JAMES BOND’S JAMAICAN BOLTHOLE

BAG BOND AUTHOR IAN FLEMING’S JAMAICAN PAD

‘The name’s Bond, James Bond’... Jamaica may be famous for rum and reggae, but it’s also where James Bond author Ian Fleming made his home. As luck would have it, you can crash at his former pad, now part of the aptly named Goldeneye Hotel & Resort, where the spy-conjuring writer penned all 14 of his famous novels.

Journalist and naval intelligence officer Fleming may not have had access to the swim-up hillside spa, watersports centre or treetop restaurant, but the setting alone was enough to keep the debonair British scribe here – and these days, there’s no excuse to leave.
 

With 20 whitewashed rooms, including six one-bedroom cottages and five two-bed cottages, you’ll be spoilt for choice when finding a spot to lay your sun hat. All are light and airy, with Caribbean-bright textiles and laid-back design touches. Opt for One-Bedroom Beach Cottages for their straight-to-sand access, garden-shaded outdoor showers, vast verandas and Smeg fridges stocked with local treats. If you’d prefer a balcony perched over the lagoon, we suggest Lagoon Suite 8.


Travelling with a posse of Georges? Then bag the luxe Fleming Villa, once home to the author himself, filled with vintage photos and intriguing memorabilia. Sleeping up to 10, this spacious house boasts its own pool, private beach, satellite cottages and dedicated staff.


Need to get your creative juices flowing? Then hightail it to the Bizot Bar, an open-air number on the beach plastered with music posters, that’s the go-to spot for breakfast and lunch. It’s perfect for sipping a rum punch, while tuning in to French station Radio Nova. Goldeneye even offers guests hipflasks of house rum Blackwell, from owner and record producer Chris Blackwell’s distillery, on arrival. Island Records mogul Chris also ensures that each room has an extensive selection of reggae and island music (Bob Marley was Jamaica’s favourite son).


Should you need a hearty dinner before your next ‘mission’, then make for Gazebo, set in the treetops and reached by an illuminated drawbridge (so far, so like a Bond villain’s lair). Expect upscale Jamaican curries and veggie dishes, drawing on delicious ingredients from Chris’ 2,500-acre organic farm. Make sure you order the jerk chicken – the spicy national dish – or treat yourself to grilled lobster (you are in the Caribbean, after all, with fresh fish every which way). Chefs Nerissa and Jason Clarke also whip up a mean tasting menu, ideally sampled at one of the romance-revving tables overlooking the lagoon. You can also impress a date with a dining ‘adventure’, with candlelit tables set up on the beach or a barbecue on the sand.


When it comes to energetic special-agent-style pursuits, Goldeneye’s got it all, from watersports such as kayaking, paddle-boarding and glass-bottom boats to mountain biking and tennis. Swimmers are sorted, too, with a main fresh-water infinity pool, smaller salt-water pool and the vast salt- and fresh-water lagoon to lap up.
Alternatively, hit the water with local Oracabessa Bay fishermen and help haul in the morning catch of wahoo, mahi mahi or tuna. If you find a fish you like, Goldeneye’s chefs will happily cook it for your dinner. There’s also shoreside horseback riding and a coastal jogging trail designed with US Peace Corps backing to support local development.


After all that action, the weary international man of mystery needs some spa time. You can walk, swim or kayak right up to FieldSpa, Goldeneye’s open-air, lagoon-side spa cottage, which offers massages, salt scrubs and wraps, along with a fitness programme of guided runs and self-guided open-water swims. Now where did you put that hipflask...


To book a stay at any of Mr & Mrs Smith’s 850+ boutique hotels and holiday houses worldwide visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 1300 896627, 24-hours a day, five days a week. If you book Goldeneye through Smith, you’ll receive a two-for-one lunch at Bizot Bar, or two 30-minute massages if you stay five nights or more. You can also take advantage of money-smart offers at the hotel, promising a license to chill.
 

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