The 5 pm wine hour was in full swing by the time I made it down to the lobby. Fortunately, there was more than enough left for me to enjoy a relaxing sundowner. The legendary daily free wine hour is a perfect example of why Kimpton is a luxury boutique hotel brand that has always done things somewhat differently.
That said, this Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa is about as different as you can get, being the first purpose-built Kimpton property outside the USA. It proudly stands like a steel and glass sentinel guarding glorious sunsets at the northern end of Grand Cayman’s famed Seven Mile Beach.
The enormous glass lobby led out to a glorious Caribbean beach vista directly behind a palm-fringed pool area hugged by loungers and firepits. I was tempted to dive straight into some of the many amenities available to use on the resort (included in the daily resort rate); the standing paddleboard and water tricycle particularly caught my eye, as did the thought of a nap on a floating sea raft. But, of course, the important business of checking out my room took preference.
However, I needn’t have worried. This really was a sensational space. Ten floors up, the vast expanse of Seven-Mile Beach takes on an altogether different hue. Particularly when you’re gazing out of floor to ceiling glass from a pastel-toned ocean-fronted corner suite. The lounge/kitchenette wouldn’t be out of place in a contemporary home; a dining table seating six beneath an elegant chandelier, a state-of-the-art kitchen with digital oven and hob, dishwasher and a huge fridge. The lounge was dominated by a couch and chaise longue on one side and a giant flat-screen TV on the other.
The jaw-dropping continued into the bedroom where wrap-around floor to ceiling glass was discreetly shaded by elegant floor-length drapes that silently sweep shut at a press of a button. The triple-sheeted Frette linen-covered king bed was top and tailed between an end of bed chaise and a convenient work desk, while double doors led into a giant bathroom where a stand-alone bath took pride of place. His and hers sinks sat each side of the doors while a glass shower stall concealed a rainforest shower.
The grand finale for me was the wrap-around outside terrace, the sensational corner space showcasing unforgettable beach and sea views. Governer’s Creek with its fancy yacht marina on one side, the foaming Caribbean the other.
Back downstairs Ave, the main restaurant, is open for breakfast, dinner and Sunday brunch. The Spanish Mediterranean vibe enhanced by the sweeping outdoor terrace. However, come nightfall, Avecita opens up, tucked away in an exclusive corner, where Spanish tapas fine-dining is available to a discreet number of diners either on communal tables or a tasting menu on the ten-seat chef’s counter where the wood-fired oven is the culinary equivalent of a magic wand.
Sensing culinary magic I tried the chef’s counter five-course tasting menu (CI$72) plus wine pairing (CI$55) and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The standouts for me were scallop with green pea, ham, cumin and green apple and a delicious wagyu with bone marrow.
For the flip flops and beachside breezes brigade, Coccaloba’s rustic beach house offers lunch and dinner if you don’t mind getting sand on your feet; Camanian fare with more than a little Mexican influence. Guacamole, tacos and tequila anyone?
While Kimpton Seafire’s north end location provided a peaceful beach experience, I still wanted to see the lie of the local land so I took a bike and enjoyed a relaxing ride. Nearby North Sound Golf Club offered acres of green spaces to wander, while, in the opposite direction, West Bay Road ran along an undeveloped shoreline, a lonely fishing boat on the horizon my only companion.
As I rode back to the Kimpton, I spotted a yoga class struggling to maintain their balance on a floating raft. As I suspected, taking a nap on it was much more appealing. It was time to do just that.
Tell me more about the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
KImpton Seafire Resort and Spa, 60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, KY1-9008, Cayman Islands
T: 00 1 345 746 0000
Rooms from £332 per room based on a twin-share.
For full details on all the tours and restaurants on Grand Cayman please visit The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
British Airways flies from London to Grand Cayman for £649 return including taxes/fees/carrier charges.