By Sunshine Flint
This story originally appeared in the March/April 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands, is a banker’s paradise (roughly 80 percent of all hedge funds are registered here), but it’s also a natural one. The island’s protected marine areas, coral reefs and national parks make it a haven for endangered species – from the blue iguana, to the Grand Cayman parrot – and heaven for snorkelers, scuba divers and hikers, who flock to the pristine waters and forest trails. For foodies, it’s one of the Caribbean’s culinary hot spots with a farm-to-table movement, international chefs and fusion cuisine.
The west side of the island buzzes with restaurants, museums and galleries, nightlife and shopping – from the capital George Town, to Camana Bay, a New Urbanist town just a few miles away on the North Sound (and home to the island’s only movie theater). Most of the island’s top resorts are found along Seven Mile Beach – with its golden sands and aquamarine waves, it’s one of the Caribbean’s loveliest beaches. The quieter eastern districts have a number of top diving and snorkeling spots.
Seven South, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Elegant and spacious, this 8,000 sq ft three-bedroom suite includes generous wraparound terraces and panoramic views of Seven Mile Beach and the ocean from nearly every spot, including the round bathtub. The cinema room has a projector screen, and the dining room seats 12, while private check-in and elevator ensure the most discreet arrival possible.
Presidential Suite, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa
This chic suite takes up the entire top floor of the resort (which is the tallest on the island) and offers guests sweeping views across Seven Mile Beach through its floor-to-ceiling windows. The Sputnik-inspired chandelier over the glass dining table and the waterfall sconces in the master bedroom add a note of mid-century grace, while the outdoor kitchen and accordion style patio doors facilitate alfresco dining and entertaining.
Governor’s Suite, Westin Grand Cayman
This pleasant plantation-style suite on the third floor is all about the outdoors, with a stunning 1,500 sq ft veranda that offers total privacy, enclosed by swaying palms and green trees. The widest section of Seven Mile Beach is just beyond, with the waves nearly close enough to touch.