Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Resort, Cayman Islands


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Resort in Grand Cayman is a new luxury five-star complex on a 144-acre site in the exclusive Seven Mile Beach area. Despite some delays in the project due to contractual disputes, construction proceeded and the resort opened in December 2005.

The hotel and resort was developed by the Ryan Group for the owners Humphreys Cayman Ltd; the hotel itself is owned by the Ritz-Carlton Corporation. The project cost an estimated $500m.

The resort features 365 guest rooms and suites, five dining areas offering a range of cuisine, the first La Prairie spa in the Caribbean, a professional Greg Norman-designed nine-hole golf course, two Olympic-size swifimming pools, an exclusive shopping mall with premium brand boutiques, the largest ballroom on the island, a tennis centre and a custom-designed Ritz Kids programme. In addition to the hotel, the resort features 71 private residence condominiums with two, three and four bedrooms.

RITZ-CARLTON CONTRACTORS AND CONSTRUCTION

The general contractor for the project was Fluor Daniel (Caribbean) Ltd. Appointed in 2002, the contract was worth $125m to Fluor Daniel but early in 2004 disputes arose between Fluor Daniel and the Ritz-Carlton Corporation over failure to complete work on time, unrealistic work schedules and a number of other issues.

Lawsuits were filed on both sides of the dispute, with Fluor Daniel citing unacceptable changes in the design and work being requested outside the contract. Fluor Daniel was dismissed from the project in April 2004, a month after it filed its lawsuit.

TCC (Cayman) JV Ltd (a joint venture of K Coast and TC Contractors) was a subcontractor hired by Fluor Daniel to provide drywall and metal framing for the project (they withdrew from the project in December 2003 over money issues).

The development team took over project management, hiring all the subcontractors. The original architect, hired in 1998 to design the hotel, was Wimberley Allison Tong and Goo (WATG); however, the firm was fired in 2002 following a dispute and the architect contract went to Milton Pate and Associates (there was a dispute over the design as WATG alleged its design was still being used in breach of copyright).

The new construction subcontractor appointed was Martinez (a company appointed following the withdrawal of original subcontractor Olson Construction after the death of its owner). PERI southeast supplied the wallform system for the project. Hirsch Bedner of HBA International Inc was the interior designer for the resort. The private residence condominiums were built by Dick International, a US based general contractor, and McAlpine.

GOLF COURSE

The 'Blue Tip Golf Course' is a nine-hole course, open in May 2006 and being designed for the Ritz-Carlton by Greg Norman was constructed by his company Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD). One feature of the course is a water retention system that ensures no surface runoff from the course is directed into surrounding natural waterways. All water runoff is collected and naturally filtered so that untreated water, which contains nitrates, cannot encourage algae growth and upset the ecosystem.

RAPID CONSTRUCTION SYSTEM

Fluor Daniel chose the PERI TRIO wallform system for the construction, since the original scheduling of the project required rapid construction for an opening date in 2003. In addition, the other construction solutions included KG climbing brackets and the MULTIFLEX (girder) and SKYDECK (aluminium) slab formwork systems. The project required 45,000ft² of TRIO wall formwork panels, and 100,000ft² of SKYDECK slab formwork - these were also the best solution for the irregular balcony layout of the structure.

RITZ-CARLTON FACILITIES

The architecture and interior design of the hotel consists of ivory buildings with white rooftops, arched doorways and high ceilings. The facilities of the hotel and resort include five dining areas. These vary in their formality from a gourmet seafood restaurant to lounge bars offering drinks and snacks. Eric Ripert, the award winning New York chef of Le Bernardin, designed two seafood restaurants for the hotel. The first is called 'Blue' and features gourmet local seafood. There is also 'Periwinkle', an outdoor bistro that features local seafood and international cuisine.

In addition to this, the resort includes a more informal restaurant, '7', that offers all-day service for breakfast through to dinner. The golf clubhouse has its own restaurant, the 'Blue Tip Clubhouse and Grill', that offers all-day service with panoramic views of the Blue Tip Golf Course.

There are also many bars offering drinks and food throughout the day including: Bar Jack, a poolside venue; the Silver Palm Lounge, which offers afternoon tea, cocktails and after dinner drinks; the Sterling Wine and Raw Bar, a champagne and seafood bar; and the 'Cigar Bar', a tobacco bar offering cigars, cognac and port.

RITZ-CARLTON ROOMS AND SUITES

The resort also constructed 'The Residences'. These are 24 private ownership homes available with two, three and four-bedroom plans ranging from 2,400ft² to 8,000ft². Residents are able to use all of the facilities, services and amenities of the oceanfront resort, including two lifetime golf memberships, a dedicated residential concierge service, a Dial-a-Chef programme for private dining and access to a unique endless service programme. This features a customised home interior design and furnishings, use of a top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz or a selection of other luxury cars, crewed powerboat and continual maintenance of the residence.