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Travel Well: Grand Cayman

With clear blue waters and soft white sand, Grand Cayman is the perfect destination for beach lovers like myself. Only a 2 hour and 20 minute flight from Atlanta, it is quick and easy to reach, which makes for a hassle free travel day. My first trip to Grand Cayman was back in 2011 shortly after my father’s untimely passing. My mom and I went down for some much needed R&R and had a beautiful girls trip as we began the never ending journey of rebuilding our lives after suffering a huge loss. This time, my husband and I travelled along with my mom and her best friend. Although we shared a condo, it really felt like a “baecation” and I’m so thrilled we were able to spend some quality time with each other before summer winds down and basketball season starts back up. Grand Cayman is the perfect place for a baecation, girl friend getaway, or family trip. Usually, by the end of a trip, I’m ready to get back to my routine…but I could have used 3 more days on this beautiful island!

My husband and me spending the day on the beautiful white sand beach

Stay: During my first visit to Grand Cayman a few years ago, I stayed at the Ritz Carlton. I absolutely love the Ritz and it is usually my go-to hotel. The Ritz in Grand Cayman is beautiful and the service is exquisite. This trip, I stayed at the Beachcomber, a luxury condominium located on the world renowned Seven Mile Beach, right next door to the Ritz. I loved the feel of being in a condo and the freedom of having our own kitchen and living room. We even made breakfast one morning! The Beachcomber has it’s own private pool, two hot tubs, and beach chairs reserved for guests. I would definitely recommend it or a similar condominium for traveling with a group (or especially a family). I also visited the Westin during my stay, which is also a nice option for lodging in Grand Cayman.

Dine: There are so many great dining options in Grand Cayman that it’s hard to sift through them. Whether you crave local caribbean cuisine, a fine dining experience, or KFC, there is something for everyone. Although I liked some restaurants better than others, I didn’t have a bad meal during my stay. Each taxi driver and tour guide we came across had his or her own personal recommendations for restaurants and I only wish I had been able to try them all. Here are my picks for dining in Grand Cayman:

  1. Calypso Grill – Calypso Grill is a great restaurant located right on the marina with beautiful views. The lobster and shrimp champagne is a fabulous dish. If nothing else, it’s a great pick for dessert and a nice ambiance. The sticky toffee pudding here is probably the best dessert I have ever tasted!!!

  2. Agua – This would have to be my favorite restaurant in Grand Cayman! Located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach and operated by an Italian, Agua offers a fine dining experience in Grand Cayman. From the martinis to the desserts, the cuisine is something to rave about. We visited Agua on our last evening in Grand Cayman, and it was the perfect ending to our trip. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation, and I knew I was going to love the restaurant when the host brought out ceviche for us to snack on at the bar as we waited for our table to be set. They have a fairly large menu with both land and sea options, as well as some fantastic pasta dishes. From beginning to end, our dinner at Agua was an amazing experience. I had the tuna tartare and the lamb, and both were exquisite.

Delectable shrimp ceviche at Agua

  1. Duke’s Seafood and Rib Shack – While Duke’s is a shack as the name describes, the food and service are both great. It’s the perfect place to grab lunch. Order the baby back ribs!

Duke’s has great drinks, a laid back ambiance, and some of the best ribs I have ever had

Shop: The extent of my shopping in Grand Cayman was in the grocery and liquor stores. One plus of this island in particular is that it’s easy to find brands and foods from America in the grocery store. The whole island is pretty Americanized, which makes it a good choice for families looking to cook during their trip or who just want to grab Pizza Hut. I also saw a Victoria’s Secret and a MAC, which was a first for me in terms of caribbean islands. For those looking to shop in Grand Cayman, they have some retail stores located near where the cruise ships dock. From what I’ve heard, it is a good place to purchase jewelry.Play: I love a boat day! The highlight of my trip to Grand Cayman was the day we spent on a speedboat with Peter of Fat Fish Adventures. He was a fabulous guide and knew everything we wanted to know, not only about Grand Cayman, but also about Jamaica and Cuba. We visited Stingray City, where I got to hold, feed, and event get my back massaged by a female stingray named Freckles, as well as Starfish Beach, and Rum Point. After an afternoon of swimming and snorkeling, we docked at a beach bar and had cool drinks and the best french fries and conch fritters on the island. It was a day I will always remember.

My new friend, Freckles

My Rating: A

(F meaning I would never, ever, under any circumstances want to go back and A meaning I love this place and would go yearly if I could)

Explanation: Grand Cayman is so easy to reach from Atlanta and the beaches are perfect! Plus, the food is great and the people are super friendly. It’s one of those places that I could visit annually either with my husband, or, eventually, with our family.

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