Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Jewel Grande tapping North America, Europe to fill luxury suites

Published:Tuesday | September 26, 2017 | 12:08 AMJanet Silvera
Officials of Sagicor Jamaica and Aimbridge Hospitality cut the ribbon officially declaring Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa opened. From left: Robert Burg; Rich Cortese; and Rohan Miller share the occasion with Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett; Richard Byles; and Dr Wykeham McNeill, opposition spokesman on tourism.

Sagicor Jamaica has opened its sixth hotel property, Jewel Grande, while looking to boost arrivals from the core North America and European markets to make a profitable return on the US$90 million invested in retrofitting the former Palmyra luxury condominium.

The all-suites, butler-service 217 room luxury resort which falls under the Aimbridge Hospitality umbrella, in differentiating itself is touting its "elevated service" which stems from the attention to detail.

Addressing more than 800 guests at the official opening ceremony on Sunday night in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Rohan Miller, chief executive officer of Sagicor Real Estate X Fund, said Jewel properties are banking on more partnerships with travel agents and tour operators in these markets to boost numbers.

This he said is being complemented by some exposure from the co-branding arrangement with Hilton Worldwide with some advertising. Miller revealed that they were looking to increase revenues from the full portfolio in the region of US$200 million annually by next year.

He singled out Jamaican contractors and suppliers, who he said offered quality service, products and competitive prices to the success of the project, and readiness in opening, particularly to meet the critical Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade show, now on in Montego Bay.

"I am proud of the fact that some 1,000 Jamaicans were employed during the renovation of Jewel Grande," he told the gathering.

His comments were bolstered by chairman of Sagicor Jamaica, Richard Byles, who said the acquisition and redevelopment of the property took some 11 months to bring to reality what appeared to have been a wrecked dream when the former Palmyra project ran into financial difficulties during the world financial crisis of 2008.

Jewel brings new dimension to luxury offering

Robert Burg, chief operating officer and Aimbridge Hospitality, the management company for the Jewel Resorts and Rich Cortese, Ambridge's senior vice president of Caribbean Development both spoke at the opening ceremony for the Jewel Grande. Sagicor-Aimbridge partnership they said, was working to expand and improve the Jamaican tourism product. Cortese added that Jewel's newest property brought an added dimension to the available hotel rooms with its luxury all-suite offering.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the keynote speaker at the opening event, commended Sagicor for having led the way in bringing recent major local investments to the tourism sector. He noted that the Jewel brand is establishing itself worldwide and is expanding the tourism market and raising standards in the industry with its "new look", all inclusives. Bartlett added that the job creating impact of the Sagicor investments was a major positive for the Jamaican economy.