You may have seen from my social channels that we went to Jamaica in February for our second wedding anniversary, and it was the most incredible holiday. Last year for Tim’s birthday we went to St Lucia and we fell in love with the Caribbean – the food, the weather, the people, everything was perfect. But Jamaica has officially upped the Caribbean’s game even further, it has completely stolen my heart. I can’t believe I’m only just getting round to writing about it on here, I don’t know where the time has gone.
We booked through Turquoise Holidays who we worked with for our honeymoon in the Maldives and last year’s trip to St Lucia, and they were excellent as always. We spent ages scrolling through their websites and brochures and couldn’t decide where to go, but then we came across GoldenEye and knew we’d found the one! This was where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books. He first went to Jamaica during WWII, sent by Naval Intelligence to investigate U-Boat activities in the Caribbean and fell in love with the beauty of the island. After the war he knew he wanted to return and he built his dream house in Oracabessa, which he named GoldenEye. The rooms have a collection of Fleming’s books for you to read at your leisure!
Music mogul Chris Blackwell, who founded Island Records in 1959 and brought reggae music to the world outside Jamaica, purchased GoldenEye from the Fleming estate in 1976. Since then, he has grown the original 19 acre property, with just Fleming’s Villa, into a 52-acre world class property.
We booked a Lagoon Cottage which was one of the best decisions we made – I think it was possibly the best (and biggest) room we’ve ever had, with a standalone bath, outdoor rainforest shower, and importantly a fabulous outdoor terrace with direct access into the water, and sunbeds in the shade and out in the sun.
We spent a lot of time chilling in our cottage, it was the perfect spot for reading in the sun and for nature watching – we saw so many types of fish swimming around the lagoon (including a sting-ray looking number, which promptly put Tim off getting in the water for a while!!) and many species of birds. There was also a hammock in the garden to the side of the property, if you fancied kicking back in the shade.
There were lots of nice extra touches that came with the cottage, such as a complimentary kayak for exploring the lagoon, local fruits, and a bottle of Chris Blackwell’s own rum (which was gorgeous, we brought a bottle home with us!)
As we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, we were also given a bottle of bubbly and a card, which we sipped away watching the sunset over the lagoon.
But there wasn’t just our cottage at our disposal – there were plenty of hideaways with pools and beaches throughout the resort, with places to sunbathe, snorkel and relax. What I loved most about GoldenEye was how private it felt – you weren’t overlooked in your accommodation, and it was so quiet around the resort that you rarely bumped into other people. Perhaps not ideal for those who like to socialise, but for Tim and I, we were quite happy to just escape for a week and enjoy each other’s company and that of a good book (or three!)
Our favourite spot was ‘Button Beach’ where we were regularly the only people chilling out on sunbeds or in the turquoise waters, with a beach hut bar serving plenty of Red Stripe beers and rum filled coconuts. Paradise!
I’ll be doing separate posts about the food at GoldenEye (of course!), the spa, seeing the baby turtles being released and our horse riding experience, so keep an eye out over the next few weeks!