It is also against the law for anyone to receive or purchase more than five conchs taken from Cayman waters in any one day.
It is also against the law for anyone to receive or purchase more than five conchs taken from Cayman waters in any one day.
Who said things move on “island time” down here ? Not us, that’s for sure. At The Reef, we’ve always been proud of how very responsive we are to customer calls and emails.
Now, we’ve grown to the stage where can take it one stage further, so whilst our reservations office core hours continue to be Monday to Friday 8:30-5:30 EST, we now have reservations staff coming in seven days per week (for a few hours per day on Saturday and Sunday), and at all other times calls to our toll free number (888) 232-0541 will be answered instead of just going to voicemail.
This means that a) all emails will be responded to within no more than 24 hours, and b) calls for routine reservations etc can be made seven days per week from 7am to 11pm, with more detailed or complex requests being taken for response by the reservations team during their hours.
Another small way we are continually “taking it to the next level”
The Department of Tourism has partnered with several business and attractions in the area to come up with the new “Discover the East” adventure card. For US$16.00 you have free access to both The Botanic Park and Pedro St James historic park. This in itself would make the card a great value, but the benefits don’t stop there.
Adventure cards can be purchased here at The Reef and there will be more info on this promotion as it becomes available.
An old saying goes… “be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it”.
It is no secret that anyone in Caribbean tourism wishes for the early onset of Winter and some snows in the North East, as nothing makes people hanker more for some winter warmth in the Caribbean.
So…last night I arrive after 11pm in New York and, after navigating (somehow!) my rental car up the various parkways to my hotel upstate, it was in the 20s when I walked into the hotel.
No problem, I can wrap up warm… then this morning, snow was dumped all over the place and the roads are a mess….no idea how to get to my conference now
Ah well, called home, and the temperature is in the 80s as usual…. me wanna go home !
This weekend and next will feature two major entertainment events, Cayman Jazz Fest and Gimistory.
Back in the days(3 months ago) when i first started blogging about The Cayman Jazz Fest the performer scheduale had not been fully announced. Well you are in for a treat as some of the biggest names in jazz and r&b will be performing next weekend here in The Cayman Islands.
Acts such as Brian Mcknight, Bebe Winans, Music Soulchild, Chaka Kahn, Alex Bugnon, Dianne Reeves, and Mondy Alexander are schedualed to perform over the 3 day festival.
This annual event is great for not only Jazz and r@b enthusiasts, but for any music fan in general and starts November 28th to December 1.
Tickets are CI$145 for the all weekend pass and can be purchased indivudually as well here at The Reef Resort through our concierge Leona Baker.
However, for this weekend its all about “Gimistory”.
Gimistory is an annual storytelling event(now in its 9th year) put on by The Cayman National Cultural Foundation and features storytellers from Cayman and the Caribbean gathering in an intimate setting to tell stories ranging from “The Cayman of Old” to just flat out funny tales.
Cayamanian culture like many other Caribbean islands have been passed down from generation to generation by stories. For example, every Caymanian can recall stories of duppies(ghosts) that would come and get you if you were behaving badly.
Returning once again will be Guyana native Ken Corsbie, who has captured audiences all over the Caribbean with his tales. Also, The Storytellers (Barry Marshall and Jeri Burns) return to spread the brand of storytelling and song.
Best of all admission to this event(November 23- December 1) is Free!
I’ve just spent a great half day being a tourist… taking some UK journalists down teh Mastic Trail
Just ask John about the Lighthouse School( a school for mentally handicapped children) and watch his face light up as he describes how proud he is of being a member on the fundraising committee. As 2008 approaches John’s main goal is to build a house on the piece of property he recently purchased.
“I just want to send Holiday Greetings to all the past guests at the resorts and i hope to see you in 2008″ says John.
Thanks to Barefoot Man for this lovely picture. When he isn’t playing at The Reef (see his schedule here), recording new songs, marketing his CDs, fishing, lazing in a hammock etc…. he is the publisher of his own newspaper, “Fun News”, which takes a humorous look at things to do and see and life in the “Far East” of Grand Cayman.
