SMILE…your meeting is in Jamaica! Jamaica is on the radar… from tweets at the 2012 CES conference unveiling the brand-new wood crafted home audio docks from Jamaica’s reggae brand, House Of Marley, to the new Club MoBay airport departure experience featuring Fast Track through customs with a personal escort. Jamaica is returning as a destination that will impress, especially in the world of conference and meetings. Over the years, the country of Jamaica has become more sophisticated and is a major player as a valid meetings destination.
The nation of Jamaica stepping up it’s game as a valid meetings destination. Without a doubt, some areas of Jamaica are not meeting friendly, however the region of Rose H all is an affluent area of Jamaica, offering a destination that provides convenient airport access, plentiful meeting space, friendly service and a beautiful landscape.
Rose Hall is 12 minutes from the international Montego Bay airport. This airport is one of the best in the Caribbean… clean, friendly service, well maintained for both arrival and the departure. If you’ve got to be at the airport 3 hours early, the departure terminals provide plenty of non-kitschy Jamaican shops (Red Stripe, etc.) and great restaurants where you can get one last taste of Jamaican cuisine. The latest service enhancement at the airport is the creation of Club Mobay – an upgraded departure experience that offers a personal escort “Fast Track” where you can bypass the Immigration line. In addition, Club MoBay offers 10,000 sf of space offering beverages, light snacks, TV (both national and international), music, spa, business services and even a shower if you came straight from the beach. To maximize your company’s exposure or as an additional sponsorship opportunity, you can brand the Club Mobay lounge with your company name.
Within Rose Hall, you’ve got many great hotel options with The Ritz Carlton, Iberostar and Secrets. And then…there is Hilton Rose Hall Resort. This is a unique hotel that captures the cultural experience of Jamaica. At first glance, the hotel grounds appear like any typical Jamaican resort, but once you step inside, this hotel has heart and soul. The resort re-opened in 2008 as a Hilton property, with an extensive $50 million renovation. The style of the hotel is unique in design with a trendy, edgy look. The lobby is inviting with sleek furniture and a simple design, allowing your eye to focus on the panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea. Stepping outside, you are welcomed by The Barking Frog, a festive bar that sits on the deck overlooking the infinity pool and ocean.
The guestrooms are stylishly simple, updated with modern dark wood, crisp white beds and flat screens. The resort has plenty of offerings on site…5 bars, 7 restaurants, live reggae concerts nightly, limbo dance, campfires and and Sooth Spa. Chef Michael has all the attributes of the winning title of Best Jamaican Chef – he is incredibly friendly, Swiss and creative with his culinary talents. Chef Michael weaves the Jamaican dishes delicately into the banquet menus and won’t leave your taste buds wanting. Right next door to is Cinnamon Hill Course with 18 holes. The front 9 set of holes has sea spray from the ocean, while the back 9 offers incredible ocean views. Even the golf course provides a cultural taste with aqueducts in the background, and the course takes you by the house of the Great White Witch Annie Hall and Johnny Cash’s estate.
For your conference, Hilton Rose Hall has 14,000 sf of indoor meeting space. If your program is larger, the newly opened Montego Bay Convention Center will impress your attendees with cutting edge technology, spacious event space and beautiful architecture. Located on the elegant corridor of Rose Hall, the center has a 55,800 sf exhibit hall, 21,528 sf ballroom and 9 meeting rooms. The facility is a beautiful building with a mix of Asian design and Caribbean light colors. It’s a high tech conference venue solution offering Voice/ video/data/ wifi and simultaneous interpretation facilities.
What makes the experience memorable in Jamaica is the service you receive. Jamaicans are a naturally friendly people. Everyone I connected with over 4 days… from the server at the jerk chicken shack, to my raft captain, to the big hug I received from the bellman at departure – the Jamaican people genuinely want you to have a good time. Makes sense that the country mantra is “Yeah Mon,” you hear it everywhere and it reflects the can do attitude and spirit of the people. As referenced by Bob Marley, the cultural leader of the country, in his song “Smile, You are in Jamaica…” Go ahead and smile if your meeting is in Jamaica, SMILE. You have a great adventure ahead of you.