Jamaica Travel Guide
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Previously known as Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, the resort was rebuilt with a stylish beach club vibe in mind and includes: seven new dining options for a total of 16 restaurants, the Ochi Beach Club, upgraded accommodations and a refurbished lobby among other improvements. Above is what the Great House Lobby looked like before. And now it is, well, wow.
The all-inclusive Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay was recently purchased by Sagicor Life Jamaica, owner of the three Jewel Resorts in Jamaica: Jewel Runaway Bay, Jewel Dunn's River and Jewel Paradise Cove.
However, no name change is taking place, at least for now. The 489-room resort will continue to operate as the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa and will be managed by Aimbridge Hospitality. And Hilton loyalists, have no fear! Guests of the resort will continue to have access to Hilton benefits, including participation in the Hilton HHonors loyalty program.
However, there will be some upgrades happening to the resort. In a press statement, Dave Johnson, President and CEO of Aimbridge, talked (vaguely) about the future plans for the property:
Set to open March 1 is the all-inclusive Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, formerly known as the Sunset Jamaica Grande.
Does it look nice or what? We even spy a Nespresso!
Keep reading for more deets on the new property:
Hotel Openings / Hyatt Hotels / Hotel Ziva Rose Hall / Hotel Zilara Rose Hall / Jamaica Hotels / All-Inclusive Hotels / Montego Bay Hotels / → All Tags
Aerial view of Hyatt's new Ziva and Zilara Rose Hall joint properties in Montego Bay
After debuting its first all-inclusive resort last year in Cabo, Hyatt has announced the opening of its second Ziva property, the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The resort is Jamaica’s first Hyatt-branded all inclusive resort, and will be followed next week with the opening of a sister property, the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, whose opening has been delayed until December 20th.
In case you forgot, the Ziva and Zilara are Hyatt's two new all-inclusive brands. The difference between the two is that Ziva is a family-friendly resort while the Zilara is an adults-only resort. In Montego Bay, the properties are located adjacent to one another where the the Ritz-Carlton used to be.
The Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall has 496 suites, including 28 swim-up suites with large terraces. The all-inclusive perks include the usual suspects of food and booze, but also airport transfers, a private airport lounge, a round of golf at one of the two courses, and a catamaran excursion.
This contributor has never been a big fan of buffets, nor was I ever one to run to the ever-popular yet much-aligned all-inclusive resorts.
In Jamaica, walking through immigration at Montego Bay felt like Bourbon Street on any given Saturday. I was waiting for beads or boobs to be thrown my way.This added travel fuel to the not in favor fire. I was already unsure of the all-inclusive adventure ahead.
But once scooped up by Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort’s private car, the tide turned for the better. And after a few days at the all-suite resort, it was easy to see why all-inclusives can be oh-so-addictive.
Assuming you have no objection to flying in private jets or riding in helicopters, we are pretty sure this week's Fantasy Friday post will have you seriously contemplating cashing in your savings. Island Outpost Resorts we have learned, has partnered up with Magellan Jets to offer a package worthy of 007 himself, minus the flying bullets and explosions.
Forking out the big bucks will send you flying via private jet to Jamaica, where guests will stay at two different resorts over a five day stretch (although we are certain if you would like to stay longer the resorts would be happy to take your money).
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SuperClubs has removed the clothing-optional, adults-only Hedonism II Jamaican resort from its dossier of all-inclusive properties. This comes after it unloaded unprofitable sister resort Hedonism III in 2011 and in earlier 2012 sold Breezes Trelawny to a Canadian tour company called Sunwing. Breezes Montego Bay was also let go in 2009.
The company recently announced that the sale of the Negril hotel has finally been completed to an investment group named Marshmallow Ltd., headed by financier Harry Lange, and made up of partners Jon Gross of UnWind Travel (aka Fluffernutters), some of SuperClubs' own chairman's family members, and Kevin Levee, the hotel's current general manager.
The sale will not change Hedonism’s name, however, a $10 million room renovation is planned, which will certainly be welcome for the 30-year old hotel.
More importantly, what will remain the same will be the resort’s day-to-day operations, which include saucy, devil-may-care fun that its patrons, often repeat guests, relish.
[Photo: Ack Ook's Flickr]
What Is This? / Hotel Amenities / Hotel Snapshots / Secrets Hotels / Hotel Design / Jamaica Hotels / Nicki Minaj / → All Tags
We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This? is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
When we were shown around the suites at the all-inclusive Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay, we knew the dark square on the wall was some sort of door. But it was too small to be a closet, and because it was just behind the front door, that wouldn’t have made sense anyway. Unable to stand the curiosity any longer, we flung open the door and found…nothing. Nothing but a big empty space. We had to investigate further.
Celebrity Scoop / Secrets Resorts / Jamaica Hotels / Nicki Minaj / All-Inclusive Resorts / → All Tags
Jamaica has been on fiyah more than usual, that’s because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the island's independence from Britain. Official Jubilee celebrations started this week, but will be absolutely bananas this weekend until to Emancipation Day on August 6th. Last month, the antics were warmed up with Reggaefest and many celebs came to jam, including headliner Nicki Minaj.
We thought she would have stayed at the Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall or the tony Half Moon Bay, but no, she went the all-inclusive route and made the all-suite, adults-only Secrets Wild Orchid Resort her home. Sure, she stayed in the Preferred Club’s Presidential Suite, but we kind of dig she picked this accessible-to-the-people, two-year old resort.
Minaj and her entourage were seen being escorted to the luxury suite via golf cart, were she looked pretty tame in a demure floral outfit (but with some crazy orange wedges).
There's travel talk everywhere about how expensive it'll be to fly and drive this summer, so there has to be some savings somewhere, yes? The most obvious place will be in hotel rates, and so our gift to you this week will be one hotel a day that comes in under $100 a night. Now, we're not saying every place will be of Ritz quality, because then it would be...well, the bloody Ritz. But the places will be nice enough for you to sleep at night.
Now another luxury beach resort is joining the style ranks--but forget swimwear. Goldeneye is so glamorous that it's inspired a range of vintage and rock-inspired pieces by Haute Hippie.
So far we've only seen this one sneak peek sketch from the 'All Things Gold' Resort 2012 collection--but it's clear that the line will go beyond simple coverups for lounging by the pool.
When it debuts this fall (in time for 'resort season,' in fashion-speak), the Goldeneye-inspired looks will be available at Haute Hippie stores, at GoldenEye and at its sister property Strawberry Hill Hotel, Spa & Gardens, which overlooks Kingston.
Not that we have anything against nudity. Nor do we disapprove of unconventional wedding ceremonies. It's just, well, after all the Fashion Week madness here in New York, it's kind of refreshing to see guests who just don't give a darn.
Over 100 couples sent in detailed reasons as to why they should be picked for the clothes-optional getaway. And we're guessing the reasons had to be something other than "to save money on a wedding gown." Once they arrived, each couple was treated to a four-night stay at the resort, in exchange for agreeing to be filmed for an upcoming documentary. Which means they get to save money on a wedding photographer too. Good deal!