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“Great location, extremely high prices for food and drink”

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Wyndham Reef Resort
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in East End
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 January 2011

Location on the quiet side of the island was perfect; away from the strip. Concierge ladies were awesome, especially Michelle. Always out of beach towels at the front desk. Front desk employees not helpful, nor did they ever smile or want to help. Staff at the outdoor bar were great, especially Colin. Food and beverage prices were way too high. $11 for a pina colada? Something's not right with the prices. I would go to St. Croix or Cozumel again instead of the Caymans due to the extreme prices on Grand Cayman. Sting Ray City, Ultimate Swim with the dolphins, and the bioluminescence kayak tour were awesome.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank greatdanes1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomCayman, Director at Wyndham Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2011

Many thanks to the guest for posting a review, we depend upon feedback to help us improve, though naturally we love to get as much feedback in person while the guest is staying with us so we can address it right away.

Re the concerns over Front Desk service and beach towel availability, these have been recognised and a full training programme to enhance consistency of quality of Front Desk service has been commenced.

Re food and drinks prices, we have to say that this is a Cayman issue, particularly high drinks prices, as we are subject to very high local taxes on alcohol. Drinks prices at theReef are actually very competitive (your eyes would water at prices at certain of the most upscale places in Cayman!), and we do have daily happy hour specials.

However, as you rightly noted, we have great bartenders, so we do everything we can to give you value for money in serving those drinks !

Oh, and I concur with the recommendations for the tours, sounds like you made use of our concierge team for their ideas and to make your bookings, as you picked three of the best !

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Reviewed 8 January 2011

We have just returned from our Christmas-New Year stay at the Reef in Grand Cayman. We had a nice holiday but I can't say it was brilliant, as the stay in the Reef has spoiled the enjoyment.
From the beginning the service was poor. We have arrived about 8 pm on Christmas Eve and were obviously tired after 13 hour trip from london plus 45 min from the airport. We were served by check in guy extremely quickly, just given some envelope with key and rushed back to the taxi, so we could go and find our room by ourselves. They had no luggage porter and taxi driver wouldn't know were our room number could be ( how could he!) so my husband went to look for it while I waited with our 2 young children. The room was at the end of the building on the first floor and we did not know at the time there was a lift so ended up carrying all our suitcases upstairs by ourselves! Not a great start ! The person who was checkin us in would not even answer any questions or give us any information just treated us like some nasty fly you want to get rid of as quick as possible!
Next morning just got better when arrived at breakfast and found rather poor variety buffet and coffee you make yourself in a take away cup!!! At this point I felt rather ripped off and regretting paying the hefty all inclusive supplement! The lunch meals were served on a grease proof paper in some sort or wire baskets! Something you would expect in fish and chip shop or McDonald's but not a place which dare to rate itself 4*!! Even alcohol like wiskey or wine they serve in a plastic cups(check my photos) makes it taste horrible!
Overral the service in the restaurant ( with few exceptions) was dreadful, menu was very limited and not changing so if you get to make a mistake like us and pay for all inclusive you get bored of it quickly. We had quite bad night when we were waiting for our dinner 45 min and they bring our food first not the kids' , meantime my younger one fall asleep on the table waiting(!!!) and what arrived was rather cold and stale! The catering manager happened to pass by asking if we ok, so we told him that this service is extremely bad and I asked him if this is one or two star property for what he answered it is 4*!!!!! what a joke!!! I have stayed in many 4* properties and few of which was caribbean but surely this hotel can not get more than 2 1/2*!!! We have spent last year Christmas-New Year in St James Club, Antigua 4* and OMG comparing to the Reef I would give 6*.
Since then manager seemed to avoid even looking at us, and there was no further response, even after I left a comment card, not very professional.
The good point about this place was accommodation, our 1 bedroom suite was pleasant and cleaned daily, but then there was no other dining options outside you could choose if you don't like the hotel restaurant.
Entertainment.....well if I knew they gonna put that Barefoot man as a New Year party entertainment I wouldn't bother booking baby sitter. Even though we went at 10 pm I only managed to stay for an hour and opted to go back to celebrate new year on our terrace at least we could drink our Champagne in proper glasses:) As our neighbour told us that night half of the people pulled out before we even came!
Check out was almost as good as check in. I asked if we can check in late and very grumpy lady said "no you have to move by 12". She did not inform me if they had any transit room or if we can stay longer upon payment, I had to drag every information out of her which was rather awkward. If you want your room for longer you have to pay $50 per hour!!!! Rip of!! As we had our flight in the evening we checked out after 11 and headed to Rum Point to enjoy our last day.
I loved Grand Cayman, there is many beautiful beaches lots of thing to see and do but I wish I did not choose the Reef for our stay. Thanks God we managed to get a car and went places every day and ate some nice lunch in different places ( even tiny local restaurant served food on the plate, plates and glasses strangely started to feel like a luxury:)
We definitely did not get a value for our money! I would not mind all that if I paid $100 per night and was aware that it is 2*property then it would be exactly what I expected, but we paid almost the same as for last year St James Club stay and the reef has got a lot to catch up on so please don't offend real 4*properties calling yourself one!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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15  Thank m1lena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TomCayman, Director at Wyndham Reef Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2011

