Where to Use Hotel Points in Grand Cayman

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Grand Cayman is pretty much perfect family beach destination if you are looking for soft sand, clear water, a location just 450 miles south of Miami, and an island with the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. Probably like for many others, Grand Cayman first came on my radar thanks to the John Grisham book and subsequent movie, The Firm. In that work of fiction, the wealthy lawyers head to Grand Cayman, and while I don’t remember all the details of what happened in that story, I do remember seeing prettiest blue water I could have ever imagined in the movie. That part of the fictional story was 100% fact.

After our spring break trip to the island, I can attest that Grand Cayman is indeed a picture-perfect beach playground, often for those in the upper-income brackets. Thankfully, you can enjoy their perfect beaches using your miles and points without having to have offshore bank accounts. If you want to put together a Grand Cayman beach trip using your hotel points like we did, here are a few tips and ideas.

The Cayman blue water was 100% real. Photo by Rebecca with Flytographer.

Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort

Standard award rooms at this well-located beachfront resort located on Seven Mile Beach start at 12,000 SPG points per night for two double beds in a renovated room with a posted maximum occupancy of four.

There is a $65 per day resort fee that applies even to award stays. This resort is where we stayed on our family spring break trip, and it is the Grand Cayman points-friendly hotel that probably offers the best balance of award price, quality, and location, assuming you have SPG points to use. Head here to read all of our thoughts about this beach-front property.

Kimpton Seafire Resort

This is the newest of the points-friendly hotels on Grand Cayman and one that I very much hope to visit in the future. The Kimpton Seafire Resort can be booked with 70,000 IHG points per night or with your IHG credit card anniversary nights(s). This hotel has 266 guestrooms and suites, all with private balconies and some with two queen beds to support a family of four. These rooms with two queen beds can be booked with IHG points, but are more limited than the rooms with king beds, so really plan ahead if you need two queen beds on points.

Head here to learn more about Hotel Rewards Credit Cards.

The Kimpton Seafire has two pools and a Camp Seafire that has programs for children ages 4-8 and 8-12 with rates that start at $50 for a half-day. I also love that they offer a Camp Seafire babysitting service for younger kids for $25 per hour, for up to three children. The Westin Grand Cayman had a great kid’s club that my older daughter got to visit, but they didn’t have any in-house babysitting services for those under four years old.

The Kimpton Seafire has a daily resort fee of $60, though it is possible this is not charged on award stays, especially on the “free night awards” from the IHG credit card. I think I need to go back and do first-hand research. The resort fee here includes dining for children under five, water sports toys such as paddle boards and water tricycles, valet parking, and use of a GoPro underwater camera!

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

This Tier 5 Ritz Carlton resort is a neighbor to the Westin Grand Cayman on Seven Mile Beach. This resort can be booked with 70,000 Marriott Rewards points per night + a $75 per night resort fee. This is the equivalent of 23,333 SPG points per night, which is almost twice as many as the Westin requires on its lowest-priced award nights. Sadly, since this is a Tier 5 Ritz Carlton, the Ritz Carlton credit card Tier 1 – 4 sign-up bonus nights would not apply.

Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

You can use your Marriott points here to book rooms with two queen beds for your family of four and then make use of their ocean-front location, pool, and fantastic kid’s splash pad. I would love to stay here and enjoy that splash pad and high-end accommodations, but 70,000 Marriott Rewards points per night is a pretty big number and paid rates are near or beyond the four-digit mark per night.

Ritz Grand Cayman Starfish Cay splash area

Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

A more budget-friendly Grand Cayman resort can be found in the Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman that is located on the North Sound of the Caribbean Sea. This resort is only 25,000 IHG points per night and offers use of a complimentary shuttle to nearby Camana Bay, Fosters Food Fair, Seven Mile Beach (5 minutes away) and George Town.

Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

For your 25,000 IHG points per night, you can book a room with two double beds and a view of the ocean. With IHG points selling for a limited time as low as 1/2 a cent each, this could be a very affordable way to put together a Grand Cayman getaway.

Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is on Seven Mile Beach and rings in as a top-tier Category 9 Marriott that is available for 45,000 points per night. If you like to think in terms of SPG points, that is the same as 15,000 SPG points per night, which is more than the Westin Grand Cayman wants on its lowest-priced award nights. The Grand Cayman Marriott has a $50 per night resort fee that includes amenities such as a bicycle rental, welcome drink upon arrival, children’s’ beach toys, and more.

Marriott Grand Cayman

Remember that Marriott and SPG award stays of five nights in length are only charged for the number of points for four nights, so this means you could stay here for five nights at a cost 180,000 Marriott Rewards points + the resort fee for your stay.

Marriott Grand Cayman Pool

Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach

Unlike most of the options listed, his hotel has standard rooms available with a posted maximum occupancy of up to five people consisting of two double beds plus a sofa bed. The spring travel dates I checked were 30,000 Choice points per night, but I have read that some dates do have lower award prices. Unfortunately, you can only book Choice award nights at this property about a month in advance, but if that works for you, then this could be another more budget-friendly points hotel option on Grand Cayman that even has included hot breakfast.

Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach

Wyndham Reef Resort – all-inclusive and room-only options

Of all of the points-friendly hotels in Grand Cayman, the Wyndham Reef Resort is the one furthest away from all of the others, located on the East End portion of the island. It is a Wyndham Rewards property where all hotel rooms are a flat 15,000 points per night and it has all-inclusive options. However, I was not able to find award rooms online when searching a variety of dates, though perhaps your luck would be better over the phone.

If you wanted to drive from the 152 room Wyndham Reef Resort to Seven Mile Beach, it would be about a 30 – 40 minute drive each way, so it is probably not an ideal if you want to spend the bulk of your time on the west side of the island. However, it is an option if you want to take in a different portion of Grand Cayman.

