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“Sunset House resort, Grand Cayman” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset House

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Sunset House
2.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 479 | 390 South Church Street, George Town KY1-1106, Grand Cayman   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
5th Night Free Dive Day
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence 2014
York, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Sunset House resort, Grand Cayman”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Sunset House was incredible, from its well-sized rooms, restaurant, outdoor bar, pool, dive shop, dive locker, and especially the warm and wonderful staff (from management on down). No question or request was too small. And having an on-site photo center (including photo classes) run by Cathy Church, dive photo pioneer, is a huge plus! The location is only a short walk away from George Town for additional shopping and exploration. This was the first stay at Sunset House but will not be the last!

Room Tip: get an ocean view room for the few waking hours you will be in the room; it's worth the slight e...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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352 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Leawood, Kansas, USA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I starting going to Sunset house in 99 and it is still my favorite place to go and dive in the world. From the minute you walk in Bryan (aka Jennifer) greats you with a smile and friendly greetings. Keith and Karin with a little help from Murphy make you feel like one of the family. The dive staff is great and the food at the restaurants (Sea harvest and My Bar) on site is amazing, If you are ready for a great dive, stay and food do not pass this place up!!
Insider tips:
Eat the Mushroom Ravioli
Pay extra for the sea view room
Have a Mudslide
Shore Dive at least once at 4:00ish PM
Eat the Mushroom Ravioli
Check out Simon’s Ink
If you need an open water check out ask for Charlotte
Be at My Bar at sunset with your camera
Key Lime pie…

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

It's been said before, but Sunset House really met most of our expectations. Even though we opted for a garden-view room we could watch the sea from a lot more wonderful spots. The bar, the pool, the whirlpool, the restaurant windows and the outside part of the restaurant. The food was good. Nice breakfasts, terrific options for light lunches: and the Indian food was an unexpected bonus. It was really tasty and fresh! Good beds, and quiet enough AC. Watch out for the slippery tile floors.

Our dive days were great. The only thing is it's a long walk from the lockers they provide to the dock where the boats are and if you are bringing your stuff up and back each day it gets tiresome. Also we had to take charge of our weights too, bringing them to and from the boats each day..... Most boats keep weights on board. So if you needed to adjust your weight (as I did when wearing different weight wetsuit etc.) I was out of luck if there weren't any others of the right size on board. I did get the hang of all this after a day or two. It's just a different routine, but still, it's a long distance from the boat dock to the shop and the lockers....and a lot of equipment to keep track of. Maybe I'm spoiled by my other experiences....The diving was very good, not spectacular, like I'd heard, but very good.Still the briefings ranged from actually being "brief" to rambling monologues, which was fun for the anecdotes and not so good if you were trying to remember details of the terrain or the tour you would actually attempt underwater. The fact that the DM's left you behind in the water under the boat on your own after 20-25 mins of leading you was something I had not encountered before. They told us they would do so, but I don't know how much "preparation for our return" was really all that necessary. I am an experienced diver with numerous trips through the Caribbean under my belt in the last 10 years. Still the staff was very obliging and friendly in general. I'd go back.

Room Tip: If you need a view from your balcony by all means get the expensive rooms. Otherwise save your money...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

In 2011 we liked the location, the facilities, the dive operation, on-site bar and restaurant so much there was no question of staying anywhere else in 2012. We thought Thanksgiving week would be less crowded but apparently a lot of Americans had the same idea. (Quite a few restaurants offered turkey specials.) And don’t think Americans are the only ones who jump the gun with Christmas decorations. The house across the road from Sunset House was lit up like Disney World and added more lights every day. (They still had a battalion of reindeer in the garage awaiting deployment when we left.)

DIVING
Weather on the west side was rough—we only got to dive there one day, then moved to the south side sites. Even the cruise ships were docking there and busing people into town. Prevailing winds make the south side dangerous diving most of the year but these sites were amazing—Kent’s Caves, Pirate Cove, Pallas Arches, Japanese Gardens, and Chinese Gardens were spectacular. Air temps were in the mid-‘70s to low ‘80s (Fahrenheit) most days—decidedly cooler than what we’re used to in September and early October. Water temps were steady around 82F. One afternoon we drove to Rum Point and snorkeled in some pretty wild surge.

