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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed 16 August 2008

Wow.............where to start........
Truly the best tip I can share is to book the reconnect package where you get the breakfast buffet at 7 each morning and a $100USD room credit per day. The buffet, if purchased separately, will run you $70USD daily for two adults. The package is a great deal, and you won't feel guilty about a few poolside drinks, as they could already be covered with your package credit. Trust me, you may think you won't spend the daily credit but I am quite confident that you will.
If you are considering your accommodation options, stop now and book the Ritz. Everything all the other reviewers have mentioned is true: amazing resort, amazing service, incredible beach and pool, great location, great ammenities, ect. I won't bore you by repeating. It truly exceeds all the other options by leaps and bounds. If cost is a factor for you, it may not appear, at face value, the most economical option but it is worth every penny for the fabulous experience.
For those who want to retain their fitness levels, I wanted to mention the gym (health club!). It is very well equiped for a hotel gym. They have mainly Lifefitness machines for every major muscle/muscle group, free weights in all amounts, two incline benches, smith machine, 4 or 5 elipticals, six treadmills, a half dozen bikes, and a few Stairmasters. The cardio machines all have personal tv monitors and they provide headphones. There is also a 3.5 mile running route around the golf course that you can easily add loops through some of the new housing develpoments for maybe 8 or 9 miles.
Our scuba diving experiences were wonderful. We dove with DiveTech, who picked us up each morning around 7:15 for the two tank morning boat trips. I will say that both of their boats need work, but the staff was great for the most part and the boats not ever terribly crowded. I would dive with them again.
I am certain that restaurant recommendations are becoming quite trite but I must list ours: Eduardo's is GREAT!! Don't miss this little place (3 min. walk ). Blue is out of this world. You must do it! Dinner plus champagne $1100USD & worth it!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DiveInHeels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,863 - 2,869 of 3,159 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2008

Our stay at the Ritz was one of the main highlights of our trip to the Caymans, really. It is a beautiful, beautiful hotel. The service was outstanding - no request was too large or small for the staff - the facilities impeccably maintained. Actually service was better here than at the other RItz-Carltons I've stayed at. I would definitely return here if I were ever to visit the Caymans again.

The Silver Rain spa is heavenly! I had several treatments, all of them excellent. The waiting room is beautiful and well equipped, with a variety of drinks and snacks, as well as some gorgeous photography and nature books (not your typical magazines).

The beach can get a bit crowded, but we never had trouble getting beach chairs - there were always some available, no matter what time of day we got there. The complimentary snorkel equipment and such was nice, too.

My main complaint was the price of food - it was truly WAY overpriced for what you get. We ate at Periwinkle one night, had one appetizer to share, three entrees, three glasses of wine, two desserts and the total was nearly $250. I expect to pay that at the steakhouse and such, but not at a place billed as "casual" where the food is good, but not outstanding.

We walked down the street to Eats Cafe most days for breakfast, and tried a couple other restaurants nearby as well (Deckers, which was fabulous, and Aqua Bar which was horrible).

If you're thinking about scuba diving or snorkeling, don't use the hotel's vendor - do your own research. They quoted us $100 per person for a snorkeling excursion, while we found our own for $35 per person (and it was fantastic!). For scuba diving, try Divers Down - reasonable prices and a great experience (for beginners). Don't miss Stingray City! It was amazing, and unlike anything else!

One more tip - be very, very careful with the taxi drivers - they tried to rip us off more than once. One example - the trip was $12 Cayman, $15 USD, as we were told at the beginning of the ride. We gave her a $20 USD, she gave us $2 USD and tried to tell us our change was less than $5USD because of the conversion rate. Sorry, but we are not stupid, $20USD-$15USD=$5USD. After discussing this for a few moments, once she realized we were onto her, she worldlessly gave us our full $5 --which ironically is what she would have otherwise received as a tip anyway, but not after that! So just be careful and make sure you get the rate settled BEFORE you leave.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank Mary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

We stayed for 10 days at The Reserve at the Ritz Carlton and it is one of the best hotels in the world. The Reserve are residences that are mostly privately owned, but the Ritz owns some of the units. We had a 2 bedroom/2 bath residence with a full kitchen and living area. It came with a butler, whose name was Sashi and was very helpful. He grocery shopped for us and helped us with reservations or anything else we needed. We loved having a first floor unit, because we never had to mess with an elevator and had a large grassy area off our porch for the kids to play on. We could conveniently walk right out to the beach and pool from our unit. All you need is located on property. You will pay a $30 per day resort fee and it includes internet access and all the water toys at the beach. All the restaurants are great, our favorite was Seven. Make sure you take an excursion on The Oculus. There are only 4 or 5 in the world, and it is a futuristic glass bottom boat. Grand Cayman island is beautiful and the locals are genuinely friendly. The only downside is that everything is very expensive, so this is not the island to visit if you are on a limited budget. If you are looking for paradise and love to splurge on vacation, this is the perfect spot.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank diane802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

We haven't stayed at a Ritz-Carlton before (usually stay at Marriott resorts), so we can't compare this to others, but this was the best place we have ever stayed at!

Yes it was expensive, but the service and facilities were great. When we checked in, they already knew our names. I'm still trying to figure that out. After flying in to Grand Cayman, I don't remember telling anyone our names. I thought they might be far from full, given that we were there during the low season, but they appeared to be full. We were celebrating our anniversary, and they did many things to help make it special--they upgraded our rooms, gave us champagne (good champagne), flowers, special room decorations, and more champagne. I think I missed something, with all they did. The manager of Blue (purportedly the best restaurant on the island) called us to see if he could help with any reservations.

The water there was calm, clear, and clean! The sand on the beach was not hot, despite it being close to 90' the whole time we were there. The lounge chairs (no charge) they have there are very nice, with a hood or bonnet that helped keep me from burning. The beach attendants were very helpful in finding available chairs and in setting them up with towels. And, they checked back often to see if you needed anything. In walking up and down the beach, it seemed like the only really busy place was the Ritz.

We ate several times at the "7" restaurant there--mainly for breakfast and lunch. The service and food was very good. There is always a buffet for breakfast (CI$25=US$30), that has just about anything you would want. However, we opted for less expensive items from the menu. We also ate dinner at Edwardo's (only about 1 block from the hotel) and at Ragazzi's. Both of which were very good. There is also a small shopping center called "The Strand" within walking distance (about 2 blocks up the street towards George Town), that has a grocery store, and liquor and wine stores (the only wine store we found). There is no problem drinking the water on the island, like there are on many other islands in the Caribbean. Don't plan on doing much around the island on Sunday, as almost everything is closed--we did however, go on the Atlantis submarine on Sunday, which was very fun.

We originally planned to rent a car, but decided not to because we were very tired and didn't know how much we would do. And, we read that there were regular buses, that went down the main road--we didn't see one the whole time we were there. Despite the problem of driving on the right, I now wished we had rented a car. The taxi fees did add up. It was about US$18-20 each way to Georg Town.

We loved the ocean there, and despite reading about mosquitoes and gnats, we generally didn't see any. The water is warm and we also didn't see any jelly fish there. This island is different than most of the other Caribbean islands, in that there is quite a diversity of people (from Canada, England, Ireland, Jamaica, etc.), and their standard of living is obviously better than you generally find on other islands. We have been to many beach resorts, and this is our favorite--we didn't want to leave!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Atl_traveler007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2008

Anyone traveling without children looking for a relaxing vacation should read this review first.

My wife and I after months of research settled on the Ritz Cartton Grand Cayman for a last relaxing vacation before our first child is born in January.

We booked the vacation directly through the Ritz Carlton and went with the Reconnect Package that provided us with breakfast daily and $100 resort credit per day. This is package was well worth the investment. As others have mentioned the island is very expensive breakfast ,alone without this package breakfast would have been around $75 US every day at their buffet.

We had a resort side room over looking what we thought was the "Quiet Pool". No problem with the room or the location it was about a 5 minute walk to the beach. Although if you do have problems walking I would strongly consider staying on the beach side.

After our unpacking we ventured to the "Quiet Pool" for a chance to relax and begin our vacation. The pool was anything but quiet with screaming kids and loud parents making the pool scene look like something out of Wally World. When we questioned one of the staff they stated that because the resort had received so many complaints from parents who were upset that they had to keep their children from yelling and screaming that it was not worth the fight and they decided to make it a free for all.

This was bascially the scene throughout the resort. Self indulgent parents with spoiled unsupervised children basically doing as they pleased throughout the resort with the Ritz staff unable or unwilling to control the situation. Many of the staff told us that they would not under any circumstances vacation here if they were simply looking to relax without children, and that the resort has not been able to come up with the best policy to police the situation, but that so many children have been hurt due to them running and jumping around the pool area and the many complaints they receive from people looking to relax that they are aware they have a problem.

The beach side pool was a three ring circus and was completely off limits to adults looking to relax. Kids jumping off of the ledges, surfing on the matts, screaming parents and kids...just an absolute mess of scene.

We finally settled on the beach where we could find the most peace and spent most of our time there laughing and observing the circus around us.

We felt really bad for anyone there on a honeymoon.

