If you're looking for a world-class luxury property, something really special - beautiful, exotic and romantic, with all the infrastructural and social amenities - but at a price substantially lower than similar properties command in Florida, the Bahamas or Barbados, you should look at Jamaica." This is the view of Nigel Pemberton who for over forty years has established himself as the leading broker of luxury villa estates in the Montego Bay area, notably the exclusive resort communities at Tryall, Round Hill, Tamarind Hill, Great River and Rose Hall.
But price should be the least of one's considerations when considering Jamaica, Pemberton thinks. "Just look at a map and a temperature chart.
"Jamaica is the closest point to the United States
where you can not only rely on the weather during the winter months
but also experience the attraction of being in a foreign country
without it being a plastic imitation of the American resort scene.
My friends in Florida do not appreciate it when I tell them that
anyone who has a house in Florida needs a winter home in Jamaica"
says Pemberton "but it is true, just look at a temperature
However, Jamaica's greatest assets are its people and its
natural beauty. The combination of outstanding
scenery from the beaches to the peak of the Blue Mountains, which
at 7,400 feet is higher than the glistening ski resort of St.
Moritz Switzerland, and an inexhaustible supply of qualified and
cheerful domestic helpers, excellent cooks and the best laundresses
in the world, is unbeatable. " I have even sold houses to
people who have brought their Porthault tablecloths down to Jamaica
just to be laundered properly for a dinner party back in New York"
The most important thing to Pemberton is the informality.
An Englishman who now divides his time between Jamaica, New York
and London, he claims that the first thing to sell him on Jamaica
when he came here on a holiday in 1958 and decided to build a
house near Montego Bay was the fact that he would never have to
wear a tie and coat when he was here. I make one exception a year,"
he says, "when I attend a ball for a local charity at Round
Hill Hotel which insists on black tie". He wears the black
tie but still insist on sneakers for his formal dress footwear.
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Pemberton specializes in selling villas
and lots at the exclusive Tryall Club, 2,000 glorious acres of
golf course, tennis courts and sloping hills with its own beach
and historic Great House, which is now the clubhouse. He also
sells houses at the famous Round Hill whose guest list over the
years reads like a Who's Who of American business and the theatre.
In addition he sells property at Tamarind Hill and Great River
and east of Montego Bay at Rose Hall one of Jamaica's most famous
plantations whose development today is the brainchild of the late
dynamic John Rollins former Lieutenant Governor of Delaware.
Respect for the privacy of his clients
prevents Pemberton from disclosing the names of people to whom
he has sold houses in Jamaica over the past forty-three years.
"They are here to escape the limelight for a few moments
of relaxation and need no publicity from me" he says.