My wife had read a few negative reviews about this Marriott in the weeks leading up to our trip, so we were definitely starting to second-guess our choice before we ever got there. The common complaints were small pool, crowded beach and overpriced, mediocre food at their 4 restaurants.
After our 4-night stay, I can honestly say that none of our concerns were justified. The pool was much bigger than we expected, and was barely used by any of the guests any way. Mostly because the beach and sea water were so nice that you didn't even need a swimming pool. Crystal clear water, soft sand all the way out to the reef and bathwater-like temperatures made it easy to enjoy the beach.
There are a lot of chairs on the Marriott's beach, especially compared to the neighboring properties, but we never once felt crowded. We walked the beach one day up toward the Westin and Ritz (the two more expensive places my wife REALLY wanted to stay at), and didn't find their beaches to be much different at all. We were very happy with the Marriott's beach. Especially the man-made reef in front of Marriott. Great snorkeling,
As for the food, EVERYTHING on the island is expensive. We ate a few lunches at Sol Bar -- the food was good, plus it's water-front so you get great atmosphere as well. We ordered conservatively and still spent about US$40 for lunch. We ate the Red Parrot's breakfast every morning (only because it was included in our "Escape!" rate package) and their buffet was very good. Omelet station, pancakes/french toast, bacon/sausage, home fries, eggs to order, pastries, smoked salmon, you name it... if it hadn't been included, our bill was US$48 every morning, which was a bit absurd for breakfast. But as it was, we filled up every morning and it was comped at checkout.
To save a few bucks one night we ate dinner at the Triple Crown Irish Pub right across the street. I had read reviews and thought it would be a nice break from the "overpriced" hotel restaurants. Long story short, we each had a chicken salad and cup of soup (no alcohol) and our bill was US$49. Same food would have been $25 back in the states. Plus, we were the only non-locals for the 2 hours we were there. We felt out of place and wouldn't go back.
Coconut Joe's was good. Nothing fancy, plus there was a baby chicken begging for lettuce our entire meal. Good jerk chicken sandwiches. Lunch for two was US$30.
We had originally planned to eat at Copper Falls Steakhouse, mostly because of its high rating on tripadvisor. At the last minute we changed our mind and reserved a seat at Solana's (Marriott's fine dining restaurant) all you can eat lobster night. I hadn't read one good review about it (they do it every wednesday), so I really wasn't expecting much. It turned out to be the highlight of our trip.
"All you can eat" conjures up pictures of mass-produced miniature lobster tails and everything sitting around on hot-plates. Quite the contrary -- you order individually and each entree is chef-prepared. The tails were so GIGANTIC we took pictures of them and people back home were basically drooling on my computer monitor when we showed them. You could also order as much shrimp, sea bass, mahi-mahi and a few other lobster dishes (risotto, thermidor) as you wanted. Everything was delicious. The meal was a little pricey (US$142 for the two of us), but our waiter filled our "complimentary" wine glasses all night and our dessert was included, too. I was prepared to spend US$125 at copper falls for a lobster dinner, so all things considered, this was a much better deal and the food was absolutely amazing. Our waiter (Brendan) was as good as it gets, and unlike copper falls we could stare at the sea while we dined.
The hotel staff couldn't have been friendlier -- and housekeeping was very impressive. Very thorough cleaning twice every day, never a rush job. On our flight home, we couldn't think of one negative thing about this Marriott. We literally had a perfect trip and would definitely stay again.
- 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