Meliá Expanding to Jamaica


Above: the new Meliá Jamaica, new among Jamaica hotels

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Meliá is continuing its Caribbean expansion.

Meliá Hotels has finalized a deal to take over management of the Braco Village Hotel and Spa in Jamaica.

The deal was finalized by Melia Hotels International Chairman Gabriel Escarrer, Jamaican Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill and Minister of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier.

The 226-room resort includes five restaurants and a number of bars, pools and spas. The company said it would undergo a “comprehensive renovation” until its opening as the rebranded “Melia Jamaica,” which is set to open in November 2014.

“The Jamaican Government is deeply committed to improving the country’s main tourist centers, and Meliá is our preferred choice in transforming and restoring the resort back to splendor,” McNeill said. ”We assessed Meliá’s hotel management experience in the Caribbean and its international leadership within the leisure segment, and those two things together with the brand’s management reputation, made Meliá the clear choice.”

It’s the latest Caribbean move for Meliá, which announced last week that it would be taking over the former Sheraton property in Nassau to open an all-inclusive at the Baha Mar project in the Bahamas.

“Jamaica is a long awaited destination for Meliá Hotels International; the English-speaking Caribbean is a major focus in our global expansion strategy,” Escarrer said in a statement. ”Meliá is an international leader and benchmark in the resort segment, expanding our footprint to all major vacation destinations, both inland and on islands in the English-speaking Caribbean– in addition to the Islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Southeast Asia, and of course the Mediterranean.”

The hotel property had been owned by Jamaica’s National Insurance Fund, which selected Melia after a “highly competitive process.”

“In reviewing the proud history of Meliá Hotels International and receiving feedback about their respectful approach to what the NIF is trying to achieve, as well as their honorable conduct in the negotiations, I am confident that we have indeed selected the right partner with which to go forward,” Kellier said in a statement. “We firmly believe in their long-term commitment to the project and Jamaica.”

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