Ah the Caribbean…think swaying palm trees, sunshine all-year round and crystal clear seas and you pretty much nailed it. TOTALLY worth going to – especially the Cayman Islands where I’ve just come back from. My only regret? That I hadn’t visited sooner! I was lucky enough to visit all three islands (if you haven’t read my luxury wellness retreat experience at Cayman Brac HERE or my Little Cayman digital detox post HERE then please do check them out!).
Grand Cayman is the largest of all three islands and is where most visitors land when they visit the Cayman Islands. This is where you can wine and dine to your heart’s content at fantastic restaurants, swim with sting rays (I KNOW!), go horseback riding on the beach or visit a fabulous spa. There are so many amazing things to do and I want to tell you all about what I did!
Where to Stay:
First off where to stay? We stayed at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort which was amazing. Excellent service, the most incredible bottomless brunch (more on that later!), food and access to the beach. Honestly everything you need is here from sunburn relief stations to sunset rituals and a s’mores station on the beach.
The food is amazing and the restaurant in the hotel, Anchor & Den is FABULOUS. The breakfast buffet is the stuff dreams are made out of and there is everything you could ever want from chocolate chip pancakes to an omelette station to a cheese bar. Honestly I think I could have sat at the breakfast buffet for hours. So while you are in Cayman the thing to remember is that you are always going to eat well. Anchor and Den also source all their food locally (although the food is global-inspired) so you get that farm-to-plate experience with the freshest of food.
And I said I would tell you more about that bottomless brunch right? Well on Sundays in Cayman brunch is a big thing and Anchor & Den go all out with the most amazing buffet that pretty much tops any buffet I’ve ever seen. And did I mention brunch was bottomless? Bottomless cocktails, bottomless champagne. Honestly this is an event not to be missed and you can stay for hours eating and drinking. One tip? Go slowly…
Another great place to eat within the Grand Cayman Marriot Beach Resort is Veranda. I would recommend this for dinner because it’s on the beachfront so you get a great view. Literally I think I lived off of only fish the entire time I was in the Cayman Islands simply because the seafood is SO DAMN GOOD. Also, the cocktails in the Cayman Islands are delicious. Honestly if you are looking for beach, fun in the sun, amazing food and cocktails on the beach then the Cayman Islands will tick all those boxes.
If you are looking for a hotel with a fabulous spa then I would recommend the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa – it’s beautiful and super, super swish. Even if you visit the Kimpton for the day just to go to the spa or have a drink – it is beautiful!
What to do:
So if you only want R&R you can totally do that. The great thing about Grand Cayman is that it is completely safe. Unlike some other Caribbean destinations, you really have nothing to worry about by leaving your stuff on the beach, etc. in the Cayman Islands. Of course, it’s always at your own risk but I felt completely safe the whole time I was there. So you have peace of mind at all times as well.
However if you want to do more besides just lounging on the beach (nothing wrong with that!) then there are plenty of things to do.
One thing I would HIGHLY recommend doing if you are visiting Grand Cayman is to swim with the sting rays! Head out to Stingray City for this which is basically a raised sand bar in the middle of the sea where it looks like a swimming pool for miles around. This is where the sting rays come to get a nibble or two. Now the guides know the ins and outs of swimming with the sting rays but it is completely safe and not only is it safe for you but it’s also safe for the sting rays. They are only allowed to be fed a certain amount of food each day and also there is a team that visit them regularly to make sure that they are healthy etc.
The sting rays are wild but they are used to people so will come straight to you or brush against your leg under the sea. The important thing is to remain calm which isn’t always the easiest thing to do when a sting ray the size of a kitchen table comes swimming at your legs under water! Some of these sting rays are huge! But the guides can get them to swim right up and you can actually pet them. They feel like wet mushrooms by the way but I would really recommend getting in the water and getting in with them! You don’t get to swim with sting rays every day after all…
And if you are into horse riding you must do the Spirit of the West horse riding. You can take the horses to ride down the beach and they even swim in the ocean. Now where else can you do that except in the Caribbean? Another adventure not to miss out on.
If you are free in the evening a great thing to do and an activity I had so much fun on is the Sunset Catamaran Cruise. You can just have some drinks and cruise around out to sea for a couple of hours – it’s fabulous. The sea colour of the Cayman Islands looks like a swimming pool and sunset while out to sea is incredible. Not to be missed!
Now another type of creature you can see up close are bats in the Cayman Crystal Caves. These are underground caves that are absolutely stunning and worth having a look at if you like this kind of activity. And you definitely WILL spot a bat or two. They are tiny and completely harmless
Where to Eat:
Well there are so many amazing places to eat on Grand Cayman and my favourite food while I was there was ceviche, sushi, fish tacos, etc. Basically, if it comes from the sea it’s my favourite. Cayman Island seafood is delicious by the way so I went all out on trying all sorts of amazing seafood dishes.
For great ceviche head to Agua who have lots of ceviche options including Caymanian-style ceviche with Fresh Catch, Vinegar, Lime, Tomato, Red Onion, Orange Juice, Cilantro & Scotch Bonnet. They also make a mean margarita.
If you are planning on swimming with sting rays then you might swing by Abacus on the way. If you love seafood they make amazing fish tacos that are fresh and delicious.
If you are out and about and head to Rum Point for cocktails and food then for real Caymanian food I would stop at Wreck Bar. I had the Jerk pulled pork, corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw and it was absolutely delicious. The Electric Blue Margaritas are also not to be missed!
If you are on a romantic Caribbean getaway or just want to have drinks by the water then I would highly recommend as a dinner option to go to Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant. It is absolutely stunning with a great atmosphere. Sit outside but don’t forget to bring mosquito spray! Luckily they have citronella candles burning so that pretty much does the trick. I would recommend this if you want a romantic sunset view…
I had an amazing time on the Cayman Islands and I really, really hope to go back again someday. It’s really not that far to get to from the UK and from the USA it’s only an hour flight from Miami! For more info on the Cayman Islands visit the tourism website HERE.
For more pictures from my Cayman Islands trip make sure to visit my Insta page @beautyrocksblog and scroll down to see them – you will find the sting rays there!