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beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 10:12 AM

Cheap hotels on/near Seven Mile Beach?
My message/question is 2-fold:

(1) We will be traveling to Grand Cayman at the end of April/beginning of May. We know that's the off-season, but we're not sure how to secure the lowest possible rates. Since it is the off-season, are we better of waiting a while before booking to see if the rates drop between now and then (maybe do a "hotel watch" on one of the travel websites?)... or do we need to book ASAP?

(2) We've never been to Grand Cayman before... so if there are any repeat visitors who could give us insight on accommodations, that would be wonderful. We're a young couple looking for a cheap place (we're students) that's on/near SMB that we can stay at, assuming that that's where we want to stay on the island in the first place (any other suggestions)? We don't plan on spending much time in the room (we want to spend most of our time on the beach) and don't need a "resort" but would like decent accommodations that are clean/tidy (esp the bathroom!). We'd like to spend any extra money on great food or seeing the island, rather than on a room. That said, it looks like for the time frame we are looking at right now the cheapest thing we could find that is on the beach is the Marriott (120/night). Has anyone stayed there or heard much about it? Are there other places we should look into?


Kristen Dec 18th, 2003 11:39 AM

Hi. We just returned from GC and loved it. We stayed at Villas of the Galleon condos and while not "cheap," you can get good deals in the off season...we got a free night plus 10% off the other 6 nights. If you go oceanview as opposed to oceanfront that will save you too.

Also, Plantana offers 7 nights for the price of 5 may - oct. Their cheapest room is $210. Very nice complex.

If you want to go even cheaper, stay at Sunshine Suites, though it is across the street from the beach.

Contact the hotels/cpndos directly or go to

chesney Dec 18th, 2003 12:25 PM

You might try the Comfort Suites. They are across the street from the beach, but they are new, so the rooms and property should be in good shape. They should be cheaper than Marriott.

beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 12:45 PM

kristen -- Thanks, that website is a really great resource. We're looking for something less than 150/night, esp since it's the off peak season (we're frugal students w/free tickets here)... so right now we are thinking maybe Discovery Point?

chesney -- Thanks, but the Comfort Suites is coming up as about 140/night and the Marriott is 120/night.

Right now the Marriott seems like a good deal but I'm also worried that it's not an ideal location. That's why we are also looking at Discovery Point, but then we'd probably have to rent a car for the entire stay instead of just for a day or two to explore like we originally planned.

KaymanKid Dec 18th, 2003 12:50 PM

FYI....Comfort Suites are NOT across the street from the do have to walk a path between Turtle Beach Villas and Marriott to the beach...Indies Suites are across the road from beach....

jacketwatch Dec 18th, 2003 01:24 PM

Hello Beach bum: GC is very nice, the water is clear and the island is very clean. Its also pretty pricey for food so be prepared for some steep bills. Not trying to discourage you, rather just informing. For example we (myself, my wife and our son) had dinner out and the bill for 2 dinners, one drink, 2 appetizers, 2 desserts and soft drinks was $100.00-in 1991! Recently a poster who had been to the same restaurant and had about the same order paid about $200.00.

beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 01:41 PM

Yeah, we've heard a lot about how expensive it can be there, that's why we're trying to save $$$ on the hotel so we can spend it on all the other great stuff! :) Speaking of which, I still haven't gotten any advice on when the best time to book accommodations would be, now or later? says that the Marriott's "beach has been badly eroded over the last few years. The beach varies from a thin strip of sand to no beach at all - depending on the weather and currents."

Is it really that bad? If so, couldn't we just meander down the strip to some nicer sand?

jacketwatch Dec 18th, 2003 03:07 PM

I would book asap. There are some cheaper restaurants like Champion House and Toma Romas. Have you considered the DR? More bang for your buck. Good luck, Larry

caf Dec 18th, 2003 03:28 PM

What's most disappointing about GC is not only the fact that restaurants are expensive, they are also quite mediocre in quality and service. I've been to GC numerous times--the easy swimming and snorkelling is great for the kids, and they actually like the fact that Pizza Hut is haute cuisine on Grand Cayman.

