Perched on a volcanic coast on the western tip of Jamaica, Rockhouse Hotel uses every opportunity to celebrate its natural and cultural surroundings. From an environmental perspective, the hotel has taken extensive measures to conserve water and energy—Rockhouse is Green Globe Certified—and is working to eradicate single‑use plastics. There is an on-site organic farm, a plant nursery, and a woodworking shop—Rockhouse even makes its own candles and spa products. This dedication extends to the social side, too. Established in 2004, the Rockhouse Foundation has invested more than USD 6 million in building, renovating, and expanding seven public schools in Negril. Guests are invited to contribute through volunteering and visits to the schools. Overall, the objective of Rockhouse is to create a regenerative balance between all parties: guests, staff, nature, and the Negril community.
Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the hotel is designed to be harmonious with and respectful to its jungle-like environment. Local timber and thatch merge with the fully-grown garden.
Rockhouse employs paper recycling and an extensive composting program. Plastic straws and bags have been eliminated and the hotel is working with local suppliers to reduce packaging.
The hotel minimizes its natural resources use, air emissions, and hazardous materials, and monitors environmental performance. There is a continuous commitment to improving practices.
Rainwater harvesting, tanking water for the gardens and organic farm, and low-flow shower fixtures are used. Guests are given reusable water bottles for the water-filling stations.
With an on-site organic farm, plant nursery, woodworking shop, and spa products production facilities, Rockhouse is focused on reducing its footprint, supporting local employment, and developing local skills.
Rockhouse works to create an inclusive space for locals and tourists. Guests receive a Rockhouse Passport to shape a well-rounded adventure and connect with as many local experiences as possible.
A weekly schedule of activities revolves around wellness of the mind, body, and soul. Guests have the opportunity to take a painting class, a drumming class, jump from the cliff, or spend a day volunteering at a Rockhouse Foundation School.
Rockhouse’s goal is to empower and inspire the all-Jamaican staff through a mission-driven vision, personal growth opportunities, and enriched responsibilities. All staff have fully funded health benefits, a pension plan, emergency loans, and training and development programs.
All communications on the website, social media, guest services directory, and more reinforce the hotel’s mission.
We spoke with Paul Salmon, the Original behind Rockhouse Hotel, to learn the latest on the hotel's conscious journey.
Rockhouse has an impeccable 25-year commitment to regenerative travel. While prioritizing our guests and nurturing the spirit of our amazing team, the Rockhouse undertakes environmental best practices, while giving back to the community through the Rockhouse Foundation.
The Rockhouse Foundation transforms the places where Jamaica’s children learn and supports the great people who teach them. Established in 2004, the Foundation has invested over USD 6 million in transforming and modernizing seven local schools that were in desperate need of support, and completely renovated and expanded the Negril Library. We are committed to improving the Negril area’s learning infrastructure in order to empower the next generation. During the COVID pandemic, with children learning from home, the Foundation pivoted and has been making weekly food distributions since March 2020, delivering over 200 tons of food and sustaining over 1,000 people in need.
Our environmental commitment doesn’t stop at the property’s borders. We take an active role in local environmental organizations for reef preservation and recycling. For over a decade we have hosted the annual Negril Area Green Globe Quiz, a yearly competition developed by the Rockhouse Green Team for local schools to enhance students’ environmental awareness. Conducted at the Negril Library, an environmental education curriculum is provided to all the local area primary schools. Teams of sixth-grade students race to hit the buzzers to answer questions about sustainability while their teachers and peers cheer. With a trip to Kool Runnings Water Park as one of the prizes, the competition can get fierce among the eight local schools represented.
The biggest challenge to widespread adoption of sustainability practices is the consumer demanding them. When hotels see sustainability is in their best interest, there will be greater commitment. Education around enlightened self interest is the best way to combat this.
The Originals Paul Salmon