Without addressing the rates issue or the relative merits of either facility, (I’ve not stayed at either of them) I would lean toward a non-all-inclusive. By going all-inc, you limit yourselves on sampling the cuisine of the island.
We honeymooned in Cayman Kai at a private home and had to do all of our meals, shopping, drinks, etc ourselves and it caused no problems. Shopping trips for groceries are just another chance to explore more of an island paradise!
So, whichever place you go, try a non-all-inclusive and get out and about to sample the island.
That was my worry about all-inclusive, because I’ve heard a lot of great things about the island dining. Thanks for the input.
Hi sdaggan and congratulations!
Your first visit to the Caribbean is going to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. And choosing the Cayman Islands is like finding the pearl in your first oyster. There is no other island where you will find so many fun, friendly people; world class gourmet restaurants; consistently clear, calm water with more ways to enjoy them than you could ever do in a week; and so many beautiful and culturally significant sights that reflect the heritage of one of the most unique and charming destinations in the world.
With so much to choose from, the Cayman Islands can be extremely overwhelming for a first time visitor. That is where we come in. Activity Guide has gone to great lengths to select what we feel to represent the very best value in everything from accommodations to restaurants
to Stingray City and beyond.
As divesergeant mentioned, we do not recommend any all-inclusive accommodations on Grand Cayman because there is so much variety of dining, activities, water sports, shopping and attractions, that confining yourselves to any one area—let alone one hotel on Grand Cayman would be a huge injustice and defeat the purpose of choosing Grand Cayman over one of our sister islands.
Your first step is to become acquainted with our many features to help plan your vacation and ensure that you receive the highest value for all of the things you like to do.
For the best value in accommodations, start with our
http://www.caymanactivityguide.com/forums/templates/SoftBlue/images/HotelSearchLinkIcon.gif%5B/img%5D and select the properties that appeal to you the most. A must read prior to selecting your property is Choose Accommodations Based on Your Vacation Lifestyle, which will provide important insight into selecting the specific area of Grand Cayman and type of accommodation that will ensure a perfect vacation based on the things that are most important to you.
A car is essential on Grand Cayman—wherever you stay—because the many sites, attractions, water sports and restaurants spread out far and wide. For a little island, you will be surprised at how long it can take sometimes to get from one place to another. You will find the best value and discount rates on car rental in our
You can avoid much of the traffic and congestion by using the
Cruise Ship Calendar to avoid George Town, Stingray City and any other cruise passenger destinations on heavy cruise ship days; and by avoiding driving during commute hours. In Grand Cayman, the traffic is generally towards George Town in the mornings between 7-9am and away from town in the evenings between 5-7pm.
and in Activity Guide when you arrive, you can see all of Cayman’s very best and most popular sights—free of crowds and at your own pace — all at a fraction of the cost of guided tours.
If you are divers, you may find our selection of
<span style="color: darkred]Recommended Dive Operators[/color] helpful in selecting your dive company, many with Activity Guide member discounts. You will find many helpful topics and lots of underwater photos in our Dive Forum[/url].
You will find many
<span style="color: darkred] videos [/color] and photos[/url] throughout our forums to help familiarize yourself with the various establishments and eliminate any unpleasant surprises that many first time visitors experience. <span style="color: darkred] Stingray City [/color] is the most popular attraction in the Cayman Islands and you will find the best prices without crowds at Sotos Cruises or Oh Boy Charters. The latter focuses more on private or semi private charters; the former—Soto’s, averages only a dozen or so divers per trip and does not have any cruise ship affiliations. It would be a good idea to check our <span style="color: darkred] Cruise Ship Calendar [/color][/url] to see how many ships are in port each day and plan your <span style="color: darkred] Stingray City [/color][/url] trip on a day with the fewest number of ships—usually any day except Wednesday or Thursday. While our recommended Stingray City operators only take a small group of passengers, Stingray City [/url]
is a finite area so it can become generally crowded on heavy cruise ship days, with boats carrying as many as 150 people or more!
