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“Great Service, Great Beach”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed December 20, 2008

Just returned from a 5-night stay. Seven Mile Beach is the most beautiful stretch of beach in Grand Cayman (IMHO) and the Ritz is well positioned - further south, it gets a bit rocky, and further north, it gets almost desolate. Service was great - most notable were the stellar staff/management members we repeatedly encountered during our stay, who were the ideal level of attentive, helpful, and friendly. Arjun (sp?) who manages the bar and other areas was so great and professional and snuck us vanilla ice cream into the bar on late nights for our affogato; Brian at the bar gave us great restaurant tips; Phillip at concierge gave us great directions on sights around the island; and Robert on the beach who set up our beach chairs was professional and always steered us toward the best chairs/areas.

I highly recommend the ocean view rooms, the extra $$ was worth it. The views are gorgeous and you're conveniently located by the beach and ocean-side pool (the "resort" side of the Ritz is across the street from the beach (although connected to the beach side by hallway)). If you want to snorkel, jet ski, or engage in other water sports the Red Sail outpost is at the Westin just two resorts up (5 min. walk); if you want to rent a car, Avis is located on the 5th floor at the Ritz. Everything was very conveniently arranged.

If you play tennis and want to take lessons the pros (most of them German) are jovial and great hitters, and the clay courts are well kept.

As for the food, the resort fare is definitely decent - the food at the beach (from Bar Jack) is solid and Periwinkle has good dinner. The buffet breakfast for $24 C.I. ($30 US) seemed steep after a couple mornings, so we walked to a nearby cafe (Azzurro - best lattes) our last few days. Food overall on the island was pretty expensive but that's no surprise.

I wouldn't pay upwards of $1000+ during peak season but going just before that at a much reduced rate was the perfect caribbean vacation.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank califoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,675 - 2,681 of 2,999 reviews

Reviewed December 19, 2008

We had a great time at this property, in large part due to a great time of year to visit.

We booked the Reconnect Package, which included the breakfast buffet each day (delicious), and a $100 resort credit per day.

High Points:

1. Rooms
2. Wonderful service
3. Beautiful public areas, particularly the lounge
4. Pristine beach

Low Points:

1. Prices of everything (particularly alcohol) really high on the island
2. Too many rows of beach chairs on the beach
3. The fact that the resort review rooms, lobby, and most restaurants were not on the beach, and were across the street connected by a 10-minute "gallery"

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TravelgirlLouisiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2008

This place has it all. We have been there twice and have loved it on both occasions. Whether you are looking to spend your entire stay at the beach, or looking for an active vacation, you will not regret it. Perhaps the most accommodating, qualified, friendly, solicitous staff I have ever encountered in a hotel. The pool is stunning. The beach is amazing. I love their cabana and canopy beds! The rooms are nice, spacious, with good views, comfortable furniture, and are superbly maintained. The tennis center is top-notch. The food, while sometimes a little pretentious for a resort restaurant, is good and offers enough diversity that you can actually eat on the resort for a few days without having to repeat any of the experiences.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Nabok_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2008

My wife and I had been to the Cayman Islands two times prior to this trip and we love the place. We got engaged here last year and knew we wanted to return for our Honeymoon. We wanted to go first class for this once in a lifetime trip. The Ritz did not disappoint. Our entire stay was awesome! We went in the middle of November and the resort as a whole was not very busy.

The first thing we noticed about the Ritz is the service. Their entire staff is just outstanding. They knew who we were the whole time and eveyone kept congratulating us. They go over and above at every corner: a towel like cover of the beach chairs, free tastings served around the pool, staff who come by and clean your sunglasses, and on and on. Every single person was great.

The room was very nice although not overly big. It was very clean and they kept everything tidy on a daily basis. We especially liked the turn down service when they put a bucket of ice with bottles of water in your room. Things like that went a long way.

We were upgraded to the Club Lounge, which served food and drinks (alcoholic) all day, complimentary. We were not sure of the cost it would take to upgrade to this level again, but we are sure it would be worth it. The staff in the Club Lounge was awesome. They knew us as newlyweds right away and kept asking us how things were. The food quality and presentation was awesome and they changed it up daily. There were five servings of food (breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, appetizers at dinner and finally desserts). We made meals of this for breakfast and lunch everyday and then had pre-dinner snacks in the evening. The drinks available are good and the wine is quality. Again, if you plan to stay here and eat at the resort, it is worth upgrading.

The resort restaurants are good although very expensive (as you would expect at the Ritz). You cannot go wrong with any of them.

The spa is amazing. We had an hour massage each and they were awesome. After our massage, we were taken to a little area with rose petals and champaigne. The place is really cool and the locker rooms are wonderful (steam, sauna and whirlpool). We had access to this area and went down several times.

