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“The Most Beautiful Hotel I've Stayed In On The Most Beautiful Island!”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed July 18, 2009

Got back last night from a week at the Ritz Grand Cayman. I've stayed in some beautiful hotels but this far exceeded my expectations. The staff was friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to see that we had a wonderful experience. We had planned a trip to Hawaii but will reconsider after being in Grand Cayman. We'll probably return to the Ritz. Yes, food and amenities are expensive there but the dollar is weak compared to CI. Prices seemed high all over the island. There are plenty of places to eat away from the property if the prices at the Ritz restaurants are to high for you.
Never ran out of things to do and that's saying a lot considering we have two teenagers to keep entertained.
I would highly recommend the Ritz!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JRL46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 14, 2009

I've been to a handful of Ritz Carltons in my day (Santa Monica, Naples, Naples Golf, Key Biscayne) and this one is superior. The property on Seven Mile Beach is perfect. The hotel common areas are beautiful and classy, the restaurants are fantastic. The pools are large and well attended as is the beach. The staff, particularly in these two areas work their bottoms off and it shows. They were incredible people. Overall, the staff in all areas were great. We put our kids in the Jean-Michel Ambassadors of the Environment Kids' Club which was simply wonderful. They learned so much and had a ball doing it. If I had to pick something that could be improved it would be really tough. I suppose the carpets were slightly worn. Our room must have been the cheaper room because it was a looooonnnng walk to the beachfront area of the hotel but the room was pretty and looked like a Ritz room. You pay to play and eat and meals with tax and 15 % gratuity (which is reasonable) were always expensive. The tab was usually around $100 per meal for breakfast/lunch and often more (two adults, two kids). A glass of milk is $4.00 and it goes up from there. But we factored this into our stay. The location is superb with Red Sail Sports at your beck and call plus the resort has kayaks, snorkel equipment and other toys you can borrow. We have been to Cayman 4 times but this was our first stay at The Ritz. There wasn't much of a reason for us to leave the resort. It was a great vacation and we'll be back.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank lucy32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2009

We just got back from a Grand Cayman vacation and had to post how wonderful our stay at the Ritz was! This was our second visit to this incredible island and we were very impressed with the Ritz. The beach was beautiful, the water clear and calm and the service outstanding! We stayed at the Marriott last summer and though the hotel was nice, the water was not as clear and the service a little lacking. At the Ritz we were treated to cold towels and juice/ water throughout the day on the beach. The lounges were comfortable and on a first come first served basis (no worries- there were plenty!) The Ritz also provided thick foam rafts to float on in the ocean or pool. Just an overall incredible vacation and we can't wait to go back!!!

Thank summer09Folsom_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2009

The Ritz Carlton is a very large hotel split into an "ocean side" and a "resort side" with a major road and an overbridge between them. Each side is by itself as large as a big hotel - together this is a huge hotel. The rooms on the ocean side all have balconies overlooking the pool and beach/ocean. High floors have better views. The rooms on the resort side don't have views of anything interesting (despite nice sounding names like "resort view" and "lagoon view"). Of course the ocean side rooms are more expensive, but I would definitely recomment paying up (or staying fewer days) and getting an ocean side room. The main restaurant (e.g., for breakfast) and beach bar are on the ocean side.

The rooms themselves are very nice, spacious, and well-appointed. They have typically conservative Ritz-Carlton decor and furnishings. There are all the little details that you expect of an upscale hotel, e.g., double basins in the bathroom, separate shower and bathtub, separate toilet, slippers and bathrobes, free bottled water delivery, etc. One very nice touch is free wireless and wired internet. The balconies are also spacious. If I'm going to be very picky, the things I didn't like about the rooms are: the in-room safe was a silly vertical shape that meant it couldn't hold much, there wasn't enough drawer space, and I wish they'd give you a proper fridge instead of the typical over-priced minibar (does anyone actually buy things from a hotel minibar?)

The beach and pool are lovely. The beach is wide and the sand is fine and so white that it doesn't even get hot underfoot in the midday sun. The water in beautiful turquoise blue and was as calm as a swimming pool the entire time of our stay (9 days). However, this is a BIG hotel on a well-developed beach, not an undiscovered "blue lagoon" tropical paradise. There are three rows deep each of about 100 beach chairs. During our stay, you had to be down at the beach by 8:00am to be sure of getting a front-row (i.e., ocean front) beach chair. Typically of large beach resorts, people come down and claim chairs before breakfast, then come back often many hours later to actually sit on them. People often leave their chairs for hours while they go away to do other things, but no one else can use those chairs while they are away. It's tough for the staff to do anything about this, but I really wish they'd just make a policy that if you leave your beach chairs for more than an hour or two, they give them to someone else.

