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“A great find on the internet.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Turtle Nest Inn

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Turtle Nest Inn
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166 Bodden Town Road, Grand Cayman   |  
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Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Grand Cayman
Windermere, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“A great find on the internet.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Stayed for 10 days in January, having found the Turtle Nest Inn by chance. We really made a good choice, enjoyed our stay, could stay home and relax on our own white sandy beach, snorkell, or sit by the pool. Very friendly front of House, Donna, and all the staff.
Most people were there for the umteenth time. Hence the Ocean Front Condos get booked as people leave, for the next year! Obviously there will be something not booked, but advanced booking will get you what you want. For British guests remember Ocean View is not the same as Ocean front. As it is all self catering with a lovely big fridge and freezer space, you can use the BBQ down by the pool. The local supermarket Fosters (not the Aussie Beer) has everything you want. Tip - pick up basics on way in in your car from the nearest Fosters, on your left, 5 mins before you get to Turtle Nest Inn (on your right). We took coffee and tea, but needed milk bread
and butter etc., ALSO when looking for TNI - after Savannah, and the second Texaco, there is a small white church on your left start indicating to turn right. We arrived in the dark and would have loved to have had this info.
Plenty of places to eat, turning right out of TNI The Lighthouse, wonderful setting, but expensive. Next door is South Beach, on the water not such a wow setting, but very good food at very reasonable prices with friendly staff. Over the Edge on the North side, had our custom several times.
In George Town, Dolce Vita, had good food at lunch & dinner. Do try the beach Fish fry walking along the beach to your right The Grape Tree Cafe - Fri/Sat/Sun only. You do have to wait in line for your meal, we had Grouper - devine. Stingray City with Captain Dexter on the Catamaran is a must, Donna booked it for us. Also - Sunset Hotel - a divers Hotel on the way into George Town, near the Smith's Beach was good food and the cheapest we have found.
Weather was great, some windy days, but hell it was snowing in the UK.

Room Tip: Ocean Front. 9 0r 6 if possible.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,063 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (202)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
St. Louis, MO
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Stayed in Beachfront Condo #4 with another couple. View was absolutely breathtaking. Never tired of watching the sunrise from either our bed, private balcony or patio. Super clean and well-equipped. Got a lot of use out of the blender! Staff couldn't have been more helpful or friendly. On our last day, there was a water main break on the road in front of TNI and the water was abruptly shut off. Donna somehow arranged to have the crew get the water back on for 15 minutes so that our group could shower before having to head to the airport. That was the quickest but most-appreciated shower ever! Loved having the car included to explore the island. But mostly just hung out there.....couldn't beat it! Snorkeled almost every day right off our beach. Water shoes are advisable as there are some rocks. We went with Capt. Dexter on his catamaran to swim with the stingrays. That was a blast! We were there for 8 nights and I really can't come up with anything negative. It was the perfect place for us to chill out and avoid the craziness of 7-mile beach. We will return to TNI for sure. Also, as a side note (will also review)....stop by the little shop across the street, Nina's Beach Bubbles. Nina is awesome and so are her hand-made soaps and lotions.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

Lived up to all the kudos given in other reviews--quiet part of the island, spacious condo, helpful staff, nice facilities. The snorkeling was excellent, but windy days prevented us from snorkeling all but one of the days we were there; even our scheduled boat trip to Stingray City was cancelled due to choppy seas. The entrance into the water is also a bit tricky--even though it is shallow water, it's over lots of rocks and seagrass, not smooth sand. We found other interesting things to do--Botanical Garden, Turtle Farm, Pedro St. James home--in addition to just relaxing and enjoying the fabulous views from the condo and pool area. Every restaurant we tried was excellent--Over the Edge, Tukka, Bombay Chopstix, Southcoast, all in the East End area, and Ragazzi on 7-Mile Beach. Would go back again and hope for calmer seas next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evanston, Illinois
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

My husband and I stayed at The Turtle Nest Inn in January (2013) and although we were VERY happy with our stay and would definitely stay there again if we were in Grand Cayman, there is one thing that I feel was deceptive. We booked an Ocean View Apartment and that is not what we got. I had read before we booked that there was only going to be an ocean view from the balcony, but this room didn't have that either. We were on the ground floor in room 3 and although the balcony was very spacious and surrounded by foilage, I do not see how the owners can claim that it had a view of the ocean. Having to walk out on the balcony, look to the right, look past trees and around our building to see a little bit of the ocean does not equal an ocean view from your balcony. Come on!

