I have to be honest; I almost hate to write this, because I really don’t want to let the secret out about what a hidden treasure Aqua Bay Club truly is! We just returned from our 4th trip to Grand Cayman and, having stayed previously in the lower SMB area, we really loved the change to the quieter, more local West End. Deena the Aqua Bay Club’s general manager was a wonderful hostess, the location was perfect, and the place is gem of a facility. We stayed 6 days with another couple in unit 14, and it couldn’t have worked out better. We never tired of the view from the room. The large screened porch was the perfect spot for morning coffee (and more than a few happy hour beverages). The kitchen was well-equipped and it was great being able to keep essentials in for a quick snack. The filtered water dispenser and ice maker in the fridge were also quite handy. We’d read here about problems with noise but truthfully, had no problem with road noise or chickens/roosters or other guests around us while we were here. Aqua Bay includes free (and surprisingly fast) Wifi and we had no problem using it to keep tabs on the folks back home. Aqua Bay offers even a free cell phone loan, but Skype seemed to worked just fine so we didn’t bother. Even video chat worked well – which we used to promote some long distance envy as our family saw our view :) We rented a car for the week from Andy’s rentals at the airport (look for coupons on the web) and I definitely recommend one for running to the supermarket and touring the island. For dinners, we chose a taxi service and we were lucky enough to meet the lovely Deserene (“Lady D”) and her cab service on our first evening. Lady D was such a wonderful, welcome source of hospitality and humor all week long. We can’t recommend her highly enough. She was funny, punctual, friendly, a great source of island information and is cousins with everybody! We went out of our way to use her services all week and while I’ve never hugged a cab driver when leaving a vacation before, I did this time!
The fact that Aqua Bay has only 21 units meant plenty of room and space on the beach (there were many days were we had the entire beach or pool to ourselves). We saw lights on, so folks were there – but when we met a condo owner he told us the same thing, it always seems to be quiet – even when fuller with guests. The landscaping is perfectly maintained and the beach has plenty of both sunny and shady spots. Our favorite spot on the beach, under the large sea grape trees, still makes me sigh contentedly. There are two Weber gas grills for use, though we chose to eat out in the evenings. But with a supermarket just a short walk up the beach, and a daily fish market in downtown, it’s possible to dine in every night. Worth noting, ABC does not have an elevator, so bear that in mind if steps are a problem for you, consider a first floor walkout or second floor unit.
I’m a huge snorkeling fan and the reef at Aqua Bay did not disappoint (see pics). There were some surprisingly good fish in just the first 10 yards from shore just to the left of Aqua Bay which would be great for kids or those not comfortable swimming further out (I saw a small stingray, pufferfish, flounder, and plenty of other fish right there). For some nicer reef, swim toward the anchor buoys about 100/150 yards off Aqua Bays’ beach at about the 10-11 o’clock position. Also, just up the beach to the right, about 4 properties away, is the Cemetery Reef beach, one of Grand Cayman’s best off-beach snorkel sites. Here especially, make sure you swim out far enough. I saw some surprising comments here on TA about Cemetery Reef being “dead” (no pun intended). Nothing could be further from the truth, but you do need to head out far enough to see it. Stand on the beach, find the orange Kittywake buoy marker, and swim that direction about 150/200 yards. There’s some awesome sights there including stingrays, French and Queen Angelfish, great coral formations, even cuttlefish – first time I’ve ever seen them.
Some folks mentioned the ABC beach being a bit rocky or steep. There’s some truth to that, but don’t let it overly influence your decision. The swatch of rock and small coral pieces is only a few feet wide and we had no problem stepping over it, and there were plenty of easier-entry locations right at Aqua Bay and nearby. If you want an even more gradual slope head up or down the beach a little bit. Note too that the beach is crushed coral and soft, even at the waterline, which makes longer walks and jogging difficult as your feet tend to sink. Short walks are just fine.
For meals we really varied between nicer and casual. One of or favorite was the local heritage BBQ just up the street on Boggy Sound Road (only on Sunday afternoons). Wonderful local food and hospitality. We also went to Eduardos (great), Aqua (good), Calypso Grill (great), Cracked Conch's outdoor tiki bar (good), Coconut Joes (great fun). Chicken Chicken takeout was also delicious!
I just can’t say enough about how much we loved the place. I think our housekeeper summed it up beautifully when I saw her taking a break and staring at the beautiful water. She was born on “the brac” as she told me and grew up by the water. “Do you ever get tired of looking at it?” I asked. Her reply, without hesitation: “Nope, never.”
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aqua Bay Club - Grand Cayman, is one of the most desirable short term rental luxury condominiums along World Famous Seven Mile Beach. It provides a perfect vacation gateway and assures tranquility as well as unspoiled beauty of the land and ocean. All of our 21 apartments are privately owned and are kept in impeccable condition. Guests will enjoy freshwater pool, Jacuzzi and plenty of sun or the shade of the Aqua Bay's tropical palms and thatched huts located in the court yard and at the waters edge. Now offering FREE high speed internet access in every unit! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Aqua Bay Club Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Aqua Bay Club Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands