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Westin Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands [Master Thread]

Westin Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands [Master Thread]

Old Jan 5, 15, 7:10 am
  #196  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,988
Originally Posted by spellbound2 View Post
We'll be here for 5 nights and the Marriott for 5 nights. Really looking forward to it. Can you bike around the island?
I wouldn't. Traffic is busy, with too many tourists and expats with little experience driving on the "wrong" side of the road.

Cheers,
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Old Jan 5, 15, 12:26 pm
  #197  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: YYZ
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Originally Posted by ihdihd View Post
I should have clarified to be fair to the property that the upgrade likelihood was limited by the time we were there (Christmas) and the fact that they were fully booked.

That said, I still don't believe you can use SNA at this property at any time during the year, for example. I certainly didn't have the option to even try.
I'd correct this to "property doesn't give suite upgrades". Although one can find a post or two here when OP stated suite upgrades. Out of season, of course.
I was upgraded to ocean front which is highest one below suites 4 years ago 10 nights during Xmas/NY. They consistenly upgrade to 2-3 categories up.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 12:49 pm
  #198  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: YYZ
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy (SPG) Lifetime Plat Premier, AC Elite, Airmiles Gold, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards
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Originally Posted by ihdihd View Post
Compared to most St. Regis properties where any room we receive is large enough to accommodate the family, I would typically pay 80K-120K points plus around $200. Breakfasts for the kids have never been an issue at St. Regis and have always been included when the platinum breakfast was selected.

but compared to a no-brainer like the Diplomat's cash and points rates and instant suites (may they rest in peace), expect to burn a large hole in your SPG account to make this trip happen.
Westin to St . Regis is apples to oranges. I feel that's breakfast not a brand issue but hotel to hotel specific. Places frequented by families with kids (especially multiple) do charge. More adult types of destinations don't, especially if you ask them not to.

Diplomat's C+P, lounge, pre-assigned suites .... RIP, best friend
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Old Jan 23, 15, 12:36 pm
  #199  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 684
good hotel

We just returned from 5 nights here and then another nights in Marriott. We liked the beach MUCH better at the Westin and the space between umbrellas/chairs made it for a less compact experience. The sun was more abundant on this part of the island during this period than on the Marriott end of 7 mile beach. Marriott just finished a complete renovation so the rooms were nicer and the food was definitely a notch up as was the included benefits of beach cruiser bikes and paddle boards with the resort fee. Since the beach is most important to us, we'd go back to Westin but the other parts of Marriott were significantly better to us as you had to pay for bikes and paddle boards at Westin.
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Old Jan 24, 15, 9:45 am
  #200  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,988
Originally Posted by spellbound2 View Post
We just returned from 5 nights here and then another nights in Marriott. We liked the beach MUCH better at the Westin and the space between umbrellas/chairs made it for a less compact experience. The sun was more abundant on this part of the island during this period than on the Marriott end of 7 mile beach. Marriott just finished a complete renovation so the rooms were nicer and the food was definitely a notch up as was the included benefits of beach cruiser bikes and paddle boards with the resort fee. Since the beach is most important to us, we'd go back to Westin but the other parts of Marriott were significantly better to us as you had to pay for bikes and paddle boards at Westin.
I'm surprised there's any beach at all at the Marriott. It got wiped out a few years ago by a hurricane. No question the beach at the Westin is roomier. One nice thing about both is you can walk for miles.

Cheers,
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Old Jan 25, 15, 6:19 am
  #201  
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: McKinney, TX, USA
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Originally Posted by Flews View Post
I'm surprised there's any beach at all at the Marriott. It got wiped out a few years ago by a hurricane. No question the beach at the Westin is roomier. One nice thing about both is you can walk for miles.
The beach there does grow over time.

My personal favorite hotel is the RC next to the Westin. It has the nice wide beach and all the amenities you would expect at a Luxury-end hotel. Even if you don't stay there, they have one night a week where they put on a buffet dinner that is truly scrumptious. They grill lobster tails very nicely and you can eat as many of them as you want.
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Old Jan 25, 15, 8:53 am
  #202  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,988
Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
The beach there does grow over time.

My personal favorite hotel is the RC next to the Westin. It has the nice wide beach and all the amenities you would expect at a Luxury-end hotel. Even if you don't stay there, they have one night a week where they put on a buffet dinner that is truly scrumptious. They grill lobster tails very nicely and you can eat as many of them as you want.
Indeed. Pricey though. I once had a $200+ brunch at the Cayman Ritz; probably the best I ever had. Local lore has it Bill Gates owns the top floor Penthouse.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 16, 15, 12:58 pm
  #203  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 537
Hello, does anyone have any experience in booking an Ocean Front room directly with points? I booked a regular room and my Ambassador requested an upgrade, but I would rather use points to guarantee the room.

