Property Type: Boutique beach hideaway
Destination: Oracabessa Bay, on the north coast of Jamaica
Getting There: You can fly into either Montego Bay or Kingston, but we suggest you choose Montego Bay, as the drive (approx. 73 miles) to GoldenEye is both faster and more scenic.
Who is it for? The sophisticated, laid-back traveler who is looking for a personal and relaxed experience - barefoot luxury. Families would do well here too, but note there are no specific programs for kids.
Pulling up to entrance of the GoldenEye Hotel and Resort on Oracabessa Bay, we doubted at first we were in the right place. The entrance bears nothing but a sign reading ‘Private Property’; intentionally non-descript for the discretion of the high-profile guests. The property has been hosting notable names like Errol Flynn, and Truman Capote since it was former estate of Ian Fleming (where the spy scribe wrote the James Bond thrillers), and not much has changed since the property was taken over by local legend Chris Blackwell (the founder of Island Records who brought Bob Marley to the masses.
Don’t let the high-end clientele lead you into thinking this is a traditional five-star stuffy resort. Goldeneye is decidedly welcoming, with a laid-back vibe. The rooms themselves are a cluster of eclectic oceanfront and lagoon facing huts, cottages and villas. The style is boho chic with an understated luxury: colorful robes in the room are surprisingly soft and it is only when they check in the island outpost shop do you realize they are hand dyed batik robes that retail for $300 USD. And those aren’t the only surprises: The spa can be reached via kayak on the lagoon, and the hotels’ Gazebo restaurant is only accessible by crossing a suspension bridge.
Overall, we fell in love with this gem of a property and can't wait to go back.