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“HOTEL NEEDS WORK/ CATTLE BOAT DIVE OPERATION”
Review of Sunset House

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Sunset House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“HOTEL NEEDS WORK/ CATTLE BOAT DIVE OPERATION”
Reviewed 29 July 2011

We stayed at Sunset House in April/2011. After check-in, we were sent to find are own hotel room with bags in tow. Great start! The rooms are very out dated, dirty, and have noisy a/c units. We did enjoy the free breakfast, made to order. The dive shop is fair but we always felt rushed to get in, get out, only 40 min SI between dives, and get back before noon. Never understood this when the offer no afternoon dives? The reefs where ok. Over fished over dived and tressed out from hurricanes and garbage. This was our first trip to Grand Cayman and we were very dissapointed. If we ever return it would be to dive at Little Cayman instead.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Diverkel-Colorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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542 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (190)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wichita, KS
Level Contributor
98 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2011

We stayed at Sunset House for the 3rd time this June, albeit for just 1 night, while waiting to board the Cayman Aggressor. Since we were only going to be here for 1 night we arranged a courtyard room. The rooms are more than adequate for those who are there to dive. Clean and good air conditioning are what we desire. My Bar has great drinks and food, the Seaharvest Restuarant has an excellent breakfast and really exceptional dinners. Indian cuisine is there specialty. The dive shop is very handy for shore diving. The best thing about staying here is the staff. The front desk and office staff is very friendly and accomodating and we highly recommend this place for divers. This is not a 5 star property but if diving and convienence is a priority then consider staying here!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dresf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Sunset House is a decent diver's resort. It's clean, basic and has the advantage of being right next to some good sore diving. For the week my wife and I were there, we found the employees and customers to be friendly and, important in the evening hours, quiet.

The food of the Sunset House is pricey and of average- to a bit below-average quality. Some dishes were good, most were just okay. They have an outdoor bar area that has a beautiful view of the water, and an air conditioned restaurant. Both locations serve the same food.

Sunset House paid for our taxi from the airport to the property.

Sunset Divers provides the residents of Sunset House with dive services. The operation is solid but lacked some of the finishing touches of service and professionalism we experienced last year with Red Sail Sports. For example:

- inconsistent frequency of dive masters (DMs) setting up customer tanks
- one captain who steered the boat with his feet in an effort to look cool
- incomplete site profile discussions prior to dives (Red Sail had diagrams of each site so you could see what the characteristics of the site were. This helped with orientation, navigation and deciding what route you wanted to take)
- the DMs, while generally nice and helpful, lacked that extra level of professionalism and customer orientation that we experienced last year with Red Sail
- the boats weren't as well maintained. They needed fresh paint and I saw a few places where screws weren't tight. The boats weren't dumpy -- they just lacked polish
- the boats lacked a rope tied on the ladder. When the water is choppy, hanging on to a rope instead of the ladder gives a diver some distance from the danger of making contact with the ladder

While the dive sites on the west side were good, the east side has much better sites. There's more wildlife below and less human life above. Granted, there are a lot more comforts of civilization in the George Town area but this comes with a downside: the sites just aren't as good.

I won't dive with Sunset Divers again, in part because of their lack of finishing touches in terms of professionalism, customer orientation and maintenance, but mostly because the west side just isn't as good as the east side.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bimmergeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2011

We were on island June 20-30 2011 and my family did not stay at Sunset House...BUT WE WILL NEXT TRIP. Here's why...
We are 3 certified divers and we simply stumbled on Sunset House as we searched for a referral dive for one of my sons. Pete, at the dive shop, offered an individual referral dive program for less than we found anywhere else so we took it. We were impressed with the friendliness and courtesy afforded by every member of the dive shop team EVEN THOUGH WE WERE NOT PART OF THE SUNSET HOUSE GUEST CLIENTELE. Even though resort guests have priority, we were offered dive packages and shore dives and treated as if we were preferred guests. Pete was an excellent instructor and he, and his staff, insured that all of our diving needs were met. Dive boat crews were always attentive and helpful, and rank among the best we've experienced. It is because of the treatment and attention we received at the dive shop that we will put Sunset House at the top of our list for lodging on our next visit!

Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank lfdcaptain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Level Contributor
130 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2011

Sunset House is my absolute favorite place in Grand Cayman to stay and dive for many reasons. First, they are reasonably priced compared to other operations on the island, providing a tremendous value for SCUBA divers. I would consider the hotel part more 3 star than the 2 stars Trip Advisor has assigned them, but I suppose it's all a matter of what you're looking for in a hotel. Sunset House provides us with everything we're looking for to meet our needs as divers. The location of the property is situated on the water in a quiet neighborhood, away from the hustle and bustle of downtown George Town. I love the seclusion of not feeling over-run by tourists! Town is an easy 1 mile walk, or you can take the cheap bus $2.25 (?). The front desk personnel are great about helping you figure stuff out. Although the hotel is in the flight path, there are only a few flights per day and they are seriously nothing!

As for the rooms:
Sunset House is an older property, and could probably use some room upgrades. But that being acknowledged, we come to Cayman to dive and to dive some more, so staying in plush rooms is not our goal. But, comfort, as well as value IS important to us, however, and that's why Sunset House is perfect. Our room was large, beds were comfortable (not like the beds in Cozumel/Mexico that are on cement platforms - hello?!), and the bathroom spacious. The maid service was great at keeping our room fresh and clean and, as we requested, stocked with lots of extra towels and shampoo & conditioners. The air-conditioning is no louder than any other hotel we've stayed in - including Marriott properties. By the way, can I just say thanks to maintenance for keeping that loud air-conditioning working non-stop and perfectly! Oh...and nothing beats being able to walk back to your room in your dripping wetsuit and pealing it off in a shower that has plenty of room to move in and good water pressure - hot or cold. Plus, the free Wi-fi worked perfectly in and around our room, patio, and on the grass. It was great.

As for the food:
I'm a foodie, and I'm pretty picky. Sooo, that being said, I think the food in My Bar is pretty good. I wouldn't call it excellent as some other reviewers have done. But it's good enough to work your way through the menu and eat there every night if you're too lazy to drive anywhere. And that's one of the beauties of Sunset House -they have two restaurants right there on the property.

As for the diving:
The diving opportunities provided by Sunset House are unlimited. We've dived all over the island and I like the diving right off Sunset House pier better than any place else. I'm not a fan of surf entries or sand in general. So picking up a tank at any time of day or night just steps away from my room, and then stepping off the pier just a few more steps away from my room, make this sand free operation THIS divers dream! The rinse/dunk tanks are right there. The tanks are right there. The pier is right there. World class diving is right there. My room is right there. The waving palms, grass lawns and lounge chairs are right there. The fresh water pool is right there. The stunning sunsets are right there. The cocktails are right there. The food is right there. Good, free Wi-fi is right there. And, if your underwater pictures suck, take a class! Cathy Church gives photography lessons...right there! What's not to like?

As for the dive shop staff:
Well, unfortunately we had some issues with one of the dive masters for the first time of many times diving with Sunset Divers. He really was a goon and put our newbies in potentially dangerous situations. Fortunately, we had a boatload of professional divers who had to sadly sacrifice their own diving freedoms to care for the beginners. In hindsight (which is always 20/20), I think if everyone had discussed and brainstormed ideas concerning what was going on with this bad dive master, a satisfactory solution could have been arranged with the extremely amiable dive shop manager. But, again...hindsight is 20/20. Moving forward, the future will be better if anyone involved chooses to use these experiences for improvement.

In conclusion:
I'd give them 5 stars if the rooms were closer to a 4 star property. But by no means do I really care that they're not! If I could go back to Sunset House right now, I'd go. In fact plane fares are cheaper right now, and if I could I'd be headed to the airport. My friends and I LOVE Sunset House and look forward to our next trip there!

Room Tip: We really like staying in the ocean view rooms.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Uphilldeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Lake Tahoe, California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2011

I led the trip that the reviewer is speaking of below. Yes there were a couple of issues with the dive shop staff but it is my opinion that they were handled by the dive shop manager promptly when he was aware of them. The reviewer below states that "none of our professionals" will return. Not true as I am a dive professional and I would return. I have been to Sunset House twice now and appreciate their kindness and there response to issues that arise with such groups. It is a good operation; any operation will have their issues. If the issue is address properly by the client a resolve will come. You need to speak out, perhaps we did not do this to well. We love diving with Sunset Divers, the freedoms they give us are wonderful. We are experienced certified divers who should know our limits and act safely.

The food at My Bar was excellent this trip, perhaps the staff was a little overly busy as every time we visited it was packed. No bed bug bites here, I do agree that the air conditioning was a bit loud but I dare anyone to try to sleep without it, its kind of hot this time of year on Grand Cayman. As it is said, Sunset House is a divers hotel run by divers for divers.

Room Tip: Ask fro rooms 401 to 410, ocean view ground floor
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  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tahoe1840
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reno, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank weber9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset House

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Sunset House 2*
Number of rooms: 50
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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