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Destination Tennis, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: Tennis like never before
Every player's dream court is just a vacation away.
Published Sep 07, 2023
🎥 WATCH: Destination Tennis, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman ⬆️⬆️⬆️
Tennis players who stay at the The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman will be as dazzled by the color of its tennis courts as they are by the sparkling blue hue of the Caribbean Sea. The three clay courts are red, common across Europe and South America but a rarer sight in the States.
The clay is actually Har-Tru, but dyed to resemble Roland Garros' terre battue. Two hard courts and a pair of pickleball courts round out the facilities at the picturesque tennis center. Court reservations are complimentary for guests, and the pro shop has racquets for use if you don’t travel with yours. Cardio tennis clinics and private lessons are the top choices for instructional play.
It’s all part of the first-class tennis experience at the Ritz-Carlton. Once you’ve broken a sweat, a tennis attendant will bring over ice towels and eucalyptus-scented clothes. And one clinic fixture is strictly forbidden:
“You don’t have to pick up balls here at the Ritz-Carlton,” says tennis director Uli Hoppe. “It’s a waste of clinic time.”
Hoppe spent years teaching alongside famed coach Nick Bolletierri, who molded such champions as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova. He has followed the legend’s approach of simplicity with his own approach to the sport.
“[Nick] always made quick adjustments, not big changes,” Hoppe said. “I’m not going to try to change your playing style too much. I’d probably work on increasing power, because a lot of people forget how to step into the ball and be balanced.
“Nick’s magic was that he had seen 20 of everything and knew exactly what to try, what works. It’s about simplicity, and having fun and not overthinking it.”
You don’t have to pick up balls here at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s a waste of clinic time.
Destination Tennis host Monica Puig, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, has played on the biggest courts in the world, but she sees the beauty in the Ritz-Carlton’s cozy setup.
“I like how the courts are apart from the hotel. It feels like a separate experience,” she says. “You have the ocean breeze coming through, so playing in the middle of the day was easy.”
Taking the courts at the Ritz-Carlton might be the closest you ever feel to turning professional.
Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
- West Bay Rd.
- Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
- Starting at $799/night
One Thing You Need to Know: Bring shoes that you won’t mind getting dirty on the red clay courts.
Tennis at a Glance
Facilities: 2 hard courts, 3 Har-Tru clay courts, 2 pickleball courts
Rates: Complimentary court reservations, $80 clinics, $195/hour and up for private instruction
Good to know: Tennis director Uli Hoppe taught alongside Nick Bolleteirri at his academy, and teaches the same style during private lessons.