Traveler: Demet Muftuoglu Eseli – Co-Founder of ISTANBUL’74 & Creative Director
Jamaica is one of the many beautiful destinations situated in the warm waters of the Caribbean. It is here in Jamaica, the third largest island in the Caribbean with a population of 2,889,187 people, where we discover the empty beaches and vast expanses of blue sky. Its culture is steeped in African tradition dating as far back as 1494. After Spanish and British rule, where its people originate from slave origins, Jamaica’s history and beauty are a fusion of its culture. Jamaica’s slave past has greatly influenced Jamaica’s music scene, where reggae and Bob Marley was born in the late 1960’s, spoken in the English-African language known as creole. It is also where rocksteady music was founded, giving rise to artists such as Alton Ellis.
The island is covered with wild orchards that burst with lively color, and spices that are used in Jamaican dishes, a mix of technique and tradition. Jamaica’s tales of the past gives life to the warmth of its people who bask in the sultry weather. The crystal clear waters are inviting and the scent of jasmine flowers fills the evening air, lingering in your memory as the day turns into night.
Jamaica is also home to the iconic Goldeneye hotel. The writer Ian Fleming built the hotel in 1946, where it is sketched on a cliff in Jamaica’s Oracabessa Bay, overlooking the turquoise sea on Jamaica’s Northern coast. The history of Oracabessa dates back over 500 years to the year 1502 when Christopher Columbus sailed into Oracabessa Bay, and bestowed the name Santa Maria island on the small island located in what is now Goldeneye estate. The bay is lit in the afternoons by an apricot light, where the small brightly coloured Creole cottages are illuminated in its simple beauty. It is where Ian Fleming wrote all of his James Bond novels, continuing for many years to give life to his character 007 and to Goldeneye Hotel’s mystic. The Hotel became an enthralling social scene of Jamaica’s north coast in the 1950’s, where literary greats such as Truman Capote frequented the Bay. The property is less like a hotel than it is a story of the quaint villas, gardens and secluded beaches that envelop the blue lagoon.