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Grand Cayman Hotels: Ritz, Westin or Marriott

Old Jul 8th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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Grand Cayman Hotels: Ritz, Westin or Marriott

Grand Cayman last minute family trip at the end of July ; kids ages 18, 13 and 10 and all 3 hotels have availability, need help deciding where to stay. Budget $250-$300 per night. We haven't taken a vacation in a couple of years and we want this one to be memorable since our oldest is off to college in the Fall. Planning on lounging in the hotel, taking day trips, scuba diving and snorkeling.
We are leaning towards the Ritz because of all the amenities and because rates at the Marriott and Westin are only slightly lower (but include breakfast). Is the Ritz really worth the extra $$ ?? Is it really a hassle to walk from the Resort Tower building which is not the ocean front building to the beach? I have read all the reports and it seems that the Marriott is good but is not the resort place that the Ritz is, and reviews on the Westin are not as favorable.
We're not thinking of a condo setting since we will not be cooking, but would consider complexes with daily service and a restaurant or within walking distance of some, any recommendations? Any advice would be great.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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I have stayed at the Ritz, but can't really compare it to the other properties. I can tell you, however, that walking from the Resort Tower to the beach is no big deal; you hardly even notice that you're walking across the road.

The other observation I'll share -- and this from having traveled at the last-minute for a long July weekend -- was that the place was very crowded. The dive operator my husband used said July is very busy due to families traveling. What this translates to at the Ritz is a loathsome practice of people dropping their stuff on prime beach/pool chairs to "save" them and then disappearing for hours, leaving those who have not done so high and dry. The attendants do what they can to help, but there is only so much they can do.
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Old Jul 8th, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Consider one of the really nice condos on 7 Mile Beach instead of a hotel. Breakfast for your family will be expensive as will other meals. The condos on Grand Cayman are especially nice including several right near the hotels you mentioned. All have nice pools and good facilities.

Much less crowded.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Has anyone stayed at the Beachcomber condos in GC? Any feedback? Is the complex within walking distance of restaurants, stores, etc? http://www.beachcomber1.com/beachcomber1/index.php
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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dove, I have the same questions as Yazlin. Do you prefer any of the condo complexes? We're going at Christmas and are looking at Lacovia, Coralstone, and Beachcomber or any others you may suggest.

TurtleTagger suggested this link on another thread:

http://www.caymanvacations.com/

I found it to be very helpful in comparing condo complexes and have already sent in an inquiry for availability.

While searching for reviews on TripAdvisor, I came across some descriptions of the crowds at the Ritz. I wouldn't want to spend that kind of money to have to fight for a chair.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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We stayed at London House during our visit and we thought it was really nice. However, we had rented a car. The condos on that end of 7 mile beach are not within walkable distance to restaurants, etc.

We rented through Cayman vacations and got a good discount; plus they knew the properties and could answer a lot of questions. Overall, we thought condos was the way to go on Grand Cayman. Lots of choices and all very nice with pools and room to spread out. Far less crowded than the hotels we visited.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Thanks, dove. We're going with our 21 year old son and 19 year old daughter so I wanted to be able to give them a little freedom to walk to restaurants, etc. My big bugaboo is beach chair availability. I hate to worry about it. Plus, I like to have some shade from an umbella, trees, etc and Lacovia looks like it is more shaded than others.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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We always rent a condo on the beach (usually Plantana). Be aware that at Christmas every hotel and condo adds extra $$$$s to the already high winter prices, so it will be very expensive. The Avalon is another very nice condo complex on a nice stretch of beach, but is likely to be expensive. I would look at an online map showing the location of the condos, and choose one in central seven mile beach. The stretch near town is not as nice, and further up towards West Bay is much quieter, and you will need a car to get to restaurants, supermarkets etc.

Of the hotels mentioned we would recommend the Westin, unless you can get a good deal on the Ritz. Both have good stretches of beach (the Marriott is not so good). Be aware though, that the Westin's rooms are possibly not as big as you might expect.

The Cayman Vacations site is sponsored and does seems to focus on a limited number of accommodations.
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Old Jul 11th, 2010, 05:40 PM
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"The Cayman Vacations site is sponsored and does seems to focus on a limited number of accommodations."

While it pays to be informed, I think you may be confusion the Cayman Vacations website, which acts as a booking agent for the largest f condo complexes along all of Seven Mile Beach, with another Website/Guide that only endorses businesses and establishments which advertise with it. In fact their web forums are edited to remove any comments regarding non-advertising business.

I suggest to use the CayamanVacations website as a comparison tool to see location and beach quality; then contact the complexes of interest directly or through VRBO or the like to get a comparison price (e.g. lower).
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 05:54 PM
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Of the 3 hotels you mentioned, I would pick Westin.Stayed there last May and same comments as previous posters about the other two properties. Lots of nice condo complexes that we would look at if traveling back with our kids. Enjoy!
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