Design invokes nostalgia of summer holidays.
Living on a holiday island, residents of the Cayman Islands can indulge in the joys of vacation nearly all year-round.
And the Mercantile – the new-look boutique at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort – has captured the essence of this joie de vivre in its unique design.
“The name and design of the Mercantile was inspired by the general stores of yesteryear,” says Rachel Belton, the resort’s director of spa and retail. “We loved its old-world connotations and thought it was a fun fit for this one-of-a-kind retail space.”
Design elements include a “changing tent”, bicycles on the wall and products made on the island.
There are also features which hark back to olden times in the Cayman Islands, including baskets made from thatch rope.
A Caymankind sign even evokes the special brand of heartfelt hospitality for which the islands have become known.
“At our hotel, we are known for having an ‘out of the box’ approach and a very distinct aesthetic,” says Rachel. “Our philosophy is centered around what we call the beach house experience. Here in Cayman, we are all about enjoying the island’s endless summer.
“Our aim is to evoke the happy nostalgia of summer; a time when life is bright and carefree. The Mercantile is the latest addition to the fun-loving lifestyle that we love sharing with our guests.”
The Marriott team recently went on a trip to Spain, where they were inspired by a store in Madrid that had a “changing tent”.
“We fell in love with the design and thought it would look perfect in our unique retail space,” Rachel reveals.
The bicycles on the wall are symbolic of the idea of riding on two wheels to discover the attractions of Cayman.
“We believe they (bikes) are such a fun way to explore the island as a local,” says Rachel.
“We were inspired by memories of riding along through the picturesque countryside during our own vacation experiences, and we wanted to re-create these special moments for our guests.”
The Mercantile has a fresh, minimalist look, with clean lines and a palette that includes neutral colours and earth tones.
“What we offer is a curated selection of endless summer goods that we hope will inspire and grab the attention of our guests,” says Rachel.