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Goldeneye Hotel and Resort is luxury resort property developed from the original estate of writer Ian Fleming, Goldeneye, in Oracabessa on the island of Jamaica. Located next door to Golden Clouds estate, it is jointly owned by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and Island Outpost, a company that owns and operates his boutique hotels.
Goldeneye was originally built by novelist Ian Fleming, who created the James Bond character and wrote all of his Bond novels while living there.
Fleming purchased 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land on a former donkey racetrack in 1946 after hearing about the property from a friend. The home was built on a cliff overlooking a private beach based on a sketch by the author and stressed such simple features as glassless windows.
In 1976, 12 years after Fleming's death, Goldeneye was sold to reggae star Bob Marley. Shortly before his own death, Marley sold it to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. For years he primarily used the estate as a place to entertain friends.
Blackwell gradually added 25 acres (100,000 m2)s in small parcels to the original estate to reach a current total of 40 acres (160,000 m2). As it grew, he also added various cottages and huts around an inner lagoon sandwiched between James Bond Beach and Low Cay Beach. In the late 1980s, he formed the Island Outpost Company and opened the property as a small hotel.
Rather than a traditional hotel, Goldeneye resort is a compound of tropical buildings, gardens and private beaches. It closed in 2007 for major additions and renovations, and reopened in December 2010.
Fleming's Goldeneye became the social epicenter of Jamaica's north coast along with nearby Firefly owned by Noël Coward, and Bolt House, owned by Chris Blackwell's mother, Blanche, who was a long time friend of Fleming. The property was equally popular with a coterie of Hollywood stars and British literary greats as it was British aristocrats and international heads of state. Errol Flynn, Lucian Freud, Truman Capote, Patrick Leigh Fermor, the Duchess of Devonshire, Princess Margaret, and Prime Minister Anthony Edenwere all visitors. Eden even made the property the temporary Headquarters for the British government during the Suez Crisis of 1956.
The Goldeneye of the Blackwell era has also attracted celebrities, both as his friends and resort guests. Among them Bono, Naomi Campbell, Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Harrison Ford, and Richard Branson.
A tradition, which was started by Sir Anthony Eden when he and his wife, Clarissa, planted a Santa Maria tree before departing from Goldeneye, is still ongoing. Today, there are hundreds of mango, lime, orange and ackee trees in the garden. Each was planted by a guest, has a small plaque saying who planted it and when. A $1000 donation required goes to the Oracabessa Foundation.