Most hotels' eco initiatives relate to things they do, like using chemical-free cleaning products, low-flow toilets, or energy-efficient lighting. But occasionally, we encounter that special breed of hotel that is green not necessarily because of what it does, but because of what it is -- a hotel specifically designed to minimize its impact on the environment. Below, check out our favorite hotels with eco-conscious design in Jamaica.
For more green hotels, check out our previous post on LEED-certified hotels.
Designed by Jean-Henri Morin, the Rockhouse seems to have grown organically from the volcanic rock cliffs. Molding natural stone with concrete, the entire property settles snugly into the preexisting cove formations. Private, thatch-roofed Premium Villas are scattered along winding paths, enclosed by palms and exotic flora. On the cliff's edge, isolated duets of loungers rest on leveled platforms as high as 40 feet from the water, overlooking the most beautiful sunsets in the country. Solar-heated water, furniture crafted from local timber, local Starfish Oil bath products, and a hotel-sponsored not-for-profit that has donated $1 million to rebuild suffering schools in Negril make this an especially socially conscious choice.
The Geejam's five modern, private cabins are set in the remote foothills of Port Antonio, Jamaica's lushest, rainiest region. Dense vegetation seems to engulf the property, but the hotel's architects built each cabin to fit around the existing plant life, rather than on top of it. An added bonus: Each cabin is incredibly private.
Arguably Jamaica's most romantic escape (for adults only), the Caves' 11 unique, private cottages and suites are tucked along lush garden paths and dramatic seaside cliffs (there's no beach). High-quality, locally focused cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and intimate, incredibly attentive service make it Jamaica's best all-inclusive. The Rastafarian artist couple who founded the hotel filled cottage interiors with batik prints, Jamaican crafts, and locally hand-carved furniture, and the small hotel group that purchased The Caves, Island Outpost, is committed to preserving natural habitats of all of its properties.
With just 30 hippy-chic cottages in secluded Treasure Beach, Jake's is also a member of the eco-conscious Island Outpost hotel group (along with The Caves and the Geejam). Guests come to unplug -- there's no phone, Internet, or TV in the cottages. The black-sand beaches aren't conventionally beautiful, but the Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make this a particular favorite.