If you have ready any posts on this blog, you probably know of my love of James Bond. This past December I had the amazing good fortune of visiting Goldeneye.
Goldeneye is the former estate of Ian Fleming, author of the fourteen original James Bond novels and stories. All of these were written at Goldeneye. Located in Oracabessa Bay St. Mary, Jamaica, Goldeneye is a very small resort in terms of number of guests, but on a huge piece of property. I was there the second week in December, and there couldn’t have been more than forty people there.
It’s about an hour and a half from the Montego Bay airport, and I highly recommend arranging transportation through the hotel. The whole ride you pass huge resorts with giant signs for places like Sandals and Beaches. I was a little mystified when my driver put on her turn signal in the middle of nowhere. There was just a small gate marked Private Property. My driver’s name was Laurel and she was an absolute riot. Be sure to ask for her.
You are greeted by the hotel manager, and your first stop is the bar to pick up your complimentary drink. You guessed it, the Goldeneye! The resort is now owned by record producer Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. He also owns Blackwell Rum, which is used throughout the resort, and you find a bottle in your room to take home.
Next, a guided tour to your room, or for me a beach hut. I stayed in hut #34, and it was like no hut I had ever seen! It has a gorgeous king size bed, double rainfall showers and a veranda with a daybed.
I had great weather, but it did rain one morning. I have to say, it was fantastic, reading, then taking a nap out on the deck.
The food was absolutely amazing. Almost everything comes from the local farm, Pantrepant, also owned by Blackwell. You have never tasted fresher eggs, herbs, vegetables, meat, and fish.
There were at least two staff to every guest, if not more, and they were the friendliest, most helpful people I have ever met.
One of the highlights of the trip, was the tour of the Fleming Villa. This is where Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond books. It has a private pool, sunken garden, and private beach. I was lucky there was no one staying there, and I got a private tour.
Apparently lots of celebrities have stayed here, or at one of the other villas on the property. Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli were there a few months after me for the announcement of Bond 25.
If there are any Police fans reading this, Sting wrote Every Breath You Take at Goldeneye. You can see the gold record he gave to Chris Blackwell hanging in the Fleming Villa.
For $1,000, you can donate a tree to be planted with the likes of the one by Johnny Depp. All the money goes to a local non-profit, and they do a ton of good. I did not donate a tree, but I did participate in their Pack for a Purpose program. You can check the website before you go and bring items needed. I brought a bunch of math and reading flashcards and kids books for a local school.
It was a fantastic trip, and I would recommend Goldeneye to anyone looking for a quiet getaway in the Caribbean. There were more British, European, and Australians than there were Americans, which was a nice change.
Goldeneye is a definite must for any James Bond/Ian Fleming fan, if only for a visit to the Fleming Lounge.