We picked the Grand Cayman to visit out of the other Caribbean islands due to airfare and reported safety. I feel we made the right choice in staying in a condo vs. a hotel. From the Beachcomber we floated over to the Ritz. The people at the Ritz have a small roped off area labeled swimming. Sadly for them the sand was not powdery smooth like at the Beachcomber. They also had way too many chairs on the beach. The hotels we looked at were Westin, Marriot, and Sunshine Suites. We never made it down to the Westin but the Marriot looked old from the front. We did enjoy our dinner at the Sunshine Suites. The place did not include gratuity in the bill which I thought was nice. I feel we received better service and they did not expect to be tipped twice. The hotel looked really nice and clean from the outside. However they have no view. I really recommend paying the extra for the Beachcomber’s location.
I recommend the 1st floor for easy in and out access. We stayed on the 4th floor and really enjoyed our view. Personally I would not enjoy the 3rd floor because people on the 4th floor can look straight down on you. We had a really nice conversation with the family on the 3rd floor. I feel that the sliding glass doors in the master bedroom are unnecessary. Perhaps with a normal window the street noise could be lessened. However we had no problems sleeping. The sliding door between the 2nd bedroom and bath had problems staying closed. It would have been nice to have one softer light in that bathroom to use as a nightlight. The 2nd bedroom has no windows. The condo had spotty internet which was annoying because we needed to communicate with family in the states. A big plus was the free state calls! We put all the dishes that we needed in the dishwasher before using them. They were very dirty. Sadly some pans could not be used due to stuck on food. We would have had liked a baking sheet. It would be nice if housekeeping could do the dishwasher. We did pay more for this condo than in Hawaii and they cleaned the dishes.
My family really enjoyed the calm clear waters of the Grand Cayman. We did rent a car through Avis which was okay. The car was clean and sufficient. However the customer service was more of a self service. You need to come prepared with your questions. For example ask for the driving permit, insurance offered, and what cars they have. We also received really poor instructions. Hertz and Alamo car rentals are next door to Avis. I may choose Hertz next time because of price. When you exit the airport turn left and cross the street. Budget was in front of the airport and across the street. I did contact Budget for a price and was not impressed with their reply. Budget seemed old from the outside. I do recommend a car over taxi. The taxis are everywhere but it looks like they have no AC. They also stuff people in and drive erratically. Too bad the Beachcomber has no shuttle because we really did not require a car. This island did not have the tropical atmosphere compared to Hawaii. It is a flat island with plants that I see at home in the states. Everyone told us you won’t find fish on Seven Mile beach but that is not true! We saw the spotted stingray, lionfish, flounder, and versus other species. We wasted too much time driving to find better snorkeling.
We were not impressed with Georgetown. Beware the stores close at 5pm and some don’t open on non cruise days. However it seems the only area for shirts. Too Hot to Handle by Margaretville is where I found the best selection. Margaretville also had better food and prices than I had expected. I just wish they had a view. The pool was small and seemed more for kids. Rental cars can park for free in the Bay mall parking lot.
Cayman Bay is a very pretty mall. Michael’s had awesome and unique food. It had a more European flair. Beware the cops where pulling over vehicles in this area.
Foster Food Fair is across the street which was nice. At night we walked as a group along the lighted store fronts and used the sidewalks. Remember to bring your own shopping bags because they charge for plastic. Beachcomber provided one bag.
We stayed only 3 nights in Grand Cayman for the price of Hawaii for a week. I still would rather go to Hawaii over Cayman for the tropical feel and no customs. However the Cayman’s had the calmest and clearest water I have ever seen.
My last piece of advice is to not pack all your necessary items in a checked bag. Our checked bag never made it the Grand Cayman airport. United airlines lost our luggage along with 4 other individuals. We did receive it at the condo on our 2nd night. If it happens to you I recommend calling the airliner in the morning and afternoon for a status update. Supposedly they did not know anything about missing luggage. Also the airport store employees were not welcoming. Buy gifts before arriving at the airport. One last thing if you have SSS on your boarding pass your baggage will be checked at the gate which is insane. I don’t understand how you can pass immigration and normal airport security only to be checked at the gate.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Seven Mile Beach is truly a world-class beach, set against a dazzling backdrop of tropical landscaping. It could be described as an elite neighborhood of mostly luxurious, private ownership condominiums fronting on the white sand beach and crystal clear turquoise sea. In every such waterfront neighborhood however, there are “special pockets” – sites that rise above the others in terms of beach quality and The Beachcomber is one of these! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Beachcomber Grand Cayman Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Beachcomber Grand Cayman Cayman Islands