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The Retreat at Rum Point
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Reviewed 12 August 2010

The Retreat #22

I stayed with my husband and 2 girls, aged 10 & 13, at the Retreat #22, which is a 3rd floor, 2 bedroom unit, from the last couple days of June through the first week of July 2010. We had a wonderful stay there, and were very happy with the choice. The condo was very comfortable, the views were fabulous, and the beach was right outside our door.

I chose the Retreat after a lot of research, after having decided on staying in the Rum Point area, also after a lot of research. I had a number of criteria for a location. I wanted a place that was relaxed and uncrowded, where there was good snorkeling from the beach, where there was busy, lively activity close by, and where there was a choice of beachfront homes or condos available within our budget and with my 2 must-haves for any beach rental in summer: air conditioning and a washer and dryer. This led me to Rum Point.

I looked at many rentals in the Rum Point area, most of which I found on VRBO and HomeAway, and ended up settling on finding one at the Retreat for a number of reasons. One of these was its setting right on the Point, which gives wide water views from the condos with a choice of looking westward or north and eastward. Its proximity to the Rum Point Beach and the well-known and much –photographed Rum Point Dock, with all of their activity and people coming and going (immediately next door), would be fun, especially for my 13-year-old. The trees that overhang the water’s edge on part of the beach, giving the choice of shaded beach or not, appealed to me as well. From my reading I knew that the Retreat had been given a recent major facelift on the outside and remodeling of many (all?) of the units on the inside. Each of the units that I found for rental (the ones I was looking at were 2 bedroom, 2 bath) had lots of photos which showed units that were well appointed and well furnished, with beautiful views of the water that was just outside. I settled on #22 because the bedrooms were set up the way we needed (big bed in the master, twins in the second), I liked the view to the north and east, and though we had the stairs to the 3rd floor, the rent was quite reasonable and the terms (i.e. method and times of payment) were easy and straightforward.

In making the arrangements, Mr. Bodden, the owner, was very accommodating. I wanted to be able to come and go on odd days (in on a Tuesday, out on a Thursday a week later) in order to take advantage of a great airfare. I had to ask that we go through a couple iterations of inquiries about availability based on airfares, and he was very nice and understanding while I found the combination that worked for both of us.

When we actually got there, I found everything as it was described and pictured on the web and by the owner of #22, but the descriptions and pictures of both inside and out could not do it justice. The grounds of the Retreat are beautifully landscaped and well cared for, quite lovely to see when leaving the condo to go downstairs. There are two showers for rinsing off, one at each of the walkways that come in from the beach. Pictures I had seen of the walkways to the buildings from the parking lot had left me with the impression of a much longer walk than it actually is, so the shorter walk was a nice surprise.

The furnishings in #22 were in beautiful condition, and the beds had very nice mattresses; the kitchen was equipped with a set of high quality nonstick pots and pans, various baking and broiling pans, mixing and serving bowls, and cooking utensils, all in great condition. The kitchen seemed to be well thought out, covering just about anything a cook would need. My one quibble was that the cooking and prep knives desperately needed replacing – though I always bring one with me to vacation rentals. There was a good variety of glassware and some nice acrylic drinkware, and a nice set of dishes, including good coffee mugs. There was a nice stock of good beach towels, and plenty of extra bath towels and sheets in the linen closets. There was an individual thermostat for the condo.

What a beautiful view we had! The windows were full of the water view with those stunning Caribbean colors, both straight ahead from the kitchen and dining area and out of the windows on the right, looking east. There can be no better view on the island than that. (That view and the screened porch saved me on our couple of lousy weather days, when I would spend an hour or more at a stretch sitting out there (with a beer) listening to the rain and thunder and watching the sky and water.) Other units I looked at for vacation rentals looked westward, and so had a view of Rum Point Beach and the dock, and got sunsets. The buildings of the Retreat are beachfront, so whatever your unit there you are steps from the sand between your toes and a chaise to move where you want it on the property or just take it where you find it.

The beach areas in front of the Retreat are small and charming, dotted with rocks and trees. It was wonderful to have chairs right at the water’s edge and watch what your kids were doing; and along the beach where the trees are were little tidal pools with a variety of small creatures that both of my girls enjoyed finding and watching. There is fun snorkeling right in front of the Retreat, and it gets better as you swim further out. My girls are older now, but it was not that long ago when they needed a more watchful eye around water, and I would have found this ideal for them when they were small. Lots to see and look for right at the water’s edge, and very shallow water for a ways out with no current to speak of, so you really could sit and watch them and not worry about drop offs or undertows. Worth noting: the nooks and crannies where the pools are, and the spots in the water where there are rocks, would make water shoes or booties a good idea for little (or not so little) ones.

If you are looking for an expanse of beach, it is right next door at the Rum Point Beach, where there are a lot of chairs and a roped-off swimming area with a lifeguard (at certain times of day). The Retreat property and the Rum Point Beach property are separated by a tangle of tree roots that sort of form steps up and over on shore, and the Rum Point dock in the water.

