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Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
524 posts
47 reviews
Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

We spent a family trip two spring breaks ago at a 3BR condo at the Meridian and we loved it. Loved the island, loved the beach, loved the food, loved the diving, loved the location of the condos in central SMB. So now that our youngest daughter has gone off to college and we are empty nesters, I am beginning the delightful process (albeit belatedly) of planning our first couple only vacation, that we do not have to go during school breaks, that we do not have to compromise on anything, that we do not have to arrive on Saturday and leave on Sunday!!

So now we are two, and one option I am looking at is returning to GC (along with possibly Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia, anyone have any experience there? I know the diving is def not as good...). I certainly totally bought into the idea of getting a condo vs. resort hotel in central SMB when it was the four of us, and never for a second regretted the decision (thanks in large part to the great advice I got from DE's and posters on this forum!), especially when I walked by the Ritz and Westin and saw the absurd packed in like sardines beach scene. So now that I have started looking at my favorite four condos (Meridian, Beachcomber, Coralstone Club and Caribbean Club) I am noticing that only one, the Caribbean Club, has a one bedroom option.

So a few questions: first, are there any other luxury condo options other than those four in central SMB that are worth considering that have a one bedroom, secondly, does anyone know how spacious the one bedrooms are at the Caribbean Club< i can't find a layout or descriptor on the website (we definitely want more of a condo--kitchen, sitting room, balcony if possible--than just a hotel type room), and third, if the one bedrooms at the Caribbean Club aren't as I just described, would it be crazy (if we can afford it) to rent a two bedroom at one of the other three (I know Meridian has some availability for the February dates we are considering). Or if anyone has any other ideas (if cost was not really an obstacle) please let us know, I know the residences at the Ritz are supposed to be quite nice, but are you stuck on that beach with the madding crowds? Thanks in advance for input on my questions!!

9 replies to this topic
Grand Cayman
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
10,964 posts
81 reviews
1. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

I was recently in a two bedroom at the Caribbean Club -- corner unit upstairs with lovely wrap around view. The unit was huge. That said I have been in both of the top floor corner units at the Beachcomber (both were 3 bedrooms) and they were absolutely stunning!!! One had recently just been redone and could have be a magazine cover! Units that are individually owned can have upgrades etc that some owners choose to put in. I have not seen a 2 bedroom at Beachcomber, but say that the units were more up dated than the one at the CC but in all honesty each was totally lovely. Based on what we experienced, I would have no problem picking a 2 bedroom at Beachcomber if it is in any way comparable to a one bed at CC. Both just stunning properties. Word has it that there are some short term rentals at Watercolours now. Don't know if it is true. We have very dear friends who are owners at The Residences at The RC in StT. When they are here, they are upgraded to a truly stunning suite at The RC which is currently being upgraded. I thought it was superior to any of the others and was in it just a couple of months ago. I don't know if that is part of The Residences but might be worth asking about. If you are anything like us, you will miss the kids and keep talking about how much they would have loved everything -- just saying!

Grand Cayman
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach
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1,673 posts
1 review
2. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

To your question about are there any other luxury condo options in central SMB with one bedrooms besides those that you mentioned....I think you have them covered and I can't think of any others. I haven't been in a one bedroom at Caribbean Club but Danielle who runs CC is fabulous and if you call them directly, she will likely send you some photos and a layout.

And I don't think you'd be crazy to rent a two bedroom as it likely means a bigger living area and maybe balcony so I would go for it if price isn't a consideration.

We don't yet know the details of the new hotel that will be opening at the former Grand Cayman Beach Suites. All that we know is that it will be a boutique health and wellness hotel. It will be open by then. That being said, the rooms are more like junior suites I believe so I think you are on the right track to stay with a 2 bedroom in one of the 4 you mentioned or a 1 bed at CC.

Rhode Island
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
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6,527 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Also now empty nesters, we often prefer a 2 bedroom condo when possible since that means 2 full bathrooms...and there are nights when husband is snoring the extra bedroom gives me a comfortable, quiet, uninterrupted night of sleep!

Virginia
Level Contributor
686 posts
45 reviews
4. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Following this as we may also have the same need. Eagley, we have rented a three bedroom at the Beachcomber to use as a two bedroom and have been given a discounted rate. However, that was during low season, August, and we also received one night free. What a great deal!. We get a repeat guest discount now instead, and still plan our trips for late summer to take advantage of the free night deal. How nice it would be to come in February, or even May!. The two bedroom units at Beachcomber do not have an oceanfront Master. Both bedrooms face the street so that is why we have not rented one of those.

