I came back from Pirates Point Resort with over 100 insect bites on my face and body, despite using Off! and a mosquito net, so I find it difficult to recommend. It pains me to write this, because the people who run the resort were incredibly kind and service-oriented. But it’s a certain kind of hell to have 100+ itching bites on your face and body, and know that when you go to bed you’ll wake up with 10-15 more. I've been many places in the Caribbean: the Bahamas, Roatan, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Costa Rica’s Cahuita, etc., and have never been eaten alive the way I was at Pirates Point.
Gladys, Pirates Point’s owner, wrote me, “Sorry about the "no see ums", they are like that here when we have not had any rain!” So before booking, consider the season. Also, if mosquitoes “like” you, beware: some of the guests were especially plagued. Bring Cortisone cream, Benadryl cream, and / or Teknu spray for bites.
Most of the bites happened while sleeping. I eventually developed a bedtime strategy: first, kill every bug in the room (the screens on the windows had some small tears). Next, spray my entire body with Off. Also spray Off all over the mosquito netting and directly onto the extra pillows. Then tuck the netting under the Off-treated pillows to ensure that the net forms a seal. Throughout the night, at three hour intervals, turn on the light, and spend 15 minutes locating and killing every bug inside the mosquito net, of which there were always several. Some were tiny biting midges (noseeums) and very hard to spot. Noseeums can crawl right through netting – to kill them with your hands, you must trap them in the netting and smash them or they’ll just fly through and come back for a bloodmeal later. There were mosquitoes inside the net too, as there were some holes at the top. A third insect species looked like tiny black ladybugs (not bedbugs) and I don’t know if these guys were biting me, but I squashed them too, being in an indiscriminate insect-murdering rage by this point.
I also got bitten by noseeums while sitting on the patio in the afternoons, with their characteristic sharp little pinchy bite. After a couple of days, I gave up on sitting outside and stayed in my room or in the bar. I also tried to choose seats in the dining room that were farthest away from the door. Bugs were not a problem on the dive boat or while bicycling.
The owner also mentioned sand fleas; however, on my walks along the beach I didn't get any bites, so I didn't consider them to be a problem.
Thoughts beyond mass insect homicide:
Food: The food is good and plentiful with good variety and healthy options, and it’s prepared with loving care. However, it’s a small island with limited provisioning, so whole wheat bread, for example, is considered a “special food”, as is peanut butter with zero partially-hydrogenated oil. If you want anything specific, anything at all, request it two weeks before you go. They use a lot of cheese, so if you're lactose-intolerant let them know beforehand.
Room: the room was spacious and pleasant and in good condition, painted a pale ice blue with white accents. Not fancy, just nice. The windows at the back of the room looked directly onto the ocean – I was literally 30 feet from the water, and the sounds of surf were wonderful. The room was not air conditioned but AC wasn't needed. My only issue with the room was that the locks were rusted solid on the back door. Although I was assured there’s no crime on the island, as a single female traveler, I prefer a locking door. See photo. Oh, and the screens on the jalousie windows had some tears and partially-effective repairs, which let the bugs in.
Guests: Age demographics skewed to the 60s during my stay. Over half of the guests were a group who return every year – some had returned 14 times! The social dynamic was determined by this group. I noticed as I left that the arriving guests were a lot younger. If you have a preference about age groups you should inquire before booking.
About the owner: Gladys is larger than life, omnipresent in the dining areas, indefatigably chatty, and ultimately endearing. Based on other reviews, I get the idea that she got on a few people’s nerves; I’d gauge the risk as low.
Diving: only two AM dives per day are offered, but having the afternoons off to relax can be a nice change from the typical four-dives-per-day regimen. The boat can’t come to the resort; you have to drive by van to a pier ~2 miles away. The dive staff is extremely supportive of special needs divers, including those over 70 years of age, those with injuries that prevent them climbing into the boat in full gear, etc. Underwater, the reef has collapsed: the 50 to 60 percent coral cover present in the 1970s has plummeted to less than 10 percent; the rest is algae and dead coral. Compared to Indonesia, the Indian Ocean etc., there’s little to see - yes, even Bloody Bay Wall. See photos. In eight dives I saw only one anemone! It’s also disturbing that the divers don’t seem aware of the annihilation. Obviously not the resort’s fault. Oh, and despite what the website says, Nitrox was NOT available.
Beach at resort: Bring water shoes if you want to go in, as it’s rocky. Might be good for kids during summer months, as there seemed to be protected snorkeling areas.
By the end of the trip, the place does grow on you. It’s very peaceful, and it’s relaxing to settle into a daily pattern; stare out at the ocean from your bed; watch all the hermit crabs and lizards and birds; wander the strand looking at shells, brain coral, and other marine life; get in a hammock and read every single book your brought, then start in on the small library left in your room; listen to the surf booming in and hissing back out, and birds chirping; have Mike show you the blue iguanas and feed them flowers. Gaye, Dianne, Mike, Bob, and Gladys are committed to making your stay as nice as possible. There is happiness to be found here, so long as nature is not eating you alive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Pirate's Point is an excellent choice for those who want to get away from the crowd and have a vacation truly focused on relaxation, some of the best diving in the world, fabulous food, and great comradery. We offer all-inclusive packages for divers and non-divers alike. We strive to provide our guests with a gracious and welcoming atmosphere where comfort, safety and leisure are our top priority. Pirates Point has a private, spacious dive boat and well trained dive staff. Beginners and experienced divers are welcome. Great snorkeling is found right in front of the resort. Guests also enjoy fishing, swimming, nature trail hikes, bicycle rides, picnics, iguana and bird watching. Pirates Point offers accommodations that are simple, tasteful and immaculate. Our features include: • 11 rooms in cottages • 4 of the 11 rooms are oceanfront with oceanside porches • 5 of the 11 rooms offer air conditioning and are set back from the oceanfront. One of the rooms is designated for singles only (no single supplement). • 1 large oceanfront room with air conditioning ideal for 3 people ($10/day usage fee on AC) • 1 large ocean view room with air conditioning suitable for 4 (parents with children only) ($10/day usage fee on AC) • Daily maid service is provided ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Pirates Point Hotel Little Cayman
- Pirates Point Resort Little Cayman, Cayman Islands