Here I am, toes in the sand, on Grand Cayman’s latest offering, Margaritaville. Can you picture me now? I’m writing nice and slow as this is coming to you directly from the boss of laid-back beats, Jimmy Buffet’s resort. I hopped on an easy flight From Miami. The 90 minute flight and a ten minute carbide gets me to the resort quickly enough to start searching for my…wait for it, nah, that one was way too easy. I am one of the first guests to enjoy this pre-opening experience and that gives me plenty of room to roam. All checked in, flip-flops on, I’m about to head over to one of the resort’s two large pools, since I’ve already hit the beach. With Margaritavilla being placed ideally between the south end of 7 Mile Beach and the capital George Town, I have options and not only of the aquatic kind:
From here I can head a few feet offshore and swim, snorkel or scuba in the island’s preciously blue waters, chill on the internationally renown waterfront, or take a 5 minute drive and hit the capital’s main street for some serious shopping, Cartier has a boutique in the heart of downtown, and there is no shortage of independent jewelers dealing in the tax-free sale of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Panerai. I think I can grab a few more margaritas with all the tax I save.
Conserving cash is fine, but when you get to the island, don’t even think about conserving calories or trying to cut back. Beyond shopping, Grand Cayman is becoming increasingly known as a food destination and in keeping with the island’s magnetism for the affluent, Sir Richard Branson has been spotted dining on the island with some regularity. Then there is the annual Cayman Cookout where the, albeit unwieldy, celebrity name Emeril Bourdain was born. I know, it isn’t as short and sweet as “Bennifer”, it nonetheless might just catch on, as both chefs have regularly made the festival in the past.
Since I am here when the food festival isn’t in town, “Deckers” Caribbean Inspired Grill will do the trick. Here I am on a Tuesday, luckily enough, because on Tuesday Saturday nights they put on their All You Can Eat Lobster for about $50 US. That gets me, well… all the lobster I can eat. In the unlikely event I burn out on “surf” later in the week I can get a similar All You Can Eat “turf” meal of from Duke’s Seafood and Rib Shack. If I don’t feel like using a knife and fork, the duck confit pizza at Le Vele will hit the spot. That’s enough about some of the local haunts. Since I am pre-grand opening here at the hotel. I know with certainty that all 285 guestrooms and six restaurants are going to be filled with foodies and fun-seekers alike. The fare of these six dining options ranges from chicken wings at the swim up bar named 5 O’ Clock Somewhere, to dry aged beef at Yara Steakhouse. Although I am full, my mouth is watering at the steakhouse option, but back to the business of vacationing. Where should I watch the sunset? So much decision-making, but Instead of heading up the beach a couple miles to a local bar, Calico Jack’s, I am going to watch it set right here at Margaritaville, then turning in for the night. I can do the bar scene another night, or maybe a super casual evening spent at Rackam’s. So many choices, I am glad I am here for a week.
Wish you were here,
P.S. I did find my lost shaker of salt.
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