Terra Nova eyes business travellers with home-hotel hybrid

Director at Terra Nova All Suite Hotel Christelle Harris

Imagine being able to bring the luxury hotel experience home, that’s the concept behind a $7-billion project dubbed, ‘The Residences’ being undertaken by the Hussey family, the owners and operators of the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel.

Ground was broken at the Residences at Terra Nova on June 1, 2021, which boasts the best of both worlds; the comforts of an apartment in a luxury building with the amenities of a hotel.

The hybrid concept, though not entirely novel, is new to the Jamaican market and it is something director of the Terra Nova, Christelle Harris, thinks will appeal to business travellers.

Harris who spoke to BUZZ said that as Jamaica has continued to grow as a destination, its market has equallybecome more diverse with the island increasingly becoming a hub for business in the region.

With business travellers driving demand, particularly outside of Jamaica’s tourist coast, Harris has observed that more visitors are opting for extended–stay accommodations and in some instances, opportunities for second-home ownership.

“We have observed projections showing a sustained increase in demand for hospitality services specific to accommodations in Kingston, and not necessarily for short stay accommodations, but for medium-term and long-term accommodations as well,” Harris explained.

“So, whether we’re talking about an actual residential purchase, an environment for digital nomads or long-stay business travellers, we see this new type of hospitality product as a necessity for personswho will stay in Jamaica for extended periods of time. The Residences at Terra Nova is really our answer to this demand. Nowhere in Kingston can you currently find a long-stay product backed by Terra Nova’s proven 60-year track record for offering award-winning luxury accommodations, the highest rated fine-dining experiences and equally regarded facilities.” Harris added.

The Residences coming for the Airbnb market?

The Residences at Terra Nova will be a first of its kind in Jamaica, with Harris noting that the product is in a class of its own when compared to its closest rivals, which are primarily Airbnbs and villas.

According to Harris, The Residences offer purchasers several conveniences with the added benefits of luxury, functionality, privacy, security and, in some instances, an opportunity to earn.

The sweet spot between Airbnbs, a villa and a hotel

“Convenience, functionality, luxury, privacy and security, we’re offering all of those things. Now you could argue, well, let’s go to a villa instead, but these are traditionally short-term, vacation focused. The foundation of The Residences at Terra Nova is that the place in which you live is supported by an ecosystem that caters for your luxury lifestyle. Where else can you be home lounging in your dining room, pick up the phone and say, ‘I’d liketo have dinner specially catered in my apartment for six persons tonight,’and have a curated menu executed that evening? So you’re talking about more access, more options, more conveniences and the capacity to fulfil high expectations,the hallmarks of aFour Diamond Awarded property,” argued Harris.

“Residents will form members of the ‘Terra Nova Club,’ and enjoy the convenience of the address.You can invite people into your space without having them be in your space since you are directly on the Terra Nova property. Enjoy preferential rates for accommodations, food and beverage as residents. Terra Nova residents will be able to choose how they host and entertain their guests,” she added.

At the upscale end of the extended-stay product spectrum, The Residences have a pre-development starting price of $400,000 USD for a one bedroom going up to $1.7 million USD for a 3-bedroom luxury penthouse.

Harris revealed that some units have already sold, noting that apart from being posh, the accommodations have a built-in cost saving factor, with micro turbines powering common spaces, which will allow for air conditioning throughout.

The cost-saving reaped from lower energy cost, is something that is expected to benefit  purchasers in the long term, with Harris sharing that maintenance costs are projected to be at around  $6.10 per square foot , per year- a projection that she says is actually lower than some of the newer developments in Kingston.

Increasingly, extended-stay hotels and other similar products are becoming popular with owners and developers who prefer properties that typically experience less volatility and rely less on seasonal demand.

The resilience of this type of accommodation product has been evident particularly throughout the on-going global pandemic, though it has primarily benefited accommodations at the lower price end of the spectrum, where hotels operate more as a temporary housing solution.