A luxury travel expert and jack of many trades chimed in on Nutmeg South’s five-star staff, living the Luxury Retreats experience, and padding his status as a social media influencer.
By day, Edward Puglia finds and curates some of the world’s ritziest vacation rentals for Luxury Retreats, and makes those homes available to discerning guests looking for the most incredible travel experiences. When he’s not at headquarters in Montreal, he’s visiting some of the regions he works with, posing for Canadian agency Next Models, or sharing his travel stories with his more than 19,000 LinkedIn followers. We caught up with Puglia to get the lowdown on his latest adventure to Jamaica, where he soaked up the sun at a dreamy Montego Bay manor.
Montego Bay Masterpiece
Nutmeg South is a charming plantation-style Jamaican home with a mind-blowing poolside view of the ocean. It sleeps up to 12 and is ideally suited for multi-generational families. It’s easy to stay entertained with table tennis on the pool deck, a billiards table inside, and a home cinema stocked with movies, but you can just as easily relax by the pool and let the Caribbean sun work wonders on you. Find a morning snack by picking fresh fruit right off the trees surrounding the home. Good finds include oranges, limes, lemons, June plums, breadfruits, grapefruits, avocados, and mangoes.
“It’s a traditional Caribbean villa with a lot of history,” Puglia explains. “Big slate tiles cover the floors throughout the house, and vibrant colors awaken the senses. It’s cozy; staying there feels just like being at home. Everything in the home has a story. It’s not a home where all the decorations feel like they’ve just been taken out of the wrapper and stuck on the wall; you can sense the villa’s history and each room tells a story.”
Just minutes outside of Montego Bay, you’re down the road from the popular tourist attraction Rose Hall Great House (and its White Witch!). But perhaps the best part about staying at Nutmeg South is the included access to the world-famous Half Moon Resort, just down the hill, where past guests include Queen Elizabeth, President Kennedy, and Richard Branson. Half Moon is the perfect complement to your stay at Nutmeg South; the resort provides beach access, unlimited green fees, croquet and mini putt, a hot tub, tennis courts, and a fitness center. Golfers can book a tee time at the resort’s 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Sr. design, where some of the caddies have been looping since 1962! You can also spend your time at Half Moon swimming with horses, working on your backhand with a professional tennis coach, or taking a private yoga class on the beach.
While on-site at Nutmeg South, animal lovers can enhance their vacation with the companionship of two furry visitors. The villa owners have two dogs that live in a separate building on the property and can join your party for some much-needed animal therapy if you so desire. They won’t go inside the villa, but they can hang with you by the pool in search of belly rubs. Sounds like an off-fur you shouldn’t refuse (!).
White Glove Service
A stay at Nutmeg South includes access to white glove service provided by a staff of six. Professional and courteous, they’ll make your villa stay effortless and your Jamaica vacation a memorable one.
“Jamaican people are known for being receptive and hospitable, and the staff was living proof of that,” Puglia says. “They were never intrusive but were always up for a great conversation. They were so knowledgeable about Jamaican history and the home, and we wanted to know everything! Guests at Nutmeg should take advantage of this learning opportunity.”
“It was amazing how we never had to ask them to do anything—they would practically read our minds and do things before we could even ask! They were always going the extra mile, and they always did their jobs with a smile.”
Puglia shared one particular instance of how the staff left an impression on him and his guests that has lasted long beyond the vacation.
“The Villa Manager of Nutmeg South is Nicole Green. Her presentation, knowledge, and professionalism are world-class. She always wore this distinct tropical scent. When we came home after a day out, we could always tell if she had been there by the amazing smell. By the end of the trip, my aunts were adamant about smelling just like her, so Nicole tracked down the only store in the region that had that scent, and on our way to the airport our driver Dave went out of his way to bring us there. My aunts each bought it, and now they smell just like Nicole!”
The Luxury Retreats Experience
With thousands of LinkedIn and Instagram followers to his name, Puglia never misses an opportunity to combine his work and his online presence. Business travel gives him many opportunities to feed his social platforms with engaging content, and his following helps him promote his work to greater effect.
“The thing I love about social media is I get to share my vacations with my networks—locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally. I love giving other people a glimpse into the unique lifestyle I live centered around the amazing job I’m lucky to have, and engaging my followers around my experiences. My approach when it comes to my job as a Market Manager with Luxury Retreats is always to capture the product and capture the experience. Then, through image and text, I show my followers what we do as a company and what a Luxury Retreats experience is all about.”
Having stayed in roughly 15 Luxury Retreats villas himself, Puglia knows a thing or two about the beauty of a Luxury Retreats vacation—an experience where the level of quality is predictable but the stories you’ll bring home with you are not.
“The magical thing about the Luxury Retreats experience is that it’s always tailored just the way you like it. This trip was no exception. One day, they organized for all the local vendors to come right up to our villa, turning our driveway into a full market. We left the pool with drinks in hand, walked through the villa and out our front door, and there were about seven vendors with local shops set up with their merchandise right in front of us. We didn’t have to go to them—they came to us. It was completely personalized.”