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Wyndham Reef Resort
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All reviewsrum pointbeach baracross the streeteast end of the islandstingray cityfishtime shareliquor storeseven mile beachdeluxe studiorented a carwhite sands water sportsgrand caymancaptain chrisfull kitchenall inclusive optionall inclusive plan
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Reviewed 7 March 2009

If you want a quiet vacation with all of the comforts of home...this could be it! We have been to Grand Cayman 5 other times, always staying at the hotels (Westin, Ritz Carlton)or condos on Seven Mile Beach...had a great time...but wanted something quieter and more laid back. We found it here! Staying on the quiet "East End" is like staying on a different island than the Grand Cayman of Seven Mile Beach and that seen by cruise ship passengers.

All of the units face the water and are about 50 to 100 feet away. In our experience, very unusual! The staff is helpful, the units are quite modern, very clean, and the water sports are right outside your door. Tips: There are only 3 or 4 rewstaurants on this aprt of the island, so either plan to dreive about 45 minutes to town, or pick up food at Fosters (near the arieport or in Savannah...on the road from the airport.) There is also a small Foster's market & The English bakery across from The Reef, but quite limited selection.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank joel r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2009

The Reef lived up to the tripadvisor comments. Briefly,
#1- The resort is very clean and the room is comfortable.
#2- The staff is attentive and helpful.
#3- The resort is located on the tranquil East End, so there is not "activity" close by.

The week we stayed (2/23-2/28), the weather was extremely windy. We sought refuge by going to Rum Point, a 20+ minute drive away, and blocking the wind with shrubery!! The water was churning, so the snorkeling was not good. We didn't even get in the beautiful water at the resort because of the wind and choppy waters. We drove into Georgetown and Seven Mile Beach one day, but the town is very busy with cruise ships and the drive took 45 minutes. We enjoyed the Kaibo area & Rum Point--"busier than The Reef, but still secluded as compared to the west side of the island. We enjoyed the food at Portofino's and Over the Edge, both within a 10 minute drive of the The Reef. We also enjoyed eating at The Reef's bar and drinking Tony's FABULOUS concoctions. (Try "Tony's Martini" with honey, grapes, oranges and white zin! YUMMY!) If we decide to go back to Grand Cayman, we would stay at The Reef again...or maybe head to the Kaibo area where you can find lots of rental houses and villas.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank luvthesun02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2009

We were oh so close to booking a "brand" resort on 7-mile beach but Trip Advisor reviews of The Reef caused us to 2nd-guess that approach. We ended up booking the room through Hotels.com and stayed 3 nights over Valentine's/Presidents weekend 2009.

We had been a little spooked by a few reviews that were kind of harsh on the front desk and wait/cook staff but we are pretty easy-going folks and would never complain about firmness of tomatoes, especially in the middle of the winter! So, after a beautiful drive from the airport (about 30-40 minutes), we arrived at The Reef eager to unpack and unwind.

Check-in was fine - we were checked in (around 2pm) and given directions to our room (wouldn't expect much more or much less). We found our condo and the entire building to be impeccably clean and flawlessly assembled. I am a commercial contractor so I can't help but look a place over to see what details were missed or poorly crafted. Not the case at the Reef - every tile was perfectly laid, every wall un-marred, every appliance and accessory was of top-quality. The beds were very comfortable, even the Murphy beds (I snore occassionaly and was banished one evening to the living room). Everything you could need was in the kitchen, including a blender for afternoon cocktails on your balcony. Speaking of the balcony, it would be the only thing that I could take issue with regarding the resort - each pair of condos share a balcony. There is a small partition wall that keeps you from seeing your neighbor once seated, but I just wouldn't have picked out that design. The condos are designed with a door that connects two units for bigger families, but I would guess that the vast majority are used by themselves.

You quickly get over that little quirk once you start looking out over the beach, perfect water, and barrier reef that provides a soothing soundtrack of crashing waves around the clock. Also of note is the fact that the sliding doors open almost the entire width of the condo to bring the carribean right inside your living room! We stayed in a 1BR Suite which seemed much better than the smaller hotel-style rooms which had no separate living area. You also might wish to consider requesting a 1st floor room, as you can walk right out on to the beach rather than having to go ALL the way down 1 flight of stairs!

