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“Understated luxury at it's best..”
Review of GoldenEye

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GoldenEye
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Understated luxury at it's best..”
Reviewed September 26, 2013

My husband and I spent our 8 day babymoon at Goldeneye in early August. It was the perfect place for it- low key yet super luxe. Firstly, it's not at all how you would picture a traditional Jamaican resort- it's very private and none of the 'touristy' crowd. The drive from the airport was 1.45...we stopped at a jerk place , think smokeys and it was the best jerk of the trip!

The resort is not huge,neither is the beach, but honestly with only 20 or so rooms and the lagoon in the mix, there is plenty to do. The water sports alone were an activity everyday for us and in the evenings we would walk around the property, past the spa and the Ian Fleming villa just to change things up. Here's some more info:

Rooms- since we had 8 night and I could not decide, we chose to do 4 nights in a lagoon cottage and 4 in a beach cottage. I am glad we did that! Even though the interior decor etc is very similar, the ambiance is completely different. We did the Lagoon first and it was just a delight being able to jump in....I didnt like the seagrass (slimy!) touching my feet so a pair of flippers from the watersports area solved that. There is no 'lounging' area in the interior of the cottage, so u have to pretty much always sit on the bed to watch TV etc. The bathroom was nice and the tub was great. We ended up using the outdoor deck a whole lot for all meals etc. and just lounging about during the day. The Beach cottage on the other hand had a lot more interior space and a fabulous day bed to lounge in...but I was kinda bummed by the bathroom situation. The tub and the sinks are literally right next to the bed which is kinda annoying coz if u are like me, the bathroom on vacay gets messy- swimsuits on floor, towels, toileteries etc and every night the bed would look so nice and crisp, but the bathroom clutter took away from the overall zen vibe. Small issue, but maybe just some nice white curtains would make it better. The outdoor shower was hands down one of the best I have enjoyed- beats Four Seasons Bora, Bali, Banyan Trees etc. It was huge- nearly 4 times the size of the one in the lagoon villa..nothing says outdoor shower like a hummingbird flying onto the branch next to you while you are shampooing! I did think the privacy factor was a bit lower in the beach outdoor shower as I could clearly see into the neighbors (there was no one in it) so asked the concierge to beef it up, and they did put some more plants etc, but still bit sketchy. But at that point in the trip i was so relaxed I didnt really care much. Overall, I think the lagoon villas are fantastic, much cheaper, not enough room to lounge inside though..the beach villa checks off all the marks but you can;t jump right into the lagoon. So it is a tough call on which to choose- if you can pull it off, would recommend trying both!

Food: Breakfast was an event- make sure you have it included in whatever rate you book. After spending pretty much an hr eating, lunch was something light at Bizot or room service (same menu as Bizot). That is the only option for lunch and same with dinner- menu from Gazebo. However we did do two private dinners- one at the peninsula jut out by the beach and one by bizot and picked the menu the day before and chef pretty much made us what we wanted. Goat curry is a must! We also did delivery from the local fried chicken place in town one evening and was a good change, they deliver right to the room!

Service: Fantastic for the Caribbean. For the most part the staff was very friendly and engaged...it;s a small resort so takes a bit for things to happen, but its vacation mon! Spa was OK..the set up is cute, the massage itself was not at par with the rest of the level of luxury, not bad, but just had high expectations given the rest of the resort is so super lux.

Activities: Water sports, beach, lagoon...enough to keep you busy, but we did take a few day tours. Firefly picnic was OK, don;t think i would do that unless you are really a history buff..outstanding views, but not sure it was worth the 2 hrs excursion. Ochos rios...very touristy, but a quick lunch there was ok..def. good to try the local patties. We also did Jamaica inn one night for dinner- my god, was I relieved we picked Goldeneye! There is just no comparison- GE is hip, luxurious and just pulled together...JI was packed, huge groups of people, very colonial, which is fine if thats what u are into, but no means the same level of class as Goldeneye. However, it was a nice change to try out the dinner there, but i was glad when we got back to our resort!

Goldeneye is truly an experience and if you are looking for understated luxury, this is the spot!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank LoveLuxuryHotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Middletown, Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Some people say don't go to jamaica others say go...well i say if you have any doubts go to Goldeneye and you won't regret it!! this resort is beautiful and the most relaxing place I have every been. As soon as you get to the property and you pull in off the street it's like a whole new private little island of it's own. The staff here is incredible, they don't know how to say "no" and they are most helpful with anything you may need. As others have stated it's also nice b/c everyone that works there knows your name and is more than polite. We stayed in lagoon suite 8; was an amazing room being able to jump right out of bed into the lagoon from your bedroom is an unreal feeling. I was a bit worried about the outdoor shower thing but i found it to be one of my favority things! You can't go wrong with any of the rooms here at goldeneye. We did a private dinner for 2 at the ian flemming villa, if you don't mind spending some cash on a romantic evening this is amazing as you get your own personal chef and waitor for the evening as well as access to the villa during dinner. This place makes every dollar worth it and we will surely be back again!

