The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman sits on what could arguably be the best stretch of sand (Seven Mile Beach) in the world. Having stayed on or visited many fine beaches (Palm Beach in Aruba, Wailea in Maui, Megan's Bay in St Thomas among others), I can confidently say that Seven Mile Beach deserves its rank among the best. The beach is world-famous for its soft sand and calm, tranquil waters. Walking on the sand on SMB is similar to walking on baby powder, or thick and plush top-grade carpeting. Yes, its that soft. The water is calm, tranquil and clear as can be. Going into the water can be equated to taking a warm bath. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the beach that this resort sits on.
The resort consists of 2 buildings separated by the main road but connected by a fully enclosed bridge on level 3. You do not realize that you're on a "bridge" while crossing it, as its fully insulated against any outside noise (in fact, the windows are frosted and closed off so you do not even see down to the street) and it is created as a "gallery" with various works of art by local artists as well as many jewelry displays and sculptures. This gallery connects the two buildings beautifully. One building is on the in-land side and the other building is beach-side.
If you can, I highly recommend staying in an oceanfront room, which is in the second building. Not only is it closer to the beach just downstairs, but its also a quieter building. It feels like its own world. We had a corner oceanfront room, with endless views of pristine beach and crystal clear and sparkling water. You have to see it to believe it!! Trust me.
There are several pools to the hotel - one is by the first building and the remaining are by the ocean. If you want a quiet, serene oasis, then use the pool by the lobby. This pool, because it's far away from the beach, is less used and is quieter and more tranquil than the main pool, where there tends to be children and more activities going on. We found it perfect to read and take a nap without being awoken by children and surrounding noise.
Because of the time of year we went (end of November for the US Thanksgiving holiday), the hotel was decorated beautifully for Christmas. They had a gorgeous main Christmas tree off the lobby, and Christmas trees throughout the different levels in the buildings. The garland on the staircase railings added to the festive feel. All decorations were tasteful, making for a very elegant Christmas season.
The service at this property is terrific, however, when compared to the RC Cancun, it almost seems a bit lacking. The RC Cancun had the most absolute best service of any RC's we've stayed (see separate review), and we've stayed at many RC's (both city and beach resorts). The concierge service is terrific in securing dinner reservations for you and provided excellent recommendations. We found the service by the pool to be better than the service on the beach. Housekeeping was practically invisible, as the room was immaculate each time they came, which is twice daily. They outfitted our room with extra amenities each day after asking just once at the beginning of the stay. We find that we shower at least twice a day, if not more while on vacation, as we spend hours on the beach and at the pool and need to shower before heading out to dinner. We always had extra toiletries and dry towels whenever we needed. It was never a problem, and turn down service is so nice after coming back from dinner.
We spent our Thanksgiving holiday here for the full week. The hotel recognizes the US Thanksgiving holiday and had a full Thanksgiving buffet dinner planned at one of their restaurants "7 Prime Cuts" which is a fine steakhouse. This buffet was the grand-daddy of any buffet we have been to. We're not huge fans of buffets, but have dined at only ones considered to be on the better side. Everything can be found at this buffet - caviar, sushi, steaks and of course turkey and all the fixins. While we had a reservation for a specific time, they were so crowded we did have to wait for about 15 minutes at the bar. It was probably the most popular place to dine that night in all of Grand Cayman.
The island itself is very nice. The locals all respected the tourists, and the taxi drivers were friendly and helpful. We went into town to go shopping on the day that there weren't any cruise ships in port, as we were told specifically to wait until that day to avoid the crowds. I'm glad we listened as each day, there can be up to 4 or so cruise ships.
We did several activities while we were there. One day, we did a tour of the island with a local tour service, and our driver took us to the town Hell, the rum factory, the Turtle farm, and to a local place for lunch. He explained the history of the island while driving us in his comfortable and air conditioned van. Another day, we had gone to Stingray City, which is an activity you must do while in GC. This is a shallow sandbar where you get off the boat and feed, touch and kiss the stingrays. Supposedly, you get 7 years of good luck for kissing the stingray. The highest ranked tour operator to Stingray City is Captain Marvin, which is the one we went with, and we had a great experience. I do not know how to swim, and was very nervous since I've heard that there is a possibility that you would have to swim to the sandbar from the boat. When we finally got to the sandbar, the boat operator got as close to the sandbar as possible, and was able to get so close, that the ladder off the end of the boat landed right on the sandbar. He was able to get this close without running the boat aground. They are that considerate and that wonderful. We spent a while in the water with the stingrays, and had a terrific time. There was a photographer on the tour as well, and we were able to buy the photo disc from her. She brings the disc right to your hotel, to save you time from having to go to her office to pick it up. Great service, and very memorable pictures! We even met Marvin in person, as we finished up the tour and got off the boat and back on land. He was there to greet us after our excursion.
All in all, we had a wonderful holiday at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. If you are able to take a trip to Grand Cayman, we highly recommend the Ritz Carlton property. A special Thank You to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman!
- 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