A new beachfront “healing resort” featuring dome-shaped guest villas is planned for the old Mariners Cove site in Prospect, which was swept away during Hurricane Ivan.
The Central Planning Authority approved plans Wednesday from Kim and Ashleigh Lund to transform the derelict site into an original new tourist venture they are calling “Revive Resort.”
Concept drawings for the project show a series of dome-shaped buildings amid a heavily wooded landscape. Some of the domes feature grass-covered roofs, making them blend in with the natural surroundings.
According to Mrs. Lund, the resort will feature a spa, medical center, healing center and “wellness facilities,” including yoga and meditation. All the buildings, including 28 guest rooms, will be dome shaped.
Mrs. Lund said this was not simply an aesthetic decision, telling the planning authority that the buildings were designed to ensure an energy flow that aided healing.
After the meeting, she told the Cayman Compass that the project would be the first of its kind in the Caribbean and would offer a retreat-style environment for anyone seeking to unwind or heal in a spectacular natural environment.
She said it would be eco-themed with low energy use and a focus on “integrative medicine” and natural healing.
Other amenities planned include a bookshop, fair trade coffee bar and an organic food restaurant. Mrs. Lund said the site would also feature a bamboo forest buffer, shielding it from the sight and sound of passing motorists.
She said it would bring a new type of tourist to the Cayman Islands.
The unique style of the domes caused some concern among members of the planning board, with questions raised over whether it was in keeping with “Cayman style.”
In her written submission to the authority, Mrs. Lund said the design was based on “Vaastu” principles – an ancient eastern concept of architecture that seeks to use building styles and shapes to promote well-being.
“The structure of Vaastu domes vibrate in ‘harmonic resonance’ with the basic underlying cosmic energy structure of the universe, and the elegant simplicity of a dome can restore health, reduce stress and diminish pain,” she wrote in her submission to the Central Planning Authority.
Architect Andrew Gibb said the building design was part of the function of the resort.
He said the site layout was extremely low density compared with what was allowed at the location.
He said the buildings would not be visible from the road and commented that Cayman’s increasingly international society now supported numerous different types of architecture rather than any one discernible “Cayman style.”
The site has been derelict since the old Mariners Cove development was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Remnants of the old development, including two empty swimming pools and the foundations of some of the homes, are still clearly visible amid the Casuarina trees and Scaevola bushes that have grown in the past decade.
Addressing concerns about the suitability of the site for development, Central Planning Authority chairman A. L. Thompson said there was nothing wrong with the location, citing “shoddy construction” as the cause of the demise of the previous development.