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Tryall Villa

Old Jul 8th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #1  
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Tryall Villa

We're booked in the Seafore at Tryall for the first week in August. Anyone know about that villa or Tryall? Would appreciate any advice or info. Is it safe? Convenient? Suggestions for activities for 2 teens (15 and 18)? Wondering how concerned we should be about hurricanes. Last time we went to Jamaica was 1985, without kids, went to Runaway Bay AI. This time hoping to see Negril and other sights on that side of the island. Many thanks.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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Hi Kate,,

I didn't respond, because I have never stayed at Tryall.

I was hoping that Golf Guy, who is the Tryall expert, might offfer his thoughts ;-)

I think that Tryall would be perfect for your family. Everything is right there for you and for your teens, whether you golf or not ;-). There are tennis courts, a beach club with activities....just a lovely family resort with the advantage of having a *home* there.

Your teens could get around in a golf cart, no driving worries. But if you wanted to arrange tours, which I would encourage you to do, they are easily arranged.

I think it would also be a great experience for everyone to come to know the wonderful staff that will care for you. They will have time duuring your stay to talk about their families and their lives in Jamaica. A great learning experience for young Americans.

I think you can rest assured that you will all have a wonderful time

Marion
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 12:09 PM
  #3  
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Thanks! Sounds like it will be a good vacation. Still hoping "Golf Guy" might respond with any Tryall tips!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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KDMc,

There's not too much more to add to what Marion has already posted. Security is good at Tryall. We've never had an issue in 6 visits.
There's a tour desk at the Great House where you could arrange for the kids to ride horses on guided tours through some trails into the hills and down to the beach to ride in the water (great photo op). Plus they'll provide transportation to Negril for the day.
The whole family might enjoy a rafting trip down the Great River just a few miles east of Tryall.
There are Hobie-Cats and sea kayaks for rent at the beach, as well as trampolines to swim out to and bounce on.
Excellent tennis prgram if they tennis (or just want some lessons).
And an excellent golf course to play or take lessons.
I read recently that the Beach Bar is being rebuilt, and will be closed from May to November. Don't think that will impact your trip unduly. Whenever we had the choice of eating there or having our cook make something for us in our villa, the villa always won.
I don't know anything about Seafore, but I know there are no bad villas. You'll be right by the water, and you may have access to the ocean from the back of your unit.
I know that young kids enjoy Tryall because of the kid's club, but I think yours may be just a bit too old for that.
Not sure if this has been helpful. Not having kids means I'm not real sure what they like or don't like.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Hi Golf Guy,

Having kids means you're not sure what they like or dislike, especially when they become adults ;-) !

So nice to see your name here again.

Do you still have a trip scheduled in November ?

Marion

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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Hi Marion,

Yes, the four of us are in Tradewinds down by the water for the first 2 weeks in November. As always, looking forward with great anticipation. Haven't heard any reports of damage at Tryall from Dennis. Think that last minute jog toward Cuba probably spared much of the North Coast, other than heavy rains.
I didn't feel like I was in a position to give too much advice kids-wise to KDMc. Their age makes it tough for me to measure what might be attractive or not on vacation.
And since kids get the same staff service from their parents (most times) having staff probably won't be a big deal. Not like it is to us older folk who usually have to take care of themselves on vacation.
We've gathered a list of menu choices we're going to discuss with the cook, to see if she can do some of them, as well as find out what her specialties and favorites might be. Meals are always such a treat when we're there.
All right, I've rambled on long enough.
I've seen you've been working on a new trip and that your Harbour Island attempt has been directed elsewhere. Have you landed on something new?
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 01:18 PM
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Hi. You WERE helpful. Horseback riding, hobie cats, trampoline will all go over well, I think. I suspect the 18-year old son will want to hang out at the beach, but the 15 year old daughter will be adventurous. I'm hoping both will meet some other kids their ages but if not, they'll enjoy each other's company (they always do on vacation!). We'll definitely do Negril and a Falls (Mayfield or YS).
Linda Smith's questionnaire asked a few questions on food preferences, but I worry that my son is a picky eater while the rest of us will try anything. I don't want to drive the staff nuts fixing special meals for him but I doubt he'll eat the spicy or native things we want to try.
Nice to know that people on these forums have an online relationship ... appreciate your help.
--Kate
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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I think Kate and her family will really enjoy Tryall. She has said, in other posts, that she and her family want to get out and explore and that's a good thing.

I'll be back in MBJ for two weeks in early December...before the rates change. I'll be staying in two different villas. FYI, Goat Hill was sold and the new owners are planning some upgrades to the property. Rates will probably be adjusted too.

My HI search didn't go well, and I think it's for the best. I want some warmth in February and have rented a home in Nevis for the entire month .

Now I just need to learn to drive on the left...doubtful, but possible ;-)

Please post a trip report when you return. I think there are many here who are considering villa rentals, and it's nice to have first-hand opinions.

Marion



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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Kate,

I think I was typing to Golf Guy while you were posting.

Don't worry about your son being "picky". Trust me, your cook will want to please all of you, and if that means she will do something special for your son, she will happily do so.

She may encourage him to try something new, but most of the women who work in these villas have children of their own and will understand.