This great shot gives a great look right down the beach at The Reef, and yes, that’s all our beach.
Oh, and if you look closely at the far end of the beach you’ll see a huge mound of sand that came from the site for the final phase of our resort (the roof is now on, they’ll be open soon enough!), does anyone want to buy a LOT of sand ?
Nothing to do with The Reef or Cayman, but discovered this guy last week, I thought he was hysterically funny… and YouTube might have been invented to showcase stand up comedians !
Tell me if you like it and I’ll try to find a funny video to post each Monday
ARGHHHH the pirates have taken over the entire island.
This weekend marked the beginning of the festival and it was a blast for all who participated. Friday night was the fireworks show and George Town was completely filled with families and children who came out to enjoy the show. Food was abundant as the smell of Conch, Fish, and Jerk Chicken filled the air. After the fireworks came the street dance. This was a blast as George Town harbour was completely closed to traffic and people were definitely in the festive spirit and “wining down da place”.
Saturday marked the Pirates landing in George Town aboard their pirate ship. After their mock capturing of George Town, the float parade commenced. The atmosphere was jovial as the sound of soca and steel band music kept everyone moving and grooving. After the parade was another street dance, this one included a performance by world renowned Soca artist Shirwayne Winchester. The crowd was rocking to all of his hits straight to midnight.
This was only the first two days folks. Stay tuned as i will be bringing you more reports from the District Days celebration.
What does that have to do with Cayman, you ask ? Well… Cayman is a Commonwealth country and always sends a solid representative team in numerous sports… but the honest answer is that this blog is another more personal one. You see, I am a Caymanian (and proud of it), but also proud to be originally from Scotland. Put those two together and I am excited that Cayman will be sending a team to compete in Scotland in 2014. I’ll be there, you can count on it !
For those of you who are not from Commonwealth countries, the Commonwealth Games are held every four years, in the middle of each Olympic cycle. They are similar to the Olympic games, with some key points being :
- 71 nations
- Make up of member nations based on the British Commonwealth, so that means (say, for swimming) Australia is there as a world power in the sport, but not the USA
- A large number of African and Caribbean nations, so track and field is very strong at Commonwealth Games
- Sports represented are very similar to the Olympics, but also include some that are well represented in Commonwealth countries, such as Squash and Rugby 7s (both of which Cayman has sent teams for in the past).
For more information, visit the Glasgow 2014 site… and if you are in Scotland right now, head to Glasgow tonight, there is going to be one amazing party !
As you might expect from a country with year round warm weather, gorgeous ocean waters and a pretty flat geography, Cayman has a buoyant community of triathletes. Coming up soon (Sunday November 25th) is the annual running of the Cayman Turtle Triathlon , a great event and worth coming down to the 7MB Public Beach to see.
Last year my family volunteered to help out at the event, and we had the bright idea to enter a family team this year. No, they have no category for family teams, but hey, it’s just for fun.
So… I thought, no problem, my oldest son can do the swim, my wife the run, and I can do the bike…. I had no idea that the bike was 25 miles !!
My son is a competitive swimmer so should be out of the water in a little over 20 minutes, my wife will do the 10k run in under 50 minutes…. but 25 miles on the bike ? Yikes ! So.. a little while after last year’s race I headed out on my old mountain bike and did a 10 mile ride… in 40 minutes… this was looking bad, very bad… I could take about 2 hours to do that Triathlon ride… they’d be sending out search parties ! Add to that the embarrassment of having such a fast lead swimmer that I’d be one of the first guys out on the bike, then seeing pretty much the entire field overtake me one by one… nah, too much for the ego !
There was nothing for it but to a) buy a better bike, and then b) umm.. ride it a little to get vaguely fit
I have to admit that training has been sporadic, but as I live in George Town and work at The Reef, that is a nice 23 mile distance, so I’m now riding to / from work a few times to build up the training distance.
Today though was seriously masochistic. My wife had been for an early morning run, and I got ready to jump on the bike and ride to The Reef, she smiled as she said “really strong winds out of the NE this morning dear !”. Gee, thanks… the first 18 miles of the ride are basically due East, with the last 5..yup…. N or NE the whole way.
