What it is
Ian Fleming’s private paradise is now a seafront resort of villas and cottages, with a calm lagoon (and lagoon-side spa), plus cinematic exploits that would wow James Bond himself.
What it isn't
Dull. The resort was purchased by Chris Blackwell in 1976, and the music industry followed; everyone from Sting to Bob Marley have been here.
What we think
Not everybody gets to live like James Bond. But you can vacation like him, if you like, at GoldenEye, which exudes every bit as much cool now as it did when James Bond author Fleming lived here. Guests can opt to stay in villas, lagoon cottages and beach huts, but we’re partial to The Originals, the villas that have been here since the beginning (and therefore had the most illustrious guests), each fitted with outdoor showers, clawfoot tubs, and garden-shrouded outdoor patios. Amenities are thoroughly “When in Jamaica,” and include Blackwell Rum, toiletries made from indigenous herbs and botanicals, and even batik robes. To spend as much time as possible on the water, consider a Lagoon Cottage, which is set over the turquoise lagoon; each one comes stocked with a kayak and has its own dock on the crystalline water.
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The on-property adventures are seemingly bottomless, and include paddleboarding on Oracabessa Bay, spotting purple staghorn coral from a glass-bottom boat, and fishing for white marlin and barracuda on their 38-foot speed boat, named “For Your Eyes Only.”
High in The Gazebo, one of the truly topnotch restaurant offerings here, you’re indeed feeling like you’ve perched yourself in a treehouse along the sea. After a starter of braised oxtail beignets, you go for what Bond might order: a charred ribeye with braised callaloo, and a Blackwell rum baba with charred pineapple for dessert. Of course Bond has a sweet tooth.
Restaurants & Bars
Bizot Bar - Stylish and low-key. Serving breakfast, lunch, Jamaican specialties and weekly BBQs.
Gazebo - An aerie, tree house-style fine-dining option serving dishes with an international flavors and cocktails.
Shabeen - A relaxed option with a rooftop lounge; perfect for cocktails and drinks.
Bamboo Bar - A laidback rum bar on rustic Button Beach. Enjoy drinks, Jamaican Jerk BBQ and grilled fish straight from the sea.
In-Room dining available. Private Outdoor Dining can be arranged around the property as well.
Beach; tennis courts; outside workout space; yoga; meditation; water sports; paddleboarding; kayaking; snorkeling; kids activities; playscape; glass-bottom boat tours, 3 pools; lagoon-side FieldSpa; weekly BBQ & bonfire night; weekly Blackwell Rum cocktail party; Ian Fleming Villa tours; trips to Firefly Estate for picnics and cocktails; turtle release program; overnight stay at Pantrepant - Island Outpost’s exclusive working cattle farm.
A mere five miles from Ian Fleming International Airport. Just a few minutes down the road? James Bond Beach, as seen in 1962 film “Dr. No.”