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“Didn't realize how great until now”

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Wyndham Reef Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in East End
Certificate of Excellence
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Didn't realize how great until now”
Reviewed 29 January 2009

I am just getting around to reviewing the Reef until now. Of course I've been busy, but mainly I did not realize the greatness of this place until now. I think back to the fond memories of my vacation in Grand Cayman, and mostly this was due to the Reef Resort. The Reef Resort was the start to my vacation. We stayed at the Reef for 4 nights. After the Reef, we made our way to Seven Mile where we stayed for the remainder of our vacation. Let's not underestimate the greatness of this place. It is isolated from the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile and Georgetown, but this is what makes it so special. In addition to its quiet location, settled on a wonderful beach, is the cleanliness of the rooms. The room was immaculate upon check-in. Check-in was speedy and before we knew it we were settled into our room. We had a 1 bedroom room with the pull-out murphy beds (where the kids slept). It was nice to have the privacy of our own room and the kids enjoyed the murphy beds. The air conditioner in the room kept the room the perfect temp. The first night we arrived the reef was having dinner on the beach. It was so nice to sit and relax in a family atmosphere and eat our dinner overlooking the ocean. The peer is a nice place to take a stroll during the evening with your loved one. There is a small grocery store right across the street where you can get some food to cook in your room. The kitchen came with everything we needed; aside from dish soap to wash with and paper towels, so I would pack some from home instead of buying new stuff when you arrive. We cooked breakfast everyday and enjoyed it on the balcony. The only issue with the balcony was that we had to share one with our neighbor, but it was not a big deal. We also used the laundry facilities while we were there, which was a nice convenience. If I ever return to Grand Cayman I will stay at the Reef. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had. Thanks Reef!

  • Liked — family friendly, the kitchen
  • Disliked — water pressure in shower
  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank family_vacati0ns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
N.Y. N.Y.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2009

First night at dinner water glasses were never filled, wait staff asked us to move the salad bowls out of the way, in order to set the entrees down, while waiting to see desert menu,waiter comes with our bill, still don't know if they have a desert menu. After lunch at the outdoor bar instead of asking will there be anything else? they just gave us our check (I don't even drink). On bare foot man night (bare foot and no talent) the wife of a couple sitting at the table next to us informed the waitress that the tomatos in her salad were not ripe, to which the waitress replied, your the only one complaining. But once we rented a car all was well we just ate all our meals else where.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank jefflain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomCayman, Director at Wyndham Reef Resort, responded to this review, 29 January 2009
Last night I was watching "Kitchen Nightmares" on TV featuring fellow tall and "whacked with the ugly stick" Scot, Gordon Ramsay......amusing TV, but I sincerely hope our restaurant is nothing like that, and that the exprerience of this guest is a highly isolated case.

I do everything I can to find out what our guests are experiencing, from talking to guests directly to encouraging them to talk to our staff, leave comment cards, post reviews etc.... and we just don't see comments like this.

However, no reason to doubt the veracity of this review, and discussed with our new F&B manager, Mike Flowers (who we are VERY glad to have now, he is quite the restaurant legend here in Cayman, as owner of Lone Star Bar and Grill for many years).

Mike's thoughts on this review :
"I do not know what to say unless I could talk to them and assure them it is not our policy. If they would get in touch I would love to talk to them. We have had a special staff meeting and informed all that if this ever happens again we will find out who was so rude to guest and fire them. Totally unacceptable."

Suffice to say that reviews like this, isolated though they may be, can be used positively to focus staff on raising their game !
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
US
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2009

My wife and I just returned from our Grand Cayman trip on Saturday, Jan 10th. I trusted this website for reliable information regarding resorts in the past and usually I find most reviews fairly accurate. With that in mind, I wanted to provide some information regarding the REEF RESORT.

FYI, we are very, very, easy going travelers and understand that sometimes things may go wrong and the resort staff should be excused for some of these things.

