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“Relaxing Retreat at the Reef”

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Wyndham Reef Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in East End
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 March 2008

What a lovely experience! You can be as lazy or active as you like while staying here. The staff is attentive, the property new and clean (it was one of the first rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan a couple years ago) and the beachfront location is remarkable. Snorkle off the resort's beach, participate in the daily fish feeding off the pier at noon or hang out Wednesday evenings and star gaze with the Reef staff.

When visiting The Reef, it's important to know the following:
- Location is secluded (East side of island), approx. 1 hour from Seven Mile Beach area.

- Rent a car PRIOR to leaving for Grand Cayman (we recommend McCurley's). If not renting, cab fare is approximately $75CI to the resort.

- If it's offered for free, participate. The Reef offers a handful of informational social hours during the week in which guests are explained the in's and out's of enjoying the resort - from "Try a Dives" to visiting Stingray City.

- Ask your friendly concierge. We recommend talking to Troy, although another young lady works as a concierge and is equally adept in arranging everything from dinner plans to water excursions and beyond.

- Nothing happens on Sundays on the island. It's like Christmas anywhere else, and you won't have much luck finding many things open. Plan to spend this day laying around the resort, catching some rays and be as lazy as humanly possible.

- Learn about "island time." It's called adopting a "when in Rome" attitude. Still don't get the picture? Look it up on Google. Embrace it before you arrive and then go with the flow. It's going to be okay. Really.

Be sure to talk to Troy about where to eat (Grand Old House and The Lighthouse are not to be missed - or pick up some local jerk chicken at his favorite roadside dive). He can also hook you up with the in's and out's of what to do around the island.

Visit the Turtle Farm and Hell on the north side of the island. A dolphin experience located in the same area is rumored to reach completion summer 2008.

Shop in George Town. Take a peek at life along Seven Mile Beach.

Get up close and personal with wild stingrays at Stingray City.

Check out the starfish just past Rum Point (about 10 miles from The Reef).

Note that a grocery store is located across the street from The Reef. And yes, this translates to within walking distance.
A liquor store/Internet cafe/sundry shop is located on site at The Reef.

Barefoot Man entertains twice a week at The Reef and is good fun.

Wake up early and catch a sunrise.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank xtremlee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,521 - 1,527 of 1,701 reviews

Reviewed 29 February 2008

We were looking for a nice, quiet place with nothing between us and the ocean. The Reef Resort fits the bill. Our stay was in a one bedroom with full kitchen. We lucked out and got a unit that also included a washer and dryer. Our beachfront room was steps from the ocean.

This is a very laid back, low key resort. Just what the doctor ordered!! The rooms are bright and clean. The property is well maintained.

We had a ground floor unit--you could walk outside and see blue sky meet the ocean in all directions. It was quiet and serene.

We opted to not rent a car--to allow ourselves to relax and unwind. We utilized Foster's Express Grocery to supplement the staples we brought. We ate one meal per day at a restaurant. usually at the Beach Bar. I can recommend the conch chowder, the Cuban bean soup, the mahi-mahi sandwich.

We dined upstairs on the evening that snapper was the feature. It was very good.

I read 2 books. We played Scrabble. I did not want to be entertained--just looking to chill out.

We also walked down to Morritts and had lunch one day at their beachfront grill. Good food--but very loud music--that was more entertaining to the employees than the guests (guests tended to be 40-50 years old--music was blasting currently popular music).
I could have lived w/o the music and listened to the ocean....

The best snorkeling was had by walking to the volleyball net near Morritts and heading into the water. The area near the dock/pier is loaded with fish. We experienced swimming in a large school of Tarpon, we saw stingrays, lobster, octopus and the usual assortment of fish. As the current carries you back to the other end--the amount of fish dwindles.

A heads up and thank you to Leona, Sophie, Linda, and Sandy and Constantino for all helping to make it an enjoyable adventure. (I am sure I forgot some names).

The ultimate question--would we return? YES.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Ohiyalinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2008

Based on the reviews here on trip advisor, my wife and I spent a week at the Reef Resort. What a great vacation! The resort is clean, very quiet, and the beach is beautiful. The staff is friendly and we would go back in heartbeat.