As you make your way through the topics, use our handy
http://www.caymanactivityguide.com/forums/images/addnowlist.gif%5B/img%5D feature to add the places that are most appealing to you to your personal must do list.
<span style="color: darkred]restaurants[/color] is another one of the most important decisions you will make and can literally make or break any vacation. We have gone to extreme measures to select a very broad spectrum of <span style="color: darkred] restaurants [/color][/url] from over 200 restaurants in the Cayman Islands that we feel represent the absolute highest value. You can see our extensive <span style="color: darkred] selection criteria [/color][/url] that we use to determine which restaurants offer the highest value throughout the spectrum. Everything from casual <span style="color: darkred] beach bars [/color][/url] to the <span style="color: darkred] finest world class restaurants [/color][/url] is available in Grand Cayman so it is well worth spending a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the topics in our <span style="color: darkred] Restaurant Forum [/color][/url], watch a few of the videos, look through the photos and reviews and add your favorite selections to your http://www.caymanactivityguide.com/forums/images/addnowlist.gif%5B/img%5D personal must do list.
You can see the complete menus from all of our highly recommended restaurants, complete with descriptions and prices with our
<span style="color: darkred] menu search feature [/color]. You can quickly find your favorite types of restaurants and food and select the establishments that best suit your individual taste and budget. Every restaurant in our <span style="color: darkred] menu search feature [/color][/url] has undergone our thorough evaluation process [/url], just like the restaurants here in our forums and throughout our main website.
As you become acquainted with our website and
forum features and read the information; watch a few videos and browse through the photos; you will be on your way to gaining a thorough understanding of the Cayman Islands and arrive armed with enough information to ensure a perfect vacation that will provide glorious memories for you to forever cherish.
If you have any specific questions about anything at all, please feel free to ask. 😀
Have a wonderful honeymoon!
Why not split your time on island between the two?
Turtles Nest is a great place, you really feel at home there & nothing is too much trouble for Alain & Marleine. The snorkelling off the beach is good although it was a bit of a rocky entry when we were there in 2006. You will need to drive out for provisions or eating.
Reef Resort has a fabulous beach & of course the dock with great snorkelling to be had. You can also eat on site & obtain provisions across the road, so no need to drive every night. You could walk to Portofinos from there as well if you fancy a change. Being much larger than TN though, it won’t be quite as homely.
Hope this helps.
When do you plan on going? T Nest fills up quickly, so you should check availability soon.
Wherever you stay it will be great! Enjoy 🙂
Just noticed :jump: Exactly one year to go :jump:
Thanks for the idea. We plan on going Summer 2011, so I’ve got a bit of time, and I plan on trying to make reservations wherever we choose about a year in advance. Considering our tastes, I think we’ll end up going with TN because we like a smaller resort, and the prices don’t hurt either.
Hi Newbie, we’re going to Grand Cayman for our honeymoon in May 2010. I’ve already made my reservation at The Reef, so I will be able to give you my opinion of the Reef and the island when we return. As for all-inclusive, neither of us drink, so I never looked into that. Plus I agree that visiting all the different restaurants on the island sounds a lot of fun. I picked the Reef because of the price and all the rooms had a ocean view from the balcony.
Turtle Nest Inn is pulling me too, because it’s away from crowds and supposedly very good snorkeling in front. I’m also concerned about the quality of the beach though, is the entrance sandy or rocky…
We love the Reef Resort and are owners there and I would definitely NOT recommend the all inclusive there or anywhere on the island, as others have said…..you do not have to get all inclusive at the Reef, by the way and there are wonderful restaurants nearby…Portofino’s has a wonderful Sunday brunch, and great food for the rest of the week, and the Lighthouse is very highly rated, a bit expensive, and lovely, and I’ve not yet been to the restaurant at Kaibo but have heard wonderful things about it.