I’m being coached by a friend, Cayman Olympian cyclist Craig Merren, and with his wicked sense of humour, he’ll get a kick out of me being mad enough to ride from end to end of the island into such a strong wind !
As you can see today from the great website of Cayman weather stations, the East End station was showing steady NNE winds averaging over 20mph, with gusts around 30mph… right in my face… I think I saw a turtle strolling past me as I laboured into the wind.
Oh well, the ride home will be easier.. I think I’ll just attach a sail to the back of the bike and let the wind blow me home !
16 days and counting to the big day, and our target is to finish the course somewhere in the region of 2’30″… wish us luck !
Friday October 26th saw the fourth annual Stingray Tourism Awards, presented by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
The Reef’s four proud nominees were :
- Rosemarie Challenger – Accommodations Employee of the Year
- Clive Lamont – Special Contribution Award
- Sandra Rankine – Restaurant Employee of the Year
- Martena Villalobos – Accommodations Manager of the Year
Although The Reef’s own Mr. Lawrence Haughton one both Manager of the Year and overall Tourism employee of the year at the inaugural event a few years back, this year the competition was tougher than ever, so none of our nominees actually took home any of the lovely blown glass Stingray trophies… but they are all definitely winners to us !
The Reef took a table at the event to honour not just our nominees, but a selection of our Employees of the Month from 2007… and a great time was had by all !
Many thanks to the CITA for putting on this great event to recognise the fantastic efforts put in by hospitality staff throughout Cayman… and we look forward to next year.
Saturday, November 10th marks the traditional Pirates landing in George Town harbour. After the landing is the subsequent float parade that is great fun for kids and adults alike. There will also be a street dance at 7pm to cap the night off.
November 12th-November 16th are “district days”, as each district is given its own day to display its unique crafts and cuisine.
There are too many events and activities for me to list here, so log on to piratesweekfestival.com for the full programme of this years event, or you will be forced to walk the plank!!
About our most frequently asked questions by folk planning a visit to The Reef revolve around our popular entertainers, as in “will Barefoot Man / Andrew Bacon / Lammie be playing when we visit”.
We’ve started to make lots of changes and add much more information to our website, and a cool new addition is our Entertainment page, which now has a calendar showing performances for each entertainer from now through April 2008.
One small caution is that although we will try to keep this updated, entertainers do occasionally have to cancel their “gigs” on short notice for one reason or another, so although we have told each guy that they have to stick to these schedules, we can’t promise total 100% accuracy !
Oh…and as we are making lots of enhancements to our website, please do fire away with any comments on on what you’d like to see on The Reef’s website….
Ms. Vida arrived in Cayman 16 years ago on the advice of her sister who was living here at the time. “I love Cayman and since my sister was here i decided to come and stay for a little while. A little while turned into 16 years as i couldn’t see myself leaving, I love the island too much.” Ms. Vida has been an employee of The Reef over 7 years and when asked what she most enjoys about the job she said,”I most enjoy making guest happy, i also enjoy the camaraderie that all the staff have here. It feels like one big family. I also love all the owners here and wish they were here all the time”
Have you ever wondered where can i go to get a authentic taste of Caymanian culture, cuisine, and crafts? Well a new venue has recently opened in Lower Valley that is sure to tickel your fancy. Simpy titled THE MARKET ,this venue for local farmers and craftmakers to display their wares opened just over a month ago and has been an instant success.
As a kid growing up in Jamaica, Shawn could be found swimming by the river, playing cricket, or making kites. As an young adult he worked in a bauxite factory back home before arriving in Grand Cayman over 3 years ago.
Shawn has been a member of The Reef for over 2 years. He says, “Some of my favorite memories have been the people i have met here. I really enjoy interacting with both the guest and staff on a daily basis. My main priority is to ensure guest satisfaction with the resort never ends.”
