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GoldenEye

Jamaica
As seen by Jane Anderson

From the founder of Island Records – of Bob Marley fame - is the collection of Jamaican hotels and villas known as Island Outpost: Strawberry Hill, GoldenEye, The Caves and The Fleming Villa.  

Renowned for giving their guests an authentic experience of the island, the service is warm and easy-going, the accommodation melts into each setting of tropical forest or lagoon, and the rhythm of Jamaican life permeates every detail, like the Caribbean dining and traditional rum punch accompanied by live local music.  
 
The most famous in its collection is Island Outpost’s GoldenEye, the Jamaican retreat of the James Bond author Ian Fleming and the backdrop for many a household name’s most creative works.  
 
Indeed The Fleming Villa is one of the accommodation options available amongst the beach huts and cottages scattered across 52-acres of forest, private beaches, lagoons and coves. The crème de la crème of Island Outpost accommodation, The Fleming Villa offers ultimate privacy with its own beach, pool, staff and gardens.  
 
But even if you’re not staying where all 14 of the 007 novels were penned, GoldenEye has villas, cottages and beach huts to wow, quite unique in its offering as a luxury Jamaican hotel.  
 
For an extra special Jamaican holiday experience Travel Seen recommends twinning a stay at GoldenEye with its sister hotel Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains for a magical mix of mountains and coast.

Stay

GoldenEye accommodation offers plenty of choice with The Originals, one and two-bedroom Beach and Lagoon Villas, six Lagoon Cottages, 26 Beach Huts and Ocean Front Villas and of course The Fleming Villa.  
 
Offering a real sense of place each is unique, with verandas for soaking up the views, outdoor showers and some even with direct lagoon access. Decor is Caribbean – think shutters, tropical plants and wooden furniture made locally and accentuated by pops of summery colour.  
 
The ultimate Island Outpost choice is The Fleming Villa – named in honour of Ian Fleming who resided here when writing his James Bond novels and with satellite cottages – Pool House and Sweet Spot – perfect for groups or multi-generational travel. The villa has its own pool, beach and gardens, as well as private staff to serve you a martini shaken not stirred. 

Eat

Head to Bizot Bar by the sea where guests can gorge on Jamaican specialties for lunch and breakfast with a view of the sea and the freshwater swimming pool.  
 
Jerk barbecue fare, island rums and grilled fish straight from the sea are on the menu at feet-in-the-sand Bamboo Bar.  
 
A cold beer or a rum cocktail with a panoramic view is what draws guests to the rooftop lounge at Shabeen.  
 
Dining at GoldenEye can also be enjoyed in-room, or for a special occasion the hotel can arrange a private torch-lit barbecue or candlelit fine dining on your own secluded section of the peninsular. 

Explore

Flights from the UK to Jamaica take just under 10 hours, with direct routes from London into Kingston and Montego Bay airports.  
 
GoldenEye and The Fleming Villa are set in Oracabessa Bay, on the north coast of the island just 20 minutes from Ochos Rios. The scenic drive from Montego Bay airport takes 1 hour 45 minutes.  
 
For a Bond style entrance to the hotel transfers via boat or helicopter can be arranged, the latter landing at the aptly named James Bond Beach.  
 
Away from the hotel a day trip to the Blue Mountains is certainly worth the journey, home to the island’s famous coffee of the same name and stunning tropical scenery to explore on a guided walk. 

Why here?

The beaches at the hotel are certainly a highlight: the wide, private sands of Low Cay, the rustic Button Beach with its own bar shack, and Snorkeler’s Cove from where you can grab some fins and swim in the coral reefs.  
 
Activities include kayaking, sailing, a complimentary glass-bottom boat excursion and stand-up paddleboarding. Swimming can be enjoyed at the freshwater swimming pools, The GoldenEye saltwater splash pool, or of course in the stunning lagoon.  
 
The hotel’s tennis courts are floodlit and there are yoga and meditation sessions.  
 
In a cottage at the edge of the lagoon the FieldSpa uses the natural environment and locally-grown plants to create a distinctly Jamaican spa experience, like the rum infused scrub treatment using brown sugar and Blackwell Rum with heated coconut oil. 
 
More unusual activities include deep sea fishing for marlin or following in the footsteps of Michael Caine and Kate Moss by planting a tree on the estate.

 

Our take

Built by Noel Coward, a visit to Firefly is a must-do during a stay at GoldenEye. The sunset views here are truly spectacular and just 15 minutes from the hotel it’s a beautiful spot to pop to for a picnic. We reckon it has to be one of the most romantic places on Jamaica to propose.  
 
The GoldenEye Foundation does great work supporting the lives of people in the local community and the environment. Guests are encouraged to get involved in its mission to drive the sustainable development of Oracabessa Bay, Jamaica. 

Seen it

Family travel writer and former editor of Family Traveller magazine Jane Anderson recalls her joy at taking her two teens to the place where the 007 legacy began, the wonderful Goldeneye in Jamaica. 

“Goldeneye makes you forget all about your work schedules and school timetables. For a tropical family digital detox with soul, this is the place.” 

Jane's Full experience 

Price From: £3,939

Based on 2 Adults, 7 Nights, Accommodation only 

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