Historical Traveller Reviews of The Westin Casuarina Resort Hotel
Loved the Westin
from A TripAdvisor Member
Loved it!!! Great Spa, Great Service, Great Beach, Great Cayman Collada's, Great Island!!
Stay at the Westin Casuarina for a trully relaxing vacation!
from A TripAdvisor Member
My hubby and I wanted to go somewhere tropical but not impoverished for our anniversary. We chose Grand Cayman after hearing that unlike other Caribbean destinations, you could leave your hotel and explore the rest of the island without fear for your life/property/sanity. It was a wonderful and absolutely beautiful choice. We spent 9 days there, returning to CA on Oct. 4. It rained for an hour or so almost every day, but did not put a damper on our visit at all. Westin is right on 7 mile beach and our room was practically ON the beach. Our room had pergo type flooring and a comfy western king bed with plump pillows. 2 cloth covered chairs flanked a small round table. Though we had an air conditioner we mostly used the ceiling fan. Every night our wet towels were replaced by fresh ones and little rum cakes were left on our pillows. We had a little balcony with wrought iron chairs, a table and an uninterrupted, spectacular view of the beach. As for the beach itself, never have I seen sand so white and fine, and ocean water so clear with a breathtaking turquoise jewel tone. Better than Hawaii or the Philippines! It looked like pool water. While my husband sat on the beach, I was snorkeling not far from him. There is a roped off area right in front of the hotel to protect swimmers from jetskiers and other small vessel types. In our little area, I saw a stingray and a rather large grouper swimming around the edges of our enclosure. Small schools of small and medium sized fishes were also hanging around. When you get thirsty or hungry lying on the beach, just flag down one of the readily available beach staff for a drink or food. Like pina colada's? Try the "screamin engine," my favorite of the Westin's 7-8 varieties of the pina colada. We ate at several good restaurants. Loved the fresh seafood! The Wharf and Treehouse had outdoor seating, and tarpon fish feeding at night. The Wharf was our favorite. Champion House and Crow's Nest were very local with a wait staff that was very easy going and relaxed. Be prepared to spend some money! We brought our own munchies for the day and bought fruit at their local supermarkets so we could eat really really well at night! Eat's Cafe across the street from the Westin was an excellent, reasonably priced diner for lunch or dinner. Watch what you order for breakfast though! Be prepared for sour buttermilk pancakes and "pasteurized" scrambled eggs. Don't know what a pasteurized egg is, but egg beaters taste better!! Stick to the french toast and order your eggs over easy. They use "real" eggs for that. We signed up for an island tour and enjoyed the Turtle Farm - turtles from a couple months old to 5-6 yrs old, "Hell" - an undeveloped plot of iron-shore with a post office and store run by a guy wearing a red cape and devil horns, Tortuga Rum Factory where you could sample the variety of rum cakes, Botanical Gardens to see local flowers, fauna and blue iguana's in their natural habitat, and Pedro St. James "Castle", one of the oldest buildings on the island and the first to use stone walls. If you are not a diver, sign up for a snorkeling tour. Soto's was only CI$15 (about US$20) and took you to Stingray City, Coral Gardens and Barrier Reef. Lots of fish and colorful coral beds. Stingray City was amazing. A bit intimidating to feed and be surrounded by stingrays of all sizes from turkey platter size, to table for 6 size but well worth the experience. Bring an underwater camera! Everyone was very friendly, locals and tourists alike. We thought about renting a car but got such a kick out of catching the "bus", we opted not to. Their "bus" is a minivan that toots the horn at you as you walk down the street. If you want it to stop, you just hold up your hand, slide open the doors and jump in. Not sure where your going? No problem, mon! Just tell the driver and he drops you off as close to the door as he possibly can. Sometimes we really did get dropped off right in front of the doors! We had a very very relaxing vacation and would definately recommend the Grand Caymans and the Westing Casuarina Resort. The island appeals to the lazy vacationer such as ourselves as well as the more energetic. There are ample dive sites and spots for snorkeling all over the island. I heard about hiking trails as well. Much to my disappointment we didn't get to see any of the shipwrecks or explore the pirates cave. Guess I will save it for the next time.
