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Customer focus: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman


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Customer focus: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman


ince the first Ritz-Carlton was built in Boston in 1927, the hotel chain has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for offering the very best in comfort and indulgence, and the 144-acre Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman resort is certainly no exception to the rule. Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands and is famous for its white-sand Seven Mile beach and exquisite situation in crystal-clear seas. Located in the western Caribbean, 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica, it really is the perfect spot for visitors in search of somewhere rich in both beauty and tranquility. Since opening in 2005, the resort’s main aim has been to offer its guests a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience, complete with the range of services and amenities you would expect from an exclusive resort. The 365-room complex boasts five restaurants, a spa, a Greg Norman–designed golf course, a tennis center, two swimming pools and a variety of retail outlets and business facilities. Accommodation ranges from guestrooms to self-contained residential suites that afford the ideal combination of privacy with all the convenience of the hotel amenities. Club-level accommodations offer personal services that include a private Club concierge and full access to the RitzCarlton Club lounge. The resort lays claim to several firsts, one of which is the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant, which serves top-quality seafood. A Mediterraneanthemed water restaurant, café, steak restaurant, beachfront pool bar and sushi lounge are among the resort’s other dining and drinking establishments. Afternoon tea and Sunday champagne brunches take place throughout the year, and the Periwinkle restaurant hosts its nightly family movie screenings—including ones with an ecological theme on certain nights of the week—all against the backdrop of the resort’s meandering waterways. Another first is the Ritz-Carlton’s unique, championship-standard golf course that was designed, constructed and launched by Greg Norman Golf Course Design. Spread over 120 acres, the nine-hole, water-laced course offers a golf caddie concierge on hand at each stage of play to assist guests and was built with environmental sensitivity in mind. The resort has also teamed up with Nick Bollettieri, one-time tennis coach to Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi and Monica Seles, among others, to offer the first tennis instruction program of its kind in the Cayman Islands.


With three clay courts and a grass court—facilitating year-round play—instruction and specialty clinics are available to all guests. The courts also play host to The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Legends Championship every year. In addition to making the most of its snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, for which the Cayman Islands are rightly famous, the resort also offers a wide range of other water sports activities to tempt guests into the sea, including mangrove kayak adventures, sailing and complimentary use of rafts and water trikes. For those preferring to stay on dry land, Grand Cayman plays host to an array of parks, farms, reserves and


trails, which guests are encouraged to explore. But for all the activities available, the resort is careful to ensure an equal amount of attention is devoted to those seeking indulgence and relaxation. As such, it has invested $10 million in a 20,000-square-foot La Prairie spa—Silver Rain—where guests can be pampered in the 17 treatment rooms equipped with products by the famous Swiss beauty brand. A large communal area is also available, ideal either for quiet time or for hosting a gathering with friends. Further relaxation can be enjoyed at the hotel’s fitness center facilities, which include a whirlpool, sauna and steam room; alternatively, guests can head down to the hotel’s cabanas, which overlook

Customer focus: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile beach and offer shade and privacy in conjunction with stunning views. It will come as no surprise that quality of service is the top priority for Ritz-Carlton. Staff at the Grand Cayman resort total almost 1,000 and hail from 54 countries around the world. A 24-hour concierge team is on hand to attend to the every need of guests, including the arrangement of excursions, booking of travel reservations and organization of shopping services; meanwhile, twice-daily housekeeping also comes as standard. The resort has won a number of awards since it opened, including a place on the Condé Nast Traveler 2009 Gold List (Caribbean & Atlantic Islands); a Five Diamond Award from the American Automobile Association (AAA) for its Blue by Eric Ripert restaurant; and the Community Footprints Overall Property of the Year Award from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company itself, for the Grand Cayman resort’s efforts in community volunteering, fundraising and education. Engaging with the local community is a key priority here: there is a dedicated not-for-profit gallery on the resort selling the work of local artists, with the aim of helping them to make a full-time living from their work. Artwork rotates on a quarterly basis, and to encourage the maximum number of visitors, the gallery has no formal opening hours. The resort also has a unique program in place for youngsters, to teach them more about the local traditions and surrounding environment through a number of fully supervised eco-excursions. Set up by explorer and preservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society, the Ambassadors of the Environment program aims to educate young travelers

to the natural and cultural environment and introduces them to the precious coral reefs that surround the Cayman Islands. The range of activities includes night snorkeling and mangrove kayak adventures, as well as classroom and laboratory experiences and children’s party options. Team-building activities also take place on the resort’s outdoor climbing wall. Operating from the 2,700-square-foot Heritage House, home to a showcase of Caymanian culture, the Ambassadors also allows young visitors to explore the Ambassadors Lab, which features a number of attractions including a simulated coral reef, as well as housing a store of digital cameras, computers and multi-media equipment, facilitating an enhanced experience at all times. The versatility of the Grand Cayman resort’s facilities and amenities also enables it to play host to business functions, as well as any variety of social gathering. With a diverse range of indoor and outdoor locations including lawns, ballrooms and terraces, coordinators at the resort are able to offer packages for any style of occasion. A number of options have been designed to suit the varying desires of potential guests, including spa, romance, honeymoon, family and “give-back” getaway breaks. And of course, the exceptional natural beauty of Grand Cayman makes it the perfect choice for weddings. The resort caters to them accordingly, with a dedicated wedding advisor and a range of venue options and wedding packages. There are many luxury resorts across the globe; but The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman differentiates itself by offering a truly unique experience for each guest, ensuring that every need is catered to and accompanied by the very best in Caribbean hospitality.