Submitting this on behalf of Jake Morgan, Head Concierge :


As a fellow Brit I was truly disappointed to hear that these guests had a less than enjoyable vacation, especially as I’m well aware how long that flight can be. A number of issues have been raised here so I’ll try and address them accordingly.

This check in experience was clearly unacceptable and this has been raised with all relevant staff to ensure there is no repeat. First impressions are paramount in any environment and we clearly dropped the ball here. Excuses are easy to make and we stand prepared to be rated as to how we have addressed this issue for our future guests. My only regret is that we did not have an opportunity to have dealt with this one whilst the guests were on site.

The free continental breakfast is only part of what we offer every morning as in addition we have a full hot breakfast menu available every day for all of our guests. As these guests were taking advantage of our all inclusive package they were able to order any items they chose from the breakfast menu at no additional cost. All of our menus are available for review on our website.
Coffee is available all morning and guests can choose whether or not to serve themselves at their own leisure or simply ask a member of our serving staff. TheReef management decided some years ago to make a solid investment in reducing our own carbon footprint. Part of this ongoing initiative is to offer guests a choice between using tradional tableware or take away cups made from 100% recycled materials. This initiative does also include serving a small selection of our more casual lunches and finger foods in this manner. Should a guest prefer a traditional plate please simply ask and one will be provided.

We are hugely proud here at the reef to have the longest beach front (1600ft) of any resort in the Cayman Islands and indeed to remain the only all beachfront resort available. As such we take the safety of our guests and the stewardship of our beach very seriously. We feel that using non breakable items in these areas helps us ensure that our beach remains safe and beautiful for all our guests to enjoy. We should also note however that any drinks ordered inside the main restaurant would always be served in normal glassware, in this instance the guests ordered drinks from our beach bar and took them into the restaurant.

The legendary Barefoot Man is a highly popular entertainer here at theReef and has been for a number of years. Our entertainment schedule for the Christmas period was published 6 months in advance on our website however we do fully accept that our guests will enjoy a wide variety of music.

As a boutique resort during our busiest period of the year we often do not have a selection of vacant rooms available for guests to extend their check out. We are most happy to help store luggage and offer continued full access to all of the resorts facilities for guests with a late flight. However the room would be prepped for a full deep clean on the same day and any extension would have severly inconvenienced our incoming guests.

We take our reviews seriously and we are disappointed to hear that these guests felt we did not live up to our rating as a 3.5 star boutique resort. We thank all of our guests and especially those who have take the time to leave feedback, it does not go ignored.

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Reviewed 6 January 2011

I visited the Reef Resort in mid December 2010 to finish off my open water diving course. I stayed for three nights. The staff were fantastic from start to finish and showed me around the property, helped me with my bags and were quick to answer any questions I had. The room was exceptionally clean with a fantastic view and definitely worth the money I paid. The only minor negative thing I have to say about the room was that although the studio room came decently stocked, I would have liked a decent cutting knife. That said, I'm sure if I asked front desk they would have brought one to me. Although the service at the bar was at times slow, the bartenders were courteous and friendly and served great drinks and good food. With some coral and rocks by the shoreline, diving boots/shoes are probably a good idea to have if you venture off into the water. The water itself was beautiful and warm and although it could get windy in the East End, I found it great - the breeze didn't let me over heat when lounging on the beach chairs. The grocery store across the street and the liquor store were well stocked - and if you live in downtown Toronto, you will even find some things cheaper - even with the high Cayman dollar. The Reef is not what I would call a luxurious resort so dont come with those type of expectations. But if you want great service, fantastic hotel room views, good food and just want to chill out all at a good price, I suggest visiting the Reef Resort. It's also a fanstastic place for the kids. There were a number of families there. If you are looking for a nightlife, don't bother and stick to Seven Mile. If you are in your twenties or thirties, please keep in mind that the average age of the adult guests is over forty - and everyone that I met at the Reef were friendly and relaxed. Go to the Reef if you are looking for a safe and fun family vacation or just want to chill on a beach, have a few drinks and do some diving. I noticed that there have been some negative reviews - and I saw them before I visited the Reef so I was curious when I got there how it would actually be. In all honesty, I didn't get the negativity. Like Istated: friendly, clean, relaxing, great views and all at a good price - just keep in mind it's not the Ritz Carlton. Definitely worth checking out.
The diving took place next door at Tortugas. It was a terrific place to learn to dive and I'm so happy I chose RedSail - they were thorough and made sure that I fully understood all procedures and protocols before I finished the course.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank CelestialMagneto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2011