Well, our first problem started with our arrival. My wife and I were very excited to stay at the REEF RESORT, but, unfortunately, our first contact was horrible. We entered the lobby and met with a Cayman woman by the name of Trishel Mclean. It seriously felt like we just entered a funeral home! She barely acknowledged us, and when she did, she was unbelievably unmotivated. My wife looked at me in disbelief and thought, "Oh God, what kind of place did we just walk in to?"

Again, I can understand people may be having a bad day, but an owner should be very concerned about who they have making the first (and most important) contact with their customers.

And this leads me to something very interesting I recognized over the course of the whole week we were there. EVERY, and I mean every contact we had with a Cayman employee, at the resort and elsewhere, left us shaking our heads. EVERY contact we had with a westerner, Canadian or European employee was absolutely wonderful. PLEASE don't read into this, I'm not a bigot, being completely objective. All Cayman resort employees were very rude and did not show any excitement whatsoever.

Whenever we had some form of bad service, the Caymans would be right there, either blaming us in some fashion, or making some incredible excuses for themselves or the resort. TOO many to list here.

As mentioned the Canadians and other "non caymans" were totally service oriented.

A few worth noting at the resort: COLIN (bartender at beach) Jake (head concierge) and Michelle. All were incredible and saved our overall assessment of the REEF RESORT. Obviously concerned about their own success and that of the resort, they were excellent in their positions.

Colin was vibrant and very friendly. Always smiling and willing to serve. Jake and Michelle were outgoing and energetic, getting people involved and making sure they were enjoying themselves. THE REEF needs more people like this.

Sorry for my thoughts, but the Caymans service lacked severely and could truly change the success of a resort or restaurant.

OUR thoughts on local restaurants:

"OVER THE EDGE": Not impressed. Terrible service and food was lacking.

"Portofino" Good food, good service, little overpriced.

"Calypso Bar and Grill" The best experience we had on the island. Wonderful service, great food and brilliant service.

"Kaibo Yacht Club" Very nice atmosphere but food was substandard. Service was lacking.

Food at REEF RESORT, overall, very disappointed. Furthermore, the BAREFOOT MAN. ?? Not what he's cracked up to be. Worst choice we made. Plus, Concierge told us we get one free drink with dinner. At the dinner table, the waitress, a Cayman, was very rude and said, "Oh, we don't do that anymore." When we repeated it a second time, hoping she would "GET THE IDEA," She said, "Sorry, we stopped doing that."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? We had to laugh.

Then the food. My wife complained about the salad and asked for something in return. Maybe some more bread or soup, my wife explained. BUT, the same waitress said, "EVERY ONE ELSE IS EATING IT AND THEY AREN'T HAVING A PROBLEM."

Unbelievable!

LET me say this to the REEF RESORT management...

You have a beautiful resort there. But, the only people concerned about the success are transplants from other countries! I've never been to a Caribbean island where the service was that terrible.

Maybe if you had more employees from Toronto, the UK and Ireland, my wife and I would have had a better time at the REEF RESORT....

Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank DRS28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gamela, None at Wyndham Reef Resort, responded to this review, 1 February 2009
I am not an owner or in any other way connected to Cayman Reef Resort but the review in question is not about Cayman Reef Resort but is about The Reef Resort at East End. Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg; Manitoba
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2009

The Reef Resort exceeded our expectations...5 wow's!! Unbelievable view! Friendly staff .Honorable mention to Michelle Ebony & Paul. The delightful messages on our phone every day. The cleanliness of our two room condo and the beach etc. The
great atmosphere at the outside bar and the wonderful live entertainment provided almost every single night! Thank you all for making this an unbelievable and unforgetable experience. The best restful vacation that we've EVER HAD!

  • Liked — Absolutely everything
  • Disliked — The energy and bed taxes
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DelightedDoris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2009

The Reef Resort delivered what we were looking for - a magnificent setting away from the crowds where we could spend quality time with the family (4 of us), even during "high season."

