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“Conflicted”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
tlc240
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Conflicted”
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I am conflicted with this hotel. It just does not feel like what I would expect from a 5 star Ritz Carlton, but its still the nicest hotel on the island. We went in August, during low season so the hotel was at half capacity. However, it still felt packed with little kids. My husband and I are 28. Everyone at the hotel is either under 6 or over 40. This is not an adult vacation. I've been to many destinations with children around like the Atlantis in the Bahamas, but this felt more like Disneyland.

All the beach chairs are taken by 8am and parents use little fruit snack packs and animal crackers to "save" their seats. Its not like you want to sit in the front row either, because all the kids are there running around and screaming. You are better off enjoying your morning and taking a seat in the back row for peace and quiet. Also, about 30% of the chairs are broken- as in the shade does not work. The Ritz needs to update their beach loungers - its not comparable to 5 star hotels, it felt more like a Marriott's beach.

I don't know what its like in high season, nor do I ever want to experience it. The bartender at the pool told us that in high season the 1000 seats by the pool/beach/beach bar are not enough for the amount of people they have and its literally a fight to get the chairs. It was bad enough securing a seat in August, I really do not know how early you would have to get up to get a spot over winter break.

This hotel caters to kids -it is filled with children EVERYWHERE. They offer free swimming diapers by the pool. We never went in the pool because it looked like a giant kiddie toilet. The kids out numbered the adults 5 to 1.

We found out that kids under a certain age eat free, so its a good deal for parents to take them along and eat their kiddie meals as well since the food at the hotel is very expensive. We saw many parents ordering kids lunch boxes and eating the food for themselves. The portions are actually the same size as the adult food. I am used to NYC prices, but after conversion to USD and automatic tip, the food and drink is definitely more expensive than NYC. The cocktails actually cost more than ones at the Four Seasons and the St. Regis NYC. The Ritz also does not use fresh fruit or quality ingredients for the $21 drinks. The pina coladas and daiquiris are all made from a sugary artificial syrup blend - reminiscent of the trash I drank in mexico on spring break in college.

All the negatives being said, it is still the nicest hotel on seven mile beach. We walked around one day on the beach and saw the other hotels and they were not nice either. The Westin looked sad and dilapidated and had even more kids running around.

We had a huge suite that overlooked the golf course. The room was nice, not modern and maybe in need of a face lift, but it was very clean. My husband enjoyed a round of golf and said it was good because there was no one there. I had a facial and a massage at the spa and both were great. The women who work there are fantastic.

The beach was beautiful - the hotel not so great, but there are no other options for this island. If i were to return, I would try to rent a condo on the beach instead. Or, if I have kids, I guess I can come back to the Ritz and ruin someone else's vacation.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank tlc240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marc_Langevin, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, responded to this review, 17 February 2014
Dear TLC240,
I am truly sorry that your experience did not meet expectations. Since your visit in August, we have been working on many projects to improve our overall resort experience. You will be pleased to hear our guest rooms have been fully renovated to offer a more modern design. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. Your feedback is very important to us and, if you have time, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you about your experience. You may reach me personally at 345-815-6006.
Sincerely,
Marc Langevin,
General Manager,
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
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New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Its kind of hard to describe how amazing the quality and service is at the Ritz. Its truly feels like you are royalty and the people around you have only your happiness in mind.

The place is always immaculate. The food is top notch. The views of the ocean are spectacular. I can't really say enough good things about the place.

It is not for the faint-of-wallet. This kind of place does not come cheap.

Room Tip: Get a view of the ocean
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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1 Thank PJMason2568
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

This hotel was a reasonable choice if all you are looking for is a beach resort with a bit of luxury thrown in, but in my opinion it isn't really all that it appears to be hyped up to be on this website. Everything is done competently without any real flair. The buildings are not that inspiring, nor is the interior. I don't think I'll return. Thankfully I wasn't paying for my stay myself, or this review would have been a deal less flattering.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank sidmarks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marc_Langevin, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, responded to this review, 20 February 2014
Dear sidmarks,

Your feedback is important to us and I am very sorry your experience did not meet expectations. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your comments in further detail. Please contact me personally at 345-815-6006. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Marc Langevin
General Manager,
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cos Cob, Connecticut, United States
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2014

7 Mile Beach is one of the best in the world, so any hotel on it is going to get real high marks. The grounds and the buildings were beautiful. The restaurants were great. The staff was extraordinarily polite and helpful. But I do have a few complaints. I won't dwell on the price, at least that part they told me about in advance. However, a 10% service charge on my room? I hope the kindly Jamaican women cleaning the room see some part of that. Each beach chair having a canopy you can choose to put up was brilliant. But the chairs were a little close together. The Weston (down the beach) had more space. Lastly, the hotel was freezing all the time. I am rarely cold, but had to keep turning down the AC in the room. When I would come back, it was turned up (colder) again. The hallways were even worse. Makes no sense to me that they spent money to create a situation that many guests were complaining about. To be clear, I loved this place. I am just hoping they can do a few things a little better.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Darren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

fantastic 5 nights at the Ritz with the family. I travel weekly for business so I've seen all the good and bad of hotels. I rarely write reviews unless a hotel stands out. After going back and forth on whether to stay at the Marriott or ritz I picked the ritz and glad I did. The hotel is flawless. As a Marriott platinum member we were upgraded the to a large Oceanside room for free at check in. Cookies and juice offered to the kids right when they walked into the lobby! Rum punch for the adults. The beach-beautiful, calm, no waves, very clear water, with free water sports as a ritz perk. We went kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, etc. at no cost. My 4 year old son swam in the ocean all day since the water was soo smooth. Food- you get what you pay for. High quality food at the resort..even at the pool /beach..i.e. Niman Ranch hamburgers. Great Kid friendly-Periwinkle Italian which has an outdoor movie screen nightly at 7pm. Pasta made from scratch on premises. 7 restaurant-incredible breakfast buffet...you'll see. Haikun restaurant-top quality sushi. It is very helpful that kids 5 and under eat free at all restaurants except room service. The resort is expensive but in my opinion well worth it. The great service alone justifies it. Example: Ava from the Periwinkle restaurant walked my son over to feed the fish even though that ended an hour earlier. Pools-there are two of them and you can hop between the beach and pool very easily. Spa and health club-top notch with plenty of equipment for workout. Tip: if you can stay on Marriott points like we did, you get the 5 night free.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank arlingtonvaresident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level 6 Contributor
440 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 283 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

