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“Great Resort”

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Wyndham Reef Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in East End
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 April 2006

We stayed at the Reef in November 2006. Since we had not been to Grand Cayman before and could not compare it to pre-hurricane standards, we thought it was a beautiful island. The Reef Resort was wonderful. Great service and excellent accomodations. Our one bedroom condo was absolutely spotless and nicely decorated. All the staff we encountered were very nice and helpful. It is in a very quiet part of the island, so if you're looking for hustle and bustle, it probably is not the place for you. The night we ate at the resort's restaurant was the best meal we had during our vacation and the Barefootman was great! We had a great trip and recommended it to others on our return. Stingray City was also a great day trip...probably the highlight of our trip.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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9  Thank OtisClark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,623 - 1,629 of 1,705 reviews

Reviewed 24 March 2006

From the first moment we stepped inside the lobby and were greeted by the smiling attendant at the check-in desk, I knew we were in for the vacation we'd been dreaming of. Our one bedroom suite was immaculate and spacious and tastefully appointed. The kitchen was stocked with all the items you could possibly need. All the units at this resort face the sea and the view from our balcony was to die for. We did not have to worry about finding a chair on the beach as they are plentiful. The two pools and the hottub were also well cared for. I am not a strong swimmer and had absolutely no trouble snorkeling right at the Reef's beach. It was excellant right under thier own dock. On Tuesday's and Thursday, they have Cayman's answer to Jimmy Buffet, the Barefoot Man. We took in the Tuesday dinner show and had a blast. We had dinner at the Reef's own restaurant twice and enjoyed it both times. We also dined at two local restaurants, the Lighthouse and Portofino's, which were very good. They also have a full service beach bar, Castro's Hideaway, which can serve you your favorite cocktail or a nice selection of food. If you go to Grand Cayman and You want a stress free vacation, with just the right amount of activities, this is the place to go. We liked it so much, we are already booked for next year!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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10  Thank ajtux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2006

My family was very disappointed in the Reef from start to finish. In fact 2 days after arrival, we checked out and went to the other side of the island. Although our stay at the Reef Resort was pre-paid, I could not help but take the loss, and move on.

The beach is not family-friendly, as it is located on the north side, where winds are very strong. The water is full of coral, so casual swimming is almost impossible. I supposed if you are a world class diver or snorkeler the beach would be fitting.
The service was worse than anything I have ever experienced.

We were asking the consierge many questions to help us plan out our trip - he was CLUELESS! Everything we asked as responded with, I don't know. And... while I was in lobby speaking with him, Castro the bird, came and "had an accident" on the chair that I was sitting in. It literally took half an hour for someone to come clean it up.

Activities are few and far between, and you really have to drive very far to get to anything.

Restaurants were weak at best. And, if you didn't like the food at the the hotel, there were only 2 or 3 other restaurants within a 20 minute drive that you could choose from.

Overall, this place was a flush...never again! The only good thing I can say, is that the rooms were spacious, clean, and updated.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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24  Thank whatdoidoCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 16 March 2006

I am disappointed to note that this guest has felt it necessary to post such a scathing review.

I spent time talking with the guest, their travel agent and the tour operator, and the bottom line was that the guest simply wanted to be in the busier area of Seven Mile Beach, not in our tranquil location.

Never once did the guest negatively comment to me on service, quality of the resort or our beachfront suites, but they were not happy with our location or the unusually windy weather that week.

Unfortunately there was nothing I can do about the weird weather we had that week, but as for location, we are very happy with our tranquil and quiet location and we make it abundantly clear in all of our marketing that we 23 miles from the airport, and in the opposite direction of Seven Mile Beach.

Potential guests of The Reef can therefore take from this negative review and my response that it is important to be clear about what type of vacation you wish to have, and where that will be located... before you decide :)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2006

