Conscious Caribbean Travel

Great Huts, an eco-friendly resort in Port Antonio, Jamaica, offers a thoughtful alternative to traditional Jamaica hotels By: Mark Rogers
Jamaica’s Great Huts resort features individually styled hut accommodations in a rustic setting. // © 2011 Great Huts
Jamaica’s Great Huts resort features individually styled hut accommodations in a rustic setting. // © 2011 Great Huts

The Details

Vacationers looking for an element of social responsibility to their travel need not look further than Great Huts, an eco-friendly resort situated on a four-acre coastal plateau in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Since its opening in 2001, the property has been developed in an environmentally responsible manner and has become an integral part of the community. The property combines modern comforts with a minimalist aesthetic offering an alternative to traditional hotels and resorts.

Dr. Paul Rhodes, a physician and the proprietor of Great Huts, is known as Dr. Paul to his neighbors. The doctor volunteers his services to the Port Antonio Homeless Shelter, which he established. Guests also have the option of participating in resort-led community service at the shelter.

Great Huts recently completed a quarter of a million dollar upgrade. The Queen of Sheba and African Sunrise huts are part of the renovation effort.

“The new Queen of Sheba and African Sunrise huts are part of an overall strategy to maintain a broad appeal to visitors and to prepare for what we believe will be an eventual upswing in the island’s northeast coast,” said Rhodes. “Great Huts offers breathtaking views, all in a rustic but quality setting.”

The Queen of Sheba, which can sleep up to eight guests, features honeycomb coral and limestone boulders, a 30-foot in diameter bedroom with hot tub and a small fish pool with a water fall. The interior is adorned with fabrics and artifacts from Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, and Jamaica. The third level of the hut offers views of the Caribbean Sea.

African Sunrise is a 30-foot tall lighthouse-like stone structure with panoramic views of the Caribbean and surrounding mountains. Qualify your clients well: the African Sunrise structure sits 15 feet from the edge of a 70-foot cliff, which is exciting for some but a nail-biter for others. African Sunrise also features a memorial to the souls who perished in the Atlantic slave trade.

Clients can experience the new huts firsthand with a week-long vacation experience, the Jamaican Arts Odyssey, offered July 9-17. The package includes a discussion about the painters and sculptors of Jamaica as well as visits to parks and historic sites such as the National Gallery of Jamaica and the studio of preeminent Jamaican sculptor Gene Pearson. The $750 package includes a daily Jamaican breakfast, accommodations at The Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston and Great Huts in Port Antonio, tours, receptions, select meals and taxes. Airfare is additional.
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