At one time or another you and your luxury clients may have encountered accommodations branded as “boutique” that don’t always measure up to the status that word implies. So, when you come across the genuine article, it’s worth taking a closer look. Grand Cayman’s Cotton Tree is one such noteworthy property.
On a recent visit, Luxury Travel Advisor stayed in Almond, one of four cottages in the property, which officially opened just a little more than a year ago. We loved the cozy-chic vibe of the cottage (think high ceilings and wide windows with views of the tropical gardens). Nice Touch: Almond is tucked away to the back of the resort and is just about 20 feet from the main swimming pool. It boasts a living room, full kitchen, a washer and dryer, a guest room with twin beds, and, of course, a master bedroom with a king-size bed, flat-screen TV and a bathroom that has a tub and open-wall shower. Note: The guest room also comes with a bathroom, but it just has a shower.
Hint: Don’t be fooled by the classic cottage look, as this place is sure to please your audiophile clients. There are speakers throughout the room, including two each in the ceilings of the living area, bedroom and guest room. The entertainment system placed under the living room TV comes with an iPod docking station and a Nintendo Wii.
Top Pick: The crème de la crème at this resort is Thatch cottage. Cotton Tree has three sea view cottages which accommodate four people and a garden view cottage that can accommodate six.
|Almond Cottage, with its high ceilings and wide windows, gives off a cozy-chic vibe.|
True to Caribbean form, the grounds are lush and very well maintained. There is an outdoor area for massages as well, or clients can request in-room treatments. The beach is just 10 feet from the resort, but luxury travel advisors should note that it is only good for sunbathing. A rocky floor makes swimming unsafe.
Note: While Cotton Tree does not have the space for large wedding receptions, it is able to accommodate those for 30 people or less. If you have some VIPs looking to tie the knot here, we suggest booking the entire resort. The property can be taken over for a maximum of three nights. VIP limousine transfers are also available upon request.
Plans for Expansion
Heather Lockington, owner of the resort, told us the property is already planning to expand. Lockington says she is looking to purchase the adjacent plots on either side of the resort for building some additional cottages. Although she didn’t give us an exact number of these new cottages in the works, she said these would include one-bedroom cottages. All the cottages at the property now have at least two bedrooms, making them more suitable for smaller families. The idea behind the expansion is to add some more couples-friendly rooms.
Note: Cotton Tree does not have a restaurant on property but is in walking distance of one of Grand Cayman’s best restaurants, Ristorante Pappagallo, which has entered into an agreement with the hotel to offer VIPs room service upon request. Tip: Tell guests to pay Ristorante Pappagallo a visit, even if they don’t need to, since the ambiance is one of a kind in Grand Cayman. Most tables face the window, with stunning views of the water. Tell them to dine here when it is not completely dark outside so they can appreciate the views. Recommend the New Zealand lamb chops with a cold, local Caybrew beer.
|Thatch Cottage has sleeping accommodations for six, including this master bedroom.|
Nice Touch: The resort has a Caribbean caboose, which is similar to a barbecue grill but constructed from local hardwoods. A Caymanian caboose is a wood-fire grill that relies on a layer of sand to protect its wooden base from burning. Just steps away from the beach, local chefs will be able to serve up fried fish, fritters wrapped in sea grape leaves, limeade made from local limes, and other Caymanian delicacies. Demonstrations will reveal the techniques used in caboose cooking so guests can give old-time Caymanian dishes a try at home.
For couples looking for a true Caribbean boutique, this resort gets our vote. We also think it is a great pitch for small families.
For spa arrangements, restaurant reservations and other requests, luxury travel advisors should contact owner Heather Lockington (hlockington@cay mancottontree.com; 345-943-0700).