A holiday among name-droppers

"Did you know Sting wrote Every Breath You Take in your villa," a broad-shouldered, dreadlocked Jamaican carrying my bags tells me proudly. Had I not already been in Jamaica a week then this snippet of gossip might've made my holiday, but already stories about rock stars and actors who have stayed where I'm staying are getting a little old hat.

Although this place, GoldenEye - spread out along the cliffs above Oracabessa - is pretty bloody impressive. For one, the bloke who invented James Bond, Ian Fleming, built it. He used to throw parties here attended by hell-raisers such as Errol Flynn. When he sold up, another famous dude bought it ... Bob Marley. Heard of him?

When he died, his manager Chris Blackwell took over. These days, stars such as Naomi Campbell own villas here. A barman who makes me a vodka martini (I had to, didn't I?) promises me a secret tour of the trees planted by famous guests. "I shouldn't be showing you this," he tells me. "Our guests expect total privacy, that's what they pay for."

Well, then, I should warn any rock star or film idol reading this: DON'T GO TO JAMAICA! Staff at all the villas I stay at can't wait to tell me which megastars have stayed before me. Maybe it's because they know I'm a journalist ... but hang on, isn't that more reason to button up?

It turns out I missed a certain Mr Jack Nicholson by two days at the last villa I was in. I hope they changed the sheets. The night before, I missed Shaquille O'Neal by a week ... I thought it was an awfully big bed. At my first villa, in the hills above Montego Bay, it was songstress Alicia Keys.

I also slept in the former private residences of Oscar Hammerstein (of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame) and US country-singing legend Johnny Cash. But GoldenEye takes the fame cake, as the big daddy of star retreats in Jamaica. The barman shows me into an area of the property where plaques on trees acknowledge the guests who planted them - a tradition started by former British PM Anthony Eden. It's a staggering roll-call of virtually everyone famous on Earth ... Jagger, Jude Law, Depp, Kate Moss, Harrison Ford; and that's just one row of trees. "But if they wanted to come here for privacy, why would they agree to have their names on plaques to show they visited here?" I ask. The barman shakes his massive head. "I don't know, sir."

Up the road beside the sweeping coastline west of Montego Bay, I stay in a gigantic villa with five private staff. They tell me I just missed Eddie Murphy. The private runways behind villas and exclusive resorts are a dead giveaway; they're for stars and billionaires to land their Learjets. It's a piece of cake for stars and starlets to sneak away for dirty (supposedly discreet) weekends.

At the last villa I stay at in Jamaica I'm shocked that no one has a star-guest story to purge. I can't bear the suspense. Surely someone marvellously massive has stayed here before me. "Oh no, sir," the porter says with a smile. "We don't give out information on our famous guests. Besides, we haven't had anyone stay this year because it was rented out the whole summer ... to Bryan Adams."

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