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New Hyatt partnerships

Published:Sunday | September 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties at Rose Hall, Montego Bay.

Sandals tour company, others land jobs with new resort

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

New market entrant, Playa Hotels, has announced a new opening date for the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, alongside a number of new partnerships with local companies, Island Routes, Rose Hall Developments and VIP Attractions.

The 621-room resort's new opening date is set for November 23, back from November 1.

In what has been described as a historic move, the hotel group has signed an exclusive contract with Island Routes Caribbean Adventures, a destination management company owned by the Sandals chain. Island Routes will operate all land and sea excursions at both hotels.

Island Routes's general manager, David Shields, said the service is exclusive and that Hyatt guests will not co-mingle with other visitors arriving at the airport.

"Not only will Hyatt guests travel with no other, but we will be providing private transfers in luxury sedans and minivans," Shields told Sunday Business, during a cocktail reception at the Rose Hall Great House last Tuesday night.

He said the buses to transport Hyatt guests are equipped with DVD players, special equipment for children and Wi-Fi.

Sweetening the pot, Island Routes is also offering exclusive catamaran excursions for Hyatt Ziva and Zilara, "catering to family-friendly type of guests," said Shields.

The partnership with Rose Hall Developments will provide golfing facilities to Hyatt guests, which include one free round of golf.

"We aim to bring back golf to Jamaica," said Playa's vice-president and chief marketing officer, Kevin Froemming, who also promises six-star deliverables and a new evolution in all-inclusive.

In collaboration with Rose Hall and the Jamaica Tourist Board, Hyatt will do a special with NBC Universal and the Golf Channel, who will film their latest reality show on the 18-hole-championship, Cinnamon Hill and White Witch golf courses owned by Rose Hall Development.

"We are extremely excited about this partnership," says director of tourism Paul Pennicook, noting that Jamaica's diversity as a destination was fantastic for golf. "We have wonderful golf courses that we should be sharing with the rest of the world."

Both courses and the hotel will receive nine hours of prime time television in January and February 2015 from the promotion said Froemming.

Rose Hall Development's Michael Rollins, who has taken over the day to day running of the family business from his mother, Michele Rollins, says he is convinced Jamaica can be a legitimate golf destination.

The other golf courses in the area are at Half Moon and Ironshore.

Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara guests will also have access to Club MoBay, owned by airport lounge operator, VIP Attractions.

The hotels' guests will be met by Club MoBay ambassadors on arrival and departure at the Sangster International Airport.

At Hyatt's opening, the hotel group, which says it will provide employment for 1,000 persons, has blocked 150 rooms for tour operators and their families to come to Jamaica and experience the product, said Froemming.

Hyatt has appointed well-known brand ambassador, Carl Hendriks, as general manager of Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, and says the new hotels when opened will showcase what all-inclusive really means.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com