Sayed from December 25 - January 2, 2010. Third trip to the Reef. Always amazing!
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
I thought the Reef was a neat east end place to stay. Some specifics:
In terms of location. I thought the East end was ideal. It is away from the busy west side of the island, so it is more quiet. It is about a 40 minute drive from seven mile beach, but it is not a hard drive. If you want to go to seven mile beach area, would plan on leaving early and spending the whole day in the area (couple it with a trip to georgetown, turtlefarm, hell or whatever else you want to do on that end).
Things to do close by: would recommend mastic trail (did with guide Stuart Mailer w/ national trust), snorkeling, diving (east end is less crowded--liked Ocean Frontiers a great deal), sting ray city is not to be missed, went to rum point but found that crowded and less interesting. The resort can book activities for you. They will offer free events with time share pitch, but no one pressured us when we said no. I thought the concierge service was excellent. Went to barefoot man, which is mostly calypso style music--it is from 7 till 10 pm and was too exhausted from the day to really enjoy it.
Eating: The resort food is ok. Ate mostly at beach bar, where service was mostly good but spotty on occasion. Since I was with family would order Pizza and bring back for ease. Favorite place to eat was Over the Edge on the north side (no frills, great food). Portofinos and the lighthouse were also good, and all within a twenty minute drive.
Staff: Very friendly. The main negative I found was that you can charge events and meals to your room. We all had charges that were not ours added, the staff did remove most without hastle--but there is still one charge that we noticed later and are still trying to correct. I would make sure you carefully inspect your bill prior to leaving. I wish they would tighten up the process of charging to your room.
Some specific comments
Snorkeling: Yes there is ocean is rocky at entry in front. It is the East end and some days the surf may be prohibitive (drive to seven mile beach or rum point those days), but for the most part the snorkeling was excellent. When looking at the pier you can snorkel the left or right side. On the left, there is a sandy entry immediately in front of the pool between the second and third building. I entered here, and swam out about 20 yards. There is a coral/rock wall that runs parallel to shore all the way to the pier. I followed this along. Here I saw tropical fish, sting rays, baracudda, lobster, tarpon. Just be careful if the surf is strong, it could push you on top of the coral. On the right side, I entered by the pier and swam towards Morritts. Here I swam through a school of tarpon, saw a bunch of lobster, tons of tropical fish. Just exit the way you came in by the pier because the beach is rocky and you do not want to exit on the rocky shore.
The rooms were clean, the maid service was reliable.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay, and would go back without reservation
We stayed from Dec 12 - 18th. Best vacation we ever took. The resort is great. We stayed in a Studio, next time we will upgrade to the one bedroom. Although we loved waking up to the ocean view, the more room and larger kitchen would be great. Food was wonderful, staff was great. Colin, aka 'Chatty Cathy' from what we were told, and the other bartenders were so friendly and hard working. Wish i could remember all their names. Saw The Barefoot Man, one show everyone should see. It was hilarious. We rented a car for just a day, and that was enough to look around the island, run to Georgetown, shop. Other than that we stayed at the resort and soaked up the sun and relaxed. Didn't stomp on the Blackberry though. The resort is very quiet. Perfect place to unwind and just be. Already planning on returning.
Our trip to Grand Cayman started out with a speeding ticket for going 15mph over the limit and $125.00 fine. It seems most rental cars are white and have identifying tags which makes them targets by the police. Saw plenty of different color cars speeding but not getting stopped. Stayed at the Reef Resort and thought it was very nice. We had a studio room with kitchenette but I would recommend a one bedroom as there was much more room. The maid service was lacking as all it seemed they did was empty trash, give new towels and make the bed but all service was performed late in the afternoon and once not at all. A tip envelope was left but I didn't feel that one was deserved. All rooms are oceanfront which is wonderful but water was really rocky and full of sea grass. I love to swim in the ocean so this was disappointing for me. The food in the restaurant was good but the service was very slow and heaven help you if you asked for dessert. It took way to long to get just plain ice cream. The bar staff was excellent. Although I looked for a place that was away from Georgetown/seven mile beach area this was really too far out. It would take at least 45 minutes to get to town and there were no other restaurants close by.
We had been in the Grand Cayman airport once before on our way to Cayman Brac many years ago. It was small and dirty then and that hasn't changed. We rented a car and just a warning I believe all rental cars are white and therefore the police know who the tourists are. Our first day there we got a ticket for 15 miles over the speed limit and it was $125.00. I really think that the officer was upset that we didn't realize she was behind us until she turned on the siren. We were perhaps lax as we were driving on the opposite side of the road and I believe that was the real reason for the ticket.
Our stay was at The Reefs at Collier Bay. It is nice but it is quite a distance from almost everything. Our stuThe Reefs at Collier Baydio room was sufficient but I would definitely get a one bedroom if I were to go back. Every room is oceanfront which is wonderful but the ocean was rocky and full of sea grass so not many people went swimming. Overall I enjoyed my stay and would probably stay again if I were to go back. In my opinion there were three issues that I didn't care for. The maid service and the wait staff in the restaurant were awful. The cleaning left a lot to be desired and the wait staff seemed to disappear whenever you wanted something. The last issue was the distance. I wanted to be away from Georgetown/seven mile beach area but The Reefs are really far away. There are really no other restaurants close by so therefore you are kind of stuck with eating there or taking a long drive.
The location of The Reef Resort is excellent. The beach is very nice with a lot of fine sand. There are many lounge chairs and shade. Your back patio is only steps from the beach...fantastic! They guys work hard every morning clearing away the seaweed that washes ashore. Snorkeling from the beach was good. We were so happy to have a large, one-bedroom, ground floor unit with a kitchen. We would have liked access to a grill though. We liked the one bedroom in front so the sun doesn't wake you up. The king-sized bed is okay but the murphy beds are pretty hard. The tvs are very small but the rest of the furniture is comfortable, up-to-date and everything is cleaned well. The end of November was a quiet time of the year. We had perfect weather. In one week, we had about 1 hour of warm rain in the morning otherwise we had sunshine all week. There are several things to do at the resort. There is a volleyball net, kayaks, and a paddleboat. There are a few activities scheduled through the day (yoga, stargazing, Barefoot man, etc). The water aerobics was good. It was at a pace for new people. The pools and hot tub were nice and very clean. The Maintenance crew is very good. We had one problem with the front desk. We were freezing in our room the first night and the lady at the front desk was amused. It took 3 calls to the front desk, the next day, to get Maintenance there. Sleeping the first night in my coat and waking up at least 30 times freezing is an issue. I was thinking about sleeping outside where is was warmer but wasn't sure if it was safe. The AC wouldn't shut off so we needed a new thermostat. I would give give The Reef Resort a 4 1/2 rating because of the front desk. I'll round it up to a 5 beacuse they deserve more than a 4. Other than that, the staff is very friendly. Having a kitchen was essential because everything is SO expensive on this island. Having a car is essential too. There is a great place to snorkel called Connelly Cove. There is so much coral. We drove to Georgetown but we were glad to be on the east side.We would return to the Lighthouse and Over the Edge restaurants. Portofino wasn't as good. When going through Bodden Town, stop at Rankin's Jerk Centre. We took a jerked chicken back to our place. It was spicy but good and only about $9.00. You can buy chicken that isn't spicy too. The Reef Resort has dinners and entertainment on some nights. We should have tried the Seafood buffet for $20/person on Friday night. A big shock was at checkout. Even though we are timeshare owners, we paid $280 in hotel taxes. We loved the beach and snorkeling but you really pay the $$$$$$ on this island.