Above: Goldeneye Resort by Christian Horan photography
James Bond might be sixty-two years old, but he’s a seriously hot ticket. The new novel GoldenEye, written by Matthew Parker, profiles Bond creator, Ian Fleming’s life in Jamaica after he discovered the island during a World War II mission. Fleming built his original home in Jamaica and penned all fourteen of his Bond novels there.
As the latest Bond film, Spectre, opens this month, the namesake of Bond’s first mission, the GoldenEye hotel is unveiling twenty-six flashy new beach huts. The GoldenEye hotel was one of the first built in the region, and with its recent multimillion-dollar renovation, remains one of the hippest. Its storied past includes guests such as Michael Caine, Kate Moss, Quincy Jones and Johnny Depp. All of them have planted trees at the resort following a tradition started by Anthony Eden, England’s Prime Minister in the 1950s.
The resort’s current owner, Chris Blackwell (of Island Records fame), discovered reggae legend Bob Marley and keeps the historic hotel from venturing into clubby stuffiness. (All accommodations feature a Logitech Squeezebox sound system that is equipped to channel any genre of music from around the world.)
Guests can walk, swim or kayak right up to FieldSpa, GoldenEye’s open-air spa cottage by the lagoon. There are two pools. The main fresh-water infinity pool lies at the far end of the beach, in front of Bizot Bar. There is a smaller saltwater pool by the ocean, where the hotel hosts torchlit dinners.
AMANERA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Aman brand is world-renowned for marrying earthy glamour with five-star luxury. On December 15 Aman will open the doors to the ultimate Caribbean hideaway hotel—just twenty-five casitas in the untouched wilds of the Dominican Republic. Unlike many resorts in populated Punta Cana, Aman is located on the north coast, a much less developed area known for its beautiful natural landscapes.
The Amanera will not only be the first luxury brand in the Dominican, but the first fully integrated golf experience for Aman resorts. The Playa Grande Golf Course offers golfers the chance to play ten holes directly on ocean cliffs; in fact the course has the highest number of oceanside holes in the Western Hemisphere.
The guest rooms are all free-standing one-bedroom casitas with ocean views and outdoor terraces, and roughly half have private thirty-two-foot swimming pools.
At the heart of the resort lies Casa Grande, which offers jaw-dropping views and houses an open-air bar and lounge, library, and cigar bar, and leads to the signature restaurant. Beyond the restaurant lies the curved swimming pool with daybeds dotting the water’s edge. The resort’s beach club, the Club de Playa offers casual dining, water sports equipment and a children’s club.
The Room to book
The two-bedroom Bay View Casa enjoys the resort’s most stunning cliff-side location, with panoramic views of the ocean and Playa Grande beach. To ensure uninterrupted views, the living room and dining room walls are all glass.
Rooms start at $850 per night
MARRIOTT, PORT AU PRINCE
On the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, a brand new Marriott opened its doors and announced a new chapter in the long and troubled saga of Haitian history. The result of a philanthropic partnership between Marriott International; The Clinton Foundation; and leading global service provider Digicel Group the six-month-old Marriott is the only internationally branded hotel in Haiti.
Prior to its opening, former President Clinton announced, “This new hotel project will stand as a symbol of Haiti’s recovery, providing much-needed jobs to the Haitian people and encouraging foreigners to visit, invest and work in Port-au-Prince.” The investment shows that “Haiti is open for business and on the path to economic recovery,” said Clinton.
The reviews are in, and they are fabulous. A recent Trip Advisor review: “Tastefully luxurious, with a beautiful open lobby and dining areas, and authentic Haitian art everywhere, including in the guest rooms.”
The new resort is as much about boosting the local economy as it is about hospitality. Priority in hiring was given to unemployed Haitians, regardless of experience. Even the soap in the guest rooms is made by a small women’s business in Haiti. In the on-site restaurant, the chicken comes from a farm in the mountains outside of Port-au-Prince, and tilapia hails from a nearby fish farm. While most Marriott properties sport a Starbucks through a company partnership, this one instead features Haiti’s own Rebo brand.
Rooms start at $125 per night
Lobby at The Mariott, Haiti