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“Great food, rude and unprofessional dive crew”
Review of Sunset House

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Sunset House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2011

SUNSET HOUSE has a couple of positives, the restaurant on location has excellent food. The shore diving is good with a wall not too far out, great location for photography with an SLR housing from shore. They also have an open water confined salt water pool to conduct classes. The bartenders provided great service.

NEGATIVES: The dive shop staff is rude and condensending. They do not evaluate divers for ability nor do they make any effort to help inexperienced divers. The "divemasters" lecture on no solo diving, however, they jump in the water hit the bottom "solo" while waiting for divers to come down.

Then the "divemasters" while guiding a tour swim with free diving fins at full speed while inexperienced divers struggle to keep up sucking down all their air and the result for new divers is a very short dive or potential cardiac and or out of air situation.

The dive shop manager is in total denial of the incompetence and unprofessionalism of his staff. They 'claimed" to have fired one idiot divemaster after several of us voiced our concerns.

In short the, professionals in our group will not return do to the lack of concern for safety with the staff of this dive shop at Sunset House.

Hotel room: The shower is pathetic, intermitent hot and cold. The toilet seat needed replacement because it had a permanent poop skid mark on the back.

The air conditioner was so loud we couldn't sleep well at night.

WE ALSO GOT BED BUG BITES!

Room Tip: Go find another hotel.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank weber9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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484 - 490 of 553 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2011

The restaurant was fine, but the dive staff were rude and unkind..seemingly more interested in drinking than diving or safety. The A/C worked well but the room had an odor, but was cleaned daily. The dives were small, of themselves interesting enough, but it did not make up for the 'hand-out for tips" and the awefully smelly room. We do not have plans to return. Th indian waiters were very good and the food was a plus.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank earleybrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shandytara, General Manager at Sunset House, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2011

Dear Mr. Earley,

Thank you for your comments and I appreciate the time you took to let me know your thoughts. As I have already responded to you via regular mail concerning your experience at Sunset House, my comments here will seem repetitive, however, I shall see if I can add some balance to the dialogue. You mentioned there was an odor in your room during the five nights you were with us but you never said anything to the front desk staff, my maintenenace staff or myself which would have allowed me to remedy the problem. I sincerely apologize for whatever discomfort you may have experienced and had I know about the issue I would have happily addressed the problem and if necsessary moved you to a different room.

With respect to your comment about the dive staff behaving in an unsafe manner or having their hands out for tips, I can categorically deny that ever happened. We never discuss tipping on our dive boats and leave it to the discretion of the guest based upon the service they receive. There are times when individual personalities do not mix and that's truly unfortunate as we want all of our guests to have the time of their lives, but we are never rude and we do our best to insure our guests experience the best of what Grand Cayman has to offer underwater.

And finally, you imply that my dive instructors are "seemingly more interested in drinking than diving or safety" which is a malicious statement and absolutely false. The dive staff at Sunset Divers are incredibly talented, trustworthy, loyal and very talented and I will not allow anyone with an axe to grind to assault their reputation and go unchallenged. Should you wish to contact me my email address is Ken.Thompson@SunsetHouse.com.


Sincerely,

Ken Thompson
General Manager

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Reviewed 9 May 2011

As a family group of eight (adults, boy 10 and girl 16) we stayed at the Sunset House for 7 days and really enjoyed it. Our rooms were clean, air conditioned and spacious. We got a room with a kitchen and used the adjoining room too for my parents. It was like a small apartment with kitchen, dining table and den area. It was close enough to town that we could have walked and my parents did. It was far enough from town that we didn't have to deal with crowds from the cruise ships. We walked to Smith Beach which was quite nice with very few people; perfect for us. Staff was quite attentive and helpful. My Bar (restaurant and bar) was our evening meeting point and often we ate our meals there. The food was quite good, no complaints at all from us about that. We did have a couple of windy days while we were there and fortunately we were at Sunset House instead of the other side of the island or we would not have been able to scuba dive those days. Diving was great. My husband went with my uncle on three days and for two dive trips my 16 year old daughter went with them. Even with personal equipment issues Sunset made sure my husband didn't miss out on any dives he wanted to make. If we go back to Grand Cayman one day we will stay at the same place and just visit different sites. Great Trip!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Winkyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

We stayed at this hotel in July for 5 days. It is close enough to George Town to walk if you wanted. We didn't because it was very hot and humid while we were there. The restaurant was very nice and we enjoyed eating there as it was very quiet while we were there. The food was good. This is an older hotel that definitely caters to divers. The rooms are very dated and worn. BUT - the diving is better than fantastic! We absolutely loved every dive we did while we were there. The gem of Sunset House, is Cathy Church's Photography Center. I took a lesson in underwater photography while I was there and as part of the class, the instructor, Kat Ramage, did a dive with me. I learned so much. I have a long way to go but I am now taking photographs that I'm proud to blow up huge and put on my living room wall.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DivingOver60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2011

Sunset House is really all about diving - shore dives are available 24x7, there is a two-tank boat trip every morning, and single tank dives many afternoons. (Including a trip to Stingray City, which is fabulous. A photographer accompanied us... $35 for a disk of photos of the individual with the stingrays.) Dive office right on the premises.

The rooms are pretty basic. Bed, dresser, nightstands. I had only one lamp and a non-functioning TV remote; my friend's clock never worked. Adequate air conditioning. No chair for reading.

Good restaurant on site, with Caribbean and Indian menus. Large bar with shaded seating (big thatch roof), good bar menu. Lovely ocean views.

Nice pool - but FULL sun all day, no possibility of shade. No beach at all, just craggy shore.

If you are into underwater photography, Cathy Church runs a shop there. Classes and private classes and private guided photo dives all possible.

$12 US cab ride into Georgetown for a good variety of nice restaurants.