This was our first trip to Grand Cayman and to the Caribbean and I was a little nervous about having reserved a 2 bedroom suite here online, site unseen. We enjoyed our stay and I would recommend this hotel/resort, but with some qualifications. I will try to address the different factors on which we made our decision to stay here as well as our experience after we arrived:
1) location- This is definitely off the beaten track from the central tourist spot of Seven Mile Beach. We rented a car with a GPS, and found it quite easy to adapt to driving on the other side of the road and navigate our way all over the island (From the most Northeast point of the island to the most Northwest point of the island takes about one hour.) If you do not want to drive or plan to drink heavily (we are not big drinkers), I would suggest staying on the West side (Seven Mile Beach/ Georgetown) of the island where most of the restaurants, nightlife, clubs, shopping, etc. are. But, for what we wanted, this was an ideal location. We enjoyed the quiet at night, the unhurried pace, a lack of crowds, and an expansive beachfront outside our balcony rooms that was sparsely populated even during the sunniest afternoons. We wanted this vacation to be a time to spend some relaxed downtime with our teenagers and reconnect as a family and the East End of the island is an ideal location for that. My kids ended up saying that what they most enjoyed was the time we all got to chat with each other! There is another resort, Morritt's next door, but it is pretty separate and has its own beach as well. There is a small shopping center across the road with a Foster's Food market, a souvenir/clothing shop, and a Dunkin Donuts (they deliver to your room)
2) the rooms- I reserved relatively late for one of the Cayman's most busy and expensive weeks, and did not want to compromise on a beachfront view and the space of the 2 bedrooms. The Reef had this combination for a reasonable rate, which is what led to our decision to stay here. The rooms were spacious, well maintained, with daily maid service and fresh towels. Sheets were not changed unless you requested it. Balconies were large and included a table and four chairs, and 4 loungers, with lights for after dark. The first room included a living room area with two twin Murphy beds that folded into the wall, a dining area, a full kitchen (including dishwasher), TV with DVD player, and one bathroom with jetted tub/shower combo/ one sink, and a separate bedroom with king size bed also with a TV. The second room (which connected) had a queen size bed, jacuzzi tub, shower, 2 sinks,TV, and kitchenette (compact fridge and microwave). The balcony was shared by the two rooms and overlooked the beach. There was more than enough room., and multiple closets/ drawers for storage. We also brought our own snorkeling gear with us and ended up keeping that in the trunk of the car, but there would have been plenty of space to keep it in the room. We also received a welcome gift basket of salsa and chips, bottled drinks, 2 Cayman Tortuga Rum cakes, energy bars,and candy (My kids loved this) The mattresses were fine but the pillows were small, and harder than I like, which disrupted my sleep slightly. (Next time, I would bring my own.)
3) phone and internet service- This is an unmitigated negative at the Reef. We had three laptops and two international phones with us (primarily to keep up with e-mail, one school related project, and one business related project and communicate if we split up for the day. We did not plan to use these daily, but found that at the Reef we could not get any phone service and could only sporadically get internet service. Driving 15 minutes south of the resort, we would get phone and internet service with no problem as well as when we were on the West side of the island. I spoke to several staff members at the hotel who admitted that they had the same problems with their cell phones/ laptops as well. They do have 3 computers in the game room that are hard wired for internet which you can get free for 30 minute sessions. Apparently they are going to upgrade their IT system this year but I still would not count on regular wireless phone service if you stay at this location.
4) the beach/ water sports- The beach was as nice as advertised. Even in December, we had several days with 80 degree temperatures as well as 1-2 windy days that were slightly colder at the beginning of the week. We went snorkeling off the beach (bring water shoes, there are some rocks/ shells once you get out into the water) and saw huge and colorful fish! The best area seems to be at the point to the far right of the resort where Morritt's beach starts but there were reefs all over the place less than 20 feet from shore. Lots of other water sports were available as well, kite-boarding, scuba, wind-surfing, kayaking through White Sands or Red Sail Sports. There was also a pool with hot tub, volleyball net, and tennis courts. Plenty of lounge chairs to lie on, little tables for drinks and a beachside bar/restaurant with drinks/lunches. The hotel provides fresh beach towels daily, so there is no need to pack them.
5) Spa- we ended up not using any of their services, so I can not comment. Apparently manicures and pedicures book up rapidly so if you plan to request that, I would schedule it before you leave home.
6) restaurant/ food- We love, love, love great meals and Grand Cayman has absolutely incredible restaurants with awesome food. Unfortunately, the restaurant at the Reef is not one of these. We ate there the first night for dinner, had a mediocre meal, and only used it for the free continental breakfasts after that. They are incredibly inexpensive compared to the other meals we had, so you do have to take that into consideration. Fortunately, you can even use your breakfast ticket toward the a la carte menu for breakfast and receive a 5 dollar credit. Our favorites were the 3 egg omelets and the fried plantains. If you have a car, go elsewhere for your dinners- it was worth the drives! Favorites on the East side were the Lighthouse and Tukka, The Rum Point Restaurant at Rum Point, and our two splurges, one at Osetra Bay (West End- we had a fabulous 9 course tasting menu there) and Blue (at the Ritz Carlton- New Year's Eve tasting menu- great as well, but ridiculously expensive)
7)Resort Excursions- We took the Stingray City Snorkeling tour and it was probably less crowded on the resort excursion than on the Red Sail Sports regular excursion. It was a lot of fun and something all four of us loved. The rest of our activities we arranged on our own or with the help of the hotel's concierge. The bioluminescent night Kayak trip with Cayman Kayaks was especially awesome. The Midnight fireworks set off from the beach at the Reef on New Year's Eve were spectacular as well (and free entertainment.)
All in all, I would probably stay here again but it is important to understand both the positives and negatives of staying on the East End of the island.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank xkcdreader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