In part, because Grand Cayman is such a nice island with a high standard of living, most of the hotels you will find are solid options. This isn’t where you are going to find a ton of excess hotel inventory that is not being cared for as it should be, but instead, you will find hotel rooms that can fit a variety of points or cash budgets. We very much enjoyed our stay at the Westin Grand Cayman, but there are other points-friendly hotels we look forward to exploring on return trips to the island.

Has your family stayed at one of the points hotel options on Grand Cayman? What were your thoughts on the property?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Went to Grand Cayman last year with the kids. We stayed 2 nights at the Wyndham, and loved it… the beach is so close, and great for snorkeling. Wyndham as a program is a little unreliable though. Also stayed 3 nights at the Holiday Inn, which was ok overall, but a very good value, especially if you can make use of the kitchen to save on food costs. If you’re renting a car, the Holiday Inn is a good base, but not as convenient if you have to rely on the shuttle or other transportation. The beach is here is not sandy or very swimmable, but they have some water sports options.

    • Thanks for that great first-hand info! Wyndham looks interesting for exploring a different part of the island!

  2. Any thoughts if you were going as a couple and had both IHG and SPG points would you go with the Kimpton or the Westin?

  3. Long time dream of going to Grand Cayman, especially on 7 Mile Beach. Even more so now that Cabo and Cancun have been lost to drug gang violence, and are off limits for the foreseeable future.

    But 70,000 points and a $60/$75 resort fee per night? Yikes….

    Am considering the Westin, since it seems to be the perfect location, and the least points. But that $65 resort fee is definitely off putting.

    So right now only ‘Grand Cayman dreaming on such a winters day’. 😉

    • It is a bummer and something you have to factor into the trip budget. It is still a good deal relative to how high their paid rates can get, but obviously I wish it wasn’t charged on award stays at least.

    • The $65 fee is off putting but GC as an island is awesome, the Westin as a hotel is fantastic and 7MB is world class. As a Cat 5 its is still a jewel of SPG.

  4. You forget that sometimes they have good deals with paid rates. I have stayed at the Marriott for $240 a night, which I would much rather pay than 45k points!

    • Yes, always, always, always compare cash rates (assuming you are willing to spend some cash). Summer rates in GCM are sometimes not terrible, especially at the more budget-friendly options.

  5. We are heading to the Westin in less than 2 weeks, do you know the costs of their kids club? Will you be writing about any excursions?

    • $18 CI per hour ($22.50 USD). My 5 year old loved the kids club. On our last full day in GC the weather was perfect for the beach but my daughter chose the kids club for half the day.

  6. Now I am torn between here or Turks and Caicos. Our favorite beach is Negril Jamaica but we are going to try somewhere new this summer.

    • I have been to both. Grace Bay is by far the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, but the island is very expensive and you really need a car to go to different restaurants and beaches ( it is worth it). we love grand Cayman for its accessibility, great beach, crystal clear waters with nice snorkeling right off the beach ( Turks has some nice areas but not asbaccessible) we have stayed at the Kimpton and by Marriot, so basically 2 opposite ends of 7 mile Beach and both had tons of fish and an occasional turtle that you can see in waist deep water. Cayman also has more to do. turks is a gorgeous beach and great, but pricey food.. no nightlife and limited excursions. Cayman has tons of options. depending on what you like. either way you will have a great time.

  7. We recently had to finish up our 2 week vacation to GC at the Holiday Inn (when I asked to exten my trip approx a month ago extra days on points were not available at the Westin).

    After the Westin stay the Holiday Inn was extremely disappointing. It is a long drive away from anything. People were complaining that they could never get a seat on the shuttle and had to book days ahead. The property has potential but it’s just run down and dirty. There are chickens everywhere. In the 3 days we were there, they never once cleaned out patio, and it was so covered in chicken poop we couldn’t use it. The first day we walked out to the pool and there were huge piles of poop on the edge of the pool, and tons of piles around the pool area cement. It was disgusting and I wouldn’t let my kids swim. I can only imagine what was in the pool. The dock area was covered in poop, the walkways were covered in poop. It was awful. We left everyday because I didn’t want my kids around this.

    On top of that, expect to be woken up everyday by crowing roosters at 6 am. This is not an exaggeration, it went on everyday we were there for at least an hour!

    The beach area is not sand but a hard sandy dirt. They could easily dump soft sandy or fill the area with sod and lounge chairs.

    The wifi is non existent. You had to go to the lobby to get it. This they seem to know about and falsely advertise that it is available.

    Only good thing was we had a full kitchen to cook with as eating out in Grand Cayman is very expensive.

    There is a reason the price here is so low, but I could never recommend this property.

  8. We have visited GC many times for spring break and definitely prefer to stay away from 7 mile beach and the crowds that come with it. We always find very good value staying at one of the Morritt’s properties. We use redweek.com and can get a 2 br for a week between $1000 and $1500 for the week and it will hold our family of 5. The kitchen and on-site grills lets us do our own cooking saving even more. One place we love that you did not mention in your tours is Rum Point. Great place to spend a day, especially when no cruise ships are in port. One thing I would recommend is doing your excursions on days with no or just one cruise ship. You also didn’t mention the swim with the dolphins activity across the street from the turtle farm. Prices are able to be negotiated on days when there are no cruise ships. Highly recommend snorkel or shore dive at Eden Rock too. GC has multiple good shore dives so we can go diving for the cost of the tanks and regulator alone. Some require you to be a good swimmer and a couple are very easy to access (Eden Rock / Turtle Farm)

    • Good suggestion to check the cruise ship schedules for sure! We didn’t go, but I heard mixed things on Rum Point, but glad to hear that you enjoy it! Hope to do some snorkeling on our next trip!

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