Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Category: The Reef Resort

Recognizing Long Service at theReef

Congratulations to our staff!!

We are VERY proud to announce that Thursday 24 June marked the first Long Service Awards for theReef!  A breakfast reception was held to honor a number of employees for their hard work and dedication to the company.

theReef has always been a family run business, and the Thompson family were there to personally present awards to 38 of our employees, who were recognized for their commitment over the years!

We had various awards given, first for  three to five years of employment, and then all the way up to ten years of employment! And we’re proud to see so many of our staff members have been part of theReef family from the very start!

Some of our award winners!

Both Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Merren-Thompson noted how proud they were to hear guests say that theReef’s wonderful service is a large part of what makes trips to Cayman so memorable. Congrats, everyone!

“What IS that?”

There are a lot of things that may catch your eye while walking the beaches of Grand Cayman: the blue waters, the brilliant sunsets, the lazy palm trees… But every now and again, you may come across some strange looking tracks and wonder “What IS that?”

Well, there are a number of cool critters who share the beach with us– many of which make some pretty unusual tracks! The Department of Environment has shared some pictures with theReef to help you figure out who’s who!

Loggerhead Turtle Tracks

Green Turtle Tracks

Green Turtle Tracks

Happy beach combing!

Caribbean Travel+Life Magazine brings theReef to news stands!

We’re excited to say we’ve been featured in the May and June/July editions of Caribbean Travel+Life magazine. In the May edition, not one, but TWO articles in the magazine highlighted the fun and relaxing aspects of theReef!

The first spread featuresplenty of info about theReef, and talks about our great partnership with White Sand Watersports! Our guys on the beach Al, Dave and Apollo provide the ultimate in non-motorized watersports fun! From kayaking to the new craze of paddle boarding, White Sand will make sure you have fun!

The second article focuses on some of the more unique aspects of staying at theReef. From our secluded location, to our dedication to relaxation,but

“That’s not to say theReef is dull – Heaven’s no.”

It also gives full mention of our activities like yoga classes, iguana feeding, kayak tours and (of course) Yahtzee tournaments.

As always, we’re very proud to see theReef recognized in international publications, but don’t forget our local publication you can pick up while you are here! Local magazines such as What’s Hot and Destination Cayman are huge fans of theReef!

Loggerhead turtle was spotted at The Reef Resort

A loggerhead turtle has nested on the beach in front of Castaways. The eggs are due to hatch on or around the 14th August and will contain anywhere from 70-150 eggs.

The resort’s onsite team is constructing a bamboo fence around the nest to protect it, and as the eggs near their hatching time the bamboo fence will be removed on the ocean side to allow the little turtles access to the ocean and their “big adventures”. Those that survive to maturity could live to be over 100 years old.

The Reef wants to thank their guests in advance for begin vigilant and helping the resort follow all of the protocols to ensure these little turtles have every opportunity to grow and mature. National Geographic for Kids has an excellent video on turtle hatching.

This is an exciting time at The Reef Resort, and for guests yearning to participate in other “natural” adventures check out The Reef’s latest package “Simply Adventure Packages” for both teens and juniors alike.

A turtle emerging from the nest

Sex in the City 2 how about Boys, Beaches and Beers

Move over Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte as The Reef Resort is hosting a brand new Boys, Beaches and Beers package for endless summer fun. Forget the mojitos as this guys getaway is an action-packed, testosterone-filled mancation choc’full of adventures. Muck it up in a Jeep, kite surf in the clear blue waters and unwind after power snorkeling or kayaking with a cool Caybrew (the local lager) and a Cuban cigar. The Reef Resort, is located on the undiscovered East End of Grand Cayman, offering guests the longest strip of beach on the island (1,600 ft.), and all beachfront guestsuites.

The Guy Getaway package is an annual package based on quad occuapnacy and includes:
• 5 nights in a beachfront two-bedroom condo
• Jeep rental for entire stay
• Case of Caybrew lager in room upon arrival
• Premium Cuban cigars – one per guest
• 2 hour Kite surfing lesson with The Kitehouse Cayman
• Bioluminescent kayak tour for all four with The Kitehouse Cayman
• Power snorkeling with Whitesand Water Sports
• Summer 2010 (April 10th – December 20th) $US $899 per person based on quad occupancy.