Room Tip: lagoon suite 8 was awesome but you can't go wrong here!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brian V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

Spent 11 of the most relaxing, fun-filled days at Goldeneye in June 2013. The number 1 most special aspect is the staff who made our stay even more enjoyable. From the minute we arrived, everyone had a smile on their face and greeted you by name. I cannot thank all the staff for their hospitality and true kindness enough.

The property is roughly 1 1/2 hours away from Montego Bay or a short 20-30 min flight into Ian Fleming airport. We opted for the flight which was a great experience and setup directly though Goldeneye. I highly recommend it, the journey is half the fun. Passing through the gates, you immediately feel a sense of calm and upmost privacy. The property has a very causal, airy vibe and is kept very natural. Simply put, it's just a really cool place to be.

We opted for a lagoon suite (#8) which I would argue was the best spot to be. The suite, or a better word would be small cottage, cam equipped with all the amenities you would expect with a highly rated hotel and more: Comfortable bedding, a free standing tub, dual sinks, and outdoor shower (which may seem weird to some but I loved it). The open feeling of the room was great, but the best part was the French doors leading directly to 3 stairs right into the lagoon. We hung out on the private terrace each night which was by far my favorite place to relax. Lagoon suite 8 also comes with a private deck which we housed the kayaks and lounge chairs. Each gues gets their own kayak to explore the lagoon area which was another unique experience.

The beach is located a stones throw away from the lagoon suites and has a few small areas for lounge chairs...really simple and exactly what you want. Their are also two pools: small salt water situated on a private peninsula overlooking the beach and the main pool situated next to Bizot Bar(aka my favorite place on Earth...literally). Bizot bar is open for breakfast and lunch and in the evenings for cocktails. The bar itself plays the best music (radio Nova, reggae,etc) and serves up some mean cocktails. It's bar itself is open-air and has a funky, eclectic feel to it. The main restaurant is open only for dinner and we ate their every night (you can also get room service). After 11 days, we didn't get bored. The food at Goldeneye is top notch..it's really really good. Each dish hits right at home, always with a little Jamaican flair. The scotch bonnet and jerk butter alone will keep me coming back.

I think the 2 drawbacks that a few people mentioned are noteworthy but also completely out of the control of the staff. Yes, there are mosquitoes and yes you should apply a ton of repellent at night if, like me, mosquitoes love to bite you. Also, you can occasionally hear noise from the small town just up the road from the resort - I enjoyed the music but it never kept me up at night and never felt intrusive. If you let stuff like this bother you, don't come. More room for us!

I loved Goldeneye for its unique character, laid back cool vibe and most importantly for the people who make it so special. Can't wait to see you all again!!

  • Stayed June 2013
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Helpful?
7 Thank Goran G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muscat, Oman
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

This is a belated review as I thought we had submitted it upon our return and realised it hadn't been published.
Great, helpful staff. Wonderful breakfasts accompanied by the ever-present fabulous music! Gorgeous lagoon on which to while away happy hours and a polished white sand beach if you need to feel the sand between your toes. We stayed in a lagoon suite which was beautifully furnished. Fabulous view, deck and our own dock and kayakes! Everything you could wish for to wind down and relax. There are comments on trip advisor about the noise from the road and yes, it did bother us occasionally but not to any great extent. It was my husband's birthday while we were out there and the Management sent over a bottle of fizz with a birthday card. Nice touch.
The restaurant food was delicious - if a little pricey - but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The service is faultless. We were allowed in to see GoldenEye villa as it was empty and "the" desk where Ian Fleming used to write! Great fun.
The Spa is the best I have ever visited (and I have visited a number over the years!) We both had massages which managed to ease away 12 months worth of stress. Wonderful experience and it would be worth the journey here again just for a treatment!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank majoreyeswater1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We went to goldeneye for our honeymoon. This resort is perfect. We travel quite a bit and wanted something quiet, very romantic and exclusive. This resort met all of our needs.
I'll break it up for you.
Room:The room was gorgeous, with doors that opened onto a lagoon. The water temperature was like a bathtub. The outdoor shower was wonderful. If you never left your suite you would be totally happy. There were very few mosquitoes there, which is a bonus.
Service: This was probably the best thing that the resort had to offer us. The service was incredible. People went out of their way to help us. We had one guy take us for a 2h snorkel adventure. Another guy personally drove us into town when our car battery died to ensure that we had our needs met. Another staff brought us coconuts in the morning because we anted to try them. People were friendly, answered all of our questions and we really got the sense that we were being taken care of.
Price: It is steep but totally worth it.
Activities: There is so much to do on the resort. Mostly water sports, but they also have games, yoga, etc. The nature is incredible both on land and in the water.
Spa: I wasn't so impressed by the spa, but it is a nice touch.
Food: The restaurant has a very nice ambiance. It is a bit pricey for what you get and it does get tiring. I would recommend eating there only a few times. Otherwise I might go elsewhere. We had fun at a local place called Chris' near the resort. A nice Italian place near Ocho Rios worth mentioning is Toscanini.
Overall the place was magical and we will definitely go back!

