PO Box 30620, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
"Beautiful Days - Terrible Nights"
Posted by: Sarka on Nov 30, 2011
see all reviews
Casa Havana ' the island's only four-diamond restaurant ' offers elegant, oceanfront dining. At Ferdinand's, experience the tropical flavors of the Caribbean. Enjoy casual dining at the poolside, beachfront Courtyard Café.
Share your experiences with others. Don't forget to send your review to Debbie by using an easy form.
"Beautiful Days - Terrible Nights"
Sarka on Nov 30, 2011 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
315 people found this review helpful
The resort is at first glance very nice and people are friendly - an ocean view room looked very appealing - till the night came: Instead of ocean breeze we heard air conditioning on and off all night. The mattress was well used. Luckily it was replaced upon our request. Be aware for non-obvious fees. We were a party - luckily we didn't have adjacent rooms, as initially requested, that would generate a 306 CI$ charge for 5 nights with appropriate 10% + 10% (20%) taxes. Resort fees are also quite steep and you get no credits for not requiring the beds to be changed daily.
"Spectacular Beach and A Great Vacation"
Debra on Jul 27, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
444 people found this review helpful
The Cayman Islands are a spectacular site. The water is crystal clear and the beach is milky white sand. The Westin was a good hotel. The only drawbacks:
1. Carpet everywhere in rooms and hallways leaves a musty smell and a damp feeling.
2. The pool gets quite dirty quite quickly and isn't cleaned during the day.
3. No real shade anywhere on the beach or by the pool to speak of.
The staff were very accomodating and friendly- in fact on our last day the hotel manager came to speak to us to see if we had any comments to make about the hotel.
Weather was good. It rained off and on throughout some of the days but not a day was wasted. Always a breeze off the ocean so you don't feel the humidity. No mosquitos (which we have experienced everywhere else).
Food is very expensive everywhere on the island so go to Fosters' Food Fair for snacks, drinks and sandwich meats and bread to save having to eat out every meal.
We would definitely return but in low season because the trip is not worth all the money in high season, considering you don't have meals included.
DebbieCT on May 1, 2009 >
Visited on: May, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
400 people found this review helpful
Flew Cayman air -really classy feel at airport,on flight,customs everything- you just get the feel that they cater to an affluent clientele-very classy. Short ride to the airport and took in G.C. via cab ride. Very clean,well organized. The island looks higher end compared to many other caribbean islands I have visited.
Gorgeous--had an ocean view- great furnishings-lovely bathroom--nice appointments
Restaurants and Bars:
Expensive but very good on site dinig options. Within walking distance or 5 minute cab ride you have exceptional dining options-some pricey but well worth it. Lucas -excellent for fine dining great wine cellar. Eats -right across the street from westin-- great for breakfast ($20 for two). Lunch and dinner had very casual dining options salads,burgers,entrees reasonably priced maybe $30 for lunch//$60 for average dinner with a fews beer/drinks. Also you have a fridge in room--grocery store within 10 min walking-big full size store -prices comparable to US. Also liquor store 5 minute walk. Stock up on water/beer-bcuz Westin charges like $4 for water/$6 for beer. Buy snacks for room--Keep in mind-$1.00us= 80 cents cayman--so cut corners if needed.
BEST BEACH- we have been pretty much everywhere in caribbean--SEVEN mile beach is exquisite--walk for miles--pure white sand= noshells-- no seeweed at all..crystal clear water--looks drinkable. Of all the resorts on 7 mile--westin has BEST beach--marriotts stinks--small- even Ritz carlton doesnt have as nice a beach as the Westin.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Rented a car for one day drive out to Rum Point-- easy to drive--roads good-nice to see island --it is very small--Rum Point is nice to see-but best part of all is one the way to Rum Point--pass by BLOW HOLES--fabulous photos-great natural beauty- pull over at stop points-- easy to do. BREATHTAKING!! Great piano player in lobby at Westin almost nightly-very good. Just a totally classy resort and island.