Also, I also found the Marriot beach front to be pretty skimpy in April of this year.

cayman420 Dec 18th, 2003 04:06 PM

While not on the beach but a great cheap hotel...try seaview. They are located on the ocean and have a great little local bar and place to eat. Great snorekling and close to georgetown and sunset house.

Dee2 Dec 18th, 2003 04:56 PM

Really do have to disagree with caf - the restaurants - both quality of food and serve are quite good. Not all, but most. And, yes, I AM used to both good quality and good service. Maybe he hasn't tried some of the good ones. Just a thought. You can also find good local places that are relatively inexpensive but are a good experience.

beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 05:37 PM

Larry - I must plead ignorance, but what does DR stand for? Once I know, maybe I can tell you if we've considered it! :)

cayman420 - Have you stayed there yourself? How long does it take to get to 7MB from there? The money we'd save by staying at the Seaview would practically pay for a week's car rental... do you know what parking's like on the island, i.e. where would we park when visiting 7MB and is it free?

Dee2 - mind sharing w/me some of the names of those restaurants? I can give you my email address if you'd like. I know I've seen others listed on this forum but I'm not sure how expensive they all are. We definitely love a great meal, esp if it's not over-priced. In general though, I think we wouldn't be racking up bills as large as others... we usually just order an entree each and one dessert, and rarely drinks. So we also wouldn't mind splurging at a few places here and there during our stay, just not on every meal!

Thanks to everyone for helping us plan this trip! The comments/tips are all very much appreciated.

TomCayman Dec 18th, 2003 06:08 PM

Seaview is great value if you want to be close to 7MB, not to mention it has glorious sunsets.

They have a nice casual outdoor bar and restaurant (Naked Fish), I have often gone there with my wife and young boys for a dinner at sunset (and I live here).

Naked Fish is one of quite a few "value priced" fun restaurants that have sprung up in Cayman recently.

I'd also like to thank Dee for jumping in and standing up for the quality of our restaurants here.

Whilst they can be expensive, a lot of it depends on how much alcohol you drink, as we have huge amounts of duty on booze here.

Top high quality restaurants ? My personal favourites are : Calypso Grill and Papagallo, but there are numerous others.

Also, re parking, not a problem on 7MB, everywhere has parking :)

caf Dec 18th, 2003 06:27 PM

I've tried all the top restaurants (most more than once), including Papagallos and the Calypso Grill. Just my personal opinion, but on a good night they wouldn't compare to a lower tier restaurant on St. Martin or
St. Barts (and aren't even cheaper especially if you count the overpriced wine).

beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 06:40 PM

So it looks to me like we have several options:

-- We can stay at the Seaview and rent a car for the whole week and go to 7MB and other sights on the island as we please

-- We can stay at the Discovery Point Club for a little more than Seaview, be right on the beach but not so close to shops/restaurants. We'd probably still need to rent a car for a few days to see the island (or would we still need it for the week to get to good eats from the northern part of 7MB?)

-- We can stay at the Marriott, pay the 120/night, be more centrally located to shops/restaurants, but then we give up the nicer sand. We'd still get a rental car for just a few days to see the island.

Any further insights to help us narrow this down and make our decision? :)

Robin Dec 18th, 2003 07:16 PM

If you are planning to stay at Discovery Point in a Studio Gardenview, I have been told they are no where near as nice as the pictures they show on Friends of mine made reservations to stay in a studio there and said it was awful. They left there and stayed at the Holiday Inn instead. We just returned from GC on 12/3 and stayed at Plantana on SMB, it was a wonderful condo and great location.

beach_bum Dec 18th, 2003 07:45 PM

Robin -- Thanks for the heads up. Do you know if they stayed in one of the "newly renovated" rooms or not? Or any details about what made it awful?

jacketwatch Dec 19th, 2003 02:07 AM

The DR is Dominican Republic. Cheers,Larry

Kristen Dec 19th, 2003 04:15 AM

beach bum ~

You can get rates of $130 at Sunshine Suites.

If a good beach is important to you, I would steer clear of Discovery Point. We waled past all the condos and DP's beach was very rocky and badly eroded. Try to stay on central 7MB if at all possible.

