GoldenEye – The Home of Ian Fleming

“I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to live the rest of my life in Jamaica.”

~Ian Fleming

Design Contributor Nicholas Rosaci at GoldenEye in Jamaica. Photography by Angela Auclair

Design Contributor Nicholas Rosaci at GoldenEye in Jamaica.
Photography by Angela Auclair

On the northern coastline of Jamaica, in the parish of St. Mary’s, is the GoldenEye Hotel and Resort. This Caribbean hideaway, comprised of 13 luxury villas and lagoon cottages has restaurants, pools, spas, and beaches. It’s also got Bond. James Bond. Well, at least it has his essence.

GoldenEye is an oasis which has played host to legendary visitors such as British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, Noel Coward, Elizabeth Taylor, Truman Capote, Errol Flynn, and more recently Jay Z and Beyoncé, Martha Stewart and Bono. (Martha and Bono were not there together!)

Beloved British author, Ian Fleming purchased these 15 acres of land in 1946. He turned the donkey race course (we’re not making this up) into a 3 bedroom bungalow and named it GoldenEye. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea one can no doubt understand how Fleming grew inspired to write the 14 novels of his now famous James Bond 007 series.

The estate was purchased by Bob Marley in 1976, and sold one year later to record mogul Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Blackwell propelled Reggae music worldwide and catapulted the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones and U2.

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, formerly the home of Ian Fleming. Photography by Angela Auclair

GoldenEye Hotel & Resort, formerly the home of Ian Fleming.
Photography by Angela Auclair

Recently renovated, GoldenEye re-opened in 2010 with an additional 17 rooms. The décor has an organic-tropical vibe that just may inspire you to do something creative.

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Ian Fleming wrote all 14 novels of the James Bond 007 series at GoldenEye.

Not planning a trip to Jamaica this year? Then check out Pierce Brosnan (a gorgeous Bond!) in the movie of the same name. GoldenEye.

Savannah: Top 5 Travel Destinations

1  For low-country seaside it’s is a quick drive to Tybee Island.  Visit the Crab Shack: “Where the elite eat in their bare feet”. On your way back, stop at the entrance of Fort Pulaski and see fisherman catching trout at the Cockspur Island Bridge. If you go at dusk, you might see a herd of white-tailed deer grazing in the marshes.

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2  Seen the movie, read the book, know the story?  Tour the Mercer House in Monterey Square and you’ll enter the real-life setting of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The historic home still showcases much of Jim William’s collection of fine furniture, art and accessories.

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Mercer House

3  Looking for affordable souvenirs? The City Market has plenty. Plus  restaurants, bars, art, galleries and a little touristy shopping.

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4  If you plan to shop River Street wear comfortable shoes to navigate the cobblestone streets. Start at the top of the hill and visit the antique stores and restaurants at Factors Walk. 

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The Cotton Exchange

5  Perhaps North America’s earliest urban planning, Savannah’s squares (21 in total)  form a smart  grid and have been a backdrop to countless films including Robert Redford’s Conspirator.

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Forsyth Park

 

Savannah: Top 5 Travel Experiences

1  Immerse yourself in history with a visit to the First African Baptist Church, built by enslaved people in 1859. The church was once a stop on the Underground Railroad as evidenced by the drill holes in the floor, just above a four foot crawl space that runs under the church and out to the sea.

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First African Baptist Church member, Rebecca Wilson

2  If design and decorating appeal, then touring Savannah’s Historic Houses  is a must. The Owen-Thomas House is a beautiful example of English Regency architecture complete with period touches like faux-marbre (marble) and faux bois (wood).

3 A riverboat cruise on board the Georgia Queen or the Savannah River Queen transports you up the Savannah River in style.  A sail on the one-hour stern wheel riverboat replicas includes a narrated history lesson. Plan ahead because the tours have fixed departure times.

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Georgia Queen and the Talmadge Memorial Bridge

4  The Savannah College of Art and Design attracts more than 8,000 talented students each year. Lucky for us as their art works are sold in stores and cafes and at the SCAD Art Museum Bring a southern memento home.

5- In Savannah, ghost are rumoured to be friendly and very much present. We didn’t have any encounters on our visit, but if you’re dying to see one for yourself, do one of the Savannah Ghost Walks and enter some of the cities most haunted buildings at night.

Savannah: Top 5 Food Experiences

1  Take tea at the Gyphon Tea Room and you’ll nibble on tea sandwiches and scones in a turn-of-the-century pharmacy with original stained glass ceiling and wood panelling. . Fresh salads are also worth digging your fork into.

2  Save some dough by sharing a New York style pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go in the City Market.

 The Pirate’s House may have been the drinking spot back in the 18th century, but it’s still a top watering (and dining) spot. There are fifteen separate dining rooms and a resident ghost, Captain Flint (made famous in Treasure Island) who is said to appear in the Captain’s Room.

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The Pirate’s House

4  Sure, fresh seafood is plentiful in Savannah, but if you love crab take a 20 minute drive to Deposito’s Seafood Restaurant (recommended by interior designer Lynn Morgan). It’s the locals’ secret spot, so shhh, we didn’t tell you.

5   Beautiful exterior window displays will likely draw you into The Paris Market on Broughton Street. Shop the French inspired wares and then enjoy a café au lait before you resume your walking tour of Savannah.

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The Paris Market