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“Goldeneye in February” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Goldeneye Resort

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Goldeneye Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Oracabessa | St, Mary, Oracabessa, Jamaica   |  
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License to Chill
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Oracabessa
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Goldeneye in February”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2011

Goldeneye is a secluded, very private hotel about 30 minutes from Ocho Rios. It is a former residence of Ian Fleming and the hotel fully capitalizes on the James Bond fame - memorabilia is everywhere. We visited over the long weekend in February.

Pros: Despite the hotel being fully booked, you see very few guests. It is designed with privacy in mind, most villas are secluded, and if you don't wish to see anyone, you can almost get your wish. The staff is very friendly. The place has been recently re-opened with a few new villas, and they are very eager to make the right impression. Villas are very well designed, even with fully equipped kitchens (God knows why, there is not a grocery store in the vicinity!).

Cons: 1) There is very little to do (although this can also be a "pro"). Water sports are limited to jet skis, canoes and snorkeling. The surf around the reef is pretty rough, so snorkeling is problematic. No gym (although plenty of expansion space around the hotel, so hopefully they'll figure it out). 2) The place is pretty secluded, so no dining options outside of the hotel's two restaurants. The main kitchen is very competent, but you can eat off of the same menu only so many times... 3) The pools are very poorly designed - they are beautiful to look at, but not a single guest inside during our entire visit. They are very small, shallow and cold (!). Given that the ocean was not that warm either, swimming options were quite limited. 4) Great but not practical design everywhere. E.g. they have an island with beach chairs which can be reached by wading waist-deep for about 10 yards. Good looking place, but completely unused: why go there if you can stay on the beach? It would have been much better if they build a small footbridge and had something other than just the chairs (bar? dinners?) there. Also, what's up with the outdoor shower (there is an indoor tub but no shower). If it's raining or cold, not a very pleasant process. 5) Serving staff is almost too friendly (everyone insists on asking you for your first name every chance they get), but not too competent. A waiter should know the specials half way into the evening's service and not say "Let me go to the kitchen and ask". It shouldn't take an hour to get an extra
bottle of shampoo in the room. And if you have a sign "bathrobes are for sale", you should actually be able to sell them and not direct one to a website which doesn't sell the product either.

Summary: It's a stunning looking place with quite a few shortcomings, considering the price tag. If you plan a short getaway where privacy and relaxation are the main goals, this is a good option. Get a lagoon villa, they offer better privacy and your own access to a huge pool-like lagoon good for swimming. Since there is so little to do, it's a good place to concentrate on each other (if you go as a couple). Hopefully they will get their act together soon to live up to their Conde Nast glowing review!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    147
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27
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2011

The Goldeneye was above and beyond what we expected, the people, the food the view were amazing!!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

I have been going to Goldeneye for the past 10 years and every time I heard them talking of expanding I had my doubts. Goldeneye was so intimate and perfect, I just couldn't see it being bigger... Well, after a couple of years I finally went back and I was blown away. The new additions are just perfect. There are several new villas on the beach and around the lagoon and they are discreet and charming. Our villa faced the lagoon and it was spectacular. Every villa has a pair of kayaks outside of the door. I actually kayaked to my spa appointment. The spa is great, I love the fact that they don't have some cheesy new age music but the nature's sound surrounding the place. Villas are beautifully designed and even the smaller ones have a beautiful view, a deck facing the water, a little dinning table outside and lounge chairs... Everything you need.
I thought that with the additions the beach was going to be crowded but it wasn't. You can always find a quiet place to relax.
There is a new restaurant, Bizot. Great food and atmosphere. We actually did not go to the Gazebo restaurant once during our stay. It was just too much fun down by the beach. The pools look great and one of them is a salt water pool with a huge goldeneye in the middle. It must look really cool if you fly over it.
Talking about flying, usually we fly to Montego Bay and either take a car service or Fly to Boscobel. Now the airport by the resort is called Ian Fleming and it is international for people flying private. We actually flew into Kingston this time and the Goldeneye representative was waiting for us to take us to the private planes area where we took a 3 seater to Ian Fleming. A little bumpy but we were at Ian Fleming in 17 minutes. It beats driving for 2 hours.
Overall, the weather was great with amazing tropical showers at night, food has improved dramatically, service was great as usual with all the same wonderful faces: Jenny, Ozzie, Clayton, Nicholas, etc... There are a lot more water sports available. It is just perfect.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2011

But this is the most insanely cool place you will ever go to. This place is every bit Jamaica including the music, and the vibe. But since it sits on its own peninsula it has a feeling all its own. Once the former home of Ian Fleming, it still has that very "James Bond" feel( but its a place Bond would go to get away from it all!). We were here before the new construction and were concerned that it would lose all its charm. But it just got a whole lot better.
From the moment you are handed the signature Goldeneye Cocktail you start to feel your stress melt away. When you walk across the new bridge it is very dramatic and beautiful
The new villas are pristine and modern with lots of cool touches such as outdoor showers, and soaking tubs There are cottages on the beach and on the lagoon. Our cottage was on the lagoon . Each has its own kayaks, which we used to explore and also to take us to the spa. The spa is hypnotic, sits on a lagoon, and the therapists were excellent


What really sets this place apart though was the staff. Jenny, Nick, Clayton and Nicholas are exceptional Everyone though was friendly and they could not have done enough for us. They seemed genuinely happy to be there. Loved our stay and can't wait to go back

