Well Fed (and Burnt) at the Westin Grand Cayman
We often think that there is a perfect time for a beach getaway: during cold, ruthless, seemingly-endless winters that present no sign of hope. After my trip to the Westin Grand Cayman earlier this month, I realized that the perfect beach vacation can happen at anytime, even during the very start of summer, when our moods are already uplifted and ready for sun-fueled, blissful months ahead. A beach vacation is always deserved.
The Westin Grand Cayman, which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, sits on the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, known for its crystal clear, still waters and soft white sand. There is no shortage of incredible food, with six dining outlets on site, and activities for travelers and groups of all kinds. During our three night/four day visit, we were able to experience the wide range of cuisines offered at the resort, from traditional Caribbean flavors to Asian and Mediterranean inspired fare. I had a food belly the entire time and had absolutely zero qualms about it :)
The first day was spent familiarizing ourselves with the resort and relaxing in the sun before our welcome dinner. We were told that the Grand Cayman saw endless days of rain prior to our arrival so seeing sunshine abound made us all even more appreciative of the environment.
Our welcome dinner was prefaced with sunset drinks and bites that were so delicious, I basically ate my entire appetite in these cute mason jars filled with curried shrimp and pickled vegetables.
We then made our way to the resort’s Beach House restaurant, an elevated yet casual restaurant offering unparalleled views of Seven Mile Beach. We sat outside on the restaurant’s terrace surrounded by lush tropical plants, eager to try some of the best seafood the Caribbean has to offer.
The next morning, I woke up earlier than my alarm (I literally love 1-hour time differences for this exact reason) and dialed room service to nourish my body for the day ahead. Eggs, oatmeal and an americano is my go-to pretty much everywhere I go. I also opted for a superfood smoothie as well because I figured I could use that extra fuel for jet skiing!
While I probably come off as a huge adventure seeker, I’m actually also a huge scaredy cat of some of the smallest things… like jet skiing. I’ve never been on a jet ski in my life for my fear of flying right off or colliding into a boat or some other object in the ocean. When I saw that wave runners were on the itinerary, I made a point to get over my fear of ~water sports~.
The verdict: incredibly fun. So much fun that I didn’t want to get off?! We snorkeled in two different coral reefs on the opposite ends of Seven Mile Beach, our friendly wave runners being the perfect mode of transportation to get to and from each site.
After some leisurely down time, we headed to the beach for a beachside barbecue, featuring jerk grilled meats and vegetables, a salad bar and dessert bar.
Saturday was probably the most exciting day of the trip. We woke up bright and early for a breakfast boat ride to Stingray City, the Grand Cayman’s famous sandbar in the middle of the ocean where dozens of stingray abound. Tourists are able to freely interact and swim with these gentle stingrays passing by.
The catamaran ride to Stingray City was a mood in and of itself. Netted ropes were all that kept us from falling into the water. With the sound of the ocean roaring beneath us and the sun beaming down on us, we saw nothing but the horizon in sight with no idea when we’d reach our destination.
And then we rolled up to a shallow sandbar, turquoise water glistening with dark moving patches. Those are the stingrays. We have arrived.
Our guides took the initiative to approach the stingrays and hold them gently underwater so we could touch, pose with and kiss (yes!!) them.
After some time swimming with the stingrays, we made our way to a nearby coral reef for some snorkeling. This second site was absolutely stunning, with a great variety in both coral and fish.
After much time spent swimming and in the sun, we made our way back to the resort by setting sail. Drinks were poured and conversations were had as the boat slowly creeped back to the dock.
The trip’s final night came down to a picture-perfect toes in the sand dinner on the quiet end of the property’s beach, right in front of Beach House, the restaurant we dined at on the first night.
Chef Sandy Tuason prepared a multi-course dinner highlighting farm fresh produce and fresh caught seafood.
This meal was definitely the highlight of the trip. From South Asian flavors to Mediterranean to, of course, Caribbean, each dish exuding a completely different flavor profile than the previous or the next.
One last half day was all we had left of the beautiful resort. A light breakfast in the form of custom superfood smoothies poolside primed the epic Sunday brunch we enjoyed at Beach House a few hours later. Imagine every single cuisine you can think of eating for brunch… They had it. Pictured above was the gorgeous sushi spread we got to enjoy paired with bottomless glasses of Champagne. No better way of ending a blissful weekend with some incredible humans.
This trip was in partnership with The Westin Grand Cayman. Thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.