Secret agents love the Caribbean. Just pick up a spy novel or watch a Bond film—there’s invariably sand and surf involved. It’s no surprise, considering Ian Fleming wrote most of the James Bond novels from his beach house in Jamaica. That and several other beach destinations made famous by James Bond books and films are available to vacationers with dreams of disappearing into paradise.
Go Ghost at GoldenEye in Jamaica
Fleming’s home, GoldenEye, in Jamaica, has evolved from a private residence into a top Caribbean resort. As an added bonus, it sits virtually on top of several sites used for filming the first James Bond film, Dr. No, which hit theatres in 1962. The tranquil seclusion here is an ideal escape for the average traveler or a respite from the high-stakes world of international espionage.
Bird’s Eye View in Panamá City
For those seeking a more urban vacation mission, try the Casco Viejo (old town) district in Panamá City, Panamá. Used for location filming in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, there’s a worn-in colonial charm with plenty of lazy coffee shops that turn into high energy nightclubs after dark. The tallest tower in the city houses the oceanfront Bahia Grand Hotel (soon to be reflagged as a JW Marriott). Guests sipping cocktails at the bar in the tower’s 70-story rooftop restaurant, Panaviera, will literally have the city at their feet.
Living Lavish in Puerto Rico
Most of the Caribbean scenes in 1995’s GoldenEye were shot in Puerto Rico near the Arecibo Observatory. The St. Regis Bahia Beach is a similar site that’s reopening in October 2018 after extensive refurbishment. Guests booking suites will enjoy St. Regis Butler service, lush beachfront and nearby El Yunque National Forest, all befitting for an agent.
Escape Route to the Bahamas
Fans of the 2006 film Casino Royale will instantly recognize The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort as the Bahamian setting for the first act. Enjoy hand-delivered caviar to an oceanfront villa residence just as Daniel Craig did in the film. Stroll through the Versailles-style gardens or the 12th-century French cloisters, before venturing into the bar for a Vesper Martini (although Bond orders a Mount Gay Rum and soda in the scenes here).
Bonus Destination: Incognito on Miami Beach, Florida
If you can’t get out of the States but want an ultra-exclusive getaway, head to the mid-century modern masterpiece Fontainebleau, in Miami Beach—it was the film site for Goldfinger and retains much of the period’s charm. An impressive array of modern amenities has been added in the five decades since James Bond busted a villain cheating at cards poolside with the aid of a bikini-clad henchwoman and a radio transmitter. Today, relaxing in ocean-view rooms or by the expansive pool is no less popular than it was in the 1964 film.
Whatever your secret-agent aspirations, Caribbean shores have spy novel and film destinations just waiting for your next chance to lay low.