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“Excellent Time at Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed February 7, 2011

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!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank LongIslanderTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 7, 2011

So my wife and I read just about EVERY review on the Ritz before we went, we read how FAR it was from one side of the hotel to another, we read about how EXPENSIVE everything was, we read about all of the TIPS you need to do upon checkin. My advice, stay elsewhere if you like to whine!

We had a room overlooking the garden pool / periwinkles and had to walk to the other side of the hotel. Each time we walked thru the art gallery hall we joked, "This is sooo far, my legs hurt!" Have these reviewers ever walked thru the MGM in Vegas? Doubtful. In all seriousness it isn't far at all, it's a fun walk. Secondly, yes things are expensive, but thanks to reading reviews we learned how to save a few bucks. There is a grocery store out the front and to the left (5 minute walk). Also, Eats cafe is excellent and reasonable. It's out the front and to the right (5 minute walk). Now let's get to the tipping, yes..they are extremely helpful upon checkin and you will have to tip a few people, expect it. Have a wad of fives and your golden. I loved how they call you by name right out of the car, then at the front door, upon checkin etc. They hand you some tropical drink (would be excellent with some rum) and a bellman walks you to your room and orients you around the hotel...which in retrospect is extremely helpful.

We rented a cabana for 180 USD, worth it for us, the second day we simply got the chairs with the shades, even that was fun. The snorkel equip, paddle boats etc are all inclusive. You'll pay a resort fee of 45 USD a day for all of the luxuries...again, don't whine. I even rented a hobie cat for $55 USD an hour, a lot of fun. The neat thing about the beach is the guy walking around with a "cold towel" for your face and neck, feels great. Then another one shortly after with a glass of ice water with lemon. It's the little things the ritz does well.

SPA. We got a couples massage, if you have the money (480 USD) sooooo worth it. We got this upon our arrival and it was pure heaven. I'll leave it at that, very very nice and would do again in a heartbeat.

To put it all in perspective, we were trapped in the Caymans by a Blizzard in Chicago (oh darn). I had to transfer to the Marriott as I had points there where I could stay for free. The Marriott was nice, but all of the little things the Ritz did so well...we missed. Had to individually pay for the snorkel gear, (preferred the resort fee) drinks were even more expensive than the Ritz and everything was in CI where the Ritz detailed out the cost in both CI and USD.

We loved the Ritz, granted its not the Ritz in San Fran, but as a friend says, "if you're lookin for that then you're looking for the exit."

Thank you Ritz Carlton and all the staff for a memorable trip. You'll get exactly out of your stay here what you prepare to put in it. Still laughing at the far walk comments...hahahaha

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank ChicagoBlys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2011

Just what you would expect from a Ritz Carlton. This is a commercial hotel it's clean and the staff is well paid to be friendly and nice to you. It's very large and a little industrial looking but well heeled. If you like that sort of thing. Leave the hotel when you can get out and meet the locals. Nice friendly people. When you are done then go back to the hotel. I was there for a convention so it was excellent. The food is okay and over priced. Rent a car get a guide book and check out Grand Cayman if you are on vacation. The breakfast buffet was my only dissapointment. Leave the hotel turn right walk about a quater mile and there is a nice New York style dinner that really makes great food at a more reasonable price.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank Cybdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2011

Each traveller values certain things above others. The Ritz is not an all-inclusive, so don't treat it that way. What it has is:

1. Service - there are more staff per guest than any other hotel and they bend over backwards for you. They know you by name and slip you thank you cards under your door.
2. Cleanliness - very clean rooms and immaculate grounds.
3. The attention to detail - the only hotel with complimentary covered loungers on the beach, complimentary cold towel service, complimentary apple juice and slices of pineapple served to you as you lie on the beach.
4. Great food - the restaurants are very good... food quality is high and consistent, service is excellent. But it's expensive.
5. Great spa - sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi are free to guests. Treatments are great, but expensive.

It is a large hotel, with two sides straddling a main road. It has golf, tennis, educational programs and a large gym.

We appreciate a worry-free experience, service, great food and good value. Here's what we did:

1. Stayed away from the breakfast buffet and grabbed breakfast at the Cupboard (coffee shop in the hotel) or went across the street to Eats Cafe. Saved money this way.
2. Grabbed lunch at BarJacks or had it delivered to us at the beach - Peach Smoothie will fill you up and is great!
3. Ate most dinners away from the hotel (Hemingways's is great - try the sticky toffee dessert; Deckers is good too), which also gives you a nice walk there and back. It's really safe.
4. All the money we saved by doing these little things, we spent at Blue's... this is an amazing experiece, but budget at least $300 USD for the meal... it is a must! Remember each dish!
5. Saw the sting-rays - which is a must!!
6. Get a room on the ocean side, as close to the beach as possible.
7. If you get a room with a kitchen, go to the grocery store across the street and you will save lots of money on food.
8. We don't have kids yet, but the resort is very family friendly, with lots of things geared towards quality family experience and memories.
9. Used the free gym classes and amenities.

