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“unpleasant memory”

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Southern Cross Club
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Little Cayman
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“unpleasant memory”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2009

I've been meaning to write this review for some time but have hesitated because it is very unpleasant for me to recall. The hotel is lovely and the rooms are fine. The cuisine is better than you'd expect and the diving is great. So why the low rating? One of the dive masters, an older gentleman, an expat South African, Zimbabwean, I believe, used much of our surface time on the dive boat one day to launch into an extremely hateful diatribe against blacks in South Africa. I have never heard anything like this and I hope I never do again. And on my own dime and from someone in a leadership role, essentially the captain of the boat. Outrageous. We spoke to the owner of the place about it. He didn't express much concern, and I see from recent posts that the gentleman is still part of the operation.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
16 Thank JJJasper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LittleCaymanSCC1, Owner at Southern Cross Club, responded to this review, 29 September 2009
Decorum necessitates I remain polite in my response to this review. I will try to keep my response short despite the diatribe bouncing around in my head.

The reviewer, who visited Southern Cross Club one and a half (1.5) years ago, complimented most every aspect of the Resort. His score of one star was based on a dive interval conversation, a year and a half ago. The apparent subject of the reviewer’s ire is Chris Ferriera who managed my dive operation with extraordinary efficiency for 5 years. We have many many time repeat guests who visited SCC specifically to dive with Chris. Chris is no longer with my wonderful resort, but I remain in contact, and consider him a friend, and NOT a bigot. He is larger than life, and very entertaining. Chris is from Zimbabwe (not South Africa), where he was forced to leave after Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, took his business from him and his family. It is no secret that Chris is not a fan of President Mugabe or his thugs who have caused tremendous pain and suffering for his people, black and white. I do not recall this guest talking to me about the conversation he found so offensive on the dive boat, and that is a conversation I would have remembered. I do not tolerate racial bigotry, ever, by anyone. If evidence of racism or bigotry were ever put before me, I would remember, and I would have responded.

The Cayman Islands are well known for our racial harmony, and that beautiful respect for all people is very evident in the culture and attitude of my entire (multicultural) staff. I am so very proud of my resort, and our outstanding staff and management. Our success as one of the world’s best dive, fish and relax resorts is evident in the many repeat guests we genuinely call our friends.

Unfortunately, I cannot ask for this review to be removed. So the damage is done. It is unjust, and untrue. If you have any concerns I hope you will email me through Southern Cross Club’s home page.

Sincerely,

Peter L. Hillenbrand
Owner
Southern Cross Club
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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504 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2009

My wife and I have stayed at Southern Cross Club at least once a year starting in 2001. SCC advertises "barefoot elegance," and that's exactly what it delivers. My wife and are are avid scuba divers, and the diving on Little Cayman is as good as it gets in the Caribbean, with pristine coral reefs and as big a variety of marine species as can be found anywhere in the Caribbean Sea. But we wouldn't dive there if the accommodations weren't right. We've looked into the four other resorts on Little Cayman. They're all small, unique, and have their own devoted clientele, and we would probably be happy at any of them, but we fell in love with Southern Cross on our first trip. We've met many guests there who we've made friends with, and we coordinate our annual trip(s) there to be with them and dive with them, so it's like a reunion every time we go. It's the same way with the staff at Southern Cross. Before our first trip was over (2001), we knew everyone by their first names. Several of those staff members are still there, and we keep up with them during the year. It's just that kind of place where friends are made. The rooms are fairly simple, but they're clean and very comfortable, the AC works very well, and wi-fi Internet access is free. If you just have to have TV, there's one in the bar, but we don't miss it at all.

A few other comments:
Crowds: Forget it. If every resort room was filled, plus the full-time residents, the island might have a population of 300 people maximum.

Diving. The diving is awesome. I do underwater photography, and most of my competition winners were shot on Little Cayman, including one very special shot that was published in National Geographic Magazine. Southern Cross has a superb dive boat, and for the very rare times when more than 8-10 divers are going out, they use a second dive boat to make sure the dive boats aren't crowded. Southern Cross does a "valet" dive experience, where the dive boat crews set up your gear and wash and rinse your gear after diving, a really nice touch. I've had a bad back for many years, and the dive crews have been fantastic in helping me enter and exit for diving without straining my back. I can't say enough good things about them. And if there's some particular fish or critter you want to see, just tell the divemaster, and it's pretty likely that he'll find it for you. And by the way, I've dived all over the world, and Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman tops every wall dive in the world, no contest for sheer drama and spectacular vertical drop into the depths.

Food: I have to go on a diet after every trip to Southern Cross! The food is too good not to eat every bite. Breakfast and lunch are first-rate buffets. For dinner, you have your choice of at least two appetizers and entrees, plus several all-you-can-eat desserts. And did I mention the hot, fresh-baked cookies at lunch?

Ambience: Laid-back, casual luxury. We don't pack anything more formal than shorts, T-shirts, and sandals. Little Cayman is the kind of place where few people even lock their door. Southern Cross will give you a room key if you want one, but most people don't bother. Just relax and take it easy for a week. Actually, my wife and I were so seduced by Little Cayman and Southern Cross that we now stay for two weeks, and it's still hard to leave. By the way, the island's inhabitants include several published authors, and any of these fascinating folks will be very happy to chat with visitors for the price of a drink!

So that's my brief take on Little Cayman Island and the Southern Cross Club. A magical island and a very special resort, we'll be going back until we're too old and senile to find our way there.

NOTE: If you like crowds and noise, lots of shopping, and sophisticated nightlife, you should begin or end your trip with a night on Grand Cayman. You won't get any of these things on Little Cayman (thank goodness!).

  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank jimc1946
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2009

We just returned from SCC and it was heaven on earth. Beautiful rooms, great food, the nicest staff, great dive operation!! Among the nicest places we've stayed anywhere!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jexy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, VT
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2009

My husband and I went to SCC to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Every member of the staff was attentive and thoughtful. The dive masters Clive and Chris were incredibly adept at identifying interesting finds-we saw a rich assortment of reef life-rays, turtles, hamlets, spotted drums, octopus, eels, scorpion fish, and even a frog fish (eagle eye Clive). They made a point to go to sites that we had requested or that they knew we would enjoy based on topography. My husband loves swin throughs and I wall diving. Beyond setting up our tank the first day there was no need to tough or equipment any further--the dive masters took care of everything. The food exceeded our expectation, was well prepared, and there was a great variety of offerings. The kitchen/wait staff (overseen by Ron) was courteous and took great care of us. On our anniversary they even set us up a table for two on the beach with candle light and tiki torches. Our outside shower on the porch of the honeymoon cottage was a delight. We awoke each day looking at the beach and the torquoise water of the bay. We went for time alone, to dive, and relaxation and had an amazing time.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank VTdivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, SC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2009

My wife and I spent our second year anniversary at SCC and has a ball. The diving is incredible...bloody bay wall is just indescribably cool. SCC is small, intimate and quiet. I would not recommend going if you do not dive, because I think it would be a little slow. If you do dive, best place I can imagine.

Ask for Fireworks.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank HeelDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2009

The Southern Cross Club is a wonderfully relaxing resort with a fantastic staff. My husband and I are divers and have been to several places in the Caribean. The diving on Little Cayman was the best we have experienced. Very healthy reef. Bloody Bay Wall was amazing! The dive masters at Southern Cross were great. Everything is taken care of for you! Well equiped, uncrowded boats, a hut to hang your wetsuits to dry on the dock, etc. Bikes (a bit rickety, but they worked) and kyaks were provided and it was fun to use both. We recommend riding a bike to feed bananas to the big iguanas. One of the staff can tell you where to find them - it was about a 15 or 20 minute bike ride just past the airport.

The bungalows at Southern Cross are right on the beach. No TVs, clocks or phones - just amazing views of the ocean right from your porch! All meals are included and the food was very good. Plenty of variety in the five nights we were there. Some dinners were buffet, some plated where you made your dinner selection from a limted menu at lunchtime.

We heard that most guests here are repeat visitors and we will defintely be back to Little Cayman and Southern Cross Club.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Todd&Linda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2009

We stayed at Southern in the 2nd half of Jan.'09,fulfilling a promise made to ourselves after discovering the Club on a first visit to Little Cayman in early Feb.'08.As before,Little was flawless - uncrowded,tension-free,fine weather,etc.
Last year we stayed at Paradise Villas,a set of spotless self-catering cottages on the shore near tiny Blossom Village,and dined most nights at the nearby Hungry Iguana which offers good food in a fun,casual setting.On one occasion ,however,we ventured up the road to dine in the more elegant surroundings of the Soutern Cross.We also visited the Club for fly-fishing and kayaking.Those memorable experiences soon transformed into promises to return.
Return we did--and our very high expectations were met and exceeded ! Indeed,the positives began even before arrival with the expert advise and assistance of Craig,who does the Club's bookings.On arrival,it was quickly apparent that there is nothing " self-catering" about this Club - it is a luxuriously all-inclusive experience which somehow manages to remain completely informal,relaxed and unpretentious.
The Club's property appears to be the island's best location in terms of calm seas,breezes,sun,beach,etc.It has many shaded hammocks and a double swing beneath the branches of a big casuarina.On its doorstep a brief paddle away is pristine Owen Island,a dream-like blend of palms ,fine sand and solitude.Our bungalow was impeccably clean,quiet and comfortable night and day.
Cate,Chris and their entire team were outstandingly welcoming,friendly ,helpful and interesting.The food deserves a special mention,particularly because we always pay a lot of attention to eating very well (as well as healthily) at home and on our many travels.Quite simply,Southern Cross delivers the most consistently excellent food we have encountered-always changing,always attractively presented,great-tasting and full of fresh ingredients.And,in the evenings,often served on crisp linen under the palms under a star-filled sky - "barefoot elegance" indeed!
All in all,a perfect get-away.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Hockeynews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Cross Club

Property: Southern Cross Club
Address: Guy Banks Rd, KY3-2501, Little Cayman
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Little Cayman
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Little Cayman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only resort on Little Cayman built entirely ON a beautiful white sand beach. All oceanfront accommodations. Southern Cross Club celebrates 50 years of welcoming discerning world travelers looking for the best in hospitality, diving, dining, fishing, and world class relaxing! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Southern Cross Club Hotel Little Cayman
Southern Cross Club Little Cayman, Cayman Islands

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