The pool and beach areas are really nice. The staff was always checking on us. We had a few drinks which were good a couple of times but they are pricy!

If you have not been to the Caymans, you should check out the little town. It is nice, clean and has some decent shopping. We have eaten out on past trips so we stayed close but some decent places all over. Our favorite bar (probably my favorite in the whole world) is My Bar at the Sunset House. The place is perfect for watching the sunsets and having a few drinks.

The only true negative is the cost but we certainly got our money's worth. I would highly recommend the Ritz (ESPECIALLY FOR A HONEYMOON) and I am sure it will not be our last stay there.

Safe and fun travels to everyone!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank RandEZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2008

Excellent food, upscale service, great beach, staff extremely friendly and service 24/7, great pool as well

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 061864la
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2008

Let me offer a contrarian point of view. I find the Ritz overblown and often tasteless in the way that the Bellagio in Vegas is. It is stage set luxury, not truly luxurious. for that it is way too big. Secondly it is essentially a convention hotel. Furthermore if you are indoors there is absolutely no sense of place. you could be in Santa Barbara, or White Plains. There is no feeling of being in the caribbean. All the help I had contact with were lovely (to their credit) but no one was local. I spoke to staff members from Bali, Zimbabwe, Brooklyn, Montreal, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria. All very interesting and informative but no one was from the Caymans or Jamaica.( I do understand that this is characteristic of the International nature of Ritz Carlton properties)

The beach is as lovely as everyone says, but I wish I had known I would need sand shoes. A word of precaution. There is a wide stretch of coral about 3 feet deep right in front of the hotel making it very uncomfortable getting in and out of the water. This may be seasonal or not, but I suspect is was the reason almost no one was in the water. After all it is a coral beach.

Food at the pool was as ordinary as you'd get at Friendly's but Blue was spectacular....THE hi light of our visit.

If you go and want to venture out, rent a car no matter how costly, The price of cabs was usurious but this is not the hotel's fault.

Overall it was a pleasant enough experience but after reading all the unqualified raves, I felt that other points of view should be posted.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with friends
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6  Thank ginsbery
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Nov. 22-29, and it was the most relaxing vacation on which we have ever been.

Before we arrived we were contacted by Vanessa Fuentes, a Ritz guest relations coordinator, via email. She arranged all our dinner reservations for us—even the one's not at the Ritz—as well as a kayaking excursion we did with the Ambassadors of the Environment program. She also arranged to have a mini-fridge in our room upon arrival.

Ms. Fuentes also requested our flight arrival and departure times (with flight numbers), which at the time I thought was strange. Upon arriving, however, I realized why she wanted these. She greeted us personally at the hotel check-in desk and walked us to our room, giving us a brief tour of the hotel on the way. While checking in, we were offered fresh fruit and juice, which was very nice. We definitely felt pampered after our long flight.

Our room (Room 152):
Pros: We stayed on the NON-ocean-front side of the hotel. It was nicely appointed, had many, many cable channels (not that you are going to watch that much TV in a fancy hotel located on the beach, anyway) and the bottled water was free. The maid service replenished soap and other Bvlgari products every day, whether you used them or not. They also came each evening for turn-down service with chocolates, which was very nice. Of course it also had a stocked mini-bar. If I had it to do over again, I would have chosen an ocean-front room. The hotel has an awesome view of the ocean; it would have been worth it. Really, I know it's a lot more, but I think it would have been worth it. The garden-view room was nice too, though. Just not "fabulous."

Cons: Throughout our stay the room had a very slight, weird odor—sometimes it was stronger; other times less so. It reminded me of the smell of a hampster or gerbil cage. It wasn't that big of a deal, and I'm sure it's hard to keep the room totally mildew free in that type of tropical environment; it was humorous more than anything else to my husband and me. Also, there was a mildew-ey growth in our shower behind the soap holder (and it was there the whole time we stayed—I'm sure it's still there). It could have easily been cleaned, and it was irritating knowing you're paying all this money and the bathroom is not being properly cleaned. (I'm assuming this outward sign of neglect is indicative of a general "slap-dash" cleaning of the bathroom, which I suppose might not be true.) Also, someone else mentioned that the shower is small. Oh yes, it is. You cannot get out of the stream of the water to soap up it's so small. I would think someone who is claustrophobic might have problems in that shower. It's that small. BUT, the shower head height is good and high (this is a problem for us tall people, as some hotels situate their shower head to hit my neck). But for the record, I'm totally nit-picking here about these cons, because overall the room rocked.

