Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Grand Cayman: Truly A Piece of Heaven on Earth...

Once you visit the Cayman Islands, and specifically Grand Cayman, it will be really hard to go to any other island. The Cayman Islands used to be a place for mainly scuba divers but it has become a special place for any type of vacation. Grand Cayman is the largest of the Cayman Islands with George Town as its capital. There are so many things to do and places to visit (see bottom of review).

First, we'd like to offer opinions about two very different accommodations. One being a five-star luxury hotel and the other a homey suite hotel.

Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.
We've stayed at many Ritz-Carltons and there's just something about this particular one that was easily coerced to the top of our list. It is everything you could ever ask for and more. From its location on the famous Seven Mile Beach, its gorgeous, immaculate hotel decor, and grounds to the polite-as-can-be staff (always there when you need them, with kind smiles on their faces and going above and beyond any expectations) to their exceptional restaurants, we couldn't find one flaw at this wonderfully quiet and peaceful hotel. The service is awesome because the general manager wants each of his guests to feel special, and they do.
You can't beat the views from your rooms... we obviously loved the oceanfront but the gorgeous views from the Blue Tip Golf Course were just as wonderful. There are 365 guest rooms and many suites of all sizes. Private balconies offer breathtaking views. The bedding is goose down with non-allergenic pillows, the marble bathrooms are spacious and invigorating, the Internet and stocked refreshment bars with refrigerators are also part of the deal. Restaurants include Blue by Eric Ripert (will provide an experience for your palate that you will never forget), Bar Jack (a fun place to have a specialty drink), and a few more. A fitness center, two outdoor pools, tennis courts, scuba shop, retail shops, basketball court, an oceanfront Jacuzzi and Starfish Cay (a waterpark attraction) will complete your undeniable luxurious stay.

Let's not forget about the gorgeous beach and its spectacular views (the star of the show) that is ready for you any time you crave it, at a moment's notice. Relax and enjoy being pampered on their oh-so-comfy lounge chairs and soft, plush towels, and enjoy the stunning sunset on the crystal clear waters at the end of your day before you head on to dinner.

Here are the Ritz's own words, and we couldn't say it any better: "From the moment guests arrive at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, they are encompassed by a sense of wonder, making every experience a treasured memory at this Grand Cayman luxury hotel. By day, it might be captured in the cool blue sea – in a gently floating water hammock or a memorable swim at Stingray City. Unforgettable evenings leave memorable imprints, too, whether from the excitement of a night snorkel experience, the delectable seafood dining experience at Blue by Eric Ripert, or a moonlit stroll on Seven Mile Beach." 

Grand Cayman Beach Suites.This hotel is also on Seven Mile Beach. Each of its wonderful rooms is decorated in a soothing Caribbean palette and are complete with a separate living (with kitchenette that has a microwave and refrigerator) and bedroom area. The immaculate rooms are really spacious so you won't feel like your family is on top of each other... it's a home away from home. There is a perfect little gym, two pools and a swim up bar for relaxing and swimming, and the location is perfect. There's a water trampoline anyone to use, so much fun. Red Sail Sports is conveniently placed right on their property so you don't have to walk further than down to the beach for your excursions.

We love all of the little amenities that really make you feel welcomed. The lobby always has fresh apples and ice water with lemons which we loved, and they also offer coffee and tea all day long. The pool always has fresh drinking water available as well so you never have to be without a drink to keep you hydrated and quench your thirst. And in the evening you will find chocolate or rum cakes on your pillow! So sweet, literally.

Their padded beach chairs are so comfortable and they each have their own shade awnings as well (you can use them or lower them). As with the Ritz-Carlton, or actually anyone who helped us in Grand Cayman anywhere, the employees are so friendly and always ready to help you out. They treat you with respect and kindness always. 

Hemingways's is a great, casual restaurant that has terrific ocean-front views, and the price is reasonable. Their breakfast is superb. Side Bar's happy hours very happy, and their pizza is yummy. And, of course, their complimentary spicy popcorn hits the spot every time.

Restaurants to make sure you visit:

- Seven
- Eduardos
- Agua
- Regazzi
- Casanova (a bus away in Georgetown)
- Cayman Cabana (buy fresh caught fish, lobster and they prepare and serve to you)

Must-See Places to visit: 
- Hell (a truly unique limestone rock formation)
- Turtle Farm
- George Town
- Fort George
- National Museum
- Mastic Reserve and Trail
- Stingray City
- The Coral Islands
- The Barrier Reef
- Boatswain's Beach