Yeah lets face it coming from NY area it is cheaper to do Punta Cana or Riviera Maya all-Inclusives but if you are a beach person looking for a classy place that's safe and quick trip direct from NY area--this is a 5 star spot for a great long weekend trip or more-- For a special anniversary or bday--do the Westin Grand Cayman you won't be disappointed..
KellyBurlingtonOntarioCanada on Apr 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
417 people found this review helpful
April 19-26. Our family of four, including two teenagers 14 & 16, arrived via Air Canada from Toronto in the early afternoon of Sunday, April 19th and were greeted by a lovely warm sun and a short lineup at the immigration booths directly inside the airport entrance.
After approximately ten minutes we were directed through to the luggage area where all the luggage had already been stacked in a corner. Following collection of our luggage then had a second line up with the customs dept; showing our passports and paperwork again so don't put it away until you actually exit the airport.
Once outside the airport it was a 60 second walk across the parking lot to our car rental agency called Andy's. There was no one in line and we were quickly assigned our compact vehicle for the week. What some reviews have said about Andy's is correct, the vehicles are a tad beat up but in good running order. You won't win any beauty contests driving them but they did the job of taking us around the island so we were pleased.
Grand Cayman Islands has a very British feel to it and indeed the driving is on the opposite side of the road. This did take some getting used to for my husband but within minutes he was fine.
It takes approximately 15 minutes to drive from the airport to The Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa along a relatively busy stretch of road. The Westin is located just after the Ritz on the left hand side and directly across the street from the Eats Cafe, Legendz Bar and Grill and Yoshi Sushi Restaurants. There is plenty of free parking and you will be met at the front entrance by two doormen who are more than willing to assist you with your luggage.
Inside the hotel you will find a conceirge desk and an excursion desk to the right of the entrance that is manned the entire day and very helpful and also the check in desk to the left that had three very friendly clerks on duty. BY this time it was 3:00pm and our rooms were ready for us. They have the swipe card system for the doors, much easier than carrying around keys and as well you are assigned a mini bar key and instructions about using the safe.
Prior to our arrival we had requested adjoining rooms on a higher floor with a view of the ocean and the pool and we were not disappointed. Our rooms were 546 & 548, and they did not disappoint. Inside the room you will find an electronic room safe on the floor of the closet, plenty of hangers, an ironing board and iron and a stand for your luggage case. As well, we requested a king size bed and the kids had two doubles, with both sets being the Westin Heavenly beds. They were indeed very heavenly!
The washroom is divided into two sections, one being the average size tub, a vanity sink with large mirror and a shelf under the vanity for storing supplies. Next to this area is a water closet, just a small space with a door for the toilet. The entrance to the bathroom is french doors opening inward. I have read reviews from people who had issues with the washrooms, but they seems just fine to me.
There was also a small table and two chairs inside the room but we didn't really find a use for them as we were never in the room long enough to sit down for a drink or a meal. As well there was a dresser with 5 drawers for your clothes which also held the flat screen television on top and the mini bar fridge down below and hidden by a door. If you are not planning on buying anything from the mini bar but you want to store your own beverages inside, there is room for that, it just takes a bit of reorganizing. Be warned though that the hotel asks that you not take out their mini bar supplies because it makes it difficult for the staff to keep track that way and you'll be charged. We had 12 canned beer from the duty free and our kids had a bunch of sodas in theirs and there was still room to be had.
The biggest selling point for this room though is the spectacular view of the beautiful blue ocean and the pretty pool directly below. It is not a huge balcony but it does have two rod iron chairs for a sit down in the evening as the sun sets over the palm trees. Paradise.
Restaurants and Bars:
There is a pool bar, lobby bar and two restaurants on the premises. The pool bar is divided into the beach side and the swim up bar with atleast two bartenders working this bar at all times. As well there are 5-6 friendly and helpful female servers who take your drink and food orders at your chairs at the pool and beach from 11am until approximately 6pm. They are all dressed in the same clothes and were helpful in suggesting new drink options during our week.
The lobby bar is the busiest in the evenings from Tuesday till Saturday when they have the professional piano player performing from 8:30pm - 11:30pm. He is not the piano bar guy you might be expecting; the type who sings and plays along to Billy Joel or Elton John tunes. He is classically trained and is very impressive, playing scores from films you might recognize along with the classics. He has a tip jar but I rarely saw anyone stepping forward to leave anything in it.
