“I thought I was buying a beach bar with an amusement park attached to it, at least that was kind of what it looked like to me when I was 32. I was told I was crazy! Maybe I was.” – Peter Hillenbrand, Owner Southern Cross Club.
Peter Hillenbrand walked away from a lucrative, but not always satisfying, family business to pursue his dream of becoming a marine biologist but somewhere along the way made the decision to “take the road less traveled.” In May of 1995, he bought and took over management of The Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman, moving from his native Indiana to live full time on the little 10 square mile island with an average population of 100.
“The first couple of years I almost gave up a couple of times; a new culture, new business, new work standards – everything was different from my previous experiences. If you have ever read Herman Wok’s Don’t Stop The Carnival about an American business man buying a resort in the Caribbean… I read the book in 1994 and laughed at Mister Paperman’s Caribbean mis-adventures; I read it again in 1997 and cried my eyes out! For better or for worse, mostly for the better. – I lived that book.”
Despite the early trials and tribulations, Hillenbrand managed to climb the learning ladder, stuck with it and has managed to take one of the oldest resorts in the Caribbean, established in 1958, and make it one of the premier fish, dive and relax resorts in the western hemisphere.
The resort mirrors Hillenbrand’s own personality and approach to life. His branding philosophy from the beginning has been Barefoot Elegance.
The Southern Cross Club’s fourteen very comfortable beachfront bungalows are all ocean-front and are dappled over 900 feet of white-sand beach. World famous diving, sport fishing, cuisine and an award winning international staff complement this beautiful resort. The resort, in accordance with Peter’s approach to life, defies convention and economies of scale by running small un-crowded dive boats with valet dive service.
“We often put two or even three divemasters on board each dive boat to ensure the safety and maximum value of Little Cayman’s famous reefs and the iconic Bloody Bay Wall.”
Fly, spin, and deep sea fishing is quite literally available just off your beach bungalow’s porch along with kayaking and paddle boarding. Kite-surfing instruction is a new addition to the South Cross Club water-sports arsenal and kiting gear is also available. For those who just want to chill and absorb a little vitamin “sea” there are beach hammocks which swing gently in the Caribbean breeze emanating from the stunning azure waters of South Hole Sound.
Simple, easy, secluded, barefoot, luxury.