Rockhouse: Educating and building community in West Negril, Jamaica
Originally developed in 1972, Rockhouse was one of the first hotels on Negril’s West End, Jamaica. The stunning hotel is characterized by its natural beauty, strong architectural design, local materials and craftsmanship, excellent service and a relaxing, fun and authentic Jamaican experience.
Rockhouse has recently been recertified and holds Green Globe Gold status for its continuous sustainability improvements. The hotel’s goal is to responsibly and sustainably balance the interests of all parties – give guests an amazing boutique hotel vacation, make Jamaican team partners a key part of the success, take care of the environment, and give back to the community through the Rockhouse Foundation.
“Being a responsible and sustainable hotel is one of our top priorities at Rockhouse, both in relation to the environment and the local community,” says Chairman of Rockhouse Hotel, Paul Salmon. “We want our guests to have a pleasurable and authentic experience during their trip to Jamaica. Respecting the environment and giving back to our community is what allows us to continue to do this.”
For over 20 years, Rockhouse has shown its continuous commitment to environmental sustainability and has been Green Globe certified for most of that time. The hotel strives to maintain the best environmental practices across all hotel operations by minimizing its use of natural resources and hazardous materials, reducing CO2 emissions and continually monitoring its environmental performance.
In 2009, Rockhouse established the Negril Area Green Globe Quiz, an annual competition among local schools to enhance the students’ environmental awareness. Each year, students aged 9 to 12 years old compete by answering environmental and sustainability questions in a game show format. The annual event has proven to be very successful in raising environmental awareness amongst the children.
Rockhouse Foundation, the charitable arm of the hotel, has raised over US$5 million in the past decade, investing this money in the construction, improvement and upkeep of local public schools and libraries. In 2017 the foundation completed its most ambitious project: Savanna-la-Mar Inclusive Infant Academy (SIIA), the first inclusion model mixed-ability special needs school (for both regular and disabled students) in Western Jamaica. The school will also serve as a destination teacher training facility for the country’s community of educators.
Situated on the Rockhouse property is over an acre of organic farmland where the hotel’s restaurants source much of their fruits, vegetables and herbs. The hotel uses the organic farm to harvest rainwater, for composting and also offers a weekly tour of the garden to educate guests on where their food is coming from and how the hotel is promoting sustainability.
Consistently ranked one of the top resorts in the Caribbean, Rockhouse was listed #1 hotel in Jamaica in Condé Nast Traveler “Readers’ Choice Awards”, was included on Condé Nast Traveler “Gold List 2018”, #1 Hotel in Jamaica in Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Awards” announced July 2017, and at the 2016 World Travel Awards Rockhouse won “Caribbean’s Leading Boutique Hotel”.
Trip Advisor ranks Rockhouse the #5 Hotel in the Caribbean in their 2016 Awards and The Knot identified Rockhouse at the top of their list of the Best Destination Wedding Venues in the World. Patricia Schult’s names Rockhouse as one of the “1000 Places to See Before You Die” in her New York Times Best Selling book. Rockhouse is also honored to have been recognized as a standard bearer for responsible tourism in winning Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award for its work in community building through the Rockhouse Foundation.
Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). For information, please click here.
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