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“Loved Grand Cayman but not the Ritz Carlton”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Seven Mile Beach
Reviewed 16 February 2009

I have read many reviews on Trip Advisor, although I have never written one of my own, until now.

First, let me start with the pros because believe me there were definitely some great things about the hotel.

The beach is AMAZING!!! I have visited many islands in the caribbean, I would say this was the nicest beach by far. The ocean is so blue it looks like pool water.

The food at the hotel is very, very good. We had breakfast at 7 every morning which was wonderful! We also ate at restaura7 a couple of nights, which was also very good.

Most of the staff at the hotel are very accomodating, polite, and gracious. This includes, housekeeping, the waitstaff, pool attendants, and the employees who give out the snorkel equipment and rafts.

Now, let me list the cons:

Upon check-in we asked to be changed to ocean front rooms. We had booked resort view connecting rooms but after seeing how enormous the hotel was we decided we would prefer to upgrade to ocean front. We have two small children and the walk from the resort side was a good 15 minutes each way. You better not forget anything in the room. The rooms were on the small side, not at all what one would expect from a Ritz Carlton. We were told there was NO availability oceanside. Clearly the hotel was not at full capacity. I even said I would take 1 ocean front room and cram my family in just to avoid the long walk from our room to the beach and pool.

The woman at the front desk was very rude and very unhelpful. She also said they had a 1 bedroom suite available ocean side but we couldn't have it because she was holding it for a family that had not yet decided if they wanted it or not. She told me to check back the following day. This was unacceptable to my husband and I.

Did I mention that I was able to book 2 ocean front rooms on the Internet for our remaining time period that very same day. They insisted the rooms were still not available and that perhaps the website wasn't updated. Not true.

We made the long trek back to our resort view rooms and immediately called to speak to a Manager about our situation.

The Manager was very nice but also stated they probably did not have anything available. We were so upset we asked to leave the resort. Amazing that a one bedroom ocean front suite miraculously became available. He offered us the room at the same price as the two rooms. The suite was AMAZING! Fully equipped kitchen with a sub-zero fridge and Viking appliances. The proximity to the beach could not have been better.

I just wish we didn't have to push so hard to get this room. It really ruined an entire day for us. We told many of the guests we met about our experience and they all seemed to go through the same problems and will also not return to the Ritz GC.

The pool is definitely not kid friendly. It's not a zero entry pool so if your child is under 5' tall, and not a good swimmer, make sure you bring a flotation device.

As others have stated the prices are incredibly inflated. I walked to the Food Mart which is about a 3 minute walk and stocked up on snacks for the kids and wine for the adults. The grocery store is expensive but nothing like the hotel. A pina colada at the hotel was $20 US. A meal at 7 is no less than $250 if you each have a glass of wine.

I highly recommend going to stingray city. If you can, book through Captain Marvin and not the Ritz. If you book through Captain Marvin you will pay $40 per adult and $28 per child. Through the RC it was $130 per adult and $65 per child. What a wonderful experience. My 5 year old even got in the water with the sting rays.

I have travelled throught the Caribbean and would not recommend the Cayman Island experience. The Ritz Carlton is built like it should be located in a large city. It has no charm, personality, intimacy or Caribbean soul. Frankly, neither does the Grand Cayman Island experience. It's not worth going into the capital city of Georgetown. Nothing exists in Town that caters to tourists on vacation. It is comprised of cement and more cement. There is no charm whatsoever.

Given the extraordinarily high cost of living there are many, many Caribbean Islands better suited to family vacations.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank paigeandelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 February 2009

We take a summer and a winter vacation every year with the family...3 kids under 10 in tow. My wife and I look for locations with "on property" activities for the kids but need a little R&R for ourselves. Any time we try to find this combination with a new destination it's a gamble...but we definitely came up a winner on this trip and we'll be back.

Beautiful beach and resort grounds but the best part was that we could swim straight out 100 yards in crystal clear water and snorkel on a small coral reef...or walk down the beach 300 yards and swim out to another coral reef. During the week long stay, we swam with tons of fish, a few sea turtles, sting rays, squid, nurse shark, etc...all in our backyard. If you have kids, you know how convenient it is to have everything close by...instead of loading up on a tour bus to "go to" an excursion every time you want to do something. You'll want to catch "sting ray city" and swim with the rays...there is a dock at the back of the hotel where the boat picks you up...again, no tour bus or ride to an excursion. God bless convenience...with the kids occupied, some R&R for the adults.

Sure it's expensive...it's the Ritz. They say value is perception...I perceive this to be a great value since we left entertained and rested.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank TravelfamilyFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2009

The Ritz Carlton, as one would expect, is expensive. We had a corporate discount so it didnt make as huge of a dent in our wallets as others may have experienced. But, I guess, you know what your paying before you go there, so that shouldnt be a reason to ding the RC.

As soon as we arrived, they greeted us at the curbside with our names...nice touch even though they probably knew our names from reading our luggage tags. Still a nice personal touch. We paid for a garden view which I think is their cheapest but they upgraded us to ocean view! AWESOME!! Then, a lady escorted us to our room, giving us a mini tour of the resort. Again, another nice touch. Within five minutes, our luggage arrived and we bolted to the beach.

Once you enter the beach, you are bombarded with a massive wave of beach chairs that are very close together. Most days though, people were considerate enough to sit a few chairs away from each other but other days, a couple would decide that they must sit right next to us. We always wanted to sit in the front row so most of the people were there. If everyone staying at the hotel decided to sit outside in the ebach cahirs at once, I imagine it would be ridiculous since we would be sardines but that just wasnt the case. Also, most ppl were there just to enjoy the ocean, the sun, their books and peacful conversation. I dont think anyone could really afford the drinks to the point where they would get wasted and cause a lot of drunken noise. One pina colada, while strong and good, was $20.

