If you think this beach would make a great place for a resort, you would be right. 600 feet of this beach was once the home of the Divi Tiara Resort. For some reason, I love abandoned buildings so of course, I had to go exploring.
The Divi Tiara was a 5 building, 70 room dive resort spread over 5 acres of beach front property. It was (is) owned by Divi resorts out of North Carolina. As is often the story in the Caribbean, it was a popular destination for divers from around the world until it was hit by Hurricane Ivan, a strong category 5 storm.
This pic is linked from the web so it may eventually disappear, but it gives you an idea of what the Divi Tiara resort was like. The resort was repaired after the 2002 Hurricane and placed back into operation, but a number of long-time guests complained that the repairs were not well done and of low quality.
The main area of the resort. You can’t see it, but the pool is in front of the building. In September 2006 the owners of the resort told the employees they would be closing for two weeks to do some repairs and upgrades.
Instead of re-opening after the two weeks, the company sent a letter to the Cayman Government saying it wouldn’t be reopening the resort. They claimed it was due to a lack of international flights to the island. To this day, there is only 1 international flight to Cayman Brac each week.
This left 40 people out of work. Which on an island with only 2000 people, would have a big impact on the local economy.
A portion of the resort remained open. Pictured here are the timeshare units. Because the units were shared ownership by a number of timeshare owners, they could still use the property. From what I am told, very few of the timeshare owners opted to return to the now mostly closed resort.
I imagine this bar was the place to be when the resort was open. Right on the beach, crystal blue Caribbean waters and delicious Red Stripe beer.
In Nov 2008, another devastating hurricane hit the island and damaged the shuttered resort even further. The buildings were no match for the 150mph winds (241 km/h).
Compare the previous photo with this one. This is all that is left today. In 2009, the company stated that it had plans to reopen the resort. In reality they just left the resort standing as-is, falling further into disrepair for almost a decade. The Cayman government asked them to clean up the site, but they didn’t.
In 2019, when it was announced that Prince Charles would be visiting the island of Cayman Brac it is rumored that the Cayman Government decided they better clean up these dilapidated buildings. They paid for the buildings to be demolished and the site returned to its natural state. This is the site where the main building of the hotel used to be.
The site where the timeshare buildings used to be is now empty as well.
The beach today with all the buildings now removed. No word on who owns this land now. It is not clear if the Cayman Government has expropriated the land from the owners. As an aside, Divi resorts still exists as a company and has huge resorts in Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, St Croix and St Maarten.
Today, this is all that is left of the Divi Tiara resort in Cayman Brac.
Just for interest sake. The Google maps view of the resort in 2006 when it was still operating. Note the pool full of water and the dock for the dive boats on the left. Also note the long white building on the left.
Google Maps view in 2011, 3 years after the 2008 hurricane. Note the pool is now full of dirt and plants rather than water. The dock and white buildings are completely gone. There are no longer any cars parked there.
Google Maps view in late 2019 after the site was demolished and cleaned up. The beach returning to its natural state.


Christine · April 5, 2020 at 2:49 am

What a shame. Such a beautiful island. If I win the $50 million lotto max u can be my project manager. Chris

jon · April 6, 2024 at 7:39 pm

I spent 2 weeks of my summers at Divi Tiara on the Brac from around age 14-25 – it was our annual family vacation. We stayed in the hotel for a few years, then got two timeshare units and stayed there . Did hundreds of scuba trips off their pier. It was a wonderful resort and there were some wonderful people who lived and worked there. Real bummer that it is completely gone and shame on Divi for being such crappy stewards of their property.

    Shawn · April 7, 2024 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing Jon. You are lucky that you got to experience the resort and the Brac for all those years! It is still one of my favorite islands to visit in the Caribbean. Do you happen to have any pictures from when the resort was open you would be willing to share? I would post them here.

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