Moon Author's Review
Silent Waters (US$2208/2987 nightly, low/high for five dbl capacity suites, two-night minlow/four-night high; add US$714 nightly for owners villa; rates exclude 10%tax) is an 16.5-acre property perched at the top of Great River Private, a gated villa development just east of the Great River, which forms the border between the parishes of St. James and Hanover, and six miles west of Montego Bay. The property can accommodate up to 20 guests in five split-level hillside villas and the owner's villa.
Think Balinese temple wired for the material world. From the lotus linedgardens just inside the main entrance to the 180-degree ocean view from theinfinity pool facing Montego Bay, no details have been overlooked in the design of this hilltop retreat built in 1998. Perhaps the most stunning feature is the virgin forest surrounding the property and prominently seen from the villasthat face west and southwest up and across the Great River.
Thai- and Balinese-inspired architecture, artwork and furnishings set Silent Waters apart, with antique oriental rugs and figures of Hindu deities blending seemlessly with the natural environment. Five villas hug the hillside with views of either the coast, the river and hills, or both. Queen or King-sizefour-poster beds, wood furnings of Chinese Ming Dynasty style design, HD Sony LED flat-panel TVs, I-Pod docks, A/C, ceiling fans and wet bars are found in each. All villas have his and her interior showers and many of the villas have outdoor showers and bathtubs en suite; all have private balconies with lounge chairs.
The Owner's Villa, or Master Suite, takes comfort to another level and deserves being described as the lap of luxury. Inside hand-carved teak doors, art pieces from Indonesia and India evoke the Hindu gods, while Buddhist paintings and statues play off the lotus-filled pools that circle the northside of the villa. Sliding walls reveal virgin hills and the Great River beyond a wrap-around infinity pool on the bedroom side of the villa tapering to 10-feet deep. A living room and lounge also opens on all sides with slidingwalls to reveal views of Montego Bay to the northeast and a bubbling water feature facing the main entrance. The master bath is made for couples; his and her shower heads and vanity sinks ensure no spats owing to water hogs. The shower itself opens to the pool and the hills with hindged louvered windows on three sides. A kitchenette has all the basic necessities, but is hardly needed for more than drinks and ice since the staff attend to every need.
The common areas are, perhaps, the greatest asset of Silent Waters when it comes to gatherings of family and friends. The Main Pavillion, overlooking an 80-foot infinity-edged pool, is packed with plush couches, state-of-the-arthome theatre system, a grand piano, and inviting artwork, an ideal setting for relaxing or socializing complete with a detached poolside bar and lounge.
Leave the cooking to the master chef for delicacies like surf and turf with steak and spiny lobster cooked to perfection, or succulent snapper filet topped with sauteed shrimp. With a kitchen that would inspire any chef and an open-air layout featuring the property's natural beauty and stunning views, Silent Waters is an ideal venue for glitzy events and weddings. The staff of 14 can accommodate formal dinners for up to 20, buffet meals for up to 54 and cocktail parties for up to 150.
At the very top of the property, a helipad awaits Silent Waters' next celebrity guest. Just below, a lighted tennis court with Deco Turf surface and a spectator pavillion, is fit for any pro, and entourage.