2019 is another banner tourism year for the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman, as it has been for the Cayman Islands overall. Grand Cayman has introduced new hotels, new restaurants, a new airport, and accommodates record crowds with a changing landscape. But Little Cayman does it while remaining an untouched gem in the Caribbean ¾ an authentic slice of the old Caribbean.
Owner of the Southern Cross Club, Peter Hillenbrand knows Little Cayman has always been different, that there aren’t many islands like it left in the Caribbean. He knows Little Cayman is one of a kind and this is what makes it so perfect. “I feel that we have an advantage over other destinations and resorts,” says Hillenbrand. “Our advantage really comes from our success in creating an old school resort in a new world environment. This is the Caribbean the way it used to be, but with the comforts of today, like air-conditioned bungalows, free WIFI and fantastic food.”
Hillenbrand says a 75% repeat guest ratio really gives the Southern Cross Club a solid base of bookings, and this helps with overall occupancy for the year: “Our guests know they have found something special here.”
UK residents Paul and Paula Brazier discovered the Southern Cross Club in 2004 when they came here to be married. They have returned every year, and this past May they enjoyed their 16th dive vacation at the resort. “Against other resorts worldwide, the Southern Cross Club is our favorite,” says Paul Brazier. “There are ‘grander’ places, but to us, they lack ’soul’. The Southern Cross Club has a unique combination of class and informality, coupled with a real personal approach to each and every guest. It’s that touch that makes us feel the resort is the ‘best’ for us.”
This is just what resort owner Peter Hillenbrand wants to hear. He bought a run-down fishing camp on Little Cayman 24 years ago and has worked hard to create a place that guests like the Braziers can fully appreciate. Where the atmosphere is delightful and charming, and where they can be very comfortable.
Paula Brazier, a non-diver as a newly-wed, is now a Master Scuba Diver who has logged 478 dives. She began her dive experience at the Southern Cross Club, as a guest who was afraid of the water, but who wanted to join her husband on diving adventures. Under the skilled and patient guidance of dive instructor Mike Schouton, Paula found her passion for the underwater world. “She loves it! Especially when she finds tiny critters that most divers don’t even notice,” says her proud dive buddy and husband. “She even finds stuff for the guides!”
Brazier says they have already booked their bungalow for next summer. “We keep coming back each year for many reasons,” said Brazier. “It’s special as the place we got married, the resort continues to offer excellent service and value. The diving is unrivaled, and we meet other guests that we’ve gotten to know over the years. We also consider the locals and the resort staff as friends… and I know that’s reciprocated!”
Hillenbrand concurs: “In a real and heartfelt way, our guests, especially our many, many repeat guests, have become our friends. And we look forward to seeing them every year.”
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