Our group of 4 couples (now 50-60’s in age) just returned from a week-long stay at Mai Tai just 3 days ago. Collectively, we have visited 10+ Caribbean locations preferring a villa over a hotel, but this was our first experience with a “staffed” villa.
Mai Tai is located on the north coast between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in a gated community that feels a bit tired looking and a little worn. Regardless, the neighborhood and beach areas all felt safe to wander around and explore. There is a simple on-site bar/restaurant that was a bit lame (tropical drinks from mixes and not the best burgers, fries, etc.) and could use improving. The onsite “commissary” (small convenience store) had a good variety of options to consider and the staff were very accommodating too as they allowed my group to setup a week-long charge account.
Mai Tai overs 4 comfortable bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms that are positioned in such a way to feel both private and quiet. A few places show a little wear and tear including bedspreads, but overall the villa is in good shape and very clean. The villa offers an excellent den area and even better outdoor living space only a few feet away from the private swimming pool and the beach. (Note: There is no indoor dining area, only outside.)
Our week was quite hot, but we were fortunate to have strong breezes each day; otherwise, we would have roasted. The wind was necessary to be outside, but the swimming beach had such strong winds, it was a little unpleasant and the water was always rough in the afternoons.
The best part about Mai Tai? I can sum this up in 3 words: Andrew, Judith, Rosie.
Andrew, Judith, and Rosie, the staff at Mai Tai, made our trip experience great. These 3 warm individuals put their heart into making us feel comfortable every minute of the day. Andrew was there to make sure we always had anything we needed – advice, ice for the cooler, a cold rum punch, etc. “No problem” or “Yeah mon” was his reply to everything, and it was so sincere.
Judith is a genius in the kitchen and capable of preparing any kind of food we desired from simple to complex options (desserts included!). Her skills included teaching our group how to appreciate the fine art of cooking and provided us with some tips to take home to try on our own. Her warm smile and friendly conversation made us feel special every time we peeked into the kitchen to see what special cuisine was next.
Rosie helped keep our villa clean and straight during the day/night. Our rooms and the entire house were always tidy and clean. While softly singing, she refreshed our rooms daily along with water pitchers in the late afternoon, as well as taking care of our personal laundry on a daily basis. No worries; no problem!
If you are looking for a quiet, safe, and relaxing vacation along the northern coast of Jamaica, I would strongly urge you to consider Mai Tai. Don’t expect a lot to do on-site, but you will be generously taken care of at all times by Andrew, Judith, and Rosie. I was constantly told, ‘this was MY vacation,” and they meant it!