My wife and I just returned from a week at the Reef. We were very pleased with the resort, would recommend it and would likely return. It may not be for everybody, but it depends what you want.
We were looking for a quiet, boutique-size, beachfront hotel, and the Reef was exactly what we hoped for. The East end is very quiet, so if you're looking for nightlife and choice of restaurants it's not that.
The beach is gorgeous, and they rake it every morning. Lots of beach chairs, never crowded and the water is great for snorkelling right there. You will never get tired of the view from the balconies. It is quite windy on the East side (although I am an avid windsurfer, so for me this was good), but be aware of that.
What really struck me was the cleanliness and newness of the room, (the ironic upside of post-hurricane construction). The bathroom was spotless, the fixtures new, and I only wish my tiles and grout were as clean at home. The Reef seems to have done a great job in reconstruction, whereas the resort next door is still rebuilding. Something to do with timing of insurance money I'm told. We made our breakfast and lunch in the room (Studio). We drove a couple of nights to Georgetown for different restaurants, our favourite was Pappagallos's. The restaurant at the Reef is average, and we ended up eating more at the beach-bar with post-happy hour burgers or sandwichs. Barefoot man is worth seeing one night over dinner. We did the stingray trip with Ecoventures, it was a lot of fun and unique, and they do a good job (small boat, good gear, and they plan around the cruiseship visits, etc..)All in all, we were really happy with the Reef, and we were glad we booked there. Although it's in all the reviews, it is still amazing the destruction that Huricane Ivan did, and apart from the hotels, the island really has not fully recovered.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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12  Thank Toronto03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2006

I don't want you to read this because I want The Reef and the East End to stay the way they are, and hoards of people heading out there won't help.......

Wow, full moon over the ocean, nibbling on a Black and Blue (blacken mahi mahi with bleu cheese) sipping a gin and tonic...............

That was my first two hours at the Reef, it only got better my friend.

Breezed through check in, requested a second floor (who needs all the foot traffic?) and got it. Huge studio, meticulously clean. And when they say ocean front, believe it.

Oh sure, the Reef is a 40 - 45 minutes drive from Andy's, but what a stunning drive it is. And if you are looking to get away, the East End may well as be on a different island than SMB. Looking to kick back, walk along an endless beach, have some great nibbles and drinks at a beach side bar, be served by a great, hard working staff........this is the place. And if you need to be in touch The Thirsty Surfer has the Internet at a reasonable rate. They also have soda, booze, sundries, bread, eggs, mild, packed lunch meat, can goods.....enough to keep you going.

People have said "oh I'll get hit with the sales pitch", NEVER happened.

This place is great! Get here to get away.

Don't miss the Lighthouse Restaurant.This place is all it is cracked up to be. Understated elegance; polished, yet unobtrusive service; succulent food with wonderful presentation.

Dinner for one, was shown to the "outside" area overlooking the water. Had no reservation, but was a little early at 6:15. They got me in, great table. Professional staff.

Started with tuna tataka. Essentially sashimi with wasabi....wonderful.

Entree was mixed grill. Mahi mahi, lobster, shrimp, julienne of veggies done to perfection, garlic smashed potatoes......beautiful!

Kaluha cheesecake and coffee for desert.

75 USD including tip.

This place is where it is at, and the fact it is removed from SMB makes all the more special.

Go, just GO!

And if you are looking for a great East End dive operation go to Ocean Frontiers. If you want to get away from it all go East my friend. Once you are there, dive with Ocean Frontiers. Drop off your gear on the first dive, and it is served up fresh and dry for the remainder of your dives….I could get used to that. Great people, Kaz, Sean, Gary, Karen, Louise, Frasier. Fast boats with 8 – 10 divers. Guided or unguided; keep the computer out of DECO, have enough air for a safety stop and life is good. Depending on the wind (YES IT IS WINDY ON THE EAST END) you’ll dive the North Wall, or the South. And if you have the sea legs, you’ll get out every day. Great operation, worthy of all the praise they get.


Here is the briefest of summaries of the dives, only “Black Rock Drop Off” was on the North Wall.


Black Rock Drop Off 99 feet, 35 minutes, 77 min. temp

Grouper Grotto 51feet, 45 minutes, 76 min temp

Lots of good swim throughs

Crusher Wall (drift) 88 feet, 36 minutes, 77 min temp

Long (1 ½ mile?) drift dive, very nice

Big House 55 feet, 51 minutes, 74 min. temp

Big crab, ray, couple nice swim throughs

Crusher Wall 97 feet, 38 minutes, 76 min. temp

Awesome, dark swim through, exit at 92

Maggie’s Maze 56 feet, 56 minutes, 71 min. temp

Quite a few lobster, ray

Sunset Bay (night) 22 feet 50 minutes, 74 min temp

Couple small iridescent blue octopi, turtle, rays

Lost Valley 99 feet, 40 minutes, 77 min temp

Great swim through, exit wall at 95, bottom is 6000.
Some current, 6 foot nurse shark, moray

Little House 54 feet, 55 minutes, 77 min temp

Rough seas, turtle, ray

So don't go......

