Today I’m going to talk all about the Goldeneye Resort in Jamaica and answer as many questions as I can that have been put to me since my trip.
To start with you can hear me talk about it at length on the latest episode of the From Tailors With Love podcast in the player below.
How much does it cost?
The Ian Fleming Villa is off set from the resort and is currently available at 6,365 USD a night. You can have a maximum of ten people stay at the villa with 5 bedrooms. Works out around 650 USD a night.
The villas and beach huts on the resort of Goldeneye prices will vary from season to season. We managed to get cheap prices due to a construction sale. I’d urge you to contact the Goldeneye resort yourself and ask if there are any discounted rates going on right now on the lagoon huts.
Is the Ian Fleming Villa open to the public?
Only to paying guests at the resort, only on a Tuesday and Saturday if the villa is vacant. The Villa was fully booked when we went. We asked persistently and lets just say being really nice to the staff might get you somewhere in the end.
Check out a quick 9 minute video that features footage taken inside the Fleming Villa. Subscribe to the Vlog por favor.
What should I wear to Goldeneye?
It’s humid all the time but not uncomfortable. We visited late November and found it to be quite mild. Basically tee shirt and shorts weather.
The sea and the lagoon is warm enough to swim in. You’ll get sunburnt if you don’t protect your head.
Below are some outfit suggestions.
What James Bond locations are in Jamaica? Which ones are close to Goldeneye?
For this I’m going to refer to my new best buddy on Instagram Jon Nicholls. Jon Helped me with the itinerary and was an incredible resource for my trip.
He has been to Jamaica and Goldeneye multiple times and I’m sure would be happy to help with any other questions. I’ve mixed some photos from his Instagram page and mine but the text is written from Jon’s perspective.
No Time To Die
Some of the filming (with the Range Rover) was in the centre of Port Antonio (basically the bit in front of the First Caribbean International Bank and in the square).
You see him drive around a little war memorial with Hi5 Fashion in the background. It’s the orange building with graphics on it, it’s on West Street you can’t miss it.
Park at Errol Flynn Marina and it’s a minute walk through to it (get some ice cream at the marina). Driving from Orocabessa/Goldeneye you will go past it, it’s on the right just before the left turn to the Marina.
We didn’t get bugged or hassled once walking around – seemed fairly safe, but be careful as always.
As you walk out of the road from the marina car park , you will see the “Chella’s Skills Training Institute” Building – have a vague recollection that this building was used for a Denzel Washington film (but can’t remember which). West Street is a little to the right of that.
Other No Time to Die Locations
I’m told (but not confirmed) that the house and rest of the filming in Port Antonio took place further round from the central town.
It was at the resort before Frenchman’s Cove, but it is private and I didn’t get to go there. I’m told it at Lady Pryce Villa in Portland, Drapers next to San San Beach.
I also heard rumours that the house was demolished immediately after filming. All of this bit is just rumours though and I’ve not been there.
I think the plane scenes were filmed over East Harbour (with folly point lighthouse in the background – but again unconfirmed).
Live and Let Die / Dr No:
Live and Let Die was obviously filmed at Couples San–Souci in Ochos Rios. We snuck in there, but not sure how feasible it is (our driver pretended we were guests).
You’ll recognise the reception area and the gift shop was Jane Seymour’s tarot reading room (it has the white shutters in the background). The villas have been remodelled, so the bedrooms are not as they were in the film though.
Some of the Live and Let Die arrival/party scenes also took place at a place called Ruins Restaurant in Ochos Rios (in the courtyard). It has a waterfall running down it (from Dunns River Falls) I think.
The restaurant is closed, but our driver pulled up outside the gate and we went in and bribed the security guard to let us take some pictures there. It doesn’t look exactly as it did in Live and Let Die, but you can see how it would have with the waterfall in the background.
Ochos Rios is probably about 30 mins from Goldeneye and is in the opposite direction from Port Antonio.
You could go tubing down the White River. Some of this River was where Bond, Quarrel and Honey snuck up when being hunted and used the Bamboo sticks to breath in Dr No.
Beware the guides who come down with you when tubing will hustle you for tips (but it is their livelihood so I think you have to take it with a pinch of salt – it isn’t a rich country after all). You will get wet tubing (so take something waterproof to put valuables in!).
Dr No’s lair (the red pier known as Reynolds Pier) is also in Ochos Rios, just West of the town centre.
Dunns River Falls is around the same place as the lair and was used in Dr No. They recommend water shoes if you are going here.
The Crocodile Farm in Falmouth
In Falmouth, you can go to the Crocodile farm where the stunt was filmed in Live and Let Die. The guy who did the stunt was actually called Kananga. I wasn’t brave enough to hold a baby crocodile when there!
The Crocodile farm is currently closed for renovation, but they are responsive on their Facebook page which you can reach here.
Ask for an update and be sure to get a definite from them as it’s a third party that runs their social pages.
Also if you then venture into the nearby town you will see where some of the Live and Let Die bus chase took place. The clock tower is still there in the town and also see where the bus went on to the boat.
On the way down to Falmouth you will go past the Caves which were used a little. I liked the history of the caves – the slaves used to use the caves to escape down to the bay.
It was also used for smuggling and also the batshit from there was used for Gun Powder. Also in the 90’s it was a nightclub apparently!
This would be a long trip to get there – probably 2 to 2.5 hours to get there.
HOW DO I GET TO LAUGHING WATERS?
Laughing Waters is the place where James Bond sung to Honey Ryder as she came out of the sea.
It’s a private beach, and you’ll certainly need a guide to take you there. This is where I give you the best tip you’ll likely receive on your trip to Jamaica.
