THE GREAT HUTS STORY
Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Paul Rhodes stumbled upon a parcel of land for sale In Portland Parish, on an escarpment 100 feet above the azure waters of Boston Bay. He immediately recognized something special in this little corner of the world that he’d never seen before, and wasted no time envisioning a special place that could honor Jamaica’s ancestry and cultural heritage — a vision that became a reality in 2001.
“Dr. Paul,” as he’s known by now to most on the island, had fallen in love with Jamaica as a medical student in the 1970s. While he went on to develop a geriatric practice in Washington, D.C., he also devoted more and more of his time to Jamaican visits, helping to establish programs and facilities for the elderly, infirm and homeless in our western parishes. His tireless dedication to giving back and coaxing contributions from friends and volunteers has had a decided impact on countless lives in this, his adoptive second home.
Dr. Paul's connection to Jamaica blossomed as he discovered the parallels between his own Jewish ancestry and the symbolic synergy of Rastafari history and culture. With the property that was to become Great Huts well in hand – and buoyed by the love and support of Jamaican scholars, artisans and friends – he set out to replicate what he saw as “a peaceful, harmonious West African village, where guests can find comfort, tranquility and inspiration.”
He began with just three tents for housing volunteer workers from Portland’s nascent social programs. But he soon added more permanent structures, as the enchantment of Great Huts’ phenomenal rainforest habitat began to draw paying guests — who also discovered a natural affinity to his mission. The rustic treehouses and huts that have been added over the years attracting poets, artisans, adventure seekers and nature lovers from around the world.
Befitting Dr. Paul’s imagination and passion for the arts, Paradise on the Edge is a marriage of fine artwork and good works. It’s a one-of-a-kind resort where artistry, nature, heritage, comfort and spirituality converge. But it is also a wellspring of community spirit, as proceeds are funneled to support social actions such as the Portland Rehabilitation Management Homeless Shelter — a clear reflection of its founder’s values as a healer, scholar and teacher.
MEET OUR OWNER: Dr Paul Rhodes, MD
Great Huts pledges to garner international recognition for these tenets of Afro-centricity, respect for nature, artistry in design and community service. Managers regularly discuss and evaluate these intentions with the staff — sharing responsibility for both successes and shortcomings — as they affirm their individual and collective devotion to the integrity of our products and services.