/ / / / / /

Kick Back On Some Handmade Furniture In Jamaica

September 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM | by | ()

Here at HotelChatter, we read about hotel furniture on a (far) too-regular basis—mostly in press releases about newly-renovated hotels, or the occasional hotel furniture sale. A lot of it goes in one ear and out the other. But when we learned of a resort in Jamaica that was making its own furniture, we decided it was worth a closer look.

Husband-and-wife team Braxton and Debbie Moncure stumbled upon the un-developed land of Bluefields Bay in 1981 (at the suggestion of a local friend), and quickly set about converting the property into one of Jamaica's most coveted all-inclusive luxury resorts. Now, with the help of their two kids, Houston and Rachel—plus a team of 50 locally-employed staffers—the family continues to grow Bluefields into a diverse, artistic, sustainable hotel community, whose six villas just so happen to boast some killer seafront views.

Bluefields Bay Resorts, which is located on the south side of the island, and comprises six seafront villas and a total of twenty-two bedrooms, first hired local woodworkers to copy the styles of beds and chairs that had already been purchased elsewhere. The idea was to cut costs, but technically, the family was still relying on local Jamaican antique dealers to supply the furniture that went into the villas themselves. Then they decided to try out a new system:

"About one year ago, we realized that it would be far better to be able to produce furniture on our own and be self-sufficient. This led to [the] building [of] our own woodshop, importing all of the needed power tools, and finding a wonderful furniture maker to work for us full-time. "

That furniture maker, Roy Mowatt (above), plus his team of assistants, now produces everything from lounge chairs, dining tables, outdoor tables, and even specialized drinking chairs with a hole in the arm to put your glass. In addition, they can make all repairs quickly and easily, as the "factory" is located on-site, and all items can be custom--designed for the specific rooms in which they will be placed.

As for the rest of the place, its entire staff is Jamaican, the resort hosts weekly cocktail parties, and each villa comes with its own seafront and private pool. What's more, a portion of the rental fees goes towards a community fund that benefits local environmental and educational projects—so the small fishing and farming community that surrounds the property benefit as well.

Ready to book a villa? Make use of the off-peak season (thru December 14) and get yourself a villa! Week-long stays start as low as $3325 and go up to $7350 for the largest, six-bedroom San Michele villa. Send an email here for more info.

[Photos: Bluefields Bay Resort]

Archived Comments: