History

Golden Clouds was the name given by the first U.S. female ambassador, Ruth Bryan Owen, to her house in Jamaica. The award-winning oceanfront 9-bedroom estate is located on 6 acres of manicured gardens with over 700 ft. of shoreline and its own private beach.

Owen oversaw the original construction of the luxurious villa in 1910 and entertained many famous guests including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and neighbors Noel Coward and Ian Fleming. The property was purchased by Ms. Owen from Blanche Blackwell, mother of legendary music producer Chris Blackwell, who at the time owned thousands of acres of land in Oracabessa, including the land she eventually sold to Fleming and Coward.

“A wonderfully magical place where time stands still. It is, simply paradise.”

- Charlie Chaplin

In the 1970s, the estate was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Keeson, who restored the property to its original grandeur. The Keesons began renting the villa to the public, and in the recent past the clientele has included everyone from famous musicians such as Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet to stars from the film industry including Robert De Niro.

Golden Clouds has also hosted countless weddings and is consistently ranked as one of the top Caribbean wedding destinations. In addition to being a popular wedding location, the villa has also served as a movie location and was featured in the film "The Mighty Quinn" starring Denzel Washington. Golden Clouds has also been featured on several television shows including "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and as a grand prize on "The Price is Right". Click here to see our most recent TV appearance.

Golden Cloud’s neoclassical architectural design was based on Casa Figueras, an 18th century luxury villa that Ambassador Owen stayed at during her first trip to Spain, and reflects Oracabessa’s heritage as a Spanish settlement. In 1996, Golden Clouds received the prestigious Governor General’s Award from the Jamaica Institute of Architects for its outstanding design, which combines historical elements with modern amenities.

In 2009, Golden Clouds was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Simpson. The Simpsons were married at Golden Clouds in 2001, and are proud to carry on the century-old tradition of luxurious accommodations and casual elegance that has made the villa world-renowned.

One of Golden Cloud’s most famous early guests was Charlie Chaplin, who was a good friend of original owner, Ruth Bryan Owen. In a note to Owen, Chaplin described Golden Clouds as “A wonderfully magical place where time stands still. It is, simply paradise”. While these words were written 100 years ago, very little has changed since that time, and guests still use words such as “magical” and “paradise” when describing their stay with us.

Over the years, Golden Clouds has had thousands of guests and many of their comments have been written in our guest books. To find out what our guests think about us, please click here.