Food in the hotel and everywhere in the Cayman Islands is overpriced. The islands have a fixed exchange rate of USD$1 = Cayman$0.80. So you see a hamburger for $20 and think "Wow that's an expensive hamburger", but in fact it's really an even more expensive USD$25 hamburger! Watch out the the hotel adds a "service charge" of 15% or 20% to all food bills, but also gives you a space for "additional gratuity", so you can end up tipped twice if you don't notice this. I thought that was a bit tacky.

The staff at the Ritz Carlton try very hard and we had many wonderful examples of them going out of their way to do special little things for us - bringing us free cookies, setting up a special tea service for us when we were late for the scheduled tea service, paying special attention to our little daughter everywhere, etc. We really appreciated those touches. However, the service also suffered a little from the size of the hotel. There were several times that we asked our housekeeping service to come back in 10 minutes and they didn't come back in many hours. We called for the bellstaff to come to help us with our bags on checkout and they hadn't turned up 30 minutes later (so we lugged our own bags to the checkout). The staff were very multinational and some had such bad English (the language of the Cayman Islands) that communicating a restaurant order to the waiter was sometimes like dining in a non-English speaking country.

All-in-all, we had a great time and very much enjoyed staying at the Ritz Carlton Cayman Islands.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank BlueSkiesPlease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2009

