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“Excellent value for money, but.....”

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Sunshine Suites Resort
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Robertsbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
191 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Excellent value for money, but.....”
Reviewed 24 April 2011

I stayed at Sunshine Suites on business for the fifth time over the last 8 years. This time my wife came with me. It remains excellent value for money, but the restaurant/cafe should not really be in any top restaurant ranking on Cayman. True, it is an excellent fast food or Tex-Mex type operation and the food is good, but that's as far as it goes - it definitely doesn't have the atmosphere or location of some Cayman restaurants (but that shows in the price!).

I would also repeat the comments of other guests who lamented the absence of a balcony or veranda area connected to the room, and the fact that the rooms themselves can be dark even with the shades open.

The pool area has somewhat limited seating given the number of rooms. Also I fail to see why there are no sunshades for the pool loungers - I saw several guests developing interesting lobster shades!!

The Sunshine deal with car rental included is great value, and driving is easy - particularly for us Brits, but even Americans shouldn't have a problem on Cayman. We took the Captain Morgan stingray trip and it was excellent value for money.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank KentBaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed 21 April 2011

I had a group of 20 colleagues stay at the Sunshine suites for 11 days. The accommodations where perfect for us. The resort is clean and the beautifully manicured gardens allowed us to feel relaxed after 12 hour days. With a big group you often hear complaints I have only had rave reviews. This is a great place for families or for a working group. The staff were so friendly and helpful. Thanks Nadia for all your help you have a great team of people working for you. Hope to see you again.

Carol Snellen

Stayed April 2011, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank cazza58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at the sunshine suites resort for a week and it's great! We learned about it through trip advisor, and the good reviews are not a mistake. The place is very cute, very clean-- the grounds are beautifully landscaped, the staff is very nice and helpful and the restaurant is terrific! The free breakfast has a great assortment of different foods-- and for scrambled eggs in quantity, they are delicious!! The burgers and drinks are also good. I really enjoyed reading by the pool with coffee and breakfast every morning- very relaxing. It's a short walk from the beach, right across the road, but only a 3-4 minute walk- very easy to go back and forth. They do provide beach chairs and towels, but some people must keep the chairs in their rooms overnight since they are sometimes gone from the side of the building. Its also close to restaurants, bars and a grocery store-- about half a mile away. All in all, I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone and I hope we will be back-- you can't beat the atmosphere and location- and the price!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ejltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SmilingWanderer
Level Contributor
65 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2011

I rented two connecting rooms at Sunshine Suites in Grand Cayman for my family's 7 day vacation. The reservations were handled flawlessly, and we received the two rooms as promised. My wife and I stayed in one and our two teenagers in the other.

Following are a list of my family's likes/dislikes for your information. I hope it helps with your planning. Sunshine Suites is a unique place: part hotel, part motel, part condo, part resort. It is affordable because it is not on the beach. Its biggest drawback is it is not on the beach. We enjoyed our stay, but missed not having more immediate access to 7MB. When you stay at Sunshine Suites you have to plan your beach time, carry your chairs to the beach, set up your own umbrellas, bring your own cooler of refreshments, and pack your own towels. If you never use the beach (i.e. are on a scuba vacation) you may not find this to be a big deal, but our family really went to Cayman to soak up the sun.

We came away feeling good about our vacation, and want to return to Cayman but may choose to stay at a beach condo next time out of personal preference. Still, the prices at Sunshine Suite are very attractive and a short walk to the beach ( I counted 200 paces) is a relatively small price to pay ...so who knows?

Likes About Cayman:

- 7 Mile Beach: across a busy road from Sunshine Suites and perhaps one of the world's greatest sand beaches. Largely uncrowded when we were there. I highly recommend setting up on the beach in front of the Governor's Mansion which is one property north of the Westin hotel. In fact, when using a "Beach Access" (see below) use the one to the north of the Westin versus the one right across the street from Sunshine Suites. It is only about a block and a half walk north, using sidewalks (instead of schlepping your stuff through the sand) and funnels you right out on to the beach in front of the Governors Mansion. We found that we had the beach to ourselves and it was a short swim out to the reef which sits 200 yards offshore.
- Snorkeling: I would rate my family's ability with snorkeling as moderate, but we found the snorkeling to be absolutely fantastic and very accessible. Many reefs are a short swim from shore and the fish life is out-of-this world. The clarity of the water is hard to explain. We brought snorkels from home and found this to be very convenient. At a local shop I bought a cheap boogey board that attached to my wrist. I used this to aid in floatation when someone had to adjust or drain water from their goggles. Use other areas of TripAdvisor for information on the various reefs to explore.
- Stingray City: went to SC about 10 years ago on a shore excursion when on a cruise. What a nightmare. We thought about not going back, but decided we had to. What a difference. First, cruise ships don't visit Cayman on Sundays when the city basically shuts down. Also, cruise lines require their guest to be back on board relatively early. So if you are staying on the island and planning to go to Stingray City I advise getting out there on a Sunday or about 3 pm or later. The crowds have largely dispersed and you'll have a much better experience.
- Jet Skiing out to Stingray City was our favorite experience. We used Fat Fish Adventures. They pick you up and drop you back at the front desk of Sunshine Suites. Your tour will last you 3 hours of the mangroves, a starfish beach, an off-shore snorkeling spot (we brought our own gear, but they provide as well), and Sting Ray City. We stopped on the way back at Rum Point for beer and refreshments (bring money and/or a credit card in a watertight bag). My daughter is 16 and was a bit timid on the Jet Ski at first, but got the hang of it and had a blast. We each had our own machine and the cost was $500 or $125 per person. Steep, but when you consider a short ride off-shore of 7MB using a rental from a hotel is about $70 paying $125 for 3 hour trip and seeing the Caribbean in such an awesome why makes more sense.
- Crowds: Not sure why, but when we were in Cayman there was never an issue with crowds on the beach, or getting a reservation (except for the restaurant at the Resort itself).
- Weather.
- Buses: the way to go. We took the bus everywhere. I originally planned on renting a car, but decided to get the lay of the island (and the left-side driving) first. We ended up never renting a car, and only took a cab to/from airport. The buses are convenient and cheap. They are actually small vans not city buses you might be used to seeing. We never waited more than three minutes before one honked and picked us up. The bus stop is located conveniently at the end of the Sunshine Suite driveway, but the buses will pick you up anywhere along the road (the driver sees you, honks, you wave to him, he pulls over - I say he but many were she). Very friendly drivers, and got talking to a few locals as well. Fares for the four of us were $10 ($2.50 US a piece). Cabs are twice if not more.
- Georgetown: Yes it is touristy, but we enjoyed walking around the port, having lunch on the balcony at Breezes, buying from the local merchants, and basically acting like tourists.
- People: friendly and polite and very helpful. Even amidst the chaos at the airport.


Dislikes About Cayman

- There is no shade on the public areas of 7MB. We walked down to a nearby outlet and bought two Tommy Bahama umbrellas for $30 a piece. They were lifesavers providing the shade necessary. They also allowed us to set up our beach chairs anywhere we wanted away from the hotel crowds.
- Prices are over the top. Four bottles of water, two bottles of juice and two beers = $40. A steak dinner for four with two cocktails = $250. Bar food (burgers, fries, etc.) and drinks for four (two of us had Sprite, and two of us had beer) was typically over $100.
- Beach Access. The beach access directly across from Sunshine Suites runs behind the Westin and is unkept and seedy. It is poorly lit at night. I would hesitate to use in the dark. Other Beach Accesses are nicer, but this one make you feel like your back by the dumpsters. This, by the way, has nothing to do with Sunshine Suites as it isn't their property. From the main drag to the beach itself is about a 100 yard walk.
- I was surprised at how spread out Grand Cayman is. You definitely need to figure out transportation (i.e. rent a car, cabs, buses) as many things are dispersed and not easily walkable.
- Airport. Cramped to the point of nuts. It is one of those experiences where they say get in line, but there are so many people in such a small area that you have no idea where the line begins and ends. Get there early.
- Rolling power outages. We were ready to go to dinner on Tuesday only to find the whole section of the island was powerless. I read in the local paper that this was something that was only short term, but who knows.

Likes: ABOUT SUNSHINE SUITES

- Price: The value is truly exceptional given prices on the island. Comparable arrangements (i.e. two rooms) at other properties would have been multiple times greater in terms of cost. Traveling with teenagers it is important that they have privacy and the ability to get away from Mom and Dad. So finding affordable accommodations around 7MB is a real winner.
- Service. From the front desk to the restaurant crew to the maids. All top notch. I asked them countless questions, many they had probably answered a hundred times that same day, but were gracious in providing me with the answer one more time.
- Breakfast: It is complimentary. I estimated that our family saved about $45 - $50 US per day by eating breakfast at the resort. Breakfast was served buffet style and included an egg dish, fried potatoes, sausages (most mornings), fruit (it rotated between bananas, apples, pineapple, watermelon each day) toast, bagels, toast-able waffles, OJ, coffee, etc. They must have discontinued the omelette station that has been mentioned by other visitors.
- The resort restaurant. Everything you have read. The best food we had on our trip. Fish tacos to die for. Burgers that made my son's eyes mist over. A cool, island vibe. Service that is both informal and professional. Fun drinks and a 8 stool bar overlooking the pool area. Very very popular, but guests staying at Sunshine Suites get to make reservations 24 hours in advance, which I highly recommend you do if you want to eat there. People from all over the island drive to this restaurant for the food. We ate there (outside of breakfast) three out of our seven nights.
- Room: included a refrigerator, two burner stove top, microwave, coffee maker (and coffee), plates, glasses, various pots and pans, utensils, can opener. Enough for getting by. We did not cook, but took great advantage of the refrigerator and microwave. No corkscrew or teapot. Room was always very clean. Maid service was excellent.
- Beds: I found the bed to be of high quality and linens to be absolutely fine (others on TripAdvisor complained, but I don't see why).
- Air conditioner: loud but effective.
- TV: I know, I know you don't go to 7MB to watch TV, but it had plenty of channels and when you travel with two teens its always a welcome diversion.
- Beach chairs were always on hand (see lack of crowds, above) and seats around the pool were always available even though it is a relatively small pool with only a dozen and a half chairs or so. Only once did a see some jerk put his book and flip flops on a pool chair to "hold" it and not show up for hours. I take it upon myself to remove such items.
- Food and liquor nearby. We walked to Fosters to stock up on food and found it to have a great selection. Bring your own plastic bags and use their carts to push your groceries back to Sunshine Suites. It is a considerable walk (twenty minutes or so each way) in the heat, so you don't want to be carrying twelve packs of Sprite and jugs of water. SImply place the cart at the end of the driveway when you're done and they'll collect it later. There is a liquor store at the end of the parking lot. We saved considerably by making sandwiches for lunch and pouring our own happy hour cocktails.

Dislikes About Sunshine Suites:

- Crossing that road to get to the beach ranged from easy to daunting to at times dangerous. We were not fans.
- There is no balcony or veranda area connected to the room and the rooms themselves can get kind of dark even with the shades open. True, there are some areas to sit outside the rooms (I saw two deck chairs and one hammock...there might be more), but I always have enjoyed sitting out on a balcony having a drink and a smoke.
- No elevator. No big deal for us, but might be for some.
- Sunshine Suites offers great value, but some of that comes with the recognition that this isn't a five star resort. It seemed liked something had always run out at breakfast (i.e. no orange juice, no silverware, no fruit, etc.) and not enough staff to keep the buffet stocked. Most mornings we cleared and cleaned our own table of the dishes left from the prior guests in order to get a place to sit. The grounds were clean and the rooms spotless, but used glassware from the previous night would still be by the pool the next morning or a bundle of towels left out on the lawn. The ice cream machine was out of order the entire time we were there. A cushion to one of the easy chairs around the pool was missing. The hammock mysteriously disappeared some days. Not big things in and of themselves, but the tiny details that can be noticed.

Room Tip: Affordable Stay Near Seven Mile Beach
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank SmilingWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potomac Falls, Virginia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2011

Sunshine Suites Resort offers a fantastic value for the mony compared to the resorts on the beach. Rooms average $225 a day less expensive when all amendities are factored in. I will walk 50 yards anytime for $225 a day.

The staff, facilities, resturanr are very nice.
For the room rate you get the following:
1. Hot breakfast
2. Beach chairs
3. Beach tiwels
4. Safety depost box
5. Clean rooms
6. Excellent grounds
7. Good resturant at a reasonable price on site
8. free parking
9. Fitness facility off site at World Gym (give a pass)

We will definately go back.

Go to the beach accross the street called Governors beach. Beautiful and peaceful.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GD331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed 6 April 2011

Location of resort to beach is across a busy street. Be aware that everyone here drives on the opposite side of the road and the drivers typically don't yield to pedestrians. Otherwise, this place is the best on the island. The service is laid back, friendly and the helpful staff were great.(make sure you meet Michael I. at the reception area-very nice young man) . The complimentary breakfast is a full hot and cold breakfast, with all you can eat choices. The room was nice, standard, clean, good housekeeping services and plenty of towels for the pool and beach. The island is safe, the people are friendly, the beaches are white and clean, and the water is calm and turquoise. Be sure to shop at Fosters or Cost u Less for food.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debbie10668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lynchburg, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 April 2011

I was fairly impressed upon arrival. the front desk staff was very friendly and informative, and the resort grounds were clean. The room... well was very nicely spaced, and furnished adequately, BUT the smell was horrendous!!!! (we referred to it as "The Asian Persuasion"). We enjoyed many meals at the resort restaurant, (the snapper reuben is a must!!), and the staff was wonderful! However, the week we stayed there the manager was on vacation, leaving the front desk manager also running the grill. BIG MISTAKE! "Darren" had no clue how to entertain guests as a greeter, hostess, or manager. There was a small incident on the around the grill/pool area, where a small garter snake came on the grounds, and was simply sunbathing. The resort cat took notice and started to play with the snake. When Darren noticed myself taking pictures, he abruptly went and jerked the snake up. I then asked would he please let me take a picture of him holding the snake. He then began ranting about "thats all he needs on trip advisor, is that the property is full of snakes!!", and scurried away. Nevermind the 10 foot Iguanas running around, but the eight inch snake is a problem...not happy. A few nights later we were having dinner at the grill, and he approached us making sarcastic statements about the picture I wanted to take. Very unprofessional. I will admit that our overall stay was amazing, and we would more then likely stay here again. Also we was woken up one morning at seven o'clock by weedeater's and leaf blowers.

Room Tip: no rooms are ocean front. 1/4 mile walk to beach.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank roamer815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunshine Suites Resort

Property: Sunshine Suites Resort
Address: 1465 Esterley Tibbetts | Seven Mile Beach, Seven Mile Beach KY1-1201, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > Seven Mile Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 Romantic Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sunshine Suites Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunshine Suites Resort offers the best in affordable boutique lodging. We're a short walk from the sparkling ocean waters and white sand of Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach. Enjoy the convenience of our prime location near dozens of shops, restaurants and activities. Our amenities include free continental breakfast and wireless internet. In addition, Guests enjoy the amenities at our neighboring sister property on Seven Mile Beach including charging privileges to your hotel room: Use of the beach, beach chairs and towels, Beach Ambassadors to service your needs and assist you with beach lounge chair placement, unlimited use of the Fitness Center and spa. We offer our guests high end accommodations, excellent services and convenience at affordable prices. Whether your visit is for business or pleasure, a warm and friendly team awaits you! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunshine Hotel Seven Mile Beach
Sunshine Suites Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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