I think gjm is right about the Ritz not accepting reservations until January 2006. I checked the Ritz website, and although it indicates late fall 2005 opening, my attempts at online reservations were unsuccessful for any dates I tried prior to 1/06. Since I am unsure when you are getting married, you may want to check with them directly or have your travel agent do so. The rates were pricey for the Club Floor, I think about $699/night.
Given the long delays in the Ritz’ opening, rather than continuing to delay a trip to GC, my wife and I decided on the Hyatt, particularly since the 1 BR suites are going for $399/night with 5th night free, which I think is in effect until 11/30/05. Have stayed at the Hyatt in Aruba, which is also a beautiful hotel on a magnificient beach, which I would also recommend.
Jpep, you will enjoy your stay there!
JE429, I would check with either Hyatt beach suites, Westin (we stayed there on our honeymoon) or the Marriott beach front hotel.
They are all beautiful and have been updated since Ivan. The Marriott had a multi-million dollar renovation and the Westin just redid their pool area. The Hyatt has a terrific location and is central on the SMB stretch. The grounds are gorgeous! I would check these three properities and see if they would work for you. You don’t want to cut it too close with the Ritz, they have pushed their opening date several times in the past.
Forgive me for the brain freeze about your wedding and when you plan to stay in GC. I just realized after posting you indicated at the top of the thread that you are considering May 2006. DOH.
Please hand me a towel so I can wipe the egg off my face.
Nevertheless, assuming the Ritz is completely operational in May 2006, then you would have another hotel to consider for your trip. Note that from 5/6/06 -5/13/06, a date I arbitrarily selected, the lowest level room is $699/night and Club Floor room is $949/night. My prior post also incorrectly indicated the club floor rate was $699, rather than $949.
I should probably quit while I am behind. 😮
Oh don’t worry about it…Your too funny!! The rate we have from the travel agent for 7 nights is 2213 for garden and 2827 for ocean view. They had to get back to me on higher rooms due to a network crash. I was also wondering if there is activities to do off the resort? I heard it is built up so there is plenty to do incase we decide to explore, which we love to do! Tripadvisor doesn’t have too much info on the Ritz just yet. They have them ranked 37. Thanks again!
The Ritz is honoring groups/conventions beginning November 2005. Regular guests in January.
The property is similar in design to the Hyatt. It straddles West Bay Road extending from SMB to the North Sound with most of the acreage on the North Sound side of the property. A covered walkway extends over West Bay Road to the SMB side.
I fully agree that Ritz Carlton offers a more pampered, luxurient experience than Hyatt, Westin or Marriott but would demur to paying $500+/night for a work in progress still under heavy construction.
In April 2005, the North Sound side of the property was a largely a dirt farm. I doubt a golf course will be up and running prior to 2007 and would also question other amenities (spa, tennis, restaurants, etc…) for mid-2006. Call the Ritz directly. They can give you a better idea of what is expected to be operational and what will not be during your stay.
Some of the local board members or more recent visitors may be able to give a better idea of progress.
I decided I would try and call the contact number they have for the GC Ritz. It’s actually there sales office in Miami. The lady I talked to said they would have the entire facility open late fall 2005. This will include tennis, golf, and all other amenities. I’m not a golfer so that doesn’t matter to me. I would have to change my mind from the Ritz if the hotel were under construction…that?s something I wouldn’t want to see!! I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything.
Those sound like great rates for a week — assuming the Hotel is completed when you plan to go. Your travel agent must be a STAR agent, (as ours is), i.e., one that has frequent dealings with the Ritz and the ability to get preferred rates and upgrades subject to availability.
If your agent can get you a good rate for the Club Floor, I would go for it, assuming it is within your budget. The Club Floor is a hotel within a hotel, with private concierge and lounge, i.e., additional pampering and service. You can save additional money on breakfast, lunch and pre-dinner cocktails by booking the Club Floor, since the daily 5 food and beverage presentations are complementary and included in the room rate. In other words, you pay more for your room, but can have breakfast , lunch, afternoon tea and snacks, pre-dinner cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres (which can be a substitute for a light dinner elsewhere) and cordials and chocolates for post dinner dessert. When you compare the differences in the daily room rates of regular vs. Club Floor rooms and calculate what you would spend on breakfast and lunch in a normal room, you will note the savings. Accordingly, we only stay on the Club Floor. That is not to say we don’t have lunch or cocktails outside the club lounge, but the option is available.
So that’s my 2 cents. It’s your honeymoon, and it only happens once. Talk it over with your fiance, keep doing your research and the two of you will come to a decision on which you agree. Although we’ve not been to GC yet, whatever hotel you choose, I suspect you will have a wonderful honeymoon. Best wishes and keep us apprised of the wedding plans.
