Brac Reef owners to buy Cobalt Coast

The popular Cobalt Coast dive resort in Grand Cayman will be sold to JEM Holdings Ltd., the owner of two similar resorts on the Sister Islands. 

The company, which owns Reef Divers as well as the Little Cayman Beach Resort and the Cayman Brac Beach Resort, will complete the purchase on Dec. 1. 

Cobalt Coast owner Arie Barendrecht said he would stay on to assist the new owners until July next year, when he plans to retire. 

It was announced in September that Divetech was being replaced by Reef Divers as the dive operator at the resort. 

Mr. Barendrecht confirmed Wednesday that the entire business, including 20 guest rooms and a restaurant, was being sold to the Sister Islands-based business. 

“They were a good match because they offer the same type of resort experience,” he said. “I feel good about them coming in and continuing what we have built here.” 

Mr. Barendrecht, who opened the resort in the Boatswains Bay area of West Bay in 2000, said he would miss greeting his guests, but at the age of 71 it was “time to smell the roses.” 

He said he was confident that the new owners would continue his style of personal service. 

Mr. Barendrecht made a habit of welcoming every guest personally and carrying their bags to their room himself. 

“From brewing a fresh pot of coffee for early risers, to chatting with guests over lunch and dinner, and sharing stories at night by the bar, Mr. Barendrecht has been devoted to ensuring an exceptional guest experience,” according to press statement 

JEM Holdings, currently in the midst of an expansion of its dive resort on the Brac, now has a presence on all three islands. 

The statement continued, “JEM Holdings, Ltd. is the ideal successor to this treasured resort due to their expertise operating the finest diving resorts throughout the Cayman Islands. To deliver the best diving experience at all three resorts, each resort has partnered with Reef Divers, which is famed for its guided scuba diving boat trips and snorkeling excursions featuring concierge ‘valet diving’ service. JEM Holdings, Ltd. is proud to bring these outstanding island experiences to all of its international guests.” 

Cobalt Coast
Cobalt Coast dive resort in Grand Cayman will be sold to JEM Holdings Ltd. – Photo: Jewel Levy

Mr. Barendrecht

Mr. Barendrecht


  1. Having been a guest several times at Cobalt Coast before obtaining my own little piece of paradise I know first hand Ari’s hospitality. Ari, I wish to publicly thank you for treating me and all your guests as close personal friends. Cobalt Coast is a part of my life due to you and your wonderful staff. God Bless you.