The land is on the site of a former donkey racetrack. Ian Fleming purchased a patch of land of 15 acres (61,000 m2) adjacent to the renowned Golden Clouds estate in 1946 and built his home on the edge of a cliff overlooking a private beach. The home was built on a sketch by the author, the three-bedroom structure was fitted with wooden jalousie windows and a swimming pool. In spite of its obvious proximity to Golden Clouds, Fleming claimed a number of origins for the name GoldenEye, including Carson McCullers's 1941 novel, Reflections in a Golden Eye and Operation Goldeneye, a Second World War era contingency plan Fleming had developed in case of a Nazi invasion of Gibraltar through Spain.
Fleming joined The Sunday Times in 1946, for which he oversaw the paper's worldwide network of correspondents. He negotiated a contract whereby he could spend three months of each year at GoldenEye. On 17 February 1952 James Bond appeared in the first Bond novel, Casino Royale. For the next twelve years, Fleming wrote all his Bond stories there. A number of the Bond movies, including Dr. No and Live and Let Die, were filmed near the estate. In 1956 British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden and his wife Clarissa spent a month at GoldenEye after Eden's health collapsed in the wake of the Suez Crisis. The attendant publicity helped to boost Fleming's writing career.
In 1976, twelve years after Ian Fleming's death, the property was sold to reggae musician Bob Marley. A year later he sold the estate to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.
In 1995 GoldenEye became the title of the seventeenth James Bond film, the first to star Pierce Brosnan. Blackwell gradually added 25 acres (100,000 m2) 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. The property now operates as GoldenEye Hotel and Resort, an upmarket retreat consisting of Fleming's main house and several cottages.
Being the beloved house of the creator of the iconic 13-part James Bond novels – Ian Fleming!
The activities! They are endless, from swimming and snorkeling to paddleboarding and kayaking, there’s no shortage of trips and activities to take during your stay at GoldenEye. You also don’t want to miss Firefly, the former home of Noel Coward.
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All the trees in the garden! Every single tree planted there were by past guests. This 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. For each tree, a $1000 donation is required which goes to the Oracabessa Foundation.