The edge of Luxury

Nestled among the sugar-white sands and sparkling waters of Seven Mile Beach, the seven-storey apartment complex has everything its owners could want, from a private pool and fitness studio, to cutting-edge technology and premium interior design.

The result is the height of luxury and privacy, a standard of living never before seen in Cayman.

And that is exactly what the development team at The WaterColours Limited had in mind when they created the concept for the building more than five years ago.

“We didn’t want to be all things to all people,” developer Fraser Wellon explains as he leads a tour of Water’s Edges’ spacious common area. “We have a very defined idea of the building.

We are very high-end. We don’t have rentals; our condos are all valued between US$4 million and US$18 million.”

This love of luxury and attention to detail is evident in the complex’s common areas, which feature sumptuous rattan and wicker lounges made of organic fabrics and stunning photographs of underwater life by Elanor Chalfen. The indoor area, which overlooks 300-feet of beachfront, houses a billiards table, a bar, a catering kitchen, and plasma televisions, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness centre and private massage room. Elements of the sea, evident in intricate coral pieces and the sand and cream palette, contribute to the space’s calming atmosphere.

Outside, a three-tiered infinity pool, with two adjacent spas, vanishes into the horizon, lending an unobstructed view of Cayman’s famous coastline. A free-standing hot tub offers hours of enjoyment while vivid tangerine umbrellas provide ample shade for the open patio, adorned with organic rattan outdoor furniture. It is the perfect spot to relax, soak up the sun, or simply while away the afternoon with a book.

In most apartment complexes, this slice of prime real estate would have been destined to become more condominiums rather than common areas. However, the development team chose to create a warm, welcoming space for the owners, a place where they could indulge in their favourite activities, from watching a game of sport on the television to taking in the sunset with their children, in peaceful and private surrounds. The development team believes it is one of the defining features of Water’s Edge, a new avenue of living for the condo owner used to bland common areas.

“Nothing surpasses this [common area],” says Fraser, whose company also developed The Pinnacle on Seven Mile Beach and upcoming The WaterColours.  “We’ve held all sorts of functions here; we’ve had weddings, parties, meetings, social gatherings.

“You can come here and read a book, or watch the children play outside. And the sunsets are right there,” he gestures to the horizon, “and they’re spectacular.”

The common spaces are visually inspiring, but it is in the apartments where design and function really begin to shine.

Each of the 34 residences, which range from an average of three bedrooms with three and a half bathrooms to six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, is an ode to comfort, luxury and privacy.

Entering through the apartment’s heavy double doors, the silence is surprising, almost as if you have stumbled into a retreat. The chaos of Seven Mile Beach seems to fall away, creating an environment of absolute tranquility. It is in this moment that the details of the apartment become clear.

Stunning marble floors lead into a modern kitchen, equipped with granite countertops and Kitchen Aid appliances. Ten-foot ceilings, combined with an appropriate height to width ratio, ensure the apartment never feels cramped or confined. Subtle lighting creates a sense of intimacy and balance, while an elegant chandelier suspended over the dining room table adds sophistication to the space. A cosy den, equipped with every piece of electronic equipment one could need, is the ideal place to unwind after a long day at work.

Each bedroom in the three-bedroom apartment has its own bathroom and walk-in closet; in the master bedroom, the en suite is akin to a spa retreat, with a spacious spa tub, marble walk-in shower, intimate lighting and vast mirrors, a welcome departure from the nondescript bathrooms of old.  

But the crowning jewel is Cayman’s coastline. A tantalising slice of turquoise is visible from the entrance, while a subtle coral theme permeates the apartment in both the furnishings and the palette. On the spacious terrace, glass railings allow a sweeping panorama of Seven Mile Beach, arguably one of the best views on the island.

“In the common areas, there is a lot of coral resin and underwater photography,” Fraser explains. “And in every apartment, you see the water as you walk through the door, even if it’s just a glimpse.

“We tried to complement the beauty of the sea, but not take away from the view. It’s a spectacular view and when you’re out here, you can hear the sound of the sea.”

Overall, the apartment is glamorous and elegant, yet not ostentatious; its appeal lies in its subtle details and understated design.

When it came to interior design, the owners were able to customise the apartment to suit their tastes.

“We were very conscious of not decorating the apartments,” Fraser says. “We determined the square footage, the floors, the frontage, the ceilings and we choose great appliances, but the rest is up to the owner and decorator.

“We have such a mix of styles in here; we have French country, island-style, transitional, a bit of everything. Some of the owners even have movie theatres.”

While the development team at The WaterColours Limited aspired to create a chic, modern setting for the owners, function also played an integral role in the apartment’s overall design. With this in mind, the team incorporated many elements that might not be evident at first glance, but help the residence, and Water’s Edge as a whole, to run seamlessly.

Water’s Edge offers state-of-the-art technology, including, in some residences, electrical drapes and integrated sound systems, as well as discrete 24-hour security. The washing machine and the washer and dryer are hidden under countertops, while cabinets in the lobby help to eliminate clutter. “You can never have enough space,” Fraser claims as he peeks into the laundry.

But one of the most important features of Water’s Edge is its hurricane protection. Inspired by the devastation of Hurricane Ivan, the development team has, essentially, designed a stronghold in Water’s Edge, without compromising the building’s style or design.

“We were designing it when Ivan hit, so we went back and looked at the design,” Fraser says of the project, which took around three years to complete. “On the top floors, we put a concrete roof slab, so if worse comes to worse we have an extra level of hurricane protection.”

Fraser, who lives at Water’s Edge, says the team’s designs are an evolving process, enhanced by the fact that his clients are now his neighbours. With each new complex The WaterColours Limited team develops, the plans are constantly refined to ensure the function and design is the absolute best it can be.

“[Developing property] is a learning process, it’s constantly evolving. I love that; it’s the way life is.”

And, with The WaterColours on the horizon, it seems this evolution of luxury is set to continue.

The WaterColours
The WaterColours promises to eclipse Water’s Edge’s title of Grand Cayman’s most exclusive address. The new Seven Mile Beach complex will offer all the amenities of its predecessor, and more, with an average square footage of 3660.

“The WaterColours will set a new dimension in luxury living in Grand Cayman,” says Steve Henderson of The WaterColours Limited, the development team behind the project. “It will offer some of the amenities found in a five-star hotel, within the privacy of an exclusive condominium community.”

Kim Lund and James Bovell, the owner/brokers of Re/Max, are the exclusive agents on The WaterColours, a complex they believe will change the landscape of Seven Mile Beach.

“The WaterColours represents the very best, in every aspect, of what is available for beachfront development in this new decade,” Kim explains. “Innovative design elements and a comprehensive array of facilities and amenities, which are unrivalled in Grand Cayman, are being incorporated into these spectacular beachfront residences.”

Ground was broken on The WaterColours in November, 2009, with the project scheduled to be completed in three years. 


Stephen Clarke & Justin Uzzell