Tue | Apr 16, 2024

Jamaica Inn at 65

Published:Sunday | February 26, 2023 | 1:11 AMJanet Silvera - Senior Gleaner Writer
 Chairman of Crissa Group Christopher Issa (left), and his lovely wife Kimberly Mais Issa are adorned with leis at the event.
Chairman of Crissa Group Christopher Issa (left), and his lovely wife Kimberly Mais Issa are adorned with leis at the event.
Tracey (left) and Richard Smallman pose for our camera.
Tracey (left) and Richard Smallman pose for our camera.
Linkeisha Jadusingh, Jamaica Inn sales and marketing executive, is on theme for the sapphire jubilee in this blue number.
Linkeisha Jadusingh, Jamaica Inn sales and marketing executive, is on theme for the sapphire jubilee in this blue number.
Darren Moncreif puts on a fiery performance for the event.
Darren Moncreif puts on a fiery performance for the event.
Edward Polito (left) and Olivia Morrow, assistant director of sales and marketing at Jamaica Inn, are in attendance.
Edward Polito (left) and Olivia Morrow, assistant director of sales and marketing at Jamaica Inn, are in attendance.
1
2
3
4
5

WESTERN BUREAU:

Taking guests and staff on a trip down memory lane to the years when Harry Belafonte sang Island in the Sun, the 65-year-old Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, hosted its blue sapphire jubilee last Tuesday night, paying tribute to old-time Jamaican style.

Creating ‘Bangarang’ mento style, the resort’s managing director, Kyle Mais, and his team infused the Jamaican tradition into an evening that Mais described as “nostalgia”.

Belafonte was not there in person, but in spirit, as the music responsible for the formation of ska and reggae rang out at the welcome cocktail reception. In fact, it was a momentous occasion, not only for the resort but the many returning guests who have become family but were returning for the first time after the tumultuous event that brought the hospitality sector to a standstill.

“We weren’t sure that we would be around for the 65th anniversary. It truly is an amazing feat for us to be able to celebrate this in style,” asserted Mais who has spent the last 10 years managing the hotel.

Mais took the opportunity to remember the family members, staff, and friends who didn’t make the 65th, even while recognising those who had played a significant role in serving the thousands of guests who called the resort their home away from home.

The hotel is renowned for its staff retention, with many employed there between 20 and 50 years. Staff are treated like family, and even their beloved pet dog Shadow, who passed earlier this year, has been replaced but still fondly remembered with another dog of the same breed and colour.’“Our team members are really the true stars of the last 65 years,” acknowledged Mais. People like ‘Sadie’, ‘Richie’ the bartender extraordinaire, ‘Shirleen, the guest services guru, and ‘Miss Marsh’, the matriarch, were credited for their contribution towards Jamaica Inn earning accolades of being among the top resorts on the island.

Owner Eric Morrow just as much confirmed this, addressing the people who make it happen as the backbone of the property. Having spent his youth years on the property, he reminisced on the days that the late ‘Teddy’ would teach him how to catch lizards, which he would walk around with on his hat, scaring all the ladies in the dining room.

A host of entertainers closed off the historic evening showcasing the richness of the Jamaican culture, either by eating fire or dancing to limbo.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com