An exclusive holiday resort is soon to open in West Bay.
The Cotton Tree, the brainchild of Heather Lockington, on Conch Point Road features four ‘Cayman-inspired beach cottages’ on the seashore.
One of the first guests at the resort, which officially opens next month, was Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and owner of Island Outpost, which has five boutique-style hotels in Jamaica and the Bahamas.
He was impressed by his stay, describing Cotton Tree as modern and adding: ‘The fixtures and fittings are faultless.’
Guests attended the windswept outdoor function on Thursday night where they were served some of Mr. Blackwell’s own branded rum.
Mr. Blackwell had come to Cayman to check out Cotton Tree, but while here signed a deal with Tortuga Rum to exclusively distribute Blackwell’s Rums of Jamaica in Cayman.
‘A lot of people from Cayman come to visit our properties in Jamaica, Jakes, Strawberry Hill and Geejam. I’m here to give a more general awareness of our properties. And on top of that, we made a surprise distribution deal for our rum with Tortuga,’ he said.
He explained that as he was driving past Tortuga, he stopped by to check out the rum and met Robert Hamaty for the first time. Within minutes, a deal was struck.
Mr. Blackwell is credited with introducing Bob Marley and reggae to a worldwide audience when he signed the Jamaican artist to Island Records in 1971. Irish rock band U2 were also signed to the label, as were Roxy Music, The Cranberries, Melissa Etheridge and Tom Waits.
Throughout the evening, the catchy strains of ‘My Boy Lollipop’ rang out from one of the cottages as a video biography of Mr. Blackwell played on the plasma screens inside. The song by Jamaican teen Millie Small was his first major hit.
Ms Lockington said she was delighted that guests had a chance to experience Cotton Tree prior to its opening in April.
The development was designed by the architect and interiors team at MJM, led by Michael and Joelle Meghoo.
According to Pilar Bush, the former Director of Tourism who now runs marketing company AtWater Consulting which represents the new resort, Cotton Tree marks the beginning of a new Caymanian hospitality brand.
‘Cotton Tree is not a hotel, rather an exclusive boutique resort made up of independent and exquisitely appointed vacation homes where guests can do as much or as little as they please.
‘The cottages are not for sale, they are available for short term rentals and guests can book one or all four cottages,’ she said.
The cottages are situated on two acres of oceanfront land near Barkers. Each cottage is about 1,600 square feet and has two bedrooms, two baths and a fully equipped kitchen.