The Beach Company chooses its pick of James Bond’s greatest beaches.
The latest Bond film, Skyfall is hitting our screens this week, and we can’t quite wait. So, in honour of Mr. Bond himself and those epic destinations in which he finds himself time after time, we’ve compiled our favourite beaches where Bond has emerged from the water, killed a bad guy, met a Bond girl (delete as appropriate) and generally lived the life we all wish was our own. So, make like the man himself and head to the beach to relive a bit of glitz, glamour and danger. Bond style.
James Bond Beach, Jamaica
You know the scene – Ursula Andress, in all her white bikini-clad glory, glides out of the surf and shimmies onto the sugar-white sand beach. It’s one of the most famous Bond moments ever, and if you fancy recreating the iconic scene from Bond’s first outing, Dr. No, then head to Jamaica’s idyllic northern shores and James Bond Beach (officially renamed after the film’s success). While you’re soaking up the Caribbean rays, pop along to the GoldenEye villas where Bond was born (in the mind of Ian Fleming, that is). Don’t forget that white bikini now.
Stay: Well, at GoldenEye villas of course. Now owned by the founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, nothing lets you step inside the world of Bond quite like the luxury of this private lodge. Fleming’s original writing desk still forms part of the opulent décor in Fleming Villa. Talk about Bond heritage.
Khao Phing Kan, Thailand
The great limestone rocks that form Khao Phing Kan’s landscape are one of the most popular landmarks in these parts of Thailand thanks to The Man with the Golden Gun. You can practically see Bond villain, Scaramanga, hiding his solar energy collector in the rock and Roger Moore flying in to save the day. If imagining the scene isn’t enough to tempt you, we reckon the reality of the soft white sands, warm azure waters and paradisaical island setting might just do it.
Stay: At Zeavola Resort on nearby Koh Phi Phi island. The focus here is on indulgence combined with simplicity – think traditional teakwood cabins and outdoor rain showers, alongside a luxury spa and the best Thai cuisine that Phi Phi has to offer.
Holywell Bay, Cornwall, England
If you fancy a bit of James Bond beach action without leaving our own fair shores, head to Cornwall, where you’ll find the beautiful golden beach that played the role of the North Korean coast to perfection in Die Another Day, starring Pierce Brosnan – swoon. Although an epic Bond battlefield for the movie, rest assured that the only battles taking place now are between the surfers as they try to catch the perfect wave.
Stay: In the nearby coastal village of Crantock, the Fairbank Hotel is set upon yet another stunning beach and is less than a 10 minute drive to Holywell Bay, or in the opposite direction, to Newquay for some British surfer vibes.
Praia do Guincho, near Cascais, Portugal
One of the top windsurfing spots in Europe, Praia do Guincho on Portugal’s western coast was forever preserved in Bond fans’ memories as the spot where George Lazenby pulls Bond girl, Diana Rigg, from the sea in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And if that wasn’t enough, our hero then takes on the baddies (with an anchor, no less), all with the rugged Lisboan coast as the backdrop. And that’s just the film’s pre-title opener. Phew. The beach is said to be unchanged since the film’s production, so expect unspoilt golden sands set against dramatic cliffs.
Stay: Nestled between the Praia do Guincho and the pretty fishing village of Cascais on the Portuguese Riviera sits the Farol Design Hotel. The choice of European kings and queens of years gone by, the rooms are individually decorated by Portuguese designers, with the common theme of black and white luxe. Well if it’s good enough for the royals…
One and Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
The Bahamas has been used as the setting for more Bond films that anywhere else (apart from the UK, of course), so you can tick off at least three Bond beaches during a visit to the golden island. Our pick (call us shallow) has to be the Ocean Club on Paradise Island, where Daniel Craig confirmed his status as one of our favourite Bonds by appearing, dripping, from the sea in those blue swimming trunks in Casino Royale.
Stay: Not only was the One and Only Ocean Club the setting for Daniel Craig’s swimwear spectacle, it was also the location for several hotel scenes – including the tense poker game that took place between Bond and Dimitrius. So when night falls, make like 007 and head to one of the largest casinos in the Caribbean, vodka martini in hand (shaken, not stirred – obviously).