My Husband and I just got back from a 5night stay in Grand Cayman. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton, which as other have reported is very nice and certainly met expectations as far as the room and the pool area were concerned. We arrived on September 18th and departed the 23rd. While we were aware that September is typically a quiet month on any island, we did not realize, nor were we made aware, that several of the restaurants on the resort were closed. Fortunately there are enough restaurants in the area it was not a problem, but it was a bit disappointing.
When we arrived at the hotel, it was after 11PM due to some lovely flight delays. We were hungry but not that hungry, and our only option was room service, which can be expensive and the meals were more than what we wanted. We were very pleased when we were both able to order something smaller off the kids menu. The size of the meal was just right, as was the price!
I also must comment on the staff at the Ritz. We had recently been to St John- Westin and we have never encountered such rudeness, anywhere. The staff at the Ritz far exceeded our expectations. They were friendly everywhere we went. The concierge was very helpful, the valets, the housekeepers, the waitstaff, the folks by the pool. Everyone we encountered smiled or said hello, asked how our stay was going. Simon at the pool bar had a great personality and was fun to talk with. It was very refreshing.
The last day we were at the Ritz, we found out that they were renovating the pool bar. They had moved it off to the side so you could still get service, but it was awkward and we were glad the regular bar had been open during the weekend. It sounded like the bar would be out of commission for about a month or so.
The weather while we were there was very up and down. Most mornings were great and the evenings were typically good however any given day between noon and 4pm there were severe thunderstorms. We expected showers on the island, but these were much heavier. As it is hurricane season, some rain was expected but this was more than expected.
We were able to sneak in a couple of SCUBA Diving trips. We had made arrangements through Sea Sports Diving prior to arriving on the island. As their boat was being worked on during the slow season, we actually went out with Kevin, a dive master from Sea Sports, on a boat from Ambassadors Diving with the captain/ dive masters Jason and Martin from Ambassadors Diving. Kevin was great, he seemed to know the area well. Jason and Martin from Ambassadors were excellent to deal with as well. They all provided a good mix of fun and professionalism. The first day we went to White Stone Canyon and Andy’s Reef. The second day we went to Lemon Dropoff,. At the end of our dive, we encountered an emergency situation with a dive boat at the next mooring over from us (Eagle Ray Pass.) We went over to assist with the situation and I was impressed with the level of calmness and overall manner in which our divemasters both informed us of what was going on, as well as the way they jumped in (literally!) to help the fellow divemaster with his situation. I would not hesitate to contact Sea Sports Diving or Ambassador Diving again in the future.
The next day we went out again with Martin, from Ambassadors Diving, to see Sting Ray City. Very cool. There were lots of snorkel groups, if you don't dive, and well worth the trip. My husband actually fed the Sting Rays squid from his hand. I was wimpy and was content just petting them as they swam by.
We toured the downtown area of George Town. There were some nice shops and restaurants there. I would image it gets quite crowded during the busy season, especially with the many cruise ships which come through. For us it was relatively quiet, we grabbed lunch at Margaritaville and shopped around.
The two restaurants which we found to be our favorites were the burgers at Sunshine Grill at the Sunshine Suites Resorts. The other, which we went to twice and for pizza both times, was Rigazzi. This is in Buckingham Square Plaza and is a really good italian restaurant. The prices at both are relatively reasonable, which was of great appeal, but the food was good as well.
We took a trip around the island, and drove through Hell. Really. It is a very small town on the island but a must do, just to say you have been to Hell and back! On this same trip we visited the Turtle Farm and the Dolphin Habitat. We were mixed on the Turtle Farm, it was cool to see all these sea turtles up close, but their practices are a big questionable. The Dolphin Habitat was cool because you could just walk out and see the folks training the dolphins, putting on a little show. That was fun. I think worth seeing. We only paid $18/ person to see just the Turtles. For $46/ person there was more but it did not interest us so we passed.
All in all this was a great trip. The SCUBA sites were excellent, there was plenty to see and do. I would recommend both Cayman Island and ther Ritz Carlton. I would not recommend going in September. It sounds like November to June is definitely the time to go!
- 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