Jamaica is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean and it's unlike any other. It's got sand, sun, and surf on its coastline, a mountainous jungle interior, and hopping vibrant cities. World's Hottest Hotels searches out Jamaica's hidden treasures-from a rock-and-roll plantation to a high tech artist's colony to a North shore home of a celebrated spy. Say goodbye to everything you thought you knew about Jamaica, and hello to a trip you'll never forget.
One outstanding Jamaican resort called Strawberry Hill sits high in the Blue Mountains about 3100 feet above sea level overlooking the capital city of Kingston. Music producer Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, bought this former coffee plantation in 1972 as a getaway for world-weary recording stars.
The Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, and Marianne Faithful were just some of the regulars who came here to recharge their batteries and jam with local reggae artists. In the late 1980s, Strawberry Hill turned into the resort, and reminders of its musical roots are everywhere. The views from here are outrageous whether you're at the infinity pool, the restaurant, bar, or in your villa. A dense blanket of greenery surrounds Strawberry Hill's 13 cottages, making the place feel even more magical and private. The large balconies at Strawberry Hill's villas are ideal for chilling with friends and enjoying the mountain air.
From one music centric hotel to another, you'll tour a high-tech resort where artists from all over still come to record. The Geejam Hotel is near the Jamaican hotspot of Ocho Rios and Frenchman's Cove beach, considered one of the world's best beaches. The Geejam Hotel is owned by music producer John Baker, a colleague of Chris Blackwell. If you're looking for the kind of resort where you can play golf and eat club sandwiches by the pool, you're at the wrong place. Instead, Geejam prides itself on being a mecca for artists and nature lovers. You'll feel like you're a part of the rainforest around you. But when you check in, you get a cell phone for communicating with staff. There are HDTV's in the rooms, and the whole place has wifi, inside and out. There are 7 villas here, and the largest has three bedrooms. The artwork here is incredible, since the resort is something of an artists' colony. Creative types from around the world will come here to paint and hang out. When you walk around the Geejam, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for rock stars. Jon Baker still operates a recording studio here.
From a rock star hangout to a famous spy novelist's retreat with 007 written all over it. On Oracabessa Bay near Ocho Rios is a getaway you'll never forget. Its called Goldeneye Hotel. Goldeneye is the former home of Ian Fleming, the spy turned novelist who created James Bond. He lived at Goldeneye for almost 20 years and wrote thirteen of his 007 books here.
Today it's a resort. Goldeneye has four villas on 18 ½ acres. Fleming designed his house himself. The open-air windows don't have glass. Instead, they just have wooden shutters that you can pull shut at night. The décor is as international as one of Fleming's James bond thrillers.
Goldeneye's Fleming Villa has its own pool and a private beach. The white sand coastline is dotted with hidden coves where you can read, gaze at the sea, or have a romantic, secluded dinner.
Goldeneye has got to be one of the coolest hotels in the world, but there's only one place in Jamaica with an Octopussy villa.