A Resort on Cayman Brac
My magical Cayman Island encounter took place on the smaller island of Cayman Brac, which lies northeast of Grand Cayman. It boasts isolated white sand beaches and rugged, scenic cliffs that reveal nature at its finest. For serenity, you can do no better than Cayman Brac while on holiday, and it’s just a short flight from Grand Cayman.
I landed at the tiny airport in Cayman Brac and was whisked away to my island home of Le Soleil D’Or (www.lesoleildor.com). I fell in love with this place even more than I had expected to. Not only is your every whim catered to in this tiny boutique hotel, but the location is literally steps away from the Caribbean Ocean.
My room was large, and it felt as if I was staying in someone’s exquisite home. For dinner, just off my room, a small table was set on a patio that led to the pool with a delicious and healthy meal. The bathroom was oversized, and featured a bathtub that I couldn’t help but indulge in around midnight. Even though I was alone on this trip, I found romance in the sound of the ocean waves. The beauty of such a peaceful existence in this place was perfect for a meditative evening that was all about me.
Light and color combine perfectly at Le Soleil D’Or. The décor enhances and complements the 20-acre organic garden at the top of the hill above the property. You can tour the garden in the afternoon and learn all about what is being grown on Cayman Brac. As the folks at the property explained, it is a one-of-a-kind window into sustainable farming on the island. This little beachside resort is all about farm-to-table wellness, and it is an oasis you will not want to leave. I took one of my meals at Le Soleil D’Or’s Mango restaurant where I was overly-pampered with the fresh bounty from the garden. If you stay awhile you will also notice the menu changes regularly to keep guests constantly delighted at breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also take a cooking class and discover a gourmet side of you that you may not have known existed. The chef will teach you all about preparing a meal from the fresh bounty of the island, and you can even pick your own herbs and produce to use in the preparation. In this case, you really do know where your food comes from, and you can prepare it to your liking.
Beyond the Resort
Cayman Brac offers many additonal ways to spoil yourself in addition to discovering the gastronomy. From diving, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, biking, hiking, fishing, bird watching, caving, or just discovering the island’s natural pool and history, the island is a paradise ripe for exploration. I would have been happy just sitting by the Le Soleil D’Or pool contemplating life all day by myself, but the island folks with their smiles and their stories awaited as I took a four-hour tour to discover all that Cayman Brac has to offer.
After a few days and sufficiently relaxed, I took a small plane back to Grand Cayman to take a peek at the largest of the three Cayman Islands, and learn about the gastronomy awaited me there.
I suggest that for at least one meal, travelers head to the Brasserie. The farm-to-table atmosphere here will pull you in with the promise of a clean meal featuring ingredients gathered from the on-site garden. What the kitchen does not harvest directly from the restaurant garden is found locally as part of Cayman’s Farm-to-Table movement. The owners founded Brasserie in 1997 with the idea of creating the sort of restaurant they would love themselves.
I spent one morning at Camana Bay discovering “Slow Food Day” which gave me the chance to try food samplings from local purveyors and restaurateurs. For lunch I enjoyed a restaurant at Camana Bay called Mizu where I indulged in Asian fare. Signature dishes included Japanese spiced tuna, green curry salmon and Thai red snapper. Located on the water in this bustling Grand Cayman location, Mizu is laid back and offers lunch or dinner in an ambient atmosphere, before diners hit the beach for some afternoon or evening playtime.
Visitors might also want to consider taking part in the Flavor Tour at Camana Bay where guests are taken on a dining adventure. On the tour you learn about the local ingredients that are prepared Cayman style, and have the opportunity to end the evening with a taste of one of the 80 vintages at West Indies Wine Company.
While most visitors to the Caribbean think primarily of water sports, beaches, and bars, the Cayman Islands might just offer you one of the best meals you have ever experienced.
For more information visit www.caymanislands.com