Tower Isle Hotel → Couples Ocho Rios → Couples Tower Isle
Tower Isle Hotel
- In 1948, as a result of continuous remarks from guests of the Myrtle Bank expressing the desire for a resort on the north coast of Jamaica, Abe Issa, embarked on building the hotel. The hotel was designed by Bartholomew Viçens-Oliver.
- In January 1949, after 365 straight days of intense manpower, the hotel opened its doors. The property was the first resort built on Jamaica's undeveloped north coast.
- Word spread quickly and subsequently the new hotel soon became a popular Hollywood hangout. Stage and screen stars, sports heroes, and political figures frequented the resort. Walt Disney, actress Eva Gabor, screen sensation Debbie Reynolds, movie star Errol Flynn, boxer Joe Louis and playwright Noel Coward are just a few of the celebrities that were drawn to the old world charm of Tower Isle Hotel. Even Princess Margaret stayed at the resort on one of her many visits to the island. Tower Isle established the start of a new era of tourism in Jamaica. It also became the first resort to remain open year-round, thus creating a summer season which had never existed on the island.
- In the mid-1960s the hotel extended towards the west and renovated.
- In about 1966 the adjacent Falcondip/Island Inn was purchased and merged in (the bent building at the right). It gave the hotel a second swimming pool.
- In 1970 cottages were added on the front lawn.
- During these years, Abe Issa contemplated the concept of a pre-paid Jamaican vacation and began researching the idea. In 1978, he turned the concept into a reality and pioneered the all-inclusive concept in Jamaica – turning Tower Isle Hotel into the first all-inclusive resort for couples only, aptly named Couples Ocho Rios.
- In August 1986 the Couples Hotel reported 90% occupancy.
- In March 1987 the hotel reported a 98% occupancy level and the projections are that the level will rise to 100% for the remainder of the season.
- In December 1992 the hotel reported an occupancy level of 55%, with a projection of 100% over the Christmas holidays, and for the remainder of the tourist season.
- In December 2008, upon completion of a $22 million renovation, the hotel re-emerged as Couples Tower Isle. See clipping for details.