We have visited this property too many times to remember, since it first opened in mid-2000 (shortly after Hurricane Ivan). What started out great has been on a steady decline. We usually stay in the Residences, but the troubles run throughout the property. We will try to highlight some here, as well as the remaining small glimmers of hope. The first thing you notice is that the service is not Ritz level. The staff has been thinned and rotated, but all for the worse. There is a serious training issue at this property as new staff takes way too long to learn the meaning of Ritz service. As we thought about this experience, we recalled the experience at the Westin 10 years ago before the Ritz opened. If it were not for Grand Cayman's beaches and weather, one might start to question the value. That is sad because just a few years ago this was not the case. We understand the manager has changed twice in the last few years and the jury is out on the newest, but the early anecdotal evidence is not positive. For example, a story is already circulating that the manager met with the Residence owners and announced that the Residence guests were "a bother" to the hotel. "Using services, lounge chairs, etc." If this is true, it is hard to imagine it could be good if people paying upwards of $1-3,000 per night were a "bother." If this is true, it speaks poorly of where this property is headed, because Residence guests and "regular" guests are not distinguishable. Let's turn to basic maintenance. The pool was plain dirty. One area had a moldy growth along the bottom and sides, and the tiles were rife with some sort of eggs attached. Various areas were undergoing maintenance, a good sign, but paint smells abound throughout the hotel. Workers were visible in various places mostly because they seem intent on being as much of a nuisance as possible. They block pathways, make as much noise by the pool as humanly imaginable, and are the most obtrusive we have seen at a premium property. The food, interestingly, was better. Although we visited at low season, and the place was likely at 10% most of the time, the food quality was maintained for the most part. The lounge chair cushions are old and badly in need of replacement. The fact that this is not underway makes one wonder if anyone is watching. This would seem a higher priority than painting the entrance doors new colors, which was in process. The gym and spa are definitely in need of attention. The gym has fewer pieces of equipment, spaced to take up the same amount of room (kind of a "maybe they won't notice" effect). The spa has seen some replacement pieces, but it was incomplete. Hopefully, that will be completed.
For those unaware, this property, which is independently owned and managed by Ritz, was taken back by the funding parties and recently came out of that receivership, sold to a NY financial group. The recent change "should" result in positive changes, assuming the new owners invest appropriately. The residences suffered the worst from this process. There is a real tension between the hotel management and residences (as alluded to in the rumor reported above), and this must be mended. The residences are a real attraction for families on a family friendly island, but the residence halls and common areas need a lot of work. Many of the residences also need work. Overall, Grand Cayman being as wonderful an escape for families as it is, this is the best the island has to offer right now. It needs some TLC and service improvement to keep it that way or the next premium competitor will quickly take it over.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a luxury two-tower resort on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. Here, sparkling blue waters blend seamlessly with the sand and sky to create your perfect Caribbean oasis. Located on an archipelago of three picturesque islands, our Cayman Islands resort hotel offers a breathtaking location unlike anywhere else on earth. From the white sands of Seven Mile Beach to world-renowned restaurants including Blue, by renowned seafood chef Eric Ripert, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman luxury resort offers guests an unforgettable escape from the everyday. With a resort side including resort and garden view rooms and an ocean side for ocean view rooms the property runs from sound to sea. Residential towers are located on the ocean side. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Hotel Seven Mile Beach
- Grand Cayman Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Seven Mile Beach
- Seven Mile Beach Ritz-Carlton
- The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman Cayman Islands