When Paul Salmon opened Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica, in 1994, he laid out a mission that still shapes the hotel’s philosophy today: a responsibility to the guests, the team, the environment, and the local community. On this episode of the Our Conscious Journey podcast, hosted in partnership with social impact community The Conduit, Salmon tells us more about the Rockhouse Foundation’s work and how he engages guests in the process. “For us, it’s about exposing guests to the philosophy and helping them understand our mission. If they want to engage more, there are opportunities.” Listen on Spotify to follow his journey.
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 7 million in building, renovating, and expanding 6 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.