  • Stayed: February 2006
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19  Thank ScubaWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2006

We stayed at the Reef Resort from 1/30 to 2/3. I just read the review from the NY person that was there the prior week to us. They had heavy winds and we had a nice breeze. Indeed, we had amazing weather.

The Reef Resort was indeed a beautiful resort. We got our room for only $130 on some special that Expedia was running at the time. I'm not sure if others also stayed at such a rate, but Orbitz and Travelocity were running about $230 for the same room, so I at least think we got a good deal.

The beach is very good. There is snorkeling right off the beach. Unlike prior reviews that mention seeing turtle and rays, I didn't see those. Hurricane Ivan ripped out Morrit's pier and this was a major attraction. RR built their own, and it is attracting quite some fish. bottom line: great clarity, many fish, but not great coral and the like. For that, i drove out to Eden's Rock and Cemetery Reef, which had great fish and great clarity.

I would say that much of the beach entrance in the area has grass. The reef resort clearly did away with some of the grass, but there's still grass in the water before the beach. Also, the beach entrance is somewhat rocky. Again, this is not to say it is not a truly great beach, because it is, but I just want to point those things out.

The room was terrific. Unfortunatly, our balcony was one of the few in which the divider between our balcony and the next balcony was not up. When a family with young kids moved next door, we asked the front desk to take care of the problem (twice), and twice they said they would but they did not and we got no other response. That is literally my one and only complaint, and I want to make clear that it was no big deal. It was still a great balcony with a terrific view of the ocean.

We rented a car from Avis, which was totally great. The little car had a nice kick to it and the Avis people happened to be the friendlist I met on the Island (which is full of friendly people).

We ate at the RR twice. Once a buffet which was good, and once for Barefoot Man, which was nice, but certainly NOT a can't miss.

We also ate at the Reef Grille, by the Royal Palms, which was beyond amazing. Worth the price. Compared to any top meal I've had elsewhere. The next night we ate at the Lighthouse, which was also great.

We heard from two people that the Coyaba grille (or something with Coyaba) was the best, but we never made it there.

Food prices are indeed very high, but after going to the grocery store, I understood why restaurants had to charge so much.

Our one lunch that we didn't make for ourselves was at Coconut Joe's, which was reasonably priced and well worth the money.

Bottom line: great trip to Grand Cayman. The Reef Resort was all it was advertised to be. A beautiful place, far from the hustle of Georgetown and 7MB. The Concierge was super helpful. Very good place. Will be even nicer when they finish renovating the last building and when Morrits finishes their construction (neither of which bothered us, but I'm just saying it'll be even nicer).

  • Stayed: January 2006
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19  Thank Klockner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
New York, NY
Reviewed 31 January 2006

I am a veteran on TripAdvisor, so I'm known for my lengthy and detailed reviews. This one will be no exception.

Five of us visited Cayman Islands for 5 days, 1/26/06 - 1/30/06. We rented a car from Andy's, which is right across the street from the airport. For 5 days, we paid about $220USD for a mid-sized car that fit all of us and our luggages. It was a Nissan Sentra and this car was extremely fuel efficient that we only had to add gas on the last day of our trip. The drive from the airport was about a good hour or so, and we were going around 60-70mph (which is WAY past their speed limit of 25-30km per hour, and 50km per hour in certain parts.) So if you follow their speed, it may take even longer. The good thing about the Cayman Islands is that there is essentially only one big road and you can't get lost, even if you tried.

We arrived right when a norwester was passing - which meant extremely strong winds and basically nothing to do. We were extremely disappointed, as you can imagine. Arriving at around 5PM at The Reef, we checked in and went to the beach bar. It was extremely windy and I was afraid that our food would be blown away. We ordered chicken wings, cocktail shrimp, fish & chips and conch fritters. It was definitely good food, but pricey. We paid about $90USD for all that and a few beers. When you order food, you must keep in mind that unless it says otherwise, everything is quoted in Cayman Island dollars ($1.25CI = $1USD).

My boyfriend and I had a studio while our three friends had a one bedroom. These rooms are huge, gorgeous and exactly like the pictures shown on the website. One negative thing was that prior to our arrival, I had e-mailed the resort asking for connecting rooms on the first floor. I was told that final room assignments would not be done until a week prior to our arrival. So the week before we arrived, I emailed AND called the resort... we had been placed on the second floor. I insisted that we were to be on the first floor (what is the point of being at a beachfront hotel if you could not walk out of your room onto the beach?). Arriving at the front desk, we were told that if we wanted to stay near each other and on the first floor, we'd have to be moved two days later to different rooms. Or we had the option of not being close together and not having to move. We took the later option. I thought that this issue had been resolved prior to us arriving but apparently not. Also, we were placed in 112B, which is the last room on the property, right next to Morritt's, which is still doing some heavy duty construction. Our friends, on the other hand, were in 106A, which was a perfect location.

