Jamaica's solid hospitality infrastructure has long made it a popular Caribbean destination for meetings and incentive groups — and that infrastructure keeps getting stronger. Air Jamaica, which offers nonstop flights from many U.S. gateways, began flying six days a week from Boston to Montego Bay in February. In June, the airline expanded that service to seven-days-a-week and also added direct flights to Montego Bay from Houston.
I enjoyed a respite from the chilly New England winter in March, when I flew Air Jamaica's new Boston-Montego Bay route and stayed at two of the island's many incentive-quality resorts. In this age of travel delays, it was a pleasure to experience an on-time flight. One caveat: Make sure to arrange for your group to be met at the airport and taken through customs, or it could be a long wait.
Elegant, understated Round Hill Hotel & Villas is a great choice for small incentive groups and executive retreats. With a 36-room hotel and 74 suites in 27 individually-owned villas, the property can accommodate up to 50 couples from December 15 to April 15, and 90 couples from April 16 to December 14.
The luxurious but low-tech environment allows guests to kick back and get revitalized. Villas with drop-dead views of the Caribbean are tucked into the hills: Each villa has a private pool, open-air lounging areas, a dining area, and a kitchen. All of the hotel rooms have expansive windows overlooking the sea and the resort's 60-foot free-form swimming pool.
There's the usual complement of recreational activities, and in addition to three dedicated meeting rooms, many of the living rooms at Round Hill's private villas are suitable for receptions or breakouts.
Larger groups, or those looking for a more active itinerary, might want to consider Half Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club. The beautifully landscaped resort stretches out over 400 acres that includes expansive beachfront and a par-72 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones.
There are 418 guest rooms in villas, suites, and cottages. White plantation-style buildings and an open-air lobby juxtapose an indigenous island atmosphere with Queen Anne and Chippendale reproduction furniture made on property.
Among the on-site amenities are three restaurants, a fitness center and spa, an equestrian center, a children's activity center, a shopping village, and 52 swimming pools, including an Olympic-size lap pool.
More than 26,000 square feet of meeting space is located in 11 meeting rooms and four breakout rooms, including a dedicated conference center that can accommodate up to 500 people. Half-Moon recently added T1 connections for fast Internet connections and offers access from several venues within the resort.