|Computer Rendering of Moon Palace Jamaica Grande|
Travel Agent chatted recently with representatives of Palace Resorts and got the skinny on its first ever Caribbean property set to open in February as well as other plans the all-inclusive chain plans to roll out soon.
Palace Resorts’ first property outside of Mexico, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, Jamaica is set to open February but booking are currently being accepted. It is strategically situated on the north coast of Jamaica, accessible from the Montego Bay airport.
Following a multi-million dollar transformation of what was formerly the Sunset Jamaica Grande, the soon-to-open Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will include more than 700 guestrooms and suites with oceanfront views of the Caribbean Sea.
“What we do is listen to our past guests and listen to our agents and there is huge interest from both the consumer and the trade side about what we are doing in Jamaica,” says Frank Corzo, vice president of U.S. field sales at Palace Resorts. “The reaction has been overwhelming. Jamaica is such a well-known destination by agents and consumers all over the world for the culture, for the people. People know what to expect from the Palace brand and just the reaction from the industry has been overwhelming.”
Moon Palace Jamaica Grande features 17-acres of ivory sand on the longest stretch of private beach in Ocho Rios. Featuring aesthetics designer Francois Frossard, upon completion, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will feature five swimming pools; multiple restaurants; a gourmet corridor; a FlowRider Double wave simulator; Wired Teen Lounge; an expansive kids club dubbed, “The Playroom;” Noir, an ultra-chic nightclub; the signature Awe-Spa with a dedicated wellness center and 25,000 square feet of multifunctional meeting and event space.
“When I came on three years we asked ourselves how can we differentiate ourselves in this sea of sameness,” says Katherine Halpern, vice president of sales and marketing at Palace Resorts. “We think we do that by making our hotel truly about the experience. We offer everything from top shelf liquor to some musical artists who’ve performed at places like Madison Square Garden. It’s basically all about exceeding expectations.”
Palace Resorts is one of several brands, such as Karisma Hotels and Resorts and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, that already have or plan to open an all-inclusive hotel in Jamaica. Karisma's Azul Sensatori Jamaica officially opened toward the end of 2013 while the opening date for the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall will be November 23. These two new Hyatt resorts will occupy the former Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall property.
“We always look at airlift, we look at our guest surveys and see where our guests want to see another Palace and then we also look where our competitive set is,” says Halpern. “I think you can sense that we always welcome competition, competition is healthy. We don't look at (other all-inclusives) as our competition, we look to see what we can bring to the table and every brand is unique.”