GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- The reservations lines open July 1, and things are falling into place on Seven Mile Beach at the site of the $400 million Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, which plans to open in December.

The site stretches 144 acres from sea to sea, from five acres on Seven Mile Beach across to the North Sound, and encompasses 365 hotel rooms and suites as well as 69 private condominiums that comprise the Residences.

Scattered about the property are a nine-hole golf course, tennis and fitness centers, Olympic-size swimming pools, five restaurants, the Ritz Kids children's activities center, a luxury spa, bars and lounges, a shopping arcade and the island's largest ballroom.

Rack rates will start at $650 per room, per night, double, in a waterway room in high season.

Although the opening is seven months away, important names already are in place, including Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of New York's Le Bernardin restaurant; renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri; Swiss-based La Prairie spa and skincare company; and golf course designer Greg Norman.

Ripert and his consulting company will oversee a fine dining restaurant and a more casual, alfresco, lagoonside grill restaurant that will carry Ripert's name.

Jean Cohen, the hotel's vice president and general manager, said that the chef and his team are involved in the restaurants from the ground up.

The resort's tennis center will feature four clay courts illumiinated for night play and the first grass courts in the Cayman Islands.

The 20,000-square-foot La Prairie Spa will feature 17 treatment rooms and a range of spa services. The facility marks the firm's first Caribbean venture.

Adjoining the spa facility will be a fitness center and salon.

With ownership of one of the 69 Residences at Ritz-Carlton -- the price tags range up to $25 million each -- comes privilege or, in this case, Endless Service.

This includes the use of a Mercedes-Benz or other high-end vehicle when the owner is on island; use of a crewed powerboat for fishing excursions and sunset cruises; a Dial-a-Chef program for in-house, gourmet meals; and the same perks as hotels guests.

If owners choose to rent their units, the residences will be placed in the property's rental pool when the owner is off island.

Packages will be announced shortly. For information, visit

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

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