Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Author Archives: Caymangirl

Baby Sea Turtles at theReef!

It’s turtle nesting season in the Cayman Islands and theReef Resort is proud to introduce our first hatchlings of the season. Miss Mary’s nest  sprang to life on July 5th with 80 t0 90 baby sea turtles making an appearance late in the afternoon. It’s quite rare that turtles hatch during the day so this was a real treat for all our staff members and guests who had a chance to get an up close and personal look at these amazing creatures.

A large plastic barrier placed over the nest by members of the Department of Environment prevented the babies from wandering away and safe from danger until staff and guests were able to release the little ones into the Caribbean later in the evening.

theReef prepares for the holiday season

Hello everyone, it’s been a busy time at theReef Resort as we all get ready for Christmas and the New Year.

That means making sure all Reef Staff members are trained to assist guests in an emergency. First Aid Training Courses are being held for team members  and I recently completed my course along with two of our front desk agents and a member of the marketing/reservations team. A special thank you goes out to our instructor Doug from Red Sail who put our skills and knowledge to the test with a series of  reenactments.

Once the life-saving training was over it was time for some side-splitting laugh out loud stories from some of Cayman and the Caribbean’s greatest story tellers! Gimistory- a storytelling festival put on by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation- is a favorite among both young and old, residents and guests.

Gimistory Storyteller

Held every year over a one week period in each of the districts and on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Gimistory brings together renowned story tellers and singers from the Caribbean and the U.S. who share traditional stories and songs using an array of props, musical instruments, costumes and sometimes members of the crowd. It truly is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable evenings you can spend with friends and family and something well worth checking out.

With Christmas just a few days away be sure to check back soon for a look at another popular Christmas Tradition in Grand Cayman- the Festival of Lights.

So what do you think of my posts? Drop me a line at crichardson@thereef.com  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays Cathy the concierge

crichardson@thereef.com

 

Happy Thanksgiving from theReef Resort!

Thanksgiving is almost here!

In celebration of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock,  millions of Americans will gather with their family and friends and enjoy the traditional feast of turkey, ham and all the trimmings.

Here at theReef Resort we have employees from all over the world that celebrate a variety of holidays. We have Canadians, Jamaicans, English, Filipinos and Caymanians as well as a few employees from Serbia and one from Australia.

For me Thanksgiving is about being grateful, it’s a time that forces us to stop & reflect on what we have & appreciate all the good things in life. I live here in Cayman on a beautiful island with my family. I have a really fun job as a concierge where I get to meet new guests & make friends every week, and every week I go on a catamaran and play with the Stingrays when we take our guests out, who wouldn’t be thankful for that.

So in this holiday season I encourage you to be grateful for what you do have and not dwell on what you don’t have and let us all be thankful for all the wonderful things we get to experience, for sunrises & sunsets, for laughter & for love, for always learning and for the simple joys of life, like hearing your favorite song on the radio or seeing a child smile.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Cathy

 

The Pirates have Landed!

It’s November at the Reef Resort, the wind is picking up & soon the holidays will be upon us, Christmas Breezes we call it. The forecast says this week we’ll have a high of 82’ & a low of 75’ brrrrr, better get my sweater out.

 It’s also Pirates Week, a festival with fireworks, a parade, street dance & lots of great Heritage Days celebrating the food, culture & traditions that make up our beautiful islands. It’s also a great excuse to dress up like a pirate & say “arrgghh” a lot.

One of the events at Pirates Week that many people miss, is the Cardboard Boat Race, this takes place on the final Saturday of Pirates Week in George Town Harbour. In it’s 6th year, teams make “boats” out of cardboard & race out to a specific spot in the water & then back to shore, teams were judged on design, team spirit & of course finishing. As you can see by the picture, many boats completed the course, but just as many didn’t. The batman team, while especially creative, came in almost dead last, it was blamed on the joker.

Overall it was a great race and the long green boat full of lawyers won bragging rights as the new champions, arrrgghhh!!!

In the next few months I’ll be writing about some great Caymanian traditions, talking about the resort & sharing my own stories about what I do as a concierge & a longtime resident of Grand Cayman. I hope you will follow along and have as much fun reading them as I do writing them.

Take care & Happy Pirates Week.

Cathy the concierge

 

Don’t tell everyone about the ultimate island vacation, Show them!

If a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million- just imagine how powerful your message will be when you combine both your favorite vacation photos with video of the ultimate island resort!

theReef Resort has partnered with Bragfire to introduce VideoMaker- an easy to use application that creates a lasting video of the Ultimate Island Vacation you can instantly share with all your friends, family, colleagues, everyone you know.

The best part, VideoMaker does all the work. All you have to do is visit  video.theReef.com  choose your favorite pictures and then click preview and watch VideoMaker combine those pictures with a pre-made video of theReef Resort. You can be as creative or traditional as you want to be there are no rules, just pure fun! Once your video is made you can then instantly share your masterpiece on facebook, twitter, pininterest, or email.

Here’s my video … now it’s your turn to make your own lasting memories of yourvacation at theReef.

Have fun!

 

Happy Holidays from theReef!

The only way to build a snowman at theReef!

 

Happy Holidays from everyone at theReef!

Where do you go on vacation?

I am a concierge here at theReef and people always ask me “you live in paradise, so where do you go on vacation?”

My answer, “Walmart”, but that’s just me. Until recently I hadn’t been off this little island called Grand Cayman in four long years and my vacation motto is “when your on vacation you have to do things you can’t do at home” for me that’s shopping as sadly there is no Walmart in Grand Cayman.

I realize that many of our guests live by my vacation motto too. Trying new things like visiting Stingray City, getting out on the water with kayaks or simply relaxing on the beach with a Cayman Lemonade (highly recommended by our guests from big cities!).

 But this year I finally did get off the rock, and besides shopping (lots of shopping!) my family and I went to the Smokey Mountains, to the forests and rivers of North Carolina and Tennessee. I must tell you first hand, that driving down a winding, twisting mountain road at night with nothing but your headlights on, is ten times scarier than any roller coaster ride I have ever been on. We went White Water Rafting and tubeing down a creek. As many of our blog readers know, Grand Cayman is really a small island, so we took advantage of the open American roads and embarked on a few road trips. Something you really can’t do on an island which is less than 100 square miles.

The majority of our staff here at theReef go home to visit family and friends; it can be difficult to be away from loved ones. Others go on road trips like I did, and some explore Cuba and nearby countries throughout the Caribbean & Central America.

We came back to Grand Cayman, our bags filled with bargains and hearts filled with memories. I returned with a renewed energy and enthusiasm ready to make sure you enjoy your vacation as much as we did ours!

At theReef our guests join us from all over the USA, Canada and Europe and many of our staff are from far away places too; that is I think makes Cayman so interesting, a culture combined from many continents, different cuisines and a wonderful history.

Being on vacation gave me insight as to what our guests at theReef need while they are on holiday, for me it was fun family time. So whether you are looking for an action packed family vacation or relaxing romantic vacation, stop by and see me at the concierge desk.

Even though our island is small there is still loads going on! 

- Cathy Richardson, Concierge

Electric Cars in Grand Cayman?!

YES, that’s right, the next time you are in Grand Cayman, you may very well be driving an electric car! Yesterday, the first solar panel charging station was unveiled at Governors Square, Grand Cayman, and theReef is please to announce that we have signed up to be one of the charging station locations too!

Image courtesy of Caymanian Compass

Image courtesy of Caymanian Compass

 

 

The man behind the drive for electric vehicles in Cayman (no pun intended!), is Mr. John Felder. Mr. Felder has been working on this project in Cayman for six years and earlier this year he sold the first electric vehicle, a Chevy Volt, to Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC). These charging stations are the first of its kind in the Caribbean and theReef is very proud to support this innovative green movement.