The staff:
Pros: Always polite and helpful, always willing to go out of their way to help us out, always willing to explain how something works in the hotel for us midwestern yokels (like the spa stuff) ...

Cons (Again, nit-picky): My husband and I have different last names. Though I explained to the girl at the check-in desk (not Ms. Fuentes) that we had different last names and watched her type his name in full into their system, he was called by my last name throughout the trip by every employee at the hotel (as the trip was booked in my name). Not a big deal, but when he signed for a bill with his name, the server came back and said the name did not match the room, so for the remainder of the trip I had to sign every bill or he had to forge my name. Now that was irritating (for him).

The hotel and grounds:
Pros: So beautiful! Really. It was a pleasure just to walk the hotel and grounds and feast your eyes on the art, the landscaping, the tastefully designed restaurants and floral arrangements and interior decor. The pool and surrounding grounds are so beautiful, and their beach is truly the best on the island. Really. The sand is sifted every day, I think, and the staff spends hours each morning preparing the pool and beach area for another memorable day in paradise for the guests. Such wonderful service! I felt truly pampered to be able to "live" in such posh surroundings if only for a week. In short, it all just felt "classy." We walked through a neighboring hotel that was supposed to be of a similar rating (The Westin) and it simply did not compare to the Ritz.

Cons: The ocean-front rooms are on the west side of the street, and the garden-view rooms are on the east side of the street. The two parts of the hotel are connected by a "hallway" that spans the road three stories up. (So cars drive under the walkway.) The Ritz has used this hallway as an art gallery, which is nice to peruse as your traverse the hallway for the 22nd time, but it grew old after a week. Maybe I'm lazy.

The restaurants:
Pros: Almost everything we ate at the Ritz restaurants was wonderful. (The only "meh" dinner was one we had a Periwinkles, but that may have been just what we ordered.) SEVEN is wonderful—don't miss the Sunday champagne brunch! YUM! (Everything at SEVEN was yummy!) Bar Jack's food was very good too. We didn't eat at Blue (my husband doesn't like seafood), but I thought it looked fabulous. The wine selections were also great. Even the lower-priced options were very good, and the higher-priced options were spectacular. Wine sommelier's help you with your selections: awesome! Don't be intimidated by the idea of the sommelier; we are no wine connoisseurs and we made that clear when the sommelier came over to the table. She asked us what types of wine we liked and what we were having for dinner, and she then offered several suggestion is a variety of price ranges. She was very nice and checked back with us several times to make sure we were enjoying the wine, offering us some background information on the winery, the region, the grape, etc. Service!

Cons: The expense, of course. But the food is truly wonderful. You're not paying a lot of money for mediocre food; it's really very very good. And the service was fabulous.

Other restaurants to visit:
EATS, definitely. Great breakfast! And only $20 U.S. for two people for eggs, toast, potatoes, bacon, coffee, juice (from concentrate) and toast. You can't beat that on Grand Cayman.

Calypso Grill: Oh, my, so yummy! Sticky toffee pudding: double yum! My husband, who doesn't like seafood, said they also did a great job on the chicken he ordered, as well as a root vegetable salad that was wonderful.

Wrap-up:
In general, I can't say enough good things about this hotel and our experience there. We spent a fair number of days just lolling by the pool sipping pina colada's and enjoying the view out to the beach. It was so, so relaxing and beautiful. It was like a dream. We struggled the last day or two to get in some time outside the resort because it was so easy to just stay there and enjoy the posh, "ritz-y" world they have created at this resort. Strolling down the white sand beach provides an awe-inspiring view of the ocean, and the sunsets are spectacular. (If you're a runner, you have GOT to run on this beach, as well; morning runs are best as the beach is much less crowded. And by the way, their workout room is excellent, with a large selection of cardio machines (each with its own TV and audio) all looking out to the garden side of the resort, a separate room for aerobics classes at regularly-scheduled times, free weights and weight machines, etc.)

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank charky1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Address: West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach KY1-1209, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > Seven Mile Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Romantic Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range: $485 - $1,758 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman 5*
Number of rooms: 365
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a luxury two-tower resort on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Here, sparkling blue waters blend seamlessly with the sand and sky to create your perfect Caribbean oasis. Located on an archipelago of three picturesque islands, our Cayman Islands resort hotel offers a breathtaking location unlike anywhere else on earth. From the white sands of Seven Mile Beach to world-renowned restaurants including Blue, by renowned seafood chef Eric Ripert, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman luxury resort offers guests an unforgettable escape from the everyday. With a resort side including resort and garden view rooms and an ocean side for ocean view rooms the property runs from sound to sea. Residential towers are located on the ocean side. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Hotel Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman Ritz Carlton
Ritz Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Cayman Islands

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