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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; April 29, 2015: The 518-room Holiday Inn, once dubbed the largest hotel in Montego Bay, has received a major boost with a US$15 million renovation and re-branding exercise, which is now underway.
With the new look comes a name-change from Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort to Holiday Inn Resort, operating as one of over 42 hotels under this new brand within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
The new brand was revealed yesterday (April 28) when the hotel unveiled its updated look to a select group of invited guests and the media. Heading the list was Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill who described the development as “something for which we can be proud.”
Noting that this was the fourth rebranding of hotels in recent weeks and that all the properties involved were Jamaican-owned, Minister McNeill said, “what you have happening here is part of a larger process that’s been going on now for some years where there’s an energy and vibrancy in Jamaica and in our tourism product.”
He saw this as a good move as “we are constantly reinventing … and this is something that’s progressing and getting better.” This he added, was good as it meant the eyes of the outside world were on Jamaica.
Reiterating that tourism was on a success path, Dr. McNeill credited workers in the industry for this achievement. “The real credit for the success we’re having in tourism goes to those persons in the industry who are doing work like this – rebranding, refreshing, keeping us on the cutting edge and secondly, probably more importantly, to the strength of our hospitable workers in the industry.”
He said every survey conducted confirmed that the strength of Brand Jamaica in tourism was attributed to the workers and “their interaction with the guests is what people remember and it makes a great difference. As Minister of Tourism, in an industry that’s performing well, I want to congratulate and thank each and every one of them for the work that they are doing.”
He also had special commendation for the owners of the hotel, the Hendrickson family and in particular Managing Director of Holiday Inn Resort, Kevin Hendrickson. In addition to this property, the Hendricksons also operate other properties including The Jamaica Pegasus and Courtleigh in Kingston and Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay.
Mr. Hendrickson said the rebranding initiative marked a new chapter for the hotel and that the partnership with IHG since acquiring the property in 2008 has been rewarding. “Through their various programmes and services, we’ve taken the property to record revenues and profits” and with the rebranding “we are confident that the upward trajectory will continue.”
Director of Brand Experience for Holiday Inn Americas, Justin Alexander who recalled having been taken to the Montego Bay property as a child, praised staff for maintaining the hotel in good shape over the last 45 years and giving guests the warm service that makes them want to return.
Some new features have been added to the all-inclusive Holiday Inn Resort, such as the conversion of one of the several buildings into a 52-room adult only section called Rose Hall Club and offering a range of select services to club guests.
An island for sunbathers has also been created, in addition to a miniature golf course, a swim-up bar, a variety of specialty restaurants and facilities for children.