Have traveled quite a bit this behavior seems to be most common in American parents for some reason although we did see some European parents who may have read the same memo. All I can say is that when you see this type of behavior it is embarrassing as an American and to think what other people from other countries must think of us. Not that many of these parents would care since it appears most of them live in another world with not a care at all of what goes on around them.

Having said all that we made the best of the situation and had a nice time. The staff, hotel, beach, and food were terrific.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank NJLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2008

We had the privilege of staying at both the Ritz Carlton AND the Grand Cayman Beach Suites (formerly the Hyatt, but the locals still call it the Hyatt) during our week-long stay this summer. It was our first stay in Grand Cayman and we had a great experience at both resorts -- each offered their strengths and had a few drawbacks. We are not rich, but we travel as often as possible and have stayed in a variety of places in the past.

As far as the Ritz goes, there is absolutely perfect service there, beginning with the concierge who personally walks you to your room and shows you around if you want. Our luggage was delivered without even having to make a call. When you go to the beach or pool, they set you up on covered chairs and you don't have to even touch a towel. We mentioned our recent engagement and while we swam in the ocean, there were two splits of champagne on ice and a bunch of strawberries delivered to our chair-side. What an incredible welcome! We found the on-site car rental to be quite handy and reasonable, while the concierge was awesome and took care of everything else we needed to schedule (excursions, restaurants, directions, etc.).

Our routine was usually to sleep in, cruise out to the beach for a few hours and then move back to the pool later in the afternoon where there was a bit more shade. On the days where we ventured out, we found parking and driving to be a cinch. If you want to save a few bucks and you are not on a tight schedule, there is a "bus system" (more like vans) that will take you anywhere for two bucks if you stand by the main street and flag them down. No schedule or official stops, just wave or look when they honk. Also on the topic of saving a few bucks, we bought our own beer, liquor, and a small cooler at a nearby grocery store and, in a very subtle way, took these with us down to the beach when we felt the need. We are only teachers, so we found the resort drinks to be expensive (12-16 dollars each), but worth the splurge every once in awhile. There is also a local restaurant right across the street and down a block (across from the Westin) called "Eats". Fabulous, very casual breakfast and lunch (we ate both there on separate occasions) for reasonable prices if you need a break from the resort food prices. You'll have to fight through a long line of other well-informed travelers and locals, but our ten minute wait was worth it and the service was great.

Drawbacks we found at the Ritz include:
1) Large number of children. Great for families, not so great for a pair of teachers on summer break trying to enjoy a romantic trip to celebrate our engagement. We love kids and my fiance has two children she was able to make arrangements for back at home -- but I don't know how everyone can afford to bring their large families for extended stays at these fine resorts. That being said, we never heard too much screaming or crying, even at the beach and pool. Just a lot of rug rats bumping into our ankles when we walked around.

2) Size. It is also a very large resort for this island, so there are crowds in some places. We went during off season so we didn't have too many problems, but the rafts and snorkeling equipment that are included in your resort fee are usually all gone by 9:00 a.m. It is also quite far to go to some restaurants, but everything is covered and air conditioned so no big deal. We needed the exercise to counteract all of the relaxing we did.

3) Price. Expensive, but we found it to be worth every penny. We could only afford a few days in the off season (by the way weather was not an issue at all -- warm and humid, but no different from Hawaii or St. Lucia), but we feel lucky to have stayed here for the once in a lifetime experience we had. My advice is to pay a little extra for a oceanfront room, the other rooms are way across the street in what looks like a separate resort and they don't offer the breathtaking views. We are glad we did this and the attached pictures are from the balcony of our oceanfront room.

4) Room size. Rooms are spacious and plenty big for a couple. Bigger than most hotels. Finely decorated and great quality furnishings. But if you need more room, there are several other hotels on the island, including the Hyatt where we also stayed, that have much larger rooms and suites for less money. Not as fancy, but really nice and better dollar to square foot ratio if that is an issue for you.

Hope you have the same experience we did. We enjoyed almost every moment at the Ritz!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank yo_bman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2008

Top notch!
We went there to celebrate my birthday. We stayed a week. Got back Saturday. Took a nonstop flight flight out of Charlotte, NC.

We loved the service, the food, the location of the hotel, and the attentiveness of the staff. The water and the beach was amazing! Our favorite restaurant was Blue. We've stayed at other Ritz- Carlton but, this one by far was the BEST!
Incredible!
We will defiantly be back!
Also, do Stingray City and visit the Turtle Farm!

The Grand Cayman airport needs to be bigger. If u go , you'll know what i mean. lol

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank southernbell7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Address: West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach KY1-1209, Grand Cayman
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > Seven Mile Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range: £417 - £2,052 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman 5*
Number of rooms: 365
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 
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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

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