The ultimate trendsetting hotspot in Jamaica is now ready for you. Overlooking the famed Doctor’s Cave Beach, putting the resort city of Montego Bay back on the map among international travelers. I want to reiterate, hip international travelers.
The inspiration for the contemporary 120-room S Hotel is as cosmopolitan as it comes, but the feeling is notably Jamaican as the country’s soul and culture swirl together to create this new multi-experiential hotel. Buzzing bars, a high-spirited pool scene, the Sky Deck for the exclusive use of those booked on concierge floors, an international restaurant, a café, spa, gym and guestrooms with an elevated design aesthetic, thoughtfully combine to create a modern and effervescent sense of place, reinvigorating MoBay’s irie Hip Strip featuring new shops, restaurants, entertainment and more. If you have ever been to Jamaica and stayed in MoBay (Montego Bay) you will be happily surprised by S. The resort is everything Jamaica with a dash of sass while oozing class.
Christopher Issa, Jamaican entrepreneur and owner of the recently formed Crissa Hotels including Kingston’s iconic Spanish Court Hotel comments, ”We’re creating a new kind of hotel in Montego Bay, one that infuses modern Jamaican culture balanced with the sophistication of an urban hotel and the laidback style of a beach resort, appealing to international travelers and locals alike.” We say he has achieved exactly what he set out to do and welcomes you to experience this melding of concepts brought to life.
The Design, by Miami-based luxury design firm, Antrobus Ramirez directed the interior design of the hotel with Jamaica-born designer Alison Antrobus and her design partner Ruby Ramirez, spearheading the project. A towering 25-foot interior lobby walled with coral stone greet guests with a central ‘boardwalk’ made from local Jatoba hardwood physically and visually connecting the hotel’s many water elements from the stunning entryway water feature leading back to the central swimming pool, setting the stage for grand processions of hotel activity.
S Hotel isn’t just a place to be seen, it is a chance to enter the constellation and shine with an international ambiance reminiscent of South Beach accented with an irie vibe. The main swimming pool is framed by lounge-worthy swim-out cabanas and white sand lines the area around the pool dotted with beach chairs and a sleek wood deck completing the atmosphere.
Jamaican historical and cultural design elements are at the forefront woven in with modern interpretations. Artisanal weaving techniques are used in unexpected applications such as the 20-foot screens made with rattan cane panels and “Cut Stone”, typically used in traditional Jamaican buildings, serving as inspiration and adorning the lobby walls. Dotted throughout the property, guests find the works of local Lumber Artist, Tamara Harding, whose pieces feature wood recycled from the trees removed from the property during construction. Recycle, reuse, repurpose, all designed to evoke a true sense of place.
Local artists contributed original pieces such as a hand painted mural and prints by famed Jamaican artist Michael Thompson, local lumber artist, Tamara Harding and legendary intuitive artist, Ras Dizzy, can be found throughout the hotel.
In the guestrooms, sleek interiors with an overarching monochromatic theme give way to gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea or lively city views, while oversized “wicker” wrapped soaking 2 tubs stand out in the Spa Suites. The hotel’s signature Sky Suite soars above the property with 20-foot ceilings while the Presidential Suite features three bedrooms and a living/dining room.
Other room categories range from The Essentials to Spa Suites that includes various spa amenities while each room features turntables complete with a copy of Bob Marley’s iconic album “Legend”.
As delicious as all of this may sound. The resort satiates not only the visual and tactile senses, but also your tummy. The food and beverage offerings are fresh, local, sustainable and most importantly, Jamaican. The Lobby Bar is a central intimate meeting place serving a custom selection of wines, Champagnes and a full range of specialty house-made local elixirs, while Rock Steady, the premier restaurant is open daily for dinner, featuring artisanal Jamaican and international cuisine. The menu features regional ingredients and produce in a wide variety of innovative, locally inspired dishes served in a stylish setting. Additionally, The Market, is the hotel’s more casual eatery serving breakfast and lunch featuring a fresh locally driven buffet and a la carte options highlighting Caribbean and international specialties with indoor and al fresco seating available overlooking the main pool.
The pinnacle of the property is the Sky Deck, exclusive to Sky Club Suite guests. Boasting an enviable rooftop location with a glass enclosed pool surrounded by cabanas and loungers; this is the ideal spot for sunset to enjoy modern cocktails and a decadent tapas menu for refined revelry. I think refined goes without saying, at this point.
The Pool Bar & Grill uses top-shelf spirits and organic herbs to design inventive craft cocktails and straight-up classics, while an all-day menu boasts tasty, healthy snacks, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza, grilled specialties, salads, and fresh juices.
Almond milk flat white or detox green juice? Check. Start your day right with your favorite cup of java, fresh juice or light bites at The Ska Café, which features indoor and outdoor seating, and a library with an international array of magazines, books and newspapers, and a daily-changing Spotify playlist will soothe the soul and never grind your sensibilities to a repetitive halt.
Should the very reason you visit be to get a break, or soak up some luxury pampering, The Irie Baths and Spa embraces Jamaican heritage and a holistic approach to wellness featuring subterranean plunge pools with varying temperatures reminiscent of ancient baths, offering kinetic energy therapy. Regardless of the intention for your visit, this spa is a fantastic idea. It houses four treatment rooms (two double rooms and two singles) offering an array of services.
The spa features Natura Bissé, an international beauty brand, and locally made skincare products used in the treatments performed by expert therapists. Treatments include manicures and pedicures with polish by Deborah Lippmann, Lycon waxing services and a variety of facials, massages and body scrubs using local cold-pressed coconut oil and essential oils. I am partial to the scrubs. Who doesn’t love a good sloughing?
The new S Hotel is centrally located on Montego Bay’s irie Hip Strip, recently re-christened Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, just five minutes from Sangster International Airport and walking distance to nightlife, restaurants and shopping. This means that you are in the heart of it all while being secreted away from all the buzz, unless and until you decide you want to become a part of it all.
S Hotel is the second hotel project from Jamaican entrepreneur Chris Issa, owner of the newly created Crissa Hotels. The term Crissa is derived from the Jamaican Patois word, “Kriss” meaning “excellent.” This places is nothing she of Kriss. The group includes the popular Spanish Court Hotel and the Spanish Court Worthington event venue in Kingston, and in Montego Bay, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records restaurant outpost located adjacent to the new S Hotel Jamaica.
Rates start at $229 for an Essential room, Spa Suite at $329 and the Signature Sky Suite at $1,049 a night, double occupancy.