Impeccable and Luxurious Service and Amenities
My husband and I went to Grand Cayman on our anniversary. We made the horrible mistake of booking the Hyatt for the 1st few days. My husband got burned in the shower at the Hyatt and the rooms were extremely noisy from the bar across the street, so we checked out the next day. From the moment we checked into the Ritz, the staff went out of their way to make us feel right at home! They brought us a rum runner and cookie and gave us the grand tour of their beautiful hotel. Surprisingly the Ritz was only $40.00 more per night than the Hyatt. It was well worth it! The rooms were beautiful! The marble bathroom was spacious so it worked perfectly for all of our dive gear. The conceirge went out of their way to book us the best dive reservations and give us the best advice about the island. The diving was incredible! On the night of our anniversary, we were given a bottle of champagne and at night our bed was covered in beautiful rose petals and towel swans! Do yourself a favor, stay clear of the Hyatt and check into the Ritz-Carlton. If you want to be pampered and feel like you are getting what you are paying for, stay at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman! We will definitely be back!
Heaven on Earth!
Ritz Carlton - Grand Cayman*** April 2006
I adore the Cayman Islands! Seven Mile Beach is incredible with its gorgeous sand (which NEVER gets too hot for you to walk on) and the crystal clear blue water which is just breathtaking!
My sister and I had been to the Caymans twice before and stayed at the Westin which is also an excellent property. However, the Riz Carlton had just opened so we decided to stay there for our most recent trip. We loved our Ritz experience!! We had an ocean front room with an outstanding view of the pool and the ocean. We could view the most gorgeous Cayman sunsets right from our balcony.
The hotel itself was beautiful with part of the hotel on the beach side and part of the hotel on the lagoon side. It had two pools - one on the lagoon side (which we never used but it looked very nice) and a huge pool on the beach side which was fabulous. The water was great, the pool was very large and the poolside bar served great food and drinks.
Also, throughout the course of the day the wait staff would come around with skewers of fruit i.e. strawberries, grapes, pineapple and small cups of smoothies i.e. mango, banana, pina colada. Plus they would also come by with icy cold washclothes for you to "cool" yourself. Talk about feeling pampered!!! You could also get lounge chairs on Seven Mile Beach with the same amenities.
The rooms were very, very nice with incredible beds which you just "sunk into." The bathroom was large with a separate shower and bath and double sinks. Also, plenty of closet space and drawers for your clothes. I was, however, surprised that there were no miniature shampoos or hair conditioners provided and also felt the shower could have used more space to put your toiletries.
The service at the hotel was excellent with a very eager-to-please staff which included a bellman who gave us a ride to the airport when we hadn't allotted enough time for a cab.
The Ritz is pricey but worth every penny because you are truly made to feel pampered everywhere you go. I plan to return to the Cayman Islands for a fourth time and plan to stay at the RItz when I do. I highly recommend it!!
Ouch! I thought this was a luxury hotel!
We selected the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman because we’d heard it was the newest property and offered some relaxing resort comforts that would be perfect for recharging our batteries and stay on central standard time to boot. Well, it wasn’t and we both left agreeing that we’d never come back. To be fair, I’ll try to stick with observations and save “opinions” for later.
BEFORE we arrived: First, after numerous e-mails and phone calls I was assured repeatedly that we would have an ocean front room with a good view. This was critical as our idea of a relaxing time is sitting on a balcony, watching the water and beach and enjoying coffee together- so I went to considerable lengths to communicate with the Grand Cayman “Guest Relations Coordinator.” I responded to planning e-mails from the property as early as February identifying items such as foam pillows instead of down and selecting a newspaper (electronic version) that was offered (WSJ) for a fee. So our visit wasn’t like we just walked in off the street. I’ll proceed with the rest in a bit of chronological order to help tie things together.
ARRIVAL was so-so. The greeting out front was legendary Ritz service but at the front desk, things started to slip. On presenting my credit card to the registration person I was in-processed and then given a map indicating my room was in a portion of the hotel that did NOT have an ocean view. Also, that other members from my group had already arrived. Huh? I wasn’t with a group. I asked about this and he made a change and said that I did have an ocean view room and proceeded to draw another map. We were then escorted to our room and I’m glad we were because it’s quite a distance and crosses a three lane highway via an overhead walkway. But it was a pleasant stroll and the halls were filled with original art work by local artists; an unflattering and tacky feature was placing price tags on each. It seemed like an auction.
