The Ritz-Carlton – Grand Cayman

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The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is high-end luxury on the beach, and what a magnificent beach it is. In our opinion, The Ritz-Carlton is the finest hotel in the Cayman Islands. The hotel is located on the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach, know for its pristine turquoise waters and endless stretches of white powdery sand for as far as the eye can see. This is by far, one of, if not the prettiest beaches we have ever visited.

The property is set on 144 acres of beach and tropical gardens. It’s a larger hotel with 365 rooms and suites ranging from 480 sq ft to 2160 sq ft in size.

FLYING TO

The British territories of the Cayman Islands are located in the turquoise waters of the western Caribbean, just 480 miles south of Miami. Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman, which is where the main airport is located. There are several flight options departing from the states, some of which are even direct. As we live in New Jersey we able to secure direct flights out of Newark.

We recommend making airport shuttle arrangements with The Ritz Carlton ahead of time, so that upon arrival you and your family can just get on the 15 minute shuttle ride and leave your worries behind.

Upon Arrival

Upon arrival we greeted with friendly smiles, fresh cookies and a refreshing rum punch cocktail. We arrived ahead of check-in time, but the staff was very willing to try to accommodate as quickly as possible. By the time we were done with lunch at the poolside restaurant, one of our rooms was ready for us.

The Rooms

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The hotel recently underwent renovation and the results do not disappoint. The aesthetic of the rooms and hotel is refined island luxury. Cool tones mixed with transitional design provide and elegant yet approachable atmosphere. The hotel itself stands at seven stories, and oceanfront rooms on the upper floors all have sweeping views of the brilliant seven-mile beach and evening sunsets.

The garden view rooms and some of the resort view rooms are bit far off the path from the beach, making it a bit of a walk for the kids in tow. Also a bit of walk back to the room from the beach to retrieve that must have forgotten toy.

For our family of four, we had two adjoining ocean view rooms which was more than enough space for us.

Room Details

    • Twice daily housekeeping
    • Balconies
    • Deep soaking marble tubs
    • Room Service
    • WiFi (covered in the daily resort fee)
    • Extremely comfortable beds and lush bedding

A special shout out to the housekeeping staff…

who upon our leaving, found our son’s new and much loved stingray stuffed animal and mailed it back home to us. Thank you!

The Pools

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There are two pools on the property, one with one closer to beach and the other closer to newly installed the Starfish Cay water playground in (suitable for young children). both pools are family-friendly, and offer wait and towel service. If you are staying in a garden view room, you will be closer to the pool near the water park. The oceanfront rooms are closer to the pool near the beach, and both pools are within walking distance but not view from each other.

Pool Amenities

        • Wait Service
        • Towel Service
        • Sunscreen

The Beach

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Did we mention how gorgeous the beach is? Seven Mile Beach is by far one the prettiest if not the prettiest Caribbean beach we have ever seen. Seven Mile Beach will simply take your breath away! The turquoise water is warm and gentle, and you don’t have to wait long before you some some tropical fish swimming by your toes. The water is so calm and clear, the young ones will never want to leave and nor will you!

At the beach

        • Free use of stand-up paddle boards, small sail boats, snorkel gear, water bikes
        • One-on-one sailing lessons
        • Friendly and attentive wait service
        • Cabana rentals with private butlers, daybeds, well stocked beverage refrigerators, and fresh fruit platters
        • Shaded lounge chairs
        • Towel Service
        • Complimentary beach amenities served on occasion

SUGGESTION: Reserve your beach chairs in the morning as the beach does get crowded. Cabana Rentals should also be made ahead of time as well!

DiningĀ 

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Whether you are after a poolside burger or a six course tasting menu, and with six different restaurants on property it’s hard not to find something to satisfy your taste. The six restaurants each offer unique yet family-friendly dining experiences. The tasting menu at Blue by New York’s acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert, is a must! Our nine year-old daughter who is quite the foodie especially enjoyed the three course tasting menu. Blue is certainly the hotel’s finer restaurant, and the atmosphere and service reflects as much. We refrained from bring our son their as he is more of a chicken finger and plain pasta kind of kid, and just wouldn’t appreciate Blue’s masterful cuisine.

On the evenings we weren’t feeling like sitting in a restaurant, we would eat delicious sushi and play a board game or two right the hotel’s conveniently located lobby bar. One night the hotel even had a live jazz band playing.

Breakfast is served daily in the restaurant SEVEN, offering quite an extensive buffet and fresh juices. Brunch is served on Sundays.

At any of the restaurants you will find plenty of children, most of them with their sun-kissed faces buried deep into their iPads, iPods, iWhatever.

Complimentary dining for children five years old and younger in SEVEN, Bar Jack, Andiamo and Taikun

SUGGESTION:

If you do have kids in tow who aren’t in the mood to sit for a large meal, or perhaps you aren’t in the mood either… we HIGHLY recommend walking just off property to the Sunshine Grill. The Sunshine Grill offers some of the best casual dining with the freshest fish tacos we have ever had. They also offer Caribbean draft beers and refreshing cocktails. Seriously, walk on over in your flip flops and enjoy just don’t get there too late or you will have to wait (even though it’s worth it)!

Ritz Kids

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Ritz Kids is all about getting the children interested in and excited about learning and exploring the natural environment surrounding the hotel and nearby waters. The four key pillars of Ritz Kids Discover: Water, Land, Environment, Responsibility and Culture.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman offers Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program for kids ages 5 and over and parents too! The Ambassadors of the Environment program is offered at the Heritage Cottage located in a Cayman style cottage right on property. The program offers various excursions for parents and kids led by expert naturalists.

A few of the many programs offered:

        • Snorkeling 101
        • Night Snorkeling
        • Photography
        • Mangrove kayak tours
        • Ambassadors in the kitchen
        • Stingray Detective

Our family ventured out on a snorkel tour and it was amazing! We saw sea turtles, stingrays, barracuda, brilliantly colored fish of all shapes and sizes. They let our kids borrow underwater cameras which the kids loved. The staff put the kids photos on a disc for them and had it delivered to our room before the end of the stay, which we thought was a really nice touch. We went with our kids on the tour, but there were a few kids who went without their parents and they were well looked after.

The Ambassadors of the Environment program is a wonderful and fabulous opportunity and should not be overlooked! Our only regret is not taking more of an advantage of it.

Suggestion: Upon check-in discuss the Ambassadors of the Environment Program with the concierge as they can help you make arrangements.

What else for the kids??

This is an extremely kid-friendly property. If the kids are getting beached out and need a break from the pool the hotel also has:

        • Tennis: Nick Bollettieri (couch to some of the greats) has created a custom tennis program for The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, with youth and family programs.
        • Basketball Court
        • Board games and DVDs available to borrow
        • Golf: On a Greg Norman designed 9-hole course

Excitement Level:

Moderate

Ambiance:

Tropical elegance

Highlights:

  • Signature Ritz-Carlton Service
  • Located on the magnificent Seven-Mile Beach
  • Ambassadors of the Environment Program (for kids 5+)
  • Minutes from airport
  • Six Restaurants on Site
  • Silver Rain Spa
  • Different room options for families
  • Expect more families and a larger crowd during winter breaks

Lowlights:

  • Daily Resort Fee
  • Beach chairs are very close together
  • Long walk to beach from many of the rooms

Takeaway:

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is terrific property for a tropical family vacation. The beach is breathtaking, the hotel offers something for everyone, the excellent and staff members are warm and inviting. We would love to come back.

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