What you need to know:
- This report is a beautiful as it looks online and in pictures.
- This resort is for people looking to relax in a quiet and peaceful place. No one comes around to try to sell you anything. Bar music is kept low. DJ and dancing at night, stargazing with Michael on the dock (A must!), and the Barefoot Man strumming on his guitar at Castaways Restaurant as you eat a delicious dinner - these are all waiting for you there.
- If you stay here - you NEED to rent a car. We booked through Thrifty and got a midsize (corolla) for $400 for the week - it is necessary if you want to go to town or out for dinner.
- If you are looking for good snorkeling, take the snorkel/sting ray trip through the Resort. It is well coordinated and takes off from Cayman Kai - a nice place to catch a sunset.
- There is CONSTRUCTION going on presently (Feb 2008) at the far end of the resort - it was in the building next to us and to be honest, we barely heard a thing. A non-factor.
- There is a Fosters Express (food store) right across the street - you can pick up little items like cheerios, popcorn and such to snack on at a fair price. Also a bakery, but we never went there.
- This resort is NOT for people looking to be close to town or in the heart of the island. The Reef is located on the East End. It is very quiet and peaceful here. It is also a 35 minute trip from the airport. The drive is quite pleasant and my wife and I actually enjoyed looking at the island. But if you want to be near Georgetown and 7 Mile Beach, this is not the resort for you.
- The resort does offer in-room massages (there is no Spa), but the Morritts next door has 2 great massage therapists - Craig and Jennifer (they are married).

People to Meet:
- Michael the Manager: he is very friendly, helpful and heads up the snorkel/sting ray trip and many other events.
- Troy the Concierge: He and Leona are helpful and friendly, but offer great info regarding restaurants, tours and island driving. GET A MAP of the island on the first day. Driving can be confusing because there are few lights and many circles. Streets are poorly marked. The map is ESSENTIAL!
-The Little Devil Guy: If you drive up to the North West End, you will get to Hell. It is a small spot with some amazing stone deposits. There is a little guy in the gift shop dressed like the devil. He alone is worth the drive.

Places to Eat:
Castaways: the Reef restaurant and bar have very good food.
Over The Edge Cafe: Good breakfast, Great view. Islanders go there for the Codfish and Ackee - quite tasty!
The Lighthouse: Great food, try the specialty dessert!
Portofinos: Good food, nice view.
Hammerheads Brew Pub: Good Conch chowder and fish. Beer is quite tasty as well
Lobster Pot: Fabulous Seafood and Turtle steaks.
Breezes: Good seafood.
Caybrew Brewery (not to eat but to drink) - good island brew and friendly people can give you a tour. Beer is free there!

All in all, we had a great trip - a beautiful island, Georgetown is nice, and the people are friendly. If you want to sight see - go to the blow hole, Hell, Wreck of the 10 ships, Rum Point, Turtle Farm, go snorkeling, scuba etc. If you are more sedentary, the beach is perfect for relaxing with a good book and a cold Caybrew. The Reef has it all!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Needtogetaway1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2008

Just returned from five wonderful days at the Reef. Arrived at the airport on time and rented a car from Andy's-Probably a good idea to reserve a car ahead because there were a couple of people beside us who didnt and there were no cars to be had. Stopped at Fosters for groceries and we were off. (also went to Hurleys grocery a couple of days later(also along the way) and both were great stores. We had rented a deluxe studio but were upgraded to a one bedroom for some reason-no one ever said-What a wonderful suite-altough we didnt see the deluxe studio-I think now I would pay the extra for the one bedroom-You get a full kitchen which we loved-Made all of our meals and ate on our balcony overlooking the ocean.We only ate out once-on our half day trip to Georgetown) Went snorkeling everyday right in front-awesome- no crowded beaches-always an open beach chair-plenty of shade if you wanted. Like alot of reviews before I dont think this is a place for someone who wants to be entertained all the time. It is a place to go sit on the beach, relax, walk on the beach or take your rented car for a ride and explore the many beach spots around. Although there were a few night time activities, and I think Morritts have some night things going on as well. You can rent kayaks, wave runners etc at Morritts.The resort and suite were spotless. All in all-a perfect vacation getaway.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank cfd130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2008

This was our first time in the Caribbean at all and what a place to start! As the other reviewers have said it is very quiet, perfectly so for us! Often in our 2 weeks, even in the "peak season" we had the beautiful clean white sands to ourselves. We rented a car from McCurleys, cheap and convenient as they drove us to the hotel and back with the car parked there ready. Driving like everything here is so laid back, "Cayman time" is for everything. If you are from the UK Cayman is not expensive, it is the same price as at home! We ate at and liked Lighthouse, Over the Edge, Portofino's and best of all The Grand Old House.

