The Westin on Seven Mile Beach is part way through a US$50 million renovation with substantial upgrades to the lobby, pool and guest rooms.
The hotel aims to have the first phase of the redevelopment completed by mid-December, ahead of what is expected to be the busiest high season on record.
Morty Valldejuli, manager of the resort which was bought by a U.S. investment group last year, said the hotel is seeking to refresh its look to keep pace with development on the Seven Mile strip.
“Between the Marriot, the Ritz and the Kimpton, we have almost brand-new hotels on the island. We need to do a better job to be more relevant than our competitors.”
The first phase will focus on the lobby and pool area. The second phase, starting in May, will include the renovation of all 343 rooms.
Mr. Valldejuli said the new-look Westin will take advantage of its location on the “best stretch of beach” in Cayman, offering sweeping views of the ocean as guests enter the renovated lobby.
He added, “We have new owners and they want to make sure they have a great product that they are proud of and that creates value for the investment.”
A temporary reception has been set up as work on the lobby area continues. The administrative offices overlooking the entrance have been taken out to create a new atrium, while an open, glass-walled entry space offers arriving guests immediate views of the ocean.
Mr. Valldejuli said the redesign, which also includes a new pool deck and swim-up bar and furnished patios leading to the beach for some ground-floor rooms, centers on maximizing the value of the location.
“It was all about taking advantage of having the best stretch of beach on Seven Mile. That’s something that nobody could buy, and we have really taken advantage of that,” he said.
He said the renovations are taking place alongside service improvements, including a beach-side concierge and the ability for guests on the beach to summon staff at the touch of a button.
“Anybody can renovate a hotel. If you don’t re-conceptualize, you become irrelevant,”
Despite the large investment in the property, he said, good service remains the most important factor in the hotel’s success.
“We put all of our efforts into service and having the right people. That is more important than the physical building.”