GoldenEye: Island Magic

Chris Blackwell Teams Up With Radio Nova To Relaunch His Exclusive Resort

Today we premiere a lyrical portrait of Chris Blackwell’s Jamaican getaway, GoldenEye, and the relaunch party that the Island Records founder recently hosted to celebrate the resort's new look. Music legend “Toots” Hibbert (of Toots and the Maytals, whose "Funky Kingston" soundtracks our film) rubbed shoulders with fellow guests including Jimmy Buffett, Grace Jones and Kevin McDonald, who is currently directing a documentary about reggae legend Bob Marley; all danced the day away to deejays from Paris-based station Radio Nova. Over the past three years, the retreat in Oracabessa Bay has seen the addition of 17 new cottages, a spa and the beachside Bar Bizot, named after Blackwell's friend Jean-François Bizot, the late founder of Radio Nova. While today it may be an A-list destination frequented by Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Bono and Kate Moss, GoldenEye had the humblest of beginnings as a 15-acre donkey racetrack. The transformation began in 1946, courtesy of James Bond author Ian Fleming, who purchased the land to build his dream house. After taking ownership in 1976, Blackwell went about converting it into an ultra-exclusive mecca. NOWNESS caught up with the music mogul over one of his famed frozen GoldenEye cocktails.

Describe a day in your life on the island.
Nowadays I wake up early and the first thing I do is go for a swim in the lagoon, and then email and make phone calls for an hour or so before getting dressed and having breakfast. Business meetings will generally take me up to lunchtime. After lunch I try to have a nap for a couple of hours and then back to more emails and phone calls. If the waves are high I like to go jet skiing—it’s an incredible workout when the sea is rough. After that I hang out and have dinner.

Tell us something most people don't know about Jamaica.
They have the three fastest women runners in the world over 100 meters and three of the four fastest men—pretty amazing for an island with less than three million people.

What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Founding Island Records over 50 years ago and, although I no longer have anything to do with it, seeing it be so successful today.

Apart from Jamaica, where else in the world do you like to spend time?
London, Paris and New York. I love to travel so there are many other places.

Which artist do you wish you had signed?
Leonard Cohen.

What philosophy do you live by?
Do your best, keep your word.

Tour GoldenEye's tropical grounds here.

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Conversations (2)

  • Oblessa
    Brad! its not all about that....truly.
    • Posted By Oblessa
    • March 17, 2011 at 7:28PM
    • Share Comment:
  • brad gough
    too bad it is in Jamaica, land of the Gay haters!

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