There are plenty of design-forward boutique hotels in the Caribbean. Few, if any, have the cool factor or Instagram cred of Palm Heights on the island of Grand Cayman. A bold claim, sure. However, it’s totally true. Perched on a private part of the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, the postcard-worthy environs inspire guests to unplug and lean into vacation mode. Turquoise waters lap sugar-white sand that’s dotted with shade-giving yellow parasols and loungers covered with matching striped towels. From above, the whole thing must look like a Gray Malin photo. It’s a toss-up whether to laze by the palm-lined pool that extends towards the waves or take a dip in picture-perfect piscine on the other side of the hedges. Besides the utterly idyllic setting, the chill atmosphere and abundance of leisure pursuits make Palm Heights a great place for a couples getaway or a relaxing trip with a few friends.
Interiors echo the breezy vibe of the outdoors. Full of ease yet exceptionally well curated, it’s a callback to the golden age of Caribbean glamor at its core but with a worldly, well-traveled sensibility that imbues spaces with global appeal. In the lounge, treasures uncovered at Parisian flea markets find a home alongside a checkered Sottsass rug, books covering a range of zeitgeisty topics, and an ivory piano. A series of Maurer Uchiwa wall lamps hang behind the reception desk.
As Grand Cayman’s first all-suite boutique hotel, Palm Heights promises guests spacious digs and scene-stealing ocean vistas. The aesthetic is mid-century meets modern minimalism with a tropical twist. So you get all the high-tech gadgetry that makes life easier (think: Apple TV with Netflix and WiFi speakers for screaming music), plus stone flooring, contemporary modular seating, wooden tables, wicker chairs, and hand-selected artwork. On-brand extras include fully stocked detox and retox bars. Bathrooms are appointed with Carrera marble, hand-fired tiles, heavenly-scented Costa Brazil toiletries, and plush robes. All the setups face the shimmering Caribbean Sea. Some even boast terraces with tubs surrounded by lush plants, so you can go from the beach to the bath without missing a beat.
After a night of blissful slumber, toss on some kaftan and float downstairs to Tillies for a life-giving green juice or avocado to cure the effects of having drank one too many rum punches the night before. Later in the day and well into the evening, glowy holiday goers wander in off the beach for West Indian favorites like conch fritters and local sprats escovitch. The Neapolitan-style pies from Paradise Pizza taste just as delish whether eaten on the plant-filled terrace or taken to go for a little picnic. Leisurely afternoons that protract past sunset are fueled by frozen daiquiris and backgammon on low-slung sofas on the sand or espresso martinis at the elegantly curved bar at the Coconut Club. While Yashinoki gives guests an excuse to debut some new effortlessly chic co-ord for sushi with a sea view.
Well-being is a big part of the ethos of Palm Heights. The hotel has a bit of a new-school holistic sanctuary thing going on with a soon-to-launch spa, in-room treatments like lymphatic drainage massages and Tata Harper hydrating facials, detoxifying infra-red sauna sessions, energy balancing rituals, psychic readings, sound healing, and active movement such as rooftop yoga and personal training. Outdoor recreation runs the gamut from jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling to outdoor ping pong. For those folks who want to explore beyond the blissful and oh-so-stylish bubble, the team will happily arrange off-site equestrian excursions, helicopter tours, trips to bioluminescence bay, and scuba diving adventures. The property also hosts wellness retreats, pop-up activations, and events and nurtures creative talent through an artist residency program.
Location: Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
The Vibe: Stylish, sun-soaked oasis on the prettiest stretch of sand and sea.
Food + Drink: Thanks to four fantastic F&B outlets with tons of veg-friendly offerings, the chances of going hungry or thirsty are slim to none. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Tillies introduces travelers to the tastes of the Greater Antilles through flavorful dishes made with local ingredients. Paradise Pizza fires up Neapolitan-style pizzas, flatbreads, and pasta, which guests devour alongside natural wines. Delivery and takeaway are also available for those who would rather eat on the beach or in the comfort of their suite. Yashinoki focuses on multi-course omakase menus. The Coconut Club is the dreamiest beach bar ever.
Amenities: four restaurants; two swimming pools; fitness center; personal training sessions; in-room treatments; watersports; beach; concept store; even spaces; spa ***opening soon
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: How could we possibly decide between the frond-framed pool and the seductively eclectic interior design?
5 Nearby Attractions: Stingray City, Cayman Crystal Caves, Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery, Cayman Turtle Centre, Smith’s Barcadere
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Palm Heights is not a place that inspires people to want to leave. Though, the off-site options are tempting with both Jessie’s Juice Bar Cafe and Ms. Piper’s Kitchen + Garden nearby.
Rooms: 52 ocean-view suites
Pricing: Rooms start at $459/night
Closest Airport: Owen Roberts International Airport
Other articles you may like: