Jamaica Set for First Disney Call, New Luxury Hotels in 2013

There’s a lot to keep up with when it comes to new offerings in Jamaica, so Travel Agent is here to break down everything from the destination’s first call by Disney Cruise Line to a new wave of barefoot luxury resorts that are expected to revitalize tourism in Port Antonio.

Once a retreat for the rich and famous, Port Antonio is again looking to become the go-to spot in the Caribbean for affluent clients and music aficionados alike with the debut of the Geejam Collection (www.geejamcollection.com), led by music veteran and hotelier Jon Baker; partner and co-owner, Steve Beaver; and billionaire businessman and Port Antonio native Michael Lee-Chin.

The first two projects to debut are the oceanfront, 13-villa Trident Hotel and the landmark Trident Castle that has been converted into an eight-room luxury hotel. The third is the Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Villas, set to open later in the year. Continuing the momentum begun by Geejam, established in 2008 and drawing this generation’s movers and shakers to the region, the project will further invigorate tourism in Port Antonio.

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The Trident Hotel, which will have a grand opening on April 15, comprises 13 studio and one- and two-bedroom villas with private, heated plunge pools, and terraces overlooking the sea. Amenities include outdoor soaking tubs, steam rooms, wet bars, and sleek, modern interiors complete with flat-screen Apple TVs and Wi-Fi. It was thoroughly renovated but maintains most of its original Jamaican-Georgian exteriors. The public spaces include an infinity swimming pool; screening room that doubles as an art gallery; a boutique; gym with a Jacuzzi, yoga deck and spa treatment room; library; indoor and outdoor dining; two indoor bars; and its own private beach and beach bar.

The hotel’s main 80-seat restaurant, Mike’s Supper Club, takes cues from the uptown Harlem style of years past and has an original Ferrari, a red 1917 Steinway piano, live music and spectacular views. The menu is designed by New York City’s Jamaican hot spot, Spur Tree, and will feature internationally influenced dishes with an emphasis on Jamaican and Japanese cuisine.

The Trident Castle’s charm and a bit of its old glamour still reigns on this sprawling seven-acre oceanfront estate offering a one-of-a-kind luxury experience. Much of the original furnishings and interiors have been refurbished and kept intact, creating a distinctive retro-chic ambiance. Built as a private residence by architect Earl Levy beginning in 1979, the Castle has become a symbolic landmark of Port Antonio’s history, and since been converted into a high-style pied-à-terre for seekers of refined living. It has eight bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, and modern amenities, including 500-thread-count sheets and more.

The grand public rooms include an opulent ballroom and banquet hall, an elegant drawing room and living area, adjoining sunrooms, and a state-of-the-art photography studio. The property also houses a Romanesque-style swimming pool with its deck overlooking the ocean, a helicopter pad, and a petite private chapel arranged amid its expansive lawns and terraces.

Coming Soon: Blue Lagoon

Later in 2013, the Geejam Collection will launch the Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Villas, a destination within the destination to bring locals and tourists together to enjoy the legendary aquamarine waters of this natural wonder. Blue Lagoon will act as a full-service recreational, dining and accommodation resort situated on the scenic north shore. Plans for the revival of this landlocked cove include a heritage museum, botanical gardens, public beach area, restaurant, pier-side craft kiosks and luxury villas.

For all requests for any Geejam Collection property, agents should reach out to Sales/Reservations Manager Rose-marie Barrant ([email protected], 876-993-2737).

A New All-Inclusive

For your clients seeking for a fresh all-inclusive option in Jamaica, Karisma Hotels & Resorts announced late last year that it will be expanding to the island. Karisma, a collection of 11 Gourmet Inclusive properties comprising El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels, El Dorado Generations, and Azul Hotels and Villas by Karisma, has acquired majority and controlling interest in the former Beaches Sandy Bay Resort in Negril, which will now operate under the new name, Seashore Bay Beach Resort.

This will be the first Gourmet Inclusive resort outside Mexico. It was ready to welcome guests on December 1, but a multimillion-dollar renovation is planned, after which it will be rebranded an Azul Hotel, operated by Karisma and providing couples and families with a customized five-star Gourmet Inclusive vacation experience.

Disney Cruises Into Jamaica

Following an eight-year courtship spearheaded by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), the country has secured a first-ever call by Disney Cruise Line into Jamaica’s Historic Falmouth Cruise Port beginning this October. The 1,754-passenger Disney Wonder will visit the island’s newest port in Falmouth as part of the ship’s latest seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary, which will launch from Galveston, Texas.

With yearly increases, Historic Falmouth Cruise Port welcomed roughly 412,812 visitors from January to August 2012, compared with 253,940 during the same period last year. The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port officially opened in March 2011 and was a $213 million project developed by PAJ in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

 

Trident Castle
The sprawling oceanfront Trident Castle offers a one-of-a-kind luxury experience.

 

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