Planning a vacation to escape the cold and get some R&R? The Grand Cayman is the perfect spot to visit! I’m sharing the details of our babymoon, along with recommended hotels, restaurants and things to do!
How we landed on booking the Grand Cayman and why you should consider it!
Timing wise, we were looking to plan our trip for mid-February. We wanted to go somewhere that was hot enough to lay on the beach, less than a 5 hour flight and zika free. We had heard great things about Grand Cayman, and it checked all of the above boxes (which is not easy with zika these days)! They also have a couple Starwood properties on the island who we have travel points with, so we went ahead and pulled the trigger.
The island is a tropical paradise for anyone who loves the beach! Seven Mile Beach has the softest white sand and you can’t beat the ocean temperature of 75-80 degrees. The island has so much to offer including luxury hotels with plenty of amenities, lots of fun water activities, and top-notch restaurants which makes it a great place for anyone looking for a family or couples vacation! Plus, the direct flight from Chicago is less than 4 hours!
Know Before You Go
Directly to the south of Seven Mile Beach is George Town, the capital city of the Cayman Islands, where a number of tourists & cruise ships come in; however, the nice part about staying at one of the following resorts is that you’re not impacted by the hustle & bustle of the crowds. On the other hand, if you’d like to venture into town it’s just a short cab ride from the resorts!
Seven Mile Beach is where the majority of the island’s luxury resorts are located. There are three hotels I’d recommend staying at, depending on your needs!
The Westin Grand Cayman
The Westin Grand Cayman has an unbeatable location, directly on Seven Mile Beach. This is where we stayed during our visit and we would absolutely go back. The hotel is a short walk to plenty of restaurants & shopping in the local area. It recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation, including the lobby and guest rooms. We spent the majority of our time at the beach (chairs & umbrellas are included as part of the resort fee), but did enjoy a day at the pool which features a swim-up a bar & live music in the early evening. The hotel offers a variety of water activities you can easily book at the concierge, and also has a few restaurants on site. They also have a number of children’s activities at the Kid’s Club to keep your little ones busy. Overall, it’s a beautiful, family-friendly resort — and we had a great experience!
The Kimpton Seafire Resort
The Kimpton Seafire Resort is the newest resort on Seven Mile Beach. It has a more trendy + contemporary vibe and all of the amenities one would expect. It’s about a ~15 minute walk down the beach from the The Westin and ~20 minute walk from the Ritz. The major plus about this hotel is that all rooms have private balconies, which is not guaranteed at The Westin or The Ritz unless you pay for one. Even if you don’t end up staying here, I highly recommend eating at The Kimpton’s Coccoloba for a meal. The restaurant is right on the beach and offers a mash-up of coastal island + Mexican food on their menu. Their margaritas, tacos & strawberry guava popsicles are a must. We may try booking this hotel next time (even though we’re very loyal to SPG and loved The Westin) to try it out!
The Ritz Carlton
Also located on Seven Mile Beach, The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is another luxury resort with all of the amenities & a handful of onsite dining options. It’s a beautiful property and less than a 5 minute walk down the beach from The Westin. One major plus is that this resort does offer an interactive water playground for children, which The Westin doesn’t offer; however, it does have the highest daily resort fee out of all three hotels. The only other minor negative about this resort is that the least expensive rooms are located in across the street from the pool and beach — meaning you have to walk across a sky bridge to get to your room if you choose to not to pay for one that’s oceanfront. If you have little ones that need to go down for naps – or you need to get to and from your room easily, you may want to look into one of the other options listed above! Other than that, this property offers it all — and the service & food were both exceptional!
The best thing you can do in the Grand Cayman is relax. If you’re up for an activity, stop by your hotel concierge to book an excursion with Red Sail Sports. They offer several water sports, from wave runner adventures to snorkeling and more. Another popular activity is to visit Stingray City, where you can hold, swim with and pet stingrays in crystal-clear water. I recommend going in the early morning to avoid the crowds. If you’re interested in shopping, check out some of the local shops at Camana Bay or in George Town!
The restaurants on the island completely exceeded our expectations! I highly recommend venturing out of your hotel for meals.
We didn’t have a reservation for our first night in town, and wanted to keep things casual, so we ended up dining at Yoshi Sushi, just across the street from The Westin in an unassuming strip mall. It was super convenient to be able to walk 1 minute to dinner, especially after a day of travel, and the food & atmosphere were both great!
The second night, we dined at The Brasserie. This came highly recommended to us by a local. It’s a more upscale restaurant closer to George Town, but tucked away from the touristy area. It has an unbelievable produce garden attached to it where where they grow several of the items featured on their menu. You can even request to sit at a table in the garden, so if it’s nice out, definitely do so! They also have their own fishing boats they use to catch fresh fish everyday – so be sure to order the catch of the day!
The next night we ate at Agua in Camana Bay. Camana Bay is a more modern & commercialized entertainment district of the island where you’ll find several shops & restaurants. We enjoyed a table outside by the water and ate delicious pasta & seafood – including the shrimp & avocado appetizer below!
The last night, we ate at Bacaro, which was probably my favorite (although it’s a tough call between this one & The Brasserie). We sat at a table outside overlooking the water. Their menu features tapas + small plates – and there was live music for the first hour or so we were there. The service was phenomenal, and the atmosphere overlooking the bay is beautiful. The fried lobster bites & tortelli are a must order!
Again, these are just a few restaurants we were able to eat at during our short time on the island – but there are so many good options that we’ll definitely explore next time we go back!
If you’re booking a trip to the Caymans, I hope this helps you plan your visit! Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments below.