By Estella Shardlow
Fireworks, bubbly and party tunes – Cayman knows how to party and New Year’s Eve is no exception, with a score of exciting events happening across the island. From Michelin-starred dining to barefoot on the beach, there’s something for everyone. So where are you going to be when the clock strikes midnight?
Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa
The circus is coming to Seven Mile – a motley crew of illusionists, contortionists, steel drummers, fire-eaters and salsa dancers, which is sure to see out 2016 with a bang. Sample everything from street-style tacos to a barbecue carving station to cro-nuts at tasting stations, washed down with two welcome cocktails and an Auld Lang Syne champagne toast. Kids will have a blast at Camp Seafire, with plenty of games and a balloon magician.
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort
New Year’s Eve may be synonymous with excess and hedonism, but the Marriott gives it a fresh spin with an event themed around “Awakening.” Unique offerings include a lantern ceremony and intention setting, along with the de rigueur fireworks and bubbles. Guests choose their “path” with dinner either at Anchor & Den or on the beach. Tickets are priced at $160, which includes a complimentary Kids Club Pajama Party for families.
For a cheap-and-cheerful option, Barefoot Blacktie at Calico Jack’s is the place to let your hair down to tunes from DJs Tim Cullen, Lizzie Curious, Urusai and Matt Banx, while getting a brilliant view of the fireworks. Avoid waiting in line on the night by picking up advance tickets for $25 from the Epic Day Entertainment office at The Strand, all BlackBeard’s Liquors and Big Daddy’s Liquors stores and of course, Calico Jack’s bar or via the Connected Castaway app.
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Over in East End, Tukka is laying on a special menu – including a glass of bubbly – with your choice of dishes both classic (filet mignon, rum cake) and quirky (how about a crocodile fritter?) for a very reasonable $50. Party hats, decorations and a firework display all add to the party vibe.
There will be two stages at Palms this New Year’s Eve: Cayman’s top house DJs are spinning the decks in the pool area, while the beachfront stage will star Cayman’s best Top 40 DJs. General admission tickets cost $25, or $30 on the door, but for an extra special night you can upgrade to a “All you can drink” ticket for $85 with access to a VIP beach area. Or perhaps even splash out on a private cabana for $250. Guests can get the party started earlier at the Royal Palms New Year’s dinner, featuring a special three-course menu and a live band (seating at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m., $55 per person). Diners receive complimentary general admission tickets to the party.
The ever-popular firework spectacular at Camana Bay will light up the skies at 7 p.m. (handy for families with little ones) and again at midnight. Offering entertainment for all ages and a guest DJ, the event is free to attend – though of course how much you spend at those waterfront bars is up to you …
The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa
Live food action stations, unlimited Marquis De La Tour sparkling wine, Big Band tunes and live Caribbean music, all with your toes in the sand – that is what the Westin’s Beach Party promises, from 7 p.m.-1 a.m. (regular tickets are $150; with open bar, $195; children under 12, $25). Alternatively, see out the year in lavish style with the Beach House restaurant’s special seven-course dinner (meal only is $120; $160 with wine pairing), served 6-9:30 p.m. and accompanied by a complimentary glass of Taittinger Champagne.
Grand Old House
This historic South Sound venue is pulling out all the stops for its Dancing Under the Stars party, from 8 p.m. to “all night long.” Along with a gourmet al a carte menu, expect music from DJ Rion Kirk and spectacular fireworks.
The family friendly Surf Rock n’ Roll Party puts you in prime position to watch two fireworks displays over North Sound (arrive by 8:30 for the first), fueled by an unlimited luxury BBQ buffet. There’s music from local band Bona Fide and a live DJ until 2 a.m. Priced at $80, or $50 for children, including grats. Or you can go on a sophisticated culinary journey with Upstairs at Kaibo’s Vintage New Year’s Eve bash, savoring a six-course tasting menu or al a carte dishes on the balcony, overlooking the music and firework action.
Enjoy live entertainment from Barefoot Man and band followed by fireworks at midnight. You can tuck into the a la carte menu (dinner is served 5:30-11 p.m.) or toast the New Year with one of the Champagne specials.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
The Ritz-Carlton has a choice of two luxurious celebrations on Dec. 31. The New Year’s Eve Ball invites revelers to dine upon gastronomic delicacies in the Royal Ballroom from 7:30 p.m., before dancing through the night on Seven Mile Beach to the sounds of a live DJ and catching the midnight fireworks (adults are $350; children 6-12 years, $87; children 3-5 years, $50). New Year’s Eve at Blue by Eric Ripert, meanwhile, sees an exquisite seafood dinner served in the AAA Five Diamond restaurant, starting at 6 p.m. (adults with wine pairing, $500; adults without wine pairing, $350; children 6-12 years, $95).
Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman
Little Cayman residents and visitors can party on the pool deck of this popular resort with music, dancing and an epic buffet dinner all for $60 (including gratuity), kicking off at 8 p.m. Bringing extra sparkle to the affair, there’s a special theme of “A Touch of Bronze, Silver or Gold Vintage Shimmer” to salute the 2016 Olympics.