Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Courtyard Kingston Marriott opens officially today

Published:Friday | April 15, 2016 | 4:00 AMBarbara Ellington
Vanessa Jones of the housekeeping department shows some of the features of the rooms at the hotel.
The gym
The pool area
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Today is special for the Marriott family as the chain officially opens its first property in Jamaica. Ideally located in the heart of the New Kingston business district, the Courtyard Kingston by Marriott is the perfect place for today's business/corporate traveller.

General Manager Koen Heitbrink and his team of 75 (all of whom are Jamaicans) and the Pan Jamaica-Caribe Hospitality owners, will be rolling out the welcome mat for guests from corporate Jamaica, media and other sectors for the grand affair.

Among the hotel's best on show will be a team of five from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), who are from a batch of workers who had been with the hotel from its construction phase and are now permanent members of staff.

When The Gleaner team toured the hotel on Monday, a very pleasant and knowledgeable senior sales manager, Marlene Buckridge, guided us on a tour of the hotel and, in a very smooth and efficient manner, told us about the new property's offerings.

"We have been open for business since December 1, 2015, and we began with full occupancy but, already, the team knows the standards that are expected of all team members, worldwide," Buckridge said. Occupancy is now between 70 to 80 per cent.

She pointed to the Smart Start card that provides different topics for each day's service focus, so everyone is kept aligned with the work culture of the brand.

 

EASY ACCESS

 

The chief differentiator between Courtyard Kingston Marriott and its neighbouring hotel properties is that it caters specifically to the business end of the market. This is evident on entry as there are outlets everywhere for easy access to cell phones, iPods, laptops, smartphones and other communication devices frequently used by the executive who takes his office on the road.

"There are television monitors at convenient locations and our virtual concierge now replaces the bellman and concierge desks," Buckridge said during the tour.

The expansive lobby area also includes a snack/gift shop or market, a library, a sitting-room area, a home theatre, and a business centre/home office, all quite inviting and cosy, while being the perfect place to get business done.

"Inside Centro, our lobby dining area, we have media pods where guests can indulge in some work or watch a game over breakfast. The tables are laid out for two or larger parties of eight to 10.

"The service offered here is a mix of Caribbean-bistro style, offering quick and efficient meals for the person on the go," Buckridge said. The bedrooms and suites (four in all) are also efficiently laid out.

Another feature of which the new hotel is proud is its energy-saving initiative in which water from the showers is treated and recycled to flush toilets. Water for the plants and gardens cannot exceed a certain amount per month, and solar heating is used for water in the showers.

"We have also regulated the flow of water to the showers so there is no waste," Buckridge noted, adding that there are areas of the hotel where lights go out automatically when unoccupied.

barbara.ellington@gleanerjm.com