More about Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach
Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach TWO THUMBS UP!!
Arrival-took a taxi from the airport. It was about 15 minutes. the price is set up front by a person in the taxi booth at the airport. the booth is located just as you exit the airport. the cost was $15 US.
Room-One Bdrm Suite,Clean, everything worked great, including the full size fridge.
Pool-not huge but just fine.
The staff-whatever you needed the staff was there for you. they were just great.
Beach-narrow but good. Clean, quiet, no hustlers even at night. Couples were walking or just sitting out at night. Lots of stars. Just perfect. It was a little rocky going in the water. If you go to the right, north, just a little bit it was easier getting in. You can get a beach towel at the front desk.
Cemetery Beach-about a 10 minute ride north of the Comfort Suites. Can't miss it, it's actually a cemetery. Beach is very nice.
Car rental-right across the street at Andy's. You get a 20% discount at the counter when you rent if you are staying at the comfort suites. Reasonable prices for sure. With full insurance and the Cayman license it cost $47 with all taxes.
Restaurants-the free breakfast at the hotel was good. they had cereal, waffles, bagels, toast,fresh fruit,juice and coffee everyday. All food was fresh and the coffee was good. Great deal.
All we heard was that Grand Cayman was sooo expensive. Within walking distance were the following-McCoy's(excellent), Coconut Joe's, Aqua Beach, Cimboco and Stinger's (also very good) right on the property. Each one of these places was inexpensive. There are very ritzy places also but we were just fine with jerk chicken, mahi mahi, salads and any American or island fare that these restaurants offered.
The bar at Stinger's was great-right outside your door.
Snorkeling-it was ok on the beach and at Cemetery Beach but the snorkel trip with Soto Cruises was absolutely the trip of a lifetime...swimming with the stingrays is not to be misssed. The water was so shallow that you can actually stand on the sandbar and fed them.
When departing the airport is very easy to navigate, not a problem. the prices at the duty free shops is competitive at the airport if you don't want to bother lugging items around.
This is not a wild, party island but rather a quiet, peaceful location where I encountered politeness from every I met. Whether people were working at an establishment that I was patronizing or just walking past everyone was as friendly as can be. This is definitely a place worth visiting.
Third trip - Best Value
My wife and I spent five nights in mid-March at the Comfort Suites. This was our third trip to Grand Cayman in the past 24 months and the first time that we have stayed at the Comfort Suites.
Our vacation philosophy is to stay at a modestly price hotel and spend our money on dining and other island activities. With the money that we saved staying at the Comfort Suites (as compared to other hotels on Seven Mile Beach) we were able to rent a car for our entire stay, take a 1/2 day tip to Sting Ray Sandbar, and made reservations for the Barefoot Man dinner show at the Reef.
The complimentary breakfast was a great benefit, the room was clean, the air conditioner worked and the refrigerator kept our beverages cold. Life is good!
We snorkeled every day at various spots around the island, with our favorite reef less than a five minute walk from the resort. (The reef is located near the Treasure Island Resort)
When we go back we will stay at the Comfort Suites again.
Pros and Cons.
I have been coming to the Cayman Islands to Scuba Dive for 20 years. This trip was just my father and I on short 4 night stay. We hadn't been back to Grand Cayman since Hurricane Ivan and were eager to see the changes to our favorite diving spot. My father and I are well travelled and I would describe us and "low maintenance" guests. This was our first stay at the Comfort Suites.
I rated the Comfort Suites as 'average' because there are definite pros and cons.
When I called the Comfort Suites for reservations , I received different quotes depending on who I talked to. I finally got the best rate by calling Don Foster's (the onsite dive outfitter). The room worked out to be $153/ngt with the dive package.
We tried to check in at 1:00pm. We had a bad first impression, as the desk clerk was rude and shunned us for trying to check in before 3:00pm. Yikes. No big deal. (Luckily, we found the rest of the staff to be very nice and gracious.) We came back at 3:00pm and got our Deluxe Studio on the 3rd floor. The room had two double beds, sofa, desk and kitchenette. The kitchenette had a refrigeratior, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, sink, dishes and silverware. The room was basic, but clean and quiet. The biggest gripe for divers; there is no tub in the bathroom or balcony to rinse and dry your gear. We heard several other divers disappointed with this also. However, I never checked to see if some of the larger suites have tubs and/or a balcony.
They have a very nice free breakfast from 7-10am which included waffles, cereal, bagels, fruit, juice, coffee, and muffins. They also have a free computer with dial-up internet in the lobby. We were told they also have free WiFi in your room, if you bring your own laptop.
The pool is rather basic, but has Stingers bar right there to order drinks and food. It's just a short walk to the beach. I did hear some people gripe about the chain link fence and construction site just South on the beach. But just North is the nice Marriott beach.
Don Foster's does have an on-site dive shop. However, all their dives leave out of their main facility south of Georgetown. So you either need to drive yourself or have them pick you up by van to get to the boat. They only dive the West side of Cayman. To dive the North or South walls, you must use another outfitter.
In summary. The Comfort Suites is a clean comfortable hotel that offers a good value compared to other hotels on 7 mile beach. For divers, it may be less expensive, but not really an ideal set up for diving.
Good luck and have fun!
Small no-frills hotel
If you are ok with a no-frills hotel - this place is perfect. Nobody is helping you with your bags when you arrive, there is no concierge and the rather small rooms have an unidentified smell. BUT you will get an incredible complimentary continental breakfast (with cereal, waffles & yogurt) and free wireless in-room internet access (and a computer provided in the lobby if you don't have your own laptop). You will also get a small mini-kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, silverware and sink.
Most of the staff is friendly and accomodating. Some seem like they would rather be anywhere but at work but you find those types everywhere. You will need to use your key to get in late at night but there is always someone at the front desk to help you out.
The pool is small and a bit below par. I could physically see the oil from everyone's suntan lotion floating on the top of the water. The beach is accessible via a short path next to the hotel. Umbrellas can be rented for $10/day... there aren't many chairs available on the beach... swimming isn't great because there is a reef only feet off the beach. But, I guess you could snorkel right off the beach if that appeals to you.
Decent hotel for the price
Just stayed for 5 nights at Comfort Suites and was pleased. It's certainly not a luxury resort, but it's not priced like one either. I can carry my own bags to my room and don't require a concierge, so it was great for me. I stayed in the Studio Suite and would recommend moving to the larger 1 bedroom suite instead. The kitchenette was very nice and the room was kept very clean. The front desk was very helpful and friendly. They have a computer in the lobby you can use for free. The continental breakfast was nice as well. They even have a waffle maker so it's not just the usual bagels and cereal. The pool was a bit small, but kept very clean. The walk to the beach was no problem at all. There were chairs there to use and the front desk gives you towels as needed. The beach in front of the hotel was full of various fish. There are in-room safes but you have to "rent" a key and lock for $2.50 a day plus a pretty hefty refundable deposit. Overall, if you're looking to save money so you can spend more on food and shopping, I'd recommend this place. If, however, you're looking for luxury and pampering, it's probably not for you.
Seven Mile Beach is HEAVEN
Seven Mile Beach is pure heaven. One thing to note about Cayman is the price. Cayman dollar is stronger than the US dollar so everything is a little more expensive than in the States.
Comfort Suites provides an affordable alternative, especially if you are staying for a week. This comprehensive review provides money-saving tips to get the most of your vacation.
The complimentary continental breakfast is sufficient and saves you money. (Waffles, Cold Cereal, Bagels, Hard Boiled Eggs for the early risers ONLY) My major criticism is that they do not replenish the food. You have to ask for them to refill the waffle batter. The first day we were there, they had Raisin Bran that ran out. For the rest of the week, they did not replenish the Raisin Bran.
Rent A Car - especially if you want to explore the island. The taxis aren't readily available and charge per person rather than on distance. We used Andy's Rent-A-Car. The first car we got was more of a Rent-A-Wreck. All rusted and pieces breaking off and the check engine light went on. When we thought was going to stall, we took it back and got a newer model and were very content.
The Beach - Don't even bother with the beach outside the Comfort Suites. It's not a proper representation of what Seven Mile Beach has to offer. The best beach is outside the Westin. We drove to the Westin. Take the blue pool towels from the Comfort Suites and the folks at the Westin won't know they aren't the blue pool towels from their hotel. There is security and if you just act like you belong, no one will know the difference. If you get caught, they can prevent you from sitting on their beach chairs but can't kick you off the beach. The law in Cayman is that the public can have access to any beach as long as you are 10 feet from the water, you can't be kicked off a beach.
Snorkeling at the Westin - The best snorkeling on the island can be found right out from the Westin and toward the Governor's House. Better than any snorkeling tour.
Drinks at the Westin are very reasonable.
The only criticism of the Westin - no beach umbrellas. So prepare to bake.
The Marriott is right next door to the Comfort Suites and they don't really bother to ask if you staying at the Marriott, so you can use their beach, which is nicer than the Comfort Suites but not as nice as the Westin. You can also use the Marriott pool without anyone bothering you. The Marriott had a nicer pool than the Westin.
The only criticism of the Marriott - BEWARE of the ridiculous mark up on drinks. $22 for a virgin pina colada and a rum and coke. Ridiculous.
Snorkeling - The best snorkeling is by far outside the Westin toward the Governor's House. The man made reef outside the Marriott is not bad. We took a tour with Captain Marvin and they took us to Coral Gardens (not impressive) and Barrier Reef (the moray eel was very cool) as well as StingRay City. StingRay City is an absolute must. The stingrays are like puppies, they are so friendly. Absolutely amazing.
