The new GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, nestled in the village of Oracabessa Bay on Jamaica’s North Coast, will open this November. The Island Outpost property is owned by Chris Blackwell, Jamaica-raised founder of Island Records. GoldenEye was the Jamaica home of author Ian Fleming and the location where he penned all 14 James Bond novels. Fleming’s original desk still stands in his former villa today. For decades, this hideaway played host to the glitterati and literati – writers, musicians and heads of state. Through careful preservation, and a discerning approach to completing the retreat, Blackwell has ensured that the relaxed allure of Ian Fleming’s GoldenEye endures. Set along a pristine coast, with secluded beaches, among lush tropical gardens and around the calm waters of the property’s lagoon, the 52-acre estate now encompasses 23 units – 11 new Beach Cottages, six new Lagoon Suites, Fleming’s original villa and the five villas built by Blackwell.
GoldenEye provides simple, contemporary Jamaican-style luxury, while preserving the iconic romance of the property’s past. The Fleming Villa accommodates groups of up to 10 guests, featuring the original three-bedroom home, plus two new poolside cottages; a private swimming pool, media room and bar, sunken garden and direct access to the private Fleming Beach. The collection of five original villas built by Blackwell, which range from one-to three-bedroom units, have also been artfully refit and updated. The innovative design team behind Blackwell’s original villas, Ann Hodges, Jamaica’s leading architect, and Barbara Hulanicki, renowned interior designer, were called upon to design and decorate the new accommodations, so as to perfectly blend with the property’s existing footprint. The Lagoon Suites extend four feet out over the resort’s signature lagoon and appear to be floating. Each Lagoon Suite provides guests with direct access to the water from a private dock and also features a secluded garden with outdoor lounge. The barefoot-chic one- and two-bedroom Beach Cottages, situated on Low Cay Beach, open directly onto the sand. All villas, cottages and suites are outfitted with custom-designed furniture, bath and beauty products made using local wild-grown botanicals, and Royal Hut’s fine handmade linens. With a nod to Blackwell’s illustrious history in the music industry, all accommodations feature a Logitech Squeezebox sound system that is stocked with a catalogue of Island Records-produced music. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property.
I-tal food means fresh from the sea or tree. The menus at GoldenEye’s two new restaurants, headed up by Chef Conroy Arnold, are created in this classic Jamaican style and deliver a bounty of local specialties prepared in soulful tradition. Perched on the western arm of Low Cay Beach is GoldenEye’s beach casual restaurant, Le Bar Bizot. Le Bar Bizot is named after Jean-Francois Bizot (1944-2007), the journalist, musical taste-maker, founder of the Paris-based world music radio station, Radio Nova – and great friend of Chris Blackwell – who often visited GoldenEye. Located steps from the beach and beachside fresh- and sea-water swimming pools, guests can partake of light bites, exotic cocktails and international wines. All will be served to the cool sounds of Radio Nova in Paris that will be regularly played at Le Bar Bizot.
The resort’s second restaurant –The Gazebo – features an all-day lounge and an evening-only restaurant, serving up local fare with an international twist. Located high on the eastern bank of the lagoon entrance, overlooking the calm lagoon waters and Low Cay beach beyond, The Gazebo’s west-facing view is the ideal setting to take in the fiery Caribbean sunsets.
Island Inspired Activities
Jamaican Olympic tri-athlete, Iona Wynter, will lead the activities programming. Wynter’s fun, fitness-focused experiences range from bay rafting and Jet Ski Leg & Ab workouts, to Stretch & Snorkel classes and triathlon training. Uniquely inspirational and experiential activities include moon yoga, Jamaican dance, coral restoration and stargazing. A range of relaxing and uplifting beauty and body therapies using locally farm- and wild-grown herbs and flowers will also be available to guests.