Ringing in the New Year at a resort bodes good for Resort Caribbean. How better could we have ended 2021 and start 2022? Cheers to the New Year, and cheers to many more resort expeditions and blog posts to come!
Close to midnight, guests at the Spanish Court Hotel prepared to welcome the new year at The Sky Terrace. To enhance the celebration, we got free champagne, because of course, what’s a celebration without champagne? We also got cute hats and crowns that say “Happy New Year.” I think that was very cool!
I don’t know if this is the case at other resorts on New Years day, but rarely would you get a token after visiting a resort in Jamaica. In comparison to other resorts, this one, as well as others in Kingston are relatively smaller and accommodate less visitors, so it felt like a close knit community. Not only guests who booked a stay were at the celebration, but it seems others came solely for that celebration party.
Hotel de la Corte Española
If I could use one word to describe Spanish Court Hotel or Hotel de la Corte Española, I would say it is luxurious. I’m not exaggerating. I know that word is casually used to describe exquisite spaces, but if you read on, you’ll learn why. Furthermore, no wonder it attracts mostly Spanish guests…hint at the name. There were distinctive guests from other parts of the world, but we’ve encountered quite a few Spanish guests.
It was my first time staying at a hotel in Kingston for recreational purposes or to simply savour the experiences, apart from hotel expeditions which would involve business engagement or other compulsory activities. This is ironic however, that as Kingstonians (what they refer to people from Kingston as), we don’t readily stop to experience much of the beauty in proximity to us. Some people would also believe that Kingston, Jamaica does not have quality resorts. Most people from the city would rather to visit resorts on the North Coast. Resorts in remote or more rural areas have their perks, but, you cannot completely give up the beautiful view of a cityscape for that.
The major difference is that there are no beaches in the City, for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, we are glad that we’ve finally decided to explore what it is like to stay at a city hotel so that we can share with you. With this, we can now go as far as to make comparisons, because of course there are differences. Maybe in a future blog post we can actually help you decide where would be ideal for you to stay based on your preferences and reason to travel.
Is the Location Safe?
Yes it is safe! Spanish Court Hotel, located in Kingston, Jamaica, specifically New Kingston is in the heart of Kingston’s third largest business hub. The difference between this location and other business districts is that it is more upscale. Mostly formal and large-scale corporation business activities take place here. Because of this, the area is highly secured. Therefore, if you are wondering if it’s safe, based on what you probably know or probably would’ve heard about Kingston, the answer is yes! It is safe to stay at Spanish Court Hotel, as New Kingston is one of the safest locations in Kingston. It is also home to other hotels such as Pegasus and The Marriott Hotels.
James Bond 007 Hotel
We were intrigued to learn an interesting fact about Spanish Court Hotel. It is actually THEE hotel where THEE James Bond stayed…well, the character who played James Bond in 1961. And for those who don’t know by now, multiple scenes in James Bond 007 were shot on the shores of Jamaica. This is a big deal! We could also see that the hotel administration and management take pride in this and use it as a selling point. To prove this, they even left an artefact on display. The Sunbeam Alpine car that was used in the film is currently parked on the compound which is pretty cool!
Why I’d go back to Spanish Court Hotel
1.Cost Efficient and Convenient
With it being close to basically everything, if your goal is to experience the city life and integrate into the Jamaican society and culture, staying here would be ideal. Whether it is only for one night or for a period of time. It could basically serve as your home and you can always eat out, as there are hundreds of food options close-by. Even though the facility is lacking in entertainment options, you will never be short on options to enjoy yourself nearby. The stay there is also affordable, especially if your goal is to stay on a short-term basis.
2. The Homeliness of the Room
The size of the rooms does not take away from its luxuriousness and comfort. Though relatively small, they have every necessity like other A-List resorts and evidently more quality features in comparison to some other resorts that we would’ve visited, for example, the television. The TV was both larger, smarter and higher definition than others we’ve seen. It’s the little things that matter. When visiting resorts, these really are the indicators that tell whether or not your spend was worthy.
The room had all other features we would’ve expected, and in addition, an exercise mat. We thought that was pretty cool. On our floor, there was a balcony…well, a half balcony. You couldn’t necessarily step outside, but you could open the windows and enjoy the city view.
On the doors were buzzers with privacy indicators. We thought that was pretty unique. From the inside, you have the option of pressing a button which will determine your privacy needs. This literally communicates the green-light to room service, to let them know when the room is accessible for them to tidy.
3. Architecture and Facilities
The building was clearly built Iberian-style. The architecture resembles that of those in Spain or Portugal. It’s pretty unique and different from what you’d typically see in Jamaica. Most of the other resorts have more of a modern/Western touch to them.
Inside reminds me of an apartment complex, however it feels inviting and homely. I also couldn’t stop emphasising the fact that it looks and feels suitable to be the set for a movie. No wonder it’s James Bond Hotel. Haha! The passage-way reminds me of those sitcoms with multiple family members or neighbours sharing space and occupying different rooms, like The Big Bang Theory.
In addition to the facilities mentioned, they have:
- Two pools and an outside jacuzzi. One of the pools, located at The Sky Terrace basically served as a bar counter that you could sit around. The pool at the back is a cabana pool where you can relax in any of the cabanas by the pool.
- A Gym
- A Spa
- A Computer room
City hotels are pretty open. Not in term of open to have just anyone walk in. That would be crazy! But open in the sense that, you don’t have to be staying as a guest to go there. You can always make a reservation, which doesn’t have to be too far in advance, to eat out or to host celebrations at their restaurant. The food is pretty amazing, which is what we’ll go into last. The next time I’m going, I’m definitely hitting up my crew!
To be fair, I would rate the food separately from the hotel. Their cuisine has a uniquely quality flavour, so even if it’s a bit costly, it is worth it. They have a variety of dishes for both lunch and dinner. And as mentioned, you can choose the restaurant as a dine-out location. It’s a pretty suitable atmosphere for a date or a friends or family outing. With our package, lunch and dinner was not included, however all guests receive complimentary breakfast which was delicious! It was surprisingly buffet style, which we were a bit sceptical about before we literally were free to serve ourselves. That comes with touching the utensils without them being sanitised…and you know…COVID-19, so that wasn’t safe at all. However, we ensure to sanitize before our meals.
There is one main restaurant, called Rojo with Jamaican and other International style cuisine, and other dining areas such as, The Cafe, The Sky Terrace, and The Lounge. There is also a pool bar by the cabana pool.
The food here was really good and I’d definitely go back, but going back means mustering up more patience to wait on the meals which seemingly are done to order, so you know how long of a wait that is.
Overall Impression of Spanish Court Hotel
Overall, I am pleased by what I saw and experienced. The entertainment was a bit lacking, and just places to go, things to do or see overall, especially considering that the area is small. What makes up for this nonetheless is that you have a myriad of entertainment, even food options to choose from, places to visit and sites to see around the area. Once you are in Kingston, you have nothing to worry about. Everything is only but a stone’s throw. If you go the route of booking the restaurant for a meal only, it’s best suitable if your aim is to just dine in style, and you have no problem waiting or buying time, because the wait is very long. Would not recommend if you’re very hungry. Spanish Court Hotel is without doubt a good pick if you’re staying in Kingston and would want to experience city life, so we definitely recommend!5