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Spa Time: GoldenEye, Jamaica (Part 1)

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Spa of the month – GoldenEye, Jamaica

If you’re looking for a laid back Caribbean experience with a bit of celebrity magic thrown in, GoldenEye might be just the place for you. Located in Oracabessa on the north coast of Kamaica, GoldenEye is the quintessential cool resort. The property began life as a villa built by lan Flemming in 1949, which is still available to rent, complete with the desk where he wrote his 14 James Bond novels.

Description: Goldeneye Resort, Jamaica

Goldeneye Resort, Jamaica

The hotel: GoldenEye is an exclusive resort with private villas and cottages set around a lagoon. Since 1956, when the then British Prime Minister Anthony Eden and his wife stayed with Fleming, visitors have been adding to the plantation. Each donated tree has a plague and nowadays you are likely to see Jay-Z’s or Kate Moss’s names among the foliage. The money is donated to the Oracabessa Foundation which supports the local village.

We were greeted by the charming concierge, Clayton, with the infamous GoldenEye welcome cocktail, ready on a tray. And, walking through the reception (which doubles as a library) and sipping our delicious frozen drinks, the iconic black and white photos and memorabilia transported us back to the glamour of post-war Jamaica and made us feel like part of Fleming’s celebrity set.

Description: GoldenEye is an exclusive resort with private villas and cottages set around a lagoon.

GoldenEye is an exclusive resort with private villas and cottages set around a lagoon.

The rooms: the stylish cottages and suites are designed by Ann Hodges, Jamaica’s leading architect, and interior decorator Barbara Hulanicki, who founded Biba. It’s all state-of-the-art, from the kitchens to the WiFi and LED TC to the Logitech Squeezebox sound system.

I loved the privacy of the lagoon suites, and stepping out onto the beach from the villas was even better.

Description: It’s all state-of-the-art, from the kitchens to the WiFi and LED TC to the Logitech Squeezebox sound system.

It’s all state-of-the-art, from the kitchens to the WiFi and LED TC to the Logitech Squeezebox sound system.

The fieldspa: With its lagoon-edge location and open-to-the-air treatment rooms, the spa is a sanctuary for massage, salt scrubs , skin brightening facials, herbal wraps and energy work. Guests can kayak or swim through the lagoon to arrive there. The spa menu is extensive and includes meditation.

I opted for the Warming Ginger and Pimento deep-tissue massage. The pimento, ginger and leaf of life sued in the oil are grown at GoldenEye’s farm, Pantrepant.

Description: The spa menu is extensive and includes meditation.

The spa menu is extensive and includes meditation.

Get active: Watersports available include kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, glass-bottom boat rides and jet skiing. You can play tennis )a tennis pro is available on request) and even do some core training or an early morning run to work off the cocktails. And if you have energy still to burn, you can go mountain biking. I decided to skip all the activity and went for an early morning fishing trip instead with the local Oracabessa Bay fishermen. You can end the day with sunset yoga.

Description: Watersports available include kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, glass-bottom boat rides and jet skiing.

Watersports available include kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling, glass-bottom boat rides and jet skiing.

Food: There are two restaurants at GoldenEye; the Bizot Bar on the beach has a seasonal, local menu with favorites such as ackee and saltfish and spicy jerk chicken. One if the best dishes I ate was the coconut shrimp and mixed salad. The newly designed Gazebo is more formal and built like the tree house. It serves a more international menu such as grilled lobster tail and seasoned rack of lamb and has a good wine list. The cocktails are delicious – and strong!

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