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

I just got back from an amazing four-day getaway to the recently re-opened GoldenEye resort in Oracabessa, Jamaica. I took my daughter for a quick trip before she went back to college for spring term. Wow – the resort absolutely blew me away! I’ve travelled to some pretty exclusive properties and our GoldenEye experience is right up there with Little Palm Island, Parrot Cay and Jumby Bay.
In fact, in many ways GoldenEye stands out amongst the others because the resort has its own unique “personality” – chic, exclusive, and hip, yet at the same time warm, friendly and super relaxed. It’s a wonder how the staff manages to pull this off…..In addition, the resort has the most exquisite natural setting. Seriously, I thought I had to travel to Bali or Mauritius to find a setting like this. On one side of the property there are secluded lagoon suites. These extend over the most beautiful, clear turquoise water I’ve ever seen! Each has a private dock and deck with comfy lounge chairs. Two steps away are the new beach cottages (where we stayed) that are just a stone’s throw from the Caribbean Sea. The décor was gorgeous- think rustic elegance, kind of like The Point (Saranac Lake) meets Fantasy Island. The two-bedroom cottage had hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, huge four poster beds with luxurious (yet funky) bedding, white porcelain claw foot tubs and an awesome outdoor shower. The kitchenette was a gourmet cook’s dream – stainless oven, high-speed blender, lovely plates and silverware, fully stocked Smeg refrigerator and tons of other great high-end gadgets…in truth, I couldn’t imagine really cooking while on vacation…but they’re perfect for a hotel chef to come and prepare an in-room romantic dinner for two. Yet another example of the resort’s thoughtful, special touch!

We love to be active on vacation, and the resort had so many fun and varied ways to get moving each day. One morning we did yoga on the point – overlooking the sea, the next we took a core fusion class offered by Iona Wynter, Jamaica’s own Olympic Tri-Athlete. If anyone can get you excited about exercising, it’s Iona! Even though we were incredibly sore the next day, we went on Iona’s kayak’s trip to near-by James Bond beach. There we got out, had a drink at the funky bar and watched local kids practicing their soccer skills before kayaking back to the resort. On our last morning, my daughter went on Iona’s planned mountain-biking trip to Noel Coward’s hilltop house, Firefly, and they had a blast stopping for “juicy beef patties” on the way back. Of course, there were some resort guests that did “nothing” all day – and seemed extremely happy to do just that…..
We dined at GoldenEye on two nights – once at the Gazebo, and once at the more casual Bizot Bar. Both nights were very good, but I preferred the more relaxed atmosphere of our dinner by the sea at Bizot Bar. Two nights we went off-property to local restaurants. Although we didn’t have a car, the hotel was happy to arrange a driver to take us to Scotchie’s in Ocho Rios(THE BEST JERK pork/chicken I’ve ever had.) and Tropical, for steamed local fish. These two fun, super casual local spots gave us a real taste of Jamaica and added so much to our trip. I would DEFINETELY check them out.
All around the service at GoldenEye was excellent and we felt very well taken care of and safe. Everyone was super friendly and upbeat. From the dynamic duo of Dan and Dave at water sports (thanks for the awesome jet-ski ride and snorkeling adventure), to Tameisha, our lovely housekeeper, and Newton, the talented massage therapist who helped us shift into vacation-mode on day one, everyone bent over backwards to meet our every whim. It’s clear that Nick, the outstanding Managing Director on premise, put a lot of thought into hiring his team. I can’t say enough about the staff. First rate all the way!
I’ve just returned from Jamaica and I’m already thinking about my next trip to GoldenEye. The setting, service and food are phenomenal – it’s a vacation we’ll always remember!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2011

This resort is built around the former residence of Ian Fleming writer of James Bond adventures. It is not a conventional luxury resort, in the sense that you don't find here the polished finishes of a ritz carlton or similar (if you like that, don't go). What you find is a beautifully landscaped compound of villas, friendly people, great food, beautiful beach and lagoon, and a real, serene, peace. You will be regenerated here. Come if you want to forget for a few days the rest of the world. You will not regret your decision

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland Ayrshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2009

Out of this world, went here after getting married at Couples Swept Away for 3 days.
Staff, grounds, food and location where all fantastic........

Of course

After being on the go all day sunbathing, eating & sleeping to go and get a James Bond DVD - then go to the fridge and get a cold beer, of course that was after another gr8 5 course meal........

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Goldeneye Resort

Address: Oracabessa | St, Mary, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Mary Parish > Oracabessa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Oracabessa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Goldeneye Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GoldenEye was Ian Fleming's Jamaica retreat and where he wrote all 14 of the James Bond novels. Today, accommodations at the original resort include: The Ian Fleming Villa, 11 one and two-bedroom Beach and Lagoon Villas, six Lagoon Cottages, and one Ocean Front Villa. Located on a stunning 52-acre site, GoldenEye is home to secret coves, breathtaking private beaches, tropical forests, and a seawater lagoon. The property is also home to the FieldSpa and two restaurants - Bizot Bar (a beach bistro) and The Gazebo (finer dining). GoldenEye is located 20 minutes east of Ocho Rios. It is a 90-minute drive from Montego Bay Airport and an 8-minute drive from Ian Fleming International Airport (private aviation). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Goldeneye Hotel Oracabessa
Goldeneye Hotel Ocho Rios
Goldeneye Resort Ocho Rios
Goldeneye Resort Jamaica/Oracabessa

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