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12 The Magazine
JUN/JUL 2012
Firefly & Goldeneye
In 1948, while holidaying at Goldeneye, the Jamaican home of
writer Ian Fleming (he of James Bond fame), playwright Noël
Coward fell in love with this beautiful island and decided to buy
his own house on a stretch of nearby coast. He later purchased
a more remote site 366 meters/1,200 feet above Blue Harbour
and built the property known as ‘Firefly,’ where he lived for more
than 20 years. Today both Firefly and Goldeneye have been
meticulously restored – Firefly is owned by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and
the Noël Coward Estate, and Goldeneye has been expanded into one of the most
exclusive and renowned boutique hotels in the world by Island Records mogul Chris
Blackwell, who purchased the property from the Fleming estate in 1976. Either
one makes a stunning backdrop for an off-site event, and Fleming Villa (along with
its satellite cottages Pool House and Sweet Spot) at Goldeneye are available to
accommodate that special incentive group.
The Legend of Rose Hall
Overlooking the Caribbean Sea approximately 10 km/6 miles from Montego Bay, the
imposing Rose Hall Great House was built between 1770 and 1780 by planter and
parish custos (mayor) John Palmer. The dazzling white-stone structure is surrounded by
gardens, woods and a swan-filled pond, and tours of the property make much of the vastly
embellished legend of Annie Palmer, the “White Witch of Rose Hall,” a planter’s wife who
supposedly dabbled in the occult and who is said to have dispatched numerous husbands
by shady means. Its position set high on a hill overlooking the coast gives Rose Hall Great
House a commanding presence – literally as well as figuratively.
Tourist Attraction,
Museum, Shrine
Plan a group visit to world-
famous reggae musician
Bob Marley’s former home
and recording studio at
56 Hope Road, Kingston.
Arguably one of the most
influential musicians of
the 20
century, Marley’s simple wooden house
is the city’s most-visited site, functioning as a
tourist attraction, museum and shrine, but mostly
remains as it was during the years he resided
there. The main museum displays Marley’s
personal treasures, and the former recording
studio out back is now an exhibition hall and
theater, where the tour closes with a fascinating
film of Marley’s final days prior to his death
in 1981.
Up the
Jamaica’s best-loved
waterfall, Dunn’s
River Falls cascades
183 meters/600 feet
over and around
the rocks down to
a pretty tree-fringed
white sand beach.
The main activity
is climbing up the
falls – usually in a
human chain led by
experienced guides.
It’s thoroughly exhilarating, as you’re showered
with cool, clear water all the way up. A perfect
team-building activity. Less adventurous types can
stay near the base and swim in the pools. Or, view
the climbers from the vantage point of the nearby
terraces or decks. At the top of the falls, vendors
hawk local wares, and climbers can find all types of
Jamaican foods for sale, including jerk chicken.
A Taste All Its Own
Traditional Jamaican cooking combines the freshest of local ingredients with influences
from Arawak, Spanish, British, West African, Chinese and Indian culture. The result is a
cuisine like no other, personified by the ubiquitous and delicious Jamaican jerk chicken.
Roadside, beachside, cafes, local chains, haunts of haute
cuisine – you name it, jerk chicken is on the menu. Some
restaurants also offer jerk beef, shrimp and tofu, but the
Jamaican jerk chicken continues to be the most popular
choice. The spice is made up of a combination of cinnamon,
cloves, ginger, thyme, garlic, pepper and nutmeg, making
the Jamaican jerk chicken a great dish with a unique flavor
of its own. Consider a Jamaican cooking course for your
group – a once-in-a-lifetime experience!