Decades in the making
In 1948, Frank Morrow first landed on the beautiful island of Jamaica and immediately fell in love with it. The rest, as they say, is history…
It’s love at first site.
In 1948, the Morrow brothers travelled to Jamaica to investigate entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism industry. The glam Hollywood set had recently discovered the island, and rumour had it this was the start of something big.
They discovered a property with huge potential next to the famous Doctor’s Cave Beach. The Montego Beach Hotel opened in 1949, and Frank’s son Charles Morrow, along with his childhood best friend Matthew "Archie" Archibald, arrived to run the hotel as business partners.
Location, location, location.
In 1958, after buying several other hotels that also became very successful, Charles and Archie learned about a lovely property for sale in Ocho Rios. After touring the hotel and seeing its spectacular location, they bought what was to become the Jamaica Inn you see today.
The Inn quickly became the main hotel owned by the Morrow family and soon thereafter, they sold their other properties and focused on the elegant Ocho Rios resort.
Making room at the inn.
When it was first acquired by Charles and Archie, the Inn, built by Italian contractors the Maffessanti brothers, comprised the West Wing and Main House.
The Morrows expanded the property, adding the deluxe and premier suites. They also doubled the size of the rooms’ verandahs and furnished the property with beautiful antiques for a luxurious feel.
Originally built for Charles to live in, the Blue Cottage caught the attention of guests and was soon added to the room inventory.
The glitterati check in.
Jamaica Inn quickly became the destination for the 50s jet set, with Hollywood aristocracy and British nobility flocking to its shores.
Errol Flynn, Noël Coward, Sean Connery, Vivan Leigh, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Ian Fleming and Oliver Messel were among the storied guests. Sir Winston Churchill famously frequented the inn, and was especially partial to the White Suite.
Through the years, Jamaica Inn has also played host to several international heads of state and Jamaican prime ministers.
The third generation take the helm.
The Morrow-Archibald team continued to run the hotel successfully until Charles Morrow’s sons Peter and Eric came on board in 1981. Peter brought with him all of the antiques featured throughout the property, including Windsor chairs, side tables and a wonderful collection of Jamaican antiques.
After Charles’ passing in 1987, the Morrow brothers took the helm. In early 2000, after acquiring the North Bend property, Peter and Eric started adding the cottages with infinity pools. A spa was also built.
Keeping it in the family.
The Morrow family legend continues as Eric and Belinda’s two daughters, Eloise and Olivia, are the fourth generation of hoteliers. Olivia Morrow joined the team in early 2022 and is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the UK and Europe. Eric’s wife Belinda is also involved and has been instrumental in founding the White River Fish Sanctuary, looking after the hotel gift shop, as well as the beautifully manicured grounds. She also manages her family farm, The Colliery, which is located in the hills of St. Ann, about ten minutes from the hotel.
Our resident Shadows.
We’re also known for the black Labradors that have called Jamaica Inn home through the years.
It all started in the 1970s, when our very first Labrador puppy, Shadow was adopted. Since then, we’ve always had a black Labrador called Shadow here to greet the guests, from Shadow II in the 1980s, Shadow III from 1990 to 2004 and Shadow IV in 2014.
Most recently, guests can expect a warm welcome from Shadow V, who joined the team in 2023.