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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 10 May 2009

My husband and I just returned from a week long stay at Grand Cayman for our second anniversary. We booked the Reef based off of the reviews on this website, as well as the pictures posted. The Reef did not disappoint. We had booked a one bedroom condo as part of an internet special. The room was very large, clean, and pleasant with a bedroom, bathroom (with jacuzzi tub), full kitchen, dining room and living room area complete with a television, DVD player, and stereo. There was also an outside deck overlooking the water with a large table with four chairs, as well as a sun bathing chair. We LOVED our suite. It was so relaxing to be able to put a bottle of wine in the fridge, cook dinner, or lunch and have a wonderful meal on our deck.

As for the hotel grounds, the water was beautiful. Snorkeling was wonderful and we saw a huge variety of fish, and even an eel. The water is not as rocky as some have mentoned on this site, and we never found it necessary to wear pool shoes. There is also two lovely pools, one with a waterfall and volleyball net. On the grounds are also a volleyball net, tennis courts, and basketball courts and they will give you whatever equipment necessary without a fee.

Across from the resort grounds is a food store, liquor store, convenience store (flippers, sunglasses, pool floats, etc) and a DVD rental. In the area the restaurants are limited, but there was a FABULOUS restaurant we ate at on our anniversary, the Lighthouse. It was expensive, but wonderful.

One thing to mention...the island is extremely expensive. Being from NYC I didn't imagine prices would rival my area...I was WRONG. Consider getting a kitchen...breakfast one morning cost us $50 for french toast and sausage and eggs.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank twilight43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2009

We had a great time at the Reef this past April. The resort is at the far eastern end of the island, as far away from the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach as you can get. The resort is a beautiful, new facility. All the rooms face the ocean. Our room was clean and roomy. The staff was friendly, helpful, and I appreciated that they didn't push the timeshares (which are quarter-ownership there).

The Bar Restaurant is a great place to eat - outside on the beach with a great view of the surf. The prices are reasonable and the food was very good quality. There is also a polite little cat that may come and visit you. There is also a small Forster's Grocery store right across the street which can provide all the staples including fresh fruit, bread, and milk. The room had a toaster, microwave, sink, fridge, and some plates and utensils so we could make our own breakfast and such and eat on the balcony overlooking the ocean.

There was a very constant sea breeze coming from the east. This keep the beach and the room very comfortable even though the temperature was hot. I was worried that the wind would make the water too choppy for snorkeling, but the resort was true to its name and the off-shore reef kept the waters reasonably calm during our entire stay. There is good snorkeling to either side of the boat channel. To the left, there are large sea grass fields and rocky formations where we saw an octopus, lobster, lots of fish, and many conchs. To the right, in front of the boat pier, the bottom is a bit deeper and more open and filled with coral fans, lots of fish. On my last day I spotted a sea turtle and a squid. Its not the greatest snorkeling I've done in the world, but it keep my interested and satisfied for several days.

The beach is also a really interesting place to walk. Going north, the beach is still undeveloped, although there are signs of more building to come. The beach gives way to rocky shore of ancient coral beds as you go up to Collier Point. There the reef meets the shore and you can watch the ocean waves roll-in. Very relaxing. The sad part is all the flotsam and jetsam washed in from sea. There was enough plastic to choke a rookery of birds. My environmental plea - avoid plastic bags, when they get lose they get into the ocean and kill wildlife.

Since this resort is far away, you'll probably want to rent a car, although I could have stayed at the resort all week and not been bored.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Flying_Rog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2009

My husband and I just returned from our week long honeymoon at The Reef and did not want to come home. We based our decision to stay here on many of the review we read on this site and we were not disappointed. We stayed in the deluxe studio suite and found the room to be very nice and spacious. We spend a lot of time on our balcony that overlooked the beach and used the small kitchen to make many of our breakfasts and lunches to save a bit of money. All of the staff we encountered were very friendly and helpful. When we booked our stay we booked a romance package they were offering and received vouchers for a sunset kayak trip, a couples massage and a candlelit beach side dinner, these things just put our stay over the top.

During our stay we did several dives with Ocean Frontiers. They were fantastic and took us to many very cool dive sites ( on one we saw a hammerhead shark and a sea turtle!) You must see the stingrays while you are here. We did a stingray scuba dive through Ocean Frontiers and did the sandbar stingray city trip that the resort offers. Loved seeing the rays up close doing the dive, where else can you wear a "stingray sombrero"?!? The sandbar trip was also cool it was just a less up close and personal experience (20 or so people crowding around 3 stingrays). If you can, do the dive. On our trip we also went the turtle farm (very cool, you get to pet and take pictures with the little turtles, sooo cute!) and took a leisurely stroll through the botanic gardens to see the blue iguanas.

We ate more seafood on the trip than most people probably do in a year and most of it was really good, just be prepared to pay. Food is not cheap anywhere on the island. We found the food at The Reef to be 'alright'. The food offered at the bar was pretty good but the food at the restaurant was, in my opinion, overpriced for what you get, it wasn't bad just not worth $30 a plate. While there are not a whole lot of dinning options on the East End there are a few pretty good options. Over the Edge had really good fish, we ate there twice. If you love food do yourself a favor and make a reservation with Roland's Garden the moment you arrive. We lucked out and he had a cancellation so we were able to get in at the last moment, but it was honestly the most unique and delicious dinning experience I have ever had. There are no menus and he serves dinner in the garden of his house. You byob and just enjoy plate after plate of the most delicious food that he serves you. In the end you just pay whatever you think the dinner was worth. Seriously, go.

You must rent a car if you a planning on staying here. The Reef is a good 40 minutes from the airport but it is a very pretty drive. We spent one day on the west end of the island and were so glad that we choose to say on the East end. There were much fewer people, no traffic to contend with and it had the more traditional island feel that the overdeveloped seven mile beach area just did not. Yes you have to drive on the left side of the road but after the first day you really do get used to it. We were so glad we had the car to explore the whole island and not just be stuck at one location.

The Reef offered everything we were looking for for our honeymoon destination and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get away from it all for a few days. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank steph429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2009

My wife and I just returned from an April 28-May 5 stay at the Reef. Thanks to the Trip Advisor comments. You were all on the money, as usual. We stayed in a comfortable studio in this all-beachfront resort. The winds were pretty strong, as others attested until the fourth day of our trip. They subsided enough to allow snorkeling in front of the resort. If you do this, be sure and go by the docks at this resort and the Morrits next door. Saw numerous large tarpon under the Morrits dock.
The resort is 10 years old. While in a quiet area of the island, it is not isolated. The larger Morritts resort sits right next to it. We never went to the Reef's Pelican restaurant but ate at the bar several nights-you can get the restaurant menu there. We enjoyed the bartenders and decided to give them our business. The bar, outdoors, is centrally located. The bartenders are friendly, though stingy with alcohol in the drinks. I'm sure that's not their choice. Colin and Tony were our favorites, but the others were good, too. The staff, from housekeepers on up were all friendly and welcoming. The concierge people were knowledgeable and genuinely interested in our stay and making it the best possible.

Two incidents to single out. We had flight problems and got in after the Hertz rental office closed. They would do nothing to accomodate. The concierge,Jake, at the Reef called ahead and asked Marshall's car rental to stay open for us, which they did. We received the same price we were quoted at Hertz..
Secondly, my wife had a one inch piece of metal that looked like steel wool in her soup one night. The bartender, Colin, rushed it up to the restaurant and within minutes, Adeen, the assistant manager came down and apologized. She then bought us dessert drinks and comped both of our meals.
Those are two examples of customer service above and beyond the standard.
To keep from rambling, here is a summary of the good and the bad at the resort and Grand Cayman:
THE GOOD - RESORT
-Food was better than we expected from the comments of other Trip Advisor people
-Beach and pools were clean and equipment was very good (lounges, snorkel gear, etc.)
-Michelle and Jake were extremely knowledgeable concierges who will work diligently on your behalf.
-Gym/workout room was small but had very good equipment
-We attended a timeshare presentation that was the most low key and low pressure we have ever attended!
-The views! All balconies are about 75 feet from the Caribbean.
-It's quiet. Perfect for couples or adults who don't need to be "entertained" constantly.
-There are plenty of activities, or you can do as little as possible with no pressure.
-You don't need a car, though we had one. However, transport to and from the airport will be costly. Arrange it in advance through the concierges. Don't use the taxi!
-I don't think most families with children would choose this place, as it lacks the type of attractions that would appeal to them. View this as a negative if you are travelling with children.

THE BAD - THE RESORT
-It's a good 45 minutes from the airport and about an hour from Georgetown.
-The food and drinks are dreadfully expensive and the drinks all experience a severe shortage of alcohol
-The common areas are rather stark. There are some large open areas between floors and rooms that need some plants.

THE GOOD - GRAND CAYMAN
-No beggars! There appear to be plenty of jobs and the people were generally friendly, though they won't speak to you first.
-Plenty of restaurants. We ate at The Lighthouse and Over the Edge which have seating on the water. Food was quite good and there were numerous local dishes available. Not the usual burgers and patty melts.
-There is one main road ,which is wide and in good condition, on the island.
-Great snorkeling! We're not divers, but there seemed to be numerous companies taking people on dives
-Georgetown and 7 mile beach, while touristy, were clean and easy to navigate with adequate parking.
-Stingray City, while weird, was still a worthwhile venture. You hold , feed, and learn about these magnificent creatures on this trip. The crew was great and Michelle, the concierge, went along and served drinks and helped people with their gear. You can get this trip, on a Catamaran which will go under sail on the return, and a great snorkel trip (there's a Moray eel one of the crew gets out of its hiding place for all to see and get (sort of) close to. This trip is FREE if you attend the low pressure time share presentation. We were in and out in an hour.

