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Grand Cayman food - go all inclusive at Reef Resort, or no?

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Grand Cayman food - go all inclusive at Reef Resort, or no?

Old Oct 8th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Grand Cayman food - go all inclusive at Reef Resort, or no?

Greetings!

We're looking at 5 days or so in January at the Reef Resort on Grand Cayman. The resort is in the center of the island, I guess about a 1/2 hour away from 7 mile beach. They offer all inclusive packages, and the high end one (for the required premium drinks!) adds $150 pp per day, so $300 for the 2 of us. (Not sure if that's US or GC dollars.)

I'm generally not a fan of all-inclusive - don't like being tied to one place, and I think it encourages overdoing it. My husband, however, is a fan.

We are not huge foodies, but do like good food.

I would appreciate any feedback on the food offerings at Grand Cayman, particularly from anyone who's been to the Reef and could advise whether the restaurant(s?) are so good that going all inclusive is definitely worthwhile. I can't find much online to answer this question. I hear that food is "expensive" but that's hard to define. I'm assuming we'd spend around $150 to $200 for a decent dinner for two, meaning entrees and a drink or 2 a piece?

Or are there so many dining options (especially with renting a car) that we'd be crazy to limit ourselves to one place.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 8th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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The resort is actually NOT in the center of the island. It's on the far eastern end about as far from 7 Mile Beach as you can get.

I don't think an AI plan is a good deal on Grand Cayman, which has a lot of good restaurants (even a couple on the east end) and plenty to see and do. And the Reef is a small resort, so while the food in its restaurant is good, I don't know that I'd want to eat every meal there. However, I do acknowledge that it's a long drive to Seven Mile Beach, where most of the good restaurants are and I'm not sure you'll want to drive 40 minutes back in the dark after dinner. So only you can decide for yourself.

Regarding budget, you can certainly get meals for under $200 for two; prices are about 25% more than they are here in NYC, so it's not at all unusual to find a mid-priced restaurant where a meal with a couple of drinks or wine costs $150. But there are also cheaper options.
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Old Oct 8th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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I would say "No". To me, the Reef is too far away from everything, and you would definatly have to rent a car. If you want an AI plan, look at the Marriott on 7 Mile Beach.

When we went to GC back in 2003, we did do AI at the Holiday Inn on 7 Mile Beach, which is no longer there, and loved it. We did eat a few meals off site. Back then a hamburger was $8.00 and beer was $5.00. We went back in 2007 on a cruise and had lunch at Margaritaville. 2 hamburger plates and 2 beers was $60.00. But, I'm sure there are better and probably less expensive places to eat there.

If we ever did return for another land vacation, I would probably go with the Marriott AI plan just for the convenience of breakfast, snacks and drinks. Plus good location on 7 Mile Beach. But, we love AI resorts.
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Old Oct 8th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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i like the reef & it's location but kvr & i are vacation opposites. she likes busy places with lots to do & i like to rent villas in the quiet parts of islands & spend most of my time chilling & snorkeling.
the drive to 7 mile will take 45 mins to an hour. then more time to go up or down the strip to various restaurants.
there are some places to eat closer than 7 mile. kaibo yacht club & the rum point club restaurant - http://www.rumpointclub.com/dinner are about 20 mins. heading around the east end you'd find a few more places.

as you're only staying 5 nights i think you could find plenty to eat at the reef. or buy the pkg for 3 or 4 days & go out the other 2. we stayed near rum point & went to town on 2 different days & had our main meal thus avoiding the drive at night.
otoh if you're medium sized foodies staying on 7 mile would be a better choice. there are tons of options.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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We rented a villa on the north shore of Grand Cayman and although I got the privacy I like if I was to go back again I would certainly rent on 7 mile beach (the northern end away from georgetown is quieter). We found ourselves driving back and forth every day and sometimes twice a day (40 min each way). 7 mile beach can't compare in my opinion to any other beach on the island and most of the nice restaurants are on 7 mile. Rum point beach was narrow, a bit littered and extremely crowded w/people from cruise ships. There is one restaurant I would recommend that is not too far from the north shore called the lighthouse (about 20 min away). In terms of cost I would say dinner for two at an upscale restaurant will generally run between 150-200 for a couple with a drink or two.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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"i like the reef & it's location but kvr & i are vacation opposites. she likes busy places with lots to do & i like to rent villas in the quiet parts of islands & spend most of my time chilling & snorkeling."

That is true. We want to be in the thick of it all, so it's within walking distance or public transporation away. We do not rent cars on vacation. We love guided tours and book many before departure. That we we get to see/do and transportation is included. So it really depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 02:56 PM
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Other than the restaurants on-site at the Reef Resort, within a 20-25 minute drive from the Reef you have the following restaurant options (some are fine dinning, some local, some casual, some are take-with, some better than others...):


David's and Mimi's, both at the Morritt's Resort next door to the Reef Resort in Colliers, East End
The Italian Kitchen, across from the reef Resort in Colliers, East End
Miss Vivine's in Gun Bay, East End
Coming Soon: Egale Rays Grill at Compass Pointe, Gun Bay, East End
Coming Soon: Bombay Chopsticks at Ocean Pointe, Gun Bay, East End
The Fish Fry at the East End Texaco - Village of East End
Over the Edge in Old Man Bay
Kurt's Corner in Old Man Bay
the Wreck Beach Bar at Rum point (lunch only)
the Rum Point Club Restaurant at Rum Point (dinner only)
Kaibo Beach Bar, Cayman Kai
Kaibo Upstairs (dinner, Fri-Sun only), Cayman Kai
the Lighthouse in Breakers
South Coast Restauarnt in Breakers
EverGlo in Pease Bay
Wood's Fish Fry & Jerk in Pease Bay/Bodden Town border
Chester's Fish Fry and Jerk in Pease Bay
Seaside Paradise in Bodden Town
Lorna's Texaco take-out in Bodden Town
Grape Tree Cafe Fish Fry in Bodden Town
Rankin's Jerk in Bodden Town


The Cayman Good Taste website lists many of the restaurants all over Grand Cayman and includes menus and prices.
http://www.caymangoodtaste.com/
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Old Oct 9th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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Although there are many options on the East End, the quality and variety of the restaurants in the Seven Mile Beach area and West Bay in my opinion is superior. You can find a excellent meal for $75 per person and a good meal for about $30-50 per person or less. Given the selection of restaurants on Grand Cayman there is no need to go AI.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 05:54 AM
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THANK YOU ALL so very much for all of this excellent information.

Well, since I now know from your helpful posts that the Reef Resort is pretty far, I am wondering about staying instead at the Cobalt Coast Resort, located in the West end. That looks to be much closer to 7 mile beach, but far enough away so that we're not in the thick of everything, and within our hoped for price range (around $200 a night).

Reviews for Cobalt Coast seem to be good. If anyone has personal experience, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 06:03 AM
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If it's a matter of budget (and if you are not divers), then the Reef is a better choice, though for that money I'm guessing you're going to end up with a studio at the Reef, which doesn't have a real kitchen (just a microwave and mini-fridge). It's a hard choice. I think Cobalt Coast is nice, but it isn't on a nice beach and is still pretty far from everything (though admittedly not as far as the Reef), while the Reef is on a very nice beach and is more of a resort. Facilities at Cobalt Coast are pretty rudimentary since it's really geared to divers who aren't on property during the day. It's not a place to really hang out.

If I were on a budget, I'd look at Turtle Nest Inn in Bodden Town or Sunshine Suites, which is at least within walking distance of the beach and has a good restaurant. Even the Comfort Suites is much better located than Cobalt Coast.
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Old Oct 16th, 2012, 05:20 AM
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I would be looking at something with a better location. I would never advise anyone to do an AI on GC. We were singing "We've only just Begun" to ourselves while eating in GC. It is more likely that you will find many great places to eat as the dining is excellent and there is a plethora of restaurants. You will find Pepperpot but if you're more comfortable with traditional food, there's a big selection of places geared to the travelers. For instance, Hemingway's has fresh seafood, and a very impressive wine list and is probably the best places on the island.
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Old Oct 18th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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Way too many good restaurants on GC. Skip the all inclusive. You'll never venture out of the hotel.
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