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“The Perfect Getaway”

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Southern Cross Club
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Little Cayman
Certificate of Excellence
Northern California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The Perfect Getaway”
Reviewed 28 November 2009

My wife and I visited for 5 days during Thanksgiving and it was the best Carribean experience we have had in years. The room was excellent, but we did upgrade to one of the newer units. We had an upstairs unit with an outdoor shower that had beautiful view of the ocean. There was an upgraded bathroom with an indoor shower as well. The room included a king size bed, a sitting area and a lovely outdoor porch.

SCC is bit more pricy than some of the other alternatives on the island, but worth every bit of it. What you do NOT get for your money is a raucous and noisy bar, screaming kids running around the pool and cattle-car dive boats. What you DO get is the best accomodations on the island, a staff that went out of their way 24x7 to make sure you are happy, outstanding food at every meal and great diving with small groups.
SCC appeals to adults who like to mix diving with other activities such as kayaking, bird-watching, snorkling or just sitting on the beach. They have a "no-children under 10" policy which insures a more quiet and relaxing experience and a maximum capacity of 24 persons. That guarantees a perfect vacation to relax and recharge the batteries.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank geseiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Costa Blanca
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2009

We've just returned from the SCC which we chose because of a magazine article in Conde Naste Traveller and the ratings/reviews in Tripadvisor. It's rare that you find a place universally raved about... so we had to check it out.

We've travelled very extensively but usually stay away from the Caribbean as the hotels are not as good or as well managed as in Africa or Asia. However I can safely say that the Southern Cross Club however breaks the mould. It is simply one of the best managed hotels we've ever come across and in that respect is on par with much more luxurious and/or expensive places such as Nmemba Island in Zanzibar.

The staff are young, fun and unbelievably helpful. Nothing is too much trouble and more often than not they've thought about it in advance.

"You want to go to the beautiful Point of Sands for a couple of hours? No problem, we'll drop you off, with a cool box of drinks, supply you snorkling equipment and also a cell phone with the number of the hotel so you can call when you want to be picked up and if you want a pack lunch then let us know...or you can take the free bicycles and we'll give you a map of the places of interest to see on route".

The food is excellent too. I thought that it might be not the case, as is often true in the Islands (deep fried conch every night with french fries) but Ron runs a great kitchen, the food was varied, fresh, light and interesting and the two Goan chefs who work under Ron add a little extra to the mix with the occasional option of good Indian cuisine.

The diving is excellent for the Caribbean (the Walls are just stunning) and the dive operation is run by one of the best dive masters we have encountered (and we've been lucky to dive all over the world). Mike is great fun but also takes what he does seriously and is always happy to answer questions, identify fish life, etc and you aren't allowed to lift a finger. All your stuff is put on the boat in advance, the dive masters change over your tanks, provide you with fruit and snacks after each dive and clean your gear afterwards....

The real magic of the SCC is the however the over all ambience. It's tough to describe but its more like a fabulous low-key house party than a hotel. The staff after work hours socialise with the guests, which sounds a little odd, but it feels very natural as everyone is young, bright and interesting and from all over the world (with a heavy Zimbabwe/South Africa bias!). It makes for great conversation and a lot of interesting stories. Peter ,the owner, is often around in the evenings chatting to guests and is charming, interesting and very humble. If you are in the mood to get a real feel of island life then there is often something going on in the evenings where everyone on the island meets up to have fun.

Don't get me wrong, if you just want your own space and chill out then the staff are very discrete and you can even romantically dine with your other half on the beach under the stars. It just manages to keep the perfect balance and that shows up in the number of repeat guests who range from 25 years old to 80+. It seems that the SCC suits almost everyone.

Just to stop this review sounding too gushing, there are two things visitors need to be aware of; firstly, although the beach is stunning and the sea warm and clear you can not really swim or splash about here because of the turtle grass but there are other beaches to go to or you can kayak 10 mins out to Owen Island. Secondly, this is not a ultra luxurious resort but at the price range it is very good indeed but is no Aman resort (nor does it aim to be) however, as I mentioned before the service is easily as good as an Aman...

As you can tell, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this place. It is certainly a jewel in the Caribbean where life is not about glitz and glamour but about quality, peace, tranquility, good company, good food, nice diving, great fishing and the laid back life of the beautiful island of Little Cayman...

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thewanderers_spain
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, 27 November 2009
Thanks R and A. Your words mean so much to everyone at SCC. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Ciao!
Pete
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2009

I had the good fortune of experiencing my first trip to the Caribbean in the summer of 2009 and I was absolutely blown away by the experience. I spent five nights at Southern Cross and had a truly spectacular visit.

Beginning with the arrival, we were collected from the airport by a very kind and helpful member of resort staff who bent over backwards to ensure that our check-in went smoothly and we had everything we needed. (Even better, you get to chose your own luxurious toiletries at reception, which as far as I am concerned is an immediate winner). I then moved on to my room which was light, cool, spacious and beautifully decorated. This was followed closely by the pool and its associated bar which were respectively clean and a beautiful temperature and well-stocked and charming.

The food at the resort was truly second to none. I have never stayed somewhere that I had the opportunity to experience such a balance of light and healthy food with beautifully balanced flavours.

Our check-out went as smoothly as our arrival, and the staff ensured we made it to the airport in more than adequate time for our flight to Grand Cayman.

In general, throughout our stay, the staff were courteous, attentive without being overbearing and nothing was ever too much trouble. The resort managed to balance a laid back and casual approach with all the luxury and attention to detail that you would expect of a resort of this calibre. Whilst I did not personally experience the diving available at the resort, anecdotally (source being my fellow guests) the quality was superb and they saw some quite spectacular sights, including some a rather misplaced lion-fish which was safely relocated.

In conclusion, I really couldn’t have asked for more from the resort, in terms of quality of facilities, staff or management.

I understand that since we visited the management of the resort has changed hands, but I had the fortune to experience the service the new management provide as they were already working at the resort, and, if my experiences are anything to go by, they promise to take the resort to new heights of excellence.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Holly_N_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Cayman
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

We have just spent the most amazing weekend at the Southern Cross Club. The staff are so friendly and attentive and will do anything they can to make your stay special. The food is out of this world and more than plentiful. The room we stayed in was gorgeous, on the beach with an outdoor hot shower with views over the caribbean sea, absolutely outstanding. This is a resort where you can kick off your shoes and totally unwind and you will be looked after incredibly well. We were really sad our stay was so short but we are already planning a return trip in December. I recommend this hotel to anybody considering a trip to the Cayman Islands.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2009

I want to echo the previous review. On that same trip, I had the most wonderful service by all the staff, food was good, room great, diving good. But the head of the diving operation for the resort, on several boat trips, said foul, vile and violent things against African Americans, including disappointment that it is no longer to carry guns and use them against black persons, and that he had wished AIDS would kill more black people. It was a terrible feeling being trapped on the diving boat with wonderful fellow divers and instructors who heard all this and said nothing to the leader of the diving while he was spewing such awful racist stuff. Destroyed my trip. I told about this to the owner of the resort and didn't get much of a response. It can hardly be a secret because this racist stuff was open and persistent. Terrible shame.

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank auntclara17
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
Since our records indicate that this reviewer and the reviewer below were traveling together, I have just pasted my response from the review below into this response. Please feel free to contact me through Southern Cross Club's home page if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Pete

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 two stars 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 visit 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank jimc1946
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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