Shaun is married with 5 kids, in fact when asked what his greatest accomplishment in life was he said, “It would first be my five beautiful children, second would be purchasing my first home, and third would be my promotion to Head of Maintenance here at The Reef Resort. The thing that would make me happiest in life is too see all my children graduate college.”
When not at work some of Shaun’s favorite hobbies include playing dominoes, snorkeling at Beach Bay, and watching TV. Some of those favorite shows on TV include “Fresh Prince” and “Everybody loves Raymond”, and his favorite music is Country, especially Conway Twitty and Charlie Pride. When asked what his most embarrassing moment was Shawn replied, “It would be the time Tom (Resort Director) was trying to reach me and i had my cell phone turned off.”
I asked Mr. Lawrence (General Manager) what was one thing that people did not know about Shawn but should and he had this to say, “The one thing that people don’t know about Shawn is that he is very humble and productive individual.”
Just another example of Reef excellence.
Its that time of year again for RUNDOWN. No I’m not talking about food, i’m talking about the show!
For those of you not familiar with the dish “rundown”, it is a traditional Caymanian cuisine comprised of fish cooked in coconut milk and served with breadfruit and cassava. In fact, just typing this is making me hungry! However, lets get back to the topic of the day which is the show.
RUNDOWN is a once a year theatrical production that takes both a comedic and sarcastic look at The Cayman Islands and local issues from the past year.
This two hour comedy show always has the audience in stitches as the characters poke fun of such serious political issues as “the rollover policy” and government officials, to daily interactions and everyday life in cayman.
The show was created by Dave Martins in 1991 and has become a staple of Cayman theatre as both locals and visitors alike come each year for a good laugh and a good time. There are many newcomers in this years show, but some of the old favorites like Alan Ebanks (pictured on the left),are still around bringing their unique comedic skills to the stage. I have to say this show is uniquely Cayman and a must for any visitor.
This years theatrical run was so popular in fact, that they have added two more shows for October 9th and October 10th at the Harquail Theatre. Yours truly has been once already and i am definitely planning on seeing it again!
Born in Seattle, Leona has become one of the more popular employees at the resort through her outgoing personality and desire to please all guest. This December will mark the 4 year anniversary of Leona arriving here at the resort. When asked what she loved most about working at The Reef she said, “I love my coworkers and our guests because we all have a great harmony between and they really have become an extended family.”
This email was just received by Linda Locke, a member of The Reef team and our weddings and meetings specialists (but when a storm threatens, we all do everything!)… edited for brevity and to remove names :
I cannot thank you enough for the attentive care my 2 children and I were given by all of your staff. Though we only got to stay at The Reef for one night before we had to evacuate, you made us feel like we were family. We will never forget your help and concern.
While your own lives and homes were potentially being threatened by Hurricane Dean, you selflessly put your customers’ needs first. Everyone we met during our 2 days on
Grand Caymanwas so very gracious and kind. We are grateful and glad that the storm spared you.
While waiting hours in the airport for a stand-by flight to
, we talked with a couple who ranted about how unhelpful the staff was at (a five star hotel that shall remain nameless)! We recounted our experience at The Reef and they said they would definitely check out The Reef for their next trip. Miami
We had planned our trip many months ago and had been looking forward to our first visit to
Grand Cayman. It was so disappointing after our long journey and anticipation to have to leave after one night.
Unfortunately, our school and work schedules, as well as our finances, do not allow us another vacation soon. However, we would like to take you up on your offer of a certificate for five nights. We might be able to come next June. Please let me know the restrictions and anything else required to be eligible.
Again, thank you for your warm hospitality and sincere concerns for our welfare. We are looking forward to our next trip to The Reef with even more excitement now that we know how extraordinarily wonderful a place it is.
Best wishes to you and all your staff,
K** D****** and family
In a past life I was a Chartered Accountant (tough to believe, I know!), but as I look at the highly lucrative career options I could have chosen in (for example) helping all those offshore hedge funds manage their billions in Cayman… I can’t help but realise how rich all of us who work at The Reef really are when we can be part of something as special as this place !
Sorry (sniff), got sentimental there for a minute !