Three years ago today, the doors opened at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, the first new hotel in Grand Cayman in more than a decade. In this short period of time, Seafire has joined the ranks of hotels rated best in the world, recently taking third place in Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for the Caribbean and voted 36 worldwide.
“We are delighted to celebrate our third anniversary with such positive recognition of our efforts,” said Steven Andre, general manager of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. “Three years is a benchmark in the life of a hotel as it’s the timeframe in which performance typically stabilises. At Kimpton Seafire, we have gone from strength to strength since opening, competing in the luxury segment and providing an exceptional guest experience.”
As Seafire was the first hotel opened by the Kimpton brand outside North America, Andre says he is especially happy with how the resort has been embraced by the Cayman community. “Like all Kimpton hotels, we aspire to be locally loved,” said Andre. “Local residents are an important part of our business at the restaurants and spa, and we frequently have staycation rates available. We are delighted that so many people choose Seafire to celebrate special occasions or spend time with their families and friends. Combined with social events and conferences, we have been privileged to host a large percentage of the community at one time or another.”
Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa officially opened on 15 November 2016. Developed by Dart, the 266-room resort on Seven Mile Beach pays tribute to Cayman’s natural and cultural heritage in many ways, from the art and artefacts found throughout the hotel to the use of native plants and trees throughout the property.
Three years also happens to be a significant milestone in landscape design, being the time it takes for plants to mature.
“We describe the growth pattern in the first three years as sleep, creep, and then leap,” said Dart’s senior manager landscape design and horticulture, Whit Connors. “If you look back at photos from the opening, you will see just how much Seafire’s natural environment has blossomed and grown.”
The Seafire resort, which includes The Residences at Seafire, is planted with over 32,000 plants and trees, the majority of which were propagated in Dart’s nursery. The use of native and indigenous plant material creates a distinctive sense of place and has become a hallmark of Dart developments.
“Caymanian trees and shrubs have design and environmental benefits as they are naturally more resilient, and because the buildings are set so far back from the beach, we could get creative, playing with topography and introducing secluded corners for guests’ privacy,” said Connors.
The economic, social and environmental impact Seafire has had in the past three years embodies Dart’s approach to sustainable development, which aims to create places that enrich lives today and for future generations. Dart’s growing hotel portfolio, which includes The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Comfort Suites and Le Soleil d’Or in Cayman Brac, demonstrates a continued commitment to the Cayman Islands as a destination.
“New hotels not only expand our tourism product, they are proven to raise the profile of the Cayman Islands,” said Mark VanDevelde, Dart’s chief executive officer. “Seafire is testament to the benefits of a successful hotel, not just to the visitor but to the economy and wider community as well. At Dart, we will continue to support Cayman’s tourism industry by investing in our hospitality portfolio, whether making upgrades to existing properties or exploring options for new development.”