DUMON, SOUTHGATE, MI. U.S.A.