Race Course, Oracabessa, Jamaica
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Photo courtesy of Island Outpost
GoldenEyeGoldeneye, to be clear, is not an easy place to leave. The land—the former home of Ian Fleming, where he wrote each of the 14 James Bond thrillers that would cement his place in literary and cinematic history—sits next to the tiny town of Oracabessa, on the northern coast. A warm, blue-green lagoon curls from the ocean around a small island and then lets out into a bay. You can look one direction and see a jungle, then turn around and see pristine white sand.
Blackwell bought the property in 1976 as a vacation home and a space to entertain family and friends but later he decided to transform it. In 2016, Goldeneye debuted a jumble of new huts, arranged around a small cove, a short walk from Fleming’s house and the resort’s original villas. The huts vary in height, designed to capture cooling breezes and allow guests to forgo air conditioning. And, crucially, they’re much cheaper to book than the Villas. Which is key because, up until this point, if you wanted to plan a visit to Goldeneye, you needed to either know Blackwell personally or have the excess capital to shell out potentially five figures on a vacation. (Part of the resort’s enduring gravitational pull is that many of the celebrity guests check both boxes.) With the beach huts, Blackwell has expanded, once again, the ambition of his famous resort.
about 5 years ago
Originally owned by author Ian Fleming, who wrote all his James Bond novels while wintering here, GoldenEye may be the most elegant small hotel in Jamaica. Music producer Chris Blackwell bought the original Fleming Villa and 19-acre estate in 1977 from Bob Marley, who had purchased it the previous year. Eventually, Blackwell turned it into a hotel that by 2010, when a major renovation was completed, had increased to 21 villas and cottages on 52 lush acres. Located at Oracabessa Bay, an hour and a half’s drive from the airport at Montego Bay, almost all the hotel’s accommodations either sit on a beach or front a lagoon, the latter with a dock for each villa. The original villa was modernized during the renovation to include such amenities as a high-tech media room, but Fleming’s original writing desk remains. The flagship of Blackwell’s Island Outpost hotel group, GoldenEye is no doubt the kind of place James Bond would have preferred to stay, if only it had a casino.
almost 5 years ago
If You Want to Sleep on Caribbean Sand
The 26 new beach huts at GoldenEye, Chris Blackwell’s flagship Jamaican resort on the onetime estate of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, are a beach bum’s dream. Built on top of the sand, each octagonal suite has an ocean view and, instead of air-conditioning, shuttered windows that let in the cooling sea breeze.
almost 5 years ago
Jamaica's Cool GoldenEye Hotel Also Does Good
GoldenEye has cachet simply for being the place where author Ian Fleming dreamed up his character James Bond, agent 007. The cool factor increased when Island Records founder Chris Blackwell bought the estate in 1976 and expanded it into a 52-acre resort with villas that spill onto Low Cay Beach. Guests can kayak off a private dock, bike to Firefly (playwright Noël Coward’s former home), or take a jet-ski safari. But the best part about GoldenEye is that it gives back to the community: In 1995 Blackwell started the Oracabessa Foundation, which supports programs like youth sports leagues and vocational training.
almost 6 years ago
From Jamaica, with Love
Goldeneye Hotel & Resort’s name is not a coincidence; this idyllic cluster of whitewashed cottages and suites on Jamaica’s Oracabessa Bay is indeed named after the Brosnan Bond vehicle. But this is no gimmick either: Ian Fleming penned all 14 of his James Bond novels in his villa, now the hotel’s centrepiece. He may not have had access to the swim-up hillside spa, watersports area or treetop restaurant, but the setting alone was enough to keep him here – these days, there’s no excuse to leave. Walk, swim or kayak right up to FieldSpa, Goldeneye’s open-air spa cottage by the lagoon. The spa offers massages, salt scrubs and wraps, along with a fitness programme of guided runs and self-guided open-water swims.