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Reviewed 25 January 2018

Summary: Overall we were pleased with the resort. This was our first trip to Little Cayman and enjoyed the diving. The food was good and the resort was nice and quiet. It was a great get away for a week.

Detailed:

Who we are: married couple from Atlanta, GA in our 30s. We are advanced open water certified, but unfortunately only go diving every 12-18 months. We had about 30 dives each prior to this trip and left with about 40. We are both working professionals and have kids, but left them with Grandma for a week to go diving.

When we went: mid-January 2018

The weather: about 74 - 78 degrees, hardly any rain, a bit windy at times but fine. The coldest we got was coming out of the 81 degree water after dives and having the wind from the open air make us feel cold. It was like wind-chill to a degree, but that was the only time we got cold.

Why we chose Little Cayman Beach Resort (LCBR): wanted to get some good diving in and read the great reviews.

Room: We stayed in an Oceanfront room in building 300. I am not exactly sure, but I think the difference in oceanfront and pool view is approximately $200 - $300 more for the entire week. I wanted to spoil ourselves and I was not disappointed.

Resort Package: We elected the 7 night package that included 6 days of diving (12 total dives / 2 per day) with breakfast and dinner. From what I recall this package is about $300 per person cheaper than the next package, which includes lunch, 2 drinks a day, and 17 total dives (3 dives x 5 days + 2 dives the 6th day).

I had no regrets with the package we chose for the following reasons: 1) We knew we were not going to want to dive in the afternoon every day as we would be too tired and also wanted some down time. We also are not heavy drinkers and wanted to have the flexibility to eat at the Beach Nuts Bar (or elsewhere on the island) for lunch. Lunch cost us about $50 per day between the two of us, and we only had about 4 drinks, so our meals cost us about $350. I also did one extra afternoon dive for $65, so in the end I saved just under $200. Perhaps that is not a lot considering it costs about $4,000 for the oceanfront week trip, but we also saw a lot of people who paid for the 3 dives per day bow out of the afternoon dive. But hey, $200 is $200. Honestly, the flexibility in the lunch I felt was worth it, but I totally understand why people get the package with lunch and 3 dives.

Diving: What I did not know before visiting was that the bucket list diving on the Bloody Bay Wall is on the North Shore and the resort is on the South Shore (as most, if not all, the resorts are). We visited when there was a big cold front that came through that caused heavy winds. And heavy winds on the north shore means no diving on that end of the island. There was about 7 consecutive days the dive staff said no to the North Shore, only South Shore diving. South shore diving is not bad by any means, but it is the north shore that everyone comes for. We were fortunate that our last two days we got to the north shore.

For the most part you will likely remain on one boat for the entire time at the resort. Therese was our dive master most of the week and she was awesome. Dive staff was very friendly.

Again, we are a bit more novice compared to many of the folks at the resort who had hundreds or thousands of dives. We had 30. That said, nobody came across as cocky or anything like that. What was different for me personally though is that every other location I have dived at, we went down and up together as a group. The Reef Divers staff lets you go down when you want and come up when you want, so there is more freedom. One recommendation for the dive staff I would have is to have a noise maker to point out the big animal life. The dive master would find turtles and rays, but you would have to be next to the dive master to know if you didn't spot it yourself. Everywhere else I have been they had a noise maker to get everyone's attention.

Each boat has about a dozen divers, maybe slightly more. I personally liked the valet diving. You have your fins and mask ready, sit at the edge of the boat, and the staff brings your tank with BCD/regulator and helps you put it on. You strap yourself in and step off the boat and descend. I have read some reviews that this takes a while to get everyone in the water. I do not understand the complaint here. It takes maybe 10 minutes to get everyone in the water. But once you are in, you descend and look around until the dive master shows up. And the dive master needs to ascend back to the boat before everyone else to help everyone get back on the boat. When the dive is over, you ascend to the top, give your fins (and camera if you have one) to the staff. You go up the ladder, sit down, unstrap your BCD and they take the tank / BCD / regulator to a spot on the boat. They do all the work. You are not walking around in fins, all tired, and trying to accurately locate the space to sit your tank in while it is on your back. I loved it.

The dive staff offers night dives on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We did our first ever night dive on Thursday. Cost is $65 per person and there is an 8 person minimum. There is also a Wreck Dive off the coast of Cayman Brac, which is a nearby sister island. The cost I think is $30 or $35, but requires 18 people to sign up. I did not think this would be an issue, but the week we were there they only had 13 people, so that was disappointing. It is also weather dependent and the week we were there had high winds, so that may have factored into it as well. Still disappointed, but it was not the fault of the staff. I do feel the dive staff could have done a better job at marketing the night and wreck dives better. The only reason I knew about it was because I saw the sign-up sheet in the dive shop.