We first ate at the beach bar, and I must say that it was probably the best "pub fare" I've ever had. The mahi-mahi was great however you got it - blackened on a sandwich, grilled on a salad, or our favorite - fish and chips. A tad pricy if you compare it to lunch at a bar in the US (we averaged about CI$45 including alcohol) but most bars don't have the view that you get at The Reef! We went across the street to the grocery store and got coffee, fruit, and some baked goods to enjoy for breakfast on our balcony each morning, so I can't comment on the restaurant's breakfast menu. We did go up to the on-site "upscale" restaurant for Valentine's dinner - it was a price-fixed 3-course menu and included a bottle of champagne (which they happily substituded w/comparably priced wine for us) for CI $89. My wife loved her lobster tail, I thought my steak was good, not great. Unfortunately I have had some REALLY good steaks over the past few months and was a little luke-warm on this one but wouldn't consider it a problem. My guess is that they're regular menu is usually better than the limited options that the price-fixed provides.

Up until this point we had spent our time lounging on the beach enjoying the breeze off of the water. It may seem windy but it felt great and might have been a touch too hot without it! The resort was well-spaced out and completely un-crowded. I don't know if it was running at capacity but we never had anyone within 40' of us on the beach. There were some families with younger kids there but it seemed like they mostly were in the first building closest to the main lobby - I don't know if that was by design or not but where we stayed (the last building) it was quite peaceful! We spent Sunday morning doing the "Resort Course" SCUBA instruction/dive with Ocean Frontiers. We had never been diving before, only snorkeling. I would put it up there with any of the coolest life experiences I've ever had!! (So, I would highly reccommend it!).

We dined at The Lighthouse on Sunday night (about 20 minute drive from the resort) and found it to be one of the many highlights of our trip. The maitre'd was well-versed and treated us as if we were one of their most important guests, even though we arrived a little late in the evening and without reservations. We enjoyed a fabulous Bordeaux, a vegetarian Indian dish, and a seafood pasta special that was out-of-this-world-delicious. We were stuffed but ordered the beignets "for two". They must have meant two families because there were seven softball-sized pastries in the dish, with a strawberry/vanilla mouse drizzle to accompany them. Needless to say we took 5-1/2 back for breakfast on our balcony!

So, if you read all of that you can gather that we would suggest staying at The Reef. I would also suggest that if you want to have drinks in your suite that you purchase them duty-free at the airport prior to arrival. A pint of Cayman rum at the on-site liquor store was CI $10 that made one pitcher of pina coladas. A case of beer? CI $48. But remember that you are on vacation in one of the premier destinations in the Western Hemisphere and hopefully that will make little premiums like that easier to swallow.

Don't forget to try the fish and chips!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank sunsnowdiveskicycle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2009

Our vacation at the Reef Resort was quiet, relaxing and we definitely enjoyed it. When we got there, it was quite windy. We were told it wasn't normally that windy, however the wind pretty much kept up our entire stay. Our check-in was quick and painless. We were heading to our room in less than ten minutes from walking in the door.
The Reef offers plenty of activities and services. We opted for the all-inclusive plan and were pleased we did. The food we had was good, however the service operated on 'island time' which meant our meals usually lasted longer than we are used to. It didn't bother us seeing as we were on vacation. My husband loved the tuna carpaccio and had it practically every day, sometimes even twice a day. The wait staff were friendly and were willing to accomodate any special requests. For us the all-inclusive plan was good because we didn't have a car to get around to other restaurants in the area and also we didn't have to worry about meals - where to go etc. I saw in the main lobby they have put together a book of restaurants and their menus for people who choose to leave the resort for their meals.
The activities director was great. She was helpful and let us know about things we weren't too sure about, such as free bicycle rental. I think because we were all-inclusive we got free bike rentals. She also let us know which way to go and what to expect either way. The week we went it was Mardi Gras in Kaibo and she arranged a shuttle for guests without cars. She definitely made our vacation a little more special. I'm terrible at remembering names, it was Lauren (I think). I would definitely recommend talking to her about ideas of what to do on your vacation. If you don't have a car, you can make transportation arrangements with her or any of the other friendly staff at the concierge. The only thing is make reservations the day ahead for shuttle services because being out of the way at the east end makes it a bit difficult for drivers to adjust their schedules accordingly.
The White Sands water sport rental agency right on the property are definitely worth checking out. They offer dive propulsion tours (which I highly recommend!). The wind did affect a couple activities we had planned for our vacation. The day before we left I had asked about doing a dive propulsion tour and my request was denied due to high winds and strong currents. Which made me glad they were concerned for the safety of the guests and were not just looking to make a quick buck whenever they can. The morning of our departure I approached them again and was able to take the tour early in the morning. They were very flexible with their schedule which I tremendously appreciated. Once again I'm terrible at remembering names, but I can say they offer great service and would definitely recommend checking them out.
For us, it was definitely worth going to the time share presentation. In exchange we received free Stingray city tickets. Our presentation was low key and friendly. It lasted only about 40 minutes and it was early in the morning which left the rest of day.
The only thing I had issue with is the fact the hotel rooms looked like any other you'd find in the States. It didn't have a true island feel, only when you looked out the huge glass doors at the ocean did you remember where you were. Other than that, the room is clean and comfortable. We had a ground floor studio which suited our needs perfectly seeing as we didn't spend much time in the room itself. I loved being able to sit on the porch and watch the waves crash way out on the reef. The sunrises are spectacular. If you are able to get up early, it is definitely worth sitting outside your room watching the sun rise. Overall, our vacation at the Reef Resort was worth it, we definitely have some great memories of our time in Grand Cayman.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank CanadianInNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2009

