Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Does this Hotel Live Up to It’s Brand Name or Justify it’s Steep Price?

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Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Overview

The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is a 144 acre resort in Grand Cayman and one of a select few with a 5 star rating. The resort houses guest rooms, suites and residences throughout. The prices here are steep and I don’t think this particular location is a great representative of the Ritz-Carlton brand. In fact, I would much rather stay the Kimpton right down the beach for a lot less money. You can see my review of the Kimpton Seafire here.

Cost:

Points: 70k Points Per Night + $75/day resort fee (not waived on award nights.)

Cash Rate: Prices seem to be all over the place here: $500-$1300 (excluding the taxes and fees which are huge. 10% Service Charge, $75 Resort Fee and fees seems to be about 13%)

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Location

The Ritz-Carlton is located on the iconic Seven Mile beach about a 12 minute drive from the airport. The Seven Mile beach area is not all that big so the resort was fairly close to some popular restaurants and the other beach resorts.

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Check-In

Let’s just say this is not one of the finer points of this hotel. When we arrived we were pleasantly greeted with a Mai-tai and then ushered to the front desk almost immediately. We were told that our room was not yet available and they did have one that was open but it needed to be cleaned. It seems that we were being helped by a manager and I can’t explain why exactly but she was not friendly and both myself and my travel companion commented on her attitude. It was almost like she was being rude but saying nice words. She told us to maybe have breakfast or lunch and she would text us to let us now when our room was ready. Well, we went for breakfast which took about two hours and then we sat in the lounge for another two hours. I went to the front desk to see why it was taking so long to clean a room and another much nicer front desk agent told us she would put a rush on it, about 35 minutes later we got a text that the room was ready.

Our friends who got there the day before said they waited 4.5 hours for their room to be ready.

The Room

The room design at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is so classic, it felt elegant and clean. The color scheme was perfect. The cleanliness of the room was a highlight for me because I seem to always find something that grosses me out and I definitely did not have that issue here. I also loved the toiletries, they smell so good and there were a lot of them. They also had complimentary things in the room like shoe polish, sewing kits and dental kits. Some things, like the old school light switches were dated, but it didn’t bother me.

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand CaymanReview: The Ritz-Carlton Grand CaymanReview: The Ritz-Carlton Grand CaymanReview: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Review: The Ritz-Carlton Grand CaymanReview: The Ritz-Carlton Grand CaymanReview: The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman

Amenities

There are two pools and a kiddy park. While everything was lovely, it was very quiet. The main pool is beautiful if not a little small. My major gripe at the pool was the lack of service, I can’t tell you how many times I had to get up to get the staffs attention. The automatic gratuity probably has something to do with it. There also wasn’t much else to do here. The beach has free water activities but I didn’t see any or notice anyone using them.

Major Issues

The prices here are absolutely absurd. I believe the cost of each one of my Pina-coladas was $24. For 3 drinks and an order of nachos, I paid $130ish. I never complain about prices, but WOW. Also, the service is incredibly slow, it definitely puts a bad taste in your mouth when you’re overpaying and the gratuity is included. Another issue I had was the hotel layout, it’s not a very big hotel but it’s a pain to get from one end of the resort to the other. There’s a very long hallway connecting the beach tower and the main area with the restaurants. The restaurants are very over priced and very underwhelming.

Conclusion

I thought the room was wonderful and had no issues with the service of the housekeeping or bell staff, but will certainly not be coming back. There was nothing great about the resort and nothing to justify the prices. Sure everything was pretty but it just wasn’t that impressive and the bad food kind of sealed this hotels fate for me.

More Photos

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20 COMMENTS

    • You would be correct, I actually cancelled my reservation there because I was worried it would sour me, my thinking was, “if nothing else is good here, I probably shouldn’t chance it” (having been to Le Bernardin several times I did not want to ruin it for myself after all the crappy meals I had.)

  1. $130-ish??!? How were the nachos?
    Seriously, why can’t this brand get it together? You obviously liked the room stuff. They are pro at that. But what is wrong with them and registration/greeting? pricing? service?

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this property with my family. The rooms were classic Ritz and the service was very good. what we liked was that it wasn’t crowded and the kids absolutely loved the mini water park. There are two pools and the one near the water park was absolutely deserted except for a scuba lesson going on. In addition, kids eat free at all the restaurants, including free ice cream at the gelato stand near the italian restaurant. The kids also enjoyed the fish feeding.

    The Cayman Islands are not cheap. We did eat outside the resort most times and there are decent places in walking distance. But overall, I would go back to this property.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it and I certainly would have appreciated the kids eat free thing if I had any. I’m from NYC so I very rarely have sticker shock and am very comfortable paying $20 for a drink- but not when I have to basically beg for it and then wait a half hour lol

  3. It would seem that one has to travel outside of the western hemisphere in order to have an impressive stay at a Ritz-Carlton. I had a wonderful time at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo this past March and the lounge and lounge staff (all the staff, really) made this one of my two best hotel stays ever. I’d also like to try out the RC Hong Kong.

  4. I understand that rooms aren’t ready till check in time, which is usually around 3, but I get annnoyed when the front desk doesn’t at least try and expedite things to get you into a room after traveling. Really, 4.5 hours to turn over a room. Unfortunately, the labor at all the Ritz Carlton’s is local, which causes a great deal of variability in every R-C experience.

    • Right, for me it was more annoying that she told me they just needed to clean it and it took that long. Listen, when they charge $75/daily resort fee AND a 10% Service charge, I think you can expect them to have adequate staff to clean a room. Also, I’ve actually never waited more than 1.5 hours for a room and I always get there early

  5. Wow, that’s disappointing. Was planning going here at some point but will have to check out the Westin or the Kimpton instead.

    • Definitely go with Kimpton over Ritz, I was so disappointed. Also, Kimpton’s service, staff and grounds have the edge. Also, the rooms are newer, I just had a thing for the classic feel of the RC rooms.

  6. Are those pictures from a standard room or was that an upgrade? We are going in Aug, trying to get a sense of the room size. I’m only Marriott Gold courtesy of the Amex Platinum. Thanks for posting the review – already learned something new about kids eating free!

  7. Ive never been a fan of R-C but having been to GC a couple times, the Westin blows the R-C away. Haven’t stayed at the Kimpton but it looks very nice. Would never stay at the R-C there.

      • Yea, it’s funny I just chatted about this yesterday and said if I were to go back I would definitely be staying at the Kimpton. While I love the classic feel of the Ritz, there’s no way I could justify paying those prices again for lesser service.

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