I am glad to hear that CC may be willing to send photos. For one of our trips, I contacted them about staying there in a three bedroom, tower unit. They priced it a little less than Beachcomber, but would not guarantee a floor or location. I was concerned about being on a lower floor behind a building with an obstructed ocean view so we did not stay there. As they have one bedroom units, they may need to be a luxury option for us in the future.

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
524 posts
47 reviews
5. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Thanks to all and appreciate the input, and glad to hear that others in the same boat opted for a two bedroom, which we would do. I am now currently leaning toward staying at Jade Mountain on St. Lucia, very different experience overall, I am aware, but my wife is craving a bit of variety before we return to GC (which we surely will soon), and it does look very nice. And though clearly not as great as the Caymans, the diving there is also supposed to be pretty good (I just got back from diving at Mnemba Atoll in the Indian Ocean in August so to be honest that is the new standard for me). Anyone have any experience with Jade Mountain? Looked at that and Sugar Beach Viceroy and prefer the higher up location and design of JM...

Grand Cayman
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for Grand Cayman
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10,964 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

We stayed at the Jealousie which I think was a Hilton property at the time which was located by a The Pitons. The property was lovely—cottages with private pools etc. views incredible It was not supposed to be a dive holiday but it turned into one and did some awesome dives. Great snorkeling too. But we felt very hemmed in. Only ate off property once and while the restaurant was good it was not great and the only real option as the roads were a mess. We took a helicopter to and from the airport because of the condition of the roads and that was a godsend. Went to Castries one day by water taxis and felt a bit angered seeing tourists throwing coins into the water for young kids to dive in after. Couldn’t help wondering if they would pull out their wallet when a kid broke his neck. We also didn’t like the smell of sulfur. Things may have changed dramatically but I would say that while the resort was beautiful the rest of it was a bit heartbreaking. Have you thought about BVI?

Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
524 posts
47 reviews
7. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Thanks for your perspective, Retrip. I do understand that the Soufriere area resorts are more isolated and as you say hemmed in, and more AI oriented. I am a bit hesitant to go the AI route but the food at JM is supposed to be outstanding, and you also have access to the restaurants at the sister resort Anse Chastanet, and there are also a few good restaurants in the area if we choose to go off site (I have been told Orlando's, Mango Tree, Hotel Chocolat, Dashene, Martha's Tables, Feds are nearby), so I am not too hung up on it. The sanctuary rooms, all open with private infinity pools, look pretty amazing...I have been told that getting a driver/taxi might be easier in this locale than driving, as you mentioned the roads are supposed to be a challenge...I wonder what the deal is with the sulfur smell you referenced??

We have been to the BVI's before (Little Dix, so nice!!), and my first love is actually St. John (12 trips so far dating back to 1971 and including my honeymoon and 2 since), but STJ, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Peter Island, etc. were just demo'd by Irma, as you know, so I am going to give them a bit more recovery time before returning, which we will certainly do. I absolutely loved the Virgin Islands pre Irma, perfect combination of accessibility, stability/safety, land and water beauty, the best off shore snorkeling anywhere, pretty good diving, great vibe, etc. so will certainly return and want to contribute my tourism dollars to their recovery efforts (I have been giving to various charities down there since the storm so heartbreaking...).

Grand Cayman
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
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10,964 posts
81 reviews
8. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

I am sure everything has been updated. We are not the stay at the resort type people although we have thoroughly enjoyed Peter Island and Biras Creek in Virgin Gorda and would go back in a heartbeat. On the other side of the world we did Hayman Island and Lizard Island and they were exceptional. Places do change for the better and the worse. Lizard Island was amazing but I have heard disappointing news since the change a ownership a few years ago. If Biras Creek is ever up and running again to its old style I will be back in a heartbeat. Never made it to StJ. After first trip to StT where our house at Mahogany Run was outstanding but experience at Meghan’s Bay and Charlotte Amelie did not want to go back. After a second visit for a wedding promised myself I would not even pass through. Need a boat ride to St John now!!

Edited: 17 October 2018, 21:34
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
642 posts
87 reviews
9. Re: Luxury condo option now that we are empty nesters??

Hard to fault a trip to Jade Mountain----it is consistently rated one of the top hotels in the Caribbean, and it certainly has one of the most photogenic locations in the world, with that view of the Pitons. Personally, I am a bit obsessed with the clear turquoise water and white sand that you find in Grand Cayman, Turks/Caicos, Bahamas, St. John, Virgin Gorda, Anguilla so those have more of a draw for me, but a lot of folks love St. Lucia with that gorgeous topography. Malliouhana in Anguilla might be another luxury option to consider for a great beach and wonderful food, but it is not as exotic as JM.

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