We stayed at the Reef a couple of months ago and I am finally getting around to writing a review.
Much has been written about the resort being a good 45/50 minute drive to town so I think it is a must to rent a car.
The Positives:
The resort is quite small and quiet,
We had a ground floor two bedroom villa. The room was at the far end of the resort which made it even more quiet/private.
A full kitchen made our trip alot better than a standard hotel room vacation. We allways had food in the fridge to cook for a snack as well as frosted glasses in the freezer.
We saved loads (and I mean loads) of money on beer and wine that we purchased at a liquor store near the airport.
My suggestion would be to buy any alchohol from the duty free shop from where you are departing as the prices on the island are quite steep.
Our patio was less than ten steps to the private beach. Absolutely Amazing. The view from our room/patio was sand, palm trees and water. That was all.
The grounds were a little sparce but perfectly maintained. There were a few workmen sanding the beach clean at all times.
There were many fish right off the beach and the snorkeling was great so I will repeat what was written before: Bring Snorkrling Gear!
The pools were small but beutiful.
We were unfortunately there for Hurricane Paloma. Both my girlfried and I were amazed at the number of workers they had brought in after the hurricane to clean the resort. By late afternoon the next day you would be hard pressed to find evidence that a pretty serious hurricane had passed through the night before.
This speaks volumes to the proffesionalism,dedication and care that the staff possess towards their resort.
The villa was absolutely spottless when we checked in. The house cleaners cleared the room of all garbage and brought fresh towels every morning and cleaned the entire two rooms from top to bottom at the end of the first week.
Negatives.
We were not crazy about the room decore. However that was just our opinion.
The food at the resort was by far our least favorite on the island.
The bar was a little drab. A nice lounge would have really helped for those times you wanted to relax outside your room or beach with a drink. The bar in my opinion just did not cut it.
The island:
We did some tourist things.
Rum point was nice but defidently ask the hotel when the cruise ships are NOT in and go then. We were there during both times and the difference between the two was huge. When the ships were in it was very crouded and tough to find a lounge chair.
Swimming with the sting rays was amazing. Book that trip with the Reef Resort as they do a really nice job of it.
There are alot of nice restaurants to choose from. Expect to pay about $175 on average for a meal. That typically included appetizers,entrees and drinks.
Restaurants we whent to:
Light house: Good and pretty close
Portofinos: Very good as well as close
Lobster pot: Very good in Georgtown
Luca: Absolutely amazing in Seven Mile Beach
Caibo Fun bar near Rum Point. Get the curried grouper!!!
Vivians Kitchen: Home cooked meals, close and inexpensive
Rolands Garden: The best of all. Have the resort make reservations for you. Roland is a well known chef on the island who has a few tables set up in a secluded area in front of his house. He will "spoil" you by bringing out several appetizers, entrees and desert.Think upscale catered picnic. The Garden is BYO so plan ahead. At the end of the meal you will not be given a bill. The amount you pay is up to your discretion. We were told by a worker at the resort that $50.00 apiece was the norm. But considering the cost of the other restaurants on the island coupled with the experience I would say at le $75.00 apiece is adequate (again, just my opinion). Rolands Garden was a highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank msonnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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