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Breaking Travel News investigates: Hyatt Rose Hall, Jamaica

Playa Hotels & Resorts is nothing if not confident.

Taking over the site of the former Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the owner, operator and developer launched Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall and Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall to market in late 2014.

Situated next to the closed Palmyra Rose Hall Resort, sceptics might question the wisdom of the move in the current climate.

But as Playa Hotels chief executive, Bruce Wardinski, tells Breaking Travel News: “We can look at the Ritz Carlton, which failed, and Palmyra, which failed, and question our ambitions here.

“But we are a confident, cocky group. We really believe in our product, in our company and what we can achieve.

“We do not fear the market, where other people have failed, we believe in our business and what we can do. We will be successful.”

View over the Fez Moroccan themed restaurant at Hyatt Ziva

Strong words indeed.

But there is plenty of reason to be confident about Jamaican tourism at present.

Figures from the Jamaican Tourist Board reveal international overnight visitor numbers were up six per cent in 2014, breaking the two million barrier, while cruise ship visits saw another 1.5 million holidaymakers disembark.

Figures have been driven up by surging demand from Canada, the United States and the UK, while Jamaica has also been turning its attention to woo visitors from Latin America in recent years.

Airlift has also been increasing, with WestJet the latest international carrier to boost its offering to the destination. 

As a result, tourism presently generates approximately US$2 billion in earnings annually for this leading Caribbean destination and some 180,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the industry.

The pristine beach at the newly opened Hyatt Zilara

So what can Hyatt Rose Hall bring to this booming sector?

Spanning 1,200 feet of private, pristine coastline on the turquoise Caribbean, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall share the same grounds and combine to form single resort experience.

Sophisticated and stylish, Hyatt Zilara aims to be an indulgent escape for adults.

It boasts its own gourmet dining venues and offers lounges with premium branded beverages – all of which are included in the price.

Tucked along the western edge of the estate, the property offers 125 guest suites, including 30 romantic swim-up suites along the ground floor.

Four chic and contemporary private pools, a pool bar and a restaurant surrounded by chaise lounges and Bali Beds, complete the look.

In turn, Hyatt Ziva caters to guests of all ages in its 496 plush suites, including the 28 newly created premium swim-up suites, featuring oversized terraces with picturesque garden and ocean views.

Sunseekers can slip into any one of eight pools, featuring five swim-up pools and three whirlpools, relax in luxurious lounge seating or linger poolside at a the swim-up bar.

Pool butlers also provide personalised service.

Dining takes centre stage at both properties and is led by an international culinary team that oversees unique offerings in each of the à la carte, buffet and innovative poolside ‘food truck’ experiences that guests may enjoy.

The fresh flavours of the Caribbean are presented at an authentic Jamaican Jerk shack, while a churrasqueria Brazilian steak house and Moroccan-style roof top lounge are also popular. 

Islandz swim-up bar at Hyatt Zilara

Hyatt Rose Hall also received the official seal of approval.

Speaking at the opening gala of the new property, Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister of Jamaica, said: “We want our industry to grow not simply in quantity but in quality, and the new Hyatt Ziva & Hyatt Zilara Hotels represent quality. 

“The alliance of Playa Hotels and Resorts and the Hyatt Hotels is a solid partnership. 

“Putting these exceptional brands together with all that we in Jamaica have to offer is a recipe for success.

“Moreover, these resorts will fit admirably into two specific areas of growth in tourism around the world: luxury travel and the all-inclusive vacation experience.”

Beach spa breaks at Hyatt Ziva

Jamaica is credited with inventing the luxury all-inclusive holiday, and local champion Sandals hold a dominant position in the local market and also across the larger Caribbean.

So what does the new property offer than none other does?

Wardinski explains: “Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is the culmination of an approximate $85 million expansion, renovation and repositioning that is intended to reinvent this storied destination.

“We are moving the all-inclusive proposition to the very top of the market. Hyatt is the first of the large chains to move into this space, offering a fantastic proposition to our guests.

“Many of our guests have not been to an all-inclusive resort before and it is about educating the market about what we can offer here in Jamaica.”

Golf is expected to play a large part in the success of Hyatt Rose Hall

In practice this means perks like a free round of golf at either the legendary White Witch or Cinnamon Hill golf courses and catamaran excursions around the picturesque bay.

Guests will find spontaneous moments throughout the resort – everything from beach activities, to thoughtful insight into Jamaican culture and music, as well as little surprises such as frozen treats delivered by poolside butlers, rum tastings, and marshmallow roasts. 

A spa treatment on the beach is also deeply rewarding, with the highly trained staff offering a full range of services in sheltered cabanas overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

MICE tourism may also prove to be the hotel’s secret weapon, with a 10,000 sqm2 foot ballroom on offer alongside a host of smaller conference rooms.

With the Montego Bay Convention Centre also a short drive away, Hyatt Rose Hall expects business travellers to make up a third of guests by the end of 2015.

Guests are also greeted on arrival at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, which is just five minutes away, while on departure Club Mobay is the perfect place to prepare for the journey home.

Hyatt Rose Hall certainly has everything in position to take its place as a leading resort in Jamaica, but only time will tell if the confidence of Wardinski and his team will pay off.

More Information

Seven night package at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall

Kenwood Travel is offering a seven-night, all-inclusive package at Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall from £1,899 per person.

The price is based on two adults and includes return scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick in June 2015.

Seven Night package at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

Kenwood is also offering a seven-night, all-inclusive package at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall from £1,809 per adult and £999 per child.

The price is based on two adults and one child sharing a room and includes return scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick in June 2015.

For more information on both deals, visit Kenwood Travel, while the is more on visiting the destination on the official Visit Jamaica website.