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Cayman Islands UpdateMay 7, 2012 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
|The Cayman Motor Museum houses the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV series.|
The Cayman Islands has a tough act to follow. Last year saw the most stay-over arrivals, 309,091, for the destination in more than 10 years—a 7.2 percent increase over 2010. But with new attractions and flights—including new, twice-weekly Cayman Airways service from Dallas, June-September—plus innovative festivals and more, this Caribbean getaway is looking to stay hot all summer long.
In November, Cayman became the first destination to approve the national implementation of solar panel charging stations for electric vehicles. Clients will soon be able to rent the eco-friendly Wheego vehicles from select Cayman rental car companies. Over the next year, U-Go solar panel charging stations will be positioned in key locations across Grand Cayman for convenient access.
Governor’s Square will be the first of 12 locations in Grand Cayman to implement a solar panel charging station, expected to be fully operational by the end of the year. These stations, which were official established in April, generate electricity using pollution-free solar cells, thereby reducing the carbon emissions to zero.
Speaking of transportation, the new Cayman Motor Museum, a project 10 years in the making, has an impressive collection of cars and bikes, featuring 80 of the world’s most eye-catching and interesting automobiles dating back more than a century, including the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV series.
New Restaurants, Old Favorites
Recent developments at Camana Bay include KARoo, a new tapas restaurant and bar where cosmopolitan urbanism meets the charm of the Caribbean. Clients can enjoy a crisp designer cocktail paired with tapas as a snack, or create a journey with multiple small plates.
Blue Cilantro, the beautiful and highly anticipated upscale offering from Chef Shetty, recently opened as the latest restaurant along the Seven Mile strip. The cuisine is an infusion of French and Mediterranean, with a dash of Indian and Caribbean influences.
At Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach, the new Stingers Restaurant and Pool Bar serves Chef Anello Crescente’s authentic Italian pasta dishes and other savory fare.
But be sure not to ignore some of the islands’ old favorites. At Ristorante Pappagallo, most tables face the window, offering stunning views of the water. Tell clients to dine here when there is still some daylight so they can appreciate the views. Recommend the New Zealand lamb chops with a cold, local Caybrew beer.
Another extremely popular restaurant in Grand Cayman is the Calypso Grill, serving up all the local seafood dishes one would expect from the Caribbean. Like Pappagallo, it’s a bit expensive, so tell clients to expect to spend at least $60-$70 for a full meal of appetizers, entrees, a glass of wine and dessert. Crab cakes for appetizer, lobster and shrimp champagne for entree and crème brûlée for dessert are recommended.
The more casual Morgans Harbour Seafood Restaurant has an outdoor deck facing the water. We suggest the shrimp stir fry; the cheese, potato and bacon soup; and homemade bread pudding. All that and a few adult beverages will probably run your clients about $35-$40.
‘Sea Swim,’ ‘Summer Splash’
The 20th annual Flowers Sea Swim will take place on June 9. With more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, the chances have been increased to guarantee one-in-four random prize odds for finishers. Giveaways include BlackBerries, hotel stays and more than 40 roundtrip airline tickets to 20 premier destinations.
The annual Cayman Summer Splash promotion is back. Clients get a fifth night free including a $100 resort credit; enrollment for kids in the Cayman Sea School program; and a Caymankind Discount Card good for discounts on dining, transportation, and watersports and other fun island activities. Available for booking now through September 25, Cayman Summer Splash is valid at participating hotels, including Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort; The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; The Westin Casuarina and the Sunshine Suites Resort.