Still dreaming about those blue ocean waters. Erik and I have been to Grand Cayman before and we couldn’t wait to get back there as it’s one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. White sandy beaches, turquoise waters and the nicest people ever. Our last trip we stayed at The Ritz Carlton but were excited to try someplace new. My Kimpton Seafire Resort Grand Cayman review will highlight everything you need to know about this resort and our favorite things about Grand Cayman. PS For those more interested in the fashion (haha) I’ll link most of my outfits I wore on the trip and add other looks at the end of the post.
The Kimpton Seafire Resort is the newest resort in Grand Cayman and opened only about 3 years ago. What makes the resort so special is it’s a luxury brand with a boutique feel. There are only 266 rooms and pretty much all of them have balconies with ocean views. The property is beautifully manicured and not overly large. It’s very easy to navigate and won’t require long walks from the pool/beach to your room.
The hotel is very modern. Much different from the stateliness of the Ritz Carlton. While we love The Ritz chain The Kimpton Seafire Resort had a much younger, hip vibe.
We stayed in an oceanview room that had 2 queen size beds, huge balcony with a couch and an oversized bathroom with a soaking tub and open concept shower. There was also a huge area with a small fridge and large counter space to keep snacks.
The room was definitely smaller than other rooms we stayed in but we felt it was actually one of the prettiest rooms we’ve ever had. The floor to ceiling window and sliding glass door was beautiful. In the evenings we would open the door all the way and you had unobstructed views of the ocean. After Summer and Erik went to bed I would sit out there on the couch and work and the breeze just felt dreamy!
There was a huge pool with couches, loungers as well as cabanas that you can pay a fee to rent for the day. While we love a resort pool when we visit the Caribbean we are there for the beach!
The beach here is what makes Grand Cayman so special. There are huge floats in the ocean that are anchored down that are great for laying on. You can get lounge rafts, paddle boards, snorkel equipment and other non-motorized items all complimentary to use for the day. We paddle boarded a few times and Erik and Summer snorkeled right off the beach and saw amazing fish!
We found the biggest drawback to The Kimpton was it’s location. It’s at the end of Seven Mile Beach, however, it’s literally right next to a bungalow beach bar/restaurant that fills up daily with cruise ship go-ers. Grand Cayman is a HUGE stop for cruise ships and depending on the day there could be 1-4 cruise ships docking which in turn crowds the beach at The Kimpton.
While we felt this was a huge drawback we did get a beach side cabana everyday which really made a huge difference. We had privacy, plush pillows, fresh fruit platters, chips and salsas and a cooler filled with drinks as part of the cabana rental. The service was also stellar. I would not let the cruise ship situation deter you from staying here, but I would highly recommend getting a cabana daily or at least for the days that the beach will be busier than normal. The hotel can give you the schedule of how many cruise ships will be in port that day so you will have a rough idea of what to expect.
Summer was in her glory at The Kimpton Seafire Resort. The hotel is VERY family friendly without feeling like you are staying at a family hotel if that makes sense. Summer opted to do 2 half days at Camp Seafire. You can do full days or half days and she had a blast. The staff was top notch and did crafts, baking, hair braiding and more with her. By day 2 of our trip pretty much every staff member at the hotel knew Summer by name.
They also have an outside human size chess board, swivel chairs, bike rentals and ping pong tables set up throughout the resort that both kids and adults loved.
The food at The Kimpton was amazing. We had breakfast everyday where you could do the buffet or order a la carte. Lunch we did beach side and had wonderful options of Mexican fusion meals, ceviche, salads, etc. For dinner the hotel has 2 options. For more laid back, Mexican style food they have Coppaloba. We actually ate here a few times (which is rare for us). They had Taco Tuesday with live music and on Friday night they had fireworks right in front of us. The other restaurant is AVE and this had a very similar feel to a NYC restaurant. The food was unbelievable here.
As far as pricing, this is not an all inclusive hotel. Erik I don’t stay at all inclusive resorts so while meals are not inexpensive they are comparable to meals at other luxury hotels. You can absolutely find items on the menus that are more reasonably priced. Summer’s meals were all around $13. I believe kids under 5 eat complimentary.
Another really cool feature about The Kimpton Seafire Resort is the complimentary coffee and tea every morning. There are not coffee makers in the room. Instead they set up coffee and tea in the library and have mints and crossword puzzles you can take back to your room. The library also offers a daily complimentary happy hour from 5-6pm. All guests can enjoy wine and light bites from one of the chefs on the property. They also have a cart outside the library where they have chocolate milk for the kids in the morning as well as lemonade, popcorn and gummy bears in the afternoon.
When we travel we don’t tend to do touristy things. We splurge on our hotels because we take advantage of staying at the hotel for most of the trip. However, this trip we decided to go swim with the stingrays being it’s one of the most popular things to do in GC.
And you guys — it was amazing. You can book tours to go swim with stingrays, snorkel, go to the turtle farm and Starfish Point in large groups, however, we decided to charter a private boat just for us so it would more quiet and personal.
We chartered our boat through Cayman Luxury Sea Tours for 2 hours. Our captain made the experience so awesome. Scott told us so much about the island and was comfortable to be with. He snapped photos for us so we could enjoy our time which I thought was nice. No pressure to snap those perfect pics.
The stingrays are located in the middle of the Caribbean where there is a huge sandbar. These stingrays are all wild and are very used to people. Clearly they know they will be fed. Scott told us how gentle they are and just not to thrash around and then showed us how to catch one. Erik and I were the first couple on his charters to do synchronized stingray catching. Not surprised coming from 2 animal lovers! We spent about 40 minutes swimming with them and the entire experience was unbelievable! TIP: book your tour on a day when there won’t be a lot of cruise ships in. We went when only 1 ship was in port and we didn’t feel like anyone was around us when we were swimming.
After Scott took us to Starfish Point. This is a beautiful beach area filled with starfish in the water. Summer really enjoyed this as the waters were shallow and she could just enjoy swimming at her leisure.
Highly, highly recommend the stingrays and totally worth the extra to charter through Cayman Luxury Sea Tours.
The people of Grand Cayman are some of my favorite. Literally everyone I met who worked at the hotel and restaurants were from countries all over the world. It’s an extremely safe island as well. Only drawback to the island itself is the cab fare. Cabs are expensive! I’m talking $20 one way cab ride to go 5 minutes down the road. With The Kimpton Seafire Resort location you do have to take cabs if you venture off property to dinner. And the cab from the airport was about $40, much less than doing a transfer through the hotel.
All in all it was just a beautiful trip! While I always love traveling to Mexico there is nothing like the islands in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman combines luxury, classic island feels and a plethora of wonderful people. If you are looking for luxury with a small feel and great service I would absolutely recommend the Kimpton Seafire Resort but definitely take my advice and spring for the beach cabanas to add to your experience.
PHEW! This was a long review. Hopefully this helps you in planning your vacation to Grand Cayman and answers any questions you have about The Kimpton Seafire Resort. Also all our vacations are booked through SmartFlyer Travel Agency. We’ve been using them for years. They specialize in luxury travel but truly go above and beyond to help plan your dream vacations. Any problem or request will not go unanswered when booking with them. For booking we use Kyle Seltzer who always exceeds our expectations with every vacation!