MONTEGO BAY -- Jamaica will usher in 2002 with several new and
renovated resorts and a number of new attractions. A rundown
• Tryall Golf, Tennis & Beach Club in Montego Bay refurbished
56 of its privately owned villas. The projects included everything
from new roofs and kitchens to bathrooms, swimming pools and
furnishings. For information or reservations, call (800) 238-5290
or visit the Web at www.tryallclub.com.
• Half Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club in Montego Bay opened
the Half Moon Chapel, an open-air, gazebo-style structure with a
covered roof for religious ceremonies and weddings. It can
accommodate 30 people. For information or reservations, call (876)
• Beaches Resorts is poised to open another inclusive property
for families -- Beaches Resort and Golf Club, scheduled to open
Feb. 1 near Ocho Rios. The 230-room resort will offer many
amenities and facilities for grown-ups, including a
2,000-square-foot fitness center, an oversized pool with swim-up
bar, five restaurants, six bars, a water-sports center and nightly
For kids and teen-agers, there will be a video game center, a
disco and a Kids Kamp with supervised activities for infants,
toddlers and teens. For information or reservations, call (800)
BEACHES or visit the Web at www.beaches.com.
• The Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay completed a refurbishment
that added a poolside bar, a lobby bar and a meeting room for
business travelers. Also for business travelers, the Wexford
created executive-category rooms and apartments with large work
desks, Internet access and cell phones. For information or
reservations, call (876) 952-2854.
• The Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay said it
expects to finish renovating its 120 garden-level rooms by the
start of the winter season. The rooms will sport new furniture and
upgraded bathrooms. In addition, the hotel completed work on a
"cyber center" with computers equipped with Internet and e-mail
access. For information or reservations, call (876) 979-8070 or
visit the Web at www.sunsetbeachresortspa.com.
• The Reading Reef Club Hotel near Montego Bay is giving its spa
a face-lift and revamping its water-sports operation in time for
the high season. One of the hotel's selling points is its Island
Retreat Spa, which specializes in natural spa treatments using
herbs grown on the estate. For information or reservations, call
• SuperClubs will open the 350-room Starfish Trelawny Beach
& Fun Resort in Falmouth on Dec. 11. It will be the first of a
new brand of inclusive resorts targeting clients who are on a
budget. The 90-room Starfish Ocho Rios will open next spring. Both
resorts will be managed by SuperClubs but will be marketed
separately from its more upscale resorts. SuperClubs said the
Starfish brand is aimed at "budget-minded" singles, couples and
Opening rates will be $69 per person, per night, double. To
qualify, bookings must be made by Nov. 30 for travel Dec. 11 to
Feb. 14, with a blackout period from Dec. 21 to 31. Rates include
accommodations, meals, drinks, use of land and nonmotorized water
sports, entertainment and taxes. No tipping is allowed. Starfish
Trelawny is the former Trelawny Beach & Fun Resort; Starfish
Ocho Rios is the former Club Jamaica Ocho Rios. For information or
reservations, call (800) GO SUPER or visit the Web at www.superclubs.com.
• Couples Resorts is wrapping up renovations at Couples Ocho
Rios. The hotel plans to convert 13 rooms into six suites. In
addition, 80 bathrooms in the resort's mountainview and oceanview
rooms are being fitted with new tile and fixtures. The new suites
will include oversize Jacuzzis. For information or reservations,
call (800) COUPLES or visit the Web at www.couples.com.
• The upscale Strawberry Hill resort has a new chef, Aris
LaTham, in its restaurant overlooking the city of Kingston. LaTham
created a menu featuring "spa cuisine" and "sunfire cuisine," which
includes a selection of raw foods. For information or reservations,
call (800) OUTPOST or visit the Web at www.islandoutpost.com.
• Jake's, the small hotel located in the small fishing village
of Treasure Beach on Jamaica's south coast, will add two cottages
this winter, Cockles and Seapuss 2. Cockles, located in a private
garden setting, has two double bedrooms, each with its own private
entrance. The cottage features wood and tile floors, queen-size
four-poster beds and shaded private verandas.
Seapuss 2 features a queen-size bed, a small refrigerator, a
work area with a desk, a deck and an open-air shower. Both new
cottages were to be ready by Thanksgiving. For information or
reservations, call (800) OUTPOST or visit the Web at www.islandoutpost.com.
• Coco La Palm in Negril added five beachfront suites and 25
gardenview rooms for the budget-minded traveler. Coco also opened a
bakery. For information or reservations, call (876) 957-4227.
• Beaches Resorts broke ground on Beaches Whitehouse, which will
be located on 40 acres of wooded land in Westmoreland on the
island's south coast. It is scheduled to open in time for the
2002-03 winter season. Beaches Whitehouse will cater to families
(children ages 16 and older), singles and couples. It will feature
360 rooms, including 24 suites, 48 junior suites and 288 standard
Rooms will be designed in a Jamaican motif. The resort will
include five restaurants serving Japanese food, seafood, "Tex-Mex"
and Jamaican cuisine. There also will be a conference facility with
room for 300 people. For information, call (800) BEACHES or visit
the Web site at www.beaches.com.
• The 48-room Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios lowered the minimum age
requirement for vacationing children and completed upgrades and
renovations. All rooms and public areas were redecorated, and rooms
now feature direct-dial phones and dataport connections. Jamaica
Inn lowered the minimum age for guests from 16 to 12. In addition,
its toll-free reservations line now rings at the resort.
Responding to demand, the resort launched a three-night
"minihoneymoon" package for busy couples who might not have the
time for a longer getaway. The package includes accommodations in
an oceanfront room with a large veranda; daily breakfast and dinner
for two; airport transfers in a private car; unlimited tennis and
croquet, and admission to Dolphin Cove for a Dolphin Encounter
session. The package costs $850 per person, double. A six-night
package costs $1,365 per person, double. For more information or
reservations call (800) 837-4608 or visit www.jamaicainn.com.
• The Ruins at the Falls in Ocho Rios is turning into a hot spot
for locals and visitors alike. Formerly a restaurant and special
events facility, the venue was recently renovated and features two
restaurants and a cafe centered around a 40-foot limestone
waterfall surrounded by gardens. The main restaurant, Cascades,
serves up healthy dishes in a room filled with music and soft
lighting, while the Roadside Diner features Jamaican and Asian in a
casual and colorful setting.
Future plans call for the construction of 30 hilltop guest rooms
with balconies overlooking gardens, and a spa (with a gym) offering
traditional services as well as tai chi and yoga. Half of the 30
rooms are scheduled for completion by mid-December, and the entire
project is set to open early next year. For more information, call
(876) 974-4729 or visit the Web at www.jamaicaruins.com.