THE ROOM: Arriving at our room we confirmed that it was ocean front. BUT (and this feature was like having a splinter in your foot for the entire visit) the room had a side wall on the right and on the left was facing the private Residences portion. Standing in the room and looking out I measured just less than 25 degrees of viewing area of water and beach. This was simply unacceptable and I gently tried to bring this to our Guest Relations Coordinator’s attention. I did get a phone call response about two hours later saying that nothing else was available. I learned later that in fact other rooms were available just up the hall and they had splendid views. I guess those must have been reserved for one of the conferences members that were arriving. My beef was that when I pay $1,114.80 a night to stay in a room where I’ve been assured was ocean front and had a marvelous view, well I kind of expected that. My room didn’t and it was a daily irritation. On a side note, there were no foam pillows and we only received the WSJ the last two days of our week long visit. But housekeeping was superb and did bring replacements after I left a note asking for them. I left both very generous tips the first day and that seemed to insure good service.
On the positive side- by all means visit the spa and take a daily steam or sauna. I learned that the use of those facilities is complimentary- nothing else is! If you pick up the phone it adds $3.75 to your bill- whether you make a call or not. I had maybe 15 calls where I was trying to use my phone card and most failed because of this international calling card problem. I didn’t bother arguing that 25 seconds wasn’t a call- I just paid it.
THE SPA: It’s called Silver Rain and I’d read a number of comments about it before visiting. Several listed how impressed they were with the entrance and the high cost. We thought it was silly. You walk in this plain door and are immediately greeted by a sound of water falling. You walk across a 70’s style disco floor with subdued lighting that is slanted slightly downwards. On both left and right are plastic translucent plastic panels that keep the water spray away and probably add to the water falling noise. About 10 yards later you step down into a bit of a waiting room with robed receptionists and several ceiling to floor fixtures made of tiny silver chains hanging. The uniforms or robes the receptionists wear reminded me of something I had seen on Star Trek back in the 60’s and calling the men’s locker area a “sanctuary” in gorgeous silver letters seemed a bit over the top. We both giggled.
MASSAGE: This was the best part of our week long visit and almost helped me stomach not getting the room that was promised. We did the couples massage in the “Two if by Sea” room and technicians Erin and Renee were tops. They were so good that we did a second treatment later in the week. I left huge tips for both because they were worth it. There’s no doubt that the massages and spa were the only thing we’d even consider to go back to visit.
HOTEL FOOD: On the highly touted Blue restaurant operated by NYC’s legendary Eric Ripert- we thought it was mediocre at best. I ordered the suggested six course meal that included his best offerings and each was lackluster. However, the service was superb! We were fussed over by an attentive and professional wait staff that we later learned was from the Cancun Ritz property. Maybe that explained why they were so good. Each person we met in Blue was of top notch quality and the food presentations were timely and precise. Too bad the food product itself was such a disappointment- but in this area everyone has opinions so please don’t put too much stock in my comments. I guess when I pay $452.50 for two average folks to enjoy a dining experience I might expect a bit more. We joked that we wished we’d had another massage instead of the lousy meal. As a side note, we lived in New Orleans for six years and are completely spoiled by food presentations. So it’s not too hard to figure out why we’d be disappointed by this kind of menu. It was just boring food to me. Breakfast buffet is #38.81 for one person. My splendid lifelong companion doesn’t eat breakfast so she had coffee and I had a western omelet, some fruit, orange juice and coffee. Nothing special here and we didn’t expect anything above average. Room service was expensive in our estimation and we travel to South Beach and Manhattan. They just tack on cost after cost and cost. Good grief- enough already.
PHONE & INTERNET: I already mentioned the phone charges but they also hit you for internet access (hard line and wifi). I thought this was a bit tacky since I’m paying more than a thousand a night for a room- to add $12.49 each day so I can have e-mail was strange. It felt more like something a Holiday Inn would do instead of a luxury resort.
CHECK-OUT: Leaving the property was smooth as an invoice had been placed in my room early that morning. On departure the legendary Ritz service kicked in again: a cab hailed, our bags loaded and some fresh cookies handed over for the short ride to the airport. The young lady next to the one checking me out at the front desk could do with a refresher course in manners, but who knows what her day was like and travelers have to have armor on at times.
