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- Royal Palms
- 537 West Bay Road, Grand Cayman
- Cayman Islands, KY1 – 1202
Time Share Tour - If you have the time and are an adventurous type, the time-share “show-and-tell” tour at Morritts or Royal Reef Resort (they are next door to each other in the East end) will get you a free lunch & drinks, $50.00 cash and a North wall dive trip! The time-shares at Morritts are registered with RCI, I don’t know about Royal Reef Resort. The latter is very new, and I am told, very nice inside. Their beach is great..and they have a ton of water toys to rent.
Pirate Caves of Boddentown - About 15 minutes southwest of our house (on the way to town) is a small gift shop that advertises “Pirate Caves”. The gift shop is small but cute, and they have a mini-zoo (iguanas, parrots, rabbits, etc) in back. The highlight of the visit is a limestone cave about 10 feet below the surface that they have “schmaltzed up” with pirate swords, chests of gold, skeletons, etc, my little boys loved it. I think the gift shop charges a nominal fee to visit the zoo/caves, but nothing gross. It is nearby, and is fun.
Blowholes - About 3-4 miles east of the Lighthouse Restaurant is a low limestone shoreline that has caves at the waterline. When the surf gets rough, the water shoots vertically out of the limestone about 40 feet. Kids love to watch it. There is a small roadside stand across the street that sells stuff.
Public Beach on 7 Mile Beach - North of the Westin and right across from the new Marriott Courtyard on 7MB is a public beach with about 6 brightly painted gazebos. The gazebos are nice because they offer shade, and the beach has restroom facilities (albeit modest). Also available on the beach are rental water toys.
Pedro Castle - In Savannah (20 minutes away) is the oldest stone building in the Cayman Islands. Pedro St. James was once the capital building of the Caymans, as well as a private residence. It is the original “island architecture” and is featured in many Cayman advertisements. There are tour guides, a multi-media theater, gift shop, café and resource center. Turn South at Texaco Station in Savannah. Nominal admission charge.
Cayman National Museum - This museum (waterfront in Georgetown) offers an extensive insight into the past of the Cayman Islands. A presentation is offered every half-hour, and you then take a self-guided tour of the building. This landmark was home to the Island’s first Governor. It has been used as a courthouse, jail, Post Office and survey post. Nominal admission charge.
Mastic Trail - (close to Botanical Park) For the “hikers” in the group, this 2-1/2 hour “eco”-tour of the trail used as a shortcut to the Northside in the late 1800’s is both great exercise and informative. Sensible walking shoes are a must (no sandals), even though the trail is very level. You see native birds (including parrots), their nesting places, plus many varieties of fruit, vegetable and plant life stilled farmed on the island. The Cayman National Trust oversees this preservation project. Reservations. Small admission charge.
Real Estate Shopping - As you drive around the island, you can’t help but think that every house and lot is for sale! What has happened is that Grand Cayman has experienced a tremendous boom in real estate prices over the past 10 years. There are 2,800 sq. ft. condos on 7 MB that sell for $3 Million! Cayman Kai lots that sell for $1 Million! That boom (in part) has been fueled by the growth of the number of realtors/firms on the island, the economic expansion of the last 10 years, and that some people arrive in Grand Cayman with (literally) suitcases full of cash (how they got it who knows?) wanting to purchase a home and retire here.
The realtors have preyed on this fact and encouraged homeowners to list their homes. There are many tales of foreigners offering obscene prices for homes. That is why you will see so many signs. It is also another reason why (if you decide to look around) you should engage a realtor to cull the fluff from the motivated sellers. Get a copy of the CIREBA (Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Assn) Magazine and the Century 21 Magazine and start looking!
Many of the carriers flying into Grand Cayman offer group & wedding discounts in an effort to get all your business. Programs differ somewhat, but in general, you have to have 10 or more people traveling through the same connecting city to Grand Cayman. Your group can each start from different places in the country, but need to meet up as a group for the final leg. Additionally, many of the group/wedding departments will allow up to 20% of the group to depart within 2-3 days of the scheduled departure date as well. I have personally used US Airways, and have saved 15-20%. I recommend that if your group is large enough, you at least make the call.
In the East End of the island just a mile & a half south of Portofinos is Vivine's Kitchen, which is a casual island style home-cooked meal prepared by Vivine Watler. Lunch only, except Wednesday night she has a seafood buffet. Just south of the Castle in east end (across the street from Ocean Frontiers) is a new place called Arlaine's. She prepares lunch daily and is open in the evening for both eat-in or carry-out. Menus is typically fast food.
Portofino's Restaurant - Located just one mile south of Morritts in the east end, this oceanfront restaurant is very versatile and charming. The menu is both Caribbean and Italian, and if you wanted something made to order, they will try most anything for you as well. They are also keenly aware of food allergies (we know personally), so don't hesitate to speak up. The manager (Shakur) and some of the staff are Indian, so if you have a craving for an Indian dish, just call the day before so that he can put it together for you. Portofino's offers both indoor and outdoor seating and has a decent wine list as well. The Sunday brunch (11:30 - 3PM) is a favorite for our guests staying at Northside and East End villas for planning the rest of their week over a great lunch/drinks with the warm ocean breeze.