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!
- 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