The Retreat has on-site management, which I read is not true of all condos on GC. There were a couple of times when I needed help, and Gigi in the office there was wonderfully pleasant, businesslike, and responsive. Our first day there I was looking for the unit’s wifi, and it was not showing up, at least by the name given to me. I called Gigi in the office, and she told me she would send someone up. I was thinking it might be a while if we were on “island time”, so I asked her how long it would be, and she said 10 minutes. Sure enough, no more than 10 minutes later a man came up to help, and took care of the problem. Another time, the blender container broke while I was using it, and when I called (thinking I was just reporting that I broke something in the unit), she sent someone up with a replacement blender. I called her to ask questions about the area, and about matters like recycling instructions. It was *very* nice to have her there as a resource and help when we needed it.

Speaking of wifi, it also was a very pleasant surprise that the unit’s wifi was secure – it was not clear to me before arriving whether it was public or private, but it was private, secure, and fast.

If asked whether there was something I wished the unit had that it didn’t, I would say a drying rack for damp beach towels and to air dry washed bathing suits. But this is a small thing. We were delighted with our location and situation at the Retreat, and with our accommodations at #22 in particular. When we come to Grand Cayman again, we will be at the Retreat.

P.S. Cayman Kai Vacation Rentals has a great page on the Retreat, which is a great way to orient yourself to the condos, see floorplans, and see where each one is and thus what view it will have. The web address: www.caymankaivacationrentals.com/TheRetreat.htm

Sorry no photos - don't have any that don't include my kids. But mine aren't any better than the many great ones available on the Web already.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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9  Thank hankdogDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2010

We selected the Retreat because of its location "away from it all", and were very pleased. Our condo was well appointed with everything we could have asked for. Even with the tropical depression rolling through, we spent many enjoyable hours on the beach. With 4 young children we were looking for a place where we didn't have to be in the water with them at every second, and the shallow, clean waters off Rum Point were just what we were looking for. The only downside was the sea grass that was washed up on the beach (not sure if that was more than normal due to the storm), however it was raked up on our last day there. The staff was helpful whenever we needed them; they even arranged a babysitter for us one night. Red Sail offers trips out to Sting Ray City from next door, and even when they were busy, our beach was not. Overall, we loved our stay northside...just what we were looking for.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank toshiagb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2010

We just got back from a week at the Retreat at Rum Point. It was perfect, and exceeded expectations. The pictures on the web made me think that we were "sacrificing" on accomodations, but we selected Retreat for it's location. Turns out, we did not sacrifice anything - the unit (3BR oceanfront) was beautifully furnished in stylish decor, nice patio furniture, more kitchen utensils and applicances than you could use, and well equipped with everything we needed. Ipod speakers; wireless; nice beach towels; games; books; and lots more. Perfect location - yes, Rum Point club gets busy when the cruise ships drop off, but just go get food and a drink when you see a couple tenders dropping off (before they have time to come down the long dock). That way you won't have to wait! And you can always stay on the Retreat beach, it is sectioned off from Rum Point Club, and there was never more than 6 or 8 people on that portion of the beach. We like low-key vacations, and tend to go out for dinner and then hang at the house to play games and have a few drinks, so we didn't miss SMB at all. We went there one day, and one day was plenty.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank WNYsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2009

Our family of 5 includes 2 older teen daughters & a tween daughter of 11. Finding a place that pleases all members of the family is always a challenge! "The Retreat" got 5 thumbs up from us! We rented unit #33 on VRBO.com & were pleasantly surprised that the property & area were far better than the pictures & descriptions given....not that they were bad, just that the real thing was so much better! We had a 3rd floor ocean front unit, the view could not have gotten any better & I'm still in shock at how reasonably priced it was for that view alone! If you don't like stairs, I would search for a ground floor unit but our family is active & didn't mind the exercise. Upon arrival, Thelda, who helps run the condos, showed us the way & let us know that there were shopping carts on hand that could be used to help transport groceries & such from the parking area to the base of the stairs near our unit. She also quickly had the maintenance staff roll over a BBQ towards our unit for the week. Every member of the management team was extremely friendly & helpful to any questions we had.

One of the best features of this slice of paradise is that "The Retreat" has it's own private stretch of beach where you can bring your own food & drinks down to from your condo. it literally is steps & a few trees away from the "Rum Point" beach club, which we loved but you couldn't bring your own drinks & food to...so we had the best of both worlds because we could still walk less than 50 yards to that side & mingle with more tourists or go play in the water there but could eat to our hearts content on our own side without always having to buy their food! Also, we never had to worry about the availability of lounge chairs on this side of the beach!

Our unit was upgraded, designer paint colors, luxe bedroom furnishings, family friendly living room furniture, well equipped kitchen & better yet, the closet was filled with sand toys, snorkel gear, tennis gear, puzzles, DVD's, games, plastic beach friendly dishes, ice chests, & even large plush beach towels! you name it we had it!

We did not feel isolated here, had a rental car & spent plenty of time exploring the island but were always happy to return to the "small town feel" of the Cayman Kai area & The Retreat.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank tclearyn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2009

We spent two weeks here and can't wait to go back next year. You must snorkel with the sting rays. Fantastec reef snorkling trips too. We were there with our daughter, son-in-law and the 3 yr. old grandbaby. Everyone loved it. You do need a car though if you want to do some sightseeing and shopping. Grocery store is a 40 minute trip one way but it's worth it !

Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
Thank the-velvet-elvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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