At the moment 14 solar panel chargers are planned for Grand Cayman, including the station at theReef. The chargers have wind-resistant solar panels which will form a canopy over the car (bonus your car is kept shaded too). Surplus energy will also be fed back into Cayman’s national grid.

You can read more about Mr. John Felder’s plans for electric cars in Cayman here.

Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show

Toronto WinnerThe Reef Resort travelled to Toronto recently to participate in the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show. Suzy Marfleet our dive concierge left sunny Grand Cayman for snowy Canada. At the show Suzy told people all about our wonderful dive offerings at the Reef.

The Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show provided visitors with information on adventure destinations. Guest visited canoe and kayak experts in the Whitewater Demo Pool, Scuba Demos in the dive tank, climbing wall or visited some exhibitors which ignited passions for biking, hiking and or running.

The Reef Resort offered visitors a chance to win a five night all inclusive stay at the Reef Resort in Grand Cayman. Our lucky winner was Mr. Drew Baker and here he is being presented with his prize from Tammy Van Zyl, from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Upon receiving his prize Mr. Baker said ,” We are sure looking forward to this trip. We are so lucky!”

We look forward to welcoming Mr. Baker to the Reef soon.

Reef Staff Honored at Stingray Awards 2010

Every year, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) hosts the Stingray Tourism awards to honor all the outstanding employees in the Cayman Islands Tourism industry. “These are individuals who both service guest’s daily on the front line and behind the scenes. They are the crème de la crème of Cayman’s Tourism Industry” said Trina Christian Executive Director of CITA.

 TheReef is proud to announce that 5 of our very own have been nominated for these prestigious awards! And theReef’s nominees are…

  • Linera Grant - Accommodations Employee of the YearStingray Awards
  • Eadaoin Douglas – Restaurant Manager of  the Year
  • Constantiono “Tony” Vailoces – Restaurant Employee of the Year
  • Sarah-Jane Whitehill – Rising Star in Tourism Award
  • Michelle Hayes – Long Service/Special Contribution Award

On Tuesday 9th November, the nominees will attend an awards dinner held at the Marriott Beach Resort on Seven Mile Beach.

 We wish them all the best of luck! Check back here to find out if our Reef Stars are winners.

Celebrate Cayman Night in Texas!

Cayman Night Port Arthur 2010For the past 5 years in Port Arthur, TX., Caymanians and Cayman Wanna-be’s celebrate their love for the Cayman Islands, with great food and family entertainment – including a performance by theReef’s very own Barefoot Man.

This year, Cayman Night will be held on Saturday, September 25th at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center from 5.30 to 11.30pm.

Barefoot Man, Chuck and Barrie Quappe, and Andy Martin, “The Cayman Cowboy,” will be heading the festivities. The pre-show will feature, the OutRigger Band, featuring Bob Brammer and K.O. Harlow!
Island Cuisine and Cayman Rum Punch will also be available for purchase, as well as soft drinks and other beverages. There will be children’s activities, limbo contests, door prize give-a-ways, and photos among the festivities for the night. Tickets are US$20 per adult and kids under 12 are free!

For tickets and further information please visit www.caymannight.com. Special hotel rates are also available.

Barefoot takes to the Seas!

Barefoot Man and Sean B will be taking to seas, sailing North to Key West. barefoot

While visiting our American neighbours Barefoot Man will be performing on Sunday May 23rd, 6.00pm at Mallory Square, Key West FL.

 

For more information call 305-809-5000 or visit www.barefootman.com

Spongebob is coming to Cayman!

header_family

 

Last Summer Spongebob loved his vacation so much that he is coming back to Grand Cayman. This Summer kids can laugh and play with their favorite porous pal – Spongebob Squarepants!

