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“An honest assessment of an excellent hotel”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Flemington, NJ
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“An honest assessment of an excellent hotel”
Reviewed 31 July 2014

There are plenty of reviews on TA that talk about the superior level of service at the Ritz -- from the warm welcome and cool drink at check in, the personalized attention, and the care to every last detail. I cannot add to what has been written, other than to say "I AGREE!".

What will be useful is an honest assessment about the strengths of the property, and where it may not be a perfect match for your travel needs. We loved our stay, but recognize that it may not be the best place for everyone out there. Addressing the three biggest issues we could see:

1. If you never ever want to see a child on your trip, this isn't the place for you. The Ritz does an amazing job making this a family-friendly resort, without making you feel like you are on a Disney-themed Carnival cruise. There were a number of families there during our stay, but at no time did we feel that our couple's getaway was diminished by kids. Generally, the children there were well behaved, had plenty to do, and certainly did not have the run of the place (like in most other "family" resorts). But if you are looking for a property with no children at all, look elsewhere.

2. This is a VERY large property. If you have mobility issues, or don't want to walk at all, this isn't the place for you. We stayed at the far end of the 'Garden' side of the resort -- perhaps about as far from the beach as one could stay -- but we never felt it a problem. Yes, it takes a few minutes to walk from one end to the other. We actually liked being away from the center of the action - but that may not be what you are looking for. You'll pay a premium for the ocean front / ocean facing rooms, but your stay will not be diminished by staying elsewhere on the property.

3. If you want an undisturbed patch of sand, without contact with another human being, this isn't the place for you. As other TA reviewers have noted, the beach in front of the Ritz is crowded. There's also a superior level of service and attention from the staff that you won't find elsewhere. You can also walk 500 feet in either direction up or down the beach, lay out a towel, and you'll be away from the crowd. We never felt that this was a problem -- in fact the people watching provided hours of entertainment.

I'll be reviewing the restaurants separately, but suffice it say that there were excellent (although pricy) dining choices on property. One can also walk a few blocks away from the property and have other great choices. We traveled the island on the bus system (very inexpensive) but there was also a line of taxis always waiting to take you wherever you wanted. If you don't want to pay resort prices for your drinks, stock up across the street at the local wine and spirits store if you must, but prices were in line with what I'd expect to pay in New York, LA, London, and other major cities for a cocktail, served to me on the beach, by a very attentive wait staff.

Overall, this is a superior property on one of the best beaches on the planet. We can't wait until we can get back!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CityPlanningProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Best service and friendliest staff I have ever seen at a hotel.

Location was perfect, beach was great. Pay attention to room selection as half of the hotel is on the beach the other half is across the street.

Can't wait to come back.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mkozlowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

To this we must all agree: by all objective standards, the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is a 5-star resort. But that’s not all that surprising (or interesting, for that matter), because most (if not, all) Ritz-Carltons (and St. Regises and Four Seasons) are 5-star resorts. So rather than be the thousandth person to write that “this is the best resort ever” (it isn’t) or “the Ritz Grand Cayman offers a fantastic experience” (it did), I’d like to give you more nuanced color.


The good:

1. First and foremost, the beach is drop dead gorgeous— equal to Grace Bay Beach in Turks and better than Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand.
2. The staff is friendly, hardworking, and efficient. For those of you used to mediocre service in other high-end Caribbean resorts, rest assured, there is no “island time” here.
3. Housekeeping is excellent, with special props to Geneva.
4. The Ritz’s water sports are phenomenal (totally worth the $60 daily resort fee) and made my vacation truly special. Jordan, who supervises the area, has created a terrific team that is equal parts friendly and skilled. I need to draw special attention to Tyler, who gave me an expert “brush-up” sailing lesson on the Hobie cat. Props also to Aldo and Ben-- two really good guys.