GRAND CAYMAN - THE BAD

-Road signs and attractions are terribly marked!
- Prices of everything were high. I don't feel they were gouging so much as most everything needs to be imported.
-The island. It is not a beautiful place. It is flat with scrubby, uniinteresting vegetation. The attraction here is the weather and the water (and shopping, if you're into that).
-The Botanical Garden. It has beautiful plants, but hardly any are labeled, especially in the color garden! Bring a guidebook, I guess, or know your tropical plants and flowers well.
-The grouchy French lady who, unfortunately, waited on us at Over the Edge restaurant. Great food, but she spent her time smoozing with guests who she knew and treated us with disdain, at best. Service, with her, was dreadful! Wish I hadn't left her any tip!
-Large number of American owned mansions. They have gobbled up lots of pristine beachfront on the island for "homes" they hardly ever occupy! Not only that, they pay no property tax for these ostentatious dwellings! More proof that the wealthy prospered under the Bush tax cut schemes!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Harry187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2009

This is a tough one. I read all the reviews and did all the research before picking The Reef and, even though I am not a resort person, I thought from my research that this might be our kind of place: off the beaten path, 45 minutes from the main tourist hub, and sitting right on the beach. It IS all these things.

However, the weather conditions on the East End made it very difficult for me to enjoy the location. The wind was so strong on this beach for the entire week we were there. The waves were such that it made it unappealing to snorkel unless you are an experienced snorkeler who knows how to avoid getting salt water in your tube when the water current is strong. And, the beach leading into the water was extremely rocky and filled with seaweed, providing only a few tiny spots to enjoy a dip without scraping your feet and knees. In my opinion, these were not my preferred swimming conditions, and not even great for lying out or reading a book (though of course some people didn't seem to mind it).

No matter. I went to Grand Cayman to get my Open Water Certification (with Ocean Frontiers - also on the East End, hence my decision to stay nearby), so I wasn't too concerned about the beach the first few days of my stay. However, during my 3rd and 4th open water dives, I got so nauseous from the East End swells that I thought I wasn't going to make it. I couldn't face the thought of another day like that, so on my third day of diving we drove 45 minutes to Seven Mile Beach so I could dive without waves.

SEVEN MILE BEACH
Not only was the diving excellent on the West Bay, we couldn't get over the beach. There were hardly any people on it. We went to different parts of Seven Mile Beach (SMB) for the next few days and it was all the same: a smattering of people; beautiful, soft, white sand; still, aqua water with no rocks or seaweed. Yes, from the road it is all hotels and condos. Yes, it has that vaguely generic American-style look. But, once you are on the beach, it is wonderful. If I were to go back to Grand Cayman I would stay at the northern end of SMB.

ROOM + RESORT
Weather notwithstanding, The Reef Resort itself is exceptionally clean and our room felt new. The maid service was reliable and friendly. Our package included breakfast at the restaurant there and it was surprisingly tasty - pancakes, eggs, fruit, etc.

We had a 1BR apartment on the ground floor, which I highly recommend as the best value. We initially booked a Studio Suite, which was on the second floor and much smaller - just one room, no kitchen, with a jacuzzi tub in the middle . But when we saw the ground floor 1BR unit we immediately knew we wanted to change. It was really nice to open the sliding doors to our place and step out onto the beach and, since there aren't that many people, it felt somewhat private. Overall I would say that the proximity of the units to the ocean (something like 30 feet) is the real selling point of this resort. Even though the decor was not to my taste (cold tile floors to name one detail) , the living room was a comfortable place to hang out, and having a full, clean kitchen was a huge plus. Moreover, there are two, twin Murphy beds in the LR so if you are 4 people it could be a great value.

STINGRAY CITY
The Stingray City tour was fantastic. Definitely do it. The captain and his crew brought great energy and the Stingrays were amazing, making this the most unique experience we had on Grand Cayman.

FOOD
As noted by other reviewers, there are not a lot of options on the East End. Vivine's was the best - local, casual Caymanian cooking on a patio overlooking the ocean. They close at 8pm so get there early or go for lunch. Over The Edge was good and reasonably priced, but the quality was uneven (shrimp were succulent one night, overcooked the next). Portofino was expensive and had a more formal atmosphere, but the food was really good the night we were there. On SMB we ate at the Sunset Grill at the Sunset Suites three times on a tip from one of my dive instructors. voted best fish tacos and burgers on the island, it has a casual vibe and is reasonably priced. Hemingway's was excellent, though expensive as expected - beautiful, modern food, + service, similar to what you would find in New York. Also stopped by Chester's in Bodden Town for jerk chicken on a tip from the guy at the Marshall's car rental counter. We heard really good things about Roland's - the German guy who serves you in his house and you pay what you think it's worth - though we didn't have a chance to go.

Overall, I might recommend this hotel to a friend but with certain reservations.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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13  Thank Sarah_in_New_York
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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