New Year at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
Happy New Year! Thanks for spending another year around the sun with us. What better way to ring in the New Year than at a hotel? For 2023, the Resort Caribbean team decided to spend the New Year at one of Jamaica’s most popular hotels – Jamaica Pegasus. Does this “ring” a bell? You might remember us celebrating 2022 at Spanish Court Hotel. If you didn’t read about that experience, you can read it here, “Ringing in the New Year at Spanish Court Hotel.”
Jamaica Pegasus is a household name in Jamaica. It has been the hotel of choice for events and city stay, before the era of Marriott Hotels in Jamaica. Still, it’s prominence remains. It’s customer service is fair, and the social aspects met our expectations. Though nothing special was going on for New Year’s Eve, there were still crowds of people gathered, celebrating.
We knew we wanted to visit both AC Marriott and Pegasus before the year ended, but initially couldn’t decide which one first. Conclusively, we decided to start our celebrations from early December Kingston’s booming baby – AC Marriott, then wrap up the year at Pegasus. Check out our last blog post “Visiting AC Marriott, is it the Best Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica?” to read about our experience at AC Marriott.
Like many of Kingston’s hotels, Jamaica Pegasus is located in New Kingston, Jamaica, which is the main business hub. With this, it is strategically positioned to be one which could be used for business purposes. It is also near a few local attractions and social services, including entertainment venues, such as night clubs, and national monuments such as Emancipation Park, that is oppose to it on Knutsford Boulevard. It is also opposite to three other hotels – Marriott Courtyard, Courtleigh Hotel, and Liguanea Club (members only).
City View and Fireworks
One of the New Year customs in Jamaica is to watch fireworks. This was paused during COVID-19, but is now in full swing! People gather at Waterfront, Down Town, Kingston to get a better view, as well as for the extravagancy and stage show. Due to there being a lot of exciting things to do on the eve/new year, many people think about how best they can prioritize and attend just one thing. However, we didn’t have to worry about all of that. We had the luxury of enjoying both the hotel and fireworks.
From the 6th floor, we could see the entire Kingston and St. Andrew, as well as sections of Portmore. This was ideal to capture the fireworks. We prepared to see fireworks only in the direction of Down Town, but on the hour, to our surprise, there were fireworks all over! It was really beautiful.
Architecture and Aesthetics
Almost everyone who visits Kingston would have seen Pegasus – perhaps identifying it as this tall hotel that stood out, which can be viewed from most places in Kingston. For me, I’ve gone inside about four times, but not to check in. These were typically events held in the ballroom, or, I remember when my cousin and I simply came to hang out. We also visited another ballroom on one of the upper level floors, but that was just it. From those times and during the last visit, it’s of course, the exquisite and modern looking Pegasus. The fixtures in the lobby are beautiful, the restaurant, café, bar and lounges, all modern looking and to top that off, the aesthetics and decorations were beautiful, especially since it was the Christmas season.
The “Other Side” of Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
What they don’t show us and what you will never see unless you book a stay, is the less attractive side of Pegasus. The moment you enter the elevator, this will come to you as a surprise. Everything felt anachronistic. Not only did the elevator give an old vibe, but it was also smaller than the average. I could touch the roof. If you have claustrophobia, this might be a big nuisance to you, even if you are travelling alone. It was so uncomfortable when others were in the elevator, I had to turn my back. It only got worse – the archaic feeling.
As soon as we got off the elevator, we were taken aback. We were welcomed by the old wooden architecture and building materials for the doors and fixtures in the passage. There were several old storage rooms, and doors that were probably hidden portals, because they lead to nowhere. Walking down the passage was reminiscent. It reminded me of the passage ways at my high school, and the dorming facilities at college.
Upon entering the bedroom, it was the same theme – from the color scheme, to the apparent age of the wooden fixtures. To keep everything in such good condition, requires a lot of care, thorough checks and periodical maintenance, so we give them that. It gave the feel of a comfortable family home in the countryside. It felt less of a hotel room, and more of a house bedroom. Despite, it had the common hotel room features. There was a smart TV, fridge, bedside fixtures, coffee maker and products, a closet with ironing supplies and a safe. We also received complementary water. The view from the window was also great any time of day. We could also see the maintenance being done on the property from there.
The bathroom was relatively small and simpler than those at other hotels/resorts we’ve visited. It also had a tub, which I haven’t seen in a while, some bathrooms at more modern hotels don’t have a tub. I however think this feature is dependent on the taste and need of the individual. E.g. a tub may be inconvenient for those disabled. They are very stingy on the towels and rags. Some hotels would give you two bath towels and a couple hand towels, but there were only one pair each. They were also frugal on the bath products. There were only three containers with conditioner, shampoo and lotion (less than an ounce in each bottle), and two bar soaps. These were on the counter. There was none in the shower area. Imagine attempting to wash your hair with that!
The worse part about the bathroom, is that the door could not be closed. It was a very slack sliding door with nothing to lock it or secure it in place. Therefore, there isn’t much privacy if you’re using the toilet. Anyone can stay in bed and see you. However this might be a faulty issue with our bathroom door.
Unlike other hotels in Kingston, they’ve made great use of space. E.g. below the ground floor is an entire section comprising of the main dining area, meeting rooms, a small lounge area (where we took some photos), and a spa. It isn’t necessarily a basement. The main dining area is called the Blue Window Restaurant, which can be reserved outside of booking the hotel. From the Blue Window Restaurant, if you look through the windows, you’ll notice that you’re on the same level as the pool and deck. This makes sense because from the dining area on the ground floor, you’ll see that the pool is below, and you’d have to go down some steps to reach the area. If you look outside, you’ll see a patio close to the pool deck. This is a next area where one can chill and dine.
On said ground floor you’ll find the Blend Bar and 24 Seven Café. The name says it all for the café. They sell pastry, ice cream, shakes, smoothies etc. They also offer take out service. Blend Bar however opens at 10 am, and closes by 11 pm. We didn’t get to try the bar because we weren’t aware of the closing time, so it closed before we could get there. Luckily, we were just in time for breakfast the next day!
Complimentary breakfast is a part of the package. It’s served at Blue Window Restaurant below the ground floor. Guests had to sanitize before going in, especially because food is served buffet style. This however was a bit disordered. You’ll be sitting and the waiters may not come to your table to take drink orders, so you have to call them.
There weren’t much variety for the food, but this is normally the case for complimentary breakfast, or at least at city hotels. The meal was ok, and nothing really stood out taste-wise. They however had fish stewed in coconut milk, I suppose, but it wasn’t very delicious. Dessert was good however, they served small quantities of pastry along with the meal.
Infrastructural developments at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel
Unfortunately, we didn’t experience the fullness of Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The outside attractions had infrastructural developments in their area. It seems like they painted or retiled the pool because it was being refilled when we looked. The pool deck was also being paved, so the entire area was out of bound, including the Pool Bar.
There is also a gym, tennis court and running track but those were in the vicinity of the developments. The good news is that, developments at Jamaican hotels do not take long, and when finished, I’m sure you’ll find it more beautiful. We just wish they’d do the same for the bedrooms.
The pool and outside features not being available took away from the overall experience. What is a hotel without a pool, even if it’s just something for you to sit by the deck and look at. Apart from that, and the anachronistic features of the more private areas, it was a comfortable stay. It’s centrally located, so if you don’t want to try it’s food, or you want to explore other options, find entertainment, or just explore Kingston, everything is walking distance, so you’ll be in luck. If you decide to visit/have visited Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, please let us know about your experience in the comments. You can also follow us on Instagram.