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“More info for families with young kids” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Anchorage Condominiums

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The Anchorage Condominiums
1989 West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman   |  
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Stay 5 pay for 4 nights
Denver
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“More info for families with young kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

We returned to The Anchorage in December 2010 after suffering 5 long months without a dive trip (what can we say, we like to dive ... a lot). We've been to Grand Cayman several times, and this was our second stay at The Anchorage. You can see our other review is in here somewhere. I write this one to give families with young kids some extra info on the cabana/shade/beach situation.

Another reviewer had some issues with the cabana saving and the beach entry. As the reviewer pointed out, a bunch of that has to do with weather patterns, and there were several weeks of rough water in West Bay that affected the beach in front of The Anchorage. When we were there in July, it was all sand, all calm, and a lot more sand real estate between the condos and the water. In December, we were there when there was rough water on West Bay and there were some crazy waves (in our several trips, I've never seen waves like this on 7 mile beach; the water at Georgetown was cresting almost on the road, and it was wave action of which any surfer would be enviable). ** Here's an aside for divers, go with Indepth Watersports, and you'll always be able to dive; Nat's boat is fast and he can get to stuff that's far away. On those days, we went to the South Sound. We never missed a day of diving for rough conditions. **

During the week, much of the beach eroded
. It went from a smooth entry one day to one-half foot drop ledge the next; this was the week right before Christmas. Since my kids are maniacs, it was actually very fun for them. They made a slide, they hurled themselves off it it, and they generally made a thing of running into and up on it. I can see how this would not be great for a 2 year old.

However, the beach will be different when you are there. It might be worse, it might be better, but it will definitely be different. And it's a crapshoot for any beach property on the island. When we used to stay in Villas Pappagallos, the beach was different each time we came. It just depends on what kind of surf they've had and what time of year you go. Also, it changes pretty quickly. And, if the beach in front of the Anchorage isn't great, you can walk anywhere on 7 mile beach and find a great spot. Any part of the beach is up for grabs.

My kids never sit, so the cabana has never been an issue for us. When I want them to get some shade, I drag them over to the vacant lot to play in front of the trees. With a kid who will sit and dig, you will probably be pretty happy to sit under the cabanas. In our two trips there, the cabanas have never been fully occupied, so I've never experienced wanting a cabana and not getting one. We've never seen people saving cabanas like the other reviewer experienced, but it's probably an issue sometimes, and, if it's an issue, Judi in the office could help.

As for the pool/sand toys, there've always been some to use. We don't bring our own, but we ask Judi if there are any before we check in, and there have always been some waiting for us at the condo. Some people might bring there own, but there are surely communal toys (and noodles and floats) around for the using. If you don't know if it's the Anchorage's, you can just ask Patrick (the grounds guy). He'd know.

In December, we stayed in the 3rd floor 3 bedroom unit. It was great. Plenty big, as nice as the 2BR one we stayed in in July. I think it's the same one the other reviewer (with the cabana issue) stayed in, and that reviewer gave it a good description.

Overall, the thing you need to know is that this place is a bang for the buck, it's clean, and it's pretty darn good for kids. It's excellently located to catch a dive boat leaving from Morgan's Harbor or West Bay dock, and it's easy to get to the South Sound from there. It's not as crowded as being close to the resorts on 7 mile beach. It's far away from the cruise shippers.

If you haven't spent much time there or if you haven't been in a while, you can look for a book with pictures taken after Hurricane Ivan. We've been going since about 2002, and, post Ivan, the beaches changed a ton. In fact, they had to remove the beach from the main road, and, 6+ years later, you can still see piles of sand leftover from when the beach washed ashore. A year later, the beaches were back to how we remembered, and now they've changed again. But, it's always amazing.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

We just returned from a lovely one week stay in Grand Cayman. Even with a "cold front," the temperatures were heavenly and the water perfect--especially compared to the blizzard we left behind.

We chose the Anchorage for the value it offered--what was essentially a three bedroom condo, right on Seven Mile Beach. We were not disappointed by the condo: good location, unbeatable view, washer/dryer, a kitchen that was adequately stocked with equipment. And even though we were the farthest condo from the beach (3rd floor, opposite side to beach entry path) - getting to the beach was less than a three minute affair. You should expect plenty of families there due to the space and value.

Judi in the front office was a wonderful and gracious hostess. Easy to talk to, laid back but efficient, and very helpful. Made reservations a breeze. I really think Judy is terrific.

The beach itself changed so much over the week we were there. The white sand was always perfect, The entry was sandy at the beginning and rocky at the end - this is the case with all the condos in this area, as I understand it. It's not worth over-researching this point--it's all up to Mother Nature. With a small toddler (under 2), we would have had to carry him into the water toward the end of the week--but he mainly just wanted to play and dig in the sand.

Before I move to the caveat, let me just reiterate that all Tripadvisor reviews are just the opinion of one person (or family)--and your experience could be very different. This did not ruin our stay by any means (I miss the sun, trust me), but is just something to consider before you go.

What makes the Anchorage charming is its small size. But this also means that the stretch of beach is also somewhat small. If you don't need groomed sand or a wide stretch of sand, you can take a few steps to the left and sit in front of the vacant lot (with a very steep drop off to the water). With a small child under 2, we preferred to sit closer in. The four cabanas you see in the pictures are basically the entire beach. So for us, there were crowding issues.

Theoretically, four cabanas are sufficient for the number of people there. And indeed, there were always empty cabanas when we came down--empty except for the people who chose to leave their towels and junk in there to "save" them while they hung out in their rooms, played by the pool, or who knows what. Of course the sheet of rules you receive tell you this isn't allowed, so maybe it was the mix of people. One family left their water toys out all night, basically taking the cabana for their entire stay--I actually thought the toys were communal, since they were left out for so long (and if they were yours, I apologize for taking the orange pail for my child to play with--I would never have done so if I didn't think they were for public use). Others just left their towels all day and sometimes overnight, ensuring they'd have a spot in the morning when they woke up.

This situation culminated with one person who told me I couldn't use the cabana he and his wife were LEAVING because they were "coming back." I didn't see the point in sitting under a small wobbly beach umbrella (which I was carrying) when there was perfectly good, unused shade in an empty cabana! I am sorry I snapped at him, but after a week of being the chump who followed the rules and packed up towels, toys, snorkels, etc. and hauled them back three flights to the farthest condo while carrying a child on my hip after each and every time on the beach, I had had enough. The man was an owner, though, and perhaps the rules are different for owners. I think the people who left their toys overnight were also owners--who knows.

That being said, so much depends on who else is there, your tolerance for sun vs. shade (more than enough loungers), and whether or not you're willing to play the game of leaving your things out for what we used to call "savesies" when I was younger. Certainly other reviewers had a very different experience. Maybe I just should have drunk a few more Caybrews and tried to go with the flow a bit more, but with a child who loves to dig in the sand, that shade (and being sober, LOL) was very important to me! And since this is my first trip to GC, I have no way of knowing if this is the same with a larger resort/condo on SMB.

The Anchorage cannot be beat for its excellent value. I would recommend to a friend with a full explanation of our experience there and let the family decide for themselves. Enjoy Grand Cayman! It's a great family vacation.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
sf
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

This was a girlfriend trip and the Anchorage was a great place. Small and quaint with a gorgeous beach! We stayed in one of garden units and may return another time and splurge for a beach front unit.

We choose not to rent a car and got around fine between cabs and using public transportation. The Cayman's are expensive, and the Anchorage made it much more reasonable. Explore the restaurant at the Sunshine Suites for great food.

