Bond Girl Getaways: What’s Your Traveling Style? Jinx, Honey, Vesper?
By Gretchen Kelly
OK, so when “Bond Girls” first hit the silver screen they were icons of sexual stereotypes—big-busted sexually rapacious sirens whose only desire was to get James Bond in bed. But let’s practice a little SMW revisionist thinking here. They were also all single, traveling girls who knew what they wanted and how to get it — great inspiration for vacations for single women. In the age of June Cleever they also had careers: Pussy Galore was an aviator with her own flying school, Honey Ryder was an amateur marine biologist and Miss Moneypenny basically ran M16 while M was smoking cigars and drinking port.
Today’s Bond woman is even more complex. Halle Berry’s Jinx is a CIA operative and Casino Royale’s Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is a master accountant who controls Bond’s funds with an iron hand (albeit in a velvet glove).
We’ve put together a little travel quiz based on Ian Fleming’s heroines. Pick the heroine that sounds most like you, pack your bags and start traveling!
Are you a:
Vesper is smart, sophisticated and city-chic. She likes designer clothes but wears them with a stylish conservatism that makes her even sexier. Confident, but not brassy, Vesper is as soft but as much a force of nature as her name.
If you’re a Vesper, plan a weekend getaway in that most gracious and sophisticated (but very proper) city of London. You’ll have to stay in Mayfair of course, at the recently refurbished Duke’s Hotel where Ian Fleming himself learned the art of the martini. The hotel does its own two versions of the Fleming martini. The original (only one per customer) and the Vesper (from Fleming’s own recipe). Dukes is also doing a special Bond package in time for the Imperial War Museum exhibit which includes martinis and a Miss Moneypenny manicure! Around the corner from this very private elegant hotel is Swaine, Adeney, Briggs, the leather and suitcase maker that created the first Bond briefcase. After shopping in Mayfair, take tea at the Berkeley Hotel’s fashionista-inspired Pret-a-Portea. You get little cakes shaped like boots and handbags, along with champagne and other amuse-bouches. And you might even meet your own James Bond (or possibly even Daniel Craig, himself) perched on one of the posh hotel’s elegant banquettes with a glass of Moet in your hand.
Honey (Ursula Andress in Dr. No) is a woman of the outdoors with a strong sense of athleticism and a love of nature. She can identify a poisoned scorpion and tell you the names of all the shells on the beach but she’s also innocent, with a childlike sense of play. If you’re a Honey, you’ll want to push your physical boundaries while encountering the wonders of wildlife—especially of the marine variety.
Nothing will please a Honey more than a heart-pounding encounter with a Great White Shark in its own environment. Shark Diver, the San Diego-based dive adventure company takes travelers to the Isla Guadalupe in Mexico for cage dive encounters with Great Whites or the “made men of the sea” as owner Patric Douglas calls them. Although you’ll have to wear a dive suit, you can wear your classic Andress-style bikini for shore swims and martinis on the deck.
If you’re a Jinx, you’re at home in exotic environments (Iceland, Cuba) and love to be in the center of the action. You’ll enjoy being physical but like to use your brain, too.
A journey to the island of Bali with its myriad cultural traditions and its amazing landscape of rainforest, mountain and beach is for you. Stay at the Four Seasons in Jimbaran Bay and take one of their cultural retreat packages. You can learn Balinese cooking, attend centuries old religious festivals and study up on Balinese arts and crafts, all while staying in a villa with a private plunge pool and a view of the sacred mountain, Gunung Ayung.
With a name, at once obscene and innocent, Pussy was a dichotomy. If you’re like her, you’re adventurous, outward bound (Pussy had her own aviation school) and yet attached to things that reek class and sophistication like horseback riding.
Plan a stay in Middleburg, Virginia hunt country (good excuse to wear jodhpurs) and stay at the Goodstone Inn, where you and your own Bond can sleep in a converted stable room in the main house or rent a room in a family-sized stone farm house with a huge, open fireplace and its own mini wine cellar.