Our room was "only" a studio condo but had everything we needed, Barefoot Man was good enough to see once, better than most European hotel holiday entertainment! The "expensive" Castaways restaurant included a Prime Rib (US style!!) buffet for the equivalent of £10 each. All the staff were friendly helpful and even remembered our name each time, its the little feature that make the difference. Breakfast is available cheap from the "Olde English Bakery" across the street, their Stingray City trip is excellent and we were the only boat there at the time.

Avoid George Town on cruise days (there is a list available with the Concierge of the daily ship visits, upto 8 per day, leading to the locals having days "watching the rats leave the ships" in their thousands...

Whites empty sands, clear blue sea with beginners snorkelling off the beach, a perfect paradise hoilday!!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank doc50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2008

My boyfriend and I just returned from The Reef Resort. We stayed there from 1/30-2/4 for our one year anniversary. We booked the Reef based on all the stellar reviews we read (including top awards on Expedia's Travelers Select list and excellent reviews in mags such as CondeNast Traveler) and were not disappointed. The moment we pulled up to the resort and walked into the lobby we knew it was perfect for us. Since it is settled right on the beach, the view from anywhere on the resort is breathtaking. All units are oceanfront, so as soon as we walked into our room and out onto the balcony, we fell in love with the view. True paradise. We stayed in unit 320B, which is a studio unit w/ kitchenette (not a full kitchen) and in one of the newer buildings. The room was spotlessly clean and brand new, decorated in pretty island colors. It took us a little time to figure out where the elevator is located in that building, as they were still doing construction to expand the building. Though construction was happening during the day, we hardly noticed at all! It was very quiet and peaceful. I had read from other travellers that the walls can be a bit thin, especially if your neighbors have kids; so i specifically put in a request for a room next to unoccupied rooms. It was perfect.
As far as the food at the resort....to echo the review of a recent traveller, the beach bar food was better than when we ate dinner in the main restaurant, strangely enough. Although breakfast in the restaurant was pretty good. We ate out for dinner at Portofino's, which is a cute italian restaurant not far from the resort; it was pretty good. We also had our anniversary dinner at a special table over the water at The Lighthouse...phenomenal food and view. Very romantic.
We did lots of snorkelling and as other travellers have said, the best snorkelling seems to be had under or very near the dock pier of the resort. Saw some great fish. We also did Stingray City...my boyfriend did a dive and i snorkelled...and that was a wonderful experience. The stingrays were very docile, and velvety soft!
Some of the staff at The Reef were very helpful. Especially the concierge, Leona and Jodi at the Dive Shop. However, the actual front desk staff were a little impersonable and not as helpful; but that didnt bother us terribly.
We did not venture out to Seven Mile Beach, because frankly, we didn't want to deal with the hustle and bustle of the tourist-ey side of the island. And that suited us just fine. The Reef Resort on the East end was ideal for us. You can do as much or as little as you want to out there; and this was a truly relaxing but fun vacation for us. You do need to rent a car to get out there, though, as it is located 20 miles and a 45 minute drive from the airport.
Overall, I would highly recommend a stay at The Reef Resort if you are looking for a peaceful stay in paradise. The post-vacation blues are definitely setting in now that we are no longer there :(

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank beachlover575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2008

The hotel is isolated which makes for a relaxing, quiet vacation. Is located approximately 1 hour away from the airport and the Seven Mile Beach, therefore I recommend you rent a car (240$/week) from the airport; the taxi is very expensive. The rooms are equipped with small kitchens and there is a food store, right across from the hotel. Because the walls are thin and some people can be very noisy, I also recommend you ask for a free room in between yours and your neighbors. The Lighthouse restaurant in the East District is very good.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Alice20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wyndham Reef Resort

Address: 2221 Queens Highway, PO Box 30865 | Colliers, East End KY1-1800, Grand Cayman (Formerly The Reef Resort, A Wyndham Affiliate)
Region: Caribbean > Cayman Islands > Grand Cayman > East End
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in East End
Price Range: £175 - £491 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Wyndham Reef Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wyndham Reef Resort is the only ALL BEACHFRONT, ALL SUITE RESORT WITH AN ALL-INCLUSIVE PROGRAM ON GRAND CAYMAN. The white sands of Grand Cayman are your welcome mat and the crystal clear waters are your playground. Since all of our suites are right on the beach, you'll enjoy exploring, playing, snorkeling and diving, or soaking in the beauty just steps outside your door. This East End getaway, far from the crowds, provides a truly serene tropical escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
Reef Hotel Grand Cayman
Reef Resort Grand Cayman
Wyndham Reef Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands - East End

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