 

Spongebob Squarepants will be hosting the  Cayman Islands Seas School, a programme set up to educate youngsters about the importance of the marine life environment – and what better place to learn than in the warm tropical waters of Cayman! During the Summer Sea School, children will learn about marine life through hands on activities, arts and crafts and of course through a very special episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

TheReef is joining forces with Spongebob and is offering -

  • every fifth night free
  • 2 tickets to the legendary stingray city, and
  • kids eat free at Pelican’s Reef Restaurant and the Rusty Pelican Beach Bar (one free child 11 and younger per paying adult)

For more information and booking, visit theReef.com

 For more information on the Cayman Sea School please visit www.caymanislands.ky/summersplash

 

DOT Summer Splash 2010 

theReef featured on Crystal Blue!

The Reef was the spotlight accommodation on Grand Cayman last week, when were the featured acommodation on the  Crystal Blue Wedding Studio blog! With theReef’s 1600ft white sand beach and turquoise sea as your backdrop and full service catering available onsite, we are the perfect location for your Caribbean destination wedding.

Crystal Blue also featured our most recent newly weds at theReef – Rachel and Boris. Their beautiful Cayman destination wedding at theReef was featured as one of Crystal Blue’s Real Weddings. Their gorgeous colour scheme and little details made for some beautiful pictures courtesy of Aaron Rebarcheck. This wedding party danced until the small hours with their DJ Craig, of One World Ltd.

Have a look at their wonderful reception – designed and arranged by Octopus Events.

rachel reception

We are looking forward to hosting some more amazing weddings this year…

theReef on Twitter and Facebook!

theReef has made the leap to Facebook and Twitter!

 TheReef started chatting with friends through our humble little blog, which I have to say is still the best source for all things Cayman! Now we are spreading the word of theReef and Cayman that little bit further through Facebook and Twitter : )

Become a fan of theReef on Facebook here

Follow us on Twittter @theReefresort

Spring is coming to theReef

theReef Spring Sale is here!!!

Spring is almost upon us (although it does not feel like it for some at the moment!), a time for starting afresh. theReef is offering the perfect Spring vacation getaway…

Stay with us between now and April 9th 2010 and receive 30% off plus US$100 F&B credit!

Click here to view full details of our our new Spring Sale, and to view our other promotions.

 

Here is a little reminder of relaxation at theReef…

IMG_1477 (Small)

theReef Spirit Awards

Introducing theReef SPIRIT awards!

The Reef has developed the Spirit awards to highlight and thank our wonderful staff for providing outstanding guest service and for their excellent contribution to theReef family. The Spirit awards are given out on a monthly basis, and a special Gold Spirit Award is given to the truly outstanding employee of the month.

This month’s winners are:

  • Eleanor Uykim – ReservationsMichelle1
  • Kaseen Penn – Timeshare Sales
  • Suzy Halenda – Timeshare Admin
  • Shawn Dyer – Maintenance Supervisor

The GOLD SPIRIT AWARD goes to MICHELLE HAYES, (dressed as a Pirate on the right!)

 

Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you from theReef!

Delta announce direct flight to Grand Cayman

delta-airlines-boeing-777Deltahave just announced a new direct flight from JFK, New York to GCM, Grand Cayman. To celebrate they are offering a fantastic introductory fare from just $119 each way!

The flight operates on a Saturday schedule, starting June 12, 2010.

So why not get on that plane and escape the hustle and bustle and cold weather and relax on theReef’s 1600ft white sand beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The perfect location for that family vacation or romantic getaway.

 

Imagine yourself here…. IMG_1477 (Small)

Yes we felt the earth move…..but just a little

Yesterday January 19th at about 9:23am Grand Cayman felt a little rumble, a tiny earthquake centered a few miles off of Bodden Town magnitude 5.8.

 I was in the Cayman Concierge shop telling guests about the Barefoot Man show and felt a slight rolling feeling; I paused and said “that feels like an earthquake” but by then it was over and we resumed looking at the menu options. That’s all it was, nothing fell off the shelves, the water in my fish bowl barley even moved, and no one even ran out the lobby. When I walked the beach that afternoon many guests didn’t even realize there was a tremor. Others said it felt like someone kicked their chair, a slight bump in the earth compared to the giant jolt felt by our neighbors to the east. Now there are stories to tell and the internet is abuzz with “did you feel it, and where were you??”

 So it will be a blurb in the history books, just a note to remember this day.

 The last quake to hit the island was in 2004 and that was 6.8 a slightly bigger rumble, but now, like yesterday’s quake, just a story to tell, no drama, no tragedy’s (thank goodness) just a bit of excitement, the day when the ground shook for 3 seconds or so in January 2010.

- Cathy Richardson, Concierge

Have a Taste of Cayman 2010

Taste of Cayman now in its 22ndyear, is the Cayman Islands national food festival. Since moving home in 2009 to the recently developed Camana Bay, the festival has grown with over 60 vendors participating in 2010 and now includes an international wine tasting element.

Taste of Cayman is an opportunity for local restaurateurs to showcase local Caribbean and international cuisine, reaching an audience of over 4000 people! Each vendor has tasting booths set up to allow people to have a “taste” of local fares.

This year, theReef will be showcasing at Taste of Cayman with our very own Head Chef Robert. He will be cooking his Cajun chicken pasta, using his own blend of herbs and spices. Chef Robert thought carefully about his choice of dish and he said “I hope it reflects our international menu at theReef.” There will also be a chance to enter our prize draw for a Romantic break at theReef.

The festival is truly a family event with activities for kids including arts and crafts and even kid friendly food. For those looking to chill out and relax, head over to the “Mojito Lounge” featuring Bacardi’s top mixologists.

Further to Taste of Cayman, January has been announced as the Cayman Islands Culinary Month, with additional events held around the islands such as the Barefoot Brunch, Charity Wine Dinner and flair-bartending competition. This event joins the long list of fantastic events held in the Cayman Islands throughout the year.

Proceeds from all events across culinary month support the non-profit Cayman Islands Tourism Association and their partner charities, such as the Lighthouse School for disabled children.

There is plenty to see, taste and do at Taste of Cayman 2010! Tickets for Reef guests are available from our concierge team.

2009 Destination Weddings at theReef

This coming Saturday will see the last wedding at theReef for 2009, and since we are coming to the end of the year it is a good time to reflect on the fabulous weddings we have hosted here in Grand Cayman. 2009 saw theReef host over 40 beautiful destination weddings on our peaceful 1600ft white sand beach and dock! Each and every wedding at theReef is unique and we offer several Wedding packages to accommodate every couples’ individual requirements.

Linda Locke, our wedding coordinator, takes the stress out of planning your Caribbean wedding. From start to finish, the planning process for weddings at The Reef is as worry free as possible, with timely answers and solutions to all the couple’s questions, customized packages and receptions to cater to all tastes. Offering expert advice and attention to detail, Linda only works with the best wedding professionals on island, so you know you are in safe hands.

Recently theReef appeared in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons, “3 ways to unwind” feature. theReef’s beach is the perfect location for a destination Caribbean wedding here in Cayman, with gorgeous turquoise backdrop and soft white sand, your beautiful wedding pictures will be the envy of every bride! 

Our Wedding couples come back to us time after time and tell us how perfect their special day was, please see our testimonials for their amazing feedback and comments.

Here at theReef, we even offer a free Anniversary stay for every Reef wedding couple so that they can celebrate their wedding experience again the following year!

Every year we take a look a back on the year’s weddings and, even though we admit it ourselves, all of the weddings here at The Reef in 2009 were gorgeous as I’m sure you’ll agree!

 

Courtney Platt June 09 Photo: Courtney Platt June 2009

Wedding show pics 2009 016 Photo: Picture This, Rebecca Davidson, May 2009        

EricaShane by Courtney Platt     Photo: Courtney Platt, Dec 2009     

Wynter and Jason by Marcos MontanaPhoto: Marcos Montana      

Merry Xmas from Barefoot Man

Barefoot sent us his annual xmas message this morning and it was too funny to keep to ourselves!

