Monday Briefing: Jamaica’s Resort Scene Is Heating Up

Montego Bay Jamaica
Photo by virsuziglis/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Today’s news of a major new deal between Sandals and Marriott is just the latest development in Jamaica’s resort scene. 

The just-announced plan from Sandals Resorts International (SRI) and Marriott International, Inc. will bring Marriott’s AC Hotels brand to the Caribbean with a new property in Kingston, Jamaica. The partnership is unusual in that it marks the first time that SRI will manage a brand it did not create. Construction on the new hotel, which will include 220 guest rooms, a 10,000 square foot conference center and a full service restaurant, will begin this month ahead of a scheduled winter 2019 opening.

The news comes not long after the official relaunch of the Sandals South Coast. Formerly known as the Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa, the resort reopened earlier this month following a multimillion dollar renovation project that included the debut of Sandals’ new over-the-water bungalows, as well as the new Latitudes over-the-water bar. Other new amenities included an ocean-based swim-up bar called Bar-Tender, an over-the-water wedding chapel and several newly upgraded room categories, including categories aimed at newlyweds. 

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Looking ahead, February will see the debut of the Grand Lido Negril, a new adults-only, clothing-optional luxury boutique resort from Blue Diamond Resorts. Consisting of 26 ocean-facing suites, guests at the property will be able to enjoy butler service, rain showers and a balcony or terrace, as well as access to the Royalton Negril and the adults-only Hideaway at Royalton Negril

In the first half of 2018, Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts will open a new project in Montego Bay: the Excellence Oyster Bay. That resort, which will be located in Oyster Bay just over 30 minutes from the international airport, will have 325 suites and will mark Excellence Group’s first project in Jamaica. 

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