We were a part of 3 families that visited Datura Villa for a week in February. The weather was amazing, the staff was wonderful and the villa was everything we needed. We had a trip that will forever hold a special place in our memory.
I could rave about so many things, but as far as being helpful to others reading this review, I think I should focus on the "what to know" type things. For example, the description of the villa lists Henry as the gardener/caretaker, but he is so much more. Every morning at 7:30 AM he will take you through an hour of exercise (yoga, hiking, weights, cardio). It's different each day. The fitness center is excellent and has a great view of the bay also. Then around 2:30 PM he will do water aerobics in the pool. It's a great way to work off the extra calories from the wonderful food you will eat. In the evening, he's around (he lives on the property) and can show you some great games to play or just chat. He even knocked coconuts off of a tree on the property and opened them for our kids to drink the juice and eat the meat inside. He really should be promoted more in the website and promotional materials. He will be a big part of your stay.
The villa has a menu of food items that you can look through and pick your meals for the week. They make it very easy and will accomodate special diets as well. Each morning around 6:30 AM they put coffee and muffins out for the early risers, then breakfast is served around 8:00-8:30 AM. Dinners are 4 courses each night. Soup, salad, entree and dessert. The lunches are more casual, but also great. Eating on the patio outside was a great way to enjoy the view. Madge cooks some fabulous food!
Shereen and Carol are the servers and housekeeping ladies. Shereen was our resource for questions, help with unexpected things, and overall the coordinator of all things Datura Villa. I can't imagine this place without her. She is probably the most valuable person in terms of making your stay at Datura one to remember. She and Carol team up to provide outstanding quality in terms of relaxation and comfort. They are always looking for ways to suggest something that might help make the trip even better. Carol has a quiet way about her, but is so caring and thoughtful with her help. One afternoon these ladies braided the hair of 3 of the young girls in our party. Another day they showed up for work with special ice cream treats for the kids to have after lunch. By the end of the week all of the staff felt like old friends to us and we enjoyed having a casual BBQ and "family day" the final night of our stay. We all ate together and spent that last evening talking and laughing.
Our only complaint is something rather small. We did tend to run out of beach towels. Having a party with children meant towels would get moved around quite a bit and used several times during the day. It would be nice to have more beach towels on hand.
Take advantage of the transportation provided by Chisholm if you hire him for the week. To start he picked us up at the airport and took us to MegaMart (like a Costco) to buy drinks/snacks. Then almost each day he was taking all or some of us off to do something. While we were there we went ziplining, horseback riding, shopping, deep sea fishing, several trips to the beach (Sunset and Doctor's Cave Beach), and then a day trip to Negril that was the best day we had! Don't miss Negril. Chisholm has that dialed in and will treat you to a great day of relaxation and fun. He is an extremely safe driver. We saw a mo-ped accident happen directly in front of us and he was on the alert and stopped quickly with a van full of us. We always felt very well cared for in his presence. He doesn't speed as many other drivers do. We laugh because at one point coming back from Negril we were passed by a garbage truck. :-) Seeing the risky driving in Jamaica is part of the experience and the kids got a kick out of watching him beep his horn and watch the drivers making crazy moves around us. He also has some great shopping spots where prices are dramatically lowered because you are with (or know) Uncle Chisholm as people call him. Definitely worth the price of hiring him for the week. (Side note, we drove a lot that week and our gas bill was $100 US.)
Lastly, I would suggest anyone going pack light. We took way too many clothes with us. This is not like a resort where you have to change for dinner each night. While we obviously cleaned up for dinner, we didn't need the dressy clothes like when we have stayed at the all-inclusive resorts. We did use the laundress services mid week and it worked otu great. Just a tip is all she expects. Casual is the way of life around the villa for sure!
Overall, I would definitely suggest this villa to others. I also hope I get the opportunity to return and see our "old friends" and experience another relaxing week at Datura Villa! I am also happy to answer any questions if people want to email me through Trip Advisor. Thanks Datura Villa and it's staff for an outstanding week!