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Where to Stay in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman’s greatest asset is the natural beauty of its white beaches, turquoise waters and pristine coral reef, and nowhere are these attributes on greater display than at Seven Mile Beach. Because of the idyllic setting along the island’s west coast, the overwhelming majority of Grand Cayman’s hotels and resorts are located along this strip. Nearly all of the truly lavish hotels on the island are situated there, but if you search carefully and book early, cheap hotel deals in Grand Cayman can also be found in this area. Some hotels maintain competitive rates year-round, but almost all of them offer off-season discounts at the end of April that last through the beginning of December.
Every part of the island is scenic, so if you prefer a quieter location than crowded Seven Mile Beach, you can find scattered accommodations in other areas. North of the beaches is the West End, where you’ll find a turtle farm and great stingray watching right off the coast. South of the beaches is the capital, George Town, a major Caribbean duty free shopping destination. The eastern districts of Bodden Town, North Side and East End are largely undeveloped, and their few hotel options are among the most peaceful.
Grand Cayman Hotel Tips
In any search for the most opulent luxury resorts in the Caribbean, you’ll find several top contenders located right on Seven Mile Beach. As is often the case, these mega-resorts are invariably expensive, but if you have the means and desire to splurge on an oceanfront room, you can hardly choose a better island. To suit more modest budgets, Grand Cayman has a variety of accommodations that includes mid-range resorts and simple, independently owned cottages and motels. However, even the most affordable properties cannot be considered cheap, and high prices for dining and transportation should also be anticipated. You can get great value out of your trip by booking smart, but you just can’t do Grand Cayman on a shoestring budget.
Grand Cayman Hotel Recommendations
If you’re traveling to Grand Cayman for its renowned luxury, you’ll find it in spades at the Ritz-Carlton, a massive property that spans the width of the entire strip between Seven Mile Beach and the North Sound. Its two massive towers are arranged on either side of West Bay Road and are connected by a climate-controlled catwalk, making it easy to explore the resort’s restaurants, spa areas and posh lounges. Included among the hotel’s assets are a Greg Norman golf course, world-class tennis facilities and a huge range of water sports rentals.
Even if you’re on a limited budget, you may find that your needs are more than covered by the spacious rooms at the Comfort Suites, which while simple, are located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. Sunshine Suites Resort, another comparatively discount-priced option near the beach, offers in-room kitchenettes as a standard feature.
Look beyond the beach for more tranquil surroundings like those at the Grand Caymanian Resort on the North Sound. Its fully furnished, colonial-style condos are arranged around common areas that include landscaped pools, tennis courts, a breezy seafood restaurant and other upscale amenities. Considerably farther away, on the East End, Reef Resort delivers a fun, first-class resort experience that includes something you can’t get at even the best Seven Mile Beach resorts: a sense of isolation.
Grand Cayman Transportation
Many visitors to Grand Cayman will spend the entire trip on Seven Mile Beach, and if this is what you’ve got in mind, there’s no need to reserve a rental car. Airport shuttles and taxis are plentiful, convenient and more affordable overall than renting a vehicle if you plan to stick to the tourist areas.
If you intend to venture farther from the beach than the shopping destinations in George Town, however, renting a car after your flight to Grand Cayman will give you the greatest freedom to explore. Several U.S.-based rental agencies have cars available for pick-up at the airport.
If you only want to spend a single afternoon touring the outer reaches of the island, you’ll save money and have more time to appreciate the sights by taking a guided group tour. A variety of these excursions depart daily from the tourist areas, and some tour companies will even arrange to pick you up at your hotel.