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“Amazing and Serene”
Review of GoldenEye

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GoldenEye
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Oracabessa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 August 2014

We typically don't do the laid back beach vacation, but this summer we were getting a bit burned out and last minute decided to book Goldeneye for a week. So glad we did! Although it was a long trip (we made the poor decision to go cheap and not book a direct flight, so after enduring 2 flights + a 1.5 hr wait through immigration, and then another 1.5 hr drive out to Goldeneye, I was dead tired.

Funny though - as soon as we finally landed foot on Goldeneye...everything changed. Renewed sense of energy. How can you not be reenergized when you realize you can just jump off your deck into the lagoon - a perfectly clear water lagoon - in the heat of summer!

Kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding - you name it! The water is super warm and inviting...and the spa is amazing. Swim up to the spa or kayak over - it's super luxe and wonderful.

I can't say enough good things about Goldeneye - it felt like a super special secret we got to be a part of. The staff is wonderful - very accommodating without being intrusive. We really loved everything about it. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: LOVE the Lagoon Villas.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank citysearcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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170 - 176 of 346 reviews

Reviewed 7 August 2014

amazing place. great food, but it takes a while and is a little pricy, the lagoon is great and so are the pools. Amazing staff and service. It is one of the best that I have ever had. If you go there expect to see some famous people.

Room Tip: beachfront is the best, besides the ian fleming villa. I stayed in the 2 story beahfront villa.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Nick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Everything about my last family stay at Goldeneye burned an indelible passion in my heart for this special place in Jamaica. From time to time back in the States, I think about the amazing moments at Goldeneye with my family, so many that I was compelled to return for a second summer. Simply stated, it has to be in the Top Ten finest beach resorts in the world. The resort is intimate enough to find privacy and quiet, but vibrant enough to challenge all of your senses. While I have only stayed in the beach houses, there are other excellent options on the lagoon and the cliffs that I will try on my no doubt next trip to this beautiful slice of paradise.

Great things about Goldeneye: the houses are exceptional; great value for your money though note that it is a pricey trip. But in life you get what you pay for (or save for anyhow!). The complimentary breakfasts are outstanding. Lunch at the Bizot bar is wonderful - adults to teens just loved the diversity and quality of the carribean menu. Most of the staff, particularly Laurel - hostess and tour guide extraordinaire, Candace - concierge to the stars, and Arthur - sports activities guide, are rock stars. They are really fine people who care about the island and the Goldeneye experience.

Things still needing a little nudge: dinners at the resort are very expensive and the quality, from service touch to the plated entrees, are just not matched to the high prices. Unlike every other part of Goldeneye, you do not get what you pay for. But at least they have an amazing cuban cigar selection to enjoy after dinner on the veranda while playing backgammon! Some service staff, while meaning well, just don't have the magic touch to be working in the most exclusive resort on the entire island. With that said, love in their hearts abound and much is forgiven when it comes to the uneven service in certain areas. This heavenly place could be 6 stars (yep, kind of in a Bora Bora or Dubai kind of way) if they can elevate the service touch in all departments. But I have to remind myself I am on an island.

So with that little dose of criticism during my second visit in two years, I STRONGLY encourage a stay at this unique, amazing, special place on earth. Not many places can be perfect for vacationing honeymooners but able to satisfy a family of teenagers space wise and activity wise. This place is perfect - why on earth would I come here two summers in a row? By family acclamation! Peace, mon.

Room Tip: the beachfront villas (two story ones) are PERFECT for a family. Our family of 5 including three tee...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Scott R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ricardo B, General Manager at GoldenEye, responded to this reviewResponded 9 August 2014

Dear Scott R:

Thank you for your review and it was a pleasure hosting you again.

We truly appreciate your feedback and will take your comments regarding the service and staff into consideration.

We are disappointed that on this visit the food did not exceed your expectations. We will be sharing your comments with the Chefs and F&B Team so that they will make the necessary adjustments.

Overall we are delighted that you had a wonderful stay with us we look forward to hosting you again.

Best Regards,
Ricardo Bowleg

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

wifey and i just returned from ten nights at goldeneye, and couldn't be happier with the decision to honeymoon there.

after an easy cab ride (about 1.5 hours) from montego bay airport, we found clayton, who is THE MAN, waiting to show us the grounds and our room. let's just say that this place is stunning. the photos you see online can't do it justice. walking through the trees, past the restaurant where you'll enjoy amazing, fresh dinners, you cross a bridge over the crystal-clear lagoon and walk past the small, beautiful, quiet beach lined with four or five of the beach villas.

then infinity pool. bizot bar. sun and shade. amazing music coming over the hidden speakers.

and, if you're wise, you arrive at your lagoon villa, where clayton shows you everything you want and need to know. the bedrooms are roomy and super-breezy with the window slats open. the bathrooms are huge and well-appointed with tons of towels, a big tub, and an outdoor shower that feels better than any shower you've ever taken. ever. there's even a small bottle of the fantastic blackwell rum - the same liquid that's in the drink you suddenly have in hand. that would be the "goldeneye," the signature resort cocktail made with the aforementioned rum, fresh pineapple juice, and a little lime juice. caution: wives can become addicted to this stuff.

we stayed in lagoon villa 8, which offers you the exclusive chance to open the doors from your bedroom directly to the still, clear waters of the lagoon. wake up. open the doors. jump in. this was our morning every morning.

ok, time to just list the rest of the highlights:

- the entire staff, from clayton and robert to the bizot bar staff for breakfast and lunch, the watersport guys, housecleaning, the concierge, and the groundskeepers is incredibly friendly. and it's genuine, not forced. which made the place really feel like home.

- wayne, one of the groundskeepers, saw me running morning laps around the resort (the nearly 1-mile loop is mostly gravel and some dirt, so be prepared if you're wanting a good sweat.), and showed up with fresh coconuts that he cut open and poured out nearly every day that week. this is the life. he also brought fresh mangoes when he found them.

- the included breakfast is fantastic, as is all the food at goldeneye. fresh local ingredients are used to make ackee and salt fish eggs, fish fritters, spicy omelettes...you can't go wrong. especially when blue mountain coffee is part of the story.

- the lagoon is the place to be. because nobody else is there. and if they are, you wouldn't even know it. peaceful and almost completely without tide, this is a perfect place to swim, kayak, and snorkel. there are very, very few fish, but you can find those out in the ocean if you want.

- if the fleming villa isn't occupied during your stay, you need to check it out. he wrote every james bond novel there. the rooms are awesome, the private beach almost isn't fair. and you can point at the toilet and tell your wife that beyonce sat there.

- have i mentioned that clayton is the man? dude has been there for 26 years. and he's only 30.

- the drinks at bizot bar are fantastic.

- the glass bottom boat is more fun than you'd expect. for real.

- this place is so quiet. maybe because there's not a TON of stuff for kids to do, we saw mostly other adults, but even when they were there, it felt super secluded and quiet.

- since we were there for so long, we wanted to get out and have dinner at toscanini. italian in jamaica. yes. listen: we're from new york. and this was one of the absolute best italian meals we've ever had. twice, actually. because we went back. the cab was easy to and from, completely arranged by goldeneye.

- leaving makes you want to cry.

- there is no better place to be. we miss it. we will be back.

Room Tip: lagoon villas are fantastic, quiet, secluded, and right on the perfect, clear, warm water. wake up a...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Jordan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ricardo B, General Manager at GoldenEye, responded to this reviewResponded 19 July 2014

Dear Jordan K:

Thank you for this great review!

We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed honeymooning with us.

I will definitely share your comments with Clayton "THE MAN" and the rest of the staff .

I must agree with you that we use only fresh local produces in our restaurants.

We look forward to welcoming you back very soon and there will be lots of fresh coconut for you when you return.

Very Best Regards,
Ricardo Bowleg

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Reviewed 15 July 2014

Stayed 3 nights to attend a wedding. I must say I felt like I was in paradise. The food was excellent, breakfast,lunch and dinner. We stayed in a beach front room. Those rooms have a full kitchen. which I would recommend if you like to cook is too purchase a few groceries before you check in. It literally feels like home on an island. The resort is not all inclusive and is pricey but so worth it. The showers are located outside in the "backyard" in your room. That took the 2nd day to get comfortable with. I most defiantly would go back. The only difference I would much rather cook on some days and bring your own adult beverages. The service was EXCELLENT. I hate to say this but i visited other 4.5/5 star resorts in montego bay and some of the staff almost act like they don't wanna work. NOT at this resort AMAZING! Make sure you bring water shoes for the beach a lil rocky in some areas.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank tiffany g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ricardo B, General Manager at GoldenEye, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2014

Dear Tiffany:

Thank you for this great review and for choosing to stay with us for the wedding.

We will certainly share your comments with the staff.

Again, thank you for the review and we look forward to welcome you back home in the near future.

Best Regards,
Ricardo Bowleg

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Reviewed 14 July 2014

Spectacular. The perfect honeymoon trip. So relaxing and peaceful, great beach and pools to sit by. The service was absolutely incredible - everyone was really nice and easy going. Clayton, the concierge, made every effort to make our trip special. The lagoon cottage was perfect, so nice reading on the deck and swimming after. The room had a/c and a mosquito net over the bed for nighttime so no worries about sleeping in heat or any bugs.

Room Tip: Lagoon cottages are magical
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bklynwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ricardo B, General Manager at GoldenEye, responded to this reviewResponded 18 July 2014

Dear bklynwanderer:

Thank you for your review and it was a pleasure having you here.

I will certainly share your great comments with Clayton and all the other staff.

We all look forward to welcoming you back and certainly, we will have a GoldenEye cocktail or some other fruity concoction waiting for you at The Gazebo.

Best Regards,
Ricardo Bowleg

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2014

We (2 adults, 2 children) returned from a week at Goldeneye yesterday and we had a fantastic time. The resort itself stands in blissful isolation from the major tourist focus areas and that in my opinion is a strength. It is located on the edge of the small and authentic town of Oracabessa. About an hour and a half drive from Montego Bay from where we had a pick-up by the hotel, also just about 20-30 minutes from Ocho Rios and its many attractions (not too near, nor too far...).

As an overview, Goldeneye is a small property in terms of the numbers of guests and that preserves a pretty constant vibe of privacy and exclusivity. Indeed it continues to attract many of the most famous individuals in film and music but it is all tastefully played down so that everyone can enjoy their vacation time. The crowd can be described as honeymooners and a handful of families on any given day with someone perhaps offering a touch of glam. Its an interesting set of people whom have found the resort given that it doesn't do heavy promotion. Children are welcome and it seemed to be a good balance while we were there - everyone has alot of space and we were often the only people on the beach. There are really three areas to the property for rooms. The original Fleming Villa and a handful of villas hidden in the trees on the same side of the resort, These are the largest properties and offer stunning ocean views with private beaches (Fleming villa) or other private water access points. We had a look around the Fleming villa and it is very impressive. The desk at which all of the Bond books were written remains in place. Note, to maintain the privacy of the guests some of whom just want to be left in peace, its not at all guaranteed that the Fleming villa will be able to be visited and moreso for day visitors. Sounds fair to me. The next part of the resort is the beach with one and two bedroom villas directly on the beach itself. We stayed in a two bedroom beach villa so more on those in a minute. Finally the lagoon villas. Behind the beach area there is a circular lagoon with crystal clear water. Very private and quiet plus fairly unique (private decks over the lagoon with canoes). I can see why some people prefer that area and it seemed especially popular with the honeymoon couples.

I selected the beach villa as I always prefer a direct sea view and the one offered from the Goldeneye beach was stunning and from all of the main rooms plus the upstairs and downstairs balconies. The villas are very nicely furnished with linens by Jamaica Royal Hut (the owner's late wife's designs). The shower was outdoors in a tropical garden... Always a major plus. The two bedroom villa allowed the children to sleep in the downstairs bedroom while the adults took the upper floor with its balcony views.

The beach is indeed man made so I brought some water shoes after hearing it could be a bit rocky in places. There were some rocky parts but I didn't need to wear the shoes that I brought along. Having said that, its an attractive beach. The day visitors (Jamaican and visitor) whom came in for food and drinks were pretty consistent in wanting photos of the beach. One huge strength to its location is that it sits right on the Oracabessa marine preserve. You can snorkel right off the beach and onto the area's large coral reef. The watersports team are equally happy to come out with you and show you all the best places to snorkel (all part of the service). We went out in the resort boat and then snorkeled back with one of the team. Well worth doing. I think it says it all, when Ocho Rios resorts and other area hotels, send their snorkel excursions to just off of Goldeneye to which its visitors have constant access.

Other areas? Two pools, an infinity one by the bar and then the "goldeneye pool" which sits at the end of a peninsular surrounded by the sea and fed by it (my preferred pool due to its cool setting). The bar is just off the beach and has great wrap around sea views plus is perfect for sundown drinks and sunset watching. The food is served at the bar at lunchtime and then in the cliff-side main restaurant in the evening. Both menus were great and a mix of Jamaican dishes and more general cuisine but with a Jamaican twist. We ended up doing alot of room service in the evenings with tired kids after sundown drinks... Its exactly the same as in the restaurant plus we could relax on our sea view patio. The staff are exceptionally friendly and engaging in all areas - they were just great interacting with our two and ten year olds. Tipping is not necessarily expected throughout the stay (beyond included service charges for meals etc) as you can add it at the end to a general fund at check-out, but I found myself doing it fairly often as I was pleased.

A few other things to mention. Owner and record label legend (Bob Marley's producer amongst many others), Chris Blackwell, will be seen hanging out. Goldeneye also owns the natural James Bond Beach which can be accessed walking through the back entrance of the resort and had various scenes from Dr No filmed on it. Another property that Chris Blackwell has purchased and preserved is Noel Coward's home and final resting place, Firefly. Ask the resort to arrange a picnic and visit to Firefly and we had the place all to ourselves with its stunning views (it also has a preserved pirate lookout linked to Captain Morgan pretty cool).

All-in-all, highly recommended and well worth the price. No interest in Bond required, but if you have one, then you really should visit. The private jet that just flew overhead to land at Ian Fleming airport is probably coming to join you.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank PADILL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about GoldenEye

Address: Oracabessa Bay, Oracabessa, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: 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: £286 - £1,748 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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