Jump to content

Goldeneye (estate)

Coordinates: 18°24′39″N 76°56′37″W / 18.41083°N 76.94361°W / 18.41083; -76.94361
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Goldeneye is the original name of novelist Ian Fleming's estate on Oracabessa Bay on the northern coastline of Jamaica. He bought 15 acres (6.1 ha) adjacent to the Golden Clouds estate in 1946 and built his home on the edge of a cliff overlooking a private beach. The three-bedroom structure was constructed from Fleming's sketch, fitted with wooden jalousie windows and a swimming pool.[1] Fleming's visitors at Goldeneye included actors, musicians, and filmmakers, among others.[2] As of 2010, the property operates as Goldeneye Hotel and Resort, consisting of Fleming's main house and several cottages.

The estate is located in the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary, established in 2011 to protect the area's marine ecosystem.[3] It is adjacent to James Bond Beach.


In spite of its obvious proximity to Golden Clouds, Fleming claimed a number of origins for the name Goldeneye, including Carson McCullers's 1941 novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye and Operation Goldeneye, a Second World War era contingency plan Fleming had developed in case of a Nazi invasion of Gibraltar through Spain.[4]

Fleming joined The Sunday Times in 1946, for which he oversaw the paper's worldwide network of correspondents. He negotiated a contract whereby he could spend three months of each year at Goldeneye. Here he entertained Ann Fleming. Ann was then married to Lord Rothermere, who thought Ann was staying with Noël Coward.[5]

On 17 February 1952, Fleming began writing his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, at Goldeneye.[6] For the next 12 years, Fleming wrote all his Bond stories there.[7] A number of the Bond movies, including Dr. No and Live and Let Die, were filmed near the estate.[8]

In 1956, British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden and his wife Clarissa spent a month at Goldeneye after Eden's health collapsed in the wake of the Suez Crisis. The attendant publicity helped to boost Fleming's writing career.[9]

On 5 February 1964, James Bond (ornithologist) paid Fleming a surprise visit at Goldeneye. Fleming had seen Bond's name on the cover of his book Birds of the West indies and used it to name James Bond (literary character).[10] Previously unseen footage of the two meeting at Goldeneye was featured in the 2022 documentary The Other Fellow.[11]

In 1976, 12 years after Ian Fleming's death, the property was sold to reggae musician Bob Marley. A year later, he sold the estate to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.[12] Blackwell gradually added 25 acres (10 ha) in small parcels to the original estate to reach a current total of 40 acres (16 ha). As it grew, he also added various cottages and huts around an inner lagoon sandwiched between James Bond Beach and Low Cay Beach. In the late 1980s, he formed the Island Outpost Company and opened the property as a small hotel.

The name Goldeneye has found its way into the James Bond film and television franchises. It was used in the 1991 animated series James Bond Jr, where it became the name of a valuable pendant worn by a prince in the episode "Ship of Terror."[13] It was more famously used again in 1995, when GoldenEye became the title of the 17th James Bond film, the first to star Pierce Brosnan, and in the 1997 video game GoldenEye 007; the plot of both revolve around the eponymous weapons program which entails the use of satellites to generate a nuclear electromagnetic pulse.

In the 2021 film No Time to Die, Bond's retirement in Jamaica is a nod to Fleming's life at Goldeneye.[14]

Hotel and resort[edit]

Goldeneye Hotel
Goldeneye (estate) is located in Jamaica
Goldeneye (estate)
Location within Jamaica
General information
Coordinates18°24′39″N 76°56′37″W / 18.41083°N 76.94361°W / 18.41083; -76.94361
OwnerChris Blackwell
ManagementIsland Outpost

Rather than a traditional hotel, Goldeneye resort is a compound of tropical buildings, gardens and private beaches. It closed in 2007 for major additions and renovations, and reopened in December 2010.

