Founded in 1982, Jartena Apartments Limited was formed by Mr Terence A. A. Jarrett Snr. This Jamaican family-owned and operated company, which is located at 1-5 Altamont Terrace in New Kingston started with the ambition of creating the “best little hotel” in Jamaica. The other directors of the company, being inexperienced at the time, went along for the ride. The idea was accepted with confidence and a twelve-unit apartment building situated at 1 Altamont Terrace was purchased to be the company’s first venture into the hospitality sector.
The competition surrounding the property was fierce but it was felt that we could forge our own niche and initiated our philosophy of “the Home in the Hub”. This is now the hotel’s tag line. Ena Jarrett, then a secretary, left her paying job and took up the helm as General Manager and guided the transition from apartments to hotel.
The hotel operations captured a niche market and in 1987 we were able to make our first expansion from twelve rooms by splitting the large units in half to create an additional six units. We remained at eighteen rooms until 1992 when, with the assistance of Mutual Security Bank as our financiers, we expanded to thirty-six rooms after purchasing the property next door. This expansion, which was meant to meet the growing demand for hotel rooms in Kingston, allowed us at the same time to improve the quality of our product. Furnishings were improved and the quality of our clientele likewise changed. We were now widely regarded as a legitimate alternative to the larger hotels surrounding us. Being able to comfortably meet our obligations to the bank, and because of continuing increasing demand for hotel rooms, another expansion was undertaken. This expansion in 1997 allowed for our growth to fifty-four rooms with new restaurant, bar, lounge and conferencing/banqueting facilities that allow us to cater for a maximum of 440 persons between the conference and meeting rooms and the restaurant.
Another guest room was added after converting a storeroom-bringing the total guest rooms to fifty-five. A further expansion three years later added our first commercial laundry room with attendant equipment, along with three other guest rooms.
The property at 5 Altamont Crescent was purchased in 1992 and after a few years of it being used as a rental property and conferencing facility, was demolished to make way for the creation of a parking lot, as limited parking had become a challenge.
Today, at fifty-eight rooms, Altamont Court Hotel was the first Kingston hotel to have instituted free wireless internet access throughout its property. With space then becoming more of a premium commodity, a business centre was created by converting a storeroom in the lobby.
The family now also owns and operates Altamont West hotel located on the other side of the island in Montego Bay.