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“Fantastic Week at the Reef!”

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Wyndham Reef Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in East End
Certificate of Excellence
Centreville, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fantastic Week at the Reef!”
Reviewed January 28, 2007

Several years ago, my wife and I enjoyed a day in Grand Cayman on a cruise through the Caribbean. Since that day, I've wanted to return and visit more of the island. After much research (a good bit of it on TripAdvisor), I booked our vacation at the Reef through CheapCaribbean.com. We've just returned, so I wanted to add my thoughts to those that I read so many times before our trip.

The resort is on the quiet, East End of the island. It's a fair drive (45 minutes plus) from George Town, so if you're looking to be in the thick of things, find a place on 7 Mile Beach. We like to save money on food by cooking our own meals and packing lunches on the days that we explore, so the Reef met our criteria perfectly. Also, we bring our kids with us on our winter vacations, so it's important to us to have space for them and a bit of privacy for us. With murphy beds for the kids, they got their own comfy beds and we got a spacious bedroom in the back. The Reef is also very family friendly and we met some great people there, both visitors and staff.

The Reef's distance from the West End is made up for by it's beautiful stretch of beach and wonderful pools and hot tub. We spent a lot of time in both. If you enjoy snorkeling, this is a great place for you. I saw more fish right off our shore than in any other place on the island. You can visit with "Bobby" the barracuda, swim with schools of tarpon, find a stingray or lemon spotted ray, discover a spiny lobster, and maybe even a nurse shark. There are sea fans, sponges, and many more kinds of coral waiting. The barrier reef off the shore keeps the water relatively calm, although there can be a fairly strong current if you go out a ways. Close to shore (less than 20-30 yards), it's no problem.

We also took advantage of the Reef's tour to Stingray City and the Coral Gardens. We found the crew helpful and friendly, and they got us there just as everyone else was leaving so we practically had the stingrays to ourselves. (We spent an hour later in the trip with the sales folks at the Reef and got this $136 trip for four for free giving our feedback and listening to a totally pressure-free sales pitch.) I highly recommend using this tour if you stay there. It leaves from Kaibo Yacht Club, so the boat trip and car trip are both short. We went on a large, both powered and sailed catamaran that motored out and sailed back for the best of both experiences.

While on the island, we had a great time at Boatswain's Beach (the Turtle Farm). The turtles are a unique experience and there's a great pool, nature walk, and aviary there too. It'll be nice when the snorkel lagoon is finished. While you're up that way, drop by Hell just for the....fun....of it. The Botanical Park is definitely worth the trip. Rum Point is nice, but get there early to get good chairs and avoid the weekends/holidays to avoid the crowds. The museum was still closed while we were there and I think it will be for a while - call to make sure if you're interested. The Mastic Trail looks fun if you're up for a decent hike, but dress appropriately and put the small kids in the kids club. A nearby resident warned us about the weeping plum plants, which are prevalent and produce a really bad rash - like poison ivy on steroids. The Butterfly Farm is a nice trip too if you're going to be on the 7 Mile Beach side.

Marshall's Car Rental at the airport gave us a good deal on a nice new jeep. Foster's supermarket has a surprising array of items, many at decent prices. Hurley's supermarket (about 30 minutes from the Reef) is much much larger and the liquor shop next door is much cheaper than the Thirsty Surfer (though still pricey). Ocean Frontiers, the onsite dive shop, also has a variety of items - some at decent prices. The staff there was also very helpful.

A few very minor nits: The master bed was fairly hard. We didn't have any problems sleeping, but were happy to get home to our bed. We had a minor ant problem in the kitchen. It was so minor, I kept forgetting to tell management about it; it generally just forced us to be good about putting things away.

All in all, we had a great week at the Reef and would happily stay there again. The owners and other return visitors we spoke with there also gave it great reviews. I highly recommend it.

  • Liked — Quiet, beach and snorkeling, pools, family atmosphere
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank hokie_dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2007

My boyfriend gave me (us) this trip for my Birthday/Christmas gift. We arrived on December 21st and sadly left on December 26th.

When we arrived we were both just so excited to be on the island. The drive from the airport to the East Side was entertaining to say the least since they drive on the opposite side of the road.

Checking in at The Reef Resort was a breeze and when we went into our room and opened the drapes to expose the beautiful view, we both knew we were going to have a great vacation.

Every single meal that we ate at the resort was wonderful! From the candle light dinner for 2 that they offer every Friday night to the snack food at the bar it all was terrific.

We snorkeled for hours and I don't even swim in the ocean!! The water is so crystal clear, who could be affraid?

I do agree with one of the other reviews that you can hear your neighbors especially if there are kids, but don't let that scare you away. I do feel that The Reef Resort is not a great resort for kids anyway. Not too much for them to do.

To sum up our trip, we decided to purchase a Time Share with them. We are so excited to return next year, and the next year...

Hope you all enjoy our photos!

Thank you Reef Resort,

L.A. & T.M.

p.s. I highly recommend a horseback ride on the beach. We used Coral Stone Stables.

Stayed December 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank laa23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2007

When my husband and I first arrived at the Reef Resort, we were tempted to cancel our stay and head to the hotels closer to Seven Mile Beach. We decided to stay and I am very happy that we did! It felt almost as if the resort was our own properity. There were no crowds and it was wonderful to lay on the beach or by the pools without any hassle or kids screaming. I really loved the beach and snorkling. That was amazing and we did it for hours. We ate and drank everyday at the tiki bar. It was right on the beach and we loved it. We ate at the restraunt and saw The Barefoot Man. That was pretty cool. The rooms were nice and the views were beautiful.

A few negatives were that there is no room service and the housekeeping only comes a couple of times a week!!! That was the worst part for me. The room itself has a huge whirlpool tub that I really enjoyed. We drove to the seven mile area a few times but it is a long drive, 40 minutes but if you get behind someone slow, it takes longer. It is a long, windy road that I would not recomend passing. (especially with the locals speeding all over the place.)

I would recomend this hotel. It is far from the action but you will enjoy yourself and feel so relaxed.

Stayed April 2006
Helpful?
6 Thank summerlover30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Level Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2007

The Reef Resort was one of the best vacations we ever had and we were there the week between Christmas and New Year's. The rooms were clean, new and large plus furnished with everything you could possibly need for an extended stay. The view was fantastic and the staff was the best. Our 2nd floor balcony was private with no way for any other guest to get to it--the ground floor may have been different. We never heard a peep from the other condos on either side of us through the walls. However, there were some very noisy kids, especially in the main pool and hot tub at night. The parents weren't even out there with them most of the time as was required in the pool rules. That was the only negative about staying there and it wasn't the staffs' fault, just the absentee parents and their loud kids. Things were perfect after that family left.

It was windy and we had one day of rain plus a few little short spurts of rain while we were there, but we went to the West End of the island and Seven Mile Beach and it was just as windy there, so it was just the weather for that time of year. And staying on that crowded west side of the island contending with 7-8 cruise ships a day is not my idea of a good vacation. Sitting on our balcony, reading a book, drinking coffee and listening to the roar of the surf was wonderful during the rain. But that's my idea of heaven!

The Reef was relaxing, quiet (after the loud family left) and so lovely--walking on the beach in the morning was wonderful and sitting at the Castaway bar talking to Kathy, George and the rest of the bartenders was always great, plus their service was the best!!! The rest of the staff was equally helpful and nice--Linda, Leona, Mr. Lawrence and Clive--thanks to all of you for being so wonderful!! And Clive, thanks again for befriending our son and letting us see your DVD of Hurricane Ivan--whew, so amazing.

The Reef is great because you can do as much or as little as you want, depending on the kind of vacation you want. Snorkeling off the beach is great, tennis courts, diving, there are wave runners and wind surfing right down the beach at the next resort and everything else on the island is just a short drive. The color garden at the Botanical Park is breathtaking and a very nice setting to walk, seeing the flora and fauna of the island.

Eating there is very good and not too expensive, if you eat breakfast in your condo, eat out at night and have leftovers for lunch the next day. Portifino's was not very good for us, but other people have loved it--too expensive for the okay food and poor service. Vivine's Kitchen was great--like eating at Grandma's house, only Caribbean style--great comfort food with a twist and lots of it plus inexpensive. The Castaway Bar has great food and the Reef's Monday night BBQ was wonderful. We enjoyed Breakers on the Bay after our Stingray City trip with Captain Dexter (Fantasea Tours)--he was terrific--fun and very knowledgable. Kai Bo's on the very north side past Rum Point was one of the best meals I have ever had and we have been all over the world. The grouper there was to die for and sitting on their outdoor patio watching the moon rise on our last night in Grand Cayman was a great way to go.

We really hated to come home and we all miss it so much. We will definitely go back and may even go timeshare. Thanks again to the Reef staff--you made us feel like valued friends.

  • Liked — Staff, rooms, view, clean and quiet beach
  • Disliked — Guests with uncontrollled kids
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OperaDiva71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Reef during Christmas week and decided to go here based on all the good reviews we read on this site. However, it was not as advertised. The rooms are new and clean with terraces overlooking the water, but there is no privacy. There is no real divider between the terraces, so your neighbor can walk into your space or stare right at you while you try to peacefully read. Our neighbors had loud kids that felt just fine walking to our side of the deck to disturb us. Not the oceanview escape we were looking for. And yes the wind is pretty bad on the east end of the island especially in the Carribean's windy winter months, so it was tough to sit out on the terrace and enjoy the view. The beach is scenic and uncrowded, but with the wind it was impossible to enjoy. We had to go to either 7 mile beach or Rum Point to get away from it.

The walls are very thin and you can hear just about everything going on in adjacent rooms. It was almost like our neighbors were in the room with us. We could hear our neighbors washing dishes, dropping dishes and cooking in the early morning when we wanted to sleep in. Not to mention our neighbors on the other side that decided to play techno music at midnight with their lights turned off and wouldn't answer the door when we knocked to tell them to turn it down. Had to call security who dealt with the matter immediately. The staff was good at addressing our noise complaints, but there wasn't much they could do about the thin walls. Very annoying and made me want to avoid spending time in the room even on cloudy days.

My best description/summation of the resort is a Carribean motor lodge. Certainly not the exclusive, hidden gem that many reviewers paint it as. 7 mile beach may be touristy and overdeveloped, but the beach is nice and not a lot of wind. I regretted not picking a hotel in this area. The drive back to the east end at night is pretty far especially after a meal and some drinks. If I ever return to Grand Cayman it would only be for a few days or a long weekend and I'd pick a spot on 7 mile.

I don't recommend the Reef.

  • Liked — clean room
  • Disliked — noise
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
20 Thank philstah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2006

I am submitting this review on behalf of my daughter - this is what she wanted people to know (and I agree!):
it was great. i'm 10 and i don't really like the kids club kind of things, it was nice just to hang out. the staff was really nice and they talked to me. the pools were really nice. but if you go to their website they only show and mention one pool with three sections but there was actually another one closer to my building. And there was really good snorkeling. And the guy that fed the fish was really nice. it was cool to watch him feed the fish and he let me feed the fish.
Bye :-)

  • Liked — Snorkeling off the beach - quiet, yet with everything we needed (kitchen, clean, some places to visit to learn about life of the island
  • Tips/Secrets — There are a couple of good restaurants around - but we were happy cooking for ourselves alot and not needing to go out.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Careey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pompano Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2006

The room was VERY clean, the bed comfortable, the TV station choices were not bad at all. The view was KILLER. It was really windy, but no one can control the weather. This place is WAY out on the east end away from every thing, just perfect for me! I walked down to Morrits next door I liked the swim up bars, but the Reef has a much better beach and the next place down Compass Point has no beach at all! So if you like a good beach on the east end this is it.

The diving was INSANE even though it was VERY windy Ocean Frontiers dive outfit knew the GREAT spots that were sheltered from the big waves. The dive crew were the most outstanding crew I have ever been with, its like diving with good friends. This made my trip.

My Neighbor was friendly also, Maybe a dive lesson for me comming up. So neighbor if you read this remember to meet me on Little Cayman LCBR Jan 6th!


I will end with the bad. Hardly no HOT water. I was traveling alone so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I learned I would have about 2 minutes So Jump in and get it done!

Ok I will end with a BIG positive, I almost forgot.. My ride to the airport had a flat tire and with out me even asking the Manager heard the news and told me to "get in" he was taking me to the airport. Some one tried to ask him some business questions and he replied " not now I have an emergency"

Oh yes, I would go back.

  • Liked — Ocean Frontiers dive crew
  • Disliked — Lack of HOT water
  • Tips/Secrets — Go when its not to windy!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Bomba151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wyndham Reef Resort

Property: Wyndham Reef Resort
Address: 2221 Queens Highway, PO Box 30865 | Colliers, East End KY1-1800, Grand Cayman (Formerly The Reef Resort, A Wyndham Affiliate)
Location: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > East End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in East End
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Wyndham Reef Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wyndham Reef Resort is the only ALL BEACHFRONT, ALL SUITE RESORT WITH AN ALL-INCLUSIVE PROGRAM ON GRAND CAYMAN. The white sands of Grand Cayman are your welcome mat and the crystal clear waters are your playground. Since all of our suites are right on the beach, you'll enjoy exploring, playing, snorkeling and diving, or soaking in the beauty just steps outside your door. This East End getaway, far from the crowds, provides a truly serene tropical escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
Reef Resort Grand Cayman
Wyndham Reef Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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