All this input is helping me a lot in making my decision. I contacted my travel agent and had them check on the club level. You?re actually right when you do think about it. By the time you spend money on food, beverages, and snacks it all adds up. Were basically dead set on GC…. now just deciding where to stay which more than likely is the Ritz.
I should be getting prices today so I’ll let you know what were looking at for the club level!
Thanks. I would be curious what week at the Ritz club floor would go for off season, since my wife will likely be interested in staying there on a future return trip
Do you recomend renting a car while on the island or is it easier to take cabs or a bus. Still waiting for travel agent reply but I’ll get back to with the club level.
You might also want to visit such things as the Turtle Farm, the Butterfly Farm, Kaibo Yacht Club, Rum Point, and some restaurants that are out of the way from where you are staying and it’s so nice to just come and go as you please.
There is a discount for members of this board if you use Andy’s Rental Cars and they are WONDERFUL and we got the best deal we’ve ever gotten using them PLUS the discount…….check out that section.
Although I have not been to GC before, I cannot give you an opinion based on personal experience. I do note that there have been numerous posts on this board regarding whether a car is necessary.
I will certainly defer to the opinions of our more expereinced board members on this.
I think the decision to rent a car depends on several factors, including:
1. Where staying on GC;
2. whether you intend to travel around to see the sights or just stay relatively close to your hotel and relax;
3. Costs of cabs for a week vs. weekly car rental rate;
4. Flexibility/Freedom to come and go as you wish with a car rental (traffic permitting) vs. awaiting cabs;
5. If staying in a condo/coop vs. hotel, and thus doing some home cooking, a car rental may be preferable for food shopping; and
6. Comfort level with driving on the left side of the road.
As for #1, from what I understand, Seven Mile Beach is a good location and many restaurants and shops are located relatively close by, many within walking distance of the Hyatt, not sure about the Westin or Ritz.
My wife and I are mulling over whether to rent a car. Still undecided. On some vacations we do not rent cars and just take cabs, having decided that local cab costs are part of the vacation budget, and that if we want a tour of the island, we can hire a driver for several hours to a half day. Other trips we have rented, particularly if sights are far apart and thus cab fare would be prohibitive.
Some issues to consider. I know that Joe recommends a car and specifically Andy’s at the airport for the best rental car rate and a 20% discount if you book in advance and mention CAG20.
Hope this helps.
you can actually get a pretty good view of the property on the ritz-carlton website. click at the bottom of the home page on residences, scroll to grandcayman, click on the construction update link at the bottom and it will post about a dozen or so photos of the project taken about a month ago. it gives a good idea as to scale and level of completion.
Ritz – oceanfront $2665 per person
Ritz – club oceanfront $3144 per person
Looks like $521 per person difference ($1042 for both) between oceanfront vs. oceanfront club floor (not including tax and any other fees).
In my opinion, to decide which deal is better for you both, you have to figure out whether the additional club floor cost is justified/saved as against the lower cost oceanfront, or indeed, the $2213 for garden view or $2827 for ocean view.
Generally, garden view rooms are likely on the lower floors and face away from ocean. May be ground floor with patio or may only have a step out terrace, not have balcony to sit on. You would have to check on that. Ocean view means just that a view.. may have to crane your neck to see the water. Here, not sure if the water is over SMB or looking at the North Sound. Need to ask. Probably, a better and perhaps bigger room than garden view. Sometimes differences are also a sitting area, and/or closeness to elevators, housekeeping closets, ice machine closets… which can also increase sound level outside your room.
Ocean front… pretty clear. May/may not be higher floors.
To aid in your decision, consider whether the private lounge and concierge are worth the cost. Private club floor concierge will check you in/out, handle all reservations for meals/activities, and anything else you may need/want. More importantly you have to calculate whether the additional cost for club floor food and beverage presentations will save you enough on what you would otherwise have to spend on or off site for food and drink. Even conservatively estimating $50-60 for breakfast, perhaps $75-100 for lunch and a few drinks per day, that comes pretty close to $1,000, which is essentially the rate difference, before factoring in dinner and any after dinner cordials.. the latter which are included in the last daily presentation.
Of course not factored into the above example is the quiet elegance of the club floor,the value of the private concierge service and any gratuities given to club floor personnel.
Suffice it to say, once you sample club floor service, you will not want to stay in a regular room again. Whether that is a good or bad thing, is up to you. Your decision should be made on a cost/benefit analysis and what you want for your honeymoon.