I took a trip to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. What initially brought me to Grand Cayman, and the official reason for be being there in the first place, was an invitation by Kimpton Hotels to see their new location there, called the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa; just opened in November 2016. As I am starting up the travel agency, this was a perfect opportunity for a site visit. I have been a fan of Kimpton Hotels since my first stay at Hotel Allegro in Chicago, and I was more than happy to come down and try out their new location. I checked in on Monday, and checked out on Friday.
The staff there when I first arrived were very attentive, and helped as much as possible. I had a small kerfuffle where my credit cards would not initially allow me to check in, but they allowed me use of the lobby phone to call one of my banks to push through transaction. Keep in mind, this call was an international call to the United States.
After getting over the banking issues, the receptionist, Kelly, was very accommodating. She would chat with me as I was waiting for time to pass before I could use my credit card to check in, giving me tips of where to eat and what to see during my 4 day stay (not including my Friday, travel day). On top of that, when I was able to check in, she upgraded my room to an ocean view. I am so grateful that she did that, because the view was outstanding.
One of my favourite perks of going to a Kimpton hotel is the wine hour they host in the evening. It is a great time to meet with the staff of the hotel and other travellers. Here, I met another staff member who ended up a friend for a week: Sarah. She also gave me tips on where to eat and what to see. She is a Caymanian born and raised, so she knew her stuff.
The wine hour, and the café bar in the morning, another favourite perk of mine, took place in the hotel library. I got conflicting messages on whether it was a take-one-leave-one library, or if it was take-one-return-later library, but they had Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, so I had to borrow it. I had never been in a hotel with a library like that, and it made me so happy.
They also had a bike program: you get to check out a bike. The bikes themselves where “meh,” but I did not have to pay extra for them, and they got the job done. I utilised this perk heavily, and saw most of my trip by bike because of this program. It was my cardio for the week, and also sparked a conversation in Fidel Murphys (Irish Pub in George Town) with a Caymanian resident.
As with all (well, at least most if not all) Kimpton Hotels, there were restaurants specifically associated with the hotel. With Seafire, there was Ave – their principle restaurant, Coccoloba – their beachside bar (my personal favourite), and the Seafire Poolside bar – the bar that served and waited upon the poolside cabanas, and even more food avenues as well. It was through these avenues that I was able to try Cay Brew (local beer) and Seven Fathoms Rum (local rum), and Cuban rum.
As I mentioned in the paragraph above, they had poolside cabanas that faced the Caribbean Sea. These cabanas were set up with electricity, and came with a floor lamp and a ceiling fan. It was the perfect place to sit and read Treasure Island outside and listen to the sea hit the shore.
And, of course, the view on those seats were amazing.
Part of my invitation to Seafire included a spa excursion, so I would have a fool for not to have taken them up on the offer. The spa includes a quiet room to sit and enjoy the water and tea, massage rooms, a sauna, and a whirlpool. After spending all my Tuesday morning in the spa enjoying its tranquillity, I came back Thursday evening, just to enjoy it again.
Things they offered, but I was unable to participate in for one reason or another: a children’s nursery, a fully stocked fitness centre with ocean view, a shopping centre, business centres and conference rooms, and water activity rentals.
In addition to amenities to enjoy, the Seafire is very environmentally conscientious:
- the landscaping of the hotel grounds contains over 32,000 native plants that were grown in a local nursery
- seawater is desalinated and is used to water the plants
- rainwater is collected in a large on-site cistern
- electricity is solar power generated
- LED lights are used exclusively
- the lights are turtle friendly so that the turtles have a safe place to lay their eggs and the baby hatchlings can return to the sea safely
- the books in the library were purchased from the local humane society for better care and treatment of abandoned or ill-treated cats and dogs on Grand Cayman
As with all Kimpton hotels, I absolutely loved this hotel. It was a very peaceful place to stay, and a relaxing environment. This is a hotel I would recommend to anyone going to Grand Cayman. I actually loved it so much, that I am trying to get my board to approve of it as the location for the annual board meetings from now on.