According to Conde Nast Traveler, "Few places manage to condense the sheer joy of island living as successfully as Jamaica’s favorite hotel."[15] The magazine described the hotel as "hip, friendly, respectful."[16]


Fleming's Goldeneye became the social epicenter of Jamaica's north coast along with nearby Firefly owned by Noël Coward, and Bolt House, owned by Chris Blackwell's mother, Blanche, who was a long time friend of Fleming. The property was popular with a coterie of Hollywood stars and British literary greats as it was British aristocrats and international heads of state. Errol Flynn, Lucian Freud, Truman Capote, Patrick Leigh Fermor, the Duchess of Devonshire, Princess Margaret and Prime Minister Anthony Eden were visitors.

The Goldeneye of the Blackwell era has also attracted celebrities, both as his friends and resort guests, among them Martha Stewart, Grace Jones, Bono, Naomi Campbell, Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, and Richard Branson.[17] Sting wrote "Every Breath You Take" at Fleming's writing desk while vacationing on the estate in 1982.[18]

English-Albanian singer Dua Lipa stayed at Goldeneye in 2023.[19]


Sir Anthony Eden started a tree-planting tradition at Goldeneye when he and his wife, Clarissa, planted a Santa Maria tree before departing from the hotel,[20] and the tradition is still ongoing.[21] Today, there are hundreds of mango, lime, orange and ackee trees in the garden. Each was planted by a guest, with a plaque stating who planted it and when.[22] A $1,000 required donation goes to the Oracabessa Foundation, which promotes sustainable development in the town of Oracabessa.[23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ianfleming.com Archived 2011-08-07 at the Wayback Machine Description of house
  2. ^ The New York Times Archived 2013-02-05 at the Wayback Machine Fleming's celebrity guests
  3. ^ "Oracabessa Fish Sanctuary". Oracabessa Foundation. Archived from the original on 2012-05-26.
  4. ^ "The man behind Bond". BBC News. 1999-11-19. Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  5. ^ Andrew Lycett, ‘Fleming , Ann Geraldine Mary [other married names Ann Geraldine Mary O'Neill, Lady O'Neill; Ann Geraldine Mary Harmsworth, Viscountess Rothermere] (1913–1981)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2014 accessed 9 Feb 2017 Archived 20 August 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Fleming, Jamaica (1946–1964)". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew J. (1993-11-30). "James Bond created at Jamaica retreat". The Miami Herald. p. 5A.
  8. ^ "Jamaican retreat getting a facelift". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2007-02-14. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  9. ^ "Ian Fleming's not-so glamorous life on his island escape of Jamaica". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2018-04-25. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  10. ^ Magazine, Smithsonian; Wright, Jim. "Who Was the Real James Bond?". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  11. ^ Silver, Stephen (2023-02-27). "Philly's own James Bond was an ornithologist who lived in Chestnut Hill". www.inquirer.com. Retrieved 2023-11-30.
  12. ^ "Jamaica's Goldeneye to target residential tourists". USA Today. 2007-02-06. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  13. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "James Bond Jr - Ship of Terror, part 1". YouTube.
  14. ^ Nast, Condé (2021-10-08). "Inside the Celebrity-Favorite Jamaica Hotel That Inspired James Bond". Vogue. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  15. ^ "GoldenEye – Hotel Review". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  16. ^ "GoldenEye – Hotel Review". Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  17. ^ "Inside the Celebrity-Favorite Jamaica Hotel That Inspired James Bond". Vogue. 2021-10-08. Retrieved 2024-04-05.
  18. ^ "Sting.com > Discography > Synchronicity". www.sting.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-27. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  19. ^ Baugh, Claudine (2023-03-25). "Dua Lipa Spends "Stress Free" Vacay In Jamaica". DancehallMag. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  20. ^ Chancellor, Alexander (17 March 2003). "Diary". Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  21. ^ "GoldenEye". www.visitjamaica.com. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  22. ^ Levine, Irene S. (2015-08-31). "'James Bond' hotel's owner Chris Blackwell an agent of environmental change". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  23. ^ "GoldenEye: A retreat to remember". jamaica-gleaner.com. 2014-08-17. Retrieved 2024-04-04.
  24. ^ "Oracabessa Foundation". www.oracabessa.com. Retrieved 2024-04-04.

Further reading[edit]

  • Parker, Matthew (2014). Goldeneye – Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica. London: Windmill Books. ISBN 9780099591740.

External links[edit]