Coyaba offers new spa, 12% pay

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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- The family-run Coyaba Beach Resort & Spa here is luring travelers with expanded water sports and spa facilities -- paired with home-spun service -- while courting agents with higher pay.

Owners Kevin and Joanne Robertson -- ex-New Yorkers who ditched Wall Street careers for the island life eight years ago -- have pumped more than $7 million since 1995 into refining the small plantation-style beach resort.

"We try to blend the facilities and professionalism of a large resort with the feel and touch of a bed-and-breakfast," said Kevin Robertson, noting that guests are, for example, welcomed with baskets of freshly baked banana bread.

The Coyaba Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay consists of three three-story buildings arranged in a triangle on a private beach. But Coyaba's 50 rooms -- 26 of which are junior suites -- boast upscale "mod-cons" such as satellite TVs, VCRs, CD players and air conditioning.

Services at the new Touch 10 spa include facials and skin peels; body scrubs and back cleansing; sunburn treatments; deep-tissue massages; and manicures and pedicures.

Coyaba's new, on-site, five-star PADI Scuba Center, managed by Resort Divers, offers a wide range of activities, including waterskiing, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat trips and scuba diving and certification.

Also on the activity front, the resort offers regular tennis clinics by professional players.

Dining-wise, Coyaba expanded the deck at its seaside Dock's Caribbean Bar and Grill, which offers dinners twice weekly -- a Wednesday seafood grill and Jamaican cuisine each Saturday.

Robertson said quality food service is Coyaba's calling card.

"Coming from Manhattan, it was a priority," he said. "We tried to combine the expectations of New York foodies with an island experience."

The Coyaba also offers meals at the Vineyard, a garden-style restaurant, and the Polo Grounds, which serves English-style pub fare.

Although Coyaba gets about half its bookings through tour operators, Robertson regularly hits the road to meet individual travel agents. Commission is 12%.

Rates through Dec. 15 run from $293 per person, double, for three nights in a gardenview room with no meals, to $1,933 per person, double, for seven nights in an oceanview junior suite, including the Gold Plan all-inclusive meals and perks package.

Breakfast and breakfast-and-dinner -- as well as standard Coyaba and deluxe Gold all-inclusive -- meal plans also are available.

For reservations, call (800) 330-8272; for more information, visit www.coyabajamaica.com on line.

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