FINAL THOUGHTS: We talked at length about this trip and how we felt about the accommodations and service. I was disappointed that our ocean front view was just barely an ocean view. Yes, it did face the water but we had a huge wall running on the right side and a building facing us on the left. We also realized this facility layout caused another problem: acoustics. We could clearly hear diners in the restaurant four floors below me clinking silverware and glasses. I could hear conversations of passersby below and all sorts of other things because the Residences wall acts like a reflector and keeps the sounds bouncing back and forth. The construction going on was noticeable, but I was so disappointed over the poor view that it didn’t bother me. I could hear Skill saws and hammering from time to time- no biggie. The wallpaper in our bathroom was peeling; I thought that was unacceptable for a new resort. I took a picture of it if anyone wants to see, just drop me an e-mail. I’m back at work now not feeling refreshed or post vacation despondent at all. The trip to the Grand Cayman Ritz Carlton was irritating for the most part and they have almost $6,000 of my money. I felt taken in someway.
We agreed that we would NOT go back but instead go to the RC Cancun or back to Kapalua on Maui. Now that’s a Ritz-Carlton worth spending time at and JoJo Vasquez is a real chef!
Happy travels- just be careful out there. The Ritz organization is so well managed but sometimes, I guess even the best slip up. If you’d like photos or have questions or comments, drop me an e-mail.
Great hotel with an even better beach
Incredibly beautiful hotel. We had an oceanfront room, which I would strongly recommend. The oceanfront side of the hotel is very close to the pool and beach and has fantastic sunsets. The other rooms, the spa, and the main lobby of the hotel are all across the street and connected by an enclosed skybridge. It is a couple minute walk but not as bad as some of the other reviewers have suggested. The room are nicely decorated in typical Ritz Calrton style. The grounds are impeccable.
The Service at the hotel is also completely top notch.
If you plan to dine and drink at the hotel bring a very fat bankroll. The food and drink prices were among some of the highest I have seen anywhere in the world. Beers were around $10 USD, PIna Coladas by the pool were almost $19 USD. We did have room service for breakfast a couple of times and spent nearly $100 USD for bacon, egs, coffee and some fruit, nothing fancy. Both times our order was messed up or something forgotten that required the person delivering the room service to make a trip back to the kitchen. Not a huge problem, but you tend to expect perfection for the prices you pay here. The food at the Ritz was only average but very very pricey in general. We found a couple of great resaurants very close (5 minute walk) on each side of the Ritz that were much more reasonably priced and better food (check out Eduardos for Italian food, something ...Falls steakhouse, EAT Diner and the fantastic sports bar right next to it.
All in all, the Ritz Grand Cayman has to be regarded as one of the finest hotels in the world.
Great Hotel but your wallet will feel it
The hotel is fantastic. I found the staff to be friendly and over the top in meeting my needs when they arose. The beach is amazing and fantastic for walks. We went to Blue and loved it (although it set us back USD 350). 7 is good as well. Our room looked out on the pool and the ocean. Fantastic views.
I have stayed at many Ritzes and many times receive complimentary upgrades to the concierge floor. Not so here - they wanted $150 a person for that. Outrageous. But then so too are the USD 20 cocktails and pina colodas. (although quite tasty).
The cost for the rooms is outrageous. Had I not been on business I'm not sure I'd pay for it out of my own pocket. This place makes the Westin (the former #1 hotel here) look like it needs a serious renovation.
Without a doubt one of the finest hotels I've stayed in.
Incredible Service and high quality hotel
The quality service was evident the second I got out of the cab from the airport. They help you with your bags, give you a complimentary drink, chat with you while you wait to check-in and then walk you to your room.
The rooms are decent - not too large and amenities aren't top notch. My synopsis is that you aren't paying for an incredible room... you are paying for the quality customer service you receive every second of your stay.
The beach is beautiful. There are bed-like rafts anchored in the water and are great to sun bathe on (if you can claim one). There are plenty of chairs and umbrellas that the staff will set-up for you right away. The smaller pool is a nice alternative if you are hoping for a quieter and more relaxing day. The prices for the food and drinks by the beach and pool are a bit pricey but who can beat the luxury setting?
Internet access will cost you $9.99 for 24 hours. The events staff is incredibly accomodating and I would recommend the space to any group who can fit - including corporate groups and weddings.
NOTE: You should not tip any of the staff. A 15% service is charge will be applied to you bill on a daily basis for the staff's tips.
