JAMAICA - TARA LAMEY, EVENT MANAGER, BME GLOBAL
It's the people in Jamaica that make it for me. Everyone is so friendly and happy, whether it is the staff in the hotels, the person driving the coach or the waiters serving the food. The customer service is to such a high standard.
The countryside is beautiful and every town has its own quirk. And, there aren't many destinations you can take groups that guarantee great weather. The atmosphere, overall, is very relaxed, fun and easy.
The Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is one of the most impressive hotels I have experienced in Jamaica. Rooms come with butler service as standard and with 15 restaurants and five different bars there is a lot to offer groups.
The hotel also has a tour desk on site that allows delegates to book their own activities. For example, we left the resort to go swimming with dolphins and we took a trip on a funicular through the rainforest called the Sky Explorer Tour. There's a huge amount on for all tastes.
Because of this set up, I would say that the resort is best suited for incentive groups. I mostly thought of Sandals as a holiday resort, but the hotel also has great conference facilities, and it is a good option for events that might have a spouse programme attached where delegates can bring their other halves. If there was a conference going on, there would be plenty for the partner to be getting on with.
As well as boardroom facilities, there is a ballroom venue that would work very well for gala dinners, with great audiovisual technology and a very high standard of food - mixing traditional Jamaican dishes with international cuisines.
There are a lot of other versatile spaces that can be utilised throughout the resort for private groups. It could be out on the beach where there is a marquee tailored for events, which I thought was really good. I definitely wouldn't think twice about taking a group there.
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