Westin Casuarina Grand Cayman-Master Thread

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by Pizzaman, Feb 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    A reasonably priced property on a beautiful island. I took a bunch of family here last year.

    We had 3 rooms, 2 ocean view, one parking lot view. If you have the choice upgrade to the ocean view, it is worth it. Seven Mile Beach is one of the nicer beaches I've frequented, and the views are much nicer than the parking lot, especially from the top floor (only 4 floors at this property, iirc).

    Check-in process was a breeze. There may have been valet parking, but the self park is so easy i never bothered to check. The property is about 25 minutes from the airport. If you're the exploring type, I'd recommend renting a car.

    I believe the rooms have been refreshed since we were there. The rooms were pleasant, of decent size. They all have oversized bathrooms and small but ample balconies. Refrigerators are available upon request. One of our rooms was a little bit musty, but I'm really nit-picking when I say that. Overall, the room quality was better than expected. To my knowledge, there's only one suite on property, so Plat upgrades are slim. They did upgrade 2 of my 3 rooms to the better view.

    The hotel restaurant is a decent choice for breakfast. However, there are some good choices, including a surprisingly great asian restaurant, directly across the street. Just past the shopping center containing the restaurant is the Cayman version of Costco for all your shopping needs. We were able to buy snorkeling gear for easily half the price for what the hotel was selling it for.

    Oddly, the gift shop was really the only area where I felt the prices were high. The prices from the pool bar were less than some properties I've visited in Florida. A decent bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was roughly $30 US. We ate lunch on the beach most days. The food was always decent, and well-priced. Rentals of things like umbrellas and cabanas were extremely reasonable.

    There are a number of excursions available to be booked through the hotel. It's all handled by a contractor who does a pretty good job. You can also rent a jetski, etc right there on the beach. If you are into snorkeling, there's some great reef just about 200 feet offshore.

    The beach itself was never really that crowded, nor did the pool feel that way. The pool itself is not huge, but there are two separate hot tubs. While there were always people in the hot tubs, they were never overflowing.

    I had read that the hotel will sometimes close the pool down early for weddings, and this did happen one evening. However, I didn't feel that inconvenienced. We were able to hang out on the beach and still use one of the hot tubs. And, the wait staff made sure to check on us frequently.

    All in all, one of the most reasonably priced resort properties I've visited in warm climates.
     
  2. dc_traveler
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    A belated thanks for the report -- we may be staying here next January.
     
  3. Pizzaman
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    I just sent my cousins back here for a 2-night stay. They said everything was just as good as last time. Feel free to hit me up with questions if you go.
     
  4. viguera
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    Anybody have any more recent experience at this place? I'm dropping by for a few nights in early October and wanted to know if there were any more recent reviews.
     
  5. Pizzaman
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    Not first hand, but I had family that stayed there about 3 months ago and were still pleased with the rooms. They had been there a few years ago with me. The rooms are probably still a bit tired, but otherwise a solid property in GCM.
     
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  6. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Ok thanks... I'm only in town for 3 days and on business but I didn't want to end up in some tired old dump. :)

    I'll try to take pictures and do a quick write-up when I return.
     
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  7. alfagirl

    alfagirl Gold Member

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    I was there in March and was very disappointed. (I wrote about in another post 'SPG shenanigans') The room was tired and over looked the parking lot (I booked Ocean view). I am lifetime plat and got no upgrade and could not use suite upgrades (another fiasco). The best thing was opting for the breakfast vouchers as the amenity.
     
  8. viguera
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    Oh that's awesome... not. :)

    I hope it's not as bad when I arrive, as it should be low season and they have less demand.
     
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  9. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    If you need any restaurant recommendations, let me know. We go there almost every year.
     
  10. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Shoot away... it can never hurt, and we can always keep this thread current, like @Sweet Willie does with Aruba :)
     
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  11. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Here goes: In seven mile beach chicken chicken is a fairly inexpensive place with tasty chicken and sides. Blue at the Ritz Carlton is not cheap but absolutely fantastic food. Pappagallo in west bay has a beautiful ambiance and very good Italian food. In Georgetown vicinity we like Casanova, Edoardos, Guy Harvey's (the daily special is usually quite reasonable), Grand Old House, and Champion House ( a very reasonable buffet ). If you are heading east, Willie's fruit stand is in Grand Harbour next to the RBC bank. Great fruit, pies,smoothies etc. Not a place to sit down, but we always stop there at least once when we are in town. Rankin's Jerk in Bodden Town is excellent and the Lighthouse in east bay has good food. Don't speed in that area if you are driving, as the police are known to sit there waiting to write tickets. If you read the local paper or magazines while there, there are specials almost every night at certain restaurants and they will usually all be listed.
     
  12. Pizzaman
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    Breakfast is a solid choice for amenity at this property. IIRC, there are very few suites.
     
  13. Pizzaman
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    I remember enjoying Pappagallo. I also remember a surprisingly good Japanese/sushi place across the street from the Westin.
     
  14. alfagirl

    alfagirl Gold Member

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    Yup, the sushi place across the street was really good. They also have great ramen.....
     
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  15. viguera
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    On my third day here and so far everything is great.

    I did not rent a car but haven't regretted it yet, although there's an Avis desk right on the property in case you change your mind. Gas is outrageously priced ($5.60 a gallon, and I haven't asked to see if that's USD), plus they drive on the "wrong" side of the street, and many cars have right or left hand drive, which I'm sure would make for an interesting trip. The round abouts kill me too... The one thing I don't miss about European driving :)

    Either way, they have a daily complimentary shuttle to the turtle farm in the morning (which returns every hour starting at 11:30) and a daily complimentary shuttle to Georgetown at 2:30pm, so you might not even need a car if you don't want one.

    The taxi buses run through at a fairly frequent rate and will take you downtown for $2.50

    It's interesting to note that the new Kimpton is coming along nicely just up the road, and in spite of some local protests about rerouting the road a lot of people are happy for all the employment it will supposedly bring.

    Anyway, nothing much else to say about the Westin itself. The pool is nice if somewhat small and shallow (3 1/2 to 4 feet tops), but we never had any issues with crowds. The beach is clean and nice and with plenty of umbrellas available, as well as cabanas that can be reserved. They do have signs listing their "no squatting" policy and that personal items will be removed from any chairs if they're left unattended for more than an hour. Not sure if they're enforcing this or how, but maybe it keeps people from putting a book and a towel on a chair and squatting for a whole day even if they're not using it.

    The food at the restaurants is actually very good, as is the alcohol. The only complaint is the prices and automatic gratuity. Everything is priced in local currency, and you get the conversion to USD on the check itself. They automatically add 16% to everything, which is a sort of pet peeve of mine. Chances are they would get a tip - even more than that depending on service - but the fact that it's compulsory makes me just not tip more at all, even if the service was good.

    There's a fairly varied schedule of events, posted daily, with things like outdoor movies, beach BBQ, happy hour, etc.

    The restaurants across the street are still there and they're still solid choices for all meals, and provide good variety to the options in the hotel.

    Overall a solid property that offers a quiet getaway (at least this time of year from what I can tell).
     
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  16. Pizzaman
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    There's pretty good snorkeling right off the the beach (100 yds) to the right as you walk out the back of the hotel. We didn't eat much at the hotel, found plenty of places that had great food. Turtle farm was fun. Stingray city was our memory of the trip. My wife kissed a stingray. I politely declined.
     
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