Just got back from our annual Holiday vacation we take in the Carribean for snorkeling, beach and relaxation. First the good: beautiful room, wonderful beach, scenic view from our 3rd floor suite, good beach bar and food, pleasant staff. Nice snorkeling right off beach: saw rays, nurse shark, LOTS of all kinds of fishes including tarpon! Great beachcombing for miles with hardly any people. Great to be able to sleep w doors open and hear the surf all night. Now the bad: location - way too windy to enjoy the Reef beach or snorkel for 7 days of our 9 day stay! We were only able to snorkel at the hotel the first 2 days (1 day was absolutely gorgeous w a nice breeze and calm waters) and then 3 days of big COOL winds, clouds and huge waves. The last few days were sunny but still too windy w rough surf to enjoy either the beach or the Beach Bar. We were forced to drive across the island to get out of the wind. Cemetary Beach was very nice w no wind, lots of shade and good snorkeling BUT having to drive 1 hour each way in traffic was not relaxing. Georgetown/Seven Mile Beach is way too crowded and full of cruise ships and has nothing to offer but shopping and people. Now for Food: we had a great lunch at The Cracked Conch, way too pricey dinner at Tukka, 2 great dinners at Over The Edge, lunches/dinner at hotel Beach Bar were very good and grocery store across street was just fine and had great meat patties! Unfortunately, "if only the wind would die down, The Reef would be a great place."

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MoonaRichard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

We left in a snow storm, it was cloudy and cold when we arrived, and our luggage arrived 2 days later--but The Reef was great!
I booked it because it was not on 7 mile beach. We do not like the crowds and tourist traps. We snorkeled right from the beach several times and took a trip to Rum Beach and did snorkeling there and went to Sting Ray City with Red Sails from there. We enjoyed exploring the beach area around the hotel. Many tide pools and interesting things to see. Water shoes are a must!
If you are looking for crowds and night life- this isn't the place. We played games most evenings and spent a lot of time as a family. Something we don't often have the time to do. They did have a New Years party that we went to and my daughter really enjoyed that. We did not rent a car and probably would next time, but Reef staff was very helpful in arranging transportation. We saw the Botanical Gardens, had dinner at Tukkas one night , went in to town 1 morning, and spent a day at Rum Beach. Shuttles were very punctual although they drove a little fast sometimes.
The hotel was clean, bed very comfortable and kitchen very well equipped but I did not cook. We had the continental breakfast, snacks at lunch time and then splurged on a nice dinner every evening. Food was expensive but what I expected on an Island that has to import most of their food. You could save money if you did some cooking and the Foster's across the street has all the basics. The rooms were quiet and you heard very little noise from the surrounding rooms.
It was a very relaxing time-just what we were looking for!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank lesliemarie38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2010

This is a lovely resort on a nice beach but very far from restaurants and activities. 7 Mile Beach has great restaurants, a much better beach and is not as windy. This side of the island is very windy. This was my first time staying on this side of the island and I would not do it again, even though the resort is very nice. There is a small market near by, but it is a 45 minute drive to 7 Mile Beach. If you want options for eating and a beautiful beach, stay at 7 Mile Beach. The resort is expensive and for the price you would expect to have free Wi-Fi in the rooms, but they charge. For the price, there are better options.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank phillinda
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
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 #2 of 2 Hotels in East End
Price Range: £172 - £496 (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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