The Ambassador gave the option of paying for an upgrade for $120 per night, which I would rather not do with the $45 resort fee that is already being charged.

Any thoughts?
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Old Feb 17, 15, 5:16 pm
  #204  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Programs: SPG Plat
Posts: 3
Long time lurker staying at this property now (on points) and here are my observations as a Plat:
  • Booked an Island View room and received an Island View (Road view actually) room. Hotel seems packed so thats understandable.
  • As previous posters have mentioned the resort fee was actually $45 per room per night - even though all the check-in documentation shows $35/night
  • Given a $10 voucher to use at hotel restaurants/bar as a alternative platinum amenity. Didn't have to ask for it
  • Premium internet is about 4Mb/s up and down with very high latency (80-90ms). Free internet was <1Mb/s with similar latency. Luckily now Platinum guests are entitled to the premium tier when booking on SPG.com (we will see how this is handled at checkout and I will post an update)
  • Towel hut routinely has no towels. Absolutely unacceptable when you are paying a $45/day resort fee for this very benefit.
  • Fitness classes supposedly offered every day per the brochure given at check-in are only Monday Wednesday and Friday; Again, unacceptable when the is included in the $45/day resort fee
  • My wife and I are 0/4 getting a beach umbrellas. Granted its a holiday weekend but one morning at 9am my wife was told "We are too busy right now, come ask again later." Again the $45/day resort fee is supposed to include this!
  • The platinum breakfast is still full breakfast for 2 adults. Not quite the level of SPG hotels in Asia but not a bad spread. Waitstaff and hostesses seemed incredibly overwhelmed and there was routinely a wait to be seated despite entire sections being empty
  • The concierge is completely useless. Asking for a dozen roses charged to the room got me an order form asking for my credit card info with instructions to forward it to the hotel florist via email. I specifically asked that it be charged to my room to avoid sending my info unencrypted via email and that portion of my request was simply ignored.

My experience here felt similar to other SPG properties in the Caribbean. Poorly trained staff coupled with policies that left me feeling nickled and dimed just don't make me want to return. For reference I have stayed at The Westin St. John, W Vieques and the Westin Saint Maarten in the Caribbean. The hard product and the natural beauty keep me from completely giving up on this area but compared to my experiences in other parts of the world I almost always regret retuning.

Overall a beautiful beach destination but not the amazing experience compared to some truly outstanding properties in Asia and Europe, many of which have gorgeous beaches.

Last edited by bk_mike; Feb 17, 15 at 5:31 pm
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Old Apr 1, 15, 10:27 pm
  #205  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: New York
Programs: UA GS SPG Life Plat, Mar Platinum, AA EXP
Posts: 163
Service overwhelmed by volume

4th night of five night stay at the WGC. Booked two rooms on cash & points as a Platinum -- my room was upgraded to an ocean front room (overlooking the pool however) and the other was upgraded to a ocean view (pool facing) room.

Pros: Location is nice and the staff are friendly.

Cons: hotel can't handle scale or weather issues. Staying during peak rush (US school holidays) and the hotel cannot cope as the scale of the property, especially the restaurants can't keep up. Lunch at the pool side restaurant Tortugas is a tortured time consuming affair -- be prepared to order 45 minutes in advance of when you are hungry as the food takes at least that long. The staff is very hard working but they have some many customers to cover that everything just takes forever. Breakfast at Ferdinand's isn't much better -- once again staff tries hard but only so much you can do in a place with less than 20 tables. Omelet station has 1 chef doing 3 burners and 2 waffle machines -- no matter how quickly they can work, you usually have a long line.

Overall a good value at the C&P rate but would look at coming in a slightly less peak week next time.
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Old Apr 11, 15, 1:01 pm
  #206  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Programs: AA 3MM EXP, UA GOLD, Marriott LT PP, Nat'l Emerald Exec)
Posts: 297
We are here now, the week after the last poster's comments.

While it is school vacation week for us (central Connecticut), the place is fairly empty.

Our reservation was fairly complicated, three different reservation numbers for different nights. They had everything tied together, and check in was totally smooth, even though I was prepared to defend myself and everything I'd learned and asked about.

Yes, the Resort Fee is $45 per day, whether you're paying money or on points. That is what all my reservations said (made in January). The RF includes high speed internet, so as a platinum you get a $10 coupon for each day of resort fee you're paying. PLEASE NOTE you can not hand in the coupons at checkout and get a credit to your account. You have to spend them as you go.

Our room wasn't ready at 3pm checkin, and we got handed five more $10 coupons. That was a nice one.

Speaking of money, the 10% and 13% taxes are not charged on the points nights, only on the paying nights.

I had emailed before arrival, and got clarification in writing on the platinum amenity in regards to the Resort Fee, and whether we would have to pay tax on the points nights. Printed out those emails, but they handled everything perfectly.

