There are too few luxury hotels and resorts that have playthings for all ages – even ski-in ski-out facilities, as at the lovely Montage Deer Valley, do not suit most toddlers. But look at this splash pool at the 365-room Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. It looked so enticing the gal wanted to put on her bikini and rush in, there and then. The features include a waterbutt-sized metal pail which fills up slowly until, suddenly, it overflows and the whole thing upends over whoever is below, shrieks and mirth and all that. Yes, with swimming as well (there are several pools as well as the ocean) and Greg Norman golf, and a basketball course, and Nick Bollettieri tennis, and an absolutely outstanding gym, with all-wall window, you can be very busy here.
That is exactly why the Silver Rain La Prairie Spa is such a delight. The floor and columns are ice-look glass, and the rooms are just as beautiful (designers Carl D’Aquino and Francine Monaco, who work as D’Aquino Monaco, did such a good job here that the hotel’s owners asked them to do all the bedrooms and suites, which are also soft colours, with overhead fans and French windows onto terraces or balconies).
The spa’s signature massage is a 90-minute Silver Rain special, which goes from exfoliation with warmed jasmine and sandalwood oil on to a cellular-energizing mask and finishes with a warming wrap.
The hotel is turning its ground floor meeting rooms into one big shopping mart – the whole island is duty-free, and the biggest concessionaire, Kirk Freeport, will be running this emporium, with every designer brand you can think of. Back in Grand Cayman’s capital, George Town, I looked at some of the historic sites, including the 1833 building that has served variously as courthouse, jail, post office and dance hall (it is now the national museum). Some buy Tortuga rum cakes, in seven flavours, as souvenirs from Grand Cayman but most shopping is seriously hang-round-your-neck or strap around your wrist.
I headed over to Kirk Freeport Plaza, right by the main pier, to see what this company is all about, and passed by Hublot and Tissot in favour of Breitling. There, at the dedicated Breitling counter, was Kiko Vieira. Based in Brazil, he and his father seem to have the Breitling concession for the Caribbean, at least. While friends were gazing at videos of the company’s historic Mustang and Super Constellation flying on screens behind him, Kiko showed me more and more fascinating Breitlings, so beautiful and so heavy I felt I was getting part of my day’s workout. And at that it was time to go back to the floating luxury hotel that is my temporary home, the gorgeous Silver Cloud.