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“It is Expensive, but it is Great”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed July 18, 2007

Due to a $2,500 company bonus and "about to expire" air miles, we booked 4 nights at the RCGC. There are other posts about "Resort View" vs. "Beach View", so make sure you pick accordingly.

The stellar service began when we exited the cab and walked in the lobby. As soon as we stated our name, we completely bypassed the front desk and were given a 10 minute tour of the hotel, which ended at the concierge "buffet room." We sipped wine for another 10 minutes until our room was ready. Throughout our trip, we took full advantage of the breakfast, lunch, sodas, wine and newspapers in the buffet room: it was great.

We purchased several "over the top" extras: two massages @ $200 CI each, snorkeling @ $80 CI each, and dinner at Blue, $300 CI. Our total bill at checkout was US $4,550. We would not have indulged had it not been for the company bonus, so we were "only" out of pocket $2,050.

I didn't mention the beautiful grounds, comfortable bed, pleasant staff, etc. For these prices, you can take all of that for granted.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
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5  Thank DBooger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,925 - 2,931 of 3,090 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Ritz for 3 nights as part of an incentive trip with my company. We enjoyed the location thoroughly, and the hotel was outstanding. The service was over the top amazing. I highly recommend the island and the hotel. The only negative part is the weather...very hot and humid in July on the island...but if you stay in the water or in the shade its perfect. I rented a scooter for a day to get around the island to a few remote snorkel sites - I recommend it for those familiar with riding scooters. The hotel set it all up for me, rental was dropped off and picked up for me from the hotel. The snorkel sites near the Turtle Farm (Cracked Conch) and the Cemetary site near Cheeseburger reef were breathtaking and relatively easy to get to.

Stayed: July 2007
5  Thank chip_neely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2007

My husband, two teenage children, and I stayed in a 7th floor oceanfront club level room from July 7 until July 14, 2007. Here are our observations of the service, the property, our room, food, and activities/recreation. Overall, our 7 days were very enjoyable, but for reasons hard to explain, we didn’t experience the pang of sadness we usually feel when it’s time to return home from vacation.

The island was friendly but neither lush (with flora or fauna) nor noteworthy for stunning sunsets like some other tropical destinations; the weather was lovely given July is probably
their hottest month, and the Ritz was without question the nicest, newest, cleanest, and most expensive full service Grand Cayman resort. In our opinion, there is no competition from the Westin or Hyatt Suites, and unless you’re interested in luxury condo properties like The Sovereign or The Meridian, the Ritz is the place to stay. It doesn’t matter what your financial status is, the food/beverage prices everywhere on the island are high, even more so at The Ritz.

While the staff was pleasant and eager to help, the service was spotty due to the fact that many of the employees, who represented 54 different countries, had limited experience and/or training in some areas. As a result, we often received inaccurate information, and the Guest Services book in the room also contained outdated or incorrect information. One example is a section in the Guest Services book describing Avenue 5, a 4,000 sq. ft. luxury shop (next to Tiffany) that has never existed. However, thanks to Jennifer and Linden in the Club Lounge, all of our problems (broken room clock and scalding shower plumbing) were resolved quickly and questions answered.

We recommend calling ahead of time to verify your rooming arrangements. A few days before leaving home, our room accommodation was switched (since being confirmed) without warning to a room with a king size bed instead of two queen size beds, but after several phone conversations with the Rooms Controller, we were happily assigned to a room with the our requested queen beds as well as a roll away. We had been told twice that we couldn’t have a roll away, but we found info on their website stating club level rooms could accommodate up to four guests with one roll away or a crib, so they said we could.

Understanding the Ritz layout takes time as the resort is divided into two separate buildings connected by a 3rd floor bridge (enclosed and artfully decorated) that crosses over a busy road. Constantly crossing the bridge from one building to another takes getting used to. On the GARDEN SIDE are the main lobby and concierge, the Club Level Lounge with 5 food “presentations” and alcohol and non alcoholic beverages for an additional daily fee (limited/repetitive food selections for adults and very limited kids’ fare), the fitness center that’s open until 9:00 PM (large room with Life Fitness equipment: 6 treadmills, stairmasters, stationary bikes, 5 ellipticals, and varied weights. It’s nice that you don’t have to sign in, and they offer free bottled water and fruit. Few exercise classes, though) and spa (sorry, we didn’t use it), Tiffany, an Avis car rental, conference rooms (not what you want to see during a vacation), the restaurants Blue and Periwinkle, one rectangular pool, the Ambassadors of the Environment Children’s Program, the 9 hole golf course (our family played twice and thought the breeze was stronger there than on the beach), and well maintained tennis courts (3 clay and one grass). If you’re expecting a true garden view, you’ll be disappointed as it’s a large patch of grass with bushes and some palm trees around the perimeter.

