Hikaru comes from the Japanese word To Shine, and that is what we do! Villa Hikaru is a lovely, classic well-kept late 60s era Jamaican stone and concrete beachfront home with traditional louvered windows and terrazzo-tiled floors. It was amongst the very first villas built on lovely Billy’s Bay by Don and Brad Noel, who worked closely with a local builder sensitive to the design needs of a Jamaican home. It has weathered many a hurricane largely unscathed. The home is elegantly situated atop a stunning huge 1.25 acre hill lot sloping down to the sea, ending with a striking lit 50 foot lap pool right off the beach and a tennis court. You can learn more about its creation in Don Noel’s book Near a Far Sea.
Hikaru has undergone a very sensitive renovation, honoring and preserving the striking mid-century modern clean lines, while adding some new touches overseen by our very talented local French designer Sophie Eyssautier, formerly with Christian Dior, and her local Jamaican Building Team under the direction of Mr Luke. The home now has cathedral ceilings throughout and sleek new high-powered 3-blade white metal fans in every room. Although new AC units have been placed in each bedroom, you truly will not need them as you will be soothed with evening sea and mountain breezes and lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves- that is if you keep the screened windows open and the AC off!
We have 4 bedrooms with en suite bathrooms- three featuring outdoor stone showers, a new stunning airy kitchen house with polished concrete floors and counters, and re-purposed original cabinetry made from precious local maho wood. Hikaru enjoys a large open living room with built in concrete couches, restored original vintage furnishings built specifically for the house of local maho wood by a Quaker-run furniture workshop now long closed, cathedral ceilings throughout with white tongue in groove board, stunning African block print fabric covered furniture (sourced from Senegal and Manhattan by Sophie), and locally made rattan lighting, mirrors and carpets. You will enjoy Sophie’s 60’s -inspired chic covered outdoor room on the lower seaside terrace (which glows at night through the perforated ornamental concrete block mural-like back wall, in keeping with the villa’s name), and her minimalist covered entry porch with built in seating.
The lush gardens are being vigorously re-planted to honor the original landscape design, and the caretaker cottage is being upgraded while keeping it’s classic Jamaican lines, creating more living space while honoring the traditional housing of the island where one of the owners’ family hails from.
The home sits on Billy’s Bay, proudly part of The Treasure Beach Turtle Group which has helped transform Treasure Beach into the second largest protected recorded sea turtle nesting area in Jamaica!
This unspoiled area is one of the few fishermen’s villages that welcomes tourists — not a tourist area that tolerates fishermen. Treasure beach is truly the most coveted part of the island, and the least damaged by mass development and all-inclusives. You can glimpse the soul of Jamaica here, embodied within a vibrant and artistic community known for its tolerance, warmth and hospitality [see NY Times Article]. You can walk deserted beaches, or snorkel, body-surf, or fish. You can photograph and share the lives of our fishermen neighbors; or you can enjoy the privacy of an acre-plus lot, shielded by trees and flowers. For a night out, you can choose from so many fine dining establishments, including the stunning 77 West that just opened on our beach, or the hip famed boutique hotel Jake’s, site of the well known Calabash Literary Festival where the likes of Zadie Smith and Jamaica Kincaid have read.
Privacy: We’re in a fishing village, but shielded by heavy plantings on an acre and a quarter. And you even pick your own tropical fruit! Our village neighbors will welcome you if you choose to visit, but will not intrude. Watch for returning fishing boats from our patio, then walk 300 yards to the harbor to watch fish weighed and sold — and bring some home! Or walk to the west over a series of all-but-deserted beaches, half-mile scallops of sandy beach separated by reef spurs you can climb over or wade over in reef shoes.
We allow two tradespeople — a basket maker and wood carver — to come into the back yard to show their wares. Miss Venesia will tell you they’re there; it you say no thanks, they’ll pack up and leave.
You can walk a hundred yards down our lane, if you’d like, to learn to play grown-up dominoes at a neighbor’s bar.
Our groundskeeper Mr. Patrick Ritchie leads a walk into the hills behind us, pointing out birds and orchids.
You can drive to the Jamaican National Heritage Site town of Black River, or hire a local boatman, to see the historic slave market, visit the colorful local outdoor market, or — best of all — join a wetlands safari boat excursion exploring the Great Morass/Black River Lower Morass, gliding through mangrove forests and open marshlands occupied by colorful birds and crocodiles, surrounded by the largest wetlands in the Caribbean.
On the way home, stop at the famous Pelican Bar for a drink. Other fabulous outings include a visit to the breath-taking YS Falls where you will swim in the pools beneath the falls, or a drive through towering Bamboo Alley en route to the famed Appleton Estate Rum tour.
The night sky and views: With almost no light pollution, the stars are brilliant. Go for a midnight dip in the pool, but once there turn the pool lights off to enjoy the magnificent sky. Only one Dipper at a time to the north; the Southern Cross rising over the sea during the night.
Our wide covered upper patio catches an onshore breeze most of the day, and gives you a panoramic view of the Caribbean at your doorstep so wide you’ll have to turn your head to take it all in.
All this while Miss Venesia Gordon-Simms and Miss Elesha Ebanks keep house for you, shop, prepare and serve fabulous locally sourced meals, making it a very special vacation. You will leave nourished, restored and inspired. And you will come back.