Phillips to head new luxury-brand hotel

CAREER LADDER

BY RICHARD BROWNE Business Editor browner@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, April 04, 2015

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Mary Phillips, previously general manager for the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, is to become managing director of a new luxury hotel in Negril later this year.


Philips, who has been working as a tourism consultant based out of Miami, has led a team of investors to take over the Moon Dance Resort in Negril as of June 1, 2015. Investors include the Vagabond Group led by Avra Jain as well as culinary professionals Delius Shirley and Chef Cindy Hutson.


Phillips told Sunday Finance that she had been working on putting the team together since last year, and was very excited to be introducing an extra-luxury resort to the island.


"The level of product and service we will offer will not only benefit the property but also the local community and Jamaica's travel industry as a whole," Phillips said.


"As a group, we know that Jamaica is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the Caribbean, and we believe the culture, people, beaches and the unrivalled sunsets are like none other in the Caribbean. This is where travellers will want to be and we are confident in Mary, the local team she is assembling and their ability to make the resort one of the most outstanding on the island," Jain said in a recent news release.


Shirley and Hutson will be at the helm of the food and beverage operations at the resort. Shirley is the son of former Jamaican chef Norma Shirley, while Hutson has won multiple chef awards. Together they are operators of the multi-award winning Ortanique Restaurants in Coral Gables, Florida, as well as Camana Bay in Grand Cayman.


Phillips has been involved in high-end tourism for years. She worked as general manager of Jamaica Inn for 11 years from 2002 to 2013. Prior to that she was general manager for Hotel Albion in Florida from 1996 to 1997, preparing the hotel for its opening. She started her tourism career at the exclusive Round Hill Hotel in Hanover in 1985, where she worked for more than 10 years, starting as the tennis pro and rising to the position five years later of executive assistant manager.



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