The OCEAN SIDE has the majority of the rooms and private residences, a small snack /sundries shop called “The Cupboard” where a cup of coffee is about $4.50 US. and a candy bar $2.00, the restaurant “7” where a nice breakfast buffet is served until 10:30 AM and a la carte until 11:00 AM as well dinner with a steak and seafood menu, the Wave shop that sells overpriced ($170 US for a man’s bathing suit) beach items and Ritz clothing), the Ritz’s second and larger clover shaped pool with a pool side bar and restaurant, and the Seven Mile Beach. It’s closer to five instead of seven miles, not crowded, and fun to walk or run on.

The Ritz’s beach lounge chairs are cushioned with individual canopies. Because they are lined up and packed together in rows, we felt a little like sardines in a can. That, combined with the heat (about 100 degrees on two of the days) and cigar smokers on other lounge chairs, kept us in the crystal clear, calm water with its soft sandy bottom. There were four, round yellow pod floats tethered in the water for guests to use, and non-motored rentals were right at the Ritz, while motorized boats, parasailing, banana tubing, etc. were a five minute walk down the beach at The Westin.

Our 480 sq. ft. ocean front room was pretty and clean and had a small balcony with two regular chairs and a small round table. The LG flat screened TV has over 70 satellite channels including many movie stations like HBO as well as soft porn, so watch out if you have small children. Our only complaint about the room (not counting the broken, 4 inch battery operated clock) and specifically the bathroom was that we couldn’t get them cool enough because there was only one air conditioning vent by the sliding window doors. A ceiling fan helped circulate the air flow. The bathroom was standard for this type of property with two sinks, a bath tub, a separate enclosed toilet area, and a small shower with an oversized Rain design faucet (no water pressure). The enclosed hallways outside the rooms were generally warm, but there weren’t bugs flying in when housekeeping kept the door open. Housekeeping is required to change the bed linens every day, so we requested that they skip a day or two. As an aside, Grand Cayman doesn’t recycle anything.

Ask the concierge to check the cruise ship schedule during your visit to avoid crowds and traffic in Georgetown or at other popular locations like Stingray City. Georgetown consisted mostly of jewelry/watch stores with souvenir shops and a few restaurants like Guy Harvey (Just OK) and Hard Rock Café (Just OK). We enjoyed eating at “7” and would highly recommend their Thursday evening lobster and barbecue buffet. Unless you are looking for something to do with young children, you can skip the Ritz's Monday Caribbean buffet on the beach with a big screen movie showing. Be sure to spray bug repellent on everyone’s legs beforehand if you do go. Calypso Grill on West Bay (a $60 taxi ride round trip with tip) had delicious food and is on the harbour. Eduoardo’s Italian, a five minute walk from the hotel, had ambiance, interesting dishes and good pizza. It’s in a shopping village that has Fosters, a supermarket, and a Haagen Dazs ice cream store. Ragazzi has an extensive wine list and is good. We suggest sitting away from the bar if you don't like cigarette smoke.
We went on the Atlantis By Night submarine dive and really enjoyed the coral formations but heard the day is better because of more fish activity. The highlight of our trip was a Ritz sponsored, 3 hour pontoon excursion accompanied by a naturalist named Krystal to Stingray City and the reef for spectacular snorkeling. Stingray City is a sandbar where you arrive by boat to stand in the water to feed and touch dozens of these friendly, gentle sea creatures. You can find less expensive tour operators, but for convenience and its limited group size of no more than ten passengers, the one we booked through the Ritz at $100 US per person was an exciting and memorable experience. The crew took digital pictures of our family and slipped the CD under our door the following night.

One last tip:
Leave for the airport two hours before your flight departure on your return trip home. We waited over an hour in line to check our luggage.

