When you think of romance, does a candlelit dinner under a star-filled sky come to mind? Or do you imagine instead exploring an unfamiliar and fascinating destination with your partner? Are you most excited about trying a new activity together, or is lazing by the pool more your speed? However you define “romantic,” the Cayman Islands can cater to your vision. There are beaches where you can find solitude, and others where you can dance to live music. Here’s our itinerary which will lead you to romance, in all its forms, in the Cayman Islands.
A “blind” tasting menu enjoyed amid the gardens of the Brasserie restaurant is a culinary highlight of a visit to Grand Cayman, and one best shared with your partner.
Judy Perl, President of Judy Perl Worldwide Travel in New York City, is a 30-year travel industry veteran long noted for her expertise in luxury bespoke travel. Judy’s deep knowledge of the travel world from her own years at luxury cruise lines, paired with her dedication to providing personalized service, makes her well suited to curate a wide range of unique travel experiences.
Arrive in Grand Cayman
You’ll start your romantic escape in Grand Cayman, the largest of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands. For romance at the heart of the action, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is one of the island’s most spectacular and luxurious resorts with six restaurants, a world-class spa, and oceanfront suites. It’s right on Seven Mile Beach, which regularly makes lists of the world’s best beaches thanks to its cerulean blue waters, equally blue skies, and a long crescent of white sand. The beach is lined with a number of resorts and beach bars, so if you and your partner want to explore Grand Cayman’s dining and nightlife scenes, it’s an ideal base.
If you are more interested in finding a place to hide out, you may want to head up to Rum Point, at the northern tip of the island. It’s about 45 minutes from the airport and George Town, the islands’ capital, so you may want to pick up any essentials before you reach The Retreat at Rum Point, where you can stay in one of 23 condos. You’ll have your own tropical island getaway with a fully equipped kitchen, though this home comes with daily housekeeping too.
Start your first evening on Grand Cayman by taking in an unforgettable sunset—an ideal way to ease into life on the island. If you are at The Ritz-Carlton, head down to Bar Jack where you can order a signature piña colada, paired with some of their selection of tacos. If you are up in Rum Point, then you’ll want to order a Mudslide at the Rum Point Club Restaurant to enjoy with the sunset views there.
A Picnic for Two
Kirk’s, Hurley’s and Foster’s markets all sell an array of prepared foods and make-your-own salads to go, so you can pack a picnic and then make your way to one of the island’s many romantic spots. If you want to spend the day splashing the sea, Spotts Beach is a quiet option on the island’s south shore with a few cabanas that provide shade from the midday sun. If you’d rather wander among orchids and butterflies, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Gardens are a highlight of Grand Cayman. After exploring the Woodland Trail or the Heritage Garden, you can enjoy your lunch overlooking the three-acre lake, one of the few bodies of freshwater on the island.
After lunch, head to the Pedro St. James Historic Site, where you can experience some of the romance of the island’s past. The 18th-century plantation house—nicknamed “the Castle”—built on a site overlooking the sea has been meticulously restored and filled with period furniture. Stand on the wide verandahs and Grand Cayman’s colorful history comes to life. The site also includes seven acres of gardens planted with fruit and palm trees, cacti, and vegetables. It’s a lush and verdant oasis, as well as offering an education about daily life in centuries past.
If the previous night’s sunset left you wanting another, get to the Veranda at the Marriott Resort Grand Cayman before the sun dips below the sea. One of the island’s most romantic restaurants with a casual chic decor, the Veranda sits right on Seven Mile Beach. After the sunset spectacle is over, you can dine on signature dishes like the Cayman-style bouillabaisse and paella, made in seafood, veggie, and traditional versions.
After all the running around yesterday, we suggest you take it easy today and spend the morning sleeping in before some time at the beach.
Then in the afternoon, enjoy treatments at The Ritz-Carlton’s award-winning La Prairie spa. The long menu of choices includes Gentleman’s Facials, manicures, and pedicures, while facials for women incorporating gold and platinum and the signature caviar massage raise pampering to a new level of luxury. Serious spa goers will want to opt for the Spa Escape package, which last for 3.5 hours and includes a massage, a facial, and a manicure and pedicure. Note that The Ritz-Carlton’s spa is open to guests not staying at the hotel, and valet parking is included.
Once you are thoroughly relaxed and glowing, you’ll head to the Brasserie in George Town for your last dinner on Grand Cayman. This local favorite specializes in farm-to-table cuisine and there are few places where the food has such a short distance to travel before it reaches your plate—the restaurant grows many of its ingredients in the adjacent garden where you can dine as well. They say love is blind, and here you should throw caution to the wind, put your trust in the chef, and order the five-course “blind” tasting menu. You can be assured that every course will be delicious and the only surprises will be pleasant ones.
Days 4 and 5
While most of the Cayman Islands’ residents live on Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac is home to just over 2,000 people. If you dream of escaping with your partner to a destination where you’ll be alone with the sea and a sky—and some birds too; dozens of different species can be spotted there—then you’ll want to include this pristine gem of an island on your itinerary.
After the 30-minute flight from Grand Cayman, make your way to Le Soleil d’Or, where you’ll spend the next two nights at a beach cottage with its own private pool.
You can spend the next two days hiking the island’s interior, spotting some of the many bird species such as the Cayman parrot, or, for certified divers, exploring the island’s many dive sites and wrecks. Or you can instead spend your time here lying in a hammock by the sea. In some ways the best thing to do on Cayman Brac is nothing at all, and doing nothing is often best done with one you love.
You’ll leave this morning for your flight back to Grand Cayman, and then back home. You won’t have made it to the smallest island of the Cayman Islands, the appropriately named Little Cayman, but you can save that for your next anniversary or milestone, when you are ready for another romantic escape to these tropical islands.