Bottom line - great for divers.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank didi02453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Lovely older hotel east of Georgetown (within walking distance). Mainly divers staying at the hotel. Fun bar (My Bar) and Cathy Church's underwater photography gallery on site.
Our room was older, but spacious and nicely decorated with porch looking at water.
Definitely would recommend, esp for divers.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank sleem50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2011

Having been on other dive trips I understand that dive resorts are not appointed with the same amenities as your typical resort hotels however, I did find this location lacking for several reasons. Starting with the positives, the location is conveniently located with just a short drive to the airport. The Restaurant, which is separate management from the hotel, has an excellent dinner menu with a wide variety of well prepared Indian dishes. The wait staff (guys with the blue ocean motiff shirts) are excellent. They were extremely attentive, personable and efficient. The lunch menu is repetitive and boring but the food was again "adequate". The wait staff at the outdoor restaurant/bar which shares the same kitchen is lacking in service skills and were argumentative at times; completely unacceptable for any one in the hospitality business. The front desk staff was extremely helpful and considerate of our concerns. The dive shop is a first class act and I couldn't have said enough positive things about them. The convenience of having the shop on the property is a real bonus especially with repetitive diving.

Here are my major complaints.
1) there is no beach and the closest beach is 2.5miles away. Sure you can take the bus there for 2.50 each way but its still a 20minute walk to get there.
2) The hotel is right next to the oil tankers, doesn't add much to the ambiance but looks great at night
3) Our room was dirty when we arrived at 4pm and the front desk was not aware of its status. The condition of the room was unacceptable and outright scary. The bedding was horrible with saggy beds, old worn sheets and comforters and wimpy pillows. The beds easily skidded across the floor when you sat on the bed or leaned against the headboard. Some rooms had only sliding glass door entrances. Bathroom shower curtains were too short with flooding a frequent problem. The window treatments were tattered and did not let light in unless you left them open. There are no hair driers or coffee makers as stated in the brochure we received. The view of the restaurant garbage dumpster from our courtyard rooms was not a pleasant site.
4) The hotel is directly under the flight path...not a huge issue but may be for some
5) The pool area is small considering there is no beach and the hot tub is not heated.

I feel the hotel has enormous potential if they work on the rooms, equip them with the amenities you expect to see, and bring them up to par. Unless you are a diver, there is no reason to go to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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2  Thank howard55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shandytara, General Manager at Sunset House, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2011

Dear Howard55,

On behalf of the management and staff of Sunset House and Sunset Divers I want to thank you for staying with us and for commenting on your experience. Through efforts such as these we can make improvements where necessary and congratulate those who maintain or exceed our standards. From your comments I do have a couple of observations I would like to share that may provide others with a different perspective on Sunset House.

As you note in your review Sunset House is situated right on the water which provides us with easy and direct access to some of the best shore diving on Grand Cayman, and it's why we are argueably the top dive resort on Grand Cayman. Where else can you step off your dive boat and then grab a complimentary tank (24 hours a day) and do a shore dive? So you are correct in that we do not have a beach in front of the hotel, but we do not claim to have one in our brochure or on our website, and it's why we have some of the best shore diving on the island. And the tanks you mention are about 100 yards away and the only time you can see them is from the water looking back to shore when you're shore diving or out on one of our dive boats. You can't see them from the restuarnt, the bar or from your room because of all the greeenery that surrounds the property.

I do need to apologize to you for the room not being readied when you checked in and for being directed to it before it was presentable. There was a lapse in our procedures and I did speak with the staff about how important it is to have everything readied on time. And I am sorry you did not find the bedding suitable or the pillows to your liking, and I only wish you had mentioned it while you were here so that we could have provided an alternative. As you note in your review we do not have hair dryers in the rooms, however we do provide them at no charge upon request as you know, because you received one when you requested it. And depending on the category of room you book we do provide coffee makers and fridges, and the availability of a particualr amenity is listed by room category on our website.

And finally, while we are in the flight path it is not that big a deal really as most of the flights arrive while our divers are out diving, and the airport usually closes around 8:00 PM. This means there are very few evening arrivals that interrupt the sound of the Caribbean Sea lapping against the shore line or interferring with a view of the stars in the clear Caribbean sky.

If there is anything else you wish to share with me by all means please contact me at the hotel and I will be more than happy to address your concerns.

Sincerely,

Ken Thompson
General Manager

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Additional Information about Sunset House

Address: 390 South Church Street, George Town KY1-1106, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > George Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Price Range: £145 - £194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Sunset House 2*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
No Resort Fees!!! Best Value on Island! We have found the beginning of why so many people love Sunset House, Grand Cayman's Hotel for Divers, by Divers. "Stepping out of my room, feeling the sunshine on my face, catching that breath of fragrant tropical breeze, gazing into the alluring blue water..". More profound words were never spoken! This family owned resort is more of a big guest house, than a hotel. Everything you have dreamed for a Caribbean Dive Vacation is here! From palm trees to an amazing house reef; from 5 custom dive boats, to a famous underwater photographer; from amazing Caribbean concoctions, to spicy Indian dishes; they all await you! And combined with warm Caymanian hospitality, you'll wonder why you waited so long to visit this West Indian oasis, or why you haven't come back sooner. Of course, the Caymans and Sunset House are a diver's paradise, with crystal-clear waters awaiting your arrival. Come to Sunset House today and experience now, what others have seen for over the last 50 years. An underwater photographer's perfect dive. Shipwrecks, curious big eels, cuddly stingrays and a legendary mermaid await you just steps from your room! A perfect place for your scuba diving or snorkeling vacation! Packages include Breakfast, transfers from Airport and so much more! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sunset House Hotel George Town
Sunset Hotel George Town
Sunset Resort George Town
Sunset House Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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