Passport to Peace

The word amanoka means “peaceful home” in Sanskrit, and those who vacation at Jamaica’s Amanoka villa quickly discover the property has been aptly named. Located in the island’s tranquil Discovery Bay, this seven-bedroom haven is the perfect retreat for discerning vacationers looking for a peaceful escape. “The owners wanted Amanoka to be a place where they and all visitors felt a sense of peace, tranquility, and renewal during and after their stay,” explains property manager Denise McConnell.

The entire property offers a treasure trove of serenity-inducing amenities, from the elegant Balinese-inspired architectural details and imported furniture to the manicured grounds filled with exotic, fragrant blooms. The villa also features an inviting infinity pool and Jacuzzi, a private beach and over-water gazebo, private tennis courts that are lit for night play, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, and sea kayaks and snorkeling gear for unlimited guest use. But perhaps the most restful place for vacationers to relax is the on-site Tamansari Spa.

The villa was built in 2000, and the idea for a spa came a few years later after guests repeatedly requested more spa options. “Before the spa was built, treatments were carried out in the gazebo or outside the gym,” says spa consultant Linda Hall, whose therapists have serviced clients at Amanoka through her company, Oshun Dream Spa Services, since the villa debuted. “Guests always loved what we did, but the spa team had logistical, treatment, and privacy limitations. Amanoka is such a beautiful location and villa and lent itself, in my mind, to a full spa experience.”

As such, Hall convened with the villa owners to come up with a plan to create a stand-alone spa in the unused front garden space. There, they built a Balinese-style retreat and used water features to create the look of floating spa pavilions. The fully equipped fitness center is found in one pavilion, while a 1,200-square-foot treatment area is located in another that also includes adjacent space for alfresco treatments and an outdoor shower. Balinese

statues, soothing waterfalls, and plenty of cozy nooks and benches where vacationers can chill out truly transport guests to a world of serenity. “The large front garden area was never really utilized, being set aside from the main villa, so we thought it would be the perfect location for the spa,” says Hall. “It was set away in its own peaceful, heavenly part of the property. We performed our first spa services just before Christmas in 2005. From that day on, guests have adored having treatments performed in the spa.” Adds McConnell, “The spa and gym greatly enhance the Amanoka experience, and, in fact, offer guests a full, but private, resort experience.”

Because the word tamansari means “beautiful garden,” it’s no surprise that the spa treatments are inspired by Caribbean flora and fauna. Guests can choose from a selection of facials, massages, scrubs, and more using Caribbean Essentials, an all-natural product line created by Hall using herbs and plants grown throughout the region. “Caribbean Essentials was the perfect fit for Amanoka, as it is totally in sync with the authentic Caribbean/Asian ritualistic philosophy and fusion,” she says. “Caribbean Essentials is a premium and distinctive luxury lifestyle brand, and it fit perfectly with the high-end profile of Amanoka.”

When the spa debuted, Hall created a full menu that incorporates these products, as well as fresh Jamaican ingredients, including aloe, Blue Mountain coffee, Cerassie tea, cocoa, coconut oil, ginger, hibiscus, lemongrass, peppermint, rum, spearmint, and sorrel. Highlights include such body treatments as the Coffee Scrub ($55, 45 minutes); the Aloe & Cucumber Wrap ($40, 40 minutes), which is ideal for those who may have overindulged in the sun; and the Mocha/Rum Wrap ($75, 50 minutes), which Hall says is often requested by those looking for a truly Jamaican experience. A variety of massages are also available, as are a selection of skincare and scalp treatments. For those who prefer a taste of everything, there are a few packages that combine several services, such as the Tamansari Exhilaration ($175, 1 hour 10 minutes), which includes a Caribbean Essentials Ultimate Coffee Scrub, a Rapture Massage, and a Mocha/Rum Wrap.

Guests who would like to experience a true destination spa-type experience are also easily accommodated by the seven-member Amanoka team. According to McConnell, the talented chef “is totally capable of creating a healthy spa cuisine menu, which is done in collaboration with the client and Hall.” Plus, Amanoka works closely with an acclaimed local yoga and Pilates instructor.  

It is this unwavering commitment to serving every visitor’s need that keeps guests coming back to Amanoka year after year and booking multiple treatments at Tamansari Spa during their vacations. Says Hall, “Guests are enchanted by the spa environment; the natural, botanical Caribbean Essentials products; the treatment rituals; and the spa team’s professionalism, dedication, and passion.”



Owners: McConnell Family

Spa Director: Linda Hall

Opened: 2005



50% female

50% male



1,200 square feet

1 treatment room



aromatherapy, Ayurveda, body treatments, couples’ treatments, cupping, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, massage, nailcare, nutrition consultation, outdoor treatments, prenatal services, reflexology, yoga



Caribbean Ritualistic Facial ($80, 60 minutes)



Tamansari Exhilaration ($175, 1 hour 10 minutes), which includes a Caribbean Essentials Ultimate Coffee Scrub, a Full Body Massage, and a Mocha/Rum Wrap



Caribbean Essentials






Tamara Tavares-Finson, Orange Blossom Interiors (Kingston, Jamaica)



Linda Hall (Oystins, Barbados; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and London)