Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Palace Resorts to embrace Jamaican culture

Published:Friday | March 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jamaica's newest tourism partner Palace Resorts has declared that it has no intention of bringing Mexico to Jamaica. Instead, it plans to augment the island's rich culture.

"We are embracing the Jamaican culture," Palace Resorts' vice-president of sales and marketing, Kathy Halpern, told journalists during a press conference at Evita's in Ocho Rios, St Ann, on Tuesday afternoon, adding that the chain's focus of being "awe-inclusive", will see it offering the highest quality in cuisine and entertainment at the multimillion-dollar-transformed Moon Palace Jamaica Grande.

Walking the talk, Palace signalled its intention when it hired a Jamaican general manager, Clifton Reader, in September 2014, and on Tuesday, announced Dennis McIntosh as its executive chef.

Halpern's declaration has been bolstered by the formation of a US$300,000 foundation that has been launched months ahead of its opening, which again has been delayed to an undecided date.

The hotel was rocked by industrial dispute recently, causing a setback in its opening. However, things are back to normal, said Reader.

"This is the first foreign hotel investor to embark on such a philanthropic effort, even before collecting revenue," Reader noted, stating that the foundation will be the face of the hotel.

"Our focus will be on helping our staff who have problems, health, wellness and dreams, education and the environment," said the general manager, who also managed the former Sunset Jamaica Grande.

He said already partnerships have been formed with hospitals, girls' homes and infirmaries, with the aim of extending their social outreach.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com