Enjoyed My Stay!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I was pleased with my stay at the Westin hotel in the Cayman Islands. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We did change our room after arrival since it was facing the parking lot but the second room had a much more pleasant view (partial oceanview). The room was quite cold and ended up turning off the AC for the entire stay. Just used the ceiling fan. The "heavenly bed" was quite that. EATS restaurant (across the street) is the place for breakfast and lunch. Papagallos restaurant is a very nice place for dinner. We didn't care too much for the hotel restaurant Ferdinands. Plan to spend more money than normal...only 80 cents CI to the US dollar. Enjoyed the deep therapy session at the hotel spa. Overall, I would go back and stay at the Westin.
Stayed at the Westin
from A TripAdvisor Member
My daughter and I just returned from a seven-day trip to Grand Cayman Island. The island is absolutely beautiful, the water breathtaking and the atmosphere is calm, soothing and very, very safe. I have to say, however, the room at the Westin was disappointing. The rooms are tiny (they are all the same size) and very "hotel-like". It was more like a Holiday Inn room in the States -- cramped, dark furniture, etc. The balcony overlooked the parking lot and a very busy street and from 5 am on, it was as noisy as the streets of Manhattan (noisier in fact). Thank goodness the room was sound proof but forget about a peaceful early morning on the balcony. When I asked about an ocean view upgrade, they were happy to oblige -- for an extra $100 a night -- needless to say, we stayed with our island view room. The hotel personnel vary in their attitudes towards guests. Some are very cold and stand offish while others (most) have a trained, pleasant but formal attitude. The concierge staff are professional but not very helpful. The maid service was also mediocre. There is also nothing to do at the Westin in the evenings. We did have a wonderful time exploring Grand Cayman and most of the taxi drivers are very nice and knowledgeable about the island. For a fantastic dining experience, go to the Wharf. We dined outside, right on the waterfront and they have a special "tarpon" (large fish related to the shark) feeding at night. The big creatures would just swim right up for dinner. The staff at "The Wharf" were absolutely fantastic and the owner is a very nice gentleman who wants his guests to be satisfied. "The Treehouse" is also a great dining experience with live entertainment. We also loved the Hard Rock Cafe in Georgetown. And the shopping in Georgetown is fantastic as well. All in all, we did love the island and will probably return in the near future.
Had a Blast
We were in Grand Cayman from Aug. 6-11. We really enjoyed our stay at the Westin. Aside from the expensive drinks and sandwiches at the poolside bar, the Westin is a great place to stay. We used our Starwood Preferred points to get half-off the regular price so we paid $104 for an island view room. The view was not great, but we weren't in the room often. We found the room perfect, clean, and very comfortable. We especially liked the separate bath, vanity and toilet. We also enjoyed the turn-down service and rum cakes on the pillows!
The pool was nice and we always found chairs. We also used the hot tub at night. We enjoyed going to the pool after spending time at the beach.
We also liked the beach and found the sand soft and cool. The water was crystal clear and perfect.
We booked a snorkeling trip that included 3 stops the last being Stingray City. We really enjoyed that!
We also did a lot of snorkeling. We rented a car and drove to Cemetary POint, where there were lots of other snorkelers. We liked that a lot but really enjoyed Eden's Rock, which had many fish we'd never seen before and tons of coral. We also did the shipwreck and the Governor's Cove, which is right outside the Westin. Also good snorkeling.
We ate at Rigazzi's, which was good. And also Pappagallo's-delicious and good atmosphere. Because we were trying to watch our wallets, we bought fixin's for sandwiches and water, diet cokes and ate lunch in our room almost everyday. (They do not sell water or cokes in the gift shops)Something I would reccommend to families who are watching their spending too.
My husband and I were so surprised at how many families were there.
Grand Cayman is not a cheap place and will add up quickly with kids.
Renting a car was a reasonable price ($26)and we were able to rent at the Westin and return it at the airport, which saved us $20 for a cab.
We did not eat at Ferdinand's or the Havana, though we heard they were both excellent.
We visited the turtle farm and were shocked to learn that they only release about 15% into the water each year. The rest are sold to local markets and made into turtle soup, turtle steaks, soaps, etc. This, we found disturbing!
Overall, we enjoyed our stay. We would reccommend the hotel and Grand Cayman. We went during a slow time and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
We went to Aruba last summer and I thought I'd never enjoy anything as much but we also enjoyed GC. Aruba is not as expensive, but still clean and safe. Have a great time!
The Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa: A True Delight.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I just returned from the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa in Grand Cayman (July 4-11, 2003). In comparison to other islands in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman is one of the most safest, cleanest, and westernized islands. There is absolutely no poverty on the island, as Grand Cayman has a 20% higher standard of living than the United States. My husband and I rented a car one day to tour the island, and we were amazed at the number of mansions on the island.RESORTThe Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa is beautiful and just the perfect size: not too big, not too small. The resort was almost empty, which was an added bonus.The lobby is elegant with a collection of meticulously selected furniture, art, and accessories. The lobby has high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, sumptuous sofas, majestic lamps, and mahogany wood tables.ROOMMy husband and I had an ocean front room on the top floor. The bedroom was exceptionally clean (as was the whole resort) and quiet. The furniture such as the bed, side tables, and television cabinet were made from mahogany wood. We requested a king sized bed, which was incredibly comfortable. The bathroom had a very small tub, granite counter tops, and a separate toilet area. The French doors to the patio and the double doors to the bathroom were a nice touch.The only shortcoming is that the room and the hallways in the resort have carpet, not tile or marble. In my opinion, carpet takes away from the overall impression of a resort, as it becomes outdated overtime.MAID SERVICEI noticed a review that mentioned a musty smell in the rooms. I did not come across this at all. The maids did such a wonderful job cleaning our room that it always smelt clean and fresh. Also, the housekeeping service was very efficient everyday.BEACHThe beach at the Westin is the finest on Seven Mile Beach, especially when compared to the beach at the Hyatt. The beach is without a doubt one of the highlights at the resort. The sand is fine and white, the sea a turquoise blue, and the waves small and gentle. The beach is long so that you can always get a chair no matter what time you arrive at the beach.Also, the beach is wide from the resort to the water. It is covered with fine sand that continues into the water where there are no pebbles or hard objects, jellyfish, or seaweed.The only shortcoming is that there is not enough shade on the beach. The pool area and beginning of the beach are lined with palm trees, however once you get onto the beach there are no palm trees, palapas, or umbrellas.POOLThe pool at the resort is equally beautiful, despite its small size. It has a bridge that allows you to get from one side of the pool to the other without having to walk around the entire pool. The pool has waterfalls, hidden coves, and palm trees. The pool is spotless and romantic.ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENTThere are an endless array of water sports such as parasailing, water-skiing, sailboats, banana boats, windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboats, snorkelling, and scuba diving.There are no nighttime activities, except the piano bar.FOODThe two main restaurants at the resort called Havana and Ferdinand's are incredible, however they are expensive. My husband and I paid approximately $350 Canadian for dinner one night at Havana, which included appetizers, entrees, desserts, and drinks. Despite the price, the food is absolutely exquisite, the atmosphere stunning, and the service impeccable.The Sunday brunch at Ferdinand's is magnificent, as there are a variety of options in terms of food and unlimited champagne. Make sure that you make a reservation well in advance because the brunch is popular with the locals. Also, there is limited seating inside of the restaurant. If you would like to sit inside of the restaurant, you need to specify this when making a reservation. It is very hot outside on the patio!Unfortunately, the food at the pool is only mediocre. The nachos are terrible, as they taste like 7 Eleven nachos with Cheese Whiz.My husband and I were able to explore some fantastic restaurants away from the resort such as Ristorante Pappagallo, El Dorados, and Portofino Wreck View. There is also a great pub across the street from the Westin that is connected to Eats Restaurant (a cheap breakfast joint). A word of warning: eating out in Grand Cayman is very expensive, so you should prepare yourself for this well in advance.DRINKSThe resort has an excellent selection of alcohol. There are a lot of premium brands that we have in Canada. However, the drinks are triple the price at the resort. For instance, a cheap glass of wine is $16 CDN, a tropical drink such as a Pina Colada is $15 CDN, and a Corona Beer is $14 CDN.Also, my husband and I appreciate a fine, strong cup of coffee. However, there is none at the resort or on the island. We went to several restaurants and coffee shops, but could not find a decent cup of coffee anywhere. We met other tourists who felt the same way.STAFFWe were extremely impressed with the level of service at the resort. From the waiters and bartenders to the chambermaids and front desk staff, everyone seemed to go out of their way to make our trip memorable. We were especially impressed with the restaurant staff, most of whom had obviously received very thorough service training.OVERALL IMPRESSIONAll in all, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa. When compared to other resorts on Seven Mile Beach, the Westin is without a doubt one of the top properties. We had a chance to visit other resorts such as the Hyatt, which is another stunning property. However, the Hyatt is not located directly on the beach – a beach that is only mediocre to say the least.The only shortcoming at the Westin is that it could use a fresh coat of painting. This would do wonders for the overall impression of the resort. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort to others. However, if I ever returned to Grand Cayman, I would most likely stay at the Ritz Carlton, which is currently under development. This resort will be the only true 5 star resort on the island.If you have questions about the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa or Grand Cayman, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westin what a disappointment
After reading reviews what a disappointment. My husband and I just returned from a six day stay.We couldn't believe the lack of service and rude treatment that we recieved while at the Westin and dealing with Red Sail Sports.The hotel was out dated and wallpaper was coming off the walls. The shower was in disrepair and the water stunk.Service at the pool and beach was aweful.We felt like we had to beg to get a drink.We might go back to the Caymans but will not stay at the Westin !
