GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman -- Cobalt Coast Resort & Suites, located on the northwest shore of Boatswains Bay several miles north of Seven Mile Beach here, decided shortly after it opened three years ago to team up with Divetech, an onsite dive-center operation.

This turned out to be a "wise business decision," according to Arie Barendrecht, Cobalt Coast's general manager.

The effort increased bookings so much that expansion was inevitable, which is how the former 18-room, beachfront property now has grown to 24 units, including six new garden suites.

The suites, expected to be completed in time for the Christmas season, feature a separate bedroom and living area similar in layout and design to the setup of Cobalt Coast's beachfront units but slightly lower in price.

"Dive clients like our lodging, food and service," Barendrecht said. "The combination of Dive-tech with Cobalt Coast means that owners live on site and are available to handle whatever guest needs arise at any time."

Built in the style of a colonial Caribbean great house, Cobalt Coast features one and two-bedroom suites and oceanview guest rooms, Duppies' oceanfront restaurant and bar, a pool and a Jacuzzi.

The resort's 120-foot-long dock, located in front of the Divetech center, enables guests to shore-dive from the pier.

Divetech promotes North Wall boat diving at two shore locations: one at Cobalt Coast's 6,000-foot wall and the second at Turtle Reef near the Cayman Turtle Farm.

Barendrecht said packages focus on diving, "but there is plenty for the nondiver to do as well." Programs include:

• Bed & Breakfast offers a fifth night free through Dec. 20 as well as a free car rental when a one-bedroom, oceanfront suite is booked. Rates range from $179 to $246 per room, double; from $215 to $280 from Dec. 21 to April 15.

• A seven-night plan, including six two-tank boat dives, a shore dive on day of arrival, gardenview accommodations with breakfasts, transfers and tips is priced from $1,075 per diver or $668 for nondivers through Dec. 20; from Dec. 21 to April 15, the rates are $1,349 and $892, respectively.

• A four-night honeymoon plan covers oceanfront suite accommodations, champagne on arrival, daily breakfast, a beach picnic, a snorkel trip to Stingray City and a free car rental from $1,295 per couple to Dec. 20; $1,325 from Dec. 21 through April 15.

For more information, visit www.cobaltcoast.com and www.divetech.com. To book, call (866) 622-9626.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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