Joined: 14 Feb 2005
Location: Cayman Islands
|Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:00 pm Post subject: Choose Accommodations Based on Your Vacation Lifestyle|
Choose Accommodations Based on Your Vacation Lifestyle
Because matching your vacation lifestyle to your accommodations is essential in realizing the absolute greatest satisfaction from your vacation, I went ahead and put together this general guideline, which I hope may be helpful to any new visitors who are unsure of where to stay. We have already screened the properties for you so anything listed on our Hotel Search is among the absolute best of its kind. Now I?ll try to help you decide which type of property is right for you, to ensure the utmost value and satisfaction from your precious vacation time and dollars.
Find the category that best suits your particular interests and overall vacation lifestyle and you will be well on your way to discovering your perfect vacation accommodations. I started with diving preferences since the Cayman Islands are among the top 10 dive destinations in the world; also because that is how I approach most of my tropical vacations. However, the order is random and the Cayman Islands offer something for everyone, regardless of what your individual preferences, needs, budget and vacation lifestyle may be.
I. Serious Dedicated Divers:
If I go on a tropical vacation, it is usually to come back with the maximum amount of the most diverse underwater imagery possible. Serious dedicated divers and underwater photographers who are coming primarily for the ultimate dive experiences and most spectacular underwater images will derive the greatest satisfaction by staying at Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman. If you?ve already stayed there and want to try something different, I?d recommend staying at the Brac Reef Resort on Cayman Brac. Bar none, these options will expose you to the widest variety of the most consistently magnificent dives in all of the Cayman Islands, if not the entire Caribbean.
II. Fairly Serious Divers:
Diving is very important but diversity of fine dining and other attractions are also important considerations. You want to experience a lot of great diving but you or other family members also have other priorities, such as diverse gourmet meals and shopping. For a central location, convenient to stores, restaurants, shops and closer to the main attractions, chose any of our Seven Mile Beach resorts or condos and book a dive package with any of our recommended dive operations.
III. Serious snorkelers.
If you do not dive but snorkeling is a high priority you have many options because there are so many wonderful snorkeling locations on Grand Cayman. I hesitate to encourage you to make your decision based solely on what snorkeling conditions to expect because they often change, so I?ll break this down even further.
1. If you want to be close to what is usually considered to be the best snorkeling along Seven Mile Beach - and a few rocks along an otherwise expansive white sand beach shoreline do not offend you, then Treasure Island Condos or Grandview are perfect for you. Besides being in prime snorkeling locations, they are walking distance to both George Town and many of the shops and restaurants along Seven Mile Beach. They both have beautiful white sand beaches but the conditions are slightly rocky as you first enter the water - however this is precisely what makes the snorkeling conditions so favorable; the reef is very close to shore and there are lots of places for fish and other marine life to inhabit.
2. If you prefer a more remote location with generally superb snorkeling nearby, a private home or condo in Northside might be your best option. This would also place you close to Rum Point, Botanical Park, Blow Holes and all the other East End attractions. You can get discount rates for all the finest Northside and East End private homes and condos through our Hotel Search.
IV. White Sandy Beach:
Many people simply want a beautiful spacious white sand beach with either condo amenities or the luxury of a resort. The general rule of thumb is if you want to cook most of your own meals and need a little extra space, a condo is best suited to you. If you want to be completely pampered and eat out at some of the finest restaurants in the world, a resort experience in Grand Cayman will provide exactly that.
1. If you have decided that a condo is best suited to your vacation priorities, the next step is choosing the right location and price range. For Seven Mile Beach, I've broken the condos down into three distinct categories ? each representing the absolute highest condo value, after performing an extensive analysis of every single condo on Seven Mile Beach.
If you are seeking a quiet, remote, peaceful vacation with beautiful sandy beaches and planning on spending most of your time at or near your resort or condo, stay at one of our recommended condos at the north end of Seven Mile Beach: Discovery Point or The Anchorage; or in a private oceanfront home or condo in East End or Northside. Either of these locations will provide the ultimate tranquility, much like an island unto itself.
If you want to be close to town and experience the least traffic in doing a wide variety of activities and dining at the best restaurants, stay at our recommended south Seven Mile Beach condos: Grandview or Treasure Island Condos.
If you don't mind a little more congestion and possible construction noise, you can experience the best of both worlds in the most luxurious and upscale properties on the island, stay in central Seven Mile Beach at the Meridian or the very affordable Villas of the Galleon.
2. If you have decided that a resort is best suited to your vacation priorities, the next step is selecting a budget and location.
For the most affordable resort options, consider Comfort Suites or Sunshine Suites. Comparably priced, they offer two completely different experiences.
Located directly across the street from the beach, but still close enough to offer ocean-view rooms. They offer very reasonable rates with full resort amenities and a complete Sunday brunch and dinner show once a week. The rooms are fairly large and very clean. They have a large pool in a beautiful garden setting. The building is only a few years old and very modern with easy parking. Their beach is not a cruise ship drop off point so you are assured of tranquility. This resort is near central Seven Mile Beach, making it is walking distance to many recommended restaurants, clubs, bars, lounges, etc.
Located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach on the beach, however most of the rooms are not ocean-view. Their beach is not crowded and located about 50 yards away. They offer spacious rooms with kitchens and resort amenities. Stingers is their pool bar, home of the famous Stingers Luau show and many drink and food specials nightly. They offer a free continental breakfast daily. There are many nice restaurants, stores and things to do within walking distance. The entire resort was recently remodeled and everything is virtually brand new.
I would say that Sunshine Suites has more of a resort feel, while Comfort Suites has the advantage of larger rooms and cooking capability. You will enjoy either facility in this price range so it is completely a matter of your personal needs and preferences.
The absolute best resort value in a mid-level price range. Please take a minute when you have time and look at the pictures and reviews for this incredible property. They offer every conceivable resort amenity at a much lower cost than most comparably equipped resorts. The entire resort is brand new, completely remodeled and right in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. I can not speak highly enough about this property for anyone considering a mid-level resort option.
Grand Cayman Beach Suites (formerly the Hyatt):
The ultimate resort option. Everything is first class, from their beach to their swim up bar to their world class award winning restaurants. All rooms are full suites with kitchenettes and you will be pampered with every conceivable amenity. They are designed in such a way that every room offers a stunning ocean view and located right in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. Give them a try, you will be surprised at how affordable a truly luxury resort experience can be.
V. Limited Budget:
Although the Cayman Islands are not known as a budget destination, there are options available for the well informed visitor traveling on a very tight budget.
Turtle Nest Inn:
The lowest priced resort on the island. Although not a full resort with spa and room service, it does have a resort feel and an extremely friendly staff. They are situated in tranquil Bodden Town, directly on the ocean beside a fresh water sea side pool. They are well landscaped and away from all of the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach. They have an extremely dedicated repeat clientele and it is not uncommon for them to be fully booked for up to a year in advance. If budget is your primary concern, I urge you to contact them at your earliest possible convenience.
Bread and Breakfast extraordinaire! For as little as $119/night you can enjoy a room in a peaceful lakeside retreat and that even includes a complete breakfast. Only 3 miles from the west end of Seven Mile Beach, you are out of the congestion and noise, yet only a short drive to many of the best restaurants and attractions.
No matter what your vacation needs, preferences or budget, The Cayman Islands offer something for you. Matching your vacation lifestyle to your accommodations is the single most important factor in insuring a perfect vacation; once you have done that, you are well on your way to the most rewarding and memorable vacation you have ever experienced.
All of the properties I mentioned can be booked with discounts and perks for our members by using our
Have a wonderful vacation!
Joe Stebbins, Editor
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