After sustaining minimal water, structural and foliage damage from Hurricane Ivan, which swept through the Caribbean Island of Grand Cayman in September, Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa will reopen 300 of its 340 rooms November 20, 2004 - just in time for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday - to coincide with the date the Island will lift commercial air travel restrictions. Additionally, all public space, including the award-winning Casa Havana restaurant, Ferdinand’s Caribbean Cafe and Courtyard Cafe, Hibiscus Spa, pool and beach areas will be open and ready for business. The on-site Red Sail Sports will be operational. The remaining rooms will open December 15, 2004.
Dan Szydlowski, general manager, states, “We worked around the clock to repair any damage sustained during the hurricane so that we may once again entertain island residents and visitors from all over the world. Grand Cayman’s pristine beaches, superb diving and warm island hospitality are still very much in evidence, even as the island’s residents have worked to restore the island’s infrastructure.”
Guests with reservations who were displaced while the hotel was under renovation received full refunds. Szydlowski said, “Now that commercial air travel to Cayman Islands will resume, guest satisfaction is our number one goal and we stand ready to rebook guests who had to cancel their trips to the island. The hotel is beautiful and our facilities are the same, if not better, than before.”
As one of the most significant employers and community leaders the resort opened its doors during the renovation period to various organizations and personnel involved in the recovery efforts, from insurance, finance and telecommunications companies.
The resort’s renown has been recognized by several noteworthy organizations including, Conde Nast Traveler’s 2004 Gold List, Meetings and Conventions Gold Key Award, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for Casa Havana, Caribbean Travel & Life’s 2004 Mega Resort of the Year and Cayman Culinary Association’s 2004 Chef of the Year and Bartender of the Year.