That said, the staff was great. The beach guys who set up the chairs were always courteous even though their jobs must be tedious and HOT. The beach staff at Bar Jacks were friendly. One wait staff gave us refreshing complimnetary drinks! Everyone was just friendly.

The beach is GREAT. Amazing soft sand and the waters were crystal clear. We saw turtles three times! Beautiful creatures! We also saw spotted eagle rays and sting rays a few times. The reefs in front of RC is OK. The ones by the Westin which is two hotels down are much better. The RC also has these yellow flotation devices so you can hang out on the water all day if you want.

The food and drinks are EXPENSIVE. Plus, the Cayman conversion is not in the US favor. Still, there were decent priced restaurants within walking distance. EATS cafe, Yoshi Sushi, Gateway to India. We also went to LUCA for our one fancy nite out and it was GOOD. Periwrinkle at the RC was not bad and very convenient.

Also, for those who are staying at the resort side. the walk to the beach is not that far. Sure, its less convenient but its a short walk. The RC is massive but wonderful. I think the people who live in the Cayman Islands or other non-RC tourists view the RC with horror and envy. Horror because of the massive size and envy b/c the beahc chairs and pool, etc rocks.

have fun!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jung P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2009

We came in a bit early for a business meeting that is to be held at the RitzCarlton.

Two main things that you should know:

1. Most rooms are not on the beach. Many in our group were disappointed to learn that they were a good walk from the beach, and the the price to move over was $400 per night.

2. Everything is very expensive. Lunch. Drinks. Everything.

Now, if money is no object, this is the place. The rooms are very nice. Internet is free. Pools are great. If you have kids, they do outdoor movies every night. And the staff is what you would expect at a Ritz....incredible. Also, once you walk over to it, the Ritz beach is very nice.

A key tidbit is to wait until 5pm for drinks. A single mangorita is about $20 US. At 5pm, you can get a pitcher (4 drinks) plus nachos and salsa for about $30 US.

Overall, we had a great time but we ate off property as much as possible. See my reviews of Copper Ridge Steakhouse and Sunshine Grill.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled on business
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Thank daggar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2009

This is a big hotel that caters to business groups and conventions. The rooms and lobby look like any other Ritz Carlton, with traditional decor. There is virtually no hint that you are in the Caribbean. It sits on a gorgeous stretch of beach, but there are so many beach chairs and people, that you can't escape other people's conversations and children.
The service was on par with a Marriot or HIlton, certainly not a Ritz Carlton (RC). The service was adequate at times, poor at other times, never outstanding. We never reached the conceirge by phone without a substantial wait (10 full minutes one time). There were many minor slip-ups that you just wouldn't expect for the price and reputation of RC. We had requested turn down service, and did not get it unless we called. When the rooms were made up, the maids did always replace all the amenities, like the shampoo, soap. There were not always beach attendants to set up chairs, so we often dragged our own chairs out onto the beach and had to get our own towels. Pool food & drink service were slow, slow, slow and they made mistakes with the orders. And yes, the food and drinks are expensive, but it's the Caribbean and you're at the RC, so you have to be prepared for it. Our room included the buffet breakfast which was very nice...big assortment, fresh fruit, very clean. Service was not good at breakfast at all. Plates were not cleared, glasses not filled, and you had to chase a waiter down to get coffee or anything else. They were always apologetic about it, but just do it right the first time.
Dinner at Blue, their signature Eric Ripert restaurant, was WONDERFUL! Excellent food and service. However, there were 2 "convention"/business dinners going on in the dining room and it was VERY loud until they left.
The spa is amazing, wonderful treatments, very clean, great workout room and lovely "sancuaries" for women and men. The spa prices, however, were really high, even for the RC.
This Ritz is probably the nicest hotel on the beach, but does not deliver what you expect of a RC. We've stayed at other RCs and this just did not measure up. We've stayed at the Four Seasons on other trips, most recently in Exuma, and there is no comparison. The Four Seasons was head and shoulders above this hotel for just about the same price.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank chloelue930
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2009

The sea view rooms offered a great view and the rooms were very nice and clean. It seemed that the staff could have been more pleasant, but they were helpful. The Ritz did offer many options for things to do for the day as they could set you up with just about whatever you needed. Really nice location as you could walk to about everything along the beach.

I think we were there at a down time as there did not seem to be a lot going on. The service at the pool could have been a little better but the pool was very nice. Overall, a great vacation. Cayman has so much to offer.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DallasTraveler1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2009

I actually stayed with family who are part of Exclusive Resorts, and had a villa on the golf course ofthe Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, so my review will not talk about the rooms at the RC, but the property itself.

Its great for families and people who want to just chill on white sand beaches, be pampered, and maybe sit up once in a while RC staff brings you a a sample of a smoothie or take a peak at the Caribbean blue waters. Its really luxurious, but down to earth. Lots of families were there when we went and its very accommodating for kids.
Eric Ripert has 2 restaurants on the property - they are OK but I thought they weren't as good as the hype. The pool restaurant is very good though, so I'd recommend just doing lunch at the hotel and going off property for dinner and/or drinks, which are 1. pricey 2 overrated.

The spa and gym are really clean and the locker room is super nice.

Stayed: January 2009
Review collected in partnership with Worldhotels.com
Thank SFburnfog
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 Top resorts Hotel in Seven Mile Beach
#1 Romantic 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: £359 - £1,300 (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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