Courtyard by Marriott New Kingston opening Tuesday

Courtyard by Marriott New Kingston opening Tuesday

Saturday, November 28, 2015

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AFTER two years under construction, the Courtyard by Marriott, Kingston Jamaica hotel will officially open on Tuesday.

The 129-room hotel will increase the visitor accommodation count in the capital city to just under 2,270 and, with the exception of one employee, is staffed by Jamaicans.

A news release from the property's communications agency said the management worked with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) to employ Jamaicans from challenged backgrounds.

"In doing so, members of the community have been given the opportunity to learn new skills in construction, which can be transferred to new jobs in the future," the news release said, adding that five persons from the CSJP are also now employed with the new hotel.

"Tapping into the local community is vital," the release quotes Andrew Houghton, vice-president of Caribbean Marriott International. "The cost of hiring an expatriate to come and work in the community is probably two to three times what it would cost us to identify a candidate, develop them and give them the opportunity. This allows us to give them a new course in life, developing their life skills to help them move through a system."

The New Kingston hotel will be the third in the Courtyard by Marriott brand to be established in the English-speaking Caribbean.

It was developed by Caribe Hospitality (Jamaica) Limited, an affiliate company of Pan Jamaican Investment Trust (Pan-Jam) and joins its sister hotel in Bridgetown, Barbados, which opened in 2011.

"In Jamaica, Caribe has used green building techniques, achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, making the newest addition an energy-efficient building that will limit the environmental impact on its internal and external communities. It is the first LEED-certified building in Jamaica," the news release said.

LEED is a green building certification programme that recognises best-in-class building strategies and practices.

"This Courtyard by Marriott in New Kingston represents a conscious effort to impact positively on our natural and economic environment, General Manager Koen Hietbrink is reported as saying. "We are very excited to welcome our first guests to experience this product and the incredible service that I know our staff will provide."

Hietbrink indicated that the hotel will be receiving its first guests this week and is reporting strong bookings throughout December.

The hotel, which is located 20km from Norman Manley International Airport, is equipped with a full fitness centre, swimming pool, as well as high-speed complimentary Wi-Fi and several fully equipped meeting spaces for conferences, events and special occasions.

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