When she heard that the airport was to be closed back in March, Juliet Cumber-Forget, Managing Director/Owner at Cayman Villas, said it was a huge effort to get all visitors off island is a short space of time.
“We then cleaned all our properties from top to bottom and shut them up securely, switching off water and closing shutters, as if a hurricane was coming,” she advised.
Prior to lockdown, Juliet said Cayman Villas managed 90 vacation villas and condominiums across the Cayman Islands for short term rentals. Since lockdown, a few owners have pulled their properties from the vacation-letting service and they are now down to 82 properties, with one further property soon coming on board.
“A handful of owners have pulled out because they want to rent their property long-term instead,” Juliet said.
Since the lockdown, Juliet estimated they had refunded approximately $1.5 million to clients who were unable to come to Cayman, with around 40 per cent of clients retaining their booking for when the airport opens again.
“We’ve basically refunded all deposits up to the 31st August of this year,” Juliet advised. “As a result, we are focusing on promoting staycations for local residents as a way of keeping at least some income for our owners.”
Cayman Villas offers a wide range of properties across Grand Cayman, from beachfront properties on Seven Mile Beach all the way up to Cayman Kai, so residents can plan a “getaway” from home that will serve as a welcome break from lockdown.
“We are currently offering discounts of 30 per cent on our properties and local residents also do not have to pay the Government Tax, so this provides great opportunities for a vacation,” Juliet said, adding that some owners were open to further negotiation on price, on a case-by-case basis.
Properties generally require a minimum stay of between three and five nights, as it takes manpower to get the properties up and running and then shut up again, Juliet stated.
With the 4th July long weekend and summer holidays looming at the end of June, Juliet said now was a great time to consider taking the family “away” for a holiday, giving everyone a much-needed change of scenery.
“In addition, we have people looking for somewhere to rent when they have become displaced. Maybe they are between leases, moving house or have been staying with friends and are looking for somewhere to rent short-term,” Juliet said.
Juliet encouraged anyone looking for a short break to visit their website: www.caymanvillas.com