Courtyard by Marriott GC

Old Feb 17th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Courtyard by Marriott GC

I recently booked a stay at the Marriott Grand Cayman in May, but it was cancelled because they are not going to be open now until June. They switched my reservation to the Courtyard by Marriott. Does anyone have any information about this hotel? Is it close to anything? I am guessing that we will be renting a car anyway, but I do enjoy walking around and having things close by.

My husband and I mainly chose Grand Cayman because we love to dive and snorkel and heard diving is great there. We chose the Marriott because reviews indicated that you could just walk out the back door and into the ocean to snorkel. Does anyone know if we will have the same beach access and convenience at the Courtyard?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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We stayed at the Courtyard when it was still the Holiday Inn in Nov. 2003. We loved it. We had a room on the first floor that had a patio door that opened onto the pool area.

7 Mile Beach is across the street and was just gorgeus. It was no big deal to walk across the street to get to the beach. I hope the recent hurricane didn't damage it too bad. We didn't even need to snorkel to see the fish. They swam around our legs and the water was so clear all you had to do was just look down to see them.

The hotel offers a restuarant and bar. The Holiday Inn offered an AI plan, which was wonderful. They also have a restuarant and bar at the beach. We enjoyed the food.

There really isn't anything within walking distance of the hotel. However, the public bus/van stops right in front. It was $2.50 p/p and we used it several times.

I have pics of the hotel and beach on our web-site if interested:

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Just spend 4 nights in GC in Jan. We stayed at Westin and felt by far it had the best beach on SMB. We walked fairly long in both direction and each way it got narrower. It depends what you want but directly next to or sharing w/Courtyard Marriott beach is a public beach area with wall to wall beach chairs, rental stand, vendors and snack bar. I believe it is mainly for cruise ships and when we were there it was fairly crowded. There seems to be cruises in everyday so it may often be like that. There seemed to be some erosion and beach was narrower there than we thought. Courtyard has alot of chairs but again just seemed so much more congested than Westin- almost in some ways like you were on a cruise deck. At Westin almost felt like you had beach to yourself. Of course I think it was only 1/4 full. You need to cross street to get to beach from Courtyard - seemed to be alot of traffic. Near courtyard is Cemetary Reef which is supposed to have great offshore snorkeling. We didn't do that however. Right next to Westin is Governer's house and directly in front of that was excellent off-shore snorkeling. We went on Captain Marvin excursion which I highly recommend. Made 3 stops (1 stingray city) but they were all good.
I don't know about anything nearby Courtyard in walking distance as we were not up that way. But just looking from beach as road is pretty close it didn't look like there was alot around that end. Restaurants/stores directly near Westin were closed and no sign of reconstruction yet. check caymanrestaurants.com for some info on open/closed from hurricane damage.
We did not dive so can't comment on that.
If it makes you feel any better I thought the beach at the regular Marriott looked narrower than Westin also of course no people there then.
It would be a ways to Georgetown from Courtyard need car or taxi($$$) or bus is $2.50. We ate at Great ole house and wharf which we both enjoyed but didn't have car so taxi was very expensive. Casa Havana at Westin was excellent also.
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Visit the Westin only for the sunday brunch that is the only thing worth going to. Read the post on Westin restaurants and "bhvic" names a few good area restaurants and there are many more that he doesn't. You will like the Courtyard it was orginally built as a Holiday Inn so that should say something in that. Very functional and without character. Be careful crossing West Bay Rd it is very busy in rush hour times and the locals are NOT looking out for you. The heavier object takes the right of way. The beach is nice you won't be disappointed and I like the Seagrape Bar down the beach it is lively and has resonable drink prices.
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Old Feb 18th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Are you definitely tied into the Courtyard? If not, you may want to look into some moderately priced condos.
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the information. KVR, your photos look great! From the feedback I have gotten, the Courtyard is far from other restaurants, etc, and I need to rent a car....but isn't the beach only 6 or 7 miles long? I am an avid runner, and my husband is in great shape too. We generally walk 3-4 mile per day (I occasionally run 1/2 marathons). I know in St Thomas, you really couldn't walk from the Marriott because there were no sidewalks and the roads to town were very narrow and dangerous. Is this true for Grand Cayman too or is it safe to walk to other restaurants/hotels down the beach?
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Old Mar 6th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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I found Grand Caymen to be safe. However, we never aventured around at night. We are not as in great shape as you have posted and wouldn't make the walk into town. The Courtyard is kinda far from Georgetown, but for someone in your shape it might not be an issue. We walked all over Goergetown for shopping without any problems. We saw people walking down the beach. Taxis are readily available. Again, the bus stop is directly in front of the hotel. So you really don't need to rent a car unless you just want to. Unfortunatly, the Courtyard is not AI like the Holiday Inn. We had no need to venture to restuarnts outside of the hotel.

We are going to St. Thomas in May and staying at the Wyndham Sugar Bay so won't be able to make a comparsion of the two until after that time. We enjoyed our trip to Grand Cayman. To date, it has the best beach we've ever seen. Hoping USVI/BVI will be just as great.
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