GoldenEye

GoldenEye—the name may ring a bell. This is no coincidence. This iconic Jamaican hotel is famous for being Ian Fleming’s favorite place to pen the James Bond novels. We can guess why: the resort exudes the kind of laid-back sophistication and jet-setter sex appeal that surely inspired Bond’s trademark swagger. Many famous faces have booked a stay at GoldenEye and enjoyed a cool-down in the salt-and-fresh water lagoon. Who could deny the cache of sleeping in Fleming’s favorite beachside villa, sauntering over to the swim-up FieldSpa, nonchalantly sipping a cocktail in the tree-top Gazebo restaurant as the sun flares and dips beneath the horizon, and getting into the island groove with the owner’s—music producer Chris Blackwell’s—personal collection of reggae and island jams (it’s on hand in every room). Speaking of the rooms, stay in a beach cottage if you want to step onto the sand from your private front porch in the morning. Or for a bit more privacy and jungle romance tuck yourself away in one of the lagoon suites where you can dive into the emerald waters from your front deck or hideaway amongst the lush foliage on your garden patio. All of the rooms are bright and airy with whitewashed clapboard walls, lofted beam ceilings, wall-length teak shutters that fold back during the day, and playful pops of color that just work. You may feel torn trying to decide whether to luxuriate in your tropical digs or take advantage of all the outdoor activities, of which there are many. You can catch your own dinner on a fishing excursion then cook and enjoy it by candlelight on the beach, get an adrenaline rush from all forms of watersport, mountain bike over rugged trails to a local fishing village, post-up and snorkel off the glass-bottom boat, and pamper yourself with salt scrubs and open water swims at the spa. Bring the kids (they’re very welcome), or not (GoldenEye is equally ideal for honeymooners). What’s more, GoldenEye is dedicated to keeping their little oasis thriving. Guests are encouraged to forego air conditioning in favor of the ocean breeze, and Chris Blackwell’s Oracabessa Foundation has undertaken ambitious projects to protect and restore the local reefs and sea life in partnership with the local fishermen. Finally, neighboring organic farms supply the chefs with the freshest of ingredients for their innovative twists on classic Jamaican dishes, so you know you are getting the good stuff.

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