CREATURES We saw 3-4 morays, golden tail, only one Nassau grouper, a few nice tiger groupers, my first nurse shark, a spectacular free-swimming green moray, lobsters and a few lionfish (fewer than last year and far fewer than we saw on Little Cayman in 2011).

THE CREW
The Sunset captains and crews are ever-patient, polite, attentive, and helpful. Marshalling a boatload of divers into and out of the water can be like herding cats. We remembered Charlotte, Trevor, and Pete from last year. New faces were Josh (the only Aussie besides Russell Crowe to dive the Haigh Quarry in Illinois), Jacki, Lowrie, Benji, and Brittany (the new intern). We expect to see Aaron taking his act to Vegas shortly. My wife’s dive computer died the middle of the week but Jackie came to the rescue with a vintage blocky back-up computer. We had to shuttle to the south side dock and the crew was constantly lifting and carrying our heavy gear bags onto the truck, off the truck, onto the boat, off the boat--don’t underestimate weight lifting as a required skill for divemasters.

PHOTOGRAPHY
We took an excellent underwater photography with Addie of Cathy Church’s studio. Both my wife and I have considerable background in photography, but underwater it’s a different animal. Using our regular cameras with a couple of Cathy’s strobes, we took a few National Geographic quality pix during Addie’s 45-minute guided photo shoot. If you’re remotely interested in one of these courses, take them EARLY in your trip; we only had one more day of diving to use our new knowledge.

FOOD
Aside from the diving, the food is another reason we go to GC. We splurged at The Wharf, Ortanique, The Grand Old House, and on Thanksgiving, Papagallo. On the affordable side, we returned to Cimboco (a favorite last year) four times, Al La Kebab (amazing fries and even poutine!), Chicken! Chicken! (Of course they had a Turkey! Turkey! special.) We hit My Bar for quick lunches and late night snacks. (I had the BLT with blackened fish twice.) We took in a movie (Skyfall) at the Camana Bay theater. On a day free of cruise ship passengers, we went to Guy Harvey’s for lunch. They had fresh lionfish on ice with the rest of the day’s catch.

Room Tip: We like having the balcony space on the rooms facing the bar for spreading out and drying gear.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

I just came back from the 7 nights/ 6 days dive vacation with Sunset House 08/31 - 09/07. Hotel itself is not a luxury type, but it is fully built for divers, everything needed for a dive is basically there. I am actually impressed by the Sunset Divers - boats, equipment & crews there, without them, I don't think Sunset House be this famous.

Front Desk/Room
Arriving at the hotel after a long early morning traveling, check-in front desk Jennifer was polite and helpful. I specifically want to thank the reservation desk Kim (i did not see her at the hotel) for the wonderful continuously communication with me before my trip and her will-do assistance and positive attitude. The back office management team is good people too. We moved our luggage ourselves all the way crossing parking lots to the oceanview room on the second floor - stairs only. We didn't mind because we are young and strong, hopefully they do have someone to help other older travelers. The room is clean, spacious, having a newly tiled floor and nice-working A/C facing to the ocean but with obstacles -tall trees...it is okay with us.

Dining
SeaHeavest Breakfast is the best among all the dining options.
Honestly, I did not like the food choices at myBar -the menu is so boring plus food menu prices are so high i didn't want to eat anything there. burgers and sandwiches are average, indian plates are average...I would go out to any nearby cafe or restaurant if they were at 5 mins walk distance, unfortunately there are none. We did walk 15 mins to Georgetown for dinners - Guy Harveys Grill for happy hour for 5 days and dinner, also Breezes by the bay for pizza, i love the restaurant menu and affordable food options.

