Within a quiet fishing village of Cousins Cove, Hanover lies a stone pier that leads to Poet Reef – a 3-bedroom private villa that stares out to the Caribbean Sea. Stepping into this waterfront property, I was immediately impressed by the workmanship; it is reportedly fully constructed from crafted stones and wood, mostly local! The stone-cut masterpiece is a picture-perfect private getaway that can cater to couples, families, and groups of up to 8.
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Poet Reef: Private Villa in Hanover, Jamaica
The sizeable property is hidden away from the main road, behind a sliding gate, tucked in seclusion. It is framed by greenery that transitions into natural coral rock that the home is built on. 3 tiers face the water with the help of sliding glass doors, an outdoor wooden balcony, and large windows.
When the sun sets, a whole new vibe emerges. The sky goes through a series of gradients before settling on dark mode. Flickers of stars along with the lights of the pier, veranda, and balcony then illuminate the otherwise midnight surroundings. The evening choir of sea waves and chirping critters create a kind of ‘mood music’ outside, but still soft enough to keep from penetrating the interior calm.
Jamaica Villa Rental Layout of Poet Reef
Poet Reef definitely granted that needed vacation home feeling by combining an enviable view, warm surroundings, and an intimate location (plus friendly staff). I’m unsure if additional décor and furnishings are a part of the plan, but in my opinion very little needs to be appended to the aesthetic. My visit to Poet Reef was shortly after it started taking bookings, and as lovely as it was, a few little snags revealed it was still an ongoing labour of love, so there may indeed be more to come. The lowest level includes a general space, kitchen, dining and bar areas, and a full bathroom. Its luxurious wicker seats and polished wood furnishings perfectly compliment the stone and wood interior. Engaging on the couch using provided table talk conversation starters, with a view of the horizon outside, was a lovely touch we didn’t realize we wanted! A few artworks and accent fixtures add another cozy dimension to the space.
The angled stairs are made of beautifully-striped lumber, leading up to the 1st 2 bedrooms and other full bathroom. In addition to these, there’s also a small seat at the top of the stairway if you may ever need a quiet corner. The adjacent bedrooms are almost identical and maintain the minimalist theme that fills the rest of the house. Each of the 2 air-conditioned rooms on that level has a king-size bed painted by the light outside cast through the glass. Both rooms open into a connecting sun-kissed deck complete with lounge chairs for front row seats to the best views on the property! My friend and I would leave the privacy of our quarters to meet on the balcony for morning glasses of wine, with a side of scenery. The 180◦ view from the balcony includes tree leaves, the stone-laid walkway, rocky foundation, and the gradient horizon dotted by travelling birds.
A short series of steps from the 2nd floor corridor leads to the upper pinnacle. The space peaks to a closed point with windows looking outside. This space is also air-conditioned and has 4 single beds to complete the sleeping options. The setup seems like the ideal choice if children are a part of the group; besides a seat, the beds pretty much fill the upper level.
The stone manor house meets the water by an extended pathway. A ladder descends into the sea if you desire an open swim near a reef. Unsurprisingly, this environment is also home to tiny crabs which may inch along the rocks and stone pathway now and then; as I learned from my cliffside treehouse stay, they’re pretty harmless and mostly stay out your way. The end of the pier spreads to provide yet another dining option, with a picnic table set by the seaside. On the 1st evening, my friend and I were warmly welcomed with a sunset dinner right here, lovingly prepared by the chef.
Poet Reef Jamaica Villa with Private Chef & Staff
Though we were given the option to choose, we trusted the staff to decide what the menu should be for us, and they also took care of sourcing the groceries! It was quickly made clear that our stay would be as worry-free as they could possibly make it. Our 3-course meal by the sea started off with a filling salad, then gravied brown stew fish fillet and a side of rice mixed with veggies. A tall glass of water was accompanied by a thick frozen fruit smoothie AND a slice of cake to top it all off! Needless to say we both struggled to finish the hearty servings; the smoothies and cakes were placed in the fridge for delightful late night treats later that night.
The next morning we mistakenly thought we’d have a “regular” Jamaican breakfast, but even with what should be a simple meal the esteemed chef again outdid himself. A tropical fruit plate of pineapple, papaya, and watermelon preceded another generous main course. Serving dishes filled with callaloo & saltfish, green bananas, ripe plantains, and fried dumplings were brought over to the house, along with a bodum French press of Blue Mountain Coffee and box of orange juice. Yet again our mouths were willing, but stomachs couldn’t house the wad of food provided; we had leftovers for future meals plus snacks while navigating road trips during the stay.
If you do opt for Poet Reef’s cooking services, I trust that you would be well fed based on my experience lol. Otherwise, you have the kitchen at your disposal stocked with:
- Coffee Maker
- Dishware & utensils
Things to Do in Hanover Jamaica
Hanover Jamaica probably isn’t the primary area that comes to mind when planning a staycation or vacation in Jamaica. It has been on my to-explore list for years as 1 of my least visited parishes. Poet Reef was actually my 1st overnight experience in this north-western region bordered by the highly marketed Westmoreland and St. James parishes. We took the opportunity to consider a few attractions in Hanover while staying at Poet Reef.
Near to the villa is a cove (I’m assuming Cousins Cove where the area is named after), and a small beach. We asked our helpful caretaker about it but he advised us the soil is more muddy than sandy there. Instead he recommended the public Bulls Bay Beach (not to be confused with the free beach in Bob Marley’s former community), which is visible from the main road. Based on our schedule we didn’t check it out but from what we saw it looked worth a visit. We also passed Chukka Adventures’ Sandy Bay location plus the Tryall Golf Club and waterwheel, which is said to be the last working 1 on the island!
What we did end up doing is venturing into the hills in our rental car to raft on the Great River that flows through 2 parishes. It was great to finally cross the experience off my ‘rivers you probably never been to’ list from my 1st (and still popular) blog post ever! It’s also right beside another attraction we intended to check out, but the weather had other plans. Until I build up my Hanover list with more personal experiences I’ll just add the suggestions provided by the Poet Reef staff, plus a few of the other options we considered. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!
Bulls Bay Beach
Chukka Adventures (Sandy Bay Location)
Tryall Golf + Water Wheel
Poet Reef is about 30 minutes away from the resort area of Negril and an hour away from the tourist capital of Montego Bay. Its central location away from a lot of the city buzz and its calming aesthetic can effortlessly create the true meaning of an ‘escape’ or ‘getaway’. If you’re looking for a relaxing space with tranquil surroundings and genuinely warm hospitality, this could be it.
- Room Atmosphere 70% 70%
- Cleanliness 100% 100%
- Staff Interactions 95% 95%
- Food 80% 80%
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