Secret Agent James Bond has always been a pioneering traveller. Throughout his career, this intrepid spy has travelled to the most exotic, glamorous and distant locations in the world.
Equally adventurous was the man who invented Bond. Ian Fleming was not only an author but also a globe-trotting travel writer, foreign correspondent, a naval commander and according to some, a spy. Fleming’s exciting life will be celebrated from May 28, which marks the centenary of his birth, in London and in his second home of Jamaica.
Pay tribute to your favourite spy by going on a mission to London to see the exhibitions about Fleming and Bond (see sidebar), or celebrate in style by staying in one of the many glamorous hotels 007 passed through.
The Royal Palm villa on the Goldeneye property in Jamaica. Goldeneye, where Ian Fleming spent his winters writing the Bond novels, appeared in Dr. No.
• Dr. No, 1962: The modest villa where Ian Fleming spent his winters writing the James Bond novels is now a glamorous retreat that has drawn in celebrities from Scarlett Johanssen to Johnny Depp. Rent the three-bedroom villa and you can sit at Fleming’s writing desk, dine al fresco in his sunken garden, snorkel around the reef of his private beach, watch Bond DVDs in the boathouse or jump on a jetski and whizz round to Laughing Water, the beach where Ursula Andress made her iconic retreat from the sea in the first Bond film, Dr .No. The property now belongs to Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records who got one his first jobs as a location scout on Dr. No. www.goldeneyehotel.com.
Hilton, Las Vegas
• Diamonds are Forever, 1971: This 3,000-room hotel was the largest in the world when it was built in 1969, and it appeared as the Whyte House hotel in Diamonds Are Forever. Villain Blofeld sat and stroked his white cat in the penthouse here, while James Bond stayed down the road at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino. Now famous for its casino, Star Trek Museum, and 1600-seat theatre where Elvis performed, now home to showbiz superstar Barry Manilow. www.lvhilton.com.
Couples Sans Souci, Jamaica
• Live and Let Die, 1973: Baron Samedi performs his voodoo act at Couples Sans Souci in Live And Let Die, and Bond buys tarot cards in the souvenir shop. The hotel also featured as Miss Taros bungalow in Dr No. Staff report that during filming Sean Connery rarely went out of character and enjoyed a martini or two in the swim-up bar. www.couples.com.
Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia
• The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977: Costa Smeralda, Sardinia was a red-hot destination in 1977, which is why James Bond stayed there with Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me. The hotel’s Bar Pontile Lounge was transformed into the couple’s luxurious suite, and Bond’s White Lotus Esprit famously drove out of the sea and onto the beach.www.luxurycollection.com/caladivolpe.
Taj Lake Palace Hotel, India
• Octopussy, 1983: This romantic white marble vision set in the middle of Lake Pichola, Udaipur, became the Floating Palace, home to 007’s love interest Octopussy in the film of the same name. The Taj Lake Palace was built in 1746 by a member of the royal dynasty of Mewar, and the Royal Butlers who work there are descendents of the original palace retainers. www.tajhotels.com.
Stoke Park Club, U.K.
• Goldfinger, 1964 and Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997: James Bond defeated Auric Goldfinger on the 18th hole at this baronial estate in Goldfinger, and it was here that his henchman Oddjob severed the head of a marble statue with a flying metal bowler hat. Bond returned for a fight with menacing agent Stamper in Tomorrow Never Dies. www.stokeparkclub.com.
Grand Hotel Pupp, Czech Republic
• Casino Royale, 2006: The picturesque Czech spa town of Karlovy Vary starred as the city of Montenegro in Craig Daniel’s debut Bond movie. An abandoned spa was turned into the Casino Royale and the five star Grand Hotel Pupp, became Hotel Splendide, where Bond and Vesper stay during the poker tournament. Stay there and you can indulge in some Bond style activities including shooting and gambling in the casino. www.pupp.cz.
One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
• Casino Royale, 2006: Bond arrives by seaplane to Paradise Island, Bahamas, before driving along the coastal road to the luxurious One & Only Ocean Club resort where he meets Dimitrios and his beautiful wife Solange, in Casino Royale. You’ll have to move to New Providence Island to find the beach where the buff Craig Daniel famously emerged from the sea in his Grigioperla swimshorts. www.oneandonlyresorts.com.