The summer of 2008 Journeys founders Maria & Even went to Jamaica and visited the Geejam hotel outside Port Antonio for the first time. They fell completely in love with the place and have since been back numerous times to enjoy this beautiful, lush and untouched part of Jamaica. In 2019 Maria & Even purchased the amazing Panorama Villa in a partnership with Geejam owners Jon Baker and Steve Beaver and Journeys members now gets exclusive deals and access to this dream holiday home. If you are not a Journeys member, sign up here.
On the highest peak in the middle of the green jungle, lays Audrey Hepburn's old vacation home, the extraordinary “Panorama Villa”. Surrounded by magical panoramic views over the Caribbean sea, this hidden treasure is 650 square meters filled with comfort and luxury and the location is picked right out of a Hollywood movie!
In the newly renovated villa, you will find four master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and separate access to an idyllic garden. The spacious living room is eight meters below the roof and the kitchen includes space and equipment, comparable to a small restaurant.
Panorama was renovated and furnished by British music executive Jon Baker. He is known from the US and UK record industry, and the house has been featured in a number of international magazines such as Bloomberg, Forbes and Conde Nast.
The villa comes complete with a private chef and it's connected to one of Jamaica’s best hotels, Geejam . When staying at Panorama, you get exclusive access to the hotel’s private lagoon complete with daybeds, SUP, and yes, ice cold Red Stripes!
Panorama is located in San San just outside the small town of Port Antonio in Portland Parish. The area is often called “The other Jamaica”, as it stands out from the big cities and the major tourist metropolises of Montego Bay and Ochos Rios. You will find almost no tourists, you're surrounded by an unspoilt jungle, there are no large hotels, nor high criminal activity.
Port Antonio has a fascinating history. The area was first ”accidently” discovered by Errol Flynn in the 50's. The famous flamboyant actor fell in love with the pristine beaches and the relaxed atmosphere. He bought a large amount of land and started inviting his friends over. Shortly after, luxury villas and hotels were built.
Grace Kelly and Elisabeth Taylor arrived in high heels and big hats. Aga Khan built a giant villa and Baroness Elisabeth Von Tyssen simply made a Gatsby-like castle! This was around the time Panorama Villa was built, and for many years it was a holiday home for Audrey Hepburn and her family.
Music producer, Jon Baker established himself here in the 90’s and built a recording studio that later became the Geejam hotel . Since then, Great artists like Alicia Keys, Birch, Drake, Amy Winehouse, Grace Jones and The Gorillaz have recorded albums here.
Scarlett Johansson has visited the Geejam several times and claimed it as one of her favourite locations. Snoop Dogg also lived there while recording the movie “Reincarnated”, about the Jamaican rastafari culture.
Today, the area is thriving with the same qualities that made the place famous fifty years ago. Unspoilt jungles, world-class beaches and an incomparable atmosphere.
Panorama is located within walking distance from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The hotel has its own private beach and lagoon just beneath the hotel. The private paradise is reserved for the hotel guests and the residents at Panorama Villa. Here you can relax on the gorgeous daybeds located in the beautiful garden, just a stone’s throw away from the Caribbean Sea.
The lagoon itself has crystal clear water and a reef for snorkeling-lovers! The locals of San San claim that the lagoon gives you health benefits as a result of the ice-cold freshwater springs emerging from the bottom.
One of the most beautiful and romantic beaches in the world, is amazingly within walking distance from Panorama. The unique crystal clear river filled with spring water flows into the ocean near the beach. You can choose between a cool dip in the freshwater, or a swim in the Caribbean Sea when you need a break from the sun.
The beach is owned by a small hotel that serves snacks and of course Red Stripes. Frenchman’s Cove has been used as a venue for several famous movies, such as “Night and Day” with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
Do you want a tip from the host? Start the day with a jog and finish off with a swim in the river! You will definitely be by yourself on the world’s most beautiful beach and it is absolutely magical!
If you want to explore other beaches you can drive to Boston Beach that is famous for it's jerk chicken and good surfing or do as the locals and hang out at the magnificent Winnipeg Beach. And by the way, the incredible Blue Lagoon is a 5 minute drive from the villa if you fancy a dip in the crystal clear water.
Panorama Villa has a partnership with one of Jamaica’s best hotels, Geejam. The small boutique hotel is located right below the villa. When renting the Villa you will get one of their chefs at your service! Geejam has access to the best commodities on the island. They serve everything from local lobster to imported tenderloin. The menu is a fusion between Jamaican and Asian cuisine. Examples are: Coconut curry shrimp, jerk marinated chicken breast and steamed red snapper filet. In addition to this you get all the fresh fruit and vegetables that grows around the green island.
Of course, you can also eat at Geejam’s restaurant if you like.
Although there are very few tourists in the area, there are other good dining options as well.
At the five-star hotel Trident outside Port Antonio, you will find Mikes Supper Club restaurant.
At the other end of the beach in Port Antonio, is where one of our favourite treasures is hidden. This is where the restaurant of our friend Nigel Thompson is located, Wilkes Seafood and bar. Nigel serves delicious Jamaican cuisine and is personally responsible for every dish created in the kitchen. Our best tip is to contact Nigel a few days in advance to order fresh lobster. Nigel serves cold beer to accompany the food, but he also provides wines if you let him know in advance.
There are several ways to get to Port Antonio. The shortest route from Norway is with British Airways via London landing in Montego Bay or Kingston. You can also fly with SAS or United Airlines from Oslo to New York, then to Montego Bay or to Kingston. Other options are with Norwegian from Oslo to Miami, and then book American Airlines from there to Jamaica. Or you can fly with most large European carriers to Miami (British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France or KLM) and then book American Airlines to Kingston or Montego Bay.
When you arrive in Kingston, our driver picks you up at the airport and takes you across the Blue Mountains to the beautiful San San-area and the Panorama Villa. The trip takes around two and half to three hours depending on the traffic. If you choose to fly to Montego Bay, it takes around four hours to arrive at the house. We promise you that the trip is worth it!