Relax...have fun

Marion
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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I will post a review when we return.
Realized I had another question on tips for the villa staff. I gather 15% is the norm. Should we give that when we arrive (my husband often tips at the start of a hotel stay thus helping to insure good service) ... or at the end (as a thanks) ... and if we tipped at the beginning, would a second tip be expected at the end? I want to show our appreciation in the appropriate way. It seems we'll need to bring a significant amount of US cash for tips and food. Is that safe to carry lots of cash?
Thanks.
--Kate
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Kate,

I'm not sure if you have booked your villa with the owner, or through a management company. It is possible to prepay your gratuity for the staff. If that's not a possibilty, I would suggest that you tip at the end of your stay. This gives you the opportunity to write a personal note and thank the staff,indivudually, for their efforts.

You might want to take some gifts to give to your staff when you arrive. Think of it as a hostess gift. Any kind of fragrance or body lotion, or great costume earrings/bracelets would be wonderful. I'm still weak on suggestions for the men.

I think it's important to understand that your staff likely spends more time in the villa you've rented than they do in their own homes. They take great pride in making you happy and comfortable

I don't mean to *preach* here, I just think that interaction with your hosts is the best thing about a villa vacation.

Marion







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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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We booked through Linda Smith. We'll think of some good things to bring with us. My daughter brought t-shirts and Washington Nationals hats to Spain as a gift for the family she stayed with there, so maybe that would work for the men.
I agree that getting to know some Jamaicans is part of the experience, something that is rare in a hotel.
Thanks.
--Kate
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 10:59 AM
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Kate,
In other posts, we've been made aware that the hurricane last year wiped out a lot of subsistence farming. One poster suggested seeds for all kinds of vegetables would be a welcome gift. We always bring coloring books and crayons as the staff's kids seldom are able to get anything like that. Marion's suggestions for gifts are also accurate.
While you can pre-pay your gratuities, the problem is that they get paid quite a while after you leave, and always net of fees and taxes. Cash in hand on the day you leave is the expected norm and will be greatly appreciated. Should you want to do something during your visit to acknowledge some exceptional service (although it seems to me almost everything is) I doubt anyone would turn down a cash offering.
Jamaicans are proud people, and I really don't know how tipping at the start of the visit would be received.
Maybe Tivertonhouse might be able to give us some insight on that point.

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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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We always tip at the end, and give a separate envelope to each staff member. Generally the cook gets the most if she manages the house (and they usually do), then the maid and groundskeeper and finally the laundress, if there is one.

We also bring some things. Last year we came right after hUrrican Ivan so brought tarps, but also school supplies/crafty stuff - everyone has kids in their family
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Golf Guy,

Thanks for that info regarding how gratuities are distributed. My trip in April was booked at the last minute, so I had to take cash.

Kate, Linda Smith will have an information packet at the villa, which will give you a % breakdown for the staff.

Yes...seeds are most welcome and easy to pack. I'm sure Tiverton will add his suggestions

Marion



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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 05:03 AM
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Kate,

Just want to clarify one thing -- the horseback riding is not on property at Tryall. It's nearby and only a short drive. Didn't want you to be unpleasantly surprised. Think I may have left the wrong impression in my earlier post.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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I've enjoyed following this villa discussion and look forward to the time when my husband and I rent our first one.

Marion, I wanted to give you a word of encouragement about driving on Nevis. It was the first place I tried left-side driving and found that most of the time it wasn't too bad. The one main road goes around the island and most of it is very smooth. Most of the time it's not very steep and there are very few blind curves. I found it helpful to visualize what I would do at a roundabout, for example, before getting there. Just don't move over so far to the left that you lose a hubcap, like I did on my first go-round! I was pulling over to allow some folks to pass me when I pulled over just a leetle too far. You'll be a pro after driving there a month!
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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Kate, Based on your reply on a message I posted, I really started to look at Jamaican villas, and after the process of elimination I just about settled on Seafore. It was so funny to me that when I returned to Fodor's, I saw that was the very villa you are renting.

My two daughters are just about the same age as your kids. My oldest daughter has a friend who goes often on AI vacations to the Riviera Maya section of Mexico, and she kind of has her heart set on such a vacation. I'm not really sold on that idea, and I think I would rather go the villa route. I will be very interested in hearing from you when you get back, particularly regarding what your 18-year old found to do to amuse himself! Have a great time.
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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A few replies to those who have been nice enough to post ...
Golf Guy: Thanks for the info about horseback riding. Good to know it's offsite so we can plan that for a day when we have a car and driver, I suppose, unless it's really close by.
Suki: What a coincidence that you are looking at the same villa! We'll let you know what we think. It does look lovely online. It's not close to the beach but not as far as some at Tryall plus there's the golf cart. More on what the teens do when we return.
Marion: Thanks for all your advice. One question on the gifts to bring. Would a DVD be appropriate? We realized last night we have new, unopened copies of Oceans Eleven and Matrix Reloaded (the kids got more than one copy for a birthday and we never exchanged them). We will look for seeds and other stuff, too.
Thanks to all. -- Kate
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Old Jul 14th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Jamaicans LUV DVDs, esp.action and comedies.
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