My wife and I stayed at the Reef for four nights after our wedding on the Seven Mile area of Cayman. We have spent a decade with our family on the island where we have property, and are intimately familiar with the island as a result. As part time residents we were looking for a secluded section of Cayman (somewhere in the East End) to spend a few days during our “mini moon” to unwind and relax after the wedding festivities.
In many ways, the Reef was a perfect option to unwind and relax, and mostly met our expectations. The rate during May (considered “off season”) was extremely reasonable compared to the rates on Seven Mile (Westin or Ritz Carlton) and other parts of the island, and the staff was beyond helpful and friendly – and in many ways went above and beyond for us. In fact, a highlight each morning was getting to know the early morning restaurant staff so I would meet them at 6:45am when the restaurant opened and they made me an Iced Latte (surprised that they had such a high end espresso machine). Those working at the Reef were always friendly, helpful and willing to go the extra mile for us when necessary, especially when we ran into problems.
Foremost was the issue of bugs. During our stay, we consistently had a problem with ants in our unit, which was 206B. It was a second story, ocean facing unit, and although we were offered the option to move to a different unit, given our short time there, we attacked the ant problem with pesticides with the Reef’s help and felt we would just deal with the problem and mostly ignore it (given we didn’t spend all that much time in the unit itself).
However that does not mean that they were as proactive as we would have liked on the ant problem, nor did they seem to take it seriously enough (and when they did, they used chemicals (or brought them to the unit) that went felt were dangerous to put down near our clothes, food (fridge) and sink (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc). In exchange for this problem, the General Manager graciously provided us with one night free dinner for our problems, and while quite generous, this issue still took away from some of our enjoyment during the mini moon as we were having to constantly ensure no food or even liquids (water included) was out as the ants were drawn to this. We found Ants in our refrigerator and each morning asked that our room was the first to be cleaned to avoid further problems. No matter what we did, the problem persisted, and while we have no idea how many other rooms have this issue in general, we are aware that, as long time part-time residents of the island, we have never had this problem before at our house or other hotels we’ve stayed in. As a result of our experience, this was a major disappointment for us and one that was not appropriately handled (see attached pictures and video).
However the room was quite nice for the rate, and the view to the ocean ahte sunrise was wonderful (see pictures). It was spacious, had ample room for two persons to get ready in the bathroom, and an open and airy bedroom area.
Further, they had originally promised us a first floor unit so we could walk out onto the beach and pool but that was not available when we checked in. Also notable, it seems the Reef has both condos and time shares so a hotel guest is competing with other parties for time and attention throughout the stay.
On the upside, it’s in a secluded spot on East End, an approximate 45 minute trip from the airport and George Town, and an hour from Seven Mile Beach and West Bay. There is a Fosters “express” directly across the street from the Reef which we used and were able to find everything we needed, and although we didn’t take advantage of this, there is a “Subway” next to the Reef, and it seemed many patrons did use this quick option.
That being said, in our opinion, there was no need for a Subway sandwich as the Reef’s restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner was quite delicious and exceeded our expectations. We ate during all three meals, and felt the bar was also excellent. High marks go to the severs and bartenders who work there and get to know the residents and hotel guests providing exquisite service.
One of the biggest upsides of The Reef is that it is on pristine beach that’s quite wide and beautiful. Much of the rest of the island (Seven Mile Beach notwithstanding) is actually on “iron shore” and thus not true sandy beach. The Reef’s location was a highlight and we couldn’t have enjoyed the beach chairs, large pool, or unfettered access to the ocean more. There was never a rush to get beach chairs and always enough for the guests, and the servers were always available for a drink or food throughout the day.
As a result it’s a treat to be able to walk a mile or two up and down on a remote section of Cayman (not far from a favorite destination of ours – Rum Point) that has both sandy beach and a great restaurant/hotel available to guests for reasonable rates.
Overall, besides the ant issue, we felt the Reef was a great value, provided excellent service by the staff (management was on top of the issue, apologetic and did the best they could), and exceeded most of our expectations, providing incredible picturesque moments as we celebrated our marriage.
We hope to come back to the Reef in the near future to continue enjoying ourselves.
- 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