My daughter stayed next door at the Comfort Suites in the spring, had perfect weather loved the snorkeling and recommended a Cayman Vacation. They snorkeled all day, did not care about the limited nightlife or lack of gambling. We arrived Jan. 8 and left Jan. 15. The unusual cold wave that hit the US affected most of the Carribean (not Aruba). We only had 1.5 days of good weather for the 7 days there. When I arrived a person leaving said it was 65 degrees for 2 days the prior week. Our last day and 1/2 was beautiful so I am not sure what is typical. We had 30 miles an hour North winds until the last day. When its windy, the waves churn up the fine sand and the visibility is less than 1 foot so no snorkling even if you were willing to go into the water. We rented a car for one day for $82 across the st. at Andys (cheaper than Avis in the hotel) out of sheer boredom. We drove to Cementary Beach which is an excellent snorkeling spot. The land blocks the wind so you can snorkel even if its it bad at the Marriott. The Marriott has one of the best spots for snorkeling if its not windy. The best prices for souvenirs was at the Turtle Farm. We had lunch at the Cracked Counch (one block north of Turtle Farm - you can take the bus there). The buses are excellent, we just stood at the bus spot and a bus stopped withing a minute. Everyone on the bus helps you out. The island seemed very safe to me. We used the bus the following days.
The Marriott was a nice hotel with refrigerator and safe. The staff were always excellent and accomodated every need. The beds were good but not US Marriott standards. Every room has a balcony. We had a room facing the inside courtyard which blocks the wind and was really nice.
A friend of mine told me about the all you can eat lobsters at Deckers on Tuesday night for $50 CI. There were huge lobster tails but they were all broiled the same way. The All you can eat lobster night at the Marriot had lobster prepared a variety of ways for the same price (there is a coupon). We ate the buffet breakfast every morning at the Marriot (around $20 CI person with service charge). The omelettes were great and fruit was good, Oatmeal, etc. We ate late and skipped lunch. The Aqua Grill right across the St. was good, we used the free drink coupon (but is only if you order from last page of menu). We really liked Fidel Murphys Irish Pub 4 blocks to the right. We spend on $45 CI one night for dinner with drinks. The mixed grill is good for $16.
The Currency is very annoying. At Aruba, the Florin is tied to the dollar so you can use either without penalty, In Cayman, its 1.20 for a dollar. So everyone uplifts the prices 25% in US Dollars (this is what makes the island expensive). When you charge the restaurants always charge in the uplifted US dollars. My AMEX card did not charge a fee for the charge (not sure about other cards). The hotel give you $16 CA for $20 US (25%). I was unsure of this until i got home. I used the ATM machine in the mall behind the Texaco and one downtown. It did not warn you what the fee would be so I was nervous. However, when I got home there was no fee for the ATM withdrawal and they did the 20% uplift (100 CA is $120 US). So the best way to handle money is withdraw from the ATM.
The Tortula liquor store has no prices marked. Everything is expensive. I almost bought a shirt but they uplifted the price at the register.
The 7 mile beach has a half dozen hotels and is primarily Condos/Timeshares for rent. The tourist spots and public beaches can get crazy when busloads of Cruise people show up. No cruise people at the Marriott beach.
I guess labor is cheaper on other islands. In barbados, I was in a all inclusive that had a different local band each night No live entertainment at the Marriott or Aqua grill. In Aruba, you can rent a car for half the price.
The highlight of my trip was the last boat on my last day on Captain Marvin's. Someone told me it was $30 US for 2 hour and they would pick me up from the hotel. I called them from my room ($3 us, the local call to the airline was $5). They were great, We took a speed boat with only 9 people on board (they have a few of them).
We stopped at the Coral Garden (really beautiful) and Stingray City, an experience of a lifetime. We were the last boat so all the stingrays came over to us. Other outfits have boats that handle hundreds of people from Cruise ships. The hotel was $60 CI for a longer trip but 2 hours was fine for me. I strongly agree with everyone that Captain Marvin's is the best choice. The Captain is 91 and poses for pictures.
In summary, the hotel was fine but I had a much better time in Aruba (3 times), Barbados and Paradise Island. I would not come back to this island. No gambling, not much night life. Snorkeling is excellent if you have the weather.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The all new Beach House at the Grand Cayman Marriott makes you feel right at home. All of our spacious 295 guest rooms have been completely refurbished. The main lobby "Anchor & Den" has transformed into a spacious, yet cozy place where you can connect, relax and spend time with family and friends. Experience enhanced culinary offerings at the new outdoor beach fish grill restaurant Veranda or have a drink at the Vista Bar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Marriott Seven Mile Beach
- Seven Mile Beach Marriott
- Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort Cayman Islands