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Cayman Islands Hotels

Reef Resort

  • Queen's Hwy. Map It
  • $
  • Luxurious Retreat
  • Fodor's Choice

Pros

  • Romantically remote
  • Glorious beach
  • Enthusiastic staff (including a crackerjack wedding coordinator)
  • Great packages

Cons

  • Remote
  • Few dining options within easy driving distance
  • Sprawling layout

Updated 07/18/2014

Fodor's Review

This exceedingly well-run time-share property seductively straddles a 600-foot beach on the less hectic East End. Casual elegance prevails throughout, from granite accents to four-poster beds in the newer units. Each villa has a roomy terrace facing the sea; two-bedroom units can be partitioned, but even the studio has Wi-Fi, a DVD player, microwave and fridge. Every year brings improvements: advance online check-in, hurricane-guarantee policy, spa and gym, and the only

place offering power-assisted snorkeling on DPVs (Dive Propulsion Vehicles), and daily car rentals. The resort is almost obsessively maintained. You always see a smiling staffer with a paintbrush or hedge clippers. This cordial, mellow yet efficient service is a major selling point. Kids love when concierges conduct regular fish feedings at the dock or local artisans demonstrate techniques. The famous "Barefoot Man" performs his lighthearted country-calypso songs on Caribbean life at Pelican Reef on Thursdays, luring lively locals.

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Hotel Information

Address:

Queen's Hwy., East End, Grand Cayman, KY1-1204, Cayman Islands

Map It

Phone:

345-947–3100; 888-232–0541

Website: www.thereef.com

Hotel Details:

  • 152 suites
  • All-inclusive; No meals; All meals

Updated 07/18/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By SunLvr

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 11, 2009

Book with Caution

We stayed at The Reef the week of 6/27 thru 7/4. Once you get through the roundabouts it’s a nice drive to the resort, although driving on the right takes some getting used to. We arrived at The Reef around 4:00 p.m. for check-in. While the staff was friendly I found it unusual that while I booked the room and made all the arrangements, the reservation was under my husband’s name. In itself not really a big deal, but found the island to be

very sexist. We really liked the location of the resort. It was quiet and away from the crowds. The view was beautiful and the pools were clean. The Reef Resort’s shining accomplishment is its staff. The concierge staff is very friendly and helpful, in particular Laura, Suzanne, and a slightly older woman with reddish-blonde hair whose name I can’t recall. Everyone at the Pelican bar was very nice, but like others have said; the best were Colin and Samantha. Most nights there was not much going on, even with live entertainment, and he made being at the bar fun. We had several stimulating conversations once the bar thinned out. When it was busy, both were very quick with your next drink and a smile; they made you feel extremely welcome, like they enjoyed you being there. Our first room was very comfortable, but the elevator broke down the second day we were there (no big deal), but I have a bum knee and was going to have to change rooms. The beach is nice and clean for the most part. We did not go all-inclusive, but ate most of our meals at The Reef. I found the food average and for those that choose the all-inclusive option, there is not much variety. The menu for the bar and the restaurant is the same; the only difference is the atmosphere you eat in. They did have a couple of beach BBQ events where the food was different and it was pretty good. If you sign-up for the timeshare sales pitch, just say no right away. Our sales person was Mr. Penn. When he spoke you really didn’t have a chance to get a word in edgewise. He is extremely pushy and will use everything he can to get you to sign up. I was trying to be polite, telling him I wanted to think about it; but he would have none of that. He will flatter you and, if you are with your spouse or significant other, he will use that to his advantage. He actually tried to make me feel that if I didn’t buy a timeshare I didn’t love my husband. He said “look at him, he works hard and will do anything for you; doesn’t he deserve this?” I asked for a contract to read over and he got one and bought us lunch. The contracts are 5 years old. When I asked him questions regarding something I didn’t like in the contract he said “we don’t do that anymore, these are old contracts”!!! We eventually agreed to sign the preliminary papers and think about it because I was hot and exhausted. They tell you this little presentation will take 45 minutes, he held us hostage for 3 hours! Mr. Penn took us on a tour of the timeshare rooms, which look very nice on the surface, gave us Gold Keys (10% off food/drinks at the resort), and moved us into one of the Deluxe Studio rooms (we were going to change rooms anyway because of the broken elevator). Anyway, back to Mr. Penn. Every time he saw us he tried to get us to come in and sign the contract. This whole experience was very stressful and ruined 4 days of our vacation. When I finally had enough I went in and told him we did not want to purchase a timeshare (while it was an attractive offer, we were completely turned off by the high pressure sales pitch) and that I would like a copy of everything. I had to ask him three times for copies of the paperwork (he would bring me one at a time). I asked him if he would like the Gold Key back and he said no. The next day we were having lunch at the Pelican Bar and he came out and asked us for the Gold Keys right there. I was told that it was not him but the accounting department that wanted the keys back, that is fine…I had no problem with that. What we did have a problem with was his coming out to us in public and asking for the key in front of the other guests and staff. It was humiliating! He should have asked us into the office and then asked for the keys. This was one of the most unprofessional hotel experiences I have ever had. So, I spoke with his boss, Paul Petrac who did his utmost to defend Hassiem. Once he finally got it that there was no defense for Hassiem’s actions, he apologized and offered us a gift bag of rum cakes and t-shirts (which never appeared in our room as promised). He also promised me that upon our next stay at The Reef we would be given a special rate of $45-$50 dollars a night. Now, I don’t know that I ever want to go back to this resort, but considering the Gift Bag never showed up, how am I to believe we would receive this “special” rate? In addition, once we declined the timeshare we were completely ignored by Mr. Penn and Mr. Petrac. If they saw us, they looked the other way. All in all our review of The Reef Resort is: wonderful staff (everyday working people), lousy management, and horrific timeshare experience. Be wary and truthfully, if you want to do Stingray just pay for it; it’s not worth the stress and hassle caused by the sales people. If this is the as good a deal as they make it out to be, they would sell more by giving people information to take home allowing you to make an educated decision.

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By Charles

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 18, 2004

No Problems, no worries!

July 04, The 4 of us, my wife & boys, both under 10. Away from from the fast pace. But easy enough to get to all Camans had to offer! The pool & the Caribbean Sea are right outside. Snorkle, scubba, jet ski, or just nap. The week went slow, and that was great. This trip really felt like a vacation!

By A

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 10, 2003

view nice, but maid service isn't!

Nice oceanview.(if you walked around poolside).Got a room where they put us right in front of pool and couldnt see much of oceanview..No towels for 3 days! stayed from sun. to wed. Not happy with front desk. Very rude!!!!!!!!!! once they have your money! they could give a you know what!!! Land crabs were tapping at our 1st floor patio door..so get a 2nd floor room.. Shower walls were gunky looking !salamanders all over the place!! would NOT stay

here again! Well go to the westin next time..

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