Simonitsch is notable for his development of the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay and the SOS Children’s Village. He is also the founder of Heinz Simonitsch School in Montego Bay.
Born in Austria, Simonitsch made Jamaica his home in 1963 and expanded the Half Moon from a small property to the expansive 400-acre luxury resort it is today. He is credited with pioneering the pairing of luxury resorts with ecological sustainability and community benefit approaches.
In 2017 he received the first Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Icon of Hospitality Award on his 90th birthday, for his seamless and innovative contributions to the region’s hospitality industry.
Simonitsch has also earned various other achievements including the Honorary Order of Distinction, Commander Class conferred by the Jamaican Government for outstanding contribution to tourism in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
His daughter, Christina took to Instagram on Sunday to share a heartfelt tribute.
“Today I lost the most important person in the world. My father. Daddy Simo. Heinzibaby. Thank you for making me who I am, for teaching me so much, for believing in me always, for challenging & accepting when I proved you wrong, for supporting me, for being my taste tester, my biggest fan and for loving my tiramisu more than mommy’s own. All jokes aside, thank you. Thank you for being the best mentor, role model & incredible human being I was privileged to meet. I love you, daddy. Always and forever,” she wrote under a picture of her father.
She went on to request privacy as her family mourns.
“To all of you- thank you for the love, patience and understanding as I think I’ll be a bit more social media distant. My family is everything to me. We miss you already daddy. Rest in peace,” she concluded.
Simonitsch was dining room captain at the Elbow Beach Surf Club in Bermuda, before he became the managing director of Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club in 1965 until his retirement in 2002.
By: News Reporter