The all-cottage Cotton Tree resort combines profound privacy and home-like luxuries to offer the ultimate Cayman escape. By, Lindsay Lambert
In 2009, native Caymanian Heather Lockington realized her lifelong dream of owning and operating a boutique hotel with the opening of Cotton Tree on Grand CaymanÂ’s West Bay.
The beachfront resort comprises just four pastel-colored cottages, each named for a type of tree that grows on its impeccable grounds. Each cottage boasts luxuries like spacious gourmet kitchens and spa-style bathrooms stocked with Elemis products.
In addition to earthly amenities, Cotton Tree offers a wealth of water activities. Guests can snorkel, kayak, or dive along Cotton TreeÂ’s shore or at Seven Mile Beach. A concierge staff can arrange horseback riding and boat charters, as well as activities like cooking classes and art lessons. For true R&R, guests can nap by the freshwater pool or enjoy a massage in an alfresco cabana.
To provide not only five-star amenities in a home-like setting but also upscale, authentic dining, Cotton Tree offers private chef services and partners with caterers MisÃ© en Place to create customized menus using fresh, local ingredients. An in-house sommelier expertly pairs wines to bring out the dishesÂ’ flavors. The perfect setting in which to enjoy Cotton TreeÂ’s culinary offerings is in the resortÂ’s beachfront pavilion, where the ocean, sun, and starsÂ—like the resort itselfÂ—provide a picturesque background. cayman cottontree.com.
Exploring Grand Cayman Three more must-stay resorts.
Turtle Nest Inn More affordable and less opulent than other resorts but widely beloved, Turtle Nest Inn offers apartment- and condo-style rooms with kitchens. Thanks to its location in the slightly more removed Bodden Town, guests can take in the propertyÂ’s offerings without feeling crowded. 345-947-8665, turtlenest inn.net. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman In terms of size and location, the Ritz-Carlton is everything that Cotton Tree is not. Its location on Seven Mile Beach places the hulking hotel right in the islandÂ’s commercial district, but its vibe is relaxed nonetheless. 345-943-9000, ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/grandcayman. Caribbean Club On Seven Mile Beach, Caribbean Club comprises 37 three-bedroom, three-bath, condo-style rooms with balconies. Caribbean Club offers provisions upon request, plus babysitting services. Other perks include a beachfront pool, cabanas, and a 24/7 concierge. 345-623-4500, caribclub.com.
Stingray city Swim with and feed the gentle giants amid coral reefs and tropical fish. stingraycitytrips.com. seven mile beach Rated among the CaribbeanÂ’s best beaches, Seven Mile Beach is home to popular restaurants and offers snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and diving. sevenmilebeachgrandcayman.com. george town Heart of the IslandsÂ’ finance industry and government, George Town is also a popular cruise port. Shop and dine on its main thoroughfare, The Paseo. caymanislands.ky. national gallery The National Gallery exhibits works by local and international artists and offers lectures, tours, and a workshop series. nationalgallery.org.ky.