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“Great Diving Location; Poor Accommodations!”
Review of Sunset House

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Sunset House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in George Town
Certificate of Excellence
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great Diving Location; Poor Accommodations!”
Reviewed 9 January 2013

There are 2 different aspects to this resort:
1- The diving (Excellent)
2- The accommodations (Poor)
The Diving:
Amazing dive location! Unlimited free shore dives is a dream come true, with unlimited free air tanks (80 cu ft)! Convenient, guided, and safe boat dives. Incredibly friendly & knowledgeable dive professionals. Even when bad weather crept up, the staff knew when to close and then reopen the shore diving. Free lockers available for dive gear. A big tub for rinsing dive gear. Lots and lots of areas for drying the gear in the sun!
The Accommodations:
Well maintained landscape. Clean swimming pool with adequate space for sunning and relaxing. Waterfront rooms have the basic necessities, we were told by some guests. Because of last minute reservations, my brother and I ended up staying in a courtyard room. No coffeemaker, safe, hairdryer, or iron in any of these courtyard rooms! Common Really?
However, when I asked, I was lucky to get the last iron & board, & hairdryer! Had our coffee with the morning breakfast at the restaurant, which had good food and service.
Checked in on Friday with no Internet service except at the bar "My Bar". Checked out on Wednesday to fly to Little Cayman, and still no Internet but at the bar. To us, and most guests, it's totally unexceptionable in this day and age!

The solution to this resort:
1- Upgrade the rooms.
2- Fix the Internet.
3- Have the same type staff who currently run the dive operation run/manage the resort accommodations.
After taking the above recommendations, this resort would become one of the best in Grand Cayman Island!

Room Tip: Avoid the courtyard rooms at all cost!
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sameer-Maasarani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keith S, General Manager at Sunset House, responded to this review, 14 January 2013
Dear Sameer,

Thank you for writing your comments and we are happy to hear that you enjoyed the diving as much as we do here.
As we state our on website, courtyard rooms do not come with all the bells and whistles that the ocean view rooms have. As you stated, we have irons, ironing boards, safety deposit boxes, and hair dryers all available at the front desk. There is hot coffee in front lobby all day long for you as well as a computer to use as well.

The courtyard rooms are under some remodeling and the first area to get the renovated Wi-Fi as the bar area is going to be that 500 block you were in.

We hope we get the chance to see you again.

Warm regards,

Keith E Sahm
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (189)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2013

The staff was great, food is very good, dive boats and crews were excellent. Aaron was very good at the helm and as a dive master.
He killed a number of lion fish, the grouper would follow us looking for a lion fish meal.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Larry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

With very last minute plans to Grand Cayman, we were initially happy to secure a reservation at Sunset House. As divers on a dive trip, our needs and expectations are minimal. Unfortunately, Sunset House did not meet the minimal standards. We were given room #107, a courtyard room above the lobby. Avoid these rooms at all costs! They are old and in serious need of updating throughout, with very few amenities - no hair dryer, no coffee maker, unreliable internet, mismatched wobbly furmiture, bathroom vanity made from particle board, water pressure for shower was just above a trickle with tub/shower faucet knob falling off... you get the picture. The Sunset House web site describes these courtyard rooms for the "cost conscious", but at a corporate rate of $220 USD per night (we stayed 5 nights) plus and automatic gratuity/service fee of 15%, this equates to nothing more than a RIP OFF.

The Sunset House staff that we interacted with can only be described as indifferent. Because we were working while there, a coffee maker, which our room did not have, would have been useful. When I inquired about one at the front desk I was told that they were all being used and there were extra makers, but no pots. In this day and age, a coffee maker of some sort is viewed as a very basic amenity, standard in all rooms. We needed a hair dryer, which our room did not have. When my husband asked for one at the front desk, he was told there weren't any available. He told the desk clerk it was important and only needed for a short period of time, and seemingly, magically, one was available for our usage. Our work is dependant on the internet, and we were working while staying at Sunset House. The initial connectivity was what you'd expect for the Caribbean, then it stopped working. When I inquired about this at the front desk (Friday), it was confirmed that they were having problems and in all likelyhood would not be fixed until Monday. The following is taken from their web site, describing their wireless network: "Want to upload your latest underwater shots to your Facebook page? Catch up on the news back home or pay that bill you forgot to pay before you left? Our wireless network just got a huge boost with a new 2400 LTX Series Antennafier™ Outoor WiFi Amplifier. Making it easy to connect to the network whether you are in the room, out by the pool, bar, or patio!" When I inquired further if there were any other options for internet connectivity, the front desk clerk replied, "It doesn't always work, that's why we don't charge for it." My conclusion: false advertising on their web site! Luckily, we were able to find other options like cafes and restaurants in George Town with free, working wifi to get our work completed.

Room Tip: Avoid the Courtyard rooms above the lobby. They are very old with few amenities. Their web site des...
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank newmediasoup2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keith S, General Manager at Sunset House, responded to this review, 14 January 2013
Dear Newmediasoup2,

Thank you for your response. We do take what you have to say seriously and we have been renovating our courtyard rooms some that do need some "freshening up". Room 107 has had a new paint job, ceiling fans and wooden blinds installed since you left, as all of the other rooms in the 100 block.

But there are a few accusations that I feel need to be corrected in your trip report.

We received word last minute from the photo centre that you were in need of getting down here and getting more stock footage, since your PNG trip was washed out. We did not speak to you or your husband at all before your arrival or what needs you specifically required. Your reservation was during the holidays to where we had one room left to accommodate you. (This being 107, directly above the lobby.) All other rooms in all classes where sold out.

The water pressure is just fine in room 107 and not sure of what you are talking about, unless there was a strange occurrence where everyone was trying to shower at the same time. We did not receive any other complaints, nor have had any complaints after your trip.

Courtyard rooms "do have less amenities" and the timing of your trip was during the holidays, with the higher "room only" rate. (Our guests that are on our dive and non-dive packages take advantage of a discount than "room only" guests) The government room tax and service charges that we cannot do anything about are 23%. We are not sure where you came up with the 15%, except for all restaurant and bar bills charged to you room automatically get a 15% gratuity added to them. Only if they are billed to your room do we automatically add the gratuity.

There is free hot coffee in the lobby, just down the steps from where you were staying. Regarding the Internet, you are quoting our website for the "ocean view rooms", not the courtyard. The courtyard rooms clearly say, "One of the most popular rooms for "cost conscious" guests that we have to offer is the Courtyard Room. These rooms come with 2 Queen beds or 1 King-size bed, digital cable TV, air conditioning and private bathrooms. Most courtyard rooms can access the wireless network" .

The Internet can be clearly picked up on the 100 block balcony and a free computer is there in the lobby as well for you to use that is on an Ethernet cable. Always a connection there. There is also great connectivity at the bar outside, which has the same service as what the newer Wi-Fi update contains.. We have not had any problems down there from our guests. Even when folks are talking on Skype, Face Time and uploading pictures.

And yes, we did get you a hair dryer from Karin, our Co-General Manager after we had none left to accommodate your needs. (as we said, the hotel was 100% occupied and hair dryers and irons are on first basis.) Normally, our stock is well suitable for our guests needs.

I highly disagree with your accusation of false advertising on our website.. We understand that we do not meet everyone's expectations and why we retain our distinction of not being a chain hotel and state so on our website.

If you have further comments, please feel free to email me at keith.sahm@sunsethouse.com.

Warm regards,

Keith E Sahm
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

This is a review about the restaurant at Sunset House. It is a great casual restaurant and I always look forward to going there when visiting Grand Cayman.

Fabulous views overlooking the Caribbean, good food and very good value.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aurora, CO
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

Just returned from a week at Sunset House on GC - gorgeous! Staff very friendly and helpful but really dont have a clue about what's happening in town. Told us everything was closed on New Years Day, good thing we didnt listen n went in anyway! A tip to the staff, pay attention to the cruise ship schedule, if there's a ship in port EVERYTHING'S open, even on Sundays. That little misinformation aside, everything was great! Food's incredible, very pleasant surprise for a dive resort. Room was spacious and absolutely quiet, but I was in bldg. 4 so didn't have noise from dive shop or restaurant/bar. If you get a choice ask for bldg. 4. Clean, AC was super, shower was hot, everything worked great. And really enjoyed watching the parrots & geckos. Diving was really fun, but maybe give people opportunity to go to north side of island more, where Ivan didn't cause so much damage. Big Tunnels was my favorite site. There is no fitness center, but you're diving so who needs it, and there isn't room service as far as I know.

Room Tip: Bldg 4. I was in room 421 it was terrific
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank remeisas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orland Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Sunset House is a true DIVE resort it seems to have been built for Divers. The boats leave on time daily , like clock work and after lunch we were able to get a few wonderful shore dives in. I would say the shore dives were as good as some of theboat dives. The staff is so friendly and helpful, they do just about everything for you except the DIVE, and I bet they would do the DIVE for you. After a long day of diving we went to My Bar, what a name for a hotel bar, but after a week of eating and a few drinks, you feel like it is your bar, of course untill you walk away without paying.
What is nice about Sunset House is the ease to George Town, we just walked it and found it to be a nice walk.
Thank you to all the staff for making our teip so much fun, my wife loved the rooms and divinig and I loved the the DIVE Center and all the dives.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank diverpatrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pulaski, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

This will be a long one as we are very passionate about Sunset House. My wife and I have stayed at Sunset House about 35 times in the last 22 years. When we are there for a week, we rarely leave the property. That should say enough right there.

The resort is designed for divers and snorkelers. The house reef, which you can shore dive any time of the day or night, is as good as any along the west side. There is no beach - and that is a good thing. The water's edge is ironshore (old coral). When you step off, you are in 10-12 feet of water. You can drop and start your dive right at the ladder - no long surface swims. The dive boats pull right into a slip cut in the ironshore right in front of My Bar.

My bar is a thatched roof beauty perched at the southwest corner of the property overlooking the ocean and facing west for the sunsets. It has been voted the best bar in the Caribbean more than once and for good reason. Lunch and dinner are served at My Bar as well as in The Sea Harvest, the air-conditioned restaurant just a few steps away. A cooked to order breakfast is included in the package. Get a table at My Bar early as it is very popular with the locals at sunset.

There is a fresh water pool as well as a sea pool carved in the ironshore. Accomodations range from the economical courtyard rooms through the ocean front rooms, suites and apartments. The rooms are clean, comfortable and well maintained. It is not the Ritz, but most folks come here to dive and the room is a place to relax and sleep between dives not a destination. Don't get me wrong, the rooms are very nice. Don't expect fluffy robes, room service and turndown service.

The dive operation, Sunset Divers, is top notch. The staff is extremely knowledgable and friendly. They will help you as much or as little as you like. If you have special needs, they will accommodate them. They will help you in and out along with your photo equipment. If you and your buddy want to explore on your own, you do not have to follow the guided dive. Just abide by the dive profile depth and time limits. Tanks and weights are included in the package. A full complement of rental gear is also available (Scubapro). A little background on myself for credibility. I have been diving for over 27 years and have logged nearly 1500 dives. When I logged number 1,000 there, they threw a party with cake and champagne! I know of what I speak - these folks are the best.

I could go on for another four or five paragraphs, but hopefully you get the idea. If you are a diver and/or snorkeler, you simply can't go wrong with Sunset House. Tell them Fred and Jude sent you - they'll know and will take care of you.

Room Tip: The ocean front rooms are a little pricier, but worth it. They are a bit more secluded and have gre...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fred C
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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