I don't like being deceived and I feel like I was deceived. Donna, Marleine, Duane, Alain - you are very nice people and you have a wonderful place. Please don't advertise these rooms as having an Ocean View. That is deceptive advertising and you don't need to do that to get people to come to the TNI. You have an amazingly beautiful Inn. Advertise it for exactly what it is. Be honest and people will still come.

Lesli

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OOB
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach ranks among the Caribbean’s most expansive – and expensive. But, as always, we thrifty Mainers left the strand’s inflated prices, high-rise hotels and crowds behind and stayed on the island’s eastern side in laid-back Bodden Town, where free-range roosters and chickens easily outnumber tourists.

We knew that we had chosen wisely when, on the first morning of our vacation, a TV reporter and cameraman materialized on the property to document the Turtle Nest Inn winning a 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

Indeed, the setting alone deserves an award. The eight-unit two-story inn faces east, with a pool and terrace overlooking a deserted beach. Waves break on the offshore reef, which forms a natural lagoon and deters boat traffic. Coconut palms sway in the constant breeze, and sun-bleached queen conch shells line the patio’s perimeter.

The inn promises “intimacy and elegance at the beach” and delivers beautifully. Our apartment on the top floor was spacious, spotless, comfortable, airy and bright: white tile floors; high ceilings with fans in the full kitchen, bedroom and living room; plenty of windows; and a balcony. Paintings by local artists dot the white walls. The room rate includes a week’s rental of a Hyundai i10 (for those brave enough to drive on the left).

An ice machine, a water cooler and a selection of books, newspapers and brochures are located in the downstairs lobby. The Turtle Nest also provides: beach towels, snorkel gear, a kayak, beach shoes, a gas grill, a library of movies on DVD, coolers and even a plastic bucket for beachcombing. (Our needs were met before we knew we had them.)

Late January’s warm, dry weather enabled us to fill much of each day strolling around Bodden Town, which evokes an earlier West Indies era; sunbathing in comfortable lounge chairs poolside, a stone’s throw from the sea; collecting sea glass and worn shards of pottery and pieces of china that wash up; and snorkeling in incredibly clear water amid a spectacular, diverse coral garden where numerous types and hues of fish congregate.

Known for its rich underwater life, Grand Cayman is the only place in the world where humans are welcome to interact with stingrays. Thus, the highlight of our trip was an afternoon catamaran cruise with Capt. Dexter to Stingray Sandbar, where we frolicked in about 4 feet of water with the docile, velvety-skinned creatures. With Simon, the first mate, guiding us, we each held one in our arms, its prehistoric eyes meeting ours, as its giant wings flapped.

We returned the several miles to port under sail, then drove to the delightful Bodden Town Art Shop, where we bought an original painting of, you guessed it, a stingray.

Another must on Grand Cayman is a brief visit to Hell, a town named for its quarter-acre of blackened calciferous rock, where souvenir shops sell postcards to send from the post office next door. So, yes, we’ve been to hell and back.

George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands and a busy cruise-ship and duty-free port, also merits a few hours for sightseeing and browsing in such upscale shops as Guy Harvey’s, Cathy Church’s Underwater Photo Gallery and Pure Art.

More our style was the gift shop at the kitschy Pirate Caves back in Bodden Town, where the owner traded us a frame-able print of the historic pink Rankin House for a stack of magazines that we had finished reading.

Since very little food is grown or produced on the island, dining out tends to be expensive. That said, we ate with the locals under the stars at several affordable and authentic Caymanian restaurants near Turtle Nest: grilled mahi mahi at Southcoast; steamed snapper “island-style” with sautéed onions and peppers at Seaside Paradise; fried grouper and chips at Chester’s; jerk chicken with beans and rice at Rankins Jerk Center; and fried wahoo, plantains, cassava and corn bread at Grape Tree Fish Fry. Desserts brought coconut tarts and rum raisin ice cream.