My husband and I just returned from 6 days and 5 nights at The Ritz in Grand Cayman. What a beautiful spot. The facilities are outstanding. The rooms are gorgeous (and spotless) and almost all have balconies. If you are worried about being across the road near the golf course and not on the Ocean Side of the resort, don't be. First, it is not a long walk (and it is where the free coffee, lounge, concierge and several of the restaurants are located), and it where you go to get taxis or to head over to the golf course. There is a beautiful pool and it is very quiet. It is every bit as nice as the ocean side, very convenient and probably quieter.

Service at the hotel was incomparable. Our room was cleaned twice a day, anything we asked for arrived immediately and the facility was spotless everywhere. (Top notch, and I rarely notice the housekeeping unless it is terrible)

One of our favorite things was the service on the beach. They set your chairs up for you very quickly in the morning, and they are constantly checking to see if you need food or a drink delivered. The beach chairs each have their own separate umbrellas attached and they were plentiful throughout the day so no need to run out there at the crack of dawn to reserve one. Kayaks, snorkel equipment, hobie cats and all sorts of other beach toys are available and in plentiful supply. Only a short walk down the beach to Governor's Reef, which is excellent snorkeling without a boat ride involved.

The golf course (9 holes) was terrific fun. we had no problem getting a tee time whenever we wanted and twice felt like we were the only ones on the course -- along with a lot of big, fast iguanas and a few snakes!

Finally, Seven Mile Beach is gorgeous, nothing nicer in the Caribbean, hands down.

Our only unhappiness is the cost. Yes, it is gorgeous, immaculate, well run and VERY EXPENSIVE!!! They also nickel and dime you a bit for such a fancy expensive place which is too bad. They post all the prices in Cayman dollars and then charge you in US dollars which is a 30-35% mark up. 2 muffins for breakfast (not in the restaurant and not including coffee) were $9.20! 15% gratuity is added to everything, whether service is involved or not, and on top of that there is a $60 per day resort fee AND another $36 per day in service charges to provide tips for the various staff. On top of that, the beach and bell staff clearly expects a tip each day when getting you a cab or setting up your beach chair. Given that the basic double room with garden view starts at $729 per night, this vacation adds up quickly! We certainly knew about the room rate and the resort fee before we got there, and it was our decision to go, and it is a beautiful spot, but the cost is pretty jaw dropping, so prepare yourself.

So, how does the island (not the resort) compare to Aruba and Turks & Caicos? No contest, Grand Cayman is nicer. Seven Mile beach is outstanding. Yes, there are resorts all along the beach, but it is relatively serene (as long as you get as far north from the cruise ships as possible). Aruba felt like Fort Lauderdale. The place was packed cheek to jowl with Americans, and you needed to get in line at 5:30 am to get a beach chair no matter where you stay. If you want an umbrella too, forget it. The beach in Aruba is very nice, but it is so jammed pack you can barely walk down it, much less appreciate it. Also, there is busy-ness everywhere in Aruba, with bots everywhere and a watersports outlet about every quarter mile selling whatever you will buy. One hardly feels like they can relax on the beach with some quiet. Cayman is quiet and classy, the hands down winner over Aruba abd the weather in Cayman is every bit as nice..

Turks and Caicos is also a beautiful spot. It is much less developed than either Aruba or Cayman, and also has some decent snorkeling off the beach in Grace Bay (which is a close second to 7 Mile Beach, it is gorgeous).. There is a peacefulness about the island as well and fortunately, feels much more Caribbean than either Aruba or Cayman. Fishing is better in T&C than either Aruba or Cayman, though there is no golf in T&C. Restaurants in all three islands are very expensive, but we found some excellent fare at both Cayman and T&C.

Skip Aruba, save ALL of you money and go stay at the Ritz in Grand Cayman!

Room Tip: Rooms on the Ocean Side are nice, but it is really no big deal to stay on the garden side, and possi...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Cindy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
609 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 474 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

We had a limousine waiting for us at the airport. As we were gold member from Marriott we have been upgraded to a residence ocean front. The room was absolutely superb. The service, from the arrival at the reception desk to the end when we left was absolutely perfect. We even had chocolates sent to us one evening for our wedding anniversary that we signalled when we were questioned upon our arrival. Any time we asked for anything for the room service or the house keeping or at the Spa, the gym, everywhere, we were served first class with a smile. I even received by surprise in our room, a cigar and a list of the places where we could go when we are in Cuba. This was sent by the assistant food and beverage Manager, Marco M... that we had met at the Japanese restaurant of the hotel and with whom we discussed about London and the fact that we were going to Cuba...exceptional attention. class. Thanks Marco for the cigar and the memory.
All restaurants at the hotel are excellent. You do not need to move out to enjoy your stay in Grand Cayman
Of course we will come back.

Room Tip: On the residence side close to the ocean, as the hotel is huge.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jmLondon845
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

Property: 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 Business Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Spa Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#2 Family Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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