I'll try to give everyone some good info on this place, and a bit about Grand Cayman for those who haven't been there. Also I should start out by saying that this was a different kind of trip; I went for a week with my sons (both adults), and the primary purpose of our visit was to scatter my wife's ashes in the Caribbean. She passed away last year, and this was one of her last requests. So, if I'm a bit subdued from prior reviews, that is why.
So, we arrived for a week in January, at got to the hotel around 4:30 on a Saturday. Trish is the on-site manager, and she was waiting for us when we got there. She is a long-term local and very knowledgeable about the facility and GC in general.
Our unit was #134. Here is the first downside: third floor, no elevators. I'm still young so I had no problems. If you are older or have health issues with stairs, be sure and get a ground floor unit. The unit was spotless upon arrival, and tastefully, but not lavishly decorated. Two bed, two bath, nice size living room and dining table to seat four, bar seating for three more in the kitchen. Full size fridge, decent selection of flatware, (lousy cutlery); the pots, pans, and plates were good, plenty of plastic cups and glasses (glass not allowed at the pool nor beach). No garbage disposal, but use the trash as there is daily maid service.
No smoking in the rooms but all the units have a screened in sun porch and I thikn you can smoke on them. If this is an issue for you, talk to Trish beforehand. remember that these units areindividually owned condos, so the owners likely have some say about what goes on in their units.
The beds are comfy, and the showers good. Plenty of closet/dresser space. The water on GC is safe to drink but it tastes and smells bad, so be sure and get some bottled water at the store. There is a washer/dryer stack that works very well, but you have to bring your own detergent. (They do provide dishwasher detergent.). The A/C worked great.
First order of business, go to the grocery store. Take a cab, or at least take a cab back. There are two within walking distance; Trish will give you the details. Be sure and get some steaks and stuff to grill; there are big nice propane grills to use on the property. Grocery prices are high, but it is cheaper than eating out. Having said that, you're going to want to eat out some, as there are some fantastic restaurants on GC.
The pool is average size, but nobody uses it much, as everyone goes to the beach. Here is where this place really shines. This is a small facility, and it seemed to be only about half full, but the beach is private, which means only RBC guests are allowed. And, security patrols the place all the time, so there are always plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas, with plenty of room to spread out. Just look next door at the penguin colony that is the Marriott and you'll see what I mean! Shoot, you can even see the difference on Google Earth! And, while the Marriott crowd can't hang at your beach, you can use their beach bar. They take cash and credit cards, but get ready, a couple of cocktails and a beer will run you about US$50 with tip. Better to hit the liquor store around the corner from the gas station just north of RBC and stock up yourself. There's a saying here: it's called Grand Cayman because it costs about a grand per day to visit here.
The surf is gentle enough for the kids to play in, and there is zero undertow. The sand is great, and every night a small group hangs at the beach to have a cocktail or a glass of wine and watch the sunset. Belive me, sunsets at Seven Mile Beach are among the best in the world, and I've seen a bunch of them.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel, the RBC is not for you. If you want a quiet, private, non-crowded place to kick back, then this may work for you. Bottom line, would I go back? Yeah, I would.
If you've never been to GC and want a bit more, keep reading.
Close by, there is a Pizza Hut across the street, and it tastes just like one in the states. There is a bar across the street called the Aqua; I'd avoid it as the manager there is a real jerk. There is a much nicer place called Coconut Joes about 1/2 block south. Two for one margaritas on the night we were there. For a more upscale place, go to the Italian place (can't recall the name), but it is in Buckingham Place strip mall about a ten minute walk north of the RBC on the east side of the street. Fantastic fine dining, excellent service reasonably priced (for GC). Get the conch fritters, a GC specialty.
Georgetown is about a 20-30 minute walk south of RBC. This is where the cruise ships dock, and is where all of the tourists are. When there are 4-5 ships in port, it can get pretty crowded. This is also where all the high-end shopping can be found, as well as some of the more touristy places to eat (think Hard Rock, Jimmy Buffets, Breezes, etc). You want a T-shirt? Go to Georgetown.
I could not in good conscience write this review without mentioning Stingray City. The place is just amazing, and there are a myriad of tour companies to choose from. We used Captain Marvin's and had no problems whatsoever, but the last time we were here we used someone else and had no issues then either. I'd recommend researching them here on TripAdvisor and picking one you are comfortable with. The bottom line is, this is a must do excursion, and one you will always remember.
Another thing, GC pretty much shuts down un Sundays (liquor stores closed). GC is not Cancun or Jamaica, where anything goes. This is a British commonwealth, and the conservative British attitude is evident. Ladies, you can be arrested for topless sunbathing. Swear in a taxicab and you're liable to get an earful from the driver. Speaking of driving, they drive on the left side of the road here, so when crossing the street, look to your right first. This is important, and when you do it the first time you'll get it.
Financial tips. Creidt cards are good here, and most places convert and give you a receipt in US dollars. If you pay for something with US currency, you will almost certainly get your change in Caymanian dollars, or CI, as they call it for short. The exchange rate is fixed, and pegged to the US dollar, so you don't have to worry about getting the best rate. The rate is, .8$CI = 1$US. So, if you look at something priced in CI, multiply it times 1.25 to get the US price.
Other than the aforementioned bar manager, I have found the Cayman people to be very outgoing and very friendly. They are proud of their islands and their heritage, and they do understand that their success is tied to tourism, so they go out of their way to take care of their customers. They are a very polite people, so mind your manners, say please and thank you, smile, address them as Ma'am or Sir. Do these simple things and you are certain to enjoy your stay.
Hope this helps!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury short and long term vacation rentals on world renown Seven Mile Beach. Located in the heart of Grand Cayman. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Regal Beach Club Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Regal Beach Club Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands