by Diana Lambdin Meyer
If you’re looking to escape the congestion and commercialism of Seven Mile Beach and the George Town area during a Cayman vacation, you’ll love the Wyndham Reef Resort. Located on the East End, about 45 minutes from George Town, the Wyndham Reef Resort has a fabulous beach that offers spectacular access to the Caribbean Sea, and an aura of remoteness that contributes to a relaxing vacation.
The East End is the drier end of Grand Cayman, which means that even in the rainy season of June, July and August, rain rarely ruins a day at the beach. However, it is a little breezier on this end of the island, which is not a bad thing in the heat of the summer.
The East End is also the less developed end of the island, with more vacation homes and condos along with independent restaurants and locally owned businesses. The Wyndham Reef Resort opened in 2001 with just one two-story building for lodging and a small administrative center with a restaurant and bar. Now, the property includes four buildings, two swimming pool complexes, a tennis court, a spa, and a gym, all side-by-side along the length of the ocean.
Each room has an ocean view facing east. Patios on the ground level are no more than a half dozen steps from the gorgeous white-sand beach. The second- and third-floor rooms have spacious balconies perfect for enjoying a morning breakfast or evening beverage.
The Wyndham Reef Resort holds the distinction of being the only all-inclusive resort on Grand Cayman, and offers two packages to meet the interests and budgets of as many guests as possible. With fully equipped kitchens and a nearby grocery store, many families choose to gather around the outdoor grills and picnic on the beach. But if you’re not so inclined, you can enjoy the offerings of the onsite restaurants.
Among those who enjoy the amenities of the Wyndham Reef Resort on a daily basis are Cosmo and Martini, two fat lazy cats whose demands for attention must be fulfilled without question by young and old guests.
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront location
- All-inclusive packages
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
How often, if ever, have your kids slept in a Murphy bed -- you know, the ones that fold down from the wall? They may get to try one at the Wyndham Reef Resort!
Most of the 152 units are one-bedroom condos with options for adjoining units. Only 11 units are true two-bedroom condos. The bedrooms include a king-sized bed and a private balcony overlooking the beach. The kitchen is fully equipped, and if you like, a concierge service will even have the refrigerator stocked with your family's favorite foods.
But the accommodations for kids are certainly a step up from a pullout couch. The living area, which comes with a rattan loveseat and two matching side chairs, faces a wall of what appears to be bookshelves. Here you'll find the television, DVD player and a few other amenities. But look closely -- the handles on either side of the television cabinet pull down to reveal two twin beds. Kids absolutely love the novelty of this.
There is no extra charge for cribs, and plenty of space for them in either the adult bedroom or in the living room where the Murphy beds are located. A rollaway bed is available in the two-bedroom suites for an additional charge per day.
Each of the one-bedroom units is equipped with just one rather small bathroom that includes a shower/tub combo, hair dryer and Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries. An ironing board is tucked away in the closet, but coin-operated guest laundry facilities are located on the lowest level of each building. Two bedroom units have two bathrooms.
Housekeeping comes once a day to make beds, empty trash and provide fresh linens, but other housekeeping chores are your responsibility.
Insider's Tip: You may want to request a certain room location when making your reservation. Families with younger children may appreciate being in Building A or B, where the pool is a little more child-friendly. Older children may appreciate being in building C or D, because the game room and gym are located in the lower level of building D. Although there is an elevator, buildings C and D are also four-stories high.
A nice aspect of guestrooms is the abundance of electrical outlets for laptops, iPods, and all of the typical modern toys. But if your toddlers and crawlers are tempted to explore electrical outlets, be sure to request outlet covers in your room before you arrive; housekeeping will gladly provide as many as you need.
Staff was very friendly. The food was very expensive compared to other restaurants close by. Our room was clean, we had a minor issue with some electrical not working when we arrived. It was fixed the next day. We used their laundry area twice, there is no AC in the laundry room which makes it very uncomfortable when the dryers are on. I saw a dying cockroach in the laundry room and phoned the front desk about it. It’s a tropical climate, so I wasn’t surprised to see one. The only annoying aspect of our stay was the timeshare spiel. They offered us a small monetary room credit to listen to how their timeshare works. They expected my wife and I to make a decision regarding purchasing a time share after their spiel. We declined prior to the spiel being completed. So we lost the credit. I felt like they were pushy about making a decision that would effect me for the next 30 years without giving me time to speak with my personal financial advisor. Other than this it was a great experience.
This was our first trip to the Cayman Islands. It was so relaxing, peaceful, and quiet. We got lots of rest. The staff is wonderful, the amenities are good, the grounds were well kept, and they provided any and everything that we needed and are asked for. We would recommend this place over and over again
The beach is always the focus of activities in the Caymans, and the Wyndham Reef Resort takes advantage of its 1,600 feet of white sand that touches the Caribbean. Clear water and a gentle slope into the greater depths make the waterfront a perfect place to play.
