There are many different venues offering Christmas and New Year’s Eve options to residents and tourists. They run the gamut from the casual to the extravagant, with prices to suit every budget. You can spend these special days with your toes in the sand or at a fine restaurant, supping on the best holiday cuisine. The great thing about winter in the Cayman Islands is that no matter whether you’re inside or outside, the temperatures are always balmy.
A number of families will be staying at home and having Christmas dinner around the table, but if you’re not inclined to cook, you’ll have lots of restaurant choices throughout the island.
Calico Jack’s will actually be getting things started early with a DJ and party on Christmas Eve. You can celebrate the coming Christmas Day under the stars at this popular beach venue where shoes are optional.
On Christmas Day, there are casual hotspots like Fidel Murphy’s on the Seven Mile Strip serving up traditional favorites with all the trimmings for an all-inclusive price. If you’re an Irishman or Englishman away from home, Fidel Murphy’s offers the food and nostalgia you’re looking for. Christmas decorations, complete with lights around the mantelpiece, and beer on tap, including Guinness, will make you feel like you’re home for the holidays.
Sunset House is also a great choice on Christmas Day. Order your turkey with all the trimmings, and then have a cold beverage at the legendary “My Bar” overlooking the sea. Your friends back in the cold will be green with envy.
Heading up to East End? Stop at Tukka for their Christmas Day buffet brunch with a touch of Aussie flavors in the mix. Chef Ron Hargrave always brings the good stuff on Dec. 25, and with a beautiful view of the water, the location can’t be beat.
Of course all of the major resorts on the island will be setting up for Christmas Day Brunch, and as they’re pretty popular with residents and visitors, make your reservation now if you haven’t already.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman holds its traditional brunch in the ballroom (the main choice for families with children), and Seven restaurant, where the champagne flows freely and the food is exceptional.
The Westin will hold its brunch in Ferdinand’s, which offers indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the beach, and the Marriott Grand Cayman also has Christmas Day brunch on the schedule with seating on the covered verandah. What better way to enjoy your meal than outdoors, basking in the sunshine?
New Year’s Eve
It’s the biggest night of the year, so you want to make it count! Beyond private parties at houses, there are lots of ways for you to ring in the New Year, so start getting your glad rags ready.
Spending Dec. 31 at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is the height of decadence. This year features a Great Gatsby theme with the party running from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. The food is excellent, the drinks are divine, and the music has everyone dancing on the beach as fireworks light up the sky. If you’ve got the budget, the Ritz-Carlton is an excellent choice.
The Westin will hold its annual New Year’s Eve party by the pool with a DJ spinning the hits into the wee hours, and the Grand Cayman Marriott Resort has big plans for the night, as it has been promoting its NYE 2014 14 Carat bash since October! Revelers can choose between the all-inclusive gourmet buffet dinner and the after dinner party. Either way, they are guaranteed a great night out.
Camana Bay is getting into the act as well, with no cover charge for those who’d like to walk around in its pedestrian-friendly areas and enjoy the sights. You can dine in style at one of the many terrific restaurants, and cheer the fabulous fireworks at midnight while watching the famous ball drop in Times Square on giant screens.
There will be a dance floor set up by the fountains on The Crescent and well-known DJs playing all your favorite tunes. Please note that there will also be family-friendly fireworks at 7 p.m. in case the little ones can’t stay up until midnight.
Don’t count Royal Palms out either. Let’s face it – the venue is fantastic and just lends itself to a big party. The “Midnight Circus” has multi-tiered ticket levels to suit all budgets from general entrance to ultra-VIP with DJs, party favors, champagne and an enviable position on the beach.
Sunset House also offers an excellent view of the water, and My Bar will be rocking with its annual New Year’s Eve party, featuring a special menu and DJ.
If you’re staying in East End or North Side and don’t want to drive all the way into town (or get a taxi) then make a reservation at Kaibo. Kaibo is gearing up for its NYE Beach BBQ complete with pitchers of cocktails, Bona Fide playing live from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and DJ Ralph on the music until 2 a.m.
Just in case you do overindulge on New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider the hangover breakfast at Lone Star on New Year’s Day. There will be plenty of rib-sticking food to bring you back to life, and bloody Marys and Caesars are on special. You can officially start 2014 on Jan. 2.
Photos by Stephen Clarke