In 2006, FTF’s annual Top 10 survey of award-winners honored The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Island as a Top Luxury Beach Resort. In 2006, FTF’s annual Top 10 survey of award-winners honored The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Island as a Top Luxury Beach Resort.
Whether a high-end vacation is a matter of course for you and your family or a treat reserved for a special occasion, our 9th annual awards focus on the latest travel segment to embrace young guests: the super luxe resort.
The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
Fans of Grand Cayman love the island for its clean, tranquil ambience, its highly visible marine life, and, above all, its pristine stretch of glorious, white sand beach. Operating on the assumption that location is half the battle, the new 365-room Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman makes points just for where it is — smack in the middle of Seven Mile Beach on some 144 acres of prime real estate. As befits any Ritz-Carlton property, however, the appeal doesn’t end there.
There are five toney restaurants, two of which are overseen by Eric Ripert, creator of Le Bernardin, the No.1 Zagat-rated eatery in Manhattan. Need some pampering? Select a treatment at La Prairie Spa, with 17 treatment rooms spread out over 20,000 square feet. Or snag a tee time at the nine-hole Blue Tip golf course, or work off lunch at the Nick Bollettieri tennis center.
Despite the many activities from which to choose, we selected this property in the beach category because — even as Caribbean beaches go — this one is a stand-out. Not only can guests of all ages swim in warm, calm turquoise water from the beach, but they can also hop aboard a boat for the 10-minute ride to Stingray City to snorkel with these beautiful marine animals while standing on a sandbar in several feet of water. Or travel the two miles or so to Boatswain’s Beach, where some 16,000 sea turtles — from the tiny to the 600-pound big ones — make their home.
Children receive the Ritz-Carlton brand of service plus a leg up on biology studies at the outstanding Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau AOTE children’s program. Thoughtful activities are divided by age group and range from visits to a traditional island cottage to guided nature walks and eco-excursions to such local areas as coral reefs and the mangroves. Kids can avoid the midday sun in the Ambassadors’ Lab, which is decked out with digital cameras and computers for their use and which features such green architectural elements as solar panels, edible landscaping and photovoltaic power. The AOTE Kids program, for children aged 4 to 7, and the AOTE Youth program for ages 8 to 18, offer morning, afternoon and evening sessions.
2010 rates for a family of four range from US$299 to US$399/N for a standard double room to US$1,250 to US$1,600/N for a suite including full kitchen depending on season. Through December 16, 2010, the website is offering family packages from $US 379 to US$779 per night. Check website for details.
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