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Goldeneye Resort, Jamaica : Absolute Heaven in the Caribbean

June 12, 2019

LOCATION

Goldeneye Resort, Oracabessa, Jamaica

A chic, well-hidden luxury getaway in the tree canopy of Oracabessa, Jamaica, surrounded by private beaches and an emerald green lagoon. It houses Ian Fleming’s famous villa, where he  wrote all the James Bond novels. If you crave privacy and exclusive feels, this place needs to go on your bucket list!

Jamaica will always hold a special place in me and my husband’s hearts. When we were looking to marry in Jamaica, Goldeneye was the first venue we had reached out to to host our wedding at. I have been stalking this boutique property for about 6 years since. A few months ago, I found a crazy deal for Goldeneye, and couldn’t pass it up for our anniversary.  We usually stay at Rockhouse in Negril Jamaica, but finally were going to be able to check out this epic spot.

Well, we just returned to the States a few days ago. And I cried the moment our shuttle pulled out of Goldeneye’s gates. I have only done that 2 times in all my travels, and the only other time being our departure from Bora Bora. That’s how much of an impact this property made on me overall. HUGE. 

Welcome sign at Goldeneye Resort
Lagoon at Goldeneye Resort
View from our room, the Spanish Elm Villa

OVERALL PROPERTY

Goldeneye is a luxurious, yet rustic, villa property on a private peninsula near Ocho Rios on the North Shore of Jamaica. An easy 2 hour drive east of Montego Bay aiport, it’s the ultimate relaxation paradise. They are known for solitude and privacy, as to why many celebrities frequent it’s crystal blue, private beaches. You literally will not see your neighbors, unless at the restaurant or maybe one of the three pools. 

Lagoon at Goldeneye Resort
Goldeneye Resort Jamaica
Lobby at Goldeneye
Goldeneye Resort Jamaica by Shannon Skloss Photography

ROOMS & VILLAS

Goldeneye is made up of villas – The original houses, including the 5-bedroom Ian Fleming Villa, Honey Chili, and Spanish Elm (Johnny Depp’s favorite home to rent – see below), 1 & 2 bedroom oceanfront villas and beach huts. You can’t go wrong on booking ANY of them. 

  • Fleming Villa – The original villa, and what Goldeneye was based and built around. The home of Ian Fleming, this 5 bedroom estate sleeps 10 people and comes with your own private chef and butler, private pool and secret beach. This beauty goes for about 10K/night — food/drinks and service all included.
  • Original Homes (Spanish Elm & Honey Chili) – Private villas on the best parts of the property, with water/lagoon access, close to restaurants, the office, and the suspension bridge. Great for families.
  • Oceanfront & Lagoon Villas – My personal favorite! You can choose a 1 or 2 bedroom villa with either direct walkout beach access, or an emerald green, crystal clear lagoon with included kayaks. Both are in optimal parts of the property with easy access to all things.
  • Beach Huts – The newest rooms on the property, they are on stilts and nestled in trees and sand and near Button Beach. These rustic and colorful huts are absolutely adorable and being the most inexpensive option – are a perfect getaway home. 
Goldeneye Resort Jamaica by Shannon Skloss Photography
Lobby at Goldeneye

THE SPANISH ELM VILLA

We stayed in the 1-bedroom Spanish Elm villa, an original villa of Goldeneye. It is located on the lagoon next to the bridge, and has a private steep, stairway down to a gorgeous dock and personal water access. This is Johnny Depp’s favorite villa, and where Kate Moss planted a tree. The Spanish Elm villa comes with a main house with bedroom and outdoor shower, 180 degree lagoon-view balcony, and outdoor shower (amazing!); a Lounge house with sofas, large screen TV and additional bed with full bathroom; and a super cute Kitchen house with dishes, refrigerator, coffee machine and microwave – ready to serve out of it’s lemonade stand-styled hinge windows. 

THE FLEMING VILLA

One of the most well-known facts about Goldeneye resort is that it is home to Ian Fleming’s highly exclusive villa. If you are a James Bond fan, visiting this place is a MUST. Now owned by Chris Blackwell (which I got to shake hands with and meet at dinner one night!), the Fleming Villa is made up of 5 bedrooms – including Ian’s master suite – where he mused all the James Bond novels. Mr. Blackwell has poured his love and passion into keeping this estate pristinely manicured, preserved and exclusive. When you tour the estate, you learn of Ian’s daily life while living there, which was oddly very repetitive. His daily routine consisted of waking up and writing, lunch, writing some more, going to his private beach for a dip and laps, and then resuming his writing until bedtime. There’s a massive, picturesque window in his master suite that overlooks the beach and sunken garden. It’s no wonder why the Bond novels are as mysterious as they are. That view alone is not to miss if you visit Goldeneye resort. Make sure to take the tour during your stay, which meets at the front desk at 11am.

ACTIVITIES

If relaxing beach or pool side isn’t enough, there’s a ton of complimentary activities to do on the resort. Grab a kayak, snorkel gear or paddle board from the watersports station under the bridge, or take a zen yoga class in the mornings. If you have a lagoon villa, kayaks come with the room and are tied to your dock. This was my favorite thing about the Spanish Elm villa!

Lagoon at Goldeneye Resort in Jamaica
Goldeneye Resort beach by Shannon Skloss
Private beach at Goldeneye

Goldeneye also has three amazing freeform pools, including the infamous ‘eye pool’ that is saltwater and who’s edges are surrounded by the Caribbean. 

FOOD

Goldeneye has 3 restaurants onsite that are sure to please any tastebuds, and special requests. Here are their descriptions, found on Goldeneye’s website here:

  • Bizot Bar“On the western arm of the Low Cay Beach, Bizot Bar is the spot for stylish low-key dining. Located just steps from the sea and fresh-water swimming pool, Bizot Bar serves breakfast and lunch that includes fresh salads, yummy burgers and tasty pastas, as well as famously authentic Jamaican specialties.” Anthony Boudain visited here on one of his episodes. Better believe I sat in his seat. Loved that man.
  • Bamboo Bar“Very simple, very special laidback rum bar right on the rustic Button Beach. With sand underfoot, enjoy the smoky flavors of Jamaican Jerk BBQ along the grilled fish straight from the sea. As soon as the boats pull in, local fishermen bring by their freshest catch.” We ate everyday at this grill. The whole fish plate was my fave!
  • The Gazebo“Built in an airy, treehouse style, the newly designed Gazebo (with lounge and restaurant) serves up dishes with an international flavor. Overlooking both Low Cay Beach and the Lagoon, the Gazebo is the sexy, open-air spot to enjoy cocktails while watching fiery Caribbean sunsets. Dishes range from grilled lobster tail to seasoned rack of lamb, complemented with an international wine list.” I had the lamb…it was exceptional!
bizot bar by shannon skloss
Bizot Bar at Goldeneye

In conclusion, this is a spot that I highly recommend to anyone who is seeking some R&R – romantics or families. You may even have a celebrity run-in, if that’s your thing. 🙂 


More photos of our trip:

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