I couldn’t resist posting these photos I came across in AD of the Goldeneye hotel in Jamaica, which was once upon a time the home of James Bond creator Ian Fleming! It is said that what Fleming loved most about Goldeneye was “the out of doors, nature, the sounds and colors, the peace and drama of living by the sea” and he delighted in “the blazing sunshine, natural beauty and the most healthy life I could live.”
And judging by these pictures, I can totally see why! Nestled amongst a lush garden and overlooking the Caribbean, I’m really not sure what anyone else could want in life?
Renovated recently by Linda Garland, a Bali-based interior designer and Chris Blackwell’s (of Island Records) wife Mary Vinson, the place is a stunning collaboration of comfort, natural materials and tradition.
This drawing room is undoubtedly one of the most unique places I have seen in ages, exuding bucketloads of exoticness and charm… I just don’t know where to start… the fifteen-foot-tall totem pole from the Asmat tribe of Java, carved from a single tree or the huge wooden carving that hangs on the separating beam between the dining room and sitting room, which has been taken from the side of a ceremonial boat apparently!
Even the furniture is to die for, specially handmade by Indonesian craftsmen from eco- friendly bamboo. The large sofa, the dining table and even the TV cabinet are one-of-a-kind pieces, lending even more charm and uniqueness to the place.
The room is also full of beautiful accessories, like the honey coloured lampshades and candleholders on the side table, the African basketry that houses magazines and the handcarved statuettes over the cabinet… Check out our African section for similar items!
With such a stunning drawing room, expectations are high for the bedroom and it doesn’t disappoint! The metal bed is a great focal point and contrasts beautifully with the wooden floor and natural materials elsewhere, whilst the small colourful ornaments surrounding the bed bring in a tiny bit of colour, but without distracting your eye away from the bed. The bamboo desk/ console and matching chair also look really nice, although it’s hard to tell as you can hardly see them properly!
This balcony- type room does lack a bit of the charm found in the other rooms… I like the armchairs and the coffee table (I think they were handmade in Zimbabwe), but I would have liked to see some richly- coloured textiles or a decorative ornament or two.
All-in-all though, I would easily give this place a 10 out of 10 for originality and creativity.
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One can’t avoid getting just a teeny bit excited about the opening of the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. Admittedly, it is a shameless temple to wealth, and wealth doesn’t always mean good taste, but the sheer scale of this project is just mind-boggling.
In fact, the Mirror summed it up quite nicely: “There are hotels, there are palaces… and then there is the Atlantis”… and it really is a masterpiece.
So here is a glimpse of the mighty £800mn Atlantis!
Situated on the largest man-made island in the world, the Atlantis is spread over 113 acres (four times the size of Hyde Park), has 1530 rooms and suites, 17 restaurants, a huge water park and an aquarium that houses not only twice the number of fish than the London Aquarium, but also dolphins especially flown in from the South Pacific.
I personally really like the exterior architecture of this building, it’s kind of out of this world, a Disneyland type of place and its colours blend in perfectly with the turquoise of the sea…
But the lobby, lavish and expensive as it may be, leaves nothing to be desired… and it’s not as much bling as it is mismatched, with too many different styles, clashing colours and strange sculptures. Where’s the identity of Dubai in this?
I think they’ve done a great job in the bedrooms though – simple and relaxing, not over the top, yet still exotic. Can you imagine waking up to a view of so many fish? I’d actually be scared that the glass broke during the night…
The water cascading down to the bath from the ceiling is a brilliant idea and must be so so soothing and that huge round bath, made from what looks like stone is absolutely gorgeous…
Yesterday’s opening, which saw the most expensive private party ever, cost £16 million and had seven times the number of fireworks than at the Beijing Olympics! And apparently, they were visible from space…
If you’re feeling curious, you can watch the opening ceremony (sounds like the Olympics!) here and if you have some spare cash lying around, check out their website www.atlantisthepalm.com, although I think you’d probably be more comfortable visiting it than actually staying there…