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Cayman Brac

A Letter About the History of Cayman Brac's Divi Tiara Beach Resort

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A Letter About the History of Cayman Brac's Divi Tiara Beach Resort

I received a letter from someone with more insight on Divi Tiara Beach Resort, the place documented in a short film I created in 2013.

Jordan,

My parents were looking for a vacation home in the tropics, away from the noise and bustle of Grand Cayman, which at that time was still quiet compared to the vacation mecca is has been and is today. They visited The Brac and while staying at the Buccaneers Inn not far from the airport, met a man who owned beach-front property on the south side of the island. Mom and Dad bought a large part of this property for our home from Charlie Briggs and his wife Ester not long after. Several years later, Dad, with Charlie’s help and background as NYC electrician, helped bring the first electricity to the Island.

My uncle, who was an architect, helped design the complex. The two-story building that faces south to the ocean across the pool, was a one-story building that had four rooms. If you were looking at the structure from the beach, the four original rooms were connected to a large living room and kitchen as you moved west. This was the first phase built in 1958/59. The roof on this building was a giant rain collection pan used for re-filling the cistern.

The second phase was a separate two-story building built in the mid 1960’s that was just to the east, but not connected, to the main single story structure. There was a bedroom upstairs and another large living room below with floor to ceiling sliding windows. Each level had a large deck/patio facing south to the ocean.

There were several, smaller outbuildings as well as the tennis court that were also built. There was no dock, no palapa or bar and none of the multi room structures that later became the Divi resort. I visited when my family brought my father’s ashes to spread on the water in 2002. It bore little resemblance to the place I grew up enjoying as a child. I was two years old when I first traveled there.

I hope this presents a clearer vision of how our old home remains etched in our minds. It’s not of the abandoned and forgotten structure you magnificently filmed. My hope is that Divi will sell the property at some point and perhaps a new owner can resurrect the quality and simplicity this location deserves.
— Rich

Watch the full film for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KGf4J8pcVY.

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Cayman Brac abandoned resort update

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Cayman Brac abandoned resort update

I often wonder what the abandoned Divi Tiara Beach Resort looks like today, compared to my visit in May 2013 that resulted in the film below. According to Diane, a commenter on my website, it hasn't changed much. I received this today June 16th:

"I just came back 2 days ago from Cayman Brac. We stayed next door to Divi at the Brac Reef Resort. We passed by Divi a couple of times and it is still abandoned. I'm surprised that another developer hasn't picked up this gorgeous property. At this point I'd be very surprised if the Divi Company has any plans to rebuild. Your video was both chilling and sad to me as there was once a thriving business there that provided much needed jobs for the locals and added so much to the tiny island. Thank you Jordan!"

Watch the trailer for my short film to understand more about this story, and let me know if you visit the island in the future!

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Exploring an Abandoned Island Resort

I recently visited the island known as Cayman Brac, and while there I chronicled my discovery of the abandoned Divi Tiara Beach Resort. In the fully edited video below, you get to see my view as I explore the grounds and try to piece together why the buildings are still on the island, vacant and uninhabited. The ending includes a conclusion presenting my research and also shows several interesting before and after photo comparisons. View the complete video in 720p or 1080p below. Fullscreen viewing recommended. 

I’ve also gathered several of my still photos, all of which are available in larger sizes by clicking or viewing below:

The second slideshow below comes from J.J. Dilbert, a photographer who explored the property in August 2010, around four years after Divi Tiara Beach Resort closed: 

Lastly, there are several links below from some old websites that have stories, photos and video from the resort:

Feel free to contribute more content in the comments, and I hope all of you enjoyed the video. 

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