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 seven days a week from Boston to Montego Bay in June 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 90 couples. 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 three dedicated meeting rooms.
Larger groups, or those looking for a more active itinerary, might want to consider Half Moon Golf, Tennis & Beach Club. The resort on 400 acres includes expansive beachfront and a par-72 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. There are 418 guest rooms in villas, suites, and cottages. 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.
The more than 26,000 square feet of meeting space — in 11 meeting rooms and four breakout rooms — includes a dedicated conference center that accommodates 500 people. Half-Moon recently added T1 connections from several venues in the resort for fast Internet connections.