Highly Recommended Hermosa Cove Villas in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

While staying in Ocho Rios last week, we checked out a relatively new boutique hotel recommended by an old friend. Clinging to the forested hillside and coastline just outside of town, Hermosa Cove features nine villas nestled into the lush landscape. The small retreat, ideal for couples and destination weddings where you can rent the whole shebang, is owned by a couple from Iowa and managed by Duke Molton, formerly of Island Outpost Resorts and the Ian Fleming estate, Goldeneye. Expect that same sense of style at Hermosa Cove, where each villa is decorated with Jamaican sculpture and antiques, and walls are painted a colorful sky blue, peach, or red. Each villa houses a full kitchen and most of the villas have private plunge pools. You can order groceries in advance and they’ll be waiting when you arrive. Several of the villas like the 1BR Calabash and the 3BR Ginger have ocean views from their second story. The grounds are exquisite with a small crescent beach, restaurant that’s already garnering rave reviews for its authentic Jamaican cuisine (open to the public), and a tower where you can go to the top and view the entire coastline. Guided kayaking and snorkeling tours past Jamaica Inn to the point are offered, and, of course, Duke can plan outings to climb the nearby Dunns River Falls, swim in the Blue Hole, tube down the White River, or simply grab a taxi to try the best jerk on the island at Scotchies.