Here at Round Hill, we know that our staff is truly the heartbeat of our guest experience, bringing the phrase “Warm Jamiacan Heart” to life. They are the ones that help our guests create lasting memories, all while making Round Hill a sought after destination for discerning travelers for over 60 years.
The people that work here are dedicated individuals who each have their own unique story and history with Round Hill. This month, we sat down with our Head Gardener, Dave Hamilton, to learn more about himself and his tenure with Round Hill.
An Interview With Dave Hamilton, Round Hill’s Head Gardener
Mr. Hamilton hails from Westmoreland – the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island – and began working at Round Hill in 1983, 35 years ago!
Who is your favourite/most memorable celebrity guest? James Coburn
What is the strangest request you have received from a guest? John Pringle’s wife asked to get the heart of a romaine lettuce. This was hard to source and I spent most of the day searching for this. She was very particular in what types of fruits she needed and some of the requests would range from an ugli fruit (type of tangerine) to Bombay mangoes which were hard to source depending on the time of the year they were requested.
What do you love about Round Hill? I love that it is secluded and maintains its history. It’s not like most hotels.
What do you think makes Round Hill special from all the other Jamaican hotels? A guest could be staying here and most persons would not know because of the set-up of our property. Round Hill caters for a specific client; someone looking for an all-inclusive upbeat hotel would not choose us. The sophisticated persons who are looking to relax and get away from the everyday hustle and bustle would choose us.
What drew you to work in hospitality? At the time I worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and we were being laid off as agricultural demands were on the low. The Ministry of Tourism was recruiting and I decided to apply at Round Hill since it was closest to me and I was selected.
What is your favourite part of working in hospitality? With my job, I like working in the garden. Every day I learn something new about a particular plant, or fruit.
What is your favourite memory at Round Hill? My favourite memory at Round Hill is being voted as the Supervisor of the year 2 years ago. I felt proud and accomplished. My hard work didn’t go unnoticed.
What have you learned about yourself at this job? I have learnt that with ambition and patience you can achieve anything. I came here as an ambitious young 19 year old and now after so many years I have everything I could ever need.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment at Round Hill? I started out as a grounds man and now I am the head gardener. I feel accomplished; little did I know at 19 years old that one day I would be the head gardener at this fine establishment.
What motivates you to do your best on the job? I am passionate about plants and to see the trees that I planted 10, 15 years ago flourishing gives me a sense of joy.
Describe a typical work week? On a Monday, I do checks to see that all the plants and trees are in perfect shape, on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I do pruning, and apply top soil where necessary and also cover grounds, on a Friday I look forward to the Garden Tour and then on Saturdays I may have an event where I have to ensure the lawns are clean and free of debris.
What are your hobbies outside of work? When I am not working I can be found watching or playing cricket, going to cricket matches, and watching athletics.
Next time you visit, you’ll likely see Dave around property, so be sure and say hello! And check back on our blog as we introduce you to more of our incredible staff.