Where we’re at: I’m recapping my two-country, three-island trip to the Caribbean in December 2023. It kicked off here, in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands!

Cayman, and the me that visits it, have changed much in the last fourteen years.

Today I’m all grown up, and I’ve definitely found my new home away from home on Grand Cayman: Botanica Cayman. I’m a big design person, always have been & always will be — the more I settle into my own homes, the more I understand I’m really inspired by and at peace staying in beautiful spaces. As soon as I saw this boutique accommodation pop up on the Cayman scene, I knew Botanica Cayman was just right for me.

Especially in recent years, Cayman has become synonymous with luxury — to me, the true luxury is in a beautifully curated experience, and that’s what I found at Botanica.

Alex smiling in a green jungle dress
Alex posing by the pool

I stayed in the smallest cottage category, the Queen Cottage, which was absolutely perfect for me as a solo traveler. I loved that they had a floorplan for each cottage on their website — it really helped me make a decision and realize this size was perfect for me.

As a recent rental property owner myself, I walked through the cottage giving major props for how incredibly well stocked it was — perhaps better than any property I’ve ever stayed at — and taking notes! In addition to a washer and dryer, for me the most must-have amenity of all in a rental, there were ample cooking supplies, beach musts, and laundry and cleaning necessities. For those traveling with little ones, they literally have every single thing you could ever dream of needing.

I’m not kidding on the beach supplies — think complimentary beach chairs, iconic fringed beach umbrellas, beach towels and a cooler box, snorkel gear, goggles and beach toys!

White Cottage with front porch view, bright lights

Don’t get me started on this bed — I almost stripped it so I could check the mattress label. The custom-made bed frames had massive drawers built-in which allowed me to totally unpack my suitcase and even put it in the closet; another ultimate travel luxury for me!

Alex laying on cozy bed with art above her

Inside of a closet with a tote bag hanging and dresses
Bathroom vanity with white mirror and two sconces

Bedroom with Hat and wall of windows

This kitchen was stocked better than my own at home, ha — a cute appliance garage housed a microwave, toaster, blender and Keurig K-Duo coffee maker, while there was even a BBQ grill available upon request; super cute if you’re traveling with a group!

All-white kitchen view

Gift basket with mini bottles of prosecco and greenery
Kitchen stools underneath floating shelves in an all-white kitchen

I was shocked to later learn that the cozy couch I started my mornings sipping tea on and ended them cozying up on was actually a sleeper sofa! The family cottage has a twin size sleeper and all the others have a full size. Extra pillows and linens are available and it can actually be made ready with bedding before check-in.

Another fave feature of mine? A smart TV! It truly disturbs me how many five star accommodations — I’m looking at you, major hotel chains — think they can get away with not providing Netflix, lol.

Living Space with blue sofa, white tv stand with tv on top

My cottage boasted the cutest outdoor patio area and outdoor shower — others have their own private pool! However, the beautiful shared pool space was just steps away.

Alex next to pool lounging with hat covering head
Outdoor Greenery Space with Umbrella and seating area

The pool area was perfect for relaxing after a long day, with a heated spa, ample lounge chairs and daybeds. For me it was no sweat being off the beach, as Cayman has tons of public and pretty easily accessible ones — all of which are outlined in Botanica’s beautifully designed and very well curated guide to the island.

Speaking of exploring the island, I highly recommend you rent a car — Botanica has discounts available if you plan ahead (unlike me, lol!) and each cottage had a parking space. Cayman is a very manageable size, especially the main attractions on the West Side, and Botanica is just a 10-15 minute drive from the airport, across from a public beach, and super easy access to anywhere on seven mile.

Prefer two wheels? Botanica has cute free bikes too that I’m gutted I didn’t get to use!

Aerial view of pool and garden space

Alex Sitting Poolside Looking towards the sun
Book open with tea on side of pool

Want to be spoiled on your getaway? Botanica also offers an array of “enhancement” packages, from grazing boxes to grocery and curated product delivery. A “Good Morning Grocery Package,” for example, stocks your fridge with breakfast essentials — clutch for a Saturday arrival given grocery stores are closed on Sunday —  including a dozen local eggs, cereal, a gallon of milk, freshly squeezed orange juice, fruits, jam, butter, artisan bread, pastries, coffee and tea. It’s pricey at $250 — but Cayman isn’t a budget destination.

Rather avoid cooking altogether? A breakfast hamper or picnic is also available! For general groceries, the Market Fresh box is a seasonal delivery of tropical local produce and goods by local farmers like mangoes avocados plantains, passion fruit and beyond.

Personally I got to try a gorgeous Grazing Box — a vegan option is also available, and you can add on prosecco, champagne or sparkling water. They can be upgraded to Picnic Experience with a a beach blanket, environmentally friendly bottle water, portable picnic table and pack everything up conveniently to go!

Other options include a sustainable vegan Conscious Food Bundle, a sun-care loaded Fun In The Sun package, a self-care loaded Eucalyptus Shower Bundle, and more. How cute is that? Once again, lightbulbs are going off for me for our Martha’s Vineyard cottage and my Bali villa!

Alex smiling with Champagne and glass on beach

Picnic box with champagne on the beach
Shai posing for camera on beach with palm tree

Truly my only complaint from my stay? I do wish there was a bit more housekeeping — a light clean is available for a mid-stay refresh for guests staying six or more nights and a more extensive clean available for guests staying longer than ten days, but you can pay for additional cleans if you want or there are cleaning supplies on-hand if you want to tidy up yourself, and I know some travelers prefer the privacy of not having someone in their space daily.

Also, there’s a three or four night minimum stay, depending on cottage type, but I kind of love that. Cayman is too lovely to come for any shorter!

Overall, I could not have been happier with my choice to stay at boutique rental property rather than a resort. Personally, if I stay in a bougie resort, I kind of like that to be my destination — if I’m going to pay for all those amenities and comforts, I want to enjoy them! The issue in Cayman is, it’s such a safe, manageably sized and easy island to navigate, it would be a shame not to explore it while you’re here. Enter Botanica Cayman.

Not to mention, from a sustainable travel standpoint, it feels good spending your vacation dollars with a Cayman family rather than a corporation. If it’s important to you to spend local but still want something bougie, boom! Here you can truly experience Cayman through a local lens, and make a more authentic connection to the island.

Outdoor garden oasis with white and green umbrella and two chairs

Alex sitting poolside at Botanica Cayman with umbrellas and seating behind

I don’t know about you, but this most has me craving my next Caribbean vacation — and I know there’s plenty of gems like Botanica out there awaiting me. If you know about them; hit me with your faves in the comments!

Any favorite Caribbean accommodation to recommend?

1 Comment...
  • Aussie Jo
    May 14 2024

    This post had me longing for another holiday

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