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Grand Cayman, looking for recommendations on North SMB

Grand Cayman, looking for recommendations on North SMB

Mar 28th, 2019, 08:08 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Grand Cayman, looking for recommendations on North SMB

Appreciate any advice… After a lot of research my husband and I have decided on Grand Cayman for a warm getaway trip. It seems like there is a good mix of outdoor activities (including snorkeling), the opportunity to drive "off the beaten path", nice beach, good restaurants and some shopping / exploration for me downtown.

We are looking for a hotel (or condo with a resort-type feel) that is not overly crowded, possibly on the North end of seven mile beach. Ideally with a nice beach, cool restaurant within the resort, and a little bit of luxury (4-star type place.)

We considered a large resort like the Marriott but the beach front looks like it can get very crowded during the time we are going, in the middle of April. So looking up north a bit further. Not sure if a condo is the best option since there isn't a restaurant, large pool etc. Possibly a condo that feels like a resort? I'd really appreciate any recommendations!

Our budget for a 6-7 day stay is about $3800 for lodging, the second half of April sometime. I understand this is on the lower side for GC and what I'm looking for, and appreciate any hidden gems or advice!
jennwk is offline  
Mar 29th, 2019, 12:08 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I loved Grand Cayman and 7MB, have stayed in the Marriott and the Comfort Suites which is not luxury but good value. Next time we are looking at staying further north at the Sunshine Suites, again this is not going to be luxury enough. I would think a condo is a great idea, the location is close enough to some great restaurants and who needs a pool when you have glorious 7MB right in front of you? Camana Bay with its restaurants and shops is walking distance or short taxi ride (might be too hot to walk during the day). The beach right in front of the Marriott is on a narrower part of 7MB, I've not been in April but in November and Feb, it was not crowded but understand it can be.
Odin is offline  
Mar 29th, 2019, 12:33 PM
  #3  
Gin
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 105
Take a look at Beach Suites https://beachsuites.ky/ I think it's in your price range and it's condo-ish along with a restaurant on site (Tillies). It's pretty central SMB with a pool and a nice beachfront. You will be able to walk to lots of places easily. Let us know what you decide.
Gin is offline  
Mar 29th, 2019, 07:39 PM
  #4  
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Thank you, Gin. Much appreciated! I am definitely looking into Beach Suites. Also considering a condo called South Bay Beach Club, but this is a little closer to Marriott. I was wondering if there is much difference in terms of how crowded it feels a little further northat Beach Suites, vs. by Marriott etc?

I saw that you had also traveled a lot to Turks and Caicos! I really loved it there and learned alot from this forum before we went. I was wondering how you thought Grand Cayman compared to Turks? At Turks we had found a place away from the crowded area called Windsong - I think I was spoiled since it was perfect. Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it!!
jennwk is offline  
Mar 30th, 2019, 11:40 AM
  #5  
Gin
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I'm not familiar with South Bay Beach Club. We stayed at Lacovia and usually walked North on the beach. The few times we walked South, it felt busier due at first to the Royal Palms area (cruise ship people) and then again once we got to the Marriott. We never went past the Marriott because at those times there was very little beach and what lounge chairs there were, were at the waters edge. Just too congested but of course both these areas fluctuate in number of people/wideness of beach. It may open up south of there, I just don't know.

I think GC is busier than T&C over all but found that the beach areas in front of the condos on SMB were actually less "crowded" than in T&C. I can't say the same for the hotels as the Ritz seemed packed in, the Westin was crowded- but more spread out and see above re Marriott. I am familiar with the Windsong and we used to stay at a place near by called the Turks and Caicos Club which is now the Beach House. We loved that area too. One of the biggest differences regarding places to stay is the GC condos "resorts" don't usually have restaurants/bars on site. We were used to that as we had been staying at LeVele and The Tuscany on T&C and neither of them have a restaurant/bar on site. Grand Cayman has great restaurants and I be hard pressed to pick which Island has better food. Price wise they are also very similar but we think groceries may be just a smidge less expensive on GC - beer definitely is - and we think restaurants may be a smidge more on GC.

I don't know if you plan to rent a car but if you don't, it is easier to stay in the central part of SMB as there is so much within easy walking distance. This map helped us a lot in our planning. Map of Seven Mile Beach Restaurants | Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Gin is offline  
Apr 15th, 2019, 03:36 PM
  #6  
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Hi Gin,
Thanks so much for your help. (I apologize for the delayed reply, I thought I had written back awhile ago, but user-error on posting my response.) We finally decided on staying further up North on the beach at the Renaissance condos. We're really excited to go! I think the beach is more what we are looking for there, less crowded, and the condo looks really nice. I was thinking about switching to Curaco vs Grand Cayman since it seems more affordable, but were able to find a rate within budget by shifting the trip from April to early May, and going Thursday to Thursday. Flights (on Delta) were significantly higher Friday to Friday. Ian at Caymanvacations.com and the Renaissance were super helpful! (highly recommend.) I think we will rent a car while we are there. Thank you again! Jenn
jennwk is offline  
Apr 15th, 2019, 06:42 PM
  #7  
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Grand Cayman - Renting a Car, Off the Beaten Path Activities?

Hi! I am excited to be planning our trip to the Grand Cayman now that we have decided where to stay on SMB... I would really appreciate any recommendations on a good rental car agency to use? It looks like Avis may be a good choice? We would prefer to rent a car at the airport, and to be able to return it there also. I'm going to check with into credit card points also to see if they offer any good rates, discounts etc. Appreciate ideas or lessons learned regarding the best car rental agency.

Also am reading about all the excursions, restaurants, activities etc. to do. Looking for more nature oriented / off the beaten path type activities for my husband and I to do. The Starfish beach definitely sounds like one of them! Would appreciate any memorable locations to visit, good restaturants etc.

Thank you, Jenn
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