For those in the know, the Cayman Islands are three of the greatest treasures to be found in the Caribbean Sea. Their positioning; south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, puts them conveniently off the beaten track resulting in a haven of peace and tranquillity for travellers in search of a more refined experience.
The largest of the Islands is Grand Cayman where clusters of sophisticated hotels occupy Seven Mile Beach, one of the longest stretches of beach in the Caribbean. Amongst the most impressive hotels is The Ritz Carlton which luxuriates over 144 acres expanding from the North Sound to the Caribbean Sea and it’s La Prairie spa is a perfect place to take refuge for the travel-weary hedonist. Silver Rain is located over 20,000 feet and from the opulent entrance; a crystal grotto with water cascading down the walls and underneath the glass floor, to the pure white sanctuary of the lounge where you wait in an impossibly soft dressing gown for your treatment, each detail has been designed to make your experience more comfortable. The therapists are highly qualified and whatever you choose from the comprehensive Treatment List you’ll walk away feeling renewed and ready for the next pleasure.
There is an abundance of sophisticated restaurants to choose from but one of the newest to open is Osetra Bay. This open air restaurant resides on the waterfront at Morgan’s Harbour and is accessible by either boat or car depending on your mood. Decking, white voile drapes fluttering in the welcome breeze and candlelight set the tone whilst the friendly and attentive staff ensures your experience is flawless. Chef Jon’s seasonal menu has a focus on local ingredients and although there are many cultural influences each dish has a Caribbean flair. It goes without saying that the champagne and caviar are staples here and make a suitably decadent start to your meal.
Choosing a hotel is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face when it comes to staying on The Cayman Islands as you’re simply spoilt for choice. There’s the opulent luxury of The Ritz Carlton, the graceful bohemian style of The Southern Cross Club or the privacy and peace of a private villa. The Caribbean Club is one of the most exclusive hotels on Grand Cayman and the huge three bedroom suites overlooking the azure sea and Seven Mile Beach are a welcome home away from home. Most of the apartments have wrap around balconies, grand living areas and kitchens which can be fully stocked at your request. The interior design is a skilled balance of modern and traditional; iPod docks and plasma screens blend in perfectly with the wooden furniture and Italian marble touches. The hotel’s infinity pool is a refreshing alternative to the sea and the restaurant Luca serves dangerously delicious Italian food.
The Cayman Islands’ glamour and understated elegance make them the Caribbean islands of choice for discerning travellers. Let’s hope word doesn’t get out.
This article was written by Thea Darricotte from Conde Nast Travellers.