Good luck!

If Plantana's deal is going on at your type of travel, check into it because if you stay 7 nights in a $210 room and only pay for 5 nughts, that evrages out to be $150 a night. They have a great beach. And it's a very nice complex.

Robin Dec 19th, 2003 04:17 AM

beach bum, did you check out Seagull condos on Seven Mile Beach? This place is in a great location and in walking distance of most restaurants and Fosters grocery store:

I think the price for a one bedroom suite in off season is around $145, oceanview around $175. There are more pictures and information at Cayman Vacations web site, We made our reservations with them and had great success. My friends room was surly not newly renovated. If they can guarantee you a newly renovated room then I'm sure it would be nice. Discovery Point is on the north end of SMB and it may be best to rent a car if staying there. It may be cheaper to stay near the "The Strand" (this is where Fosters grocery store is and many restaurants and shops) and not rent the car. I guess you would have to price it out. They do charge a small fee ( I think it was $7.50 ) for a temp GC drivers license. Insurance is another added expense as most American Insurance companies do not cover you in Grand Cayman. Hope this helps!

meta Dec 19th, 2003 05:10 AM

beach bum, on Marriot's website, they mention beach erosion. I've heard it's in very bad shape. The very north and south parts of SMB, has been hit the hardest. I believe someone may have mentioned Holiday Inn. The beach there is supposingly very nice and I believe the hote is fairly new, so it should be in good shape as far as rooms go.

Kristen Dec 19th, 2003 05:17 AM

Meta & Beach Bum....

Meta, you mentione dthe Holiday and if I hadn't seen it I would have also said it's a good choice, but I would not go near that place witha 10 foot pole. We were ther ein off seasona nd when we walked by the Holiday Inn beach, Oh my god! There were hordes of people, kids, watersports vendors etc... it was noisy, super crowded and extremely unappealing. People in the water were almost on top of each other. This is the ONLY hotel/condo beach I saw like this.

It was stressful just walking by!

Just something to consider...

Robin Dec 19th, 2003 06:02 AM

Kristen, "Congratulations" on your recent wedding in GC! If we had been there on the 6th I would of surly been on the beach in the background watching your wedding. I'm so glad things turned out great for your special day. We left on the 3rd and only had one day of rough water with nice size waves. It was a nice surprise for my teens as they love the waves here at the Jersey shore and I told them there would be no waves in GC. We had great weather with very little rain, I just loved GC and can't wait to return. It's nice to hear you really liked VOG, we walked by it and it really looked nice from the outside. I just wanted to say "Hello" and so glad you had a wonderful wedding and honeymoon, just sorry I missed it by a few days :-(

Kristen Dec 19th, 2003 06:15 AM

Thanks Robin!

We can't wait to go back...hopefully for our 1 year anniversaty :-)

Where do you stay?

cruisin_tigger Dec 19th, 2003 09:19 AM

Haven't heard anyone mention Treasure Island Resort yet. Sometimes reviews are mixed on this, but you can't beat it for what the property offers. We have always stayed in the condos, also on this property, and love it. We are going back for the 3rd time in May. Two swimming pools and swim up bar. If you stay at the resort, walk past the two pools and you are at the beach, which is a bit rocky, so has pretty good snorkeling. Just walk a bit north and you'll have the smooth white sand beaches. Check out for more pictures and location of the property in relation to 7MB. If you stay at the resort, prices should be pretty reasonable for the off season. It is in receivership now, but have heard from people who have just stayed there and they say you can't even tell. Business as usual.

Dee2 Dec 19th, 2003 04:44 PM

beach bum - I can be reached at [email protected] I'll be glad to share favorite restaurants with you.

meta Dec 20th, 2003 04:50 AM

we used for reservations. They were very helpful and honest. They also have a toll free# which is 1-877-582-1049. I like the fact that we can actually speak with someone and not just have to communicate via e-mail.

Andrew304 Dec 20th, 2003 11:01 AM

Even if the Marriott's beach is all gone, the hotel sits along the same stretch of beach as the Hyatt and the can walk a very short distance to be on a wide stretch of beach -it's all public and several (although not really 7) miles long...the part DIRECTLY in front of the Marriott is gone, but don't rule out the hotel just because of that - especially if you were going to find a place that is not on the beach at are nice alternatives on GC...the kitchen comes in very handy at EXPENSIVE meal time...

beach_bum Dec 20th, 2003 03:23 PM

Thanks for everyone's advice/input... unless something better comes along, I think we are going to stay at the Sunshine Suites. We are able to get a room there for 110/night. Even though it's not right on the beach, we don't mind walking across the street, and it appears to be the best value.

cayman420 Dec 24th, 2003 04:29 PM

Don't stay at sunshone suites. Try Seaview or sunset house. Try a bed a breakfast.
Renting a car can be inexpensive and you will be able to really experience Cayman. Have you thought about Jeff's resort? It's located in West bay, not by the beach but there is something really great about waking up to a rooster! Get a real feel for Cayman and not the tourist one.
Even staying at Seaview is better than sunshine suites. I think once you are there you would agree. Take a chance!

beach_bum Dec 24th, 2003 04:52 PM

Well, unless we find a better deal, we are staying at SS. Turns out that when we called them directly, w/the entertainment card we can get a room there for 85/night! (Seaview is 99/night) With the money we save on a room there we can get the car rental for the entire week and see the rest of GC :)

Dee2 Dec 24th, 2003 06:27 PM

Have to disagree with Cayman420 - Sunshine Suites is a nice property and I think you will be pleased with it. We are NOT a young couple, as you are, and walking to the beach was never a problem for us. A few minutes. It's a new, clean, comfortable proiperty. You are within walking distance of several restaurants and the grocery store. It's on a nice stretch of beach. I've stayed there several times and would stay again. Enjoy yourselves.

beach_bum Dec 25th, 2003 11:57 AM

Dee - glad you think we'll enjoy it there :) Hey did you ever get the email I sent you, or did it never go through?

Dee2 Dec 25th, 2003 05:09 PM

Never got it.

Dee2 Dec 26th, 2003 04:11 AM

Beach bum - try this address and see if it works - [email protected]

beach_bum Dec 27th, 2003 09:19 PM

Dee - tried sending another one your way; let me know if you don't get it. Or you can try emailing me at [email protected]

Dee2 Dec 28th, 2003 04:27 PM

My computer skills failed me - sigh!!!! Try [email protected]

cayman420 Dec 30th, 2003 09:49 AM

I understand. Please go to Seaview and at least have a cocktail at the bar or go for dinner some night!
Don't forget to hit "the crows nest" they have the best pepperpot soup on the island!! Have a great time.

jkurtiak Dec 30th, 2003 10:25 AM

Sorry to jump into the post alittle late.
If you are lookng for reasonable eats, try looking at they have many menus listed so you can see the prices before hand.
Lone Star Grill in front of the Hyatt is very good, as is Chicken Chicken. You can get take out and have a beach picnic. Eats Cafe is very reasonable as well
You should take a snorkel trip while there for sure, it was the best part. Try either or Captain dexter's. both reputable and affordable. Stay away from REd sail sports, they are expensive.

Visit Rum Point as well on the north end. Just not on a weekend when more locals are there and it can get crowded. You can either drive or take the ferry from the Hyatt for I think $10 round trip.

While there we didnt rent a car since the whole driving on the left thing was confusing. taxis were very available and affordable. The island is VERY small and there isnt much touristy things to see. You may not need the car for the entire week. ZIf you explore the 1st few days and then if you think you'll just be going out for dinner, and hanging at the beach all day it might be a way to save money.

Make sure you have snorkel gear with you. You can snorkel everywhere and bringing it from home pays off in the end. Also pack light snacks with you to save from spending too much on snacks.
Make sure you have ALL toiletries you think you might need. They are VERY expensive on the island so I packed a medicine chest with me.

We loved the Reef Grill (loved the tuna), the Wharf (steak was delicious), Pappagallos (potato gnocci I dream about still) all very pricey but so worth it.

Have a great time, I loved Cayman and it is so worth the expense

meta Dec 30th, 2003 01:01 PM

Cayman, what is peperpot soup?

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