FrontRunners: Terms of Engagement

<< Back to Robb Report, February 2002
  • Patricia Harris

Historians may dismiss the legend that Annie Palmer, mistress of Jamaica’s Rose Hall plantation, murdered three husbands before she was killed in 1831, but that has not stopped the Ritz-Carlton from taking the White Witch of Rose Hall as a cautionary tale.

Since opening 18 months ago on the ocean edge of the original plantation, the Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall (800.241.3333, www.ritzcarlton.com) has made a point of getting marriages off to a good start through the services of an engagement concierge. About twice a week, the staff helps a prospective bridegroom pop the question.

“We can do anything that is honorable,” says Ritz-Carlton spokeswoman Verona Carter, issuing a challenge to guests’ ingenuity. The most requested service is a custom dessert for the venerable hidden-ring ploy. Other engagements have been more creative.

One of the first gentlemen to enlist the engagement concierge’s services wrote new lyrics to the tune “Brown Eyed Girl.” The concierge arranged for Montego Bay musicians to perform the piece as a prelude to the proposal, taking the bride-to-be entirely by surprise. Then, several months later, the singers reprised their performance at the wedding in New York.

Engagement assistants have also been enlisted to clear stretches of Rose Hall’s white sand beach to create secluded settings for sunset proposals as the pink sky is reflected in the green Caribbean water. Carter says many couples become engaged during a moonlit dinner concert for two aboard a catamaran. Looking for an even grander gesture to win over your future bride? The Ritz stands ready to fly you and your companion to a private cove for a gourmet picnic. After that, you are on your own.

As for the White Witch, she reserves her fury for duffers who dare tackle the Ritz-Carlton’s undulating 18-hole championship links that bear her name.

From Around the Web...
Photo by Whit Preston
Stay in refined Texas style and hospitality for Austin City Limits, and every other music festival...
The 57-bedroom private club features a spa, restaurant, lounge, speakeasy, and more…
The four-bedroom villa keeps it green with an artificial wetlands system and photovoltaic canopy…
With 189 guest rooms and 157 residences, the hotel is sure to be a new landmark in lower Manhattan…
More than a year after a devastating earthquake, Nepal’s capital city is ready for visitors…
Photo by Jackie Caradonio
Taj’s new safari lodge opens up the wilds of Nepal’s Chitwan National Park…
Boston’s skyline is changing—and so is its luxury real estate market…
The new Il Sereno on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como is one of 2016’s most anticipated new hotels…
The new Ocean Park neighborhood offers insider access to one of America’s most elite golf...
Photo by Cava Emotions
Explore historical wineries, learn about grape cultivation, and enjoy some of the region’s best...