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Hyatt's all-inclusive product in Jamaica 'not business as usual'

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  •   10-07-2014  11:23 am
Hyatt's all-inclusive product in Jamaica 'not business as usual'

As Hyatt's all-inclusive properties in Mexico continue to lure Canadian travellers, its newest product scheduled to open Nov. 23 is set to raise the bar even further.

Kevin Froemming, executive vice-president & chief marketing officer, Playa Hotels and Resorts, was enthusiastic about the side-by-side Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties (dedicated to families and adults-only respectively), currently under development on the site of the former Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Jamaica's Montego Bay. The properties span across 1,200 feet of private Caribbean coastline, with 621 rooms in all.

"This is the culmination of the best of the best of what we have," Froemming said when speaking to travel media at JAPEX last month. "I believe this is the first six-star product in the English-speaking Caribbean, just because of service standards that we're setting ourselves to."

Hyatt inked a deal with Playa Hotels & Resorts last summer, as the well-known brand had sights on entering the all-inclusive market. Since then, the key talking point has been around "the evolution of the all-inclusive," which remains true for these new options as well.

"We're all about trying to do things first," Froemming said. "Every day, our team wakes up and our goal is to come up with something new that hasn't been done. The all-inclusive product has become so good over the years - there are lots of good competitors...This is not business as usual. This is us thinking, 'We have to do better.'"

So with that in mind, what's in store for the Jamaica product that will be pushing the all-inclusive envelope?

For one, luxury services begin upon touchdown at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport where guests are personally greeted by transportation butlers. Thanks to a partnership with Island Routes, they will then be escorted to a private lounge, where there will be an opportunity to check-in to their room, to avoid that typical 15- to 20-minute check-in period upon arrival at the resort.

In addition, nearly $2 million has been invested in tripling the size of the beach, addressing concerns from guests of the former property that the beach wasn't big enough. This beach will also be the location of Zilara's spa, part and parcel to a new Table to Table concept which will allow couples to have a pre-dinner spa treatment before a private, candlelit dinner at the beach club restaurant. This service will come at an additional charge, and while Froemming admitted that's somewhat as a revenue stream, it is also to mitigate demand.

Other details include things like a rooftop wedding gazebo, which is meant to offer the perfect beach-view backdrop, plus restaurants ranging from a Moroccan-style Fez Roof Top Lounge and an authentic Churrasco Brazilian Steak House.

Throughout the development, Froemming said Hyatt will be "maximizing the value of travel agents," noting that this sort of product "has to be explained."

"You can't sell it on price," he said, noting the importance of the details.

The hotel has blocked more than 100 rooms per night upon opening for travel agents to visit on a complimentary basis, to "see and feel the resorts."

And it's a concept that might be worth getting familiar with, as Froemming said, "Our plan isn't to build just one or two resorts a year." In addition to Mexico and the Caribbean, they are also considering destinations in Asia and the South Pacific.

For more information, visit www.allinclusive.hyatt.com or call 800.233.1234.