We did not eat at either of the restaurants during our stay. We looked at the menu but like so many of the things on the island, they seemed very expensive when converted into the Cayman C.I. currency. Instead I suggest that if you are going to be staying at the Westin as a family, eat your breakfast at Eats Cafe, your lunch at Legendz Bar and Grill and your dinner at either of them. These restaurants are directly across the street from the Westin, no more than a one minute walk from the front entrance of the hotel, and it has something on the menu for everyone at prices that were reasonable. If you are from Canada, the restaurant Legendz is very similar to the fare you'd find at a Kelsey's Restaurant and if you are from the US, I'd compare to an Applebees or TGIF. Our teens never had an issue finding meals that interested them and these restaurants allowed us to stick to our budget. In eight days, seven nights we spent $1200 US for our food. That includes soda, no alcoholic beverages during these meals (saved the drinking for the beach and pool:-)
Eats and Legendz is owned by the same person and managed by the same group of people along with the sushi restaurant next to it called Yoshi Sushi. My husband and I enjoyed Yoshi but the teens didn't so I'd suggest sticking to the first two options with your kids and save the sushi place for a date night.
The servers and management at this group of restaurants was top notch, incredibly friendly and helpful in suggesting things to do and places to go on the island. Krista at Eats in the morning, Jessica at Legendz for lunch and dinner were fantastic!!!! They made our vacation even more enjoyable with their super service, remembering us each day with our arrival.
Seven Mile Beach directly in front of the Westin is the most amazing stretch of beach we have ever experienced on vacation in the caribbean. It is the whitest sand, the clearest water, and the prettiest area we could have asked for.
The beach never seemed crowded with lots of room to roam and if you love the beach but can't sit in direct sunlight, there are no umbrellas but there are many large Casuarina trees lining the area directly to the right and left of the pool bar. Our routine was mornings at the pool and when the sun came out full force we would head to the beach shade for a relaxing afternoon of reading. I love the sun but members of my family can't have full sunshine so we got the best of both worlds. There are no complaints about this beach!!!
The pool is considered the largest resort pool on the island and I really can't understand those who complain about it. There were days where my family was the only one in the pool! When there were others in it, it didn't seem crowded and the wait at the swim up bar never seemed to take more than just a few moments. We went to the resort the third week of April so perhaps that is the difference between us and others who complained about the population in the pool. The pool was refreshing; never too cool or too warm, it was cleaned early each morning and the landscaping around it was very tropical and upkept. The lounge chairs at the pool had cushions and Westin lounge covers on them and there was never any problem finding a place to sit. We didn't rush down at 6:00am every morning to save a spot like we've had to at some Dominican resorts.
On the grounds you will find a number of lizards and iguanas ranging in size from the size of your pinky finger, to the size of your palm to a beautiful mid sized iguana. They are all vegetarian, more scared of you than you should ever be of them and they are simply fun to watch. One day while we were sitting at the pool a very big iguana wandered by slowly, stopped at a fountain for a drink and casually planted himself by a lounge chair. The pool attendant heard people talking about it, came over and shooed him up a tree. Don't be concerned in the least, it is quite an experience to see them living wild when we only see them caged here in Canada.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
At the resort there is a company called Red Sail that operates on the property at the entrance to the right at the beach. They offer a number of rentals that you pay for my charging it to your room or paying via cash or credit card on site. We rented the wave runners ($75.00 US per half hour for a single rider or $95.00 US per half hour for a double rider). As well we rented a hobie cat for sailling and it cost $50.00 for one hour.
There is a very active snorkelling site directly in front of the Governor's House just next door to The Westin and within swimming distance. It is marked for anyone interested in going out there. I suggest you bring snorkelling equipment, nothing expensive, just the mask and snorkel from Walmart or Target will do. If you forget it though, you can rent the equipment at Red Sail and it costs $15.00 US for 24 hours.
In addition to the above mentioned rentals there are also snorkelling trips that include wave runners, there are catamarran cruises off the beach, windsurfing equipment and banana boat rides. The banana boat rides cost $15.00 US for a 15 minute ride along the coast line.
