Jamaican capital gets first aparthotel

George Sell By George Sell
17 February 2019 | Updated 17 February 2019

Caribbean: The 48-key R Hotel has opened in Kingston, Jamaica.

The US$6.5 million property on New Kingston's Renfrew Road, is the city's first extended-stay apartment hotel. It had a soft opening on December 10, with a formal launch set for mid-March.

Most of the units are self-contained single rooms with a kitchenette and laundry area. Occupancy is said to be now running at 50 per cent. With four room rate categories, basic rooms are offered in the introductory period for US$156 per night. Two-bedroom suites with a larger kitchen, living room, dining room and balcony are situated at the top of the eight-floor high rise.

Seven floors are now open, while an eighth floor for suites, the Redbones bar and restaurant, a performing stage and swimming pool are still undergoing finishing touches. Amenities include a gym, art gallery, 60-person conference room and an eight-seat board room. The venue has already hosted business events, including press conferences and product launches. It is served by a staff of 40.

The property, with majority ownership by architect Evan Williams and reggae promoter Joe Bogdanovich of Downsound Entertainment, has partnered with Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records, Chillin, and Broken Plate restaurants, Café Blue, the Xamayca carnival band, Reggae Sumfest and Downsound Records for R Hotel guests to experience their services.

"Since we opened, each month is better than the previous one. Kingston is busy. Business is booming when it comes on to hotels in Kingston," said general manager Alexander Pik.

The hotel is projected to turn a profit on the initial capital outlay by 2020 and already the R Hotel owners are said to be scouting for expansion opportunities for the brand, especially in Montego Bay.

Pike says the bulk of the property's guests include a mix of business and leisure travellers from the US, Canada and the UK, with about 30 per cent of the hotel's business so far being Jamaicans living overseas. It also has Chinese guests visiting for sightseeing.

"We are targeting mostly the East Coast of the US, where most of the business comes from, especially our business travellers," he said.

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