Additional activities such as deep sea fishing, golf and/or scuba diving can be added to the package, additional pricing will apply. To learn more visit The Reef Resort or book online or call The Reef at toll free 1-888-232-0541.
Kite boarder at The Reef Resort

USA Today Travel Tips Features Snorkeling in Grand Caymn

Snorkeling off the coast at The Reef
A recent feature posted on USA Today Travel Tips by demand|Media reported the many fabulous opportunities for travelers who love to snorkel. The article highlights the visibility aspects of snorkeling in Grand Cayman from 80 feet and even up to an astonishing 200 feet. Some of the sea life one might see; sea turtles, nurse sharks, octopi, noisy parrot fish, colorful sergeant majors, moray eels, spiny sea urchins, tarpons and other species all inhabit the local waters. Sponges, sea fans, and corals such as red reef fingers and brain corals encrust the reefs, underwater rocks and wrecks off the island.

Now did you know that The Reef Resort offers a modern twist to snorkeling? They do, and it’s called Power Snorkeling. Power snorkeling is simply a handheld device which uses electric powered dive propulsion vehicles (DPV’s) to propel guests effortlessly through the water exploring the magnificent undersea world in a new way.

Check out The Reef’s Power Snorkeling Safari Package just in time for summer fun:
• One hour guided snorkeling excursions (with a DPV pac)
• Trip to a secluded beach about ¾ of a mile away from The Reef
• Guided back down the coast stopping at the top snorkeling and fish holes in the area
• A glass of chilled fruit punch or chilled rum await guests
The rental cost for a DPV is CI$32.00 (US$40) per person and includes transportation, all snorkeling equipment, and a safety vest.

Snorkel season on Grand Cayman Island all year round! So pack your bags, and forget about packing your snorkel gear as we’ll have it ready when you arrive?

The Lowell Sun discovers the East End of Grand Cayman

The Lowell Sun, a Massachusetts based daily newspaper, features The Reef Resort in an article entitled, The Far Side. The writer focused on what we at The Reef Resort have known for years, The East End of Grand Cayman is like visiting Grand Cayman before the tourism boom of the 1960′s, remote, relaxed, and authentic. A place where delicious, down-home Caymanian fare can be enjoyed. Of course these attributes are what attract visitors to this plush side of the island. What keeps them coming back, well that’s a story for another day.

Enjoy the read!

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Expedia releases the 2010 Insider’s Select Winners & The Reef Makes the Grade!

Expedia just released its 2010 Insiders’ Select and The Reef Resort makes the grade with a 4.6 overall satisfaction rating out of five. First, we want to thank all of our guests who voted for The Reef, and of course, hats off to the staff, which work hard everyday to make the guest experience the very best it can be.

The property itself also offers an exceptional vacation option as it’s East End location provides guests a tranquil escape, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the typical tourist scene, plus their 1,600 ft. beach offers snorkeling opportunities right off the beach. A guest favorite, power snorkeling, a motorized snorkeling experience.

This summer the resort is offering a variety of exceptional summer packages, and they’re offering the lowest rates – guaranteed. Also, guests don’t need to worry if they’ll have a room with a view as every guestrooms provide fabulous ocean views.

Come visit us this summer and see for yourself why The Reef is a top rated resort.100413_islogo_180x51

Let me introduce myself…

Hello readers!  My name is Lauren Moore, and I am very proud to have been chosen as the Reef Resort’s 2010 scholarship recipient!

I am currently in my final stretch of studies at the University of North Texas, as a Broadcast Journalism major, with a double minor in Theater Arts and Political Sciences- gosh that’s a mouthful! I’m excited to say that one of the benefits of being a Reef Resort scholarship recipient is that I’ll be blogging regularly for theReef!

When I’m back at home in Cayman I love spending time on the beaches or taking in local stage performances and of course enjoying the local food. (You can imagine how happy I was to find out theReef offered all three, with Barefoot man playing live in their beach-front restaurant!) When I was home at Christmas I was  lucky enough to visit Dolphin Discovery and swim with dolphins- something that, even with living in the Caribbean, I never thought I’d get to do!

Keep an eye out for more posts, I’ll be sharing events and happenings from all across the island with you!

-Lauren

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

Cayman Carnival is almost here! Are you?

If you’ve never experienced Cayman Carnival, then this is the year to be here for it! Starting April 24th, the streets of George Town will be filled with music, costume, dance and excitement! A highlight of the year for visitors and residents alike,  Cayman Carnival Batabano is a Caