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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, BookIt.com, Hotwire, Expedia, Priceline, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your Wyndham Reef Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
- Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
- Reef Resort Grand Cayman
- Wyndham Reef Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands