What We Love
- The open-air, swim-up spa
- Hand-dyed batik robes in all guest rooms
- The property’s private four-acre lagoon
- Having the chance to sleep in the same villa as author Ian Fleming
What To Know
- It’s owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell
- Free WiFi
- Additional rollaway beds and infant cribs are available upon request
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Imagine sitting at the very bulletwood desk that author Ian Fleming, the mastermind behind fourteen James Bond novels, typed out drafts from, gazing at the same Caribbean vistas that sparked his literary prowess. It’s entirely possible at this 49-room Oracabessa Bay hotel flanked by 52 acres of mango and banyan trees, where a 2016 revamp introduced 26 new beach huts, a snorkeling cove, and a rooftop terrace. Fleming’s original three-bedroom villa, practically a private island, comes with a couple of satellite cottages, its own beach, pool, gardens, and staff. The dreamy mix of pastel interiors, driftwood accents, and fairy lights whimsically strung on rope bridges encourage lazing at this rustic retreat—and there are plenty of perches to choose from when it comes to unwinding in style: on your Californian king as soft reggae hums from your Sonos sound system (there’s one in every room), over a plate of jerk chicken served under a canopy of almond trees, or, perhaps best of all, with a snorkel as you flap your way through Jamaica’s most eye-catching reefs.
In the Area
The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Ochos Rios, far enough from the north coast’s rowdy tourist scene without being completely isolated. Get both your arts and adventure fix on a hike to Firefly Hill, a former pirate’s lookout that’s now the site of a museum that pays tribute to an especially illustrious resident, British playwright Noel Howard, whose vacation home was converted into a heritage site. Closer to GoldenEye, there’s horseback riding on windswept Chukka Beach as well as the chance to help local fishermen at Oracabessa Bay, after which you can bring your freshly caught mahi mahi back to the hotel and have the chefs grill it to perfection.
How to Get There
We recently spent several days in a 2 bedroom Beach “hut” at Golden Eye. Our rooms were magnificent, comfort not spared, but understated and respectful of the natural beauty around us! I will forever long for the sea breeze coming through the louvre windows and the total peace this community provides. The heart and soul of GoldenEye is Chris Blackwell, who put this dream to reality. His respect of Jamaica’s number one asset, it’s people, is the evident in so many ways. His staff are thoughtful and obviously capable, but more than that they are proud and vibrant and interesting and welcoming in a way that made me want to know them better. From the moment Clayton Hinds picked us up at the airport and headed to Golden Eye, I knew I met a truly special man who truly loves this island and it’s people and beauty, and he warmly shared much of the islands treasures such as the flavor sensations of Jamaica Pudding (made by the one and only “Pudding Man”) and the island’s rich and organic produce.
Golden Eye encourages a connection to nature which is so healing, their food is supplemented by organic produce from Mr Blackwell’s farm, physical exercise is accessible and joyful with the many kayaks and snorkeling options. The natural beauty of this bay and lagoon is emphasized rather than overwhelmed by development. And the beauty is so immense. Never have I felt so mesmerized by a place. Thank you all to the Golden Eye Team, I do hope to visit many times more.
Dear Mr. Blackwell, Stuart and the ENTIRE Goldeneye staff,
We just spent the best and most relaxing days at your beautiful resort. I can’t thank each of you enough for the way we were treated each and everyday. The staff is the heartbeat of this resort. “NO” is never an option from the staff. From check in to check out it is the most well oiled machine. The vibe is like no other place we have ever visited. The meals were so thoughtful. The variety of beaches and pools to pick from each day. The grounds crew working diligently each and everyday. Nothing was overlooked. Everyone should take this vacation at least once in their lifetime. It’s like no other!!!
We would like to thank a few specifically: Conroy and Trei at the Bamboo Bar for mixing us the best drinks, Milton (Milly) for the great music, Dane with water sports, Lenworth at James Bond Beach, Nardia and her beautiful smile!!! Thank you a million times!!!
This may be the best, most restful vacation we have ever experienced! It is possible here to feel privacy, with only pleasant passing conversation with similarly minded guests. The grounds are perfect, but not Disney-perfect; there are no formal gardens, just winding paths through tropical plants and trees, along emerald green lagoons, or leading to softy lapping waves on the private pristine beaches of Oracabessa Bay. We stayed in one of the newer Beach Huts, and asked for one of the five that have an outdoor shower. What a great pleasure to shower in a bamboo grove under the brilliant blue sky with a hummingbird drinking from a tropic flower above! In addition, the room was so well appointed. I am a serious tea drinker and I can assert that I have never seen a sealed glass jug filled with sugar in the raw and real milk, with an electric kettle, separate from a French press for making Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in any room where we have ever stayed. It is always the little things, after all! From the wonderful complimentary breakfast at the Bizot, where one can order anything and everything from the menu and linger watching the sea (and where some guests arrived in their room-provided batik bathrobes), to the jerked chicken or curried shrimp at Button Beach, to the Gazebo dinner restaurant, the food was fresh from the farm and the staff was so engaging and attentive. We were able to tour the incredible Fleming Villa, visited Noel Coward's Firefly estate, and went to Ocho Rios for lunch, shopping, and Dunns Falls. All was arranged seemlessly for us. Our driver, Orando, was pleasant and knowledgeable. Everyone who works here expressed great respect for Chris Blackwell, his vision, and his powerful support of their community. One young woman, Nardia, proudly told us about her nomination for a Jamaican tourism award, and all we can say is that we hope she wins the award, because she was dedicated, delightful, and so very earnest in her efforts to go above and beyond. Go to Goldeneye! Life is too short not to.
Arrived cranky and stressed out to the max and then spent about a week and a half (Christmas through New Years) here and I can honestly say it was one of the best vacations of my life. You can *completely* check-out at this place. It’s like being in an alternate reality. Lagoon cottage, wake up and jump in the lagoon - you feel like you’re the only ones there unless you head over to the Bizot bar or the restaurant. Originally planned on some off property meals but we never left the place the whole time we were there. Amazing people, amazing cottage, amazing lagoon. It’s really hard to describe, but I travel over 200 days a year, have been pretty much everywhere (and last year spent most winter weekends in Jamaica) and this is THE PLACE that beats them all, hands down. New Years Eve party actually ended early which turned out to be fine for us - just hung out on our deck on the lagoon chugging Prosecco to bring in the New Year. (some people were upset about the early cutoff and lack of live music but honestly, we just didn’t care). Your *give a hoot* factor goes down really fast after the first few days. Everything was just super chill and luxuriously rustic. I think I regressed in age by about 15 years. (While there’s no commercial service into Ian Fleming airport, if you fly private it’s a 10 minute trip from the airport to the property). Can’t say enough nice things. Will be back, and back, and back again. Shout out to Stuart Jones who redefines the role of host. Highly recommended. Best property in Jamaica bar none!
In search of small, uncrowded resorts with first class service we happened upon this polished, Jamaican gem. Comfortable, laid back, magical. Blackwell’s vision to share Ian Fleming’s paradise is without compromise and looking only to improve. The staff is better than friendly. They are engaging to a fault. Can’t wait to return.