Captain Tony from Sunshine Watersport is your man that can do it all. He’s punctual, reliable, funny and can get you to any Bond location you desire.
You will probably have about a 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the airport to Goldeneye. If you are going directly from the airport, you won’t go past it, but not far down the road from the airport is Morgan’s Harbour Hotel (towards Port Royal).
This is where Bond stayed in The Man With The Golden Gun novel (it has been renamed recently to the Grand Port Royal Hotel).
Port Royal itself is interesting if you like to see where the British Military and Lord Nelson was based before the whole place was destroyed by an earthquake. Some of the Dr No driving scenes were along the road from the Airport to Port Royal.
You will obviously recognise some of Kingston airport from Dr No when Bond arrives. From the airport you will drive around Kingston Harbour and through Kingston town.
As you go round the harbour, on the right hand side will be the Concrete factory which bond drives up in Dr No (and then magically ends up in Ochos Rios!).
Its not even a real road, just a dirt track, but is easily recognisable. This is before you get to the town.
Goldeneye will charge 400 USD for a pick up and return from Kingston Airport. We used Karanda Tours who charged 240 USD. Ask for Dwight.
On the return, Club Kingston is a lounge with free food and drink (if you are Club World with BA you will have this automatically for departure so won’t need to purchase it for departure).
Its not a big airport (and not necessarily overcrowded on the return, so up to you if you just want somewhere really comfortable to wait coming back).
Before you return to Kingston airport, you have to read the opening couple of paragraphs from Chapter 4 of The Man with the Golden Gun – it always makes me chuckle.
Other movie locations in Jamaica
If you are in Port Antonio, would recommend going on to the Blue Lagoon. If you can find Ringo when you are there – he will take you round it in a boat (think it was $60 in total for the two of us and lasted about 30 minutes).
You can also see Monkey Island (Used in Knight and Day with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise) and the beach from Cocktail.
Also get to see Will Smith, Snoop Dogs’, Shaggy’s house etc. Ringo said he was an extra in No Time to Die (and Cocktail), so he may be able to give you a bit more info / gossip.
It will add a bit more to your day out, but would recommend then going on to Boston which is the home of jerk food.
It really is very good. Make sure you agree a price when you order so you don’t get ripped off on prices (think they usually do this to the Americans!). The beach at Boston is also very nice.
Would estimate Port Antonio is an hour to an hour and a half from Goldeneye.
Be prepared for the Fleming Villa
Warning – we tried to get a few photos of us sitting in the main lounge window of the Villa (with the garden behind us) and they came out dark because its so bright outside. Might be worth taking a flash or putting the flash on (you are more professional than us – we were just using an iphone!).
If you are going to get one at his writing desk, remove the bloody Bose as well – don’t think they had those in his day!
A lot of the fun was going round the resort looking at which celebrities had planted trees for the foundation. We found Brosnan’s. Never found Johnny Depp though!
Take a trip to Firefly
At Goldeneye – they do trips/picnics up to Firefly which was Noel Cowards’ house (and where he is buried).
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been there, but it was like a time warp (70’s furniture and some of his paintings) and the views are amazing.
Definitely a must do (Fleming used to visit there frequently). It’s not too far away. I have a vague recollection that Firefly has Captain Morgan’s lookout post within its grounds.
On Tuesday they also arrange trips into Oracabessa and Port Maria – not something we did, but will look to do next time we are there.
Think they also do complimentary glass bottomed boat trips every morning. You can check out the Vlog for footage of that.
How pricey is the Food at Goldeneye?
Food is not necessarily cheap for Jamaica (although you are probably used to London prices, so maybe not too bad for you), but it is good and good sized portions (my wife said its the best Curried Goat she has had and she has eaten a shedload of it!).
Some evenings the restaurant was open and other evenings the Bizot café / bar which is open during the day was the place to eat in the evenings – maybe worth getting an idea from reception when you arrive if you want to plan your meals.
They add gratuity and tax onto the bill. If you sort out the tipping situation (whether you are meant to tip more, let me know as I couldn’t figure it out). Saturday night is a BBQ/party night (we stayed Sunday to Thursday, so don’t know what that was like).
Is the resort crowded?
When we were there, it felt like we were the only people in the resort, except at dinner when we saw a few more.
Its very beautiful and quiet even with some building work going on around the lagoon.
The outside showers are also fun! The other bonus is that the rooms have Apple tv with all of the Bond films on them.
Does the resort sell much James Bond memorabilia?
Other than that its quite low key – the gift shop is small and doesn’t capitalise on Bond or Fleming that much (if at all).
In all my visits to Jamaica, they don’t really promote or capitalise that much on Bond / Fleming. Maybe because the last films made there were so long ago. Perhaps it will change with No Time to Die.
Other things to do in Jamaica
Other Things you May Want to Try, but Non-Bond Related, although in all honesty I don’t think you are there for long enough:
- Pelican Bar (but that is over the south of the island and would probably be a bit too much of a trek this time). If you do go, also check out Black River and do a cruise and YS falls at the same time.
- Frenchman’s cove is a very nice beach – but you have Goldeneye, so why bother.
- Rafting down the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft – great way to see the blue mountains (shouldn’t be too far away from you). Note if river levels are low, it can take the guy steering the raft a while to get down the river, by which point the raft is getting a little uncomfortable. Definitely worth it though (and tip well as the guy works bloody hard!). Think it lasts between 1 and 2 hours usually.
- Rose Hall – haunted plantation house – but over towards Montego Bay so a little of a trek. My wife wants to do a night tour of this, but I’m put her off so far.
For more Bond related travel inspiration be sure to check out the Where’s Bond Now section of the Blog.