After Jakes, it was time to head over the mountains to an altogether different retreat with a pretty iconic namesake and history.
You might think Goldeneye was named after the Bond film, but in fact the movie was named after this place. After Ian Fleming fell in love with Jamaica and vowed to spend the rest of his days in this very bay, he went on to name his villa on the hill Goldeneye and subsequently wrote all fourteen of the James Bond novels in this very spot. After Fleming’s death, the villa was sold to Bob Marley himself before Chris Blackwell went on to buy the place and turned Goldeneye the house into Goldeneye the hotel. Chris Blackwell is a Jamaican legend in his own right too, founding Island Records in 1959 which helped take Jamaican reggae music to the mainstream, including the career of Bob Marley and his band the Wailing Wailers, and it remains one of the biggest, most successful music labels in the world today. Music and rum (Blackwell has his own Jamaican rum brand) are massive parts of Goldeneye, with the hotel’s colourful bar wallpapered with Island Records covers and no end of great reggae and ska soundtracks on repeat. Even the ridiculously chic lobby is covered with photographs on Goldeneye’s inception, with Fleming, Noel Coward (who also owned a villa nearby), Truman Capote, Errol Flynn and Lucian Freud among some of guests who frequented the villa on a regular basis.
Today, Goldeneye is a laidback, luxury retreat that you don’t need an invite for. With a few handfuls of rooms smattered around Goldeneye’s infamous and beautiful lagoon (more on that next time) and beach, they’ve recently added a whole new village of small but perfectly formed candy-coloured beach huts which we were lucky enough to call home for a few days. Goldeneye is all about getting into Jamaican time and rotating between the pools, the lagoon, the beach and the bar. Kick back, order coconut at the bar in the morning, some Jerk shrimp and plantain for lunch, followed by a rum punch in the afternoon… For four days this was absolute heaven to really unwind, relax and forgo any pressures. This place kept surprising us in the best ways too. The pale pink terracotta rooftop bar with the best sunset views, the isolated lagoon beach with it’s sleepy Bamboo bar… There’s no end of seemingly secret nooks and coves to curl up in with a book, a margarita or just your plus one for company.
I can’t talk about Goldeneye without mentioning the food. In fact, the highlight of our day quickly became our dinners at Gazebo. As with so many pricey hotels, eating ain’t cheap but unlike other places I’ve been, the food at Goldeneye is actually worth the steep price tags. Scallops, snapper and shrimp rapidly became my staple diet in Oracabessa and we were constantly torn between having the amazing meal we had the night before and sampling as much on the menu as we possibly could… Coming home and going back to my staple diet of tea, toast, eggs and noodles has never been harder.
Black and white bikini | Peony Swimwear
White linen shirt | Asceno
White triangle bikini top | Peony Swimwear
Stripe bikini bottoms | Zulu & Zephr
Hat | Janessa Leone
Pink slides | Senso
Gold horn necklace | Lucy Williams X Missoma
Fine gold chain |Cat Bird
Red shirt dress | Marina London
Navy printed sheer ruffle dress | Cloe Cassandro
Raffia rucksack | Need Supply
Multicoloured stripe bikini top | Missoni
Red bandeau bikini | Asceno
Denim Shorts | Vintage
Whiet lace-up scallop bikini | Marysia
Rope sandals | Nomadic State of Mind
Phoebe\s sheer long kaftan | Cloe Cassandro
Enter the iescape.com X Asceno competition here. Good luck!