Q&A with Jamaica’s Kanopi House


Have you ever fantasized about living in a tree house? Many of us have at one point or another, whether as an unconscious throwback to our childhood or heeding the call of the wild to reconnect with nature, and at Jamaica’s Kanopi House your treetop dreams can come true. This wonderful luxury resort tucked into the vibrant jungle of Jamaica’s interior simply radiates harmony. Here in Blue Lagoon you’ll experience an eco-friendly sanctuary that practices true sustainability. It’s nature at its finest, in a utopian tropical paradise where you’ll feel like the Swiss Family Robinson – living authentically and free from the distractions of “civilization”.

There’s something to be said for living primitively, at least on the occasional vacation; to slow down and appreciate the universe with gratitude. And here at Kanopi House, thankfully devoid of TV and WiFi, you’ll feel the true connection. So whether you come for a digital detox, to get romantic or to reflect and be inspired, after a vacation here among the banyan trees in the earth-conscious oasis of Kanopi House, you’ll undoubtedly be rejuvenated with a fresh sense of purpose and possibility.

Q: What exactly are the accommodations like?

A: The five tree houses are uniquely stunning sanctuaries brimming with authentic design and natural elegance. Perched among the vine-drenched 100-foot banyan trees above a secluded white sand cove, each chic-ly appointed tree house is connected by a  pathway that winds through the rainforest and overlooks the Caribbean Sea in the distance. The wood-framed peak-roof bungalows are available in one- and two-bedroom layouts, and each features big shuttered windows and french doors that open directly from the lounge to the magnificence of nature. The interiors are thoughtfully designed with a blend of West-Indian and colonial style and accented in local artwork and textiles. The four styles of tree house are Upper Deck, Spanish Elm, Almond Tree, and Sweet Wood, ranging in size from 432 to 1,198 sq ft. Turn on your music soundtrack to accompany that of the jungle and experience true romance; true happiness.

Q: What amenities can we look forward to appreciating at Kanopi House?

A: Each tree house is stoked with cold drinks, light snacks, fine wine, and local Blue Mountain coffee; and the showers come equipped with botanically based, locally sourced products and 100% cotton waffle robes to snuggle up in. The rooms also have Bose docks and iPods loaded with a stylish and international selection of music.

Q: If I were looking to be rejuvenated, how can Kanopi House help?

A: There is no official spa at Kanopi House yet the entire experience has a very spa-like feeling in itself. Instead of hiring a professional, you and your partner will get to give each other massages. Lounge by the lagoon or relax in the Great Room on a daybed with panoramic ocean views. This place will get into your soul, and the rejuvenation comes through the entire experience of a vacation at Kanopi House.


Q: What activities are available?

A: Kanopi House is a veritable playground in paradise, with lots of activities to get out and enjoy. Go snorkeling in the reef, or kayaking, or sailing, or scuba diving, or even hang-gliding for the adventurous type. Excursions into the lush landscape let you charter a helicopter tour, drift along the Rio Grande on river rafting tour, explore the wonderland of waterfalls, ride the hills on a mountain bike, go bird watching, take a dip in the fabled hot springs, tour a rum shop, go fishing, or even surfing. There’s an abundance of activities available with something perfect for each and every inclination.

Q: How is Kanopi House for dining opportunities?

A: The cuisine is phenomenally fresh, local and organic. Kanopi House has its own mountain garden to grow tasty greens and herbs that wonderfully compliment the traditional Jamaican menu – green bananas, ackee, wild cocoa, sweet potato, breadfruit, yam; and fresh caught snapper and lobster on the open grill. Whether you’re a vegan or a voracious carnivore, the chef will custom create dishes set to your personal choice. The dinners are arranged either indoors in the Great House or outside on the pink limestone terrace beneath the sprawling rainforest canopy – or enjoy a picnic on a day tour or across the lagoon among the serenity of Monkey Island. Oh, and of course there’s the large selection of premium lagers and liquors, including the legendary Jamaican rums. If you’re looking for a night out, the nearby town of Port Antonio offers a variety of dining options.

Q: How is it for weddings?

A: Kanopi House is more of a ‘post-wedding’ locale, which is to say: it’s the perfect place for a honeymoon.

Q: What exactly makes Kanopi House so eco-friendly?

A: This resort excels at pulling off low-impact luxury, treading gently upon the earth. Kanopi House’s footprint is subtle, going beyond mere buzzwords of ‘organic’ and ‘green’ and practicing sustainable NEPA approved techniques. Its ‘grey water’ system is processed along a lined reed bed and the hardwoods that make up the majority of the resort are regionally sourced. All of the furnishings and décor are designed and handcrafted by area artisans and produced in the traditional island manner from renewable Jamaican materials. Amazingly, no trees were felled in the making of Kanopi House’s harmonious layout; the buildings were adapted to flow with the natural landscape – and in some cases trees go straight through the roof.

Q: What’s the story behind this place?

A: The Hew Family, native Jamaicans that go back six generations, conceived and designed Kanopi House after the success of their private island resort in the Bahamas called Kamalame Cay. The Hew’s are a family well established in the hospitality business and possess a deep understanding of how to facilitate an outstanding guest experience. The Hew’s inherent intuition for tropical design and lifestyle enables their signature approach to island living to manifest at Kanopi House: laid-back luxury and gourmet cuisine all wrapped up in an environmentally friendly hideaway.

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