Style Observer

SO2 A Sneak Peek of the new S Hotel

Sunday, December 30, 2018

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“We are a city hotel, not a business hotel,” declared hotelier Christopher Issa as he sat with SO2 in the café of his new property, S Hotel in Montego Bay. The chic property is a welcomed addition to the second city and strays away from the usual resort town hotel model. “Based on the reception Spanish Court received in Kingston, we felt that a similar type of boutique hotel on the Hip Strip would add to the hotel's offerings in Montego Bay, he added.” Of course, tourists are central to the business model and the close proximity and easy access to Doctor's Cave Bathing Club appeals to the resort side of S Hotel.

On Thursday, December 27, Issa afforded 65 guests the opportunity to dine and tour the ample and impressive space that is bright and modern and expresses minimalism through a tropical lens. Each element is beautifully crafted and has a purpose — no random glass sculptures or an oppressive succession of crystal chandeliers here. S Hotel employs a design sensibility that's evocative of other city hotels like the Gansevoort, W, The Standard and Kimpton. The Presidential Suite spans both the fifth and sixth floors and is also home to the Sky Deck that forms part of the concierge offerings.

It is up here that the private club concept kicks in. It is, by the way, absolutely breathtaking.

Based on Issa's success with Spanish Court in Kingston, S Hotel was built along similar lines — with the design being fundamental. Issa was deliberate in ensuring that Jamaican designers had a hand in creating core elements of the property. Cue: Tamara Harding and Alison Antrobus. Upon entering the lobby, Harding's Mara Made designs greet guests. Their uniqueness perfectly fit in with the space created by interior architect and designer Antrobus, who is half of the acclaimed Miami-based international design studio Antrobus + Ramirez. Spanish Court's signature red gives way to black, earthy stone and wood and pops of tropical colours, thus allowing S its own identity.

At first glance, it may seem that the allure of S Hotel is tied to the 'power of new'. However, after entering and experiencing the space and taking note of the careful design elements, you'll agree like us that S will become a mainstay and, dare we suggest, an iconic Montego Bay hotel.

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