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City: Oracabessa; St. Mary

Phone: 876-975-3354

Website: www.goldeneyehotel.com

Expert Review

Jamaica's most extraordinary resort reopened in November 2010 with 11 new beach and lagoon cottages and six new lagoon suites, plus two restaurants and a wellness program led by Jamaican Olympic athlete Iona Wynter. Okay, it's expensive but worth it, if not for the swank new digs then for the opportunity to relax where Ian Fleming penned all of his James Bond thrillers. Fleming's original villa comes with its own private beach and zero-entry swimming pool. On 15 secluded acres enveloped by nature, as Fleming wished, cottages feature private outdoor space and entertainment bungalows with queen-size day beds, panoramic flat-screen TVs, and well-stocked bars. All meals are included, and water sports/snorkel gear are provided by the discreet staff. Perhaps the best pastime, however, is to marvel at your surroundings and crack a book, say Fleming's Dr. No. Transfers from the airport can be arranged for a fee.

Moreover, the website for the just-relaunched GoldenEye is an online destination where you can lose track of time. Moreover, the design team applied the same motifs from the website to the entire resort, from menus to postcards. Owner Chris Blackwell recruited some top talent from the publishing and media world to craft a new look that reflects the unique flavor of the property. With help from GQ style maven Glenn O’Brien, the team created a site where the biography of James Bond creator Fleming appears letter by letter in typewriter font, replete with staccato sound effects. A casual literary feel abounds, with animated retro illustrations and off-the-cuff questions (Feeling active or inactive?) guiding the visitor through. The site even displays some of the most charming guest-book highlights of years past. This is one hotel that offers potential visitors a journey before they even leave for the airport. 2010 Smart Luxury Award winner

Tags: luxury | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | all-inclusive

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