Pools and Volleyball
The beach includes a permanent volleyball court, and another volleyball net crosses one of three swimming pools. If you have little ones, you'll want to choose a room in one buildings A or B, because that's where the 2-foot toddler pool is located. The hot tub is located adjacent to the pool near building three.
White Sand Water Sports provides kayaks, sailboats, motorboats, snorkeling, beach bicycles and water trampolines. Red Sail Sports provides diving instruction and equipment, along with an energetic and helpful staff.
Their full-time activities coordinator is an expert on family-friendly activities. One of her favorite things to do with her own children -- that she can arrange for you to do too -- is taking a bioluminescent evening kayak tour in a nearby mangrove. How cool is that! Some days the resort will lead an excursion to Sting Ray City and Rum Point, both worth the investment in time and money, or you can explore Rum Point on your own. A boat is required to get to Sting Ray City.
A tennis court doubles as a basketball court, and has great lighting for evening play. There's no designated instructor.
For quieter entertainment, a library of books for all ages as well as DVDs is located adjacent to the concierge desk.
A unique feature of the Wyndham Reef Resort is Barefoot Man. Barefoot Man is a musician, quite well known on the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean in general, who makes the Wyndham Reef Resort his home base. At least two nights a week, the Jimmy Buffett-style musician performs in the restaurant, on the beach, or wherever strikes his fancy.
Kids Night and Game Room
One night a week there is a kid-only pizza and movie night, and take place in the games room where the kids can also enjoy games and arts and crafts. Since childcare per se is not offered, this is a night when parents can easily sneak away to a nearby restaurant or just plan to eat an adult meal and walk the beach alone.
If you don't wish to cook, you have nice, albeit limited, onsite options, and two all-inclusive packages to choose from to suit your family's dining needs. One package offers limited meals and all-you-can-drink alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, while the premium package offers unlimited meals and premium bar options.
Tides is open at 7 a.m. for breakfast. The menu is all-inclusive and includes plenty of kid-friendly items and portions. The breakfast tacos are incredibly popular with families. Tides also serves international cuisines for dinner.
The Beach Bar is both a bar and an outdoor dining option where you can have everything from pizza and burgers to fabulous salads, steaks and seafood specialties. Kids play in the sand waiting for adults to finish their meal, and everyone is happy. If you prefer to dine inside in air conditioning and with a solid floor beneath your feet, the Rusty Pelican serves the same menu that is served on the beach. Pizza may also be delivered to your suites.
Coffee, breakfast and pastries can be found at this gourmet coffee shop.
A Subway sandwich shop is located just outside the main hotel lobby.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There are two all-inclusive packages to choose from with add-on's available for an additional cost. One package offers limited meals and all-you-can-drink alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, use of water sports and fitness center, and Wi-Fi. While the premium package offers the same amenities along with unlimited meals and premium bar options.
Wi-Fi access is available in the guestrooms and lobby with the all-inclusive rate.
Grand Cayman has a large cycling association and the East End is great for bicycling, however, the Wyndham Reef Resort doesn't have a large selection of bicycles to choose from. If bicycling is something your family wants to try, ask the concierge to recommend a bicycle rental facility in Harbour Place.
The concierge can recommend local individuals for in-room babysitting. However, the Tuesday night pizza night is recognized as a great option for parents wanting to get away on their own.
Just across the road from the Wyndham Reef Resort is a small shopping center that includes a grocery store. On the first day of their stay, many guests will stock up on essentials for breakfast and snacks. The grocery store has everything you'll need if you decide to cook more significantly. However, prices at this grocery store are a bit more expensive, simply because of its distance from the hub of deliveries in George Town. If you plan to cook your lunch and dinners, you may want to stop at one of the grocery stores in Harbour Place, about halfway between George Town and the Wyndham Reef Resort. A number of outdoor grills and picnic tables scattered around the property make for a convenient beach cookout anytime.
The Art of Smarter Traveling
Located on the East End, which is the drier end of Grand Cayman, means that the typical rainy season of June, July and August is not so rainy and offers a bit more of a breeze.
The Wyndham Reef Resort is about 45 minutes from the George Town Airport.
Most people who come to the East End rent a car to get there. A one-way cab ride from the airport costs from $75 to $100, and then you have little other means of getting around. You really need your own vehicle if you are going to explore off property, and the concierge can make those arrangements for you. The Wyndham Reef Resort also contracts with Tropicana Tours, who will provide round-trip transportation for $40 per person. Children under 2 are free.
For Mom and Dad
La Soleil, the onsite spa, is small but comprehensive in its services, which incorporate the fruit and plant life that the Caribbean is known for. A Little Princess package for girls, with sparkling nails and shiny lip gloss, is a lot of fun. However, be sure to plan ahead at least 48 hours for your service.