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Diving - where to stay?

Philadelphia
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Diving - where to stay?

Going to Grand Cayman from 07Dec to 14Dec. Planning on doing 4 to 5 days of diving. Ideally, would like to stay somewhere that has it's own dive shop or an accomodation where a dive shop picks you up from the hotel's dock. Looked into Cobalt Coast Dive Resort. Can you walk to bars/restaurants in SMB from here? Any recommendations on where to stay? I contacted a lot of dive companies, and most said they would pick you up at any hotel in SMB by auto. However, it would be nice to get picked up for diving right from a hotel dock if that's possible.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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1. Re: Diving - where to stay?

You have so so many options. Yes if you stay along the SMB corridor almost any op will pick you up so you don't need to be hemmed in by that particular aspect. The most restaurants etc are located in the central SMB area and there are no docks (but some ops have boats capable of beach pickup) and even if you get picked up by car the trip is short. There are several venues that cater specifically to divers include Cobalt Coast, Sunset House, etc. There are options on the East End as well, but I wouldn't pick that in the winter months although the diving is awesome -- prevailing winds and currents can interfere. What are you interested in aside from diving? Are you traveling with people who want to have nice beach, etc.? None of the dive resorts are really within easy walking distance to SMB restaurants, etc., but honestly the reefs are so close that the pick up option makes it super easy. Generally boats leave going west at about 8:30 you get two great dives in (actually killing time during the SIT) and are back in plenty of time for lunch. They will store your gear etc and the diving is world class. So if you can expand a little more on what suits your party, we can come back with a little more specific information. Happy diving!!!!

Philadelphia
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2. Re: Diving - where to stay?

I have been in contact with Cobalt Coast. They are more expensive than what I would normally pay, but seems like a very nice place and getting picked-up for diving right from their dock might be worth the extra money. Can you walk to restaurants/bars from there?

I contacted Sunset House but never heard back.

Sunshine Suites gave me a cheaper price than Cobalt, however, they are not on the water.

My friend I am traveling with is in a wheel chair, so he can't go on the beaches.

It's nice when we can leave the hotel and check out town, or whatever, without getting a taxi.

That's another reason whey it would be nice to stay at a hotel with a dock where a dive boat could pick us up. Otherwise need to get him in and out of a car and his wheel chair, if we would get picked up by car.

Thanks for the info, highly appreciated!

Any more suggestions would be great...

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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3. Re: Diving - where to stay?

Sunshine is a great place but is less expensive than many of the hotels/resorts. Sunset House is located in GT so you could easily walk around town from there. They have a pool but no beach. I have stopped at the restaurant at Cobalt Coast (it was full so I didn't get to sample the food but friends who live on the island love it), but I will say that the buildings etc look beautiful. I have a good friend who works with an organization that certifies handicapped divers. They also used to stay at the Marriott Courtyard (now closed) and the when we were with them, the kids wheeled across the road to the beach and got on the boat (they used Red Sail Sports which is a wide flat boat with very easy ladder and plenty of room but it was a big group between the kids, staff, etc. and RSS donates the boat!) I'll ask if he has pros or cons with the places you are looking at or if he has anything he would suggest. Should be able to get back in a day or so.

Syracuse, New York
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for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
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4. Re: Diving - where to stay?

Hi there - I have stayed at Cobalt Coast twice. To answer the question that you asked, you cannot walk to a selection of bars from there - it's in a mostly residential part of West Bay. The resort has a full bar and restaurant, though, which is very good. Certainly enough for the post-dive drink. I haven't dove with many other dive ops on Cayman, but in comparison to others on other islands I find that Divetech are consistently good. and give me the style of diving that I am looking for (I like to set up my own gear and we do our own buddy checks, but it's nice to have some experts around in case I have questions).

I don't think that you are going to get many places that have a dock right at the hotel where the dive boat will pick you up. Most of the hotels are on Seven Mile Beach and they don't have many (any?) docks going out from there. But some dive ops will stop the boat on the beach right outside the hotel to pick you up and drop you off. Those are obviously the smaller boats....

Grand Cayman
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5. Re: Diving - where to stay?

I sent you an IM with the recommendation. Hope it all works out and Happy Diving!!!

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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6. Re: Diving - where to stay?

On the East End Ocean Frontiers - Compass Pointe resort has a large dock where that is attached directly to the resort.

That being said outside of the restaurant on site there is not much to walk to and a car is very necessary on the East End.

B.

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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7. Re: Diving - where to stay?

Same with Cobalt Coast, I'd suggest renting a car if you're going to stay there. Not really walking distance to anything.

Edited: 19 November 2013, 15:50
Syracuse, New York
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for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
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8. Re: Diving - where to stay?

I think with Cobalt Coast it depends what you are looking for. If you want to have the convenience of diving right off your doorstep (with a free ride to elsewhere to dive when conditions aren't good there), with a place to have a drink and eat nearby, and are prepared to take a taxi for the few nights when you want to go out, then it may be the perfect place for you.

If you need/want the variety of different bars and restaurants most nights, then I think you are going to be frustrated by the distance it is from the other places, and will need a car (which isn't good news if you want to drink while you are out).

I actually think you should consider one of the very many places where the dive op will pick you up and take you right to the boat - it gives you far more variety of places to go out to and doesn't really mean more than a 10 minute ride to get diving.

Philadelphia
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9. Re: Diving - where to stay?

Thanks for all of the information, highly appreciated!

Is Sunshine Suites somewhat centrally located in SMB, near restaurants, bars, ect...?

Any recommendations for another hotel similarly priced or cheaper?

Grand Cayman
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10. Re: Diving - where to stay?

Sunshine Suites is a good location. There are other places within walking distance and Sunshine Grille is very good -- never had breakfast but have had lunch and dinner many times with locals who love it for good reason. It is across the street from the beach. The pool is by the restaurant. The whole of Seven Mile Beach is really only 5 1/2 miles long. The central section has the widest sandiest beach and more costly hotels and the biggest saturation of restaurants, bars, etc. SS not that far removed from the central section. Comfort Suites might be in the same range. It is more to the south and is on the same side of the street as the beach, but only judging from seeing both places from the outside I would pick SS. Don't know if you will find a condo at a better rate. You could look at prices and compare at cicondos.com, caydirect.com, caymanvacations.com etc. Come back with questions!!

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