Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands and the location of the territory’s capital, George Town. The island itself is full of adventurous actives, fabulous restaurants and beaches… just what my teens, husband and I crave. Overall, the island felt very safe, clean and easy to get around. We used Uber to travel to any destination on the island.
We chose to stay at the newly remodeled Grand Cayman Marriott Beach House Resort. This gorgeous ocean front property sits on the scenic Seven Mile Beach and truly is a family vacation must! We opted for an ocean front room with 2 queen beds, then upon checkin we were complimentary upgraded to a junior ocean front suite with one king, one sofa pull out and a rollaway. We tend to like this set up so the kids have their own beds, especially now that they are teens and are boy/girl.
Spring Break is of course high season.
Flights: I did find us discounted flights on United out of Chicago for $328/each. The credit card point value for flights was just too high for spring break week, so we opted to pay with our credit card earning us 3x points on future travel.
Hotel: We used 360,000 Marriott reward points for the 7 night stay. Remember, using the Marriott promo, your 5th night is free when you book with reward points. Using points, including the complimentary upgrade (Marriott Platinum status at the time) allowed for a $0 out of pocket cost + the daily resort fee. Points saved us a whopping $4795.00. The daily resort fee was $50/day, however, this property is packed with fun things to do which I’ll dive into later in this post.
The resort definitely prioritizes the kids! Upon check-in, we were handed a “snorkeling map” (scavenger hunt) of ocean life to find on the property. The map showed at least 30 different ocean life species to find right in front of the hotel. The Beach House Resort built a barrier reef on their ocean property called the “Reef Ball Project” to help conserve the Grand Cayman Beach and marine life. We saw turtles, puffer fish, angel fish, sting rays, blue tang, snapper and more! Our kids loved snorkeling everyday and I loved watching them right from my beach chair. We did bring our own Costco snorkel gear, but snorkel gear is provided by the hotel if you do not have your own. In addition, the property offers paddle boards, metallic tattoos, s’mores on the beach, nightly theme dinners and so much more!
Captain Marvins! We opted for the 3-stop stingray/snorkel tour that lasted three hours. The three-stop stingray/snorkel trip goes to the Stingray City sandbar plus TWO snorkel stops, both the Barrier Reef AND the Coral Gardens.
The cost of this tour is US$49/person for ages 12 and over, US$30/person for ages 4-11, and free for children under age 4. They offer complimentary shuttle service from your hotel on Seven Mile Beach.
I would highly recommend this tour group! We had a blast. The snorkeling was absolutely beautiful, in part because the waters are so crystal clear. Sting Ray city is a must, and the staff brings the stingrays right up to you to hold, touch, etc. I was NOT a fan of touching them, haha…but my kids loved it!
The caves are situated in a lush tropical forest in Northside, Grand Cayman, Cayman Crystal Caves.
All visitors receive guided walking tours. Tours are approximately 1 ½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 caves spectacular.
We did not opt to do this because we’ve done guided tours in caves before…however, if you’ve never experienced walking through a crystal cave, I highly recommend it. It’s truly nature at its best!
photo courtesy of Crystal Caves website
Our kids were content at our resort, so we didn’t explore as much as usual. I really think the all day water sports, kids club, snorkeling right in front of the property kept them plenty busy. But, if you are the adventure type and lounging in a beach chair is not enough to keep you busy…check out these adventures: Catamaran to Rum Point, Helicopter Tour of the Islands, and Catamaran Excursions for scuba, snorkeling or sunset cruises.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our favorites were the fresh juice bar, Gelato Stand, Creperie Station, Raw and Sushi Bar. As mentioned on their website, they use locally-sourced products to create a memorable experience through fun food, eclectic cocktails and chic music.
Every meal we experienced was so delicious…after dinner drinks by their mixologists are a must too. I still dream of an infused gin drink I had there.
This inside/outside restaurant shows off the sunset over the Caribbean. Candle Lit dinners provide romance after sunset. The fresh fish here is a must. I had the coconut mahi mahi twice.
restaurant photos courtesy of the resort.
Classic Italian fare. We dined on pizzas and pastas. Gorgeous setting and loved walking the Ritz grounds. The Ritz property has other much more luxurious restaurants, but with 2 kids in tow, this setting was just perfect.
photo courtesy of the hotel property.
We loved this restaurant so much that we came back a second time. Both times, we opted for an outside table overlooking the property and Caribbean. Ambiance is exceptional. Wonderful wine list, fresh fish. This new property itself is worth the trip.
Other fun dining experiences to mention are: Camana Bay Flavor Tour and Grand Cayman Yacht Club.
Put Grand Cayman on your list of adventures, it surely will not disappoint!