It is my own fault for not seeing it on the website, but for some reason I assumed the BCD and regulator rentals were free. They are not and it is $175 per person for the week. As noted I was on the 2 tank dive per day, but when I elected to do an afternoon dive I was charged $65. I was not shocked as the website does say 1 tank is $65, but was hoping it would only be $35 because the list price for diving two tanks is $120 per day and 3 tanks is $155 per day. Oh well, not a big deal at all.

I did not do the Nitrox upgrade, but it should be noted that you do have to check your own tanks if you elect to do Nitrox. I just did regular air and never had to worry about checking tanks or anything. Dive staff did it all.

Now for the fun stuff. Our goal was to see turtles. First 4 days we only saw 1 turtle, but this was on the south shore. The last 2 days we saw 1 or 2 turtles on 4 of the last 5 dives, so 6 or 7 turtles those last 2 days. We really enjoyed that. We also saw a lot of sting rays the entire week. Plenty of lobsters, an abundance of fish and coral. Some cow fish, plenty of grouper, porcupine fish, lion fish, trumpet fish, and the list goes on. On one trip some on our boat saw an eagle ray, but we did not. The only disappointment we had, and this is not the fault of the dive staff, is that we didn't have much of a shark seeing. One dive we saw a nurse or reef shark sleeping. Out of 13 dives, that was it. Maybe it was the time of the year. Maybe it just wasn't our luck. Also would've liked to have seen that eagle ray and some sea horses, but those are hard to find. Finally, and this we were told is extremely rare - on the way back to the resort a pod of dolphins came to our boat. Very awesome to see dolphins in the wild. We did not dive with them, but they did chase the boat for a few minutes.

Water temperature was 81 degrees in January. Everyone wore a wetsuit. I brought a 1mm and my wife had a 3/2. We were fine with it. Others had 3mm or more. I will say we were on the younger side of the crowd, so I do not know if age is a factor. The only time we got cold was getting out of the 81 degree water and waiting in the heavy winds when it was 74. The latter part of the trip was in the low 80s with no winds and we did not get cold.

Last comment on diving. PADI requires 18 hours between diving and flying. This is even in the waiver you sign. Unfortunately Reef Divers at LCBR requires 20 hours. This may not sound like a big deal, but it prevented us from getting one last afternoon dive in. We had a 10:30am flight, which means based on the 18 hour rule we were good as long as diving was done by 4:30pm the afternoon before. But since this resort is 20 hours, that means 2:30pm. The afternoon dive goes out at 2pm and ends around 3:30pm. Especially since our dive trip only had 2 days on the North Shore with the Bloody Bay Wall due to the weather the previous days, I was really hoping to get one last afternoon dive in, but was not allowed.

Food: food was good, perhaps better than expected.

Breakfast is really simple and does not change much from day-to-day. Mainly fruit, English muffins toast, bagels, salmon for bagels, eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, an omelet station and potatoes on some days. I was expecting French toast, waffles, or pancakes each day, but I was wrong. That was disappointing, but again not a big deal.

Lunch - I was glad we did lunch at the Beach Nuts Bar. I really loved the fish tacos. They also have burgers, sandwiches, pizza, ribs. It was nice to get away from the buffet and have the bar food outside. I cannot comment on the buffet that comes with the pricier package. Expect to pay about $15 - $20 per person for the meal and then $12.50 per drink for any drink you may want. Lunch menu and dinner menu are the same at the bar.

Dinner - Check my photos, but this changes daily. You can expect a soup, 2 or 3 types of salad (usually one is mixed with seafood), a cheese platter, some sort of side like potatoes or rice, a chicken or seafood entree, and another seafood or meat entree, and then a pasta or carving station. There are also 5 or so smaller desserts, like cheesecake. One night there was some sushi, so that was nice. Dinner for the most part was good and I was pleased. I will state that some of the food felt a bit overcooked, notably the seafood or chicken, but not always. The biggest disappointment for me was the evening we did the night dive. They claim to hold food for the divers on the night dive. Maybe it was because there were not many of us on the night dive, but we came back and most of the good food was gone. One of the cooks was nice to whip up some extra sauce for the fish, but no more jerk sauce for the bbq. Most of the entrees and salads were empty. Nothing that ruined our vacation by any means, and frankly I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food for such a tiny island that needs everything imported, but still disappointed in some areas. Overall though, it was good and you will likely be pleased.

