DESTINATION: Grand Cayman
Fly off to the Caribbean for a weekend in paradise
If it’s set that the bachelorette party will be a long weekend in the Caribbean, but you can’t settle on which island, take our advice and jet off to the Cayman Islands. With direct flights on Cayman Airways and JetBlue (usually on Thursdays through Mondays) you can be on the beach within four hours of jetting off from JFK. As a British Territory the locals speak English so you won’t have a language barrier, but be aware that the Caymanian dollar is slightly more than the U.S. Dollar.
There are several beachfront properties you can book your stay at depending on what you prefer. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offers traditional hotel rooms, suites and condo beachfront rentals along with two huge pools, a bunch of fine-dining restaurants, gym and Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa. While lounging at the pool or on Seven Mile Beach be sure to enjoy the pool bar’s (Bar Jack) fish tacos for lunch with a piña colada or two. Afterwards, swim out to the ocean trampolines where you can lounge in the sun while wading just above the sea, or one of the quad-barstool setups that lets you float and toast.
If you’re looking for something a little more cozy, and larger for up to six friends to share, reserve a private villa at the Caribbean Club down the road, also on Seven Mile Beach. The three-bedroom villas come with a fully-equipped kitchen, large living/dining room, patio with dining table and three full bathrooms. With a supermarket across the street you can stock up on everything from bacon and eggs to fresh fruit, snacks and bubbly for the whole weekend!
As for the amenities, the beach is just as beautiful but more private and relaxed then some of the nearby hotels. The infinity pool looks out on the beach and ocean with plenty of room for sunbathing around it. There’s a gym on the top floor of the main building and the in-house restaurant, Luca, serves up lunch and dinner indoors or on a patio near the pool deck.
For activities beyond sunbathing and swimming, you can go shopping and dining at Camana Bay, snorkeling, sailing, diving and enjoy a slew of other watersports. For charters contact Ezona Aquatics. Captain Eddie, whose ship is named the Heavenly Hooker but don’t let that scare you, offers the best service and experiences including swimming with the stingrays in Stingray City, snorkeling, fishing, and even beach lunches with fresh caught fish or lobster depending on the season.
For fine dining and nightlife there are more than a few places to choose from. Sunshine Grill is the place for fish tacos – for lunch or dinner. Calypso Grill has outdoor seating over the water, and whatever you order for your main, surf or turf, save room for dessert and order their famous Sticky Toffee Pudding with enough forks for everyone to share. If you’re done with seafood, book a table at Ragazzi for Italian, or go a bit more formal at Luca its sister restaurant located at the Caribbean Club.
Now that we have the daytime activities covered, it’s time to plan your nights out on the town! Calico Jacks, located on the beach, has live bands on Fridays and DJs on Saturdays and is well-known for their riotous parties. For both dinner and drinks without having to change locations, take a water taxi to Upstairs at Kaibo for a delicious meal overlooking the ocean or on the beach. Before dinner, or after, enjoy the wide selection of rums and rum cocktails at their Rare Rum Bar. And a little closer to your hotel on Seven Mile Beach is the Royal Palms Beach Club, with a full-service restaurant and bar, and live music and dancing under the stars.
Before heading home, enjoy a relaxing Sunday brunch. Seven at The Ritz-Carlton goes all out with their champagne buffet-style brunch, which includes a caviar station, ceviche, raw seafood bar, Create-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar, traditional breakfast fare and more! They also have yummy mini-desserts. And no, you don’t have to be a guest there to make a reservation.
Just a few things to note before wrapping up this post: Pretty much everyone and everywhere from the cabbies to restaurants will accept U.S. cash so no need to get Caymanian Dollars before you fly out. Cabs aren’t that difficult to get along the main road and tourist sites, but keep your hotel’s main number on hand if you need them to call a car for you, wherever you may be on the island. You can island hop to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac via short flights to explore both land and sea for the day. And you will need to call your cell carrier for international usage before you leave home to avoid international charges. Keep your phone on airplane mode and only use Wi-Fi at hotels and restaurants to escape roaming and data fees.