Cotton Tree hotel to close

‘Time to move on’ for boutique hotel

The Cotton Tree, one of Cayman’s few boutique hotels, will close its doors at the end of the month. 

The Caymanian-owned and operated hotel, comprising four seaside cottages on Conch Point Road in West Bay, opened to great acclaim in 2008. 

Owner Heather Lockington said the hotel was doing well and continued to get rave reviews from customers, but she said she was closing because it is “time to move on.” 

“I am happy I was able to create such a beautiful gem that people have so enjoyed, such a great accomplishment, and I’m so very proud being a Caymanian owner of such a wonderful true Caymanian hospitality business,” she said. 

“However, it’s now time to move on and [I’m] looking forward to another exciting venture in the future.” 

For sale  

The hotel is taking bookings through to April 30. It has been listed for sale by Savills real estate agents, with an asking price of US$5.7 million. 

Ms. Lockington said it is being sold as a private residence or estate rather than as a hotel. She said the Cotton Tree business and brand are not for sale. A listing for the property on Savills’s website states, “The property would make an excellent multi-family holiday getaway or personal estate.”  

The hotel, near Barkers Beach, was designed by the architect and interiors team at MJM, led by Michael and Joelle Meghoo.  

Ms. Lockington, who ran the business with her sister and a small team of Caymanian employees, said she was touched by the comments and testimonials from guests since announcing the hotel would close. 

Rated as a top hotel  

The property was recognized as one of the Caribbean’s top hotels by travel review website TripAdvisor in its 2014 awards. Ms. Lockington said the hotel was built from scratch on family land. She said she had seen similar, small boutique-style hotels in other parts of the Caribbean but not in Cayman. 

“We created a wonderful place that touched a lot of people and we are proud of that,” she added. 

Staff at the Cotton Tree pose at one of the boutique hotel’s cottages.


  1. Wonderful looking place, me and the wife considered staying there for our anniversary a few years back but we could never even get through the front gate for a tour. We made three appointments and were told each time when we got there that they could not not show us the place because they had celebrity guests.

  2. What a shame. It is truly a stunning property and the reviews have always been amazing. I know that running a business like this is hard work but she could always find a young hotel manager to manage it for her.

  3. In some industries, when staff leave, the organization conducts an ”exit interview” which can highlight problems, issues and opportunities.

    I would hope someone from the tourism department would take the time to do the same – sit down with Ms. Lockington and see if there are things which need addressing in terms of government strategy and policy.

    The root cause here is likely that the voice of the small business does not receive the same attention as those of the multinational brands. The global players can afford to address a minister with a pack of lawyers present, and thrash out a set of concessions which compensate for some of the quirks that arise from doing business here.

    What is often missed is to subsequently review those concessions and see if it is appropriate to apply them to the entire industry sector, both to ensure a level playing field for all and to prevent loss of diversity if smaller operators like the Cotton Tree close – While Cayman needs the larger players like the Ritz, Marriott and the new Kimpton, it should not be at the expense and exclusion of all others. Indeed the value of government assistance for the smaller players should arguably be higher per visitor, per night, than for the multinationals?