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Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

Inver Grove...
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Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

We will be visiting Grand Caymen for the second time this March. Last March we stayed at the Caribbean Club and had an excellent stay. We would like to try something different this year, but comparable in terms of size and quality of rooms. We have two children, ages 9 and 11, that enjoy playing catch in the ocean and are just starting to get comfortable snorkeling. We don't mind paying high price tags on units if it means we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and stake out a place by the pool/beach. We always found a spot at the Caribbean Club last March, but it wasn't always ideal. On SMB we are considering the Renaissance or South Bay Beach. Any thoughts on which one would be most comparable to Caribbean Club? Which one is a new property? They both say newest resort on SMB. The other property which really interests us is The Cotton Tree. Can anyone describe the beach area in front of that property, and how far (and what direction) you would have to walk to find a sand bottom swimming area? Thanks for any input!

Rhode Island
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for Grand Cayman
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5,248 posts
23 reviews
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1. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

All three quite new. If they are the ones you have narrowed it down to select from, Renaissance for their beach.

Annapolis, Maryland
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for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
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4,837 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

Agree that of the three you mentioned, Renaissance would be my recommendation. I have not stayed there but have toured the property and some of the units. It is further north on Seven Mile Beach, so you would need a car for the short drive for groceries and most restaurants. I have not stayed at Beachcomber or Meridian either, but they are in the same area as Caribbean Club and are newer properties. Perhaps consider them, also.

Edited: 31 July 2013, 21:14
Oakville
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105 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

We stayed at the Beachcomber and they have one beach chair per guest (~150) and a much nicer property/pool than Caribbean Club. The beach is as good or better than Caribbean Club. However, while the inside of the units at Beachcomber, Meridian, and Renaissance are very upscale they will not be as nice as the Caribbean Club IMO and there is no restaurant/bar/service on the property..

Edited: 31 July 2013, 21:24
NJ
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1,993 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

I've stayed at Caribbean Club numerous times and believe it stands alone on the luxury level. I've stayed at CoralStone Club, Meridian and Beachcomber and they just don't compare. Most places have been updated so it's not that they're old or ugly. It also is a boutique hotel as opposed to Renaissance and South Bay Beach Club which are traditional condos. So the 7 day maid and turndown service won't be there. Not sure which category Cotton Tree falls into. Both Renaissance and South Bay BC are new properties. If I had to choose between the 2 of them, I'd go for Renaissance with the expectation of having to drive to a few more places from that location.

Victoria, Canada
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5. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

I agree with every one above.

One additional note on the Renaisance is that they only have about 10 rental units in the complex - the rest of the units are not rented out (absentee owners or residents) - so there is never a problem getting loungers at the beach and it is nowhere near as "busy" as the luxury properties in the central Seven Mile Beach area.

Colorado
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for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
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165 reviews
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6. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

RE: The Cotton Tree

It is not on SMB and the nearest place to find the type of beach conditions on SMB will be to drive to the Northern part of SMB. The beach there has some reef protection and, similar to other properties in the area, has a grassy bottom.

North Carolina
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101 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

Just stayed at South Bay earlier in July - we were extremely impressed with the staff and facilities. There were more than enough beach chairs and walking distance to many restaurants and shopping. You are, of course, next door to the Marriott and although the Marriott was very crowded, it did not bother us at all. Haven't stayed at the others but really liked South Bay.

Edited: 01 August 2013, 15:31
Frisco, Texas
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492 posts
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8. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

We are also looking at March and have also been considering the properties you mentioned. We have stayed at the Caribbean Club and I agree, it is in a luxary class all by itself. I think it would be difficult to find other places that are as big in size as the CC as they are almost 2700 square feet, I think the ones at the Renaissance are about 2000 sf. The Cotton Tree looks great but I am leaning away from it as it is not on SMB and I have read you really can't swim there. I'm not sure what dates in March you are looking at, but when I did a quick search, it showed no availability for either the Cotton Tree or Coral Stone Club. I know you didn't mention CSC, but I see it mentioned alot in the luxary category. I'm guessing that maybe the Renaissance is a bit more upscale than South Bay, but just my guess based on the price points. Good luck, planning is half the fun :)

Edited: 01 August 2013, 19:37
Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

Don't trust the availability search on Trip Advisor - it uses Expedia, hotels.com and Venere.com, all of which are primarily "hotel" booking sites. Kind of stupid that they even show those on the condo pages ....

Try CayDirect.com for condo availability. Not all condos are on there, but most are.

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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10. Re: Renaissance, South Bay Beach Club - or Cotton Tree

You can also try caymanvacations.com, cicondos.com and caymanvacation.com. I am not a fan of Expedia and other sites like it. I have seen my unit listed on them when it is available (it has never been put with them). It is listed as a price that has never ever been offered and then it says that it is not available (even though it is). It then offers a unit at another property which it says is "comparable". The other property is not on the same level. Unless you know exactly the place you want and it is there, I wouldn't trust them.