But with his resort well established—at Christmas and Easter he fields more than 300 requests for Geejam’s five accommodations—Baker’s mission, as he now sees it, is to restore Port Antonio to its rightful place as a global magnet for other champagne socialists, posh punks, and aristo-artists hell-bent on having a good time.
Along with plans to open an additional eight villas in the next year or two, Baker recently reached an agreement to develop and manage several properties owned by Michael Lee-Chin, a Jamaican-Canadian billionaire with immense real estate holdings in and around Port Antonio that have been languishing in fallow, faded glory—including the Trident, a collection of seaside bungalows, and the area’s erstwhile crown jewel: the Castle.
Built in the 1980s by the eccentric hotelier and architect Earl Levy and later sold to Lee-Chin, the eight-bedroom estate on seven acres served as a vacation home for the likes of Johnny Depp and Kate Moss, Hannah and John F. Kennedy Jr., and various Habsburgs before falling into disrepair in the late nineties. Baker’s plan is to turn the Castle into the sort of no-expense-spared, world-class getaway that, in retrospect, it always seemed destined to be.
Equally important, in Baker’s estimation, is his partnership with Lee-Chin on the Blue Lagoon, which is a mere stone’s throw from the gorgeous Winnifred (aka Rasta) Beach, where locals swim, cook jerk chicken, and relax. “People have been trying to privatize this area for years,” Baker says—“which is exactly the wrong thing to do.” His vision for the Blue Lagoon and its nearby beach is perhaps the most ambitious of all: to keep it open to everybody and anybody, exactly as it is now, forever.
At the same time Baker is doubling down in Jamaica, he and Beaver are hatching a triumphal return to New York City, with plans to open a bar and restaurant there within a year. That might seem odd for a man who admits to originally “escaping” to Jamaica for “a kind of self-enforced chill-out.” Of course, that was before he decided to build what is shaping up to be a mini resort empire. “I’m kind of full-on, to be honest,” Baker says. “Now I go to New York to relax.”