Eden Rock and South Side - lots of reef but no fish :( Surprising right outside the Paradise Restaurant in Georgetown you will see more fish.
Turtle Farm - Has tons of potential. It's not as big as we had expected. A few outdoor tanks and you can pick up the turtles and take pictures with some of them. No real varieties. They are building an expansion that should be complete in 2007. The tour guide said there will be dolphins (can swim with them) and more turtles. It was fun to hold the turtles. You only need about an hour at the turtle farm. Souvenirs are way overpriced. We bought a stuffed turtle for $23 and found the same stuffed turtle at the Comfort Suites for $15.
Food - Very pricey. Thank God for the complimentary Comfort Suites breakfast. We bought two coffees and two donuts from Dunkin Donuts one morning and it was $10. We bought some bread, coldcuts, bottled water, Gatorade and some snacks from Foster's Food Fair and it was definitely a smart move.
Stingers - Very affordable and one of the best burgers I have had in a long time.
EATS cafe across the street from the Westin is YUMMY! The menu is so varied (Mexican, American, Italian and Asian). Very affordable. We had lunch there twice. The staff is so friendly. Decor was Marilyn Monroe. You would never know you were in the Caribbean.
Ristorante Pappagallo - Everything was delicious. Try the coffee creme brulee...Very nice atmosphere. A little challenging to get to but you get to experience West Bay.
Deckers - Tuesdays is All You Can Eat Lobster for $53. Make sure you go hungry. The lobster tails are pretty big. They start you off with three and then bring them one at a time. Most people don't even get round 1.
The Lighthouse - Great lunch spot, especially if you venture out onto the East End of the island. The only place we heard waves crashing. The food was really good.
Copper Falls - If you are craving steak, this is the place to go.
Georgetown - Their version of downtown. Stay out of there when the cruise ships are in town. Most cruiseships leave at 3pm and you will have downtown all to yourself. You don't need more than an hour and a half to explore. No great deals to be found.
East End/Rum Point - We drove around the island. Outside of Seven Mile Beach there isn't much. You will see the devastation left by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 as you drive toward the East End. There is nothing out there. Two isolated resorts that didn't look that impressive - Morritts and Reef Resort are out there but no much else.
Rum Point was cute but Seven Mile Beach beats it hands down. Seven Mile Beach is definitely one of the nicest beaches we have been to and we have heavily traveled the Caribbean and South Pacific. It is a great spot to bring the kids. No waves to worry about. Calm crystal clear water and beautiful sand. What else can you ask for?!
The thin end of the beach
A strange mix, Comfort Suites is cheap by Cayman standards but not by general Caribbean levels, it has comfortable enough rooms but is not particularly relaxing.
The good thing about it is the rooms, large and spacious – two (small) double beds, a sofa, side-tables, arm chair and a small kitchen and eating area. The bathroom is small and has only a shower, no bath. Housekeeping is excellent and the room was always spotlessly clean. The main downside about them is that there are no balconies so there’s nowhere to sit outside to relax for a bit and while the furnishings are OK they're a bit on the cheap side so it's not the best place to spend much time (if, as it did, it rains non stop for 36 hours).
Downstairs there is a little bar/restaurant – good service and food is fine, it’s just rather cramped and nearly always with loud music or the tv always on full blast, not the best place to have a quiet drink or to talk over dinner. Other options are the nearby Wendy’s and Burger King or some livelier local places including Coconut Joes, which seemed very popular despite (or perhaps because of?) Lonely Planet describing it as having a “low brow ambience”.
Breakfast is included but is eminently avoidable, the plates are paper, the cups polystyrene and the cutlery plastic. Bread comes still in its wrapper (and not always fully defrosted, a problem when the toaster breaks down), butter and jams are in little packets and there is fruit salad, fresh from the tin (at least it is not still in it).
The pool’s tiny and I doubt it would hold more than half a dozen guests however the beach is only a short walk away, past a derelict building. Unfortunately its owners have fenced off most of the sand leaving only a very narrow stretch for sun loungers (single file) – the beach slopes and there’s not too much room. This is definitely the cheap end of the beach, it comes to a rocky end about a hundred yards south, a few hundred yards further up – and round a point, as if to emphasise how bad this part is - it widens to five miles of lush thick sand to be enjoyed by guests of the better hotels and apartment blocks. When you walk back (assuming the high tide hasn’t cut you off, some buildings are far to close to the sea), you really can feel like the poor relation.
So would I recommend it or stay here again. Not really, other than underwater (and someone has already noted that the lack of baths and balconies means its not good for divers) Cayman doesn’t seem to offer anything special in terms of things to do or see and charges far far more than many other Caribbean islands. CS was bearable for work until I moved into an apartment, as I was out all day, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be stuck there on holiday.