Christopher Issa, owner of the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, is seeking to bring a chic, South Beach vibe to the shores of Montego Bay.
Slated for a soft open before Christmas and officially opening on Jan. 27, the S Hotel Jamaica occupies a former apartment building that has been gutted and renovated to carry out Issa's vision of what he describes as "South Beach goes irie."
Guests will enter through a lobby bathed in coral stone. Issa has commissioned local artists to contribute original work, which will be displayed in the hotel's dining venues. Rooms, featuring white tiling and wooden accents, will include turntables, each with a copy of the Bob Marley album "Legend."
The European Plan hotel will offer meal plan options. The signature S Hotel Restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, which will be a fusion of Jamaican cuisine and international fare. There will be a menu of wines, Champagnes and specialty house cocktails, as well.
The Pool Bar will offer an all-day menu of snacks, sandwiches, salads and juices. Just in front of the hotel in St. James Plaza is the Tracks & Records restaurant, themed after Olympic gold medal sprinter and Jamaica native Usain Bolt.
Atop the resort is the sleek Sky Deck, with a pool with a glass wall overlooking the sea. This exclusive space will only be available for guests of the Sky Club Suites. But available to all guests will be an expansive, ground-level pool that overlooks Doctor's Cave Beach.
Beach chairs and cabanas will dot the wooden pool deck and spill onto the sand that leads down to the sea. And underneath the resort will be the Irie Baths and Spa featuring hydrotherapy pools reminiscent of ancient healing baths, four treatment rooms and a 24-hour fitness center.
Montego Bay base camp
Issa describes the hotel as a luxury base camp from which travelers can go off to explore the activities in the area.
"There is nothing like this in Jamaica," Issa said. "Montego Bay is either all-inclusive hotels or older luxury. We want to attract a mixture of guests, from millennials to people who came to Jamaica as college students but are now older and want to experience Jamaica as still an 'it' island. It's a cultural destination as well as a naturally beautiful one, and it is constantly evolving."
Rates begin at $200 per night. See www.shoteljamaica.com.