The bad:

For a resort of this quality (and price), there are a surprising number of issues.
1. The beach is quite crowded, with chairs literally 6 inches apart—too many hotel rooms for too little beach.
2. Air conditioning was mediocre, which is unacceptable when the heat index is 100+ degrees F. My girlfriend and I had to leave the AC running at 65 degrees around the clock just to keep our room around 76-78 degrees.
3. Shower water pressure was laughably bad. Don’t use too much soap or shampoo, as you’ll spend the next 10 minutes trying to rinse it off.

The ugly:
1. The concierge desk is mediocre (at best) and engages in outright scumbaggery (at worst). Let’s just say that my girlfriend and I were told not to go to Sunshine Grill (a nearby restaurant), because the concierge had “just called” and there was “over a 45 minute wait.” We were encouraged to try another restaurant instead. We chose to check out Sunshine Grill in person, and lo and behold, it was half empty! For the GM: This occurred on Monday, July 14 at 7:15pm. Totally unacceptable.
2. During our second-to-last night at the Ritz, loud music started blaring through our window (and drowning out our TV). We looked outside to find a private dinner on the lawn, replete with a full-on live concert. Ritz staff was quite sympathetic after I complained (staff checked in on us both in person and on the phone multiple times), but my girlfriend (who was quite ill) and I just wanted the noise to stop. While staff did offer us the opportunity to change rooms, my gf was bedridden so that wasn’t an option. To the GM: Senior hotel management is at fault for allowing this event to take place in the first place-- very bad judgment. And $100 off our bill would have been more appropriate compensation than a box of chocolates.
3. $28 for a mojito, and $8 for a ginger ale, at the bar near the lobby. ‘Nuff said!


Island “To Do’s”
1. Stingray City. Holding these beautiful creatures in your arms is truly awe-inspiring.
2. Governor’s Reef. Walk 5 minutes up the beach to the end of the governor estate’s fence, swim 50 yards out, and you will be surrounded by dozens of fish.
3. Sunshine Grill. Only a 5 minute walk from the hotel, it offers such reasonably priced and delicious food that my gf and I ate there three out of six nights. Try the fish tacos and the almond snapper—trust me!

Important Notes:
1. All prices on the island are quoted in Cayman dollars. 1 C.I. (as they’re called) equals $1.25 US. All stores and restaurants itemize in C.I. and then multiply the total by 1.25 to convert to USD.
2. There is a fantastic grocery store about a 5 minute walk from the hotel, which is a nice alternative to $50 brunches at the Ritz.
3. Don’t bother taking cabs on the island. There are government operated minivans that only change US$2.50 per person.
4. Other solid restaurants: Yoshi Sushi (also a 5 minute walk from the Ritz) serves high quality, reasonably priced sushi, and Agua offers delicious, upscale food (albeit at a higher price point than Yoshi or Sunshine Grill).

So, what’s the takeaway? Would I go back to Grand Cayman? Absolutely. Would I go back to the Ritz Grand Cayman? Yes....but only at the right price.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Locke_NYC
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, 30 July 2014
Dear Locke_NYC,
Thank you very much for choosing The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman as your vacation destination. I was delighted to read your compliments about our Ladies and Gentlemen and I look forward to sharing your kind words with Geneva, Jordan, Tyler, Aldo and Ben. It was also lovely to read how much you enjoyed our beautiful vantage on Seven Mile Beach, as well as the destination's attractions and amenities.

I am, however, disappointed to read that you were not satisfied with some aspects of your experience. Your feedback is very important to us and I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience in further detail. At your earliest convenience, I invite you to please contact me personally at +1 (345) 815-6006.

Again, thank you for selection our resort and taking the time to share your comments.