We did take three excursions while we were on the island and I would recommend each of them! The first excursion we took was the Stingray Tour with Captain Marvin's Tours who are located in the same plaza as Eats Cafe. We met the group at that location and were bused ten minutes down the road to Marvin's dock. If you get sea sick or suspect you might, I HIGHLY recommend you take a couple gravol before departure. We brought it along and are grateful we did because there were those on board who didn't and suffered on the trip.
Once boarded on the boat, we rode out to the first of three sights, two of them were snorkelling sites and the last being the sand bar where the delightful stingrays are located. I highly recommend you spend time with these creatures as they are simply amazing to watch and feel and experience. It was one of the highlights of our vacation and something we'll always remember.
The second excursion was the Atlantis Submarine located in the downtown core next to the cruise ship loading area. Once again I HIGHLY recommend you take a couple gravol before departure because prior to getting on the submarine, you will have a 15 minute ride from the dock to the vessel. The submarine takes you down approximately 110 feet and allows those of us who don't scuba dive to experience the life that is taking place below the water. We loved this excursion and we wouldn't hesitate to go again the next time we're on the island.
The final excursion we did was the Boatswain Turte Farm. It is a hands on facility that has turtles ranging in size from the size of your palm to enormous and they appear to be well cared for and well feed. With an all day pass you are also granted access to a refreshing swimming lagoon that is quite deep so be warned about that, as well as a reef swimming area stocked with fish, iguanas and turtles to swim along with and a nice little beach area to relax following a walk around the park. If you do wish to swim in the reef part, the snorkel and mask is free of charge to use. In addition there is an aviary to walk through and a shark feeding that takes place with the handlers on site to answer questions. This excursion was the favourite for our teenagers and allowed us some fantastic photos of the turtles being held by them. Boatswain is located approximately 15 minutes down the road from The Westin and provides lots of free parking directly across the street from the main building with a spectacular view of the bay. I'd have to say that this is a must see in your vacation plans.
My husband and I had visited Georgetown, Grand Cayman Islands on two seperate occasions 10 and 12 years ago while on cruises in the caribbean but never more than just a few hours anchored in port. This vacation allowed us to experience the island for 7 nights and 8 days, and is a vacation that was truly memorable and perfect. The beach is second to none, the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa was our perfect home base and the excursions fit our family dynamic to a tee. I read reviews prior to going on this vacation and have read reviews since that complain about the Westin as being "shabby", tired, or "less than the Ritz", and I simply don't understand what kind of standards these people are comparing to. The Westin is a fantastic option for families or couples. The landscaping around the resort is lovely, the rooms are great, the service is top notch and the staff was friendly and helpful. Special thanks to Nathalie in reservations for answering so many of my questions prior to arrival and seeing that our adjoining rooms were looked after. Her friendliness and personal welcome was customer service at it's best! We strolled by the Ritz beach area acouple times just down the shore line and found the chairs stacked and crowded. As well, we walked around their hotel one evening and found it very lovely looking but also very cold....not welcoming like the Westin. I highly recommend the Westin for your next vacation and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at kcponce at hotmail.com. I'll be happy to help with anything you need to know. This was a 10 out of 10 on the vacation scale and the only complaint is that we only had a week.
"The Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa: A True Delight."
Posted by: TatianaUSA
on Jul 1, 2003 >
1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2003 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
393 people found this review helpful
My husband and I just returned from the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa in Grand Cayman (July 4-11, 2003). In comparison to other islands in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman is one of the most safest, cleanest, and westernized islands. There is absolutely no poverty on the island, as Grand Cayman has a 20% higher standard of living than the United States. My husband and I rented a car one day to tour the island, and we were amazed at the number of mansions on the island!
The Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa is beautiful and just the perfect size: not too big, not too small. The resort was almost empty, which was an added bonus.
The lobby is elegant with a collection of meticulously selected furniture, art, and accessories. The lobby has high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, sumptuous sofas, majestic lamps, and mahogany wood tables.
