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“Incredible Diving - Truly Great Sunsets”
Review of Sunset House

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Sunset House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 January 2012

Let me preface this, this review is coming from a dedicated diver with over 2500 hours of actual bottom time.

If you're looking for a simple but wonderful dive vacation, not too far from home, Sunset House, in Grand Cayman, should be on your list. They are well organized and specialize in creating a fabulous dive experience for all, from experienced diver to neophyte. The staff is caring an attentive. Most of the dive sites are only a short ride from the dock and their custom made dive boats are fast and very seaworthy. Both air and Nitrox fills are available. What I truly appreciated about diving with sunset House is that they respect the experienced diver. So may dive centers today follow the tea bag dive program. That is, a square dive profile with everyone going in at once and coming out at the same time, based on the poorest diver with the worst air consumption. Sunset's dive masters will lead and stay with divers requesting that. However, experienced divers are permitted to follow their computers. Of course, Sunset does subscribe to the Cayman Dive Association, so no dive from their boats may exceed 100ft in depth. Boats depart for single and two tank dives in the morning and afternoon. Twice a week, night dives are offered. Of course, one need not wait for the boat to dive as there are to entry points for shore dives right on the hotel grounds. The entry point is about ten feet deep and gradually deepens until you reach the first wall at about 85ft. There's lots to see in both animal and plant life. I love spending my leisurely night dives in this area. If you have a rental car, a drive to many of the shore entry points around the island are well worth it. Oh, and lest I forget, right now Sunset house is offering a special package for the Single Diver, on vacation alone. It includes ground transportation, a full breakfast every day, two tank boat dives and even a welcoming gift.

Going beyond the diving, Sunset hosts "My Bar" where fabulous drink concoctions, and of course, Red Stripe beer are served. This place is so well known that many of the locals come to meet, greet and feast on the incredible sunsets. Come up from a dive and relax in the sun while having lunch at my bar or take it over to the pool. For dinner, a feast at their Sea Harvest restaurant overlooking the water is a must.

Georgetown is just a short walk along the coast from the Sunset House compound. Here you can while away an afternoon jewelry shopping or sampling local delicacies. The Tortuga Rum Cake is a must. If you want to shop for liquor to bring home, you will find it is less expensive here than almost anywhere else in the Caribbean. For the non-diver, there is even a submarine experience available.

To sum this up, Sunset House is not a fancy hotel with a lot of glitz and glamor but is everything the dedicated diver is in search of. When you're there, say hello to Keith Sahm and say Yoda says Hi as well.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank jediscuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 January 2012

The Sunset House Resort is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to do a diving holiday on Cayman.The diving facilities are the best on the island. They have their own boats so each day you can go straight out from the resort, no having to be transferred anywhere! The instructors are knowledgeable, helpful and 100% safety conscious. You can dive and snorkel in the sea right outside the resort where there are amazing fish and sea life. Although the resort is on the other side of the island from the famous Seven Mile Beach, it's location is not a downfall. it is only 10 minutes walk into George Town where the main shops are, also the Cayman Museum which is well, well, worth a visit for KY$6. They are good cafes and restaurants in George too, Guy Harveys, Hard Rock Cafe, Casanova's, Rackhams, Dolce Vita also a Margaritaville. To get to Seven Mile beach is just a 10 to 15 minute local bus ride for KY$2, buses/taxi's pass outside the Sunset resort all the time.
The resort has a good restaurant, excellent Conch fritters do try them. The bar is a lovely setting with outdoor dinning, good bar snacks and meals, reasonable prices and really friendly staff, locals eat and drink there a lot too....must be good!
The resort room are not flash, but adequate and clean, sea facing rooms have amazing views. The resort also has a nice pool and sun terrace area. It's a good resort for divers, couples and families.

Room Tip: the sea facing rooms have amazing views.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Bev082
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2012

My wife and I are both certified divers and this was our first stay on Sunset House. Check-in was easy and didn't take long at all. We settled into our Ocean View room on the second floor and enjoyed the oversized patio door. We left it open while we were in our room and enjoyed both a great view and sounds of the surf.

We obtained our dive lockers/locks to store our gear. A quick survey of the hotel grounds revealed all claims as being accurate. Multiple points of entry for shore diving right in front of the hotel. Well placed rinse tubs for gear. Dive boats are great with rinse buckets for camera gear. They even provide a "divers hookah" at the safety stop in case it's needed.

The outdoor bar aptly called My Bar is a popular place for guests and expats/islanders alike. Drinks and bar food are good with a nice view of the water. A very convenient place for hotel guests.

Sunset is great for divers; everything you need is available. It is comfortable and staff are both friendly and helpful. If you are expecting 5 star accommodation and service, then Sunset House will disappoint and I would suggest a big chain hotel on the island.

Overall it met and exceeded my expectations. They should offer an ALL INCLUSIVE package that includes all meals and drinks option.

Room Tip: Ocean front, no sandy beach at the hotel itself. Iron-shore with a number of points of entry/exit f...
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  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

Sunset house is wonderful if you like to dive or not. Rooms are not plush but are good for dealing with the sand and water you track in from outside. Good pool, good food, good service. Very responsive staff and the dive master was very helpful. The bar is a great place to watch the sunset and relax after a day in the water.The view at sunset is obviously the reason for the name, it's breathtaking! Food was good at the bar and I was delighted at the variety on the menu. My only complaint was it was somewhat noisy because our room was near the bar and since there are tile floors, nothing absorbed the sounds. Overall, I was so happy to be able to walk downstairs and jump into the ocean that I didn't mind the noise. I'd stay there again if I ever get to go back to Grand Cayman.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank VikiT72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

My wife and I came here in 1999-2000 as snorkelers and tourists and enjoyed our week here and walking around. This review will cover the trip I made in April 2011 as an AOW cert diver.

This trip was done to spend some time with a divemaster from Philly and his wife. He had assisted with my OW cert and had always wanted to dive with him. Since my wife doesnt dive, I am always looking for a buddy anyway.

This place is great for divers, we did the house reef, stingray city, kittiwake trip and there was a lot of easy, not too deep reefs and wrecks with good life and coral on them. One of the wrecks you cannot dive when there are cruise ships moored in the bay, but it was a very good one.

The way you approach the Kittiwake was fantastic, coming through the sand chute and looking up and seeing the vast white side of the wreck was awesome

The routine there is the same, early as possible breakfast then onto the boat for the 2 tank dives. Good breakfast.

The bar is a great place to hang out, grab a burger and beer and review the days sights and events.

Travel to Grand Cayman is good from Philly with US Air having some seasonal direct flights on weekends and short layovers at the hub in North Carolina. As much as I love Curacao and the easy diving there, travel days that are shorter and even allow you to get in the water for a buoyancy check and house reef dive the same day are fantastic.

Its not fancy, it is a clean dive dedicated spot with good service. I enjoyed my diving here and wish that I had more vacation days to enjoy it more during the trip

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank PhillySnorkeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2012

I stayed at and dove with Sunset House and their in-house dive operation over the 2011 Christmas break from 12/24/11-12/31/11.

In short, I have only one complaint, and that is that the water pressure in the shower was abysmal. Other than that, there wasn't anything I didn't like.

I'll start with the hotel and then review the dive operation.

HOTEL:

We arrived on Saturday, 12/24. I was traveling with a group of about 20 people from our local dive shop in the Detroit area (Rec Diving - if you're looking for a shop to participate in group trips, look no further - recdiving.com).

There were about 15 of us on our flight, including a couple of families. When we arrived at the front desk, our check in paperwork, room assignments, keys, etc. were all waiting for us. We simply had to give them a credit card, sign the registration, and go to our rooms. My check in literally took less then 3 minutes. I was shocked - that's FAST for any hotel.

My room (105) was above the office, and was reached via an outdoor staircase. A bellhop would have come in handy, but it wasn't a big deal.

The room had 2 full size beds, which were quite comfortable. There was a 6 drawer dresser, a night stand, a small refrigerator, an open hanging/closet area, and a small bathroom with a tub/shower, toilet and sink. Counter space was adequate and would have been enough for 2 had my wife accompanied me on this trip.

The AC worked quite well and was not noisy. If anything, it was too cold in the room, and I raised the temperature a few degrees.

Since I use a CPAP machine for sleeping, and it requires distilled water, I was a bit worried, but ran into one of the guys who works in Cathy Church's shop (in the office building) and asked him where I could buy some on Christmas Eve - he told me to hold on, and came back a few minutes later with a gallon of distilled water. He told me to use what I needed and just return what was left.

Breakfast every morning was from a limited menu in the restaurant. Nothing special. The eggs were typically overdone every day, but it was adequate.

Other than that, the food in the outdoor restaurant/bar (My Bar) was great. The black bean soup was fantastic, as was every Indian dish I tried. I'm not sure why their Indian food was so good, but it was REALLY good.

I needed maintenance in my room twice - once for a loose shower knob, and once for a stopped up toilet. They showed up within minutes both times and fixed the problem immediately.

Check out was almost as smooth as check-in. Very fast and easy.

Probably the only thing other than the water pressure that would have been an improvement would have been to have a safe in the room. They did have safety deposit boxes in the lobby, which for me was convenient given my room location, but if I was on the other side of the hotel, I might have been a bit annoyed at the inconvenience.

Every time I ran into someone who worked at the hotel, they smiled and said hello. It was very pleasant, and I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel or to go back.

Re: Internet access - prior to my trip, I corresponded a bit with the manager (Ken Thompson) of the hotel about internet access as I anticipated having to work online for part of my trip. Ken reassured me that they were in the process of installing a signal booster system, and was very patient and prompt in answering my questions. I really appreciated his courtesy and obvious desire to make sure I was reassured that I would be able to get online. In fact, the internet in my room was a great connection.

DIVE SHOP:

Much like my correspondence with Ken, the hotel manager, I corresponded a bit with Pete Foster-Smith with questions about the dive shop's rental gear. I've been burned in the past with really crappy rental gear and wanted to know what gear they rent, how old it is, etc. Pete answered all my questions promptly and thoroughly. Good service!

On arrival, I found my way to the dive shop, signed in, got my rental gear, weights, etc., after which Simon (aka Eddie Munster) gave our group a briefing on the dive operation, how, when and where to get tanks, navigation for shore dives, boat locations, etc. It was a thorough briefing.

Our package included 6 days of 2 tank dives in the morning. Since we were a large group, we mostly had the boat to ourselves each day.

Pre-boarding, the divemasters/instructors (I believe they were all instructors, not just divemasters) called a roll call, by name, before letting us board, and then counted and re-counted. They carried our gear on board for us before letting us board.

Most of us set up our gear ourselves, but those needing assistance got cheerful assistance.

When we arrived at each dive site, the dive site briefing was thorough, including navigation information, what we might expect to see there, depths, currents, etc., and then, the divemasters went with those who wanted a "guided" dive. Frequently, on the first dive of the morning, there was a group that went deep, and a group that went shallower.

Before leaving each site, they counted twice - we didn't leave anyone behind. :-)

Prior to docking, they required us all to be seated for safety reasons.

I found the divemasters (I talked to several of them at length on longer boat rides and in the bar) to be VERY knowledgeable and experienced, and very service oriented.

In short, I found the dive operation to be first rate - I didn't observe ANY equipment or o-ring failures during the week (unlike my trip to Bonaire in November where we had a LOT of o-ring failures). The equipment I rented (BCD and Regs/Computer) was brand new Scubapro equipment (Mk2 with XP10 computer and a Glide Pro weight integrated BCD). Definitely nice rental gear.

Overall impression - I would definitely go back - this was a well-run, comfortable place with great diving and a staff clearly oriented toward making sure their guests enjoy themselves.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank jporis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

While on a recent cruise to Cayman, my husband and I wanted to just find a place to hang out for the day and do a little shore diving. Sunset House was recommended. It's a short taxi ride from downtown and the cruise terminal, and the folks there couldn't have been more accommodating. There's no real beach since it's on the iron shore, so don't go with the expectation that you can sun in the sand. However, there's a nice pool with lounge chairs, an outdoor restaurant where the food and drinks are good and reasonably priced and the view is fantastic. There's also a great dive shop with lockers, a rinse tank for gear, and a shower. Tank rentals are $10. It you don't bring your own gear, their rental gear is ScubaPro. The dive shop personnel are great about pointing you to where the mermaid statue and the wreck are located. The one thing they didn't warn us about was that we might encounter the Atlantis submarine underwater. It was quite a surprise, but made for a great story. All in all, it was a great, cheap way to spend the afternoon since we wanted some easy diving and had already been to Cayman many times and had done all the other things there are to do.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kpickerell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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: £146 - £196 (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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