Luxury Caribbean Getaways - Cotton Tree in Grand Cayman
Words by Juliet Austin, Photography by David Wolfe
As the gates glide apart on the two-acre Cotton Tree estate, the singular vision and brainchild of island girl, Heather Lockington, it is clear that what lies beyond the threshold is something unparalleled in the world of luxury. A rolling lawn bordered by lush foliage and trees bursting with blooms draws the eye down past four charming pastel-hued cottages, across the shimmering turquoise of the freshwater pool surrounded by cosy seating nooks ensconced in swathes of billowing white linen, through the dappled shadows of a Seagrape copse to the breathtaking vastness of the Caribbean Sea. As she greets me, Heather cradles her first guava; eyes gleaming like a proud parent.
“Each guest receives fresh flowers and fruit upon arrival, it’s just part of Caymanian hospitality,”
Opened in April 2009, Cotton Tree has the look and feel of a place that has come of age, blazing its own unique trail and offering guests an authentic experience grounded in place and time. Situated on 400 feet of beachfront – a protected sea turtle nesting zone – on the northernmost point of Grand Cayman’s West Bay, Cotton Tree offers a unique luxury lodging experience intended to make guests feel every bit at home in their dreamy Caribbean getaway – a concept that is key to the burgeoning success of this thoughtfully-designed boutique cottage hotel.
The first of its kind in the Cayman Islands, each spacious twobedroom, two-bathroom plantation-style cottage offers an authentic vacation experience with concierge services tailored to accommodate any need or desire. Sharing Heather’s passion for the project, Michael and Joelle Meghoo of MJM Design Studio devised an architectural scheme incorporating local heritage construction techniques such as the raising of the cottages off the ground, applying siding to give a traditional shiplap effect and topping the practical concrete slab roof with zinc to pay homage to the past.
“The cottages are the right scale for the area which creates a quaint feel and a definite sense of place… each property sits in its own space as if it has grown out of the existing natural vegetation,”
With interiors designed by Adriana Hoyos offering a cool fusion of Caribbean contemporary styles, décor melds sleek, fresh modern lines with traditional materials, resulting in properties that brim with personality.
“I wanted to bring the colours from outside inside,”
Heather explains. Using accent walls inspired by the colours of the sunset juxtaposed with ocean colours and neutrals in all main living areas, the feeling is that of understated luxury – an exotic haven, very much at one with life in the tropics.
Furniture in dark Brazilian hardwoods, natural seagrass and even crushed coconut shells combine with sparse use of chrome and glass to maintain the contemporary flair. Porcelain floor tiles from Spain and Italy create the natural effects of limestone and wood in living areas while bathrooms boast glass countertops and mosaic tiles from Walker Zanger in keeping with the simple, modern Caribbean ambience. A profusion of local artwork and framed archive photography anchors the design in place, giving a real ‘home-from-home’ feel. With fully stocked gourmet kitchens, guests can choose to cook in the privacy of their cottage or enjoy the services of the resort’s personal chef and sommelier.
“I wanted the cottages to feel luxurious, “states the owner, “but in a simple way.”
Visit Cotton Tree at www.caymancottontree.com or call (345) 943 0700 to find out more about this sumptuous Cayman hideout.
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