By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, Caribbean Journal
As its November opening date draws near, Grand Cayman is buzzing about Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the island’s first new major resort in 11 years. And from CJ’s sneak peek this week, it appears that the northernmost hotel on famed Seven Mile Beach will be ready for its much-anticipated debut.
When we visited staff had just arrived to begin four weeks of resort training, eager and excited to be part of the high-rise hotel that’s been two years in the making. And although scores of construction workers were still completing the resort’s restaurants, poolscape, and other public areas when we toured the property with general manager Steven Andre, he seemed confident that Seafire will, indeed, open by Nov. 15.
“Our goal is to incorporate Kimpton’s culture of fun, surprise and delight with the local Caymanian culture and the warmth of the people,” said Andre, who has been on island for the past year.
The 10-story Seafire, which will be the highest resort on Grand Cayman, has an inventory of 266 rooms and suites, including a trio of two-, three-, and four-bedroom ocean-view bungalows, and a 4,000-square-foot, two-bedroom penthouse Presidential Suite. Other amenities include three restaurants, two pools, and the Camp Seafire kids’ club.
Kimpton’s 10th new resort this year will also have an 8,500-square-foot spa and be one of only a handful in the Caribbean to include a hammam (the traditional Turkish bath), with a custom mosaic tile pattern laid by a crew flown in specially from Turkey.
The hotel features art from local talent, including Kaitlyn Elphinstone, whose wrapped seed pods and sea fan art are displayed in the penthouse suite and in the spa; and Kem Jackson, whose traditional Caymanian cat boat Miss Ola, enjoys pride of place in the lobby.
“We’re taking what Kimpton does well and what Caymanians do well, and trying to create something really special for the island, said Andre. “From the design that incorporates Cayman references, to the Caymanian staff who’ll deliver a professional, personalized and authentic experience at each step of the journey, this will be something really special. It’s important that people enjoy the resort, but it’s really important that people enjoy the island.”