Ritz to ‘put Cayman on the map’

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, under construction on Seven Mile Beach, will be the finest Ritz Carlton in the system, Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford was told on a visit to the site last week.

‘It will really put Cayman on the map as a high class destination,’ said Vice President and General Manager of Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman Jean Cohen.

Minister Clifford and Permanent Secretary Tim Hubbell visited the resort Wednesday afternoon where Ms Cohen and Resort Manager Marc Langevin gave them a tour of the luxury hotel as it nears completion.

Commenting that the extravagant resort will bring a whole new clientele to the island, she added that there is a huge pent up demand for the resort.

‘We’re opening fully occupied. We’ve had another year to book business, so for the first quarter of 2006 you can’t get a room,’ she said.

The resort is on schedule for opening in late fall of this year, said Ms Cohen.

Minister Clifford commented, ‘We’re very happy that the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is on schedule for late fall. This is a great opportunity for Caymanians and residents to be involved in a high end product and we’re very pleased with the progress to date and we will be happy to assist in any area we can.’

Minister Clifford added that he sees the resort as an anchor development for high end products in the Cayman Islands.

The resort, which spans 144 acres, stretching from Seven Mile Beach to the North Sound, will consist of 365 rooms and 69 condos in the first phase. It will employ more than 1,000 staff members and is currently in the process of recruiting.

Features of the resort include a Greg Norman designed golf course, tennis by Nick Bollettieri, two restaurants by Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, NYC, and luxury spa.

Along with these luxury amenities, the resort will also focus on environmentally friendly practices such as recycling. There will also be a special environmental programme for children, Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau, including a heritage house and a marine biology lab.

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