In a small bowl, add heavy cream and scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean. Whisk to break up the seeds.
In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, evenly pour the sugar in a layer and add the water. Cook (do not stir) just until the sugar becomes develops a deep amber coloring and remove from heat.
While stirring the caramel, pour in half of the heavy cream. Once the sugar has stopped bubbling and cream has combined, whisk in remaining cream. Mix in salt and vanilla.
If any of the caramel has solidified while mixing in the cream, put back over low heat, while stirring, until smooth.
Allow to cool slightly. Serve warm or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. If desired, microwave or melt the chilled caramel in a saucepan to rewarm.