Diving
Oh, the best part of all. Thank you Aaron for the funny briefing on boat- you made me laugh everytime, Simon for the help on checking equipment and guide, Trevor for the cool look and a calm friendly captain, Charlotte the pretty divemaster & last but not least Lowri the pretty golden-color-eye girl at the dive shop front, she was so sweet. All the professional crews plus high quality well-maintained boats equals excellent diving. I love the part that the crew was willing to take a short tour before letting us go on our own underwater. I was an inexperienced diver, now became a experienced diver after 6 days of intensive dive trips...i am happy with that.

Night Service
I was NOT happy with the night shift front desk Jean - the woman wearing glasses who did not want to help at all for both of the encounters. First of all, she would be very hesitated to open the locked front door at around 8:30pm even with a security guard standing next to her. I needed help to find out if a restaurant which locates in West Point Rd was opened before taking a bus to go. She showed no interest of helping me by saying thing to push me off with an attitude...."there is no West Point!" i am a first-time traveler in this island can't believe i was treated like that. I replied with correction - West point road in West Bay. "yea, they should be opened!" I could be better off by thinking it-should-be-opened than asking a local right? then she asked me for my room number so she could charge me for the phone call she was about to make for me. What a nice service!

This hotel has its charm for divers but not for everyone. I would still recommend divers to dive here because the ocean is right there. If you are not a diver, at least not even one in your group, don't stay here, go to SMB for better hotel better service better food.

For me, i will stay again for diving. Thank you Management for the effort you did for me. I sincerely thank you!

Room Tip: Oceanview ground floor.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oliveira de Azemeis, Portugal
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

My wife and I just spent 12 days in Sunset House with 10 days of diving. I had high expectations based on the positive reviews on TripAdvisor, but all my expectations were exceeded. This is the perfect hotel for divers. The rooms are large, clean, very comfortable and well equipped without over-the-top luxury or frills. Little touches though, like the extra towels fresh every day are appreciated by those spending all day in and out of the sea. We had an ocean view room, and what a view! We could literally walk 10 steps from our private balcony and drop into the warm ocean "pool". The hotel layout means there is always a view of the ocean but sunset seen from the large deck of the on site "My Bar" is incredible. The staff were exceptional - everyone from the security guard to the ever busy gardeners were cheerful and pleasant, but the waiters deserve special mention - friendly and cheerful and extremely efficient. They knew our names from the very first day and never failed to greet us as we passed on the way to another superb dive. The food that they served is also fantastic. Diver-friendy wraps, fish tacos and salads make for great lunches and the other International dishes are delicious and beautifully presented, but the Indian menu is just out of this world. We had breakfast included in our rate and it was also very generous with a large variety of options to choose from.
As for the diving - Sunset Divers are fantastic. All the staff go out of their way to make sure everyone is happy but Simon, Roger, Reese and Aaron were exceptional and had us continually in hysterics.
The boats are good, fast and comfortable for divers without being overcrowded and the dive sites are varied. Shore diving from the hotel is also excellent. We particularly enjoyed going out to visit "Puppy", the friendly Grey Angelfish resident on the wreck of the Nicholson. It's also the only place I've ever come face to face with a submarine while scuba diving!
Also couldn't fail to mention Murphy, the dog who manages to be even more welcoming while taking Keith, the manager, for his morning and evening walks.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms are worth paying extra. Ours was 401.
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  • Stayed August 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Luis Obispo, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Recently stayed for the first time at the Sunset House with my wife and a friend. Planned the trip on a whim about 3-4 weeks out, which started August 17th. We generally avoid the Caribbean in the summer and early fall months due to weather. However, we needed an escape from work and took a chance anyway. I'm glad we did, not only was the weather excellent, but our whole experience at the Sunset House was perfect. I've been bareboating sailboats for the last 15 years, so I'm used to doing things myself,..and we have sailed and dove all over the Caribbean/South Pacific....so we have seen allot,..good and not so good......
The Hotel Staff/Front Desk,...friendly and courteous,..no problems here,..the room was updated, clean and roomy,..nice view of the ocean....The location of the Sunset House is a short, 15 min walk to town. Cathy Church's store across and below from the front desk is well stocked with goodies and also has a very friendly and helpful staff...
The Diving- They have quite the dive operation going here, as an example they even fill the bottles offsite as to not expose guests to what would be quite a bit of compressor noise judging by how many bottles they go through in a day.....the dive masters/instructors are friendly, fun, outgoing and a pleasure to be around both in and out of the water.....If you can't get along with and have fun with these guys and gals,..you've got issues.....Once they size you up,..first dive or two they let you off on your own with your dive buddy or just as happily guide you around the interesting features of the dive site.
The diving itself was quite fun and varied,...my group really enjoyed the swim throughs and the Kittiwake..The dive boats are as good as any I have seen, and the rides are fairly short...The house reef is quite nice also.
The Bar/Food,....My Bar,..not sure what I could say that hasn't already be said, wonderful service, fun staff,...perfect location, great drinks,.....we had most of our lunches here, and some dinners,..all of which was excellent,..as was the breakfast plan over at the restaurant....You could book a week here and you really don't need to venture off anywhere.....We did,..just to change it up a bit for dinner,...Guy Harvey's is a short walk to town and not to be missed is Calypso Grill....
If you like great diving, great all around staff, good food and arguably one of the best bars in the Caribbean.....you can't go wrong with the Sunset House.....

