UTech builds boutique hotel
KINGSTON'S newest hotel is being built in an unexpected area — the Papine campus of the University of Technology.
And it will have culinary facilities that go far beyond room service and minibars — such as a food laboratory.
The university's construction of a boutique hotel on its Kingston campus will expand students' practical experiences beyond what is learned through internships, said Dr Kofi-Nkrumah-Young, its vice-president of planning and operations.
Although primarily for training, the hotel — which is yet to be named — will also be open to the public, he said.
UTech's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has 850 students working towards degrees such as Bachelor of Science in food service management, and hospitality and tourism management.
Undergraduates are expected to complete two 10-week internships, a condition which will continue after the training hotel opens, Nkrumah-Young said.
"UTech is known for providing practical experience over theory," he said, adding that the hotel would give instructors more control over the hands-on aspect.
The hotel joins the hospitality school's privately owned fine-dining restaurant, Lillian's.
Expansion of the school —including the new hotel — is part of the university's US$44 -million ($4- billion) enhancement project.
Financed in part by a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the UTech Enhancement Project aims to upgrade the school's facilities to meet the demands of a growing student population.
The university has contributed US$17 million of its own funds to the project, Nkrumah-Young said, adding that Government will repay CDB's contribution.
In addition to the hotel, the expanded hospitality school will have a public bar, a restaurant and laboratories for food and beverage as well as housekeeping training.
Full-scale operation is expected to begin by January 2014, Nkrumah-Young said.