Room: We had an oceanfront room near the dive shop. Oh by the way, the resort is so small, everything is within a 1 minute walk of each other. We spoiled ourselves with the oceanfront room. We liked it and glad we got it. Felt it was worth the extra $300 or so. If in building 300 as we were, you are within 50 feet of the water. If in the other oceanfront building, maybe 100 feet or so with a bit more trees and the hammocks in the way, but still great. Air conditioning was great. Room was nice. See pictures, so no complaints about the room, except one minor thing. Whoever was in the room above us walks really loudly. It sounded like they were angry (they weren't). When they left, and got new upstairs neighbors, we did not hear them at all. Bathroom was nice, but the water pressure is a lighter than we would like. But hey, we had warm water, so we were good. The biggest complaint on the room is the pillows. The bed was hard (I prefer pillow top mattress) and the pillow was very light. It took a few nights to get used to the pillow. I should've brought my own pillow.

Internet: The speed for a tiny island in the middle of nowhere was better than rural parts of the USA. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the internet speed way. We had issues connecting to some websites. For example, I couldn't upload videos to my Google Drive or SmugMug account, but that was not a big deal.

Grounds: Grounds looked very nice. Well kept by the staff. No complaints. Pool was nice. I enjoyed the hot tub. Easy to get a lawn chair on the beach.

Staff: Staff was very friendly. Nothing but nice things to say about them.

Getting to Little Cayman: This is probably obvious, but maybe it will help someone. Do not book a flight directly to Little Cayman from a website like Kayak or another similar website. When I first did this I was like "holy crap! $2,000?" Book your flight to Grand Cayman round trip, then separately purchase your flight from Grand Cayman to Little Cayman on the Cayman Airways website. Expect the Cayman Airways flight to be about $90 per person per one-way flight. So for a couple it will be about $360 - $400 round trip. Now this may not be the case if you fly into Grand Cayman on Cayman Airways, I speak to those on Delta / American / United / etc. Another tip: get the latest flight out of Little Cayman before your flight to the US. The Atlanta flight is at 2:45pm. We could've taken the 7:30am flight to Grand, but the 10:20am to Brac with 10:45 transfer to Grand gave us 3 extra hours to sleep and get ready. Now if there is a flight to catch before 11:30am in Grand, then take the morning flight. The flight into and out of Little Cayman is on a tiny plane (see pictures) that holds about 12 or 14 people max.

When you arrive to Little Cayman, the shuttle from the resort picks you up. Most people that fly in are headed to the LCBR. It is then a 2 minute drive to the resort.

When you fly in to Grand Cayman you will need to go through customs and then need to check-in again and go through security again to catch the flight to Little Cayman. I do not know what this is like on the weekends, as we did mid-weekday travel, but for us this was a breeze with no line. I assume it is worse on the weekends. There is free internet at the Grand Cayman airport. The only complaint I have about the airport at Grand Cayman is that they do not post the tiny flights to Little Cayman or Cayman Brac on the screens. For example, flight to Little Cayman was at 5pm at Gate 7 and to Cayman Brac was at 5:15pm at Gate 6. When you arrive to these gates, the screens say "Toronto" and "Atlanta" respectively. I had a bit of anxiety with this. It is a small airport, so you can't get lost, but was still concerned. At 4:50pm they announce the Cayman Brac flight is boarding and at 5:00pm they finally announced the Little Cayman boarding. So don't fret, even though the screens at the gate do not showcase the smaller flights, you will be in the right place.

Lastly, if you have enough time while in Grand Cayman, you may want to consider catching the shuttle at the airport that takes you to an offsite dining location. There is a shuttle for the George Town Yacht Club (GTYC), which is 2 minutes from the airport. The food is better than what is in the airport and in my opinion is better than the Hungry Horse, which is currently under a tent in the airport. If time is a constraint, do the Hungry Horse. GTYC cost us about $15 per person, so not bad. Hungry Horse was like a dollar cheaper. GTYC was much better and in air conditioning.

There is not much to do on the island. We thought about renting bikes, but didn't feel it was worth the cost of $13 or so for two people. Some people got mopeds, which seemed like a decent idea. I think that was about $35. We decided to take the 10-15 minute down towards the airport and find the nature trail. We looked all over and could not find it. It was definitely not marked. We did stop at the visitor center and watched some of the boobies and other birds. That was enjoyable. Free telescopes to view the birds as well.

Other comments: This was our first visit to a small dive resort. That said, you really do get to meet the other guests and that is nice. We stayed at a much larger resort in Turks & Caicos that offered diving and did not have that similar experience.

There were only one or two families at the resort when we were there. Likely because school is in session, but the resort had mostly those who were retired or near retirement. Even though we are in our 30s this is fine for us. And these people know how to have fun. But probably not the ideal place for families only because the value in the resort is in the diving. There is not much for the younger kids to do.

Overall I think this is a great dive resort to visit and is a great place to get away from it all.

Room Tip: Oceanfront is worth the small increase in price and is further from the bar at night
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank pchamp119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_and_Resort_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Little Cayman Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2018

Thanks for your extensive review, pchamp119. We are pleased you enjoyed yourselves overall/. Getting here can be a bit challenging, because you do have to pass through immigration, claim bags and pass through customers, then recheck your bags - which is why we recommend that guests allow 90 minutes connection time. This is part a function of the Grand Cayman Airport being under construction to enlarge it and part because baggage doesn't connect automatically here as it does in the U.S.

