Sally Henzell

Artist and Owner of JAKES HOTEL, Treasure Beach, Jamaica


I was born to English parents who had decided to settle in Jamaica, in 1941.

Apart from a couple years away - France, Switzerland, England - I have lived in Jamaica all my life.

My absorption in art started right away: making plasticine villages on my desk top, (my sister and I were home-schooled till age 9 when we were sent to boarding school in Jamaica), designing and cutting out dresses for my homemade paper dolls, (from figures cut from magazines), then designing and making my own dresses, painting pictures and writing; (Mummy found a love letter to a grown up in my desk & mailed it to him - I was so embarrassed - I think I was 8).

Leaving the Jamaican boarding school at 16, I was sent to first France & then Switzerland to study ‘window dressing’. I worked as one at Selfridges for a year, then came home - engaged to one man - I changed my mind a married another. My husband, Perry Henzell, became a world famous film director and I worked on all his films as the Art Director.

When I was 50 I bought a piece of beachfront land in Treasure Beach and unintentionally started what is now JAKES HOTEL. I started with one room and a restaurant and now we have 62 rooms, 2 restaurants, and a spa. I designed all the cottages. My son and daughter manage the hotel now, whilst I still stick to the decor.

However, I never stopped writing: I have one self published book of poems, one of poems & pictures titled PICTURES & POEMS PICTURES & POEMS (available for purchase on Blurb.) I have been included in 4 or 5 anthologies. I also have been published in EVERGREEN REVIEW. With a co/writer I have started a biography. I also have never stopped painting; switching from watercolour to acrylic, from brush to palette knife; photography; been in one exhibition and a lot of my work is on our JAKES website. Cooking - my delight, but only for friends, not commercially. Since creating JAKES I have built 5 and designed many more houses. I am currently working on one. Both my houses have been photographed for magazines and coffee table books more than once -- WORLD OF ANTHOLOGY, COASTAL LIVING and MILIEU.

My own home is on the sea, so I swim almost every day. My passion is snorkeling. My favorite sport was tennis and I was Girls Champion at 16. I have only recently stopped playing.

My days are full. I am still full of curiosity and find our beauteous world enchanting. I am deeply saddened that the human race has so greedily trampled on Mother Earth and continues to do so in the light of dire prognosis.

My two children are a constant source of amazement and inspiration to me and we are very close. My four grandchildren are delightful and full of promise.