THE KINGSTON LANDMARK
by Barbara Blake Hannah for JA GLEANER ‘HOSPITALITY JAMAICA’
Sit in the lobby of the Jamaica Pegasus for just 10 minutes, and you’re certain to see either a famous celebrity just arrived in town, or someone you know other than the person you came there to meet. Ever since its opening, the Pegasus has been a home for royalty and heads of State, political leaders from Castro to Mandela and entertainment superstars — Jamaican and international, but especially as a home for ‘just-us’ Jamaican people. The meeting rooms have hosted thousands of important State functions, entertainment events, weddings and information seminars.
Two years ago the Hendrickson family led by patriarch Karl Hendrickson added added the Pegasus to its portfolio of 7 Jamaican hotels and since then the familiar landmark has undergone a serious and beautiful update in décor and space use that is still not complete, but ready to meet its guests. The famous lobby has been enlarged by addition of a bright cafe open 24/7 offering a wide selection of pastries and light meals, an open terrace overlooking the pool for relaxed dining, and a cosy blue-lit bar that is popular at nights, all of which provide more space for the constant flow of people in, out and through the hotel. Everywhere the Hendrickson hotels signature touch of blooming orchids can be seen decorating corners and meeting places.
ROOMS With all but one floor of room refurbishing complete, the 16th floor luxury suites have undergone special care. The 2-bedroom Trelawny Suite features tones of sand and brown upholstery with gold highlights, lamps and ornaments, while pale green florals compliment bedroom linens of a huge, comfortable bed set high off the ground. With floor-to ceiling living room windows overlooking the breadth of Kingston and Port Royal, one can see why an English royal spent a month here incognito years ago and, more recently, a reggae royal made the Trelawny her home for a special visit.
Accustomed to catering for their 315 rooms as well as many large functions, the food at the Jamaica Pegasus is always top class, specializing in buffets that offer all the traditional Jamaican favourites while not forgetting the international tastes of their guests. Breakfast, offering a wide variety of Jamaican dishes such as ackee & saltfish, steamed and brown stewed fish, callaloo and hash brown potatoes is served till 10 a.m., followed at midday by buffet lunches offering jerk chicken, oxtail and rice & peas, as well as a pasta bar and a Friday Seafood Special, are always special moments of a Pegasus stay.
General manager since the Hendrickson takeover, Peter Hilary first came to the Pegasus when it was part of the Trust House Forte chain and while working thereafter in other countries, has maintained his Jamaican connections over many years. Sales Manager Prudence Simpson has been a foundation of the hotel’s sales team who was retained when the new owners took over, a sign of what a valuable team member she is. They lead a top-class staff whose pleasant personalized service shows the difference new management can make. Though the Jamaica Pegasus is under new ownership and management, the warm family feeling of this national landmark hasn’t changed one bit.JAMAICA GLEANER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION.