When you’re ready to trade cold winters and long commutes for an idyllic stretch of sand, few island destinations satisfy the urge more completely than the Cayman Islands. Sunny and sophisticated, this tropical treasure is a far cry from the fictional island Herman Wouk conjured in his ’60s-era novel Don’t Stop The Carnival. His was an island of mix-ups and mishaps, where life ran, often hilariously, on “island time.” In the Cayman Islands, the clock is far more precise—but the vibrant hues, swaying palms, and sea breezes are as captivating as Wouk’s illusory Caribbean isle.
Not surprisingly, the Cayman Islands has turned many an island lover into a homeowner. And why not? “The Cayman Islands is one of the easiest places to reach in the Caribbean, with over 55 weekly nonstop flights from major cities in the U.S. and Canada. If you live in New York, you can be on Grand Cayman by lunch on Friday and home by bedtime on Sunday night—the perfect long weekend getaway with nonstop flights. And once you’re on the island, most resort-residential properties are no more than a 15-minute drive from the airport,” says Fleur Coleman, a sales specialist at Provenance Properties Cayman Islands.
Born and raised in Grand Cayman, Coleman delights in sharing her insider intel with Provenance Properties colleagues and would-be homeowners. The exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in the Cayman Islands, Provenance Properties markets luxury properties in some of the Cayman Islands’ most sought-after resort and residential communities, including the new Residences at Seafire, a stunning LEED© Silver-certified residential tower adjacent to the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa. Its 62 units, ranging from a 603-square-foot studio to a sprawling, five-bedroom penthouse with 3,883 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space, feature high-end fixtures and finishes, including custom kitchens with Miele and Sub-Zero appliances, marble counters, and exclusive access to The Nest, a private, owners-only rooftop terrace overlooking world-famous Seven Mile Beach.
The Cayman Islands is one of the easiest places to reach in the Caribbean…
Beyond the luxe condos that dot the crescent-shaped beach, Provenance Properties lists everything from private townhomes to lavish single-family compounds tucked within gated communities like Crystal Harbour and Canal Point. Most offer close proximity to Grand Cayman’s newly renovated and expanded international airport, which was officially unveiled by HRH Prince Charles in March 2019.
Easy access to and around the island, though, is only part of the appeal. Ease of home ownership and tax neutrality are two important lures. “There is no restriction on foreign ownership of land and no title insurance is required,” explains Jackie Doak, president of Business Development at Dart Real Estate, referencing the government’s statutory guarantee of title. In addition, alien landholding licenses are not required, and the Cayman Islands does not collect property tax (nor corporate, income, capital gains, inheritance or sales taxes).
Even more compelling is the island’s low crime/high culture way of life. A stable government, great healthcare, dependable power, and sophisticated communications mean vacation homeowners needn’t worry about losing access to life’s creature comforts. “Excellent infrastructure—modern roads and telecommunications, high-quality healthcare at local hospitals, well-appointed grocery stores, amazing restaurants and, of course, world-acclaimed Seven Mile Beach make the Cayman Islands a favorite for homeownership,” says Doak.
The presence of more than 130 nationalities engenders a sophisticated international vibe felt island wide. From sushi to steakhouse fare, local crafts to contemporary art, salsa to reggae—the Cayman Islands is a melting pot of cuisine, art and everyday culture that quickly turns first-time visitors into lifelong friends.
Called the “culinary capital of the Caribbean,” the Cayman Islands serves up a bounty of island-grown goodness. Callaloo, cassava, calabash, mangoes, plantains, and peppers find their way onto menus anchored by a seemingly endless supply of fresh fish and seafood, including conch, turtle, snapper and mahi-mahi. From fish shacks to five-star restaurants, it’s hard to imagine a meal that, in some way, isn’t sourced locally from a fisherman, farmer, or artisan purveyor. “Nothing beats a fresh seafood taco and a chilled margarita at Coccoloba whilst you have your toes in the sand, watching a spectacular sunset at Seven Mile Beach,” smiles Shanice Ebanks, a sales assistant at Provenance Properties.
A lifelong Caymanian, Ebanks happily reveals her favorite island events and experiences with visitors and aspiring residents. Among her must-dos are the Cayman Cookout, a foodie-friendly gathering hosted by celebrity chef Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, and KAABOO, a cultural mash-up featuring music, contemporary art, comedy, gourmet cuisine, craft cocktails, and more. “And, of course, Jessie’s Juice Bar—when it’s time for a kombucha and avocado toast to start your day—and Stingray City—to swim with the rays in their natural habitat.”
How to: Try Before You Buy
Owning a second home in the Cayman Islands is incredibly appealing but, let’s face it, it hardly falls into the category of “impulse purchase.” That’s why a “try before you buy” visit (or two!) is a great idea for prospective overseas buyers-turned-future homeowners. The expert team at Provenance Properties Cayman Islands coordinates seamless access to a handful of luxurious condo-style homes at The Residences at Seafire, a new 10-story, 62-unit residential tower adjacent to the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on world-famous Seven Mile Beach.
Ownership at The Residences at Seafire comes with plenty of advantages, including unfettered access to the exceptional facilities and amenities of an award-winning luxury resort. The first Kimpton property in the Caribbean, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa earned AAA’s Five Diamond rating in its first year of operation. Known for its “luxury without attitude” style, the resort offers guests and homeowners exceptional waterfront dining, indulgent spa services with names like Reef Deep and Ocean Calm, beachfront cabanas and watersports, and even a fully supervised children’s program.
The Residences at Seafire is particularly ideal for buyers who may occasionally require extra space for extended family (266 guest rooms and suites are just steps away) or for those who plan to take up residence only part-time. Owners wishing to rent their property when not in residence can take advantage of the professionally managed short-term rental program offered by Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, complete with a turnkey package featuring Restoration Hardware’s beach-chic furnishings.
An enthusiastic fan of residential-resort ownership, Ruth Gustafsson, sales executive at Provenance Properties Cayman Islands, recommends “purchasing a property that provides turnkey service, so you can truly enjoy a carefree ownership experience—concierge, property management, recreation, and food and beverage services on site. Time is precious at your vacation property—make the most of it!”
Photography provided by Provenance Properties Cayman Islands / Dart Real Estate