Stayed: July 2007
19  Thank LittleDeuceCoupe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2007

The Ritz Carlton is a huge hotel with a small beach area. Hundreds of beach chairs are lined up in rows on the beach so it felt like you were at a crowded sporting event rather than at an upscale hotel on a secluded island. Yes, you could easily find a chair, and a shaded cabana cover, but who wants to be packed like sardines into rows of chairs with no room in between. There was a hut right in the midst of the rows of beach chairs where they trying to sell apartments at the hotel. There were screaming children everywhere, in the rooms, hotel common areas, the beach, restaurants, etc. We were unable to sleep at night because of children making loud noises in adjoining rooms. This is definitely a resort that caters to families. It will definitely be a disappointment for couples looking for romantic time away. I felt nickled and dimed at this hotel. They charge an exhorbinent sum for drinks, food, etc., so we walked across the street to the supermarket and purchased some muffins, juice, snacks and beverages for the room. We also brought our own liquor so that we wouldn't have to pay $15+ every time we wanted a drink. The hotel charged us a $17 fee just to empty out the refrigerator with all the rip off items they stock it with so that we could use the space for our stuff! They also bill you for internet service. They charge for use of a tennis court and tennis lessons and spa services are pricey. The hotel restaurants are outrageously priced, so you are definitely better off going off grounds to eat. There are many restaurants that are within walking distance. The Reef, the Japanese restaurant across from the Westin and Copper Falls were especially good and reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank plf1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2007

My friends and I stayed at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman on Seven Mile beach in September 2006 for one week. It was low season in the Caribbean so the rate we got was great and the hotel was EMPTY. The busiest it got was on the weekend when a few bridal parties arrived at the hotel, but once Sunday came around they all left and the hotel went quiet again.
Orlando Bloom was on Grand Cayman promoting his movie "Haven", which was filmed on the island. He happened to be staying at the hotel over the weekend as well so that did cause quite a stir among the guests.
The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. My friend was celebrating her birthday and we had dinner Blue by Eric Ripert. I think everyone of the staff members stopped by our table to wish her a happy birthday.
La Prairie's Silver Rain spa in the hotel is fantastic. The facilities are superb and again the staff was very attentive. I would frequent the spa everyday before dinner and the staff got to know my habits. THey would have La Prairie creams and lotion samples waiting for me when I got out of the shower so that I could prepare for dinner. I highly recommend this hotel and look forward to returning soon!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled with friends
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5  Thank CtheGlobe77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2007

I just returned from a stay at the ritz in grand cayman and it was one of the best trips of my life. The staff is very friendly and they make you feel at home. The rooms are beautifully decorated and very modern. Upon check in we were presented with free drinks and cookies which is an excellent touch. The beach side of the hotel was kind of crowded but the staff never seemed too busy to help you. Although the resort side of the hotel requires you to walk through an overpass, you never feel like you are walking over a street because it was beautifully decorated with artwork. The resort side is better for those who would like to spend quiet days by the pool. The dining at the hotel is very expensive, but it is like that everywhere you go. Most prices are listed as CI$, so things are more expensive than they seem. There are so many things to do on the island, and the concierge are very helpful in booking snorkeling and diving excursions. Cayman has, in my opinion, the best diving and snorkeling in the world, so be sure to book a snorkeling or diving tour. I ventured into town once, but the stores close at 5 pm sharp, and if there isn't a cruise ship in port, the town is deserted, which wasn't bad because the store clerks payed a lot of attention to you. All in all my stay at the ritz was fantastic and i would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
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5  Thank cariblover9178
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2007

We stayed at the Ritz July 1st through 6th with our daughter and her friend. Both girls are 16 years old and they absolutely loved it . The staff made them feel very special. Whether they were on the beach, in the spa, in a restaurant, or just wandering around they were treated like special guests! The staff at this particular Ritz should be a standard for customer service at all Ritz Carlton's. The concierge staff was excellent and they planned our daily activity requests perfectly. Every excursion we had was perfectly orchestrated with first class guides and drivers. Overall this was probably our best vacation experience with our daughter and friends! I will stay here again and recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank mikehigham
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 Romantic Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range: $649 - $2,516 (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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