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The Jamaican Brand of Cool: From Rockhouse to Miss Lily’s

When Melbourne-born Paul Salmon first visited his girlfriend in Negril in 1991, the Jamaican holiday hotspot was merely a fishing village, known by few others than backpackers, hippies and lovers of the island. “I went to visit my Australian girlfriend there in 1991, right before I moved to New York to work on Wall Street,” he remembered as we dined on fresh juices, patties, fried fish, spicy corn and jerk chicken sandwiches at Melvin’s Juice Box in the West Village. “We stayed in a roots bamboo shack on the beach in Negril and traveled the island in a minivan. I fell in love with it.”

That trip changed his life. Salmon eventually quit banking, and decided to open a boutique hotel in Negril. “There was a growing trend of people coming to Jamaica,” he said, “and it was around the time when boutique hotels were launching—small, design-conscious, cool hotels on beaches were just starting to open around the world. We initially bought about two and a half acres, and created a small retreat, targeting younger, art-aware, fashion-aware, music-loving travelers.”

Shirine Saad

Shirine Saad is an editor and journalist specializing in culture and lifestyle. Born in Beirut, she grew up in France, Canada, Lebanon and New York she writes in both English and French. Saad has written two books: Boho Beirut, a Guide to the Middle East's Most Sophisticated City and the new edition of the Wallpaper * City Guide to Marseille. She has worked for a wide range of clients includin...(Read More)

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