Amidst the storied places and spaces in and around Montego Bay, Jamaica, a new hotel on the block is about to make waves for both locals and visitors alike.
With a vibe like Miami, Montego Bay (MoBay) is fast becoming the Caribbean’s version of South Florida’s iconic ultra cool strip with new restaurants, hotels and resorts, as well as expanding corporate services. Coupled with Spanish Court Hotel’s business traveller appeal and friendly service, visitors can now look forward to enhanced overall experiences including business process outsourcing and banking, increased flights to and from the island, world-class conference facilities, shopping areas and art galleries
The city will also welcome its first international school in 2018 to complement this seamless marriage of the business traveller and the leisure traveller, making MoBay, as it is affectionately known to locals and foreigners alike, just as exciting as its southern Florida counterpart.
“I have been living in Montego Bay for nearly 30 years and have several historic ties to the Friendly City’, as it’s fondly known. I have witnessed many stages of its development. These all add to the natural allure of the spectacularly convenient geographical location: international air and sea ports within a 15 minute drive from anywhere in the vicinity of the city; the natural beauty that sees beautiful beaches montego bay, jamaica: fastest growing city in the caribbean for work and play surrounded by the greenery of the mountains; and the people, who have the warmth expected of residents of a resort destination, coupled with the business efficiency allowing for the continued expansion in the areas of commerce and IT/BPO,” said Mrs Paula Kerr-Jarrett, Director of Barnett Limited.
As MoBay continues to evolve into a bustling resort town set squarely in the midst of rolling, majestic mountains and the sparkling azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, the streets of the city were once witness to slave rebellions, royal visits and celebrity weddings. These days, visitors are treated to the
ease of the award-winning Sangster’s International Airport, which has won awards for the Caribbean’s leading airport a staggering eight consecutive years (2010 to 2017) at the World Travel Awards.
Back in the 1950s, the city experienced a renaissance that saw it becoming the preferred locale by famous faces including John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy who frequently vacationed in the area at the chic Round Hill Hotel and Villas. Katharine Hepburn and Princess Margaret also spent time in the city of MoBay, Jamaica’s fourth largest area by population and the Caribbean’s second largest Anglophone city. Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, was a regular in MoBay, as was the Duchess of York, Sara Ferguson, and Ralph Lauren who even lent his creative genius to the redesign of an entire block of 36 rooms at Round Hill. It speaks volumes of the MoBay appeal as even today modern Royals and celebrities jet in and out with frequency.
“Montego Bay has been my ‘other home’ in Jamaica for the last 15 years. I have watched it grow and prosper enormously from the point of view of communications, hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Where else could I wake up and snorkel in a beautiful sea right in front my house, take care of business
during the day, perhaps take part in a tennis match in the afternoon, delight in the amazing Caribbean cuisine and have fun with my friends in an almost non-stop party atmosphere,” said James Goren, investor and MoBay resident.
While parts of MoBay are steeped in rich history, its future still holds international appeal as Starbucks coffee opened their first ever Jamaican franchise on the city’s famed ‘hip strip’ along with The Hard Rock Café and Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records opening its third restaurant in the same area. Joining in the city’s storied past is the chic, soon-to-be opened Spanish Court Montego Bay and just in time, as increased flights from Germany, Spain, Portugal and more recently Poland, have been introduced. It places Spanish Court MoBay in an ideal position to welcome, charm and celebrate all their guests in real Jamaican style to boot.
“KLE Group is very pleased to be opening our third Usain Bolt Track and Records restaurant in Jamaica. Our location on Montego Bay’s Gloucester Avenue, more popularly known as the ‘hip strip’, provides us with a tremendous opportunity to serve not only the local residents, who are eagerly anticipating our opening, but also the visitors to our shores seeking to enjoy a truly authentic Jamaican experience,” confirmed Gary Matalon, CEO KLE Group Ltd.
“The call centre industry has been booming in Jamaica over the past five years by doubling the workforce to over 26,000 employees and we felt it necessary to make this investment at this time into the future of our company and the industry as a whole. This brings Silicon Valley to the waterfront of Montego Bay and increases shareholder value, from which Jamaica has the opportunity to benefit the greatest by putting more people to work and receiving tax dollars, so our economy continues to grow,” said Yoni Epstein, Chairman and CEO, intel-BPO Solutions.
The Spanish Court MoBay hotel will sport 120 rooms with a South Beach aesthetic while maintaining Jamaica’s famous island sensibility. From the bustle of downtown life, the city is able to offer easy day trips to nearby Negril and her famed seven miles of powdery white sand beach, river rafting on the Martha Brae, cliff jumping at Rick’s Café or to Ocho Rios to visit Dunn’s River Falls, which features 600 feet of cascading falls which pour directly into the Caribbean sea.
According to T’shura Gibbs, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, “Montego Bay has been recognised as one of the fastest growing cities in the Caribbean region, registering approximately six per cent growth annually with investors continuing to demonstrate confidence in our city with new investments in sectors such as hospitality, BPO and entertainment. The planned upgrade of the city’s infrastructure will help to further develop Montego Bay and position it as one of the most exciting places in the Caribbean to conduct business or visit.”
The revival of the country’s decades old and long-closed rail service will see visitors being transported through the lush vibrant Jamaican landscape from Montego Bay in the north to the Appleton estate tour, which chronicles the process by which the world-renowned Appleton Jamaica rum is made. As the island known for the legendary Bob Marley, the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt, high quality Blue Mountain coffee and succulent jerk pork; Jamaica is a city on the rise. Spanish Court MoBay couldn’t come at a better time.
1953: Democratic senator for Massachusetts, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 – 1963) outside Sunset Lodge, Montego Bay, Jamaica. (Photo by Slim Aarons/Getty Images)