Room Tip: If you want a lagoon suite, ask for #8. It is the only one that opens directly from the bedroom onto...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Addictedtotravel999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights just after our wedding in Negril in May 2012 and wished we could have stayed longer. This resort is set amongst some of the most beautiful natural scenery I have ever seen. You are truly a part of nature at Goldeneye and the priveledge of being able to jump off your own personal dock directly into a gorgeous lagoon is just amazing. We also enjoyed using our kayak to get around the lagoon and ocean and the stand up paddle boarding was fun as well. The property has a chic barefoot five star feel and fashionable attention to detail right down to the Kate Spade silverware, lol. When booking our stay I was a bit worried there would be a pretentious or cheesy celebrity/model scene happening but it was not an issue. We were some of the only guests at the time which was nice.
Our lagoon cottage was very clean and I enjoyed the batik dyed bathrobes, linens, towels and cushions. They were designed by Chris Blackwell's late wife and are absolutely gorgeous. I felt the cleanliness and attention to detail in all aspects of the resort give it a definite luxe feel. It was great to enjoy cocktails at the bar and look at all the musician and band posters lining the walls while listening to awesome music. The story behind this place is incredible and the fact it inspired James Bond novels and is owned by the owner of Island Records is beyond cool. You can feel the creativity in the air and the love put in to make Goldeneye what it is. There are just a few negatives I can think of regarding the resort. For one, the spa prices are extremely high, so high I feel it's just unfair. My treatment was not any better than a $10 massage I have had in beautiful Bali. The restaurant is lovely however very pricey and may get a bit redundant during a long stay. It would be nice to have a more casual dining option during dinner so you are not required to spend $150+ each night. The fruit we were served for breakfast was bland and not varied which was disappointing as Jamaica has such amazing fruit available.
Overall I would recommend this resort to anyone who wants to be surrounded by natural beauty in a quiet and secluded setting. This is not the place where you will meet many friends or be very social as people keep to themselves. If you're prepared to pay "celebrity" prices for your spa treatments and dinners then there will be no surprises there. It's truly a special place and I hope we are lucky enough to go back again one day, maybe with our first baby :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelgirl642
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, Holland
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

At this momentwe are in Goldeneye for four nights in Lagoon Suite 10. This place is amazing!!! Super atmosphere, great cottages, super service. And the most fun is to wake up in your cottage, walk onto your private veranda and dive into the super clear water of the lagoon. We think that the Lagoon Suite 10 is the nicest cottage as it is most secluded from the other cottages. Unfortunately we will only stay 4 nights.... Wish we could stay for 4 years....

Helpful?
2 Thank Rene v
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Additional Information about GoldenEye

Property: GoldenEye
Address: Oracabessa Bay, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — GoldenEye 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GoldenEye Hotel & Resort overlooks the Caribbean Sea in the quiet village of Oracabessa Bay on Jamaica’s north coast. Named after one of Ian Fleming’s World War II missions, Operation GoldenEye, this Island Outpost property is owned by Chris Blackwell, Jamaica-raised founder of Island Records. The stunning 52-acre property is home to secret coves, breathtaking private beaches, tropical forests and a singular lagoon. There are 49 stand-alone Beach Huts, Lagoon Cottages and Beach and Lagoon Villas, as well as Fleming Villa, designed by Fleming, himself. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Goldeneye Hotel Oracabessa
Goldeneye Hotel Ocho Rios
Goldeneye Resort Ocho Rios
GoldenEye Jamaica/Oracabessa

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