Per gifting tradition, 10th anniversaries warrant diamonds, so it makes sense that The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman celebrated its decade in service by opening the crown jewel of hotel suites. Originally designed as residences, the top floor of the Seven Mile Beach resort’s south tower was launched this spring as four two-bedroom suites (each with a kitchen, terrace, and living room), leading to the three-bedroom Grand Cayman Penthouse, an 8,000-square-foot haven with wraparound porches, a screening room, a library, a chef’s kitchen, and more. The Penthouse can be booked separately or combined with the adjacent suites to create—at nearly 20,000 square feet and 11 total bedrooms—the largest suite in the Caribbean.
To craft the Penthouse (which is accessible via a private elevator), the resort asked some of its top clients and travel industry partners for their thoughts on what would make for “the ultimate luxury escape”—and then charged Atlanta-based design firm The Johnson Group with bringing that feedback to life. The resulting atmosphere is one of an upscale contemporary home, made with top-end materials like Gascogne blue limestone, Cipollino Cremo Tirreno marble, embossed leathers, hand-knotted silks, Bolivian rosewood floors, Gaggenau kitchen appliances, and rich velvets in colors inspired by the sand and ocean. Communal spaces dominate, from the 12-seat dining table and open kitchen (where hotel chefs and sommeliers can work their magic upon request) to the DVD-stocked cinema and extensive outdoor space with hot tubs, fire pits, and lounge seating. Water views are framed throughout (even from some of the rainfall showers and soaking tubs); for closer sea access, Penthouse guests enjoy a dedicated beach cabana, as well as other perks like complimentary airport transfers, minibars, a personal assistant, and preferred access to the resort’s facilities, including Eric Ripert’s lauded Blue restaurant. Grand Cayman Penthouse rates range from $15,000 to $25,000 per night. (ritzcarlton.com)