My husband and I had an ocean front room on the top floor. The bedroom was exceptionally clean (as was the whole resort) and quiet. The furniture such as the bed, side tables, and television cabinet were made from mahogany wood. We requested a king sized bed, which was incredibly comfortable. The bathroom had a very small tub, granite counter tops, and a separate toilet area. The French doors to the patio and the double doors to the bathroom were a nice touch.
The only shortcoming is that the room and the hallways in the resort have carpet, not tile or marble. In my opinion, carpet takes away from the overall impression of a resort, as it becomes outdated overtime.
I noticed a review that mentioned a musty smell in the rooms. I did not come across this at all. The maids did such a wonderful job cleaning our room that it always smelt clean and fresh. Also, the housekeeping service was very efficient everyday.
The beach at the Westin is the finest on Seven Mile Beach, especially when compared to the beach at the Hyatt. The beach is without a doubt one of the highlights at the resort. The sand is fine and white, the sea a turquoise blue, and the waves small and gentle. The beach is long so that you can always get a chair no matter what time you arrive at the beach.
Also, the beach is wide from the resort to the water. It is covered with fine sand that continues into the water where there are no pebbles or hard objects, jellyfish, or seaweed. The only shortcoming is that there is not enough shade on the beach. The pool area and beginning of the beach are lined with palm trees, however once you get onto the beach there are no palm trees or palapas.
The pool at the resort is equally beautiful, despite its small size. It has a bridge that allows you to get from one side of the pool to the other without having to walk around the entire pool. The pool has waterfalls, hidden coves, and palm trees. The pool is spotless and romantic.
Activities and entertainment:
There are an endless array of water sports such as parasailing, water-skiing, sailboats, banana boats, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboats, snorkelling, and scuba diving.
There are no nighttime activities, except the piano bar.
The two main restaurants at the resort called Havana and Ferdinand’s are incredible, however they are expensive. My husband and I paid approximately $350 Canadian for dinner one night at Havana, which included appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks. Despite the price, the food is absolutely exquisite, the atmosphere stunning, and the service impeccable.
The Sunday brunch at Ferdinand’s is magnificent, as there are a variety of options in terms of food and unlimited champagne. Make sure that you make a reservation well in advance because the brunch is popular with the locals. Also, there is limited seating inside of the restaurant. If you would like to sit inside of the restaurant, you need to specify this when making a reservation. It is very hot outside on the patio!
Unfortunately, the food at the pool is only mediocre. The nachos are terrible, as they taste like 7 Eleven nachos with Cheese Whiz.
My husband and I were able to explore some fantastic restaurants away from the resort such as Ristorante Pappagallo, El Dorados, and Portofino Wreck View. There is also a great pub across the street from the Westin that is connected to Eats Restaurant (a cheap breakfast joint). A word of warning: eating out in Grand Cayman is very expensive, so you should prepare yourself for this well in advance.
The resort has an excellent selection of alcohol. There are a lot of premium brands that we have in Canada. However, the drinks are triple the price at the resort. For instance, a cheap glass of wine is $16 CDN, a tropical drink such as a Pina Colada is $15 CDN, and a Corona Beer is $14 CDN.
Also, my husband and I appreciate a fine, strong cup of coffee. However, there is none at the resort or on the island. We went to several restaurants and coffee shops, but could not find a decent cup of coffee anywhere. We met other tourists who felt the same way.
We were extremely impressed with the level of service at the resort. From the waiters and bartenders to the chambermaids and front desk staff, everyone seemed to go out of their way to make our trip memorable. We were especially impressed with the restaurant staff, most of whom had obviously received very thorough service training.
All in all, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa. When compared to other resorts on Seven Mile Beach, the Westin is without a doubt one of the top properties. We had a chance to visit other resorts such as the Hyatt, which is another stunning property. However, the Hyatt is not located directly on the beach – a beach that is only mediocre to say the least.
The only shortcoming at the Westin is that it could use a fresh coat of paint. This would do wonders for the overall impression of the resort. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort to others. However, if I ever returned to Grand Cayman, I would most likely stay at the Ritz Carlton, which is currently under development. This resort will be the only true 5 star resort on the island.
If you have questions about the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa or Grand Cayman, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.