Following an $85 million renovation, Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
celebrated its grand opening last month. Located at the site of a former Ritz-Carlton, Zilara and Ziva Rose Hall is Hyatt's first dual-branded, all-inclusive resort in Jamaica.
Playa Hotels & Resorts, the property's owner and operator, is positioning its opening as the next step in "the evolution of the all-inclusive resort."
"The idea behind the 'evolution of all-inclusive' is that we're never finished," said Kevin Froemming, Playa EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, at a press briefing before the grand opening. "We're going to take it where the customer wants to go. We see what works."
Group business has been robust since the property's soft opening in December 2014, with Hyatt welcoming groups from corporations like Acura and Xerox in the resort's first few weeks. With Jamaica's tourism market showing no sign of slowing down-the island welcomed
roughly two million overnight visitors in 2014, an increase of 3.6 percent over the previous year-Hyatt hopes to increase or capture some of the visitor influx. Group business will be integral to Zilara and Ziva Rose Hall's success; Froemming estimates that groups will make up 30 to 35 percent of the resort's business.
Portia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica's Prime Minister, called the resort's opening a "monumental milestone for Jamaica's tourism" at the grand opening.
To draw such groups, Zilara and Ziva Rose Hall offers over 18,000 square feet of flexible event space, including an 11,000-square-foot ballroom, and 30,000 square feet of outdoor and beachside venues-not to mention 1,200 feet of private coastline-so groups can occupy plenty of real estate without impacting individual hotel guests, and vice versa. The property is also a few minutes' drive from an additional 142,000 square feet of space at the Montego Bay Convention Centre
, the largest convention center in the Caribbean.
The resort houses 620 sleek and modern guest rooms, with the family-friendly Ziva comprising 386 suites, including 25 swim-up suites; at Zilara, which is adults only, there are 234 suites, 32 of which are swim-up. The whole property is available for a buyout, though no group has exercised this option yet.
One issue with staying at an all-inclusive property for a number of days is dining fatigue, something Zilara and Ziva Rose Hall aims to stave off with no fewer than 16 restaurants. Among the dining options are French, Italian, Asian fusion, pub fare, and Brazilian Churrascaria. One of the property's most unique (and popular) spots is Barefoot Jerkz, a Jamaican jerk shack located on the beach which consistently attracts a steady group of diners. If at the end of a long day of eating and drinking a guest still isn't satisfied, complimentary 24-hour room service and a mini bar (also complimentary) awaits.
At dusk, fire pits around the property flicker to life.
Other amenities of Zilara and Ziva Rose Hall include two fitness centers, a spa, a series of pools with swim-up bars, free airport transfers, and a complimentary round of golf for every guest at the Cinnamon Hill
or White Witch
The Jamaica property is the newest additions to Hyatt's Zilara and Ziva all-inclusive collection, joining Zilara Cancun and the recently opened Ziva Puerto Vallarta. In just a short time, Hyatt and Playa have shown themselves to be betting big with the Zilara and Ziva brands; later this year, they will open two Mexican resorts, Ziva Los Cabos and Ziva Cancun.
Groups that aren't afraid of a little mud -- and small spaces -- should head to Jamaica's Cockpit Country region, where the Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency
(STEA) offers a sustainable, eco-friendly, and totally incredible caving tour. Be prepared to crawl, climb, and swim. (Bring a pair of sneakers you don't absolutely love, as they will get dirty.) Don't worry about the bats flying overhead, because, as you'll learn on the tour, it's very unlikely that they will come near you.
The tour of Rock Spring Cave is conducted by an extremely knowledgeable, friendly staff under the leadership of STEA Executive Director Hugh Dixon, who warmly welcomes you to the tour and impresses with his encyclopedic knowledge of Cockpit Country's ecosystem.
At the end of three-plus hours of spelunking, you'll certainly be grateful for the expertly prepared Jamaican meal that awaits. The cave is located about 90 minutes from the Hyatt; the property can arrange the tour.