Island Outpost is a collection of distinctive Jamaica luxury hotels and villas known for their interesting character and expression that reflects the magic of music, each with its own rhythm, its own beat. As envisioned by Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, “Island Outpost is about a feeling. The rush of discovery. The joy of independence. The bliss of authenticity. It is really about the spirit, sensibility and heart.”
Like a close-knit family of wildly attractive, intelligent and anarchic kids, they are utterly independent and quite impossible to separate from one another. But something they have all inherited is Blackwell’s easy charm, his amused and iconoclastic view of the world, his sense of fun and style, his instinct for beauty.
– Conde Nast Traveler on Island Outpost properties.
Born in London in 1937, Blackwell spent his childhood in Jamaica. Sent back to England at age 10 to finish his education, Blackwell returned to Jamaica in 1955 and held a variety of jobs, including selling real estate, renting motor scooters and acting as aide-de-camp to the Governor of Jamaica. However, when he heard an ensemble led by blind pianist Lance Hayward at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, Blackwell decided to record them and, borrowing the name from Alec Waugh’s novel, Island in the Sun, founded Island Records.
In 1960, Island Records opened an office in Kingston, Jamaica, and a series of local hit singles soon followed. The growing Jamaican immigrant population in England also bought Island’s discs and, finding that he was selling more records in England than in Jamaica, Blackwell moved Island’s headquarters to London in 1962. A succession of minor hits followed, mainly ska records from the seminal Jamaican producers of the time, including Duke Reid, Leslie Kong and Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd, and within a few years Blackwell had produced or licensed several hundred singles for Island and its various subsidiary labels in Jamaica and Britain. In 1964, Blackwell produced “My Boy Lollipop” by a 15-year-old Jamaican girl named Millie, and it became the worldwide hit that launched Island’s global fortunes, selling more than 7 million copies. (Aware of his independent label’s limitations, Blackwell licensed the record to Fontana Records to ensure wider exposure and distribution.)[table id=113 /]
As a collection of luxury Jamaica hotels and resorts, Island Outpost strives to provide guests with a level of service so natural, that they would feel as if they were staying in the home of good friends. The atmosphere will be casual and friendly and we will make each a fun place with fresh and local food and efficient and unobtrusive service. We will provide guests with distinct places that share a common sensibility or aesthetic that makes them appealing to a certain kind of person. The company is committed to creating a unique, personal, relaxed experience – places where one can put a little distance between themselves and the rest of the world.
We will develop and operate each property in a responsible manner, in harmony with its local culture and environment. The company believes the strength in the brand stems from the continuous promotion of the individual character and expression of each property that reflects the magic of music, each with its own rhythm, its own beat.[table id=112 /]