The water is beautifully tranquil and turquoise in color.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Denver
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

We stayed at The Anchorage in July 2010 and had a fantastic vacation. We are a family with small kids (ages 2 and 5), and it was the perfect place for an easy family vacation. There is easy beach entry and the kids can snorkel out to the reef; there's a nice little pool; it's quiet and clean; the condos are sufficient, the staff is nice, and it's not crazy expensive. We dive, and this place provides quick access to Morgan's Harbor (Indepth Watersports leaves from there). It's also a quick drive to DiveTech (another fabulous dive operation) and loads of shore diving. There's a nice reef right off the condos, and the beach is lovely. There're some shade structures, and our kids were thrilled to be able to spend all day at the pool or beach. We stayed in the beachfront condo (on the third floor because I didn't want the 2 yo to be able to walk into the pool too easy), and it was very comfortable. We had more than enough room for 2 adults and 2 kids (there were 2 bedrooms plus a big den that could have been a bedroom, a big family room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and large screened balcony). We had previously (in pre-child years) stayed in condos in West Bay (and loved it), and I noticed there are not as many mosquitos at The Anchorage. I believe it's because the island sprays to reduce bugs around 7 mile beach. That, in and of itself, is enough to keep us from renting a condo in West Bay in the future. The cleaning staff was fantastic, the grounds guy was great (he cut up coconuts for the kids every day), and the office staff are very helpful and kind. I have no complaints about this place. To be clear, it's quite a different environment than a ritzy resort in the middle of 7 mile beach, so don't expect that when you book. But you can expect a very good stay for a very good price. I would highly recommend this place for families.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hockessin, Delaware
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2010

The Anchorage is located on a beautiful stretch of beach. A little bit north, it can be rocky in front of the condos. It is within walking distance (5-10 minutes up the beach) to Cemetery Beach (probably the best off beach snorkling on the island). We stayed in unit 14. It was beautiful. Just be prepared to hike steps. The building is three stores tall and there isn't an elevator. There is an IGA supermarket close by. It actually has a wholesale section similar to BJs, Sams Club or Costco. You can get soda, water, chips, salsa, for less than in the regular section of the market. Be prepared to spend a lot of money. Everything is expensive (except Rum). TIP: for authentic Cayman food, try the food bar in the IGA for lunch. The choices include: fish, rice/bean dishes, veggies, plantains, jerk chicken, etc.

You will need to rent a car. We ate breakfast and lunch in, then traveled to town for dinner. It is also handy for any boating activities. The location of the Anchorage allows you to drive to the docks instead of having to be shuttled on a bus with other tourists. (We used Capt. Marvins for the sting ray trip and Cayman Marine Lab for scuba... I highly recommend both companies. )

The condo had everything you would need. A welcome basket of about 25 pieces of fruit was left in our condo on check in day. What a nice surprise. Judi in the front office is helpful and accommodating. You can use her computer to print out airline boarding passes.

Be sure to take snorkle gear with you. There are spots right near the condo that give you a chance to see sting rays, turtles, barries and a whole array of fish.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2010

Stayed here for a week with my wife. Lot's of room for two persons, and condo was looking great. All things you want are available including great beach. It is on the more quit part of 7 mile beach.
I do agree that you best take ocean view as the road is pretty noisy.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

Was lucky enough to stay at The Anchorage again for our 2 week easter trip, however it turned into 3 weeks thanks to the Volcanic ash in iceland!
Judy and her team keep this place running as smooth as clockwork! We stayed in 2 different condo's which were spotless and decrorated to the usual high standard that the Anchorage is.

Its still in my view the best place on GC to stay, you are treated like family and we count the Anchorage as home. It was also great to see old friends (Mark & Joanne) who we met on a previous trip to the Anchorage.

The beach is still the best part of SMB and its safe for young children.

Can't wait to return

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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Additional Information about The Anchorage Condominiums

Address: 1989 West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > Seven Mile Beach
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 38 Specialty lodging in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Also Known As:
The Anchorage Condominiums Hotel Seven Mile Beach
The Anchorage Condominiums Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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