Wed | May 27, 2020

Kanopi House beckons

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2020 | 12:12 AM
The dining deck at Kanopi House.
The dining deck at Kanopi House.

The Coronavirus has been emptying hotel rooms, for many reasons. And has been written elsewhere in this edition of Hospitality Jamaica, Kanopi House, located in the San San region of Portland on the Cognosanti coast near Zion Hill in the ultra-green parish of Portland, has been hit hard. There are no guests in-house, and all workers are off the job.

Now, here I am in the ‘Sin City’ of Kingston and St Andrew, sometimes very hot and moist, and replete with piped water shortages, imagining taking up residence in light of the scare, and doom and gloom that I face on the streets of the Corporate Area. I leave my yard only when it is absolutely necessary, and when I do I feel like everybody around me is named Corona.

That is strange because for whatever reason I am not very scared. I haven’t taken on the angst and the excitement that Corona has engendered. I do take precautions like rubbing up from head to toe with aloe vera, but I cannot get a proper bath when there is no water. Running water is very essential in these times, especially when I am sprayed sometimes six times a day with sundry chemicals when I do venture out.

So, I am now contemplating from where I get some money to move into Kanopi House, I alone, until the scare is over. It is one of the places in Portland that appeal to my senses and job, away from the madding crowd, in a jungle atmosphere. Perhaps it is time to complete my first novel named, The Peacock. And I would need a real peacock to complement the ambience.

It is perched on a hillside overlooking the Blue Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea. There is a great variety of plants, calm and birdsongs. Through the breaks in the thick foliage, there are captivating vistas of parts of the Blue Lagoon, the Caribbean Sea, and Princess Nina Island.

Among the lush foliage, ringtail pigeons and other winged creatures teem, feasting on an abundance of seeds. And in the jungle concrete steps meander up and down the slopes leading to six fabulous bungalows, nestled among the greenery.

Some of the units are deliberately constructed to be integrated with the trees. And though the jungle is managed it is not maintained, thus retaining its authenticity. The pathways are free of encumbrances and hazards bearing in mind the safety of guests.

The mostly board structures are exquisitely designed, decorated and furnished with handcrafted pieces. It is the best of both worlds, elegance in the heart of the rustic. And no two villas are alike, some are even named after the wood of which they are made, such as ‘Sweetwood’, ‘Almond’ and ‘Spanish Elm’. The others are ‘Hibiscus’, ‘Hummingbird’ and ‘Upper Deck’, which is the most elevated.

They all have a veranda from which you see the tops of trees. Inside the Great Room, with its wall-length wooden jalousie windows, you feel like you are also outside, especially with this huge wood crocodile lurking beside a luxurious bed on which you can lie, with eyes closed, as you listen to raindrops falling on leaves.

The bungalows are all firmly perched on columns because of the steep topography of the land, making them appearing to be atop the trees, thus Kanopi (canopy) House. Other features are a nature trail that loops around the villas, a restaurant and bar that has a lounge area and an elevated dining terrace, a yoga deck and a gazebo near the edge of the Blue Lagoon.

This is the property that no guests currently occupy. Sigh! This is the place that I need to retreat to for an extended period of time to write my stories and embrace nature, to forget about Corona until she dies. But, alas, I do not have the money. Tears!