Carleva Bay is beachside villa on the South Coast of Jamaica, in the Parish of St. Thomas, located 30-45 minutes east of Kingston. The Carleva Center is not a hotel. Nor do we see ourselves as a hostel, dormitory, or share-house. We strive to aim further, reach farther than mere brick and mortar. The Carleva Center is a home. We are a community, a liaison between the rich cultural landscape of the surrounding St. Thomas community and you: Travelers. Volunteers. Students. Academics. Professionals. Community and corporate groups. Families. The curious. The adventurous. Those who love to do good in the world, those who know the value and beauty in community and want to continue to build it.
We fell in love with Yallahs—and St. Thomas—years ago. We love the beautiful sun-drenched climate, the incredible cuisine, the sounds—reggae, drums, other Caribbean rhythms and, yes, the perennial surf—and the diverse landscapes. But running even deeper is our love for the warm Jamaican people, our people.
Since 2004, when we first bought Carleva Bay, we have been on a mission to link our guests with the surrounding community. Whether you are a student group looking to do a placement with a local non-profit, a volunteer seeking a worthy cause and a meaningful project, or an academic pursuing research at the local university, we are here to help produce the best possible experience with the local community.
We look forward to meeting you!
The front gate as seen from Paradise Lane, your oasis awaits just beyond!
This beautiful garden is just beyond the gate
River stones create a tranquil space of contemplation with a meditation post in the shade of bougainvillea
The humming bird, or Doctor Bird as it’s called in JA, is the country’s national mascot. If you’re very quiet, you may see one come to alight on the birdbath in our garden oasis!
If mangoes are in season, you’re in for a real treat!
The front of the house seen from under one of our mango trees.
Today’s catch, ripe and ready for making mango wine!
The front of the house just beyond the shade of the trees.
This path leads around the house and to the glorious Caribbean Sea!
The entry vestibule, looking back towards the front door and the garden beyond. The beautiful courtyard is to your right.
Turning back toward the door to the entry vestibule and hallway from the courtyard.
The courtyard with its three bedrooms plus a powder room and beach shower, opens directly onto the aquamarine Caribbean Sea.
The courtyard is just a stone’s throw away from the beach! Here one of our guests has her straw hat, towel and book at the ready!
In this view, the Great Hall, or living room, is to your left, and two of our peaceful bedrooms are directly ahead. Every night you are here, you can fall asleep to the gentle sound of the waves.
The Great Hall seen from the courtyard. This room is more than big enough to hold a large class, party, or group event and it has seen its share of laughter and good times!
The Great Hall, with its handmade wicker furniture designed by us and built with love, looks onto the courtyard and the backyard beyond.
We have large tables with enough space for a hungry group of 15 or more!
The Great Hall is a nice place for conversation, revelry, or a game of cards, backgammon or dominoes!
This is the place where we eat, dine, and have lively conversation the most. We love it, and we’re sure you will too!
And the courtyard is also a wonderful place for a gathering. Some happy revelers who are part of our Carleva Bay family!
The sea and the back yard seen from the courtyard gate.
A view of the back yard with two almond trees and the beautiful aquamarine waters just beyond our gate.
The platform swings that hang from the two almond trees in the sand are the best seat in the house!
The view from just outside the courtyard where we spend most of our days and nights.
And of course the sea by the house is perfect for swimming. Here’s one of our guests who went in straight from the airport!
We love to walk the beach after a swim and to contemplate the ever changing shoreline in this untamed oasis!
This is a black sand beach with smooth river stones that are polished by the surf.
We take walks to collect shells, starfish and stones, some are shaped like hearts, others have a ring pattern, and all are part of beautiful, glorious, unspoiled nature!
This part of Jamaica has an unusual microclimate where plants like cactuses and wild aloe grow.
Here is seen the entry to the courtyard that forms the heart of the house. It is our breakfast nook, living room, a place to read or write a book, or even watch a movie projected onto the wall under the darkness of a starry sky.
Here the back of the house is seen from beneath the shade of the almond trees and the gazebo.