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Looking for a nice SMB condo

New York City, New...
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Looking for a nice SMB condo

My husband and I are visiting Grand Cayman for the first time in October and would like to stay on SMB in a condo, or somewhere with a kitchen. We'd like some input on finding a good place to stay. Here is what we're looking for (in order of importance):

- Price Range $200-300ish/night for 4 nights

- Oceanfront with excellent unobstructed ocean views and a swim-friendly beach (no rocks, minimal current)

- A peaceful beach that isn't overly crowded, but amenities such as restaurants and a market are within walking distance. We are considering renting a car.

- And of course, excellent staff. Bonus points if there is a concierge

We've looked through TripAdvisor and came up with the following options (feel free to make your own recommendations):

- Plantana

- Discovery Point Club

- Harbour House

- London House

- Silver Sands

- Grandview

Any insights you can offer on these places (or others) would be greatly appreciated, especially with regards to location, views, and how swim-friendly the beach is.

Austin, Texas
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1. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

I was looking at Silver Sands #13 but it was rented the day I went to reserve it. :( We ended up going with Regal Beach

chicago suburbs
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2. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

Are you going in the off season? Otherwise many of those places will be beyond your budget. Also remember that there is a 13% tax plus most places have an additional 6 or so % fee .

Discovery point has some big rocks.

Plantana and C. Columbus and London house have great beaches.

Did you mean Harbour Heights? It's right next to the public beach.

New Hope...
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3. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

If you go in October you will find that you will have the beach to yourselves unless you are near the areas where cruise ship passengers go. The off-season rates are a bargain.Some of the condos you mentioned will give the 5th day free if you stay 4. Plantana is a nice property, but I believe given its location it will be more costly than the properties on the north part of Seven Mile Beach. I am not a fan of the south part of Seven Mile Beach where the Grandview is. The north part SMB is the best value.. All of Discovery Point condos are beachfront and have a great view. London house is set at an angle, make sure you get one of the condos near the ocean if you want a great view. Silver Sands is like a horseshoe, which may affect the the view from the individual condo. The water is very calm in front of these properties and there are areas to snorkel either in front of the condos or close by.

All of the properties are relatively small compared to a hotel so that the office staff can act as your concierge, arranging tours, restaurant reservations, even stocking your condo with food before you come.

Charlotte, North...
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4. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

We just booked a condo at The Anchorage for June. The price is within your budget and this property has a lot of good feedback on Tripadvisor reviews. This will be our first time staying in this section of SMB but it looks great. We have stayed down near the Marriott in years past. While there are more things in walking distance on that end, the beach is not as wide and there is more ironshore. I'm looking forward to being further north on SMB. We always rent a car on Cayman...it just makes it so nice to have your own transportation and it is a very easy island to navigate.

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

From your list, we toured Plantana and Discovery Point Club (and a few units at both). Both are very nice, well-maintained condo complexes. Both had beautiful, quiet, uncrowded beaches (the beach at Plantana being the sandier of the two).

As for having more units to choose from with more direct ocean views, I believe that would be at DPC. Because of the building layout at Plantana, most of the 'oceanview' or 'oceanfront' units have a more angled view of the beach/ocean.

There looks to be one 1-bedroom oceanview unit at Plantana that may work close budget-wise. Check out unit #40 on their website. For low season, nightly rate is $280 ($333 after taxes and fees). On the 3rd floor, so you'll have nice ocean views IMO but again, more at an angle. Also, need to mention that there are no elevators at Plantana (may be important to know especially if you consider staying on an upper floor).

Again, we liked both DPC and Plantana. The staff we met at both were warm, welcoming and seemed to be very accommodating. Of the two, Plantana was more for us (so we have booked there for our next trip). Just liked the grounds and beach a bit more and staying closer to central SMB (although we still plan to rent a car for the convenience and flexibility).

P.S. Also take a look at Christopher Columbus condos. Didn't get to tour it, but did see it from the beach. And as Caymanshelly mentioned above, it has a very nice, wide and quiet beach. One of the nicest beaches we saw in the north SMB area.

Edited: 14 March 2013, 21:54
Annapolis, Maryland
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6. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

My personal take would be to eliminate Grandview and Discovery Point if you don't want a rocky shoreline.

In addition to the properties you listed, consider Christopher Columbus and Aqua Bay. Both have direct oceanfront units, large beach space, large pools and a generally easy water entrance. As is often noted, the beach conditions in the northern end are subject to the current or recent weather conditions. A car is recommended in that area, the trade off is lower rates than in the central area which offers a wider variety of restaurants within walking distance. I find the northern end of Seven Mile Beach to be far more quaint and picturesque than the central section, which is dominated by tall, concrete properties in close proximity to each other.

Although you did not ask, I would steer you to November rather than October, if possible, to improve your chances for nice weather. It has been known to rain quite a bit there in October.

Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

Just wanted to add a correction to my post #5. What Plantana classifies as their 1-bedroom oceanview at $280/night is their unit #20. (IMO, not much of an oceanview from what I can tell on their website).

#40 is considered 'oceanfront', at $340/night (before taxes/fees).

Annapolis, Maryland
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8. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

You do not always get the " ocean view " at Plantana that you pay for. If you are in the second or third building,your view is primarily of the pool, with the sea in the distance, but pay the same rate as those closer to the beach. Plantana used to price their 3 "buildings " in accordance with the proximity to the sea and the view. That practice changed some years ago and now they are all the same rate. I found this practice misleading to the patrons. In addition, they charge more for the ground floor units, the other properties you mentioned do not. We have stayed there, it's a nice place, but not the " be all and end all " of the condo properties along Seven Mile Beach.

Annapolis, Maryland
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9. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

" it's a nice place, but not the " be all and end all " of the condo properties along Seven Mile Beach."

My response was poorly worded, really meant that Plantana is but one of many nice properties available on Seven Mile Beach.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Looking for a nice SMB condo

Thanks for the excellent feedback everyone! A few comments based on your feedback:

Grandview & Discovery Point - Eliminating due to rocky beach. It's important to us to have a swimmable rock-free beach.

Plantana - Eliminating because the only oceanfront one-bedrooms are on the third floor, and without an elevator (thanks for pointing this out), climbing 2 flights of stairs would be a nuisance to my husband who is recovering from an injury. The 2brs are out of our price range, so this probably isn't a good fit.

Christopher Columbus - Several of you suggested this property, and based on the site, it seems like a nice place. Question: You noted that it has a very nice beach, but according to google maps, its next door to Discovery Point, which has a rocky beach. Is the beach that night and day?

After your feedback and a bit more research of our own, we've made some changes to our list. Now we're considering:

North SMB:

Christopher Columbus vs The Anchorage vs AquaBay

Central SMB:

Harbour Heights vs Villas of the Galleon

So we have two questions: (1) North or Central SMB? and (2) Which property in that location would you stay at and why?

North SMB seems more affordable and peaceful, and it seems the properties have better oceanfront views, but it also seems like you have to drive to go anywhere. Central SMB seems to have more restaurants, markets, shops, etc in walking distance. Properties do tend to be pricier, but we've found some places on vrbo/homeaway that are in our price range. We are leaning towards central SMB because of the access, but if you think we may still prefer north SMB, please share your thoughts.

Thanks again for all your feedback.

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