Former Palmyra opens ahead of schedule
The Jewel Grande Montego Bay, formerly the Palmyra Resort & Spa, is now taking in guests, although its official market debut is still a month away.
The hotel co-owned by Sagicor Real Estate X Fund Limited includes 88 new suites on the Sentry Tower.
Last October, several managed funds under the umbrella of Sagicor Group Limited acquired 217 units in the incomplete Palmyra condo complex and an adjoining power plant owned by Caribbean Green Power Systems Limited for US$53 million.
The 217 units comprise 322 rooms overall, according to Area Director of Marketing and Communications for Sagicor's Jewel properties and Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, Charmaine Deane. She said the number of rooms on offer to hotel guests will be expand as individual condo owners agree to enter the pool under management.
The entire complex, which sits on 16 acres of beachfront property, is said to comprise more than 80 individually owned condos. Some owners hold more than one unit.
Sagicor X Fund, which owns 15 per cent of the resort and was responsible for its redevelopment into the Jewel Grande, had previously indicated the hotel was shooting for a year end opening date. Jewel Grande and other Sagicor properties are managed by Aimbridge Hospitality.
X Fund CEO Rohan Miller confirmed that the hotel was now taking guests on Monday, while Deane said Jewel Grande was in its pre-opening phase.
Miller said the hotel will open officially on September 24.
Jewel Grande offers four classes of accommodation, including penthouse suites and villas, and is branded as a luxury hotel.
"All the suites have butler service ... and 24-hour room service," Deane said. She stressed the Jewel Grande will distinguish itself in the Jewel chain through its products, such as pre-welcome calls to ascertain personal needs among a number of pampering services.
Sagicor X Fund has said it aims to develop Jewel Grande into "Jamaica's foremost luxury condominium resort" as noted in its 2106 annual report. The offerings will include "an Italian villa-inspired spa sanctuary boasting a Himalayan salt halotherapy lounge, two sparkling oceanfront swimming pools, and 299 accommodations, from junior suites and villas to extravagant penthouses among the resort's three towers," the real estate company said in its report to shareholders. It also promised private chef table demonstrations as part of the culinary experience.
The hotel's website promotes Jamaican-themed experiences, such as Patois classes, cuisine, and a full-service wellness oasis conceptualised by Reggaelates founder Sienna Creasy.
Deane said the various luxury products will be introduced over time.
The Palmyra properties were acquired after being placed in receivership back in 2011 by bankers National Commercial Bank and RBC Royal Bank to recover outstanding loans, a debt that Palmyra developer Robert Trotta disputes and is fighting in court.
At the time of the receivership, the Palmyra had around 103 individual condo owners.