Grand Cayman: The Ideal Wellness Escape from Winter in Canada

From Insta-worthy beaches, local cuisine to underwater adventures, this Caribbean hotspot has everything you need for the perfect tropical getaway.

Grand Cayman — a 35 kilometre-long island floating in the Caribbean Sea, west of Jamaica — is best known for finance and the Tom Cruise classic The Firm. But it has so much more going on, like famous beaches, a foodie culture and natural wonders.

Stay here

Opened in 2016, the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa was the first resort to be built on Grand Cayman in a decade – and on the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach, no less. Spoiler alert: It was worth the wait. The property boasts an Insta-worthy pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea, modern yet cozy interiors that beg to be lounged in, and three diverse restaurants.

Rainy day?

Immerse yourself in the 8,500-square-foot spa, which offers everything from sea-inspired skin treatments to Swedish massage.

Sun’s out?

Relax oceanside in one of the resort’s comfy shade pods, snacking on fresh ceviche and plantain chips and sipping spicy margaritas from Coccoloba, its beachfront Mexican street food restaurant. Pro tip: It’s totally worth setting your alarm for the early-morning stand-up paddleboarding yoga class – one of the most Zen moments of my trip.

If you’re in search of a social scene, spend a night or two down Seven Mile Beach at The Westin Grand Cayman. The convivial atmosphere will have you roasting marshmallows on the beach, taking a SUP lesson and listening to live music every night at sunset – yes, it’s as dreamy as it sounds.

Adventure here

Hop on a luxury catamaran and take in the sights on this snorkelling tour. First stop: a clear view of the famous submarine wreck of the USS Kittiwake, a 251-foot vessel that you can gaze at while you snorkel. Next, you’ll check out some of Grand Cayman’s coral reef and all the creatures that call it home, like stingrays and yellowtail snapper. Don’t worry: The passionate, knowledgeable guides will tell you what to look out for.

(Psst: This Dutch Caribbean island is notoriously known for its dive spots.)

Shop here

The capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town is bursting with shops to explore and cruise ships taking port. While you’re there, check out the eclectic vegan eatery Bread & Chocolate. The island bowl, complete with spicy jerk tofu, seasonal greens, plantains and black beans with coconut sauce, is a local fave. Be warned: It brings the heat.

Lunch here

Eco-friendly and plant-based with a view? Sold. The cozy eatery Vivo makes island cuisine its own, with dishes like “calamari” (made with deep-fried local coconut), beetroot and avocado tartar and pad thai. There’s also a decadent avocado chocolate mousse, made with local avocados, dark chocolate and a drop of coffee, that is totally something to ’gram home about.

Dine here

Inspired by Mediterranean fare and featuring Caymanian ingredients, Ave is the epitome of a foodie haven. Start with the wahoo crudo with local wahoo, pickled Scotch bonnet peppers and whipped avocado before moving on to the squid ink fettuccine. Save room for one of the restaurant’s unique desserts, like coconut pudding or s’mores with graham cracker marshmallow gelato.

Next, check out the best Caribbean hotspots for active travel.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada