I would give the Sunshine Suites a 3 ½ out of 5. It was a decent value for Grand Cayman and the staff was very pleasant.
However, if you're going to book here, make sure you know what you're getting: a pretty good bargain on an off-beach hotel. I think this is advertised as a “boutique ” or “resort” in some places, but its not what I would consider a boutique. The property is the equivalent of an exterior corridor Hampton Inn with a really neat restaurant on location (see Sunshine Grill's reviews). I think the reviews on this hotel may be a bit inflated because of how special the on-site restaurant is. The picture on the front of TripAdvisor is of the office, not of the guest rooms.
We booked a King Suite and it was similar to a condo with daily cleaning service. It had a kitchenette with a full size refrigerator, range top, and microwave. It is a decent hike to the beach, especially if you're carrying an umbrella, chairs, and towels. You're four buildings back from the water and the beach access is along the Westin. I think the Westin intentionally uses the beach access area as a dumping ground for all their trash, so you're walking by dumpsters, broken furniture, old appliances, and their chain smoking employees (which ironically chain smoke next to their backup generator with a giant “no smoking” sign). There's also no facilities you can access from the beach, the condo complex has a security guard and the Westin has wristbands.
The owners have done a decent job renovating, we got one of the older rooms that still had carpet instead of tile, so there was a bit of a smell when we first got there. The A/C is a single wall unit that they needed to fix on the first day, then it held up well. It struggled a bit to keep the very back of the unit where the bed is cool until we learned to close the shutters and curtains and keep the temperature low all day. The toilets struggled to flush at times, we had to hold the handle down for 5 seconds.
There were some nice touches - Paco the Cat roaming the property is awesome, a large cooler of water by the pool, and a decent continental breakfast. The coffee was very good and a pleasant surprise. Television and water pressure were also good. On the third day, we elected to go buy an inexpensive beach mat from Cost U Less which almost next door so we didn't have to keep lugging the heavy beach chairs provided.
Remember to take your snorkeling equipment and a flotation device, if you swim a good ways out, there is some amazing reef snorkeling. Go out early in the morning before the boat traffic picks up and swim (300-500 yards out)
There were some quirks that were interesting:
We went on a 2-hour “Champagne Tour” to go shopping in Georgetown at 5pm, but everything closes at 5pm except for three or four Jewelry Stores. I'm not sure how this is funded, but we were fortunate to find the one bar that was open and go enjoy their happy hour and sunset. The champagne was “free” quality.
There were also people arguing with the front desk people over 2 guests verses 3 when booked through Expedia. It looked like they were arguing over $100, which seemed tacky and something the hotel should get fixed quickly.
The pool is also really small and seemed to be an area where smokers congregate since the rooms are non-smoking.
One note about the Caymans since this was our first trip: Food was surprisingly good and really not that expensive if you do your homework but all beer is expensive. Its expensive in the stores, expensive in the restaurant and bars, and still expensive during happy hours. The imported American stuff is expensive, and the more local Caybrew or Red Stripe is still expensive.
Overall, I think the Sunshine Suites are a nice home base if you have activities every day and need a bed to come back to with a neat restaurant on site. However, if you're looking for a resort feel, nice pool, and quick access to the beach, I'd opt for one of the other options on the island. The Sunshine Suites are a good value, but you get exactly what you pay for.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Odigeo, Hotels.com, TravelUp, Southall Travel, TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd, Cancelon and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sunshine Suites Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sunshine Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Sunshine Suites Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands