It was in 2001 that RIU Hotels & Resorts inaugurated its first hotel in Jamaica, the Riu Palace Tropical Bay, in Negril. Now, this year, the Spanish hotel chain celebrates its 20th anniversary in the country.
Since 2001, RIU's commitment to Jamaica has grown steadily. The company now has six hotels in three different destinations (three in Montego Bay, two in Negril and one in Ocho Ríos).
Its commitment is also reflected in redevelopment and renovation work, which, today allows RIU to offer a completely renovated or new hotel offer.
With the inauguration of the Riu Palace Tropical Bay in 2001, RIU became the first Spanish chain to rely on Jamaica to develop its operations. This bet to expand its activities in this country responded to a personal desire of Luis Riu, CEO of the channel.
“Since my first visit to the island in 1998, I knew I had to open a RIU hotel in Jamaica. I was entranced by its beaches and nature, but above all by the culture and the charisma of its people, and I knew our clients would feel its charm too. At that time, it seemed crazy, but today it’s a success story. Jamaica is one of the Caribbean’s major destinations, not only for American tourists, but rather for almost all the European countries,” said Riu.
The opening of the Riu Negril then followed that of the Riu Palace Tropical Bay and RIU continued to invest in other regions of the country with the inauguration of the Riu Ocho Rios in 2005.
Two years later, in 2007, it was the turn of the Riu Montego Bay, its first hotel in this destination.
Until the recent renovation of this establishment in December 2020, the hotel chain has never stopped investing in improving its infrastructure, in addition to embarking on the construction of two new hotels: the Riu Palace Jamaica and the Riu Reggae (inaugurated in 2013 and 2016 in Montego Bay).
RIU's development in Jamaica has enabled the chain to create more than 1,500 jobs in the country, with six hotels in operation, still staffed by people who were involved in the chain's early days in Jamaica in 2001.
The appreciation of RIU customers in Jamaica has resulted in properties receiving prestigious accolades from German tour operator TUI and US tour operator Apple Vacations, such as the Golden Apple Award or the Crystal Apple Award.
These are based on the opinions of thousands of travellers who rate and rate the staff, service, quality of food, facilities, beach and activity programs.
Today, RIU has more than 3,300 rooms and more than 6,700 beds in the country. With the pandemic, RIU was forced to close its hotels in March 2020, but was able to resume operations a few months later.
The first to reopen its doors was Riu Ocho Rios in June, and now the Riu Palace Jamaica and Riu Montego Bay are also in operation, all implementing the protocols set out in the RIU Hotels Post-COVID Manual.
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