 

Barefoot Xmas Message

 

Merry Xmas Barefoot, and to all our blog readers!!!

The Reef has the WOW factor!

barefoot 

Innovation: the art of introducing something new.

theReef has always been at the forefront of innovation, especially in Grand Cayman. Even when we built the resort we were one step ahead of the game and constructed ALL beachfront suites, the only resort in Grand Cayman with all beachfront suites! WOW! theReef is also the ONLY place on Grand Cayman where you can see the infamous Barefoot Man! WOW!

You have already seen our ‘Best Beach Rate Guarantee’ where you get the Lowest Published Internet Rate for The Reef Resort, ONLY at theReef.com. If you find a lower total rate on the Internet for the same room type, dates and length of stay, contact us, we’ll match the rate, AND add a $50 Resort Credit towards drinks and dining at our renowned beach bar or our restaurant during your stay!

Now theReef resort is on another mission to be the innovator when it comes to best price guarantees. Our ‘Barefoot Beachfront Guarantee’ takes our ‘Best Beach Rate Guarantee’ one step further. Should you find a beachfront room at a full service resort anywhere in Grand Cayman during Winter 2010 for a lower price, theReef will match it. We are so confidence in this offer, we will throw in free dinner for two with entertainment by the legendry Barefoot Man, who continues to play exclusively at The Reef, his Cayman home. Our ‘Barefoot Beachfront Guarantee’ definitely has the WOW factor!

 

 

Terms & Conditions:
• Must show that room rate is lower and is bookable online at the time of reservation request
• Room must be comparable in terms of being beachfront on a natural white sand beach in a full service resort in Grand Cayman
• contact reservations@thereef.com or call 888-232-0541 for more information or to book the lowest price beachfront rooms in Grand Cayman

Stingray Awards Success!

Stingray Awards

As seen in our previous post, theReef had several staff nominated for the prestigious CITA Stingray tourism Awards. The awards dinner was held last Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton and everyone had a great time!

There were many nominees in all the categories, and the Reef is proud to announce that our very own Mr Brian Ebanks took the award for Rising Star!!!

Brian is now our Assistant General Manager at theReef, after being promoted from reservations assistant. Brian is an active member of our Green Team here at the resort and is committed to helping become that little bit greener J Brian has been instrumental in helping us establish a compost heap, switch from plastic beverage cups to compostable corn cups, and install energy saving lighting and appliances.

His passion for providing excellent customer service has led him to be the driver of theReef’s PRIDE team. Brian is dedicated to making sure that every employee of the Reef goes through the Cayman Islands PRIDE program – Personal Responsibility in Delivering Excellence.

Now Brian can add another certificate to his office wall!

Well done Brian!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It’s that time of year once again, the time of year where we reflect on the past, and appreciate the future; the time of year when we give thanks for the people around us. We here at The Reef Resort have had many changes in the past year, we have had staff members come and go. Some of us have become fathers and wives, while others have simply moved on to new adventures, and many more have joined the Reef Resort family. Our concierge team for example, has now grown to six, so now there is always someone available to help our guests, each member of our team brings something unique to the table. There are many new faces to stop by and meet, and for that, we at the Reef Resort are very grateful for.

Yet what we are most thankful for are you, the guests and visitors to our beautiful resort. You are the reason we are here, the reason the resort is growing and constantly improving and for that we say THANK YOU. Thank you for the positive e-mails you send us about how much you enjoyed your stay, thank you for coming back and remembering us. For the happy faces you bring to the resort and for your continued support.

On behalf of the Reef Resort, we would like to say THANK YOU and have a wonderful and happy thanksgiving.

As always theReef is putting on a fabulous Thanksgiving spread, to make reservations simply contact your concierge – concierge@thereef.com

You can also view our Holiday menus at http://www.thereef.com/en/about/dining.html  

 

- Cathy

Concierge