For all villas in Jamaica there are fixed staff gratuities that are payable on top of the villa rental price: 10% of the villa rental in High Season, 15% in Low Season. These can be paid locally in cash (US dollars or Jamaican dollars) but we strongly recommend pre-paying them with your holiday balance so that this is all taken care of beforehand as it is often difficult to withdraw large amounts of cash locally
A typical grocery budget is US$55-$65 per adult per day and US$25 per day for preteens [Note: A few villas have higher food and beverage budgets.]. This may vary up or down depending on market prices and menus. If you request shrimp, lobster, imported beef or large quantities of other food items, this estimate will increase. Your cook will pre-purchase your first few meals, pantry staples and a small starter bar (a few bottles of Red Stripe, moderately-priced wine and rum). Additional alcohol requests will increase your budget.
If you wish to go to the various markets with your cook, you are welcome. Otherwise, simply review with them your tastes and distastes and they'll handle it all while you stay at the villa and relax. At week's end, they will present receipts and reconcile your account. Please be prepared to pay for your groceries with cash or credit cards and to tip your villa staff and driver with cash. They will welcome both US and Jamaican dollars.
Estimating grocery costs is not a science. Much depends on the menus you want and current market prices. Obviously, this is a variable so anticipate that your cook may refund money at week's end... or ask you for more money mid-week. In either case, your cook or chef will reconcile your food and beverage bill at week's end.
On your first day at the villa, your cook will meet with you regarding menus for the week, then finish the week's shopping. At that time, you will give them cash for your food and drink plus their $60 taxi fare. Alternatively, if one or more of you wish to go to the supermarket with your cook, you may use your credit card. (Stores will not accept your card from your cook if you are not present with them.) Roadside vendors of fresh fruits and produce will require cash.