Life on Grand Cayman is pretty good. It’s a gorgeous place with fantastic beaches, duty free shopping and is a playground for the rich and also for those laundering money in their offshore accounts. My favorite thing about that is that they advertise specializing in distressed funds on the billboards at the airport when you land. Aside from offshore banking and duty free shopping, the Caymans also offer great restaurants, hotels and decent nightlife-especially for the Caribbean. But the highlight of the island for sure is the Seven Mile Beach.
Seven Mile Beach is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. It is long as the name suggests, white as you can see and perfectly Caribbean in all ways. Meaning relaxing, soft sand, nice hotels but not too gaudy, people from all over and of course water sports and parasailing. Additionally, great drinks are a must and the Caymans definitely have great pina coladas with the best rum from all over the Caribbean; Cuba, Jamaica and the Caymans own potable.
I stayed at the gorgeous Westin Hotel (above) right in the heart of Seven Mile Beach complements of Starwood and the hotel was great and the staff was excellent and attentive. When you come to an island like Grand Cayman, the hotel tends to be the most important part of your stay because of the general lack of other things to do besides hang out on the beach near your hotel. Unless you like shopping of course, which I don’t, however, I was lured into buying a pair of duty free sunglasses at half the price you’d see at home. I never buy anything but I lost my old pair so I couldn’t resist.
If you do choose to go shopping or banking as is the case for the Caymans, Georgetown, the capital, is a decent enough town and has all the usual places to buy jewelry and watches, etc. Most multinational banks and clothes stores are represented as well. Finally, there is a well-touristed Hard Rock Cafe and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville to go along with the harbor where the cruise ships dock-I hate cruise ships by the way.
The Caymans are renowned throughout the Caribbean for their world class fare and I did have a few really food meals on the island. The best was at an Italian place called Edoardo’s right across from the Ritz Carlton and a ten minute walk from the Westin. The offered excellent Italian food and reasonable prices including killer veal parmigiana and penne fradiavolo. Another great spot was the Burger Bar at the Sunshine Suites hotel which claims to have the best burgers on the island and I can vouch that they are fabulous, not to mention massive-try the kitchen sink burger. Finally, there is a place called the Royal Palms Hotel up Seven Mile Beach which has a fun little beachside bar at night and serves exellent tuna dishes including the best tuna au poivre I’ve ever had so check it out and the bar is especially good Wednesday nights.
Grand Cayman is also known for its diving and snorkeling. I was supposed to be on a snorkeling trip but overslept the early wake up time so I didn’t end up going. I wasn’t too upset though because the prices were absurd anyway. Stingray City is their famous or at least most touristed spot to dive and snorkel and the $159 price tag was a bit much I’d say for 2 hours. The Caymans aren’t cheap but you can keep them cheap if you don’t waste money on tourist trap type things.
All in all, Seven Mile Beach and Grand Cayman Island were amazing and a great place to escape for a few days. The beach as I said is one of the Caribbeans top beaches and I only wish I had more time to see Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, but that’s for next time.