When it comes to the good life, the Cayman Islands has much to offer. It starts with the scenery: stunning sunsets, clear blue waters, pristine beaches and tropical greenery provide a beautiful backdrop for enjoying toes-in-the-sand luxury living.
Adding to the mix is Grand Cayman’s cosmopolitan atmosphere that boasts top-rated resorts, restaurants and shopping, making it a prime year-round playground that attracts more than two million visitors from around the globe each year.
Grand Cayman is known for its world-class cuisine, and there is a surprising variety on this tiny isle that’s a mere dot in the Caribbean Sea. From Caribbean fusion and zesty Italian to enticing European and New World explorations, Grand Cayman’s dining landscape offers a delightful range of palate-pleasing options.
Add to that such major culinary events as the renowned Cayman Cookout that attracts the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert and it’s easy to see why it is known as the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”
And the dining scene just got better with the addition of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. The resort features three signature dining venues that Forbes magazine declared “cemented Cayman’s place as a Caribbean culinary capital.”
The restaurants include Coccoloba, a casual beachfront eatery inspired by Mexican street food; Ave, the main restaurant that marries local flavors with Mediterranean cuisine; and Avecita, its showpiece dining venue featuring a 12-seat chef’s counter built around a wood-fired grill. It focuses on Spanish tapas-style dishes.
Retail therapy is readily available in Grand Cayman. Downtown George Town offers an array of shopping – from luxury goods and high-end jewelry to T-shirts and souvenirs. Because Cayman is duty-free and has no sales tax, the savings can be significant. Luxury items such as watches, leather goods, crystal, china, diamonds, perfume and cameras can be found at prices much lower than the U.S. and elsewhere.
Camana Bay is another great shopping destination. It offers a mix of luxury retail shops featuring everything from designer apparel, beachwear, cosmetics and sunglasses to home décor, cookware, books and fine jewelry.
For authentic Cayman art, jewelry and crafts, check out Pure Art in South Sound. It features a treasure-trove of made-in-Cayman gifts and keepsakes.
Kirk Freeport and Island Companies carry a wide range of luxury goods such as watches, leather goods, crystal, china, diamonds and perfume, with locations throughout the island. Each carries top brand names from Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier to Hearts on Fire, Tacori and Waterford.
Balaclava in Governors Square is known for its unique creations and other exquisite jewelry from Europe including the new jewelry line “Simply Pure.” Magnum Jewelers in the The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Resort and on Cardinall Avenue is another notable fine watch and jewelry boutique. A highlight is its stunning collection of natural colored diamonds, which are rare and more valuable than traditional diamonds.
Cigar aficionados will welcome the debut of two new lounges – Club Havana in Caribbean Plaza and Stogies Lounge which is associated with and in the same building as Guy Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar Crudo.
The new location of Club Havana features a full cigar lounge and club with a separate ventilated smoking room. A balcony overlooks the plaza, and lunch is served during the day. There is a resident cigar roller, live music and all Cuban cigar brands are available.
Downstairs is a retail shop with everything Cuban – from cigars and rum to artwork and coffee.
Stogies features a well-ventilated chic spot to smoke a cigar, along with a full bar with more than 120 different kinds of rums, as well as fine cognacs and whiskies. It features a selection of popular Cuban brands and others.
The inventory of Grand Cayman’s cigar retailers tends to be heavy on Cuban cigars, given they are among the best in the world and they are extremely fresh, a benefit of the proximity of Cuba to the island.
You’ll find all the big Cuban brands: Cohiba, Montecristo, Romeo Y Julieta, Partagas, Punch, H. Upmann, Bolivar, Hoyo de Monterray, Ramon Allones, and many others.
Pampering is part of the grand experience on-island. Rejuvenate at the Hibiscus Spa at the Westin resort on Seven Mile Beach or indulge at la prairie spa at The Ritz-Carlton. From aromatherapy massage to signature facials to a ‘travel therapy’ treatment, la prairie offers a spa menu that will restore, replenish and rejuvenate.
The Hibiscus Spa is another soothing sanctuary with a varied menu of spa treatments designed to renew and refresh. Among the treatments is a 90-minute Couples Escape where you luxuriate in your private Jacuzzi for 30 minutes before enjoying an hour-long Swedish or aromatherapy massage together.
New on the scene is the spa at the Kimpton Seafire. The luxurious venue features seven treatment rooms offering a full array of soothing services: massage therapy, body treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures, and steam. There is a salon offering full hair and makeup services – ideal for weddings and special occasions.
A grand soaking tub outdoors comes complete with streaming natural light and botanical adornments.
So, for those who enjoy the finer things in life, Grand Cayman is a prime escape for five-star experiences.