by Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 01, 2018
Jamaica's Montego Bay Convention Centre (pictured) is fresh from a $200 million refurbishment, completed in time for "one of the most important global tourism conferences in our country's history," said the country's governor-general, Sir Patrick Linton Allen. The facility was honored to host the 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, this past November. The convention venue, Jamaica's largest, opened in 2011 with 142,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.

Many of the country's meeting and incentive properties also have invested in upgrades to attract and impress visiting groups.


RESORT NEWS
Among newer hotels geared to meetings and incentives is the Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa, which opened last fall on the site of the former Palmyra Resort and Spa. The property features 217 suites spread among three beachfront towers and 11 villas. Offerings include 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with complimentary WiFi, a 30,000-square-foot spa and a dozen dining outlets. The resort is just across from the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The 407-suite Royalton Negril Resort and the adjacent 166-suite adults-only Hideaway at Royalton Negril opened last year. Both properties offer access to seven restaurants (Gourmet Marche, Hunter, Calypso, Chef's Table, Grazie, Zen and Dorado), as well as five bars.

Several legacy properties have upgraded their facilities and offerings. At Sandals South Coast (the former Sandals Whitehouse), 12 overwater bungalows have been added, along with the overwater Latitudes bar. Other improvements include upgrades to the resort's five restaurants and new dining options: Sushi on the Sand, the Jerk Shack, Schooner's Caribbean restaurant and a beach picnic.

Guest rooms have been upgraded at the 537-suite Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa and the neighboring 516-suite Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, which share facilities including seven à la carte restaurants serving specialties such as Italian, Mexican, Asian, Indian, Creole-Jamaican and barbecue, respectively, along with three buffet-style eateries and 16 bars. The complex also features one large meeting room that can be divided into three sections.