Abrupt and not up-to-par Ritz service- WAY over priced
I was part of a group so luckily I didn't get stuck with the bill. I've got a problem paying $20 US for a Jack Daniels and coke and yes, I do have more than $20- but the mark-up on food, beverages and just about everything else is evident and a bit obscene. My room was OK and the place feels good. I didn't care much for the strong paint odor in my room because workmen were out in the halls painting. But the bright yellow color was pretty. The employees there seem to be just going through the motions rather than delivering what I've seen at other Ritz resorts. The place seemed a bit littered- paper and stuff and the three days I was there the beach didn't seem to be raked. That's unusual. I sat at the pool one afternoon for more than an hour before any attendant offerred a towel or anything else. They seemed to be enjoying the shade and discussion in their cabana. I would like to go again and see how they look when they have more experience because I heard the place had only been open a little while.
$1000 per night for this?
The purpose of our trip was a quick romantic get-away with my wife. The hotel is impressive but the style doesn't fit island motif. It looks like it belongs in Arizona. The staff is courteous and the rooms are okay, but, no refrigerator in the room for $1000 per night. I don't want to sound petty, but give me a break! After a morning of wonderful diving, I want to get back to my room and chill for a few moments. Not happening. Also, there is no ice machine so you need to call. No pampering went on from the staff.
The pools and amenities are fine, but expensive. Conceriege service was lacking.
In summary, for the amount you pay, you want WOW! I have been more than impressed at the Ritz San Francisco. This is absolutely NOT the Ritz San Fran. Not even close. I will go elsewhere, save $2000 on a 4 night stay, and not miss a beat. Blue is a great restaraunt. Seven is plus minus. Lunch on the beach is killer. Having the staff sit you on the beach is a plus, but not worth the $500 per night difference from the Westin or Hyatt.
My advice-- take that extra money you save from NOT going to the Ritz and buy better scuba gear, go to a couple of fancier restaraunts, or give it to your favorite charity.
We are returning to Cayman in the Fall, but not to the Ritz.
After an absence of 26 years
Look around today you willl see construction just about everwhere, especially office buildings condominium developments and enormous luxury homes.
the Town Centre at Camana Bay with its offices, cinema, restaurants and more. Continuing development of the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. The government also wants to build 3 or 4 new schools, two office accommodation projects, a new court building , a police station or two a civic centre and a major airport extension. And it hopes to commence construction over the next two years,
A phenomenal growth, following the destruction that Ivan left in its wake in September 2004. Houses were flooded million dollar condominium blocks were destabilized, roads destroyed, green belts poisoned by salt. All was lost, some people believed. But they were proven wrong.
"Cayman Kai lots of new condos and houses"
Phoenixlike Cayman’s real estate market has risen from the devastation of Ivan. Urban centers over hundreds of acres are being constructed ageing condominium properties are bein refurbished and contemporary bright and luxurious accommodations are bein built on seafront land that until recently could not be had for love nor money. South Sound one of the most beautiful stretches of real esate in the world desired as a home address by countless numbers has suddenly become a possibility.
"Money, money, money its a rich man's world"
Waters Edge A six story development using lessons learned from Hurricane Ivan this property has an elegant façade which concedals a fortress-like poured concrete and steel construction. Set high above sea level and far back from the highwater mark, Water’s Edge has an emergency generator, a large water cistern as a fire fighting reserve and hurricane resistant windows and patio doors,
Ritz Carlton Of the 93 beach side residences available all but 12 have been sold. Prices start around US 3.4 million for a 2 bed of 2,400 sq ft and rise to US40 million for a 22,000 sq ft seventh floor penthouse with customiyed furniture, private elevator, private Ritz Carlton staff, private crewed boats and chauffeured Rolls Royce. Set on about 144 acres this multi faceted property includes a spa and fitness facility, shopping arcade, rooftop lounge, golf course, marina and access to Intrepid powerboats. And luxury cars
"Getting married - new extention to Grand Old House"
Land around the island continues to appreciate. In South Sound, prices are about 11’000 to 12,000 per front foot. On the Northeast coast, prices range between 3,000 and 5,000 per front foot. On the north side, prices have also move up, In some areas , land cosrts 4,000 per front foot but can go up to 10,000 a front foot depending on the depth shape and elevation of.
"The Grand Old House"
This restaurant has existed since 1969. Memories goes back to the year 1972 when I celebrated my birthday with friends.
"The Kaibo in Cayman Kai"
New restaurants like the Kaibo have emerged but I was disappointed with the fare they served at midday
"Money opens doors to ..........."
Come into my parlour