Upon checkin as a platinum, you have the choice of 500 points, or access to the breakfast buffet for two, every morning, which normally costs like $25/person. That's a no brainer, and the food's very good. There were multiple foods on the buffet that my spouse and I remarked were the "best we've ever tasted."

The reservation agent knew it was our anniversary, and we were gifted a small amenity with chocolate covered strawberries, etc....

We were upgraded (even on points nights) to a full beach facing room, with a walk out to a patio and the beach. Not a suite by any means, but a very nice room and the walkout to patio/beach is wonderful.

The beach is awesome, and there's been plenty of room at the chairs and umbrellas, even when we showed up at like 10:30am.

You can drink the water out of the tap, but it's "island water" with an odd (for us anyway) taste. The resort gave us two bottles of water per day, they're in the room refrigerator. The ones on the counter cost $6.50 each. All are tagged to clearly indicate whether they're free or not.

Will post more as the days go by, but so far, I am quite happy.

EDIT: Three nights into a four night stay, here's some more info.

Be careful, as all rates quoted when you're in the hotel are CI dollars, which are 1:0.8USD. So if you're quoted "ten dollars" for something, it twelve dollars US. Drinks in particular are stupid expensive. While waiting for our room, we had two large piña coladas, and burnt FOUR of the US$10 coupons. They spin the exchange rate in their favor all the time. For example, the "$10 coupons" are CI$8, US$10.

Food is great, but expensive, as expected. This is an island, after all. On the other hand, I had a nice order of fish tacos at the poolside bar, and it was $15. Fair enough.

Beach House, the high end on-site restaurant, cost us US$200 for a very nice dinner for two, including a $50 bottle of wine.

Ferdinands, the medium restaurant, will be about US$100 for two.

The service has been VERY VERY good, and we are here in mid April, which is still in season. Every single person has gone the extra mile, and I'd rate the staff at a solid 8 out of 10.

Spouse and I rate this property well above the Westin in Punta Cana, and also above the now defunct Sheraton Four Points in Humacao PR.

We are in one of the ocean front rooms in the 190's. The hotel is shaped like a wide flat U, with the pool in the middle. The 100's are one one end of the U, by the restaurants, the 190's on the other end, by the spa and governor's residence. As I mentioned, our room walks out onto a terrace, and then onto the beach. We have a king with a round table, no desk.

HSIA is included at the premium speed, as an SPG platinum. It is not super fast, but adequate. Includes three devices, we have two phones and two laptops, so I had to "buy" two packages. I am sure both will be credited off upon check out. EDIT: Yes, no internet charge upon checkout.

Taxi to/from airport is US$25 each way, and there are plenty of taxis everywhere. Last night, we took a $20 taxi to the Calypso Grill and had a fabulous dinner. The driver gave us his card, I SMS'd him, and he came and picked us up and brought us back to the hotel.

I would avoid a lot of the older comments in this thread, as the whole hotel was redone in around 2012. The lobby is lovely, the staff is wonderful, the checkin process was flawless, etc...

Last edited by EleanorMcDaniel; Apr 18, 15 at 2:55 pm
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Old Apr 15, 15, 5:19 am
  #207  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Posts: 297


Here's the first floor floor plan.
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Old May 5, 15, 9:49 am
  #208  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: IL, USA
Posts: 22
SPG Kids Pass

Does anyone have any experience purchasing the SPG Kids Pass here? The FAQ mentions that an adult must also make a purchase at mealtime, but not for drinks, so it really seems more like the drinks are all-inclusive, but meals are basically buy one, get one free? It looks like they have to order off the kids menu too. The whole program seems kind of restrictive, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Thanks!
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Old Jul 22, 15, 9:20 pm
  #209  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: Lifetime SPG Plat
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Red face

Originally Posted by 74571945052809 View Post
Does anyone have any experience purchasing the SPG Kids Pass here? The FAQ mentions that an adult must also make a purchase at mealtime, but not for drinks, so it really seems more like the drinks are all-inclusive, but meals are basically buy one, get one free? It looks like they have to order off the kids menu too. The whole program seems kind of restrictive, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Thanks!
Late post here but I'm currently at the WGC now and the kids pass is great.

As a platinum guest my wife and myself get the breakfast anyway so my daughter gets to eat the full buffet as part of the kids pass. For lunch she has to order off the kids menu but she is free to order at the bar or from a pool side waitress and they deliver the food to our lounge chair. She also orders drinks all day either at the pool deck bar or right in the pool and no adult has to be with her, she just shows her braclet and she can get her drinks. The only restrictions are no smoothies, just sodas and juices.

All in all its a great deal for $25CI ($30US) and she is quite happy with the choices.
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Old Feb 26, 16, 3:09 pm
  #210  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: NYC
Programs: Delta Platinum, United Silver, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Titanium / LTG, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 753
They are moving to a Category 6 soon. Snagged one last 5 night reservation at the low season rate for late May. Was a great deal
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