If you're looking for a similar experience but with perhaps more to do, check out our Cayman Brac Beach Resort or Cobalt Coast Resort on Grand Cayman (undergoing renovations due to be completed by end of 2018).

We hope to see you again.

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Reviewed 22 January 2018

Good food at a reasonable price. Ocean and pool view, nice people. Have never stayed at the resort, but w love walking or biking to the beach bar for drinks, dinner, lunch or snacks. Always something good!

Stayed: January 2018
Thank Jlmurraymd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_and_Resort_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Little Cayman Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2018

Thanks for your review of our bar, Jlmurraymd. We agree it is a fun place and hope you return again.

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Reviewed 18 January 2018 via mobile

Little cayman beach resort is incredible! The rooms are great, the diving is absolutely fantastic, and the staff is amazing.

I dove for several days with Antony and has a blast, including a refresher course. All of the dive staff were professional, courteous, and fun!

Theresa at the bar makes the best drinks and is a friendly face to welcome you to the bar every time you arrive

You also can’t beat the secluded feel of the resort as well as the view. Will absolutely come again!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Blake B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_and_Resort_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Little Cayman Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2018

We love Theresa and Antony, too, and are pleased you had a great stay with us, Black B! And taking a refresher course if you haven't been in the water in a while is a fabulous way to make the rest of your dive vacation more enjoyable. Thanks for your comments and visit.

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Reviewed 14 January 2018

Just came back from a fabulous week at the Little Cayman Beach Resort with our dive group from Connecticut. This all inclusive Resort is just wonderful! They went out of their way to make our stay great. The staff couldn't be nicer...always being cordial and remember our names.The buffet food was fresh and always different with lots to choices each meal. One of our group lost their luggage which never came...They gave her a t-shirt and offered to do her laundry for her when needed. There is no place to buy clothing except a few t-shirts in the dive shops.There is nothing on the island as far a shopping except one grocery/hardware store and a liquor store which are within walking distance.. My friend and I were not divers but there were things we could do if we chose too...Kayaking, Paddle boarding, and Bikes were available. Snorkelers were welcome on the dive boats as well. There are a few small museums right down the road that are interesting. The beach and pool and hot tub were just wonderful. Lots of chairs and hammocks for unwinding. I did not dive but the divers in the group couldn't say enough about the great dive sites each day. Total valet diving...no need to carry your own tanks and the most efficient operation my husband has ever seen and he is a long time diver with may hours logged underwater. This was mostly a resort with middle aged diving crowd. There were also a few couples with young children. I would definitely recommend this resort. And hope to be back in the future.

Room Tip: All the rooms were wonderful with outside entrances. Clean modern and spacious with fridges and coffee pots.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nancyjas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_and_Resort_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Little Cayman Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 17 January 2018

And we hope you come back, too, Nancyjas. While we are primarily a dive resort for divers, it's wonderful to hear that you still had a good time and are not a diver. Maybe you'll change your mind and get certified so you can dive NEXT time! We actually work with your local dive shop - you do the classes and pool work there, then come to visit us for your open water certification dives in water that's warm and clear year-round which you just don't get in Connecticut.

With only about 150 permanent residents on Little Cayman when everyone is home - there is not much shopping. So we usually advise guests to pack their bathing suit and a change of clothes in a carry-on just in case their luggage gets delayed or lost.

Thanks for your review!

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Reviewed 10 January 2018 via mobile

I will make my review short. Our dive club chose LCBR and I am glad they did . We checked out Southern Cross which we heard was nice but found LCBR to appear newer and fresher looking, not to mention a great bar and pool area.
Plenty of food and salads. Not much in vegetarian dishes other than salads and a starch.
Upper rooms had carpet and were very nice. I think most just had 2 doubles. Yes pillows were a bit hefty as I had been warned.
Spa, yoga and drinks are on the expensive side but what do you expect on a remote island.
Not a lot to do if you are not a diver but there is a good exchange library and a little gym.
The staff at bar and restaurant go above and beyond and are very attentive.
The dives have been shallow and no current underwater, even though we have had a terrible week of weather.
The bloody bay wall is pretty cool and one can stay at 35 ft and see it all.
Bring books as very little on limited TV.

Stayed: January 2018, travelled with friends
Thank Patti M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dive_and_Resort_Team, Guest Relations Manager at Little Cayman Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2018

The weather was challenging in December, Patti, so we're happy you still enjoyed yourself. Did we know in advance that you were a vegetarian? We accommodate all kinds of special dietary needs and appreciate knowing yours 30+ days before your arrival. Thanks for your visit and review.

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