Our studio had a microwave, a toaster, a coffeemaker and a good sized small refrigerator. There were dishes and utensils for two people. There is a jacuzzi tub in the middle of the room, as well as a separate shower. The TV was a little small for our tastes and there were also channels that didn't carry sound. We're not sure if this was just the way it is normally or it was because the winds were very strong.

The East End being extremely windy is definitely true. The winds DO NOT STOP. For the first three days that we were there, we were basically held hostage in our rooms because it was too windy and too cloudy to even go outside. There were times when we'd step into the hot tub, but it was far and few.

We went to Georgetown twice. Parking is a headache and driving around on the streets is a headache. Some streets don't state clearly whether it's a one way or a two way or how many lanes there are. It is extremely confusing, especially with all the cruiseship passengers milling about. Personally, I did not find Georgetown all that great and am extremely glad that we did not stay by that area or the Seven Mile Beach area. The beach is not all that impressive and I frankly think that the Reef Resort's beach is just as comparable, if not better because it is less crowded. The one perk about the Seven Mile Beach area is that it is less windy than the East End. Our friends had wanted to stay at the Marriot, which is on SMB, but later was glad that we insisted on the Reef because the Marriot was not on the beach and it was also covered in what I can only assume as Hurricane Ivan's aftermath.

We visited Hell, which is a little creepy to see, but nonetheless something that a tourist should see. It doesn't cost any money to go there so why not? It is very out of the way, so if you don't have a car, it might be hard to get to. I suggest taking along a detailed map of the island whenever you're driving because that definitely helped us navigate.

We tried eating at the Lighthouse, which we thought was a GREAT disappointment... especially since we spent about $60USD per person. The food was mediocre at best... perhaps this is because we've travelled so much and also because we're from NY, but we expected a lot more from something so famous and so legendary.

One restaurant we definitely recommend is Over the Edge Cafe, which is on the way to Rum Point. Great food at unbeatable prices. Try the steamed snapper, delicious!

The resort had happy hours from 5-7PM, but on windier days, they would hold it indoors. One thing I have to say is that we were on the islands because we wanted to stay outdoors, so two of us went to the indoor bar and ordered some food and took some of the free wings they had provided. The bartender was extremely nice (unfortunately I do not remember her name) -- she gave us recommendations on where to visit and what to eat. We were given styrofoam boxes so that we could bring the food back to our room, but after putting a few wings into the box, one of the cooks/staff members closed the box and said to the bartender "Let them know there's a limit" which I thought was extremely rude and uncalled for. There were obviously no one else there that would be eating the food, and we didn't even take that much. Besides, we have 5 people. Frankly, I wasn't present when the situation happened, or I would've given him a piece of my mind. It's bad enough that we were held hostage at the hotel due to the trade winds being so strong, but to be ridiculed and embarassed by one of the staff members at the resort was definitely adding salt to an open wound. I had read reviews that the staff were extremely accomodating and friendly, but this one person's actions were definitely uncalled for.

On the other hand, Horatio, who I believe is one of the concierges, helped us in finding a boat that would go out on Sunday for the Stingray City snorkeling tour. On Sundays, commercial companies such as Red Sail Sports and Ecoventures are not allowed to go out to Stingray City and only private tours or the locals can go out there. We went with Captain Marvin's Watersports and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Definitely ask for Chester! The Stingray City snorkeling trip cost $40USD per person and it was about a 3 hour tour, which was extremely worth it for us. We got to snorkel at two different locations and also play wtih the stingrays at the sandbar. A definite MUST DO at the Cayman Islands!!

Rum Point is beautiful and it's only a 20-30 minute drive from Reef. There are a lot of watersports you can do there with Red Sail Sports.

ALSO, if you want to jetski, go over to Morritt's, where Red Sail Sports has a tent on the beach. They offer jetskis for $65USD/half hour.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay at the Reef (except for the chicken wing incident). Would definitely come back here (but would never participate in any of the activities nor eat within Reef).

  • Stayed: January 2006
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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: £176 - £497 (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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