The Grand Cayman is hands down one of the most beautiful destinations we have ever visited. I do not think we have seen such clear blue water that can completely take your breath away. So it is no surprise why the Grand Cayman is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
One of the first questions you need to be answered to help plan your trip is, where to stay in the Grand Cayman? There are two main areas to stay in the Grand Cayman. You can stay along the famous Seven-Mile Beach or you can stay in a more secluded area on the East End.
This post is to help you make the best decision about where to stay in the Grand Cayman. Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive hotel, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, this guide will help point you in the right direction.
Seven-Mile Beach vs. East End
Though the island is small, the Grand Cayman has so much to offer visitors. There are several fun things to do in the Grand Cayman, such as swimming with stingrays, visiting Rum Point, touring a local distillery, snorkeling with sea life, jet skiing, and more. Moreover, all of these fun things can be found throughout the island. This is why you can stay at either Seven-Mile Beach or the East End – no matter what, you can easily access all of the activities.
So how do you decide the best place to stay in Grand Cayman? Truthfully, it all depends on what best fits your needs and expectations for your trip. To help with the process, I will explain what Seven-Mile Beach and the East End have to offer.
There is no doubt about it, Seven-Mile Beach is gorgeous! One of the best beaches we have ever visited in the entire world. It is no wonder why there are so many luxurious hotels along Seven-Mile Beach and the most popular place to stay in the Grand Cayman.
However, it is not always the best choice for everyone. The Grand Cayman is known for being an expensive Caribbean destination. Therefore, staying on Seven-Mile Beach may put a hefty dent into your wallet. Furthermore, there are no all-inclusive hotels on Seven-Mile Beach. So, you will need to dine at the hotel restaurants or at local restaurants.
Another aspect to consider is the crowds. Though the beach is seven-miles long, it is always crowded. Whether the beach is crowded with hotel guests, cruise guests, or locals – you might be fighting for a spot in the sand. With that being said, if you stay in a luxury hotel such as The Westin, you can rent a private cabana for a more secluded experience.
Lastly, if you stay at a Seven-Mile Beach hotel, a rental car is not needed. You can easily take a taxi or airport transfer from the airport to your hotel. If you book excursions to Stingray City or Rum Point, the tour operators typically include hotel pick-up. And you can always taxi to local restaurants if you do not want to walk.
A lot of visitors planning a trip to the Grand Cayman may not realize there is another great area to stay beside Seven-Mile Beach. The East End of Grand Cayman is a great option for a more affordable and secluded beach vacation. It is truly paradise with great views of the ocean and very few people surrounding you.
In addition to beautiful blue water, there is also more sea life to explore on the East End of the Grand Cayman. You can easily come across a school of colorful fish just a few feet away from the beach.
One of the biggest benefits of staying on the East End is having the ONLY all-inclusive hotel on the island. Therefore, the East End is perfect for visitors wanting an all-inclusive package deal in the Caribbean.
A rental car is highly recommended because the East End is farther away from the airport than Seven-Mile Beach. Moreover, we found it is more cost-efficient to rent a car than taking a taxi to and from the airport. It also gave us the flexibility and freedom to explore the island.
The biggest setback of staying on the East End is the sargassum seaweed. Unfortunately, sargassum seaweed has taken over a few areas in the Caribbean – typically from May through September. So though the East End is beautiful and a great option, you need to keep in mind that the beaches could be covered with sargassum seaweed. With that said, once you get past the sargassum seaweed, the water is crystal clear and absolutely beautiful!
Overall Pros and Cons of Seven-Mile Beach vs. East End
Where to Stay in the Grand Cayman – Seven-Mile Beach
Seven-Mile Beach has an ample amount of wonderful hotels and resorts to stay at. Whether you are looking for something luxurious or budget-friendly, there are plenty of options for everyone. Here are a few hotels that come highly recommended.
Where to Stay in the Grand Cayman – East End
From personal experience, I can say with confidence that the best place to stay in the Grand Cayman on the East End is the Wyndham Reef Resort. This resort offers two options to its hotel guests – accommodation only or an all -inclusive package.
The Wyndham Reef Resort is the only hotel on the island that offers an all-inclusive package. So it is the perfect hotel for those wanting an all-inclusive Caribbean vacation. The all-inclusive package includes accommodation, all three meals, alcoholic beverages, snorkeling equipment, kayaks, nightly entertainment, and more.
In addition to the all-inclusive package, what we loved about this hotel was the relaxed ambiance and great customer service. The hotel staff is friendly and does their best to make all your dreams come true. In fact, this resort is so personable that the staff members knew exactly what we wanted to order. Our special Pink Sand Beach cocktail was always ready for us at the beach bar.
Lastly, the resort had a wonderful pier, on-site scuba diving, and a local tour operator. The tour operator, White Sands Water Sports, offered guests several activities and excursions such as, Stingray City, jet skis, snorkeling tour, pontoon boat, kayaking, and more.
Where I Would Stay in the Grand Cayman
You truly cannot go wrong with your decision of where to stay in the Grand Cayman. However, after staying in the Grand Cayman for five days and being able to see the difference between Seven-Mile Beach and the East End – I would stay on the East End.
Moreover, on our last day, my entire family asked each other if we would do our trip to the Grand Cayman any differently. All five of us answered no. We would all return to the East End and stay at the Wyndham Reef Resort again in a heartbeat. For us, it was all about the amazing all-inclusive experience, the seclusion, and the wonderful connections we made at the resort.