Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants provides the fire at its first-ever Caribbean resort on Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, but we think its Millennials who will bring the fuel needed to make this swanky, stylish resort truly ignite in the luxury market.
Travel Agent, along with 10 “30Under30” award-winning travel advisors, recently stayed at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which officially opened its doors in mid-November, marking the first new build hotel on the famed Seven Mile Beach in nearly a decade.
Set 24 feet above sea level, nearly every one of Seafire’s 266 guest rooms offers a private balcony. Seafire’s three freestanding beachside bungalows offer loft-like one- and two-bedroom layouts, enhanced amenities and exclusive views of the beach and ocean.
We stayed in room no. 526, an Oceanfront Spa Junior Suite. There are 40 of these rooms. The best part of this room was the balcony, where both full ocean front views and pool views are offered. And although the ocean and pool are beautiful during a sunny afternoon, we don’t think these views get any better than at night. The pool and everything surrounding it is lit up. And true to the name of the resort, there is a fire pit-like structure in front of the pool that provides even more blazing light. In fact, the pool gives off enough light at night that clients can still see the white caps of the ocean waves in the background, providing an equally beautiful and eerie view.
|Travel Agent's room at the new Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa // Photo by Joe Pike|
The best room here, however, is the Presidential Suite, which is located on the top floor and offers 4,700 square feet of space. The best part of this room is the wrap-around balcony, where guests can take in stunning views of Seven Mile Beach. There is also an outdoor kitchen here for private dining and separate indoor and outdoor living areas.
The stretch of beach the hotel is located on is also large enough so clients can spread around, unlike other Cayman hotels where guests may practically be on top of each other, fighting for space. Beach service is also provided here, offering everything from entrees to light snacks. For something hardy, we recommend the BBQ burger and, for light snacks, grabs the chips and guacamole. Whatever you order, make sure to wash it down with a cold Caybrew, a full-bodied premium lager and the Cayman Islands’ most popular local beer.
From its signature restaurant Ave to its casual beach bar Coccoloba, all three of Seafire’s restaurants are helmed by Executive Chef Massimo De Francesca. Foodies will especially love Avecita’s nine-seat chefs’ bar, serving an ever-changing, seasonally significant dining experience prepared around a wood-fired grill and plancha.
The bar to admire the sunset at, however, is Coccoloba. This bar is literally feet from the ocean, providing an up close view of the sunset. This place is crowded pretty much all day, but if you want any chance of grabbing a prime seat for the sunset, we suggest snagging one no later than 4:30 p.m. Millennials should note that this is where you will get the best Instagram-worthy picture of your stay.
Additionally, Seafire’s two pool bars serve up creative cocktails and light bites for open-air noshing. We preferred the Seafire Pool Bar, located directly behind Coccoloba and to the right of the pool. This was our favorite spot for a cocktail, mainly because of the service. The bar was helmed by bartenders Bob and Lindsey, who are both very conversational and knowledgable about the island. Think of them as behind-the-bar tour guides to an extent. This is where clients can grab a drink and, depending on where they sit, check out views of the beach and ocean or simply people watch at the pool. This bar stays open until about 7 p.m. depending on whether it is busy or not.
The resort’s amenities continue with the 8,500 square foot Spa at Seafire, which has seven treatment rooms with a full array of spa services. The spa also has a Turkish style Hammam, the only one of its kind in Grand Cayman.
Seafire’s 1,770 square foot, modern fitness center provides weekly group fitness classes. And, parents can truly relax thanks to Camp Seafire, the property’s interactive and well-planned programs for children ages 4 to 12.
But you don’t have to take our word for it that this place is a great fit for Caribbean-bound, Millennial clients. Here’s what some current and former 30Under30 award-winning advisors we traveled with thought of the property:
Ryan Doncsecz of VIP Vacations, Inc.
My favorite part about the property is the unique sleekness and warm colors in the room. The decor is very modern with a beautiful bathroom, but the pink, orange, and red hues throughout the room add a great local flair. The staff is also a dream – my last name is not an easy one, but everyone made it a point to learn it and remember it whenever they would see me throughout the trip. This is great for young parents with children for a safe destination that is also very hip.
Hannah Schremp of Go Girl Travel
I was pleasantly surprised by our accommodations for the week. I would say that the Kimpton Seafire is modern luxury. Perfect for a younger demographic, the affluent Millennial. Ideal if you like to stay active or want to just lay by the pool with a drink in your hand. I found myself obsessed with the room decor and took multiple pictures of the unique pieces found throughout. My phone is now full of random pictures of furniture and art.
Lindsey Epperly of Epperly Travel
The very first night, it was told to me that Kimpton did their hiring based on character, not necessarily hotel work experience. And this was so evident to me in the way that each and every staff member interacted with guests, from the friendliness of the bartender to the handwritten notes from the housekeeping staff.
Marisa Costa of NEXT, a program by Protravel International and the Tzell Travel Group
What I loved most about Kimpton Seafire is its five-star feel at a four-star price point. It is the perfect fit for the upscale Millennial client who seeks both luxury and value. To these clients, the best hotel isn't necessarily the most expensive, it's the one that provides the perfect experience/price ratio, which Seafire delivers.
Myste Wright of Protravel International
The new Kimpton Seafire is a stunning example of modern, approachable luxury. Flawless design showcases breathtaking ocean views, while brilliant pops of color and elements of the island’s heritage give true sense of place. From the fresh-faced staff to the on-the-sand dining, this hotel is a Millennial’s dream.
Paul Stroncek of WMPH Vacations/iCruise.com
The Kimpton Seafire exceeded expectations. Smiles from the doorman, and the front desk welcomed us from the moment we entered. Chic and modern classy red pillows, king bed, white sheets were elegant and comfortable. At night, the back-light bed post keeps its modern appeal. Also, Bluetooth speaker, and phone charging outlets near the bed are convenience times 10. The pool and beach cabanas were plentiful. The lobby’s pool table invited play, and symbolized the start of your vacation. The lobby library serves coffee, and invites guests to catch up on the day’s news.
Alyssa Scott of Protravel International
Kimpton Seafire felt 'beach house chic' with vibrant personality. In the library you’ll find family photos provided by locals on the island, which makes you feel at home. Take advantage of the grab-and-go food outlet, with plenty of outdoor seating on the property there is to have a spontaneous picnic. With its amenities and competitive price point, Kimpton Seafire is great for couples, group getaways and birthday celebrations. The island’s variety in gastronomy makes it a great foodie destination as well. With direct flights from major U.S. gateways, such as Miami and Atlanta, Grand Cayman is easily accessible for all U.S. residents.