We truly enjoyed our stay here, and it was a solid 4.5 star experience. I had to take half a star off for some mishaps and annoyances, and the presence of Convention People.
Check In: Relatively smooth. We had to wait for our room for 1 hour, so we went to Bar Jack and had lunch. The woman who checked us in was professional and quick. Lunch at Bar Jack was kind of random. We sat at a table in the middle, it was packed! Service was spotty, and it literally took forever to order, receive drinks and food. However, the Bar Jack manager/host was really nice and he made up for the annoying atmosphere of certain obnoxious people and birds swooping down to retrieve bits of fallen crumbs. If you need anything, I’d flag him down and he’ll get it for you and he has some good tips on restaurants and whatnot on the island. One hour and 20 minutes later, we headed back to the front desk and were relieved to hear that our room was ready. A young woman led us to our room, and although she was nice it wasn’t necessary. Our bags were not there, which was another annoyance but arrived 30 minutes later.
Décor/Room: Island style, very “Tommy Bahama-ish”. The resort is huge, but nicely laid out and areas easy to find once you’ve explored a bit. The usual wicker furniture, floral patterns, pale neutral color schemes, etc. Our room was large for two people, with a balcony overlooking an expansive lawn/garden area, small loveseat, work table, King size bed, 32 inch television (not flat screen surprisingly), DVD player already set up, and easy to use safe on the smaller size (wouldn’t fit a laptop) in the closet. I liked the bathroom, and was prepared for the narrow stand up shower but it wasn’t that bad. A woman shaving her legs could find it problematic, but there’s a tub that did the trick. Double sinks and toilet separated by a door. I would like to mention this is one resort that remembered my request for extra toiletries. I walk in and there were 5 bottles each of Bvlgari shampoo, conditioner and lotion, which were restocked daily. Water pressure in the shower was fine.
Service: Really good, with the exception of the waitress at Bar Jack. Because of the bad and hectic service there, we ate at Periwinkle for the remainder of our lunches. It was quieter there, but still those same annoying birds. You cannot escape them at the Ritz! Peri is located in the back of the resort near the “Quiet Pool.” The food was tasty too. Expect to spend roughly $80 for breakfast and lunch for two. Not bad, but then the drinks, oh the frozen cocktails! They were perfect poolside or beachside, and around $20 per drink. We were invited to the manager’s reception our first night, and it was alright since there were complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
Amenities: Excellent all around. The gym was awesome! New machines, lots of cardio equipment (at least 10 pieces of mixed items), two flat benches with a nice rack of free weights, small yoga room, clean with towels and water, adjacent to the Silver Rain La Prairie spa. You had complimentary access to their locker room, steam/sauna/jacuzzi, shower, etc. It was stocked with the yummiest melon water, La Prairie body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and razors. If you needed anything you can ask and they’ll get it for you. I loved that it was usually pretty empty. I booked a facial and it was amazing! The aesthetician was pretty good, products great and although they tried to sell me some of their items they weren’t pushy about it. Price came to about $250 which is close to what I pay for Bliss facials in NYC, so no surprise there. I highly recommend coming here for a little post beach relaxation even if you aren’t having any treatments. However, if you do get one, their relaxation room upstairs for clients is one of the best I’ve ever seen. You get an individual sofa nook, with your fave magazines, music and a nice variety of snacks and drinks. They even brought me a glass of champagne. Wonderful service and beautiful ambience. I wish I had time for more visits!
Food: Breakfast and lunch were more than what we needed. The breakfast buffet had a nice selection of fruit, juices, omelette station, eggs benedict, oatmeal and bacon. Service was kind of spotty, it sometimes took the servers a little too long to bring you coffee. 15 minutes?! Surely it shouldn’t be that long to get a cup of coffee. Anyway, you can eat inside or out, but it was too hot so we always ate inside. Lunch is recommended at Periwinkle, we never really left once we got here. However, we did eat outside once for dinner at Yoshi Sushi which had great grilled dishes and okay sushi, but our last night we ate at Blue by Eric Ripert. I was really looking forward to this since I’ve been to Le Bernardin and I’m a fan. A lot of things about the restaurant reminded me of Gordon Ramsay at the London, it was almost as good but GRs is my favorite restaurant in NYC so it takes a lot to beat. However, Blue is definitely a 5 star restaurant. The waitstaff are attentive, but not overly so, they serve you in twos and were both very charming and knowledgeable. The pork belly was out of this world, and the sommelier paired the perfect wines for my dishes. Reasonably priced too. The dinner for two was only about $400. My second favorite part after the food was when the executive chef came out and chatted with us for 10 minutes. He was very nice, and gracious with his time. Very nice man and I can’t wait to come back for dinner the next time we come to GC.
Etc. Misc: We went to the beach everyday and were glad to find an abundance of chairs. I agree with other reviewers that the chairs are really close together, and that they should cluster them with a few feet of space in between. However, we were never bothered by it and if anyone was noisy, the iPod fixed the problem. I loved the yellow floating pods out in the water, it was fun to race to and cool off. Snorkel equipment, floats, kayaks, etc. are complimentary. We also took the tricycle out and it looked a lot more fun than it really was! Servers were great, came around regularly and handed out complimentary cups of juice. I will have to say that the mojitos here were a disappointment, but daquiris excellent. We also spent some afternoons at the Quiet pool since it was frequented by only a handful of other couples seeking relaxation. The chairs were very comfy and the attendant from Indonesia was sweet and went out of his way for anything you asked. I recommend coming here at least once to enjoy a serene environment. We went on the Stingray City Tour and it was an awesome experience. We decided that we'll go everytime we are in GC. If you have time for one activity only, make it this tour. We went on a day where there was only 1 cruise docked, and had the city all to ourselves! We couldn't believe our luck.
In Conclusion: I loved my stay at the Ritz, and cannot wait to come back the next time we are in GC. I've recommended it to all my co-workers and friends, and our friend is going for their honeymoon. However, beware visiting at the end of May. I overheard the convention peeps mentioning that they'll be there again next year, so it's an annual thing for them. Other than that, have a wonderful and relaxing time!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank MonkeyNPrinceTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

We went to Cayman Island for the first time. Although we did not care for the island and were not staying at the Ritz, we did go for dinner one evening. What a wonderful experience. Everyone was so nice and friendly. The atmosphere was so inviting and beautiful. I would recommend this hotel over any other I saw on the island.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AlAnn77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

Just returned from 8 nights at the Ritz Grand Cayman. It was simply amazing. We travelled with 3 of our children (13, 11, 2) and all of us had a great experience. After staying in Atlantis last year (The Cove), we thought it would be tough on the kids to not have the same quantity of activities as you would find in Atlantis. We were right and wrong. There isn't the Disney World/Vegas feel, but there is plenty for the kids to do, the staff is friendly and warm to the children and the pool and beach were very kid-friendly. There are no water slides or river rides so don't come here if that is what you are expecting. I gurantee you though that the kids will soon forget the urge to go on a water slide after 24 hours at the Ritz.

So much of the positves and areas of improvement are discussed already in most reviews, so I will list just a few:

Positive:

Service. Hands down, regardless of where in the world you have travelled, this place is one of the best in the world in terms of personal service. Not all Ritz properties are created equal, and this one tops all the ones I have been to. Again, best service...period.

Amazing beach and pool. The sand is white so it is cool on your feet, even in the hot July sun. Make sure you grab a spot early (need to get there by 8am) in the front row and be sure to be around for the sunset. The pool was uncrowded and despite a few loud adults (not the kids!) who had a few too many beverages, it was calm yet lively. We met some fantastic people at the pool and beach and became freindly with these terrific folks and that enhanced our vacation experience. The fruit, cold towels, and fruit juice every couple of hours was quite a nice treat and appreciated in the summer heat.

Food:

Bar Jack (pool/beach food) was great. We ate there daily and the quality was superior to other beach/pool food options I have had. The service was fast, the prices very reasonable (yes, reasonable!) and the pool staff was great. If you have kids, ask for the "kids burger", for example, as it is not on the menu but costs only $7 (Cayman) vs. 2x's as much for the regular menu kobe burger and the kid's meal comes with fruit and a cookie.

Periwinkle was good, but I prefered to stay on the beach side and eat at the pool or beach. Personal choice, but we did eat at Periwinkle a few times and it was nice. If you are over at the resort side pool area, it is a perfect choice for lunch.

We ate breakfast at "7" each morning at it was very good although a bit bland (will discuss further below). The staff at "7" is exceptional and are very aware they are the ones starting off your day and treat you very well. Eat outside if you can handle the morning humidity or go inside for a cooler eating experience. We ate outside each morning and it was great.

Go to the Cupboard (beach side near elevators) for ice cream in the evenings (before 8pm). The best ice cream at a surprisingly low price.

We ate at "Eats" a couple of evenings per other's suggestions and it was great. Close by (5 minute walk at the most) great food, good prices, and very good service. If you do not have breakfast in your Ritz package, go to Eats in the morning. You will be very pleased. There is also a little store in the same mall where you can pick up sunscreen, water, soda, beer, etc if you need. The same owners of Eats also have a great Sushi bar and sports bar in the same building.

Very nice gym. Get there early or go late in day. Between 9-11am there will be a wait for machines. The gym is next to the spa so check that out too as well as take advantage of the "free" facilities in the spa included in your resort fee.

Areas to improve:

This is a tough one as the resort is near flawless. A couple of things to consider is a better way to view these comments:

Breakfast at "7" is very basic for high-end resort standards. The selection is a bit better than a standard continental breakfast found at most hotels although the quality is fantastic.

Service at the pool on Sunday's is a bit spotty. We were there over 2 Sundays, and both days the staff numbers were low and the service was a bit slower. Most of our new friends there had the same observation. Something for those staying over a weekend just to be aware of.

Get to beach/pool early to get a spot. I can't stress this enough if you are the type like me who enjoys the same spots throughout a long vacation. Many front row spots at the beach were gone by 8am and good spots at the pool were gone by 9am. I hear the winter months are worse but be sure to get there early if this is important to you.

Bring bug spray. Not sure what type of bugs were biting, but if you are out after 7pm on the beach, you will get munched by something!

Get the ocean tower room. The room size is the same (very nice, large and clean) The views are spectacular and if you need to run up to the room from the beach, you will appreciate this advice. I realize people mention this in most reviews, but I do think the resort side is a bit of a walk, although a very nice, cool area to walk through.

Snorkle somewhere other than outside hotel. Walk down 200 yards to the north past the Westin ( there is a white fence) and go out 100 yarrds and there is a nice reef with great fish. If you want to stay near the hotel, you have to go out beyond the swim area about 100 yards and there is a nice reef with tons of fish, just don't bother snorkleing in the resort's swim area.

Get a cab to and from airport. Hotel will arrange a car, but it is only a 15 minute ride and the hotel was $95 (US) and a cab is a fraction of the cost.

I wish I was still there and encourage those making a decision for their next vacation to not think more than another minute about it and book your stay at the Ritz Grand Cayman. We will be back.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank arizonawildcat
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 Romantic Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Business 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: $590 - $2,871 (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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