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in Good Eats, Tiny Nomads, Travel, Wellness

How to Island Hop With Kids

  • April 11, 2018
  • By naima
  • 0 Comments

From Manhattan to Cayman

After years of traveling, we needed to hit the recharge button with a bonafide vacation. Aaron is not generally our ‘booking’ person, but he took the reigns on this one. Let’s just say that he must have been holding out on us, because he crushed this trip to the Cayman Islands. Also, any opportunity to wear my ginormous sunhat is a win. /gavel

The Setting

Aaron has been collecting currency from his and his families travels over the years, and his father had brought back currency from the Cayman Islands years ago. The girls were sifting through the currency collection, and we all marveled at the beauty of Caymanian currency. Interest officially sparked. Then we find out that the newest Kimpton Hotels property, the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa, had recently opened. Sold.

We have been staying at Kimpton’s boutique hotels since our very first trip as a couple to NYC in 2003. We were very excited to see how this property would match up. Somehow, the luxury property manages to retain the comfortable, engaged allure of a boutique hotel. The Seafire is located on the stunningly beautiful Seven Mile Beach, and the tranquil flow of the sea permeates every aspect of the hotel. The outdoor spaces let the natural beauty of the island shine, and invite exploration. Though the adults only pool was closed during our trip, we spent hours in the main pool and water features daily. Every effort was made to welcome us, from cocktails/mocktails upon arrival to a family suite with a loft bunkbed to personalized treats waiting in our room.

On Site Amenities

Though we had never utilized childcare at a hotel before, the girls were very excited to try out Camp Seafire. It did not disappoint. We left the option open to them, and they usually chose to hang out wherever their new friends were spending the day. The kids made crafts, learned about the history of the Cayman Islands, went to the farmers market, snorkeled, stand up paddle boarded, and had dance parties. We spent a more than usual amount of time with the care providers, because we are those parents. They were fun, caring, and intuitive to the kids needs. LuLu chose not to do most of the watersports, and a member of the team would always head back to the club to do crafts with her.

I had the chance to check out the spa. It was a serene little oasis, inside of an already idyllic setting. The waiting area was peaceful, and provided seclusion and solitude. When you’re constantly surrounded by a swirl of tiny limbs and curls, alone alone time is the goal. The dressing room was well appointed, and I spent a good bit of time enjoying the steam room. My treatment itself was fab. My masseur looked like The Rock’s younger brother, so, winning!

splash playground at Camana Bay

Excursions

Food is the touchstone that I use to measure most travels. Many of our meals were taken at the hotels three restaurants or pool bars (each delicious, by the way), but we went out or ordered in quite often too. Gino’s Pizza and Southern Spice (Indian food) were our two favorite delivery options. We took the shuttle to Camana Bay several times, and often got sushi from Mizu, and picked up some groceries at the Bay Market. We also grabbed produce when we caught the farmer’s market. Gelato and Co at Camana Bay is a DO NOT MISS. Yes, all those caps are necessary. So.dang.good.

The hotel supplies all kinds of gear for watersports, as well as underwater GoPro cameras, so we had daily activities at our door. We also went on an eco tour excursion with Red Sails, booked through the hotel. Ours was the morning excursion, and we only had one other group of four with us. There was plenty of incredibly snorkeling, visits with sting rays and starfish, and interesting and knowledgeable guides. The highlights were standing in a sand bar in the middle of the sea, and the sobering lesson on the mangroves, and the impact of their destruction.

Two weeks was plenty of time to experience much of the island, and deeply contemplate never leaving. We met a worldschooling family that had their home base on Cayman, and they made a very compelling argument. Admittedly, we didn’t need much convincing.  As such, the Residences at Seafire are still calling my name!

 

By naima, April 11, 2018
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