May/June 2007  





“Silver Rain offers an extensive menu of facials, massages, body treatments, hydrotherapy, salon services, treatments for men, and day packages.”

 paradise of swaying palm trees and glorious white, sandy beaches just south of Cuba, Grand Cayman is world-famous for its spectacular scuba diving. In the turquoise blue Caribbean waters, you can see clearly at depths of over 100 feet, allowing certified divers to explore coral reefs and shipwrecks, but even surface paddlers can take in a rainbow of colorful tropical fish. In addition to its incredible natural beauty, this British Crown colony is also the world’s fifth largest financial center, well-known for its secure but discreet banks, as well as a handful of world-class shops in which to part with your savings.

For all of these reasons, Grand Cayman attracts plenty of well-heeled visitors, and its famous Seven Mile Beach, location for the Tom Cruise movie The Firm, boasts its fair share of luxury resorts, but the most luxurious is the $400 million, 144-acre Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, which opened in 2004. With so many amenities and features, it fairly dazzles, from the moment of welcome in the stately lobby to the well-appointed guestrooms to the stunning 20,000-square-foot Silver Rain La Prairie Spa, the first and only one in the Caribbean.

As I stepped into the spa’s crystalline entrance area where a river runs under the glass floor and water cascades down the glass walls, I felt as if I were entering a fairy tale. In this dream world, the sounds of rushing water, and the pristine silver and white décor make you feel as if you’ve stepped onto a cloud, a dramatic contrast to the sunny energy of the Caribbean outside. The attention to detail in this $10 million spa is meticulous--even the changing room was attractive and inviting, with designer hardware on the locker doors, comfortable seating and luxurious fluffy robes.

“The luxury of water is the unifying element in Silver Rain's merging of Swiss Brilliance with Caribbean sensuality,” explains Lynne Florio, President of La Prairie. “Silver Rain embodies the essence of luxury, married to the energies of water--from glittering ice-crystal sculptural elements, to the softly embracing raindrops of Silver Rain Therapies, every possible replenishment of moisture has been explored and glorified.”

silverrain-4I was escorted by a white-robed attendant to the second floor lounging area, appropriately known as Silver Haven, and invited to enjoy a hot or cold drink and sample the snacks and pastries provided by the resort’s talented chefs. Here the “silver” décor was carried out with plush silk and chenille carpet and oversize chaises. Strategically placed curtains allowed me to create a private cocoon, where I could look over the book that catalogued a huge library of CDs; from these I chose classical guitar music to accompany my treatment. I was early for my treatment—and glad of the extra time to bask in the luxury that surrounded me and browse the wonderful selection of reading material: books of poetry, historical essays, biographies, bestsellers and more.

All too soon esthetician Hefina Rees led me to one of the 17 treatment rooms (all with silver-leafed doors) for my 90-minute Silver Rain facial ($270). To describe this comprehensive treatment, which uses the high-tech La Prairie products, as simply a facial would be an understatement. My hands and feet were skillfully massaged, treated with oil, then wrapped and heated to soothe and soften. My face was thoroughly cleansed; the cleansing included extractions, which, to me, are a necessary part of a good facial. Dual masks were applied--one to energize and one to lift and firm my skin. Meanwhile, a sensuous head massage almost put me to sleep. Later, delicate raindrops of pure essential oils—bergamot, jasmine and sandalwood—were drizzled onto my face and chest, then gently massaged into my skin, providing aromatherapy that brightened my spirits as the products illuminated my skin. When my 90 minutes were over, I was truly reluctant to leave. As I was not staying at the resort, I returned to the lounge area to prolong the feeling of well-being, to sample more snacks and browse more of the great reading material.

silverrain-5Silver Rain offers an extensive menu of facials, massages, body treatments, hydrotherapy, salon services, treatments for men, and day packages. The hydrotherapy rooms are behind a wall of etched glass, where the healing power of water is experienced as softly falling rain, as a massage in a tub with 210 jets, as a soak in magnolia water afloat with Cayman orchids—and more. The aptly named Sea of Tranquility (90 minutes, $260) a warm seaweed mask wraps your body in vitamins and minerals while pearls of Skin Caviar renew your face. Then, a Vichy shower flows from above like a gentle rain while a therapist uses sea sponges to leave you glowing.

For those who feel like they never want to leave this dream world (as I did), the three and a half hour Escape to Paradise ($395) includes a one-hour Swedish massage, a one-hour facial, a pedicure, and a manicure.

The resort has five restaurants, two by the renowned Michelin-starred Eric Ripert of New York’s Le Bernardin. The tennis center was designed by Nick Bollettieri and the golf course, by Greg Norman. For parents or grandparents traveling with children, there is a children’s program called Ambassadors of the Environment, developed by renowned explorer and preservationist, Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau).

Various packages are offered at the Ritz-Carlton at different times of the year; through June 28th,  the Reconnect package starts at $499 and includes breakfast daily at the oceanfront Café 7 and a $100 credit that can be used at the spa or any of the resort’s other facilities. During the summer, the Reconnect package is as low as $349 a night for a garden view room, but during the high season climbs to $1,049 for premium oceanfront accommodations.


Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

800-241-3333 (from the US/CAN)




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