In George Town, the island’s British heritage showed in the form of a curried vegetable roti from Singh’s Roti Shop and Island Taste’s “patties,” turnovers filled with meat or veggies.

We concluded our culinary adventure with scrambled eggs (from all those chickens!), English toasting bread (from Foster’s IGA) and homemade guava jelly (from the Saturday morning farmer’s market) as we watched the year’s first full moon rise over the Caribbean.

Room Tip: Get the ocean-view apartment with a car.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

This was a perfect getaway. (You do need a car.) The location on Grand Cayman was excelent (20-25 minutes from anywhere on the island) and it was close to a shopping center for those of us who perfer a mix of condos, cooking and restaurants. The staff was extremely helpful with many good suggestions. The Turtle Nest provides fins, sunblock and many other amenities. The apartments and condos have white walls and blue tile floors, great relaxing decor. We were there over New Years and enjoyed a bonfire on the beach. You cannot beat the location and the view, condos with porches that overlook pools, a beach and the carribean. There is also fun snorkeling in just 3 feet of water for some distance from the beach with rays, lion fish, and a variety of other interesting creatures for those who like snorkeling.

Room Tip: We stayed at the Apartments near the office overlooking a pool and the beach. It was great. They...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vonore, Tennessee
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Bottom-line--fantastic view, right on the ocean (1st floor), poorly outfitted for cooking, strange lay-out, maintenance issues. We booked late and the condo at Moon Bay, about 2 miles down the road from the TNI was the only available property. It is a 3 BR/2BA, but has a strange layout.

Dislikes-there were really no good pyrex dishes for cooking in the oven or microwave. There was a tiny dishwasher, inappropriate for a 3BR place. We were only provided one kitchen trash bag. It smelled mildewy and musty. And our clothes retained the smell when we got home. One of the patio doors wouldn't open and the other had a screen that didn't work. There are mosquitoes, bugs so you need the screen. I couldn't open the window in the Master Bathroom (my husband could muscle it open but anyone shorter would have a problem) and there is no vent for A/C so you need to be able to open the window. The A/C didn't work. We didn't call since it was the weekend, but apparently we should have. Donna said they have someone on call all the time for A/C, so I didn't factor that in the rating too much. The housekeeper should have noticed since she was cleaning it when we arrived and it was 86' inside. They need lamps in the bedrooms. The MBR had 2 tiny ones, but they were pretty dim. They also need a more comfortable bed if they're using this as a rental. The headboard wasn't attached, it was just leaning against the wall. There aren't too many nice restaurants close-by, other than The Lighthouse. Unfortunately we can't afford to eat there every night! Rankin's Jerk Pit was okay for take-out and the South Coast Bar was okay.

Likes-the view is fantastic. We didn't swim in the ocean but there is an area inside the reef that probably isn't too rough, although the neighbor said there's current. The pool was nice. It was cold in January but bearable. They have a little beach area and it is well-maintained with lots of beach chairs/chaise lounges. Donna, at the front desk, is super nice, and documented the problems we identified. Also, when booking the reservation, they were incredibly responsive. We were only at the condo for 3 nights but we booked our car through them for our 2 1/2 week stay. It was cheaper than what we found with Avis directly.

We'll give the TNI another try, and hopefully stay at the Inn next time. We met a fellow diver from Ocean Frontiers who stays there every year with his wife and other friends. It's a 20 minute drive to Ocean Frontiers from the Inn so he must really love it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turtle Nest Inn

Address: 166 Bodden Town Road, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Grand Cayman
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Grand Cayman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cayman hotels' exotic beachfront lodging offers Caribbean elegance, pool, superb snorkelling, and full luxury apartments costing less than most Grand Cayman hotel rooms. Located on its own sandy beach, only ten miles from George Town and the airport, the Inn is away from the tourist crowds, in a genuine island setting. Cayman's only Travel Holiday Magazine's Editors' Choice Award winner for 2003. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Turtle Nest Hotel Grand Cayman
Turtle Nest Grand Cayman
Turtle Nest Inn Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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