After World War II, British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming returned to the sunny Caribbean island he had fallen in love with during a wartime anti-U-boat operation code-named GoldenEye. Fleming purchased this property on Low Cay Beach and built a villa at which he could sit and write novels about a fictional spy he named for the author of a book he happened to have on his desk called Birds of the West Indies: James Bond.
Yes, you can stay in the very house where 007’s adventures began, now operated by Island Outpost (owned by Chris Blackwell, who started Island Records, the label that launched Bob Marley and U2, among many, many others). The Fleming Villa has five bedrooms—the master suite, with its bamboo four-poster, features Fleming’s original writing desk—a kitchen, private pool, and a dedicated staff.
Also on these 30 acres of gardens and tropical forest are ten large, airy one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas with custom-designed wooden furnishings, full kitchens (all guests get a welcome bottle of Blackwell Rum) and an indoor-outdoor style of louvered windows and French doors opening onto wide decks. All but one villa has porch steps that lead right on the sand of the beach. The other is on the four-acre lagoon, as are the six cottages where the decks extend out over the lagoon and kayaks are tied up and waiting for you to use.
The curve of the pool sidles right up to the beach, with a poolside beach bar and breakfast and lunch restaurant, and the newly designed Gazebo, a treehouse lounge and dinner restaurant for sunset cocktails and Jamaican cuisine.
- Reid Bramblett