Family-friendly resorts are among the best and most affordable places on Grand Cayman, the main island in one of Caribbean’s hottest holiday destinations. Yet, friendly smiles and warm sun await families at all three small Cayman Islands located in the western Caribbean, about 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica. This former British archipelago includes Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and Grand Cayman, all known as superb diving destinations. Listed below are our favorite for families accommodations on the main island (home to the international airport), Grand Cayman. While Seven Mile Beach (also written SMB) is the preferred destination, the entire island boasts beautiful beaches. We hope our choices make your vacation in this tranquil paradise one to remember.
Grand Cayman Family Resorts
Grand Cayman Beach Suites
Seven Mile Beach
At our visit, the lushly-overgrown tropical feel of the 90-acre property, formerly the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, made it feel like the most “resorty” of the Seven Mile Beach hotels. The renovated resort features 53 luxury beach suites. In addition to concierge-like services, guests in the one and two bedroom suites located directly on Seven Mile Beach can have their unit pre-stocked with requested provisions, or enjoy complimentary morning coffee or afternoon tea in the common beach lobby. Note that these units are a lengthy walk or golfcart ride away from the main hotel’s gift shops, restaurants, kids’ camp, etc. Overall, the resort is very posh, with concierge service, elegant and pricey dining rooms, a golf course, expensive spa, and a cluster of high-priced golf villas along the canal that feeds back to the beach. The “Lil Turtles Kids’ Camp at the Beach” accepts children 3-11 years (no diapers) from 9am-4pm, for a daily free. A number of arts n’ crafts are offered, as well as games and some excursions (additional fees).
The Westin Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach
A recently rennovated and very pretty and intimate property on SMB, this hotel offers large, comfortable balconied rooms overlooking casuarina pines, a landscaped pool and bar, and the white sand beach. There’s a small fitness room, cozy cigar bar off the lobby, beauty salon, and a fancy restaurant. One of the hotel’s big family offers is the great Sunday brunch, a huge spread of fine fare served indoors and out, where children under 12 dine for half-price and children under 2 are free. The other huge plus is their camp program for children (kids 4-12) which is in session from Monday through Saturday 9am to 4pm for a fee. Their night camp operates on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9 pm — it’s fun and charges a separate fee. In a house-sized tent on the beach with sand floors, friendly counselors lead kids through art n’ crafts, lots of marine and wildlife projects, snorkeling safety, pool scavenger hunts, shell painting, daytrips, book-reading and other life lessons.
Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach
Winner of FTF’s Top 10 Getaways for Luxury Family Travelers, the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman is a 144-acre world-class property offering 365 rooms and suites plus 69 condominiums with views of North Sound waterway and Seven Mile Beach. A diver’s paradise, the resort has a signature La Prairie Spa, an “Ambassadors of the Environment”-themed Ritz Kids club that focuses on marine biology, two pools with ocean and sound views, specially designed tennis center and golf course and superb service and amenities.
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach
Seven Mile Beach
The Grand Cayman Marriot Beach Resort offers both luxury accomodations and family-friendly atmosphere. From its central beach location to its fine dining, this relatively small hotel has much to offer. There are various activities offered including a Kids’ Club and island excursions. The Marriot also has spa facilities and offers various treatments including couples messages and a spa experience for the kids.
Grand Cayman Rental Apartments, Villas & Condos
The Cayman Islands thrive on a big ex-pat vacation community of Europeans and Americans who deal in the international banking trade, and often make their second homes available in rental pools managed by local companies. While these rentals can be a great deal for the larger family or reunion group, they are rarely cheap, so be sure to compare prices with adjoining hotel rooms in the larger resorts. If you need a chef or childcare, ask the management company because they will often provide help at a la carte pricing.
The Avalon Condominiums
Seven Mile Beach
The creme de la creme of Grand Cayman’s condos, these are 27 three-bedrooms, three-bath units on a well groomed, 300-foot-long stretch of SMB. Of the 20 or so units, all attached, that are available for nightly rentals, each features local art, very attractive island decor, daily maid service, a large kitchen, washer & dryer, screen porch, a safe, two TVs to spare you any bickering, and separate tub and showers in the bathrooms. There’s a small fitness room and private tennis courts. A strict no smoking policy, as well as a six-person-max rule (infants don’t count) applies to all.
Villas of the Galleon
An attractive complex on SMB of 74 furnished villas. The contemporary home-like decor of these attached units is well maintained and fresh, with daily maid service. The two-level “studio” units offer a better floor plan for families. Ironically, the beachfront units’ large picture windows leave residents with little privacy. This place is so central that guests are able to use the Holiday Inn pool on one side, and dine there or at the Westin on the other side.
Cayman Kai Development Company
P.O. Box 1074 George Town
800/336-6008 ; 345/947-9266
Check out their full color depiction of each of the dozen plus free-standing homes, all beautifully decorated, on Cayman Kai, the island’s peaceful and lovely north coast. Here’s the tropical island hideaway for couples with an infant, or families with lots of kids who will play with each other — there aren’t too many other people around! Their houses rent at reasonable rates if you stay away from the winter holiday season.
Photos courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton.
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