Room Tip: stayed in an oceanfront room,..great view,..short stroll to the water,dive boats, food and bar.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, General Manager at Sunset House, responded to this review, January 22, 2014
Dear Watrdncr,

Thank you for your commentary and the good things you have to say about Jennifer! We are happy to hear that the rooms were satisfactory for you. With regards to the diving, I will get to that in a bit.

What Ms. Watrdncr failed to mention in her comments about her experience here at Sunset House is that she represented herself as having a full service brick and mortar dive center in California, when in fact, it is only her, her website, a phone number and friends. While we went ahead and gave her a large commission for her group (22 in all including Watrdncr, not 25), we accepted everyone's credit card individually as she did not have a company check or account. We had met Ms.Watrdncr at a trade show in Long Beach, California and had explained the resort fully by Resort Manager Karin Sahm.

Upon arrival and check-in, two gentleman in her group that booked had not let her or us know that one "needed" a downstairs floor room, as he could not do steps rather well. This gentleman was adamant, that he could not do stairs, so we GAVE him his own room at no charge to him or against Ms. Watrdncr's group package. This now took an extra room which was the only room we had left during this holiday season.

We also set up and made their arrangements for diving on the East Side of the island for them. 19 out of the group were totally delightful and we bought the group pizza on their last night. Everyone BUT Ms. Watrdncr and two others were just true Sunset House guests!

Now, the Diving and the Mysterious Sunset House SECRET Rules.

As any other guest of Sunset House will attest to, there are no secret rules that we go by as Ms. Watrdncr claims. The Cayman Islands Watersports Association (one sector of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association) is quite clear and if anyone is unsure, one can Google "Cayman Islands Diving Rules" and you will see what every dive operation follows down here. It is why the Cayman Islands have such a safe and extremely great dive product! (Listed in Scuba Diving Magazine Top 100 as BEST OVERALL DESTINATION. Pg 16, Jan/Feb 2014 edition)

The Operation Guidelines for our customers are quite short and quite clear. The Guidelines begins with, "The Watersports Operator's first duty is the safety of all divers, snorkelers, riders, participants and other individuals affected by the Watersports Operation". It goes on to say, "The Watersports operator shall abide by the following":

While I will not post the full 34 page Guidelines we as a professional dive operator in the Cayman Islands must adhere to, I will point out a few.

8. The recommended maximum depth limit with recreational scuba customers is 100 feet/30 meters, if within certification (See Appendix 'B'). The required maximum depth with recreational scuba customers is 130 feet/39 meters and 100 feet/39 meters for repetitive dives the same day.

(Appendix B points out that not all certification levels are allowed to go the 100', such as Discover Diver Programs, Jr. Divers, Scuba Rangers, etc.) As every morning we go out on a morning two tank dive, the first being a wall dive of 100' for 50 minutes, followed by a approximate 40 minute safety stop before we do a second shallower dive, we are obviously doing REPETETIVE DIVES, thus the 100' Maximum.

