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.
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.