A Really Wonderful Hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
What a wonderful experience. We went for a week in July 2003 and had a great time. The Westin was really impressive. I think the word here was service. We walked in the door, using points for a stay, and they immediately upgraded us to an ocean view room. The beds were teriffic, the marble bathroom was beautiful and there was a small balcony that had a nice view of the Carribean. Maid service was twice a day and perfect (turned down sheets and rum cakes on the bed every night, and fresh towels as often as you like.) The setting is very nice. The hotel is landscaped with Royal Palms and lush, colorful vegetation. The architecture is interesting and very beautiful. The hotel orients to Seven Mile Beach, which is the best beach we have ever seen. There is a spectacular pool area between the hotel and the beach, but you are on the beach three minutes outside the lobby area. They have free towels and free chaises and great free floats for the water. You can snorkle right off the beach at nice reef just in front of the Governor's home which is right next door to the Westin. To the reviewer who criticized the pool wait staff: I think what you saw as hustle, was attempt to give you perfect service and meet your every need. These people were really good. They appeared immediately when we sat down in any area of the hotel, but if we declined, they gave us a nice smile and disappeared just as quickly. We found the staff to be a happy, courteous group of people whose goal was to see that we enjoyed our stay. Yes, it is expensive. The US dollar is worth only 80 cents on Grand Cayman. But the hotel is located really well - right in the center of Seven Mile Beach. We had a car ( I think this is essential on Grand Cayman) and were able to explore some fantastic restaurants away from the hotel. There is a great five dollar breakfast right across the street and an amazing grocery store (Foster's) if you want to stockpile snacks and drinks. Don't miss the Butterfly Farm, the Turtle Farm, Rum Point and Sting Ray City. Take a hat, it's really hot, and after you explore the island you will love coming back to the Westin Casuarina Hotel. WC- Atlanta, Georgia
Loved the Westin Casaurina!
from A TripAdvisor Member
The Westin Casaurina and the Grand Cayman in general was top notch, first class all the way: We were right on Seven Mile Beach, with a spectacular view! Food was delicious, service was excellent and the overall experience--for us, it was our honeymoon--was the best ever.
Westin on 7 Mile Beach is Lovely!
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I just returned from The Westin Casuarina Resort on 7 Mile Beach. We had a lovely time. The staff was courteous and attentive and definitely took care of our every need. Yes, we did have to close out each check after we ordered a drink, but that is not uncommon at a 5 star resort. Our only complaint was that our room was a little musty and the bathroom smelled like urine. Also a little pricey, but what do you expect?? It is Grand Caymen...everything is expensive. Overall it was a delightful experience and we look forward to returning. Beautiful beach. As far a Grand Caymen is concerned, don't get stuck in the cruise ship corral...if you see a bunch of people with Carnival Cruise ship souvenir t-shirts...run like hell!!
Top Local Tips for Grand Cayman
Have breakfast at Eats Diner across the street to save money. Also, try Grand Old House for dinner - worth every penny!
The Turtle Farm has just been rebuilt. In 2/07, when we were there, they were nearing completion of an additional attraction within the farm of a swimming pool, and two separate areas stocked with marine fish that you could snorkel with. Admission per person will be expensive and only worth it if you're planning on spending the entire day there, but the pool and marine pools looked beautiful and I wish they had been completed when we were there. If money is no object (I think admission was about $60 a person) it would be an awesome way to spend the day. Kids will love the turtles; you can pick them up and hold them, stroke them in the pools, and feed them (once you buy their turtle food, of course! :)
Dont miss it, go early