Featured writer: Images by T. Dashfield
When traveling to Grand Cayman, you have many options as to where you can stay and I’m not talking about what part of the island. I’m referring to what type of place to lay your weary but happy head after a day out in the sun and sand. So after doing quite a bit of research on various travel sites as well as a few calls and emails, we finally agreed that this place would be ideal. Were we ever right. This was the perfect place for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary in May. This property is right on a nice not very crowded part of 7 Mile Beach and is conveniently located close to many things you’d want or need. The grocery store and many places to eat are within short walking distance as are duty-free shopping places, car rental agencies and catching a bus is as simple as standing right in front of the property and hailing one.
Your options of where to stay on Grand Cayman consist of the usual suspects of big, bigger, and biggest hotels or you can rent someones private condo or stay at a condo that although privately owned is managed by a company as though it were a hotel. Where we stayed was the latter type. Unlike some hotels/condos that show you general pictures of their rooms on their websites, on the Islands Club webpage each unit to rent has pictures of that specific unit. What you see there is what you will get. Now that is what I am talking about! Truth in advertising.
Again, another big choice you have to make when deciding on your rental at other places is its location on their property. You may have your choice of garden view, ocean view, parking lot view, semi ocean view but a tree is in the way, sort of ocean view if you lean over the edge of your balcony, and ocean front. At The Islands Club the condos are ALL ocean front. Awesome! Out your front door there is the parking lot where you parked your rental car but out the back it is all beach and ocean. Happiness.
Even though we didn’t cook that much in our unit (we did load the fridge with juices and breakfast goodies) I chose it based upon the picture of its kitchen. Strange and lacking in a certain amount of logic I know but it is what I fell in love with. I so want a kitchen like that one day. After landing and getting transport to the complex, we were greeted and checked in by the manager, Robert Bodden, who gave us this shopping tote full of magazines and coupons to assist us with our stay. We also received a welcome gift of a bottle of wine and a Tortuga rum cake. Now I could be wrong about those things being just for our anniversary, who knows (I had emailed him and told him that was the purpose of our trip). They may do that for all their guests but I thought it was an incredibly classy way to welcome us.
Mr. Bodden then walked us to our unit on the way introducing us to, Emelina, who was to be our housekeeper for our entire stay. Housekeeping is there every day but Sunday and sometimes major holidays. The entire staff here is wonderful. Mr. Bodden himself helped us out when it was raining like crazy by lending us a big umbrella and even dropped us off one place when he was heading into town. Emelina, besides keeping me in stitches – we got along so well, always made sure things were neat and tidy, that we had enough beach towels and anything else we needed, explained to us how to work that interesting double dishwasher and told us where to get certain things to eat including calling this one jerk place to find out what days they delivered.
Here’s another example of how kind and helpful everyone there was. On the day we came back from reef fishing with our catch, I asked Emelina if she knew how to cook what we had caught (I had been told how by the lovely lady at the fishing charter place but had forgotten what she said and was too embarrassed to call her back and say that) but she didn’t know. Instead, she called over one of the Cayman housekeepers and asked her if she knew how. So here we are all trying to figure out how to cook this fish when the Cayman lady said she knew someone who was a good cook and she would call her and ask. But she didn’t just call her and pass the instructions on to me, she asked her to tell me how to do it and handed me her cell phone. Me: “Um, hi! How do I cook this fish?” She told me how and I thanked everyone. Again, how cool was that?
But back to about our condo. Unit #24 was where we stayed. If you’re going to Grand Cayman and want an amazing condo on 7MB this is it. All of the units here are very good and you wouldn’t be disappointed but this one rocks. When we walked in it looked just like the pictures on the website. I immediately cooed over that kitchen. It came equipped with everything you could every need other than food. Pots, pans, cutlery, spices, dishes, glasses, coffee maker – you name it or needed it and it was there. Even though it had this big beautiful dining room table, we always ate at the breakfast bar. After all it was just the two of us and it was much cozier that way. There is also a washer and dryer in the unit; very handy especially if you are there for an extended stay. The place can sleep 6+ comfortably. The master bedroom has one king sized bed and private bath and the other bedroom has two queen sized beds with private bath. By the way, all of the units here are 2 beds minimum. So bring the kids, bring friends, bring family, bring us again! (Sorry there are no pictures of the bedrooms, we never went into one and the other usually had our things laying about. Trust me on this one, they do look just like on the webpage)
The big sofa in the living room served as another place where I crashed when pooped from a long day. There are televisions in each bedroom and the living room with cable and it also included free local and long distance phone calls and Wi-Fi; all of the units here have free broadband but not all have the free phone calls. Just think of it, no extra “resort fees” for that one bottle of water a day, phone calls and internet usage. The units owners have on hand a small library of books and videos to watch if you wish to partake as well and excellent taste in decorating. Some parts of the condo are locked where the owners have things they do not wish to “share” with renters and they even have a little guest book where you can leave them a message. But the best part of #24 is the view.
The master bedroom and the living room each have large sliding doors which let out onto the big patio; a big patio with a patio set and two lounge chairs that could accommodate several people while you grilled the fish you caught on the gas grill there. Next to the patio is a bit of grass and tropical flowers and then right onto the sand. There are plenty of beach chairs there that you can move around anywhere you’d like but no umbrellas. No worries. There are large Casuarina trees on the property that provide nice shade when you aren’t on your patio or in the beautiful calm turquoise water.
Every morning I would wake up with camera in hand for my morning constitutional along the beach. Before 9 in the morning the beach is pretty quiet and only a few souls are out there walking, jogging, or in some cases swimming. Another great thing about these condos are that the rooms are up and away from the ocean so that people who walk by or frolic in the ocean are not right there on top of you but at night you can still hear the ocean waves. An added bonus is that the complex is not near any construction going on or close to the cruise ship docks; none of the masses of people that pour from those ships ever come up to this part of the beach.
We made an excellent choice when we picked the Islands Club. Other than getting rained on – a lot – while we were there (just one of those weather things, didn’t stop us from having fun though) there isn’t a thing I can say negative about this place. I really miss it and everyone there. Can I go back now?
How’s this for a view from your patio every night.