So, we believe that this hotel is the best in the Grand Cayman from many points of view. We walked by all the other hotels and this is by far, the nicest... it has the best loungers, the cleanest beach, and the nicest architecture. If money is not an issue, then you will have a wonderful, carefree time - great food, great drinks, great service, tennis, golf, spa... the list goes on.

If you are on a budget, look for an inexpensive room at the Ritz and just be careful... but try to include one meal at Blue's and the Stingray trip.... the rest of the time, just lie on the beach and enjoy the service experience.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Jasper75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

An ugly blot on beautiful Seven Mile Beach the Ritz Carlton is simply too big to provide a memorable vacation
Split by the main road but joined by a walkway over the road you find yourself walking backwards and forwards from one part to the other the whole time
Reception main bar two restaurants land side- beach pool and main restaurant sea side
Service cheery but sometimes erratic and slow
Uniforms of reception staff are without doubt the worst I have ever seen in a five star hotel anywhere in the world- truly dire.
Once again more proof that Ritz Carlton has a long way to go to catch up on Four Seasons

  • Stayed: January 2011
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1  Thank Yakcaml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

I should have written this review a long time ago. This was an excellent stay from start to finish. We stayed in a club level ocean room and the view was marvelous. Enrique from the Club was extremely helpful. We arrived early and although they could put us in a different room, he said they had a better room if we waited. He was going to call us when the room was ready, but for some reason my phone did not work. He came out and searched all by the pool and beach until he found us to tell us our room was ready. He also helped us when there was a problem with our flight home. The club room's food was fabulous. We also ate at Blue by Eric Ripert and it is by far our favorite restaurant. The beach is wonderful in front of the Ritz and has a nice entry into the ocean. We walked up and down the beach and we felt it was on one of the nicest areas of the beach. Yes if you stay in the other part of the hotel you need to walk a bit, but it is by no means a big deal. We had to walk to the other part of the hotel several times a day to get to the Club and it is no big deal. We are taking my kids and in-laws back in March and can't wait to show them what we fell in love with. The best part is it will be my birthday and I get to eat at Blue again!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank travelbugged4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We have traveled many times to the Caymans and this was our first visit to the Ritz. We stayed there a week and it is simply a gorgeous hotel with all the amenities. And the staff couldn't be nicer and more attentive to your needs. The location is on 7 Mile Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The pool area is expansive and connects up with the beach area.

But all the people in our group had issues that caused us to conclude that we would not return to the Ritz in the future. First of all, the hotel is huge with half the hotel on the side of the road that links up to the beach with the other half on the other side of the road and a beautifully decorated hallway (bridge) over the road connecting the two. Obviously the people staying on the beach side are paying a premium price. We stayed on the other side which was still nice but it was a huge walk to get to the beach. It was daunting going to and from your room and the beach over the coarse of a week. I'm a huge walker but there were others in our group that found it hard to handle. You literally walk yourself silly while there. Also, the lounge chairs around the pool are teak and the cushions on them are not nearly thick enough. Therefore, after laying on these things for more than 45 minutes or more, your backside starts to get numb. These cushions desperately need to be at least twice the thickness that they are. Another problem was the price of the drinks around the pool. Someone in our group ordered a pina colada and it cost $16CI which makes it close to $20 US which is ridiculous. I only had one breakfast there and it ran $40 US and I had just oatmeal, juice and sausage. So avoiding the buffet ($28 CI) did me no good when my meal ended up costing just as much. The other thing that was quite shocking was the number of kids at this hotel. Who would have thought that people with little kids would be flocking to a place like this? And the noise they were making around the pool was significant. Just not what most people are expecting in a place like the Ritz.

Years before we've stayed at the Westin which I understand might be facing foreclosure which is such a tragedy. The entire hotel is on the beach side of the road and was simply wonderful in it's prime. None of the rooms were never that far from your room when on the beach. And all you had to do was walk out of the lobby to get to the beach. And the prices were not obscene.

Also, some of the reviews stated that the cost of staying at the Ritz was less than $100 more per day than at the Westin. But one mustn't be fooled by that because you'll pay through the nose for meals and everything else which easily makes your stay much more expensive.

A plus though for the Ritz is that there are many fabulous restaurants up and down the road that are walking distance and their prices are much mor reasonable. There is also a fabulous supermarket, Foster's, which is a short walk that includes a great deli. And a huge favorite is Eats Restaurant which is located across from the Westin. Their prices are very, very reasonable and the food is great. Don't fail to eat their Key Lime Pie.

So it is my opinion that if you have money to burn and don't care what things cost and don't mind walking your legs off but want to stay in a really nice hotel, the Ritz is the place for you.

Stayed: January 2011, traveled on business
4  Thank Traveler46_11
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 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Top resorts 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 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range: $486 - $1,768 (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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