Known for its slow pace, island breeze and music, Jamaica tops the list for the ‘most chilled out place on the planet’. It’s no coincidence that the late reggae superstar Bob Marley called Jamaica his home. With its plentiful supplies of rum, lush green surroundings and idyllic beach landscapes, you certainly need not “worry, ’bout a thing”.
Furthermore, the third largest island in the Caribbean is possibly one of the most interesting. Anyone with an interest in music or film must surely make Jamaica top of your travel list. In fact it has been home to many an ageing rock star who finds the beachy idyll the ideal inspiration. Geejam, on the north-east of the island, has catered to the music industry for over 10 years. Their secret recording studio has produced some of the world’s most well-known hits (Rihanna, Drake and Amy Winehouse have all laid down tracks here). But this hotel also delivers on luxury and has hosted the likes of Banksy.
Not that anywhere on the island is about money or fame. In fact, the whole vibe of Jamaica is one of disinterest in material things. Perhaps that’s why Ian Fleming chose Jamaica as his home in 1946, writing more than a dozen James Bond novels from here over the years whilst he glanced over his private beach. Here, the vibe is one of barefoot luxury. There are no windows on the estate, instead relying on the cooling breeze and the vividly painted shutters to keep you cool in the heat of the day.
It doesn’t get better than this.
Would these books have been born if I had not been living in the gorgeous vacuum of a Jamaican holiday? I doubt it
Anyone with even a passing interest in James Bond should make a trip to Goldeneye, where Ian Fleming created and wrote 13 of the Bond novels, this retreat oozes Caribbean style with private beaches, luxurious pools, state of the art technology, a cave and even a lagoon that’s home to paddleboards and jet skis. There are 21 cottages and villas in all and 26 beach huts styled in boho-chic with locally made furniture. Choose between the open air treehouse restaurant Gazebo or the Bizot Bar on the seafront. You can also make a visit to nearby Firefly, Noel Cowards’ one-time Caribbean haunt. Tennis, mountain biking, fishing trips and boat trips are all available for guests.
This sun-kissed retreat owned by two music producers even has its own recording studio. With seven colourful cabins, there is plenty of space to go around on your private beach, gym, laidback Bushbar restaurant and lounge bar. You’ll often find a DJ on the decks so expect dancing and plenty of late-night drinks in this laid-back retreat. With 24-hour room service you might never want to leave but note Geejam doesn’t have a pool (unless the 3-bedroom villa is empty in which case you can use their pool). But otherwise, it’s all about the private beach on your doorstep. Frenchman’s Cove was voted one of the world’s top five beaches and is also only a 5-minute drive away. Take a kayak out, explore Port Antonio’s hidden coves, go diving or just read a good book. But it’s the accommodation itself that makes this place so unique.