chris blackwell's future classics
Island Records founder Chris Blackwell launched and nurtured the careers of Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, and U2. In his latest role as hotelier, Blackwell oversees a clutch of hipper-than-thou properties in Miami Beach, the Bahamas, and the Jamaica he still calls home. Since none of the Jamaican resorts in his Island Outpost portfolio is more than five years old, it seems a little premature to call them classics. But future classics?That sounds just right to us.
(800/688-7678 for reservations.)
Quietly folded into the Blue Mountains, at an elevation of 3,100 feet, Strawberry Hill's 12 vernacularly correct 19th-century-style cottages command heart-stopping views of Kingston. Other defining touches: magnificent fretwork, mahogany four-posters, heated mattress pads, a first-rate Aveda Concept Spa, balletic hummingbirds, and cascades of screaming bougainvillea.
Irish Town; doubles from $280.
The Caves' 10 tranquil wood-framed, thatched-roof cottages—lightheartedly decorated with batiks, mosquito netting, and vivacious colors—sit high above the sea on volcanic honeycombed cliffs. Snorkeling is excellent, and sea-salt exfoliation treatments are administered in grottoes.
Lighthouse Rd., West End, Negril; suites $500 in high season.
Rooms at Jake's, a 12-cottage mini-resort (stylishly marooned on Jamaica's remote and fabulously untouristed southwestern coast), don't have phones, televisions, or air-conditioning—and whether or not there's a beach depends on the degree of damage done by the last hurricane. But international funksters from the East Village to the East End can't get enough of this Mykonos-and-Marrakesh-flavored getaway.
Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth; doubles from $75.
Ian Fleming wrote 12 of his James Bond thrillers at Goldeneye, his 15-acre waterfront estate just east of Ocho Rios. But these days, the main house (there are also eight new bungalows) has been zapped into what its designer calls a three-bedroom "tribal crash pad," perilously priced and jammed with the kind of outsize luxuries meaningful only to rock stars.
Oracabessa; Fleming house $3,500 with meals, one-bedroom bungalows $750.