Staying at the westin for 5 nights, 6 days. Should we get a rental? What are the best places to go that you need a car for?
It really depends on what you like to do. Do you want to drive out East for a day? Do you want to explore other places to snorkel? If not don't worry. The Westin has a great central location, water sports available on the property and many restaurants in easy walking distance.
I wouldn't think you do if staying in the central seven mile beach. We rented one and we would rather walk to restaurants. There are so many in the central seven mile beach area. You can always go on tours or take a bus. The beach is not crowded but the driving in the central west bay road area is a little much for someone who is not use to the roadways and round abouts.
The public minibuses that run up and down the SMB strip and all the way to George Town and West Bay and the Northwest Point touristic area (Vivo restaurant, Lighthouse Point / Divetech, Cayman Turtle Centre, Dolphin Discovery, Tortuga Rum Cake outlet, Cayman Motor Museum, Macabuca, Cracked Conch, Hell geologic attraction) pass right in front of the Westin. The minibuses are frequent during the day, and quite safe for visitors to use. They charge CI$2 (or US$2.50) per person per ride.
I've rented from Hertz the last 4 years in a row. You can book online and tell them when your arriving, walk across the street and get your vehicle when you arrive. Always had great service and an affordable rate. Love having the option to drive around the island when and where ever we wanted without having to call or wait on anyone. Defiantly worth getting one.
Our first trip to GC was at the Westin without a car. It was fine but we've rented one ever since and I do not find the SMB traffic bad at all. I suggest renting a car for a day, perhaps to drive out to the East End or the Botanical Garden. Or maybe to Smith Cove just south of Georgetown and then dinner in West Bay where several good restaurants are located. I believe you'll find a car rental desk in the Westin lobby. Enjoy!
No. Or yes. Depends what you want to do.
No car needed, but you might want one for a day. There was an AVIS desk there last time we stayed. Pick up & drop off right there. Couldn't be easier.
I debated the same thing, but when I calculated the cost of getting the family from Airport to the Westin ($25 per person), vs. cost of the rent car for 5 days, the decision to rent a car was very easy. The flexibility of having a car to go out is huge for us.
Brent was the $25 per person for a bus transfer or a taxi. I hope the taxis are not charging per person now. They will certainly lose business if they are. I thought there was a surcharge over a certain number of people as there are in many destinations, but per person is just not right. I know the bus transfers are per person and never figure out why people actually take that route unless it is group travel.
Ditto to what Retrip says. We always stay central SMB and usually rent a car at GCM upon arrival, but once took taxi from GCM and it was approx $20 for the two of us; another time did a last minute 5 day trip staying at Westin to be with son/daughter in law and could only secure air passage and room thru AA vacations via a package deal and opted to do their transfer which was with Tropicana Tours for which transport was priced per person at about $25. I would also suggest looking into the details and agree if taxi fare has recently changed to per person that would be a total turn off. Staying in the central SMB area does not necessitate having a rental car for your entire stay. Renting a car for a day or two right at Westin with Avis is super easy/convenient if you want to explore the island and/or go to restaurants beyond walking distance. The public bus does run quite frequently along the SMB corridor to and from GeorgeTown as well as to/from West Bay area during daytime hours.