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
Westchester, New York, United States
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

We had very nice stay in Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman few week ago...
Location of this hotel is ideal!..Seven mile beach is the best beach for relaxation and for kids how just started swimming in my opinion.
There are 2 pools on property but both are so small that even my 5 years old daughter prefer to stay on the beach.
I must say that we like boutique hotels better wherever we stay but this time my daughter asked me to book big resort.
Hotel is huge,but grounds are beautiful and well maintained...
This is our firs stay in Ritz-Carlton ,but I feel like service should be better..more polished...then it is in the hotels like Ritz!..Staff is always friendly but superficial...
We are not pleased with poolside food at all...expensive...for quality they present!..but what a difference !.."Seven" is the excellent restaurant!..and service there is really good too!..
I am so glad that I got Garden view room...did not overpay for Ocean view.It was just 5 min walk from the beach...not bad at all!..
Overall we had nice vacation there but unfortunately I think we will not return...

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank IngaVlad
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, 29 July 2014
Dear IngaVlad,
Thank you for sharing your comments about our resort experience. Your compliments about our beach location and SEVEN restaurant are very nice to read. I am disappointed, however, to read that your experience in other areas of our resort was not what you expected. Our Ladies and Gentlemen are genuinely proud to provide the finest service and, if you can afford the time, I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your experience in further detail. I invite you to contact me personally at +1 (345) 815-6006. Again, thank you for sharing your comments and 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
Owasso, Oklahoma
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2014

This location set the perfect scene for one of our best vacations ever. The Ritz-Carlton offered tons of "extras". There are complimentary snorkel gear, paddle boards, glass bottom rafts and even small sail boats. The staff will give you free lessons on any of these items as well. Staff members are frequently bringing by complimentary juices, fresh fruit and free snow cones are available at the pool each afternoon. The staff learned our names quickly and were super friendly. 'Leon' at the pool/beach provided wonderful service. I highly recommend this hotel and location.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dksurface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Princeton, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

I could write a lot but will try and keep it short and divided by Pros and Cons.

Pros

- the beach and crystal clear water were absolutely beautiful.

- they do provide kayaks, paddle boards and sailing lessons for free.

- the service was very good although it was not at the same level of a Four Seasons. I stayed at a Four Seasons once and the staff there seemed to be able to read your mind which resulted in unparalleled service.

- the food in the on-site restaurants and even beachside were very good.

- they have a fantastic gym; lots of cardio and free weights and machines. They also offer classes.

Cons

- very expensive!! Yes, I know it's a Ritz but still. Some drinks were well over $20. Note that the Cayman dollar is stronger so add another 25% to the prices. My son loves mango smoothies - I think it came out to $11?! There are less expensive places off the resort but the island itself is expensive

- my wife went to the spa and had a reflexology done. She said it was absolutely pathetic and cost close to $200. Perhaps a normal massage would have been better. Anyways, she wasn't going back based on that first experience.

- there is a serious lack of shade in the pool areas. The palm trees have tiny leaves and provide zero shade cover. In a number of other resorts I have been to, there is usually some shade over the pool itself but not hear. There was also no bar in the pool itself (it was beside one of the pools).

- the hotel itself is not very resort-like. It looks like someone dropped a hotel by a beach. If you try and save some money by not taking a beach view, be prepared to walk 5-7 minutes to get to the beach (you will be across a major street and will have to take an overpass from one side of the hotel to another).

- there are big "cabanas" that you can reserve but apparently people reserve them for an entire day or even a week so tough to get one, even if they are sitting empty.

- the experience at airport was extremely unpleasant. I heard they were modernizing one of the terminals but we had long waits at customs and checking in. All the flights coming in and leaving for the US are around the same time. When leaving, everyone is crammed into a hall with little seating waiting for their flights.

- as for activities, great for snorkeling and scuba diving. Only other major things are the turtle farm, stingray city and the submarine ride which you can do in 3-4 hrs each.

Overall, nice holiday but would not go back as I have been to better places for the same price.

Room Tip: Garden view rooms are a 5-7 minute walk to the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Arally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Our room was so beautiful and elegant. The bed was really comfortable and the bathroom was very clean and updated. The service was amazing, and restaurants on site were also delicious. The service on the beach was also wonderful. Worth the money.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travel_bunny_7777
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 Luxury Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#3 On the Beach 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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