Destination Jamaica

The Beautiful Island of Jamaica in Style…Once You Go, You Know!

Jamaica’s GoldenEye resort reopens after two-year refurb January 27, 2011

Golden Eye Cottage in Jamaica

 

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort on Jamaica’s north coast in the village of Oracabessa reopened Dec. 15 after a two-year renovation project.

The 52-acre property is the former home of author Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.

Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records and the Island Outpost collection of five Jamaican properties, purchased GoldenEye in 1976.

The newly renovated resort now encompasses 22 units, including nine beach cottages, two lagoon cottages and six lagoon suites as well as Fleming’s original villa and four villas built by Blackwell.

 

Golden Eye Spa in Jamaica

 

Fleming first came to Jamaica during World War II, sent by British Naval Intelligence to investigate U-boat activities in the Caribbean. He bought the property on Oracabessa Bay and built his dream house, where he penned all 14 of his Bond novels.

His neighbor was English playwright Noel Coward, who built his clifftop retreat called Firefly next door. Over the years the two hideaways became a center for writers, musicians, Hollywood royalty and heads of state.

Blackwell preserved much of GoldenEye during the renovation. Fleming’s original writing desk still stands in his former villa, for example.

Still, significant changes have been made at GoldenEye, according to Jason Henzell, president of Island Outpost.

“We’ve added two new restaurants, sports and fitness activities,” Henzell said. “GoldenEye is no longer an all-inclusive resort. We want our guests to go off-property and sample the restaurants, fishing markets and rum shops in the town. We heavily support community tourism.”

The new accommodations offer contemporary Jamaican-style luxury while preserving the property’s original footprint and style.

The lagoon suites extend four feet over the water and include a private dock and a secluded garden with an outdoor lounge.

The one- and two-bedroom beach cottages open directly onto the sand.

With a nod to Blackwell’s history in the music industry, all units feature a sound system stocked with Island Records-produced music.

Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the property.

The Bizot Bar beach restaurant serves snacks and drinks on the sand; the Gazebo features an all-day lounge and serves dinner overlooking the lagoon and Low Cay beach below.

The new FieldSpa serves as the home base for the fitness and activity programs headed by Iona Wynter, an Olympic triathlete from Jamaica.

Rates start at $672 per night, double from Jan. 8 through April 30.

Ian Fleming Airport, an airstrip formerly called the Boscobel Aerodrome, will open on Jan. 12 and can accommodate up to six private jets and three smaller aircraft. The airport is 10 minutes from GoldenEye.

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Montego Bay Convention Center Opens January 10, 2011

Filed under: Events,Jamaica,Montego Bay — carter8613 @ 6:57 am
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Montego Bay Convention Center

 

The $45 million Montego Bay Convention Centre was officially opened recently in a ceremony led by Jamaica’s Prime Minster Bruce Golding.

The launch was described as a “soft opening” by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), with the “major work” to be complete by Jan. 31.

The facility, funded through a partnership between the Jamaican and Chinese governments, features more than 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, over 20,000 square feet of banquet facility and more than 11,000 square feet of meeting space and will host its first event, Caribbean Marketplace 2011, Jan. 16 to 18

 

Jamaica’s Falmouth Cruise Port Debut Rescheduled January 5, 2011

Jamaica Sunset

The first cruise ship call at Jamaica’s historic Falmouth cruise port, which had originally been planned for Jan. 7, 2011, has been rescheduled for Feb. 17, according to a statement from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas will be the first ship to call at the $220 million port, followed by the Royal Caribbean ships Freedom of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas. In January and early February, the ships will each visit their established Jamaican ports of call.

While the Falmouth cruise port project is “on schedule,” according to a statement from Royal Caribbean, the Jamaican government, a partner in the project, and Royal Caribbean “jointly decided to postpone the arrival of passenger ships arriving into Falmouth until February.”

Royal Caribbean and Jamaican officials opted to delay Falmouth’s premiere after touring the site this past weekend and finding “it is not quite ready to deliver the high standards we are striving for. … Construction of the new thematic village continues at a fast pace and numerous administrative agencies of the Jamaican Cabinet Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Transportation have initiated enhancements to the town.”

The rescheduling follows local press reports highlighting the incomplete status of several projects at the 32-acre port. RCCL’s largest ship, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas, is scheduled to make its inaugural Falmouth call on March 22. For more information, visit www.visitjamaica.com.