While Ms.Watrdncr points out that she had experience people in her group, she fails to mention that she had only 3 certified instructors including herself. She also had two 13-year-old Jr. Open Water Divers and 6 divers who had less than 25 dives experience. (5 of these divers were in single digit to the total number of open water dives they had done)


14. Divemasters are NOT required to endanger their own safety or the safety of other customers by chasing a run-away diver.

15. Speaks of Guidelines regarding Refresher courses...etc. and number 16

16. Rogue divers, defined as those divers who refuse to adhere to the safety code of the CITA, should be reported immediately to all dive operators via email broadcast from the CITA membership office.

The Dive Operation at Morrit's Tortuga Club.

While the diving around all three islands is spectacular, there are different things to see around sides of the islands. Ms. Watrdncr had decided that part of her group wanted to dive on the East End, which we helped her arrange.

This is a quote from Rod McDowall, Operations Manager at Red Sail Sports and Tortuga Divers.... "please be Aware that Red Sail Sports and Tortuga Divers abide by depth and time policies or recommendations made by our own internal decisions or CITA guidelines. We use the 100' depth limit as our maximum, depth and the time available depends on their computer reading and
our company expectations as to the amount of air we like them to have in the tank at the end of the dive for safe dive practices. These policies are understood and very well received by 99% of our dive customers.'

So in fact, Ms. Watrdncr and the couple of divers that went with her, did not do any deep diving at all at Tortuga and as any certified diver would know, you would not do reverse profiles with your dives in a 24 hour period... 100' followed by a 60' dive, followed by a 130' dive. Tortuga Divers afternoon dive has a depth limit of 60'.

It is sad that three people out of this group,including Ms. Watrdncr, who professes herself to be a dive professional, could blatantly break not only depth, but length of time and our policy of coming up with 500 psi of air. Plus the fact (and it is stated everywhere from our website, to our boats and on our dive shop, NO SOLO DIVING, yet Ms. Watrdncr and a couple others on her group, including the gentleman who could not walk up stairs, were caught on numerous occasions and spoken about it. Speaking of the gentleman that could not walk up stairs, he broke his profiles so badly, that he put his dive computer into decompression, ran out of air to take him out of a decompression dive and lead him being not allowed in the water for 24 hours. This gentleman who had the difficulty, walked to town over a mile while the others were out diving the rest of his stay.

Believe me, when I say, this was not the model of her entire group. Many of them where shocked at the attitude of their group leader, thanked us for our service, great hospitality and our concern for their safety and well being on their dive vacation.


Since Ms. Watrdncr was the instigator of many of these guideline infractions, Ms. Watrdncr's real name and the blatant solo diver are the only names that has now been shared under Section 16.

I am also very please to share, that PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors) believes in our product here at Sunset House so much, that for the 15th year in a row has reserved the entire resort this June for their PADI Diving Society week long event Total Submersion.
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Additional Information about Sunset House

Address: PO Box 479 | 390 South Church Street, George Town KY1-1106, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — Sunset House 2*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
I've have found the beginning of why so many people love Sunset House, Grand Cayman's Hotel for Divers, by Divers. "Stepping out of my room, feeling the sunshine on my face, catching that breath of fragrant tropical breeze, gazing into the alluring blue water..". More profound words were never spoken! This family owned resort is more of a big guest house, than a hotel. Everything you have dreamed for a Caribbean Dive Vacation is here! From palm trees to an amazing house reef; from 5 custom dive boats, to a famous underwater photographer; from amazing Caribbean concoctions, to spicy Indian dishes; they all await you! And combined with warm Caymanian hospitality, you'll wonder why you waited so long to visit this West Indian oasis, or why you haven't come back sooner. Of course, the Caymans and Sunset House are a diver's paradise, with crystal-clear waters awaiting your arrival. Come to Sunset House today and experience now, what others have seen for over the last 50 years. An underwater photographer's perfect dive. Shipwrecks, curious big eels, cuddly stingrays and a legendary mermaid await you just steps from your room! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset House Hotel George Town
Sunset Hotel George Town
Sunset Resort George Town
Sunset House Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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