By Christoper Tobutt
We know that dreams don’t always come true, but when they do, we can all share in the joy of whoever’s dream it is. On Saturday 1 February, after many years and many struggles, Lynn M. Bodden’s dream of owning a very special and unique Cayman-style bed and breakfast finally came true, and many friends came to share in her joy.
“This is me; this is my dream and my vision,” Ms Bodden said, as she pointed to The Cottages, a ten-room boutique bed and breakfast which opens right onto the natural unspoiled beauty of an East End beach. “When tourists come to the island they don’t always get the opportunity to experience something very local; something Caymanian, and it’s always been my vision and my dream, because I feel that we’ve lost our Caribbean and Caymanian culture, and that’s something I’ve wanted to bring back.
“Danny Owens is my architect. He designed it. We sat down and I told him my vision I wanted the old Caymanian architecture with the gingerbread look; the colonial house style back from when we were first settled,” she explained. “My parents have been involved in tourism in the Cayman Islands as far back as I remember. I remember being a little girl, diving for conchs in Stingray City. I think tourism is in my blood.”
The Cottages feel old-world, but fresh and vibrant too. Outside the colours and look are traditional. Inside there are cozy, Cayman cottage-style rooms, with charming paintings on the walls. There’s a feeling of being more a home than a room, just as if you were to go back in time and someone from the old days had invited you to spend some time with them in their beach home. But they are modern, too, and each is equipped with a nice kitchenette, so that old and new blend together: they best of both worlds.
Ms Bodden believes that when her guests stay at The Cottages, they should be experiencing real old-fashioned Caymanian hospitality, courtesy and warmth. “I hope that when people come here they get a true Caymanian experience. We provide a very personal service from the minute they arrive they are going to get a guest book, and get a Caymanian fruit punch, and come back and get a gift, too,” she said.
MLA David White said that he was there on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell: “At a time when tourism for the Cayman Islands is excelling and reaching new heights for visitor arrivals, it is refreshing to see the addition of The Cottages to the inventory that we can offer our guests,” he said. “The addition of the Cottages broadens the base of the accommodation types that the Cayman Islands offers returning guests, who seek a superior-quality experience in travel. Built with the Caymanian culture as a foundation I am sure that the experience will deliver excellence.”
One of Ms. Bodden’s many friends and well-wishers, Natalie Ugland was thrilled with the feeling she had from being inside the rooms: “When you walk into this room, right now, it feels amazing and I have goose bumps. This is Cayman and it’s gorgeous. There’s no words to describe it. It’s perfect, and it reflect Lynn,” she said.