We booked an airfare + hotel package, which did NOT include the All-Inclusive Plan. When we inquired what it would cost to add the All-Inclusive Plan to our package, we were told $150 per person per day, which for us would come to $600/day. We spent maybe 1.5 times that amount on excursions plus food plus drinks during the entire week! Thanks to a wonderful grocery store down the street, a beer/liquor shop at the resort, & a full kitchen with plates, utensils, cookware, etc., we enjoyed eating breakfast, most lunches, & a couple of dinners in our spacious 1 BR suite (with 2 Murphy beds), often outside on our little deck with table & chairs overlooking the ocean.

One of the delightful highlights of our stay was being able to snorkel directly off the hotel's beach & along an extensive reef encircling the East End. Bring your own gear or rent it there ($10/day) if you're not on the Plan (otherwise it's free). You can also see many fish (tarpons, various tropicals, & maybe even Edgar the friendly baracuda) at 12 noon feeding time right off the dock. The staff provides bread to throw into the water as well as a tropical fish chart.

Perhaps the top highlight of our week was going on The Reef Resort's excursion to Stingray City, the one at the sandbar where you can stand up in the water. The staff arrange it for a time when other groups have left, so we had ample time to get up close & personal with the rays.

Relative to an earlier comment, we did not feel hassled to buy a timeshare. We chose to attend a brief, very low pressure meeting & were pretty much left alone after that. Overall, we found the staff to be very accommodating & friendly.

We rented a car for the last 3 days of our stay to drive to Georgetown for a Snuba adventure (very highly recommended if you don't dive), out to a restaurant, & to return to the airport (offsetting a costly taxi ride between the airport & the resort).

  • Liked — It's on the quiet East End of the island directly on the beach with accessible reef & water sports.
  • Disliked — Restaurant menu & theme dinners lacked distinction & variety.
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank venividi87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2009

Why is it that not a single review I've read about this place mentions the hounding by management to get you to look at their timeshare properties? In the front office, in the room, at the bar; messages on my phone in my room; everywhere--we're reminded that we can get a coupon or free gifts for sitting down for a chat and touring their timeshare property. The senior management asked us on several occasions about doing a tour, and we politely declined each time. I won't go into the amenities of the hotel as other reviewers have thoroughly covered it; needless to say, the Reef is a wonderful place and other reviews describe the property well.

Didn't anyone else who stayed there have this experience? Or do I somehow come off like a rich guy in desperate need to throw excess wads of cash around for timeshare?

This may sound finicky, but when I stay at a Hilton or a Marriott, I don't have to worry about being talked into a timeshare tour; why so then at The Reef? I'm paying top dollar to be left alone, on vacation! It was off-putting to the point that I would rather stay somewhere else next time.

  • Liked — Far away from 7-mile beach; very quiet
  • Disliked — Sales pitches for timeshare
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank dmenkes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Monica, CA
Level Contributor
239 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2008

The Reef was a wonderful, relaxing place for our family: Grandma, two adults, and two teenagers. December is a very busy time and there were families of all ages there. My 18 year old son had no trouble finding other young adults to snorkel and hang out with, my 15 year old daughter was very comfortable on the beach and at the pool, and my mother was completely happy with the pool, hot tub, and ocean front patio where she could be close to the action and out of the sun. We opted for the Simply All Inclusive plan because we find searching for restaurants for five people with different tastes stressful on vacation. In general, the meal plan was terrific. Please don't expect the service to be fast - you are on Island Time, after all. However, the bar staff are excellent and will fix you a fine island drink while you enjoy the amazing view of the sea and wait for your meal. I would recommend they do something different for breakfasts, though. Service then took too long and a light, quick meal of yogurt, fruit and coffee was not available. We found ourselves picking up a quick bite at the grocery store across the street and making coffee in our room. Otherwise, lunches and dinners were quite good and very filling. The drunken jerk chicken was wonderful. The resort was very clean. The staff at The Reef were wonderful - Jake Morgan, Conceirge, was delightful and very helpful. Our trip to Grand Cayman Island was exactly as we had hoped it would be thanks in large part to our experience at The Reef.

  • Liked — fabulous views of the Caribbean and friendly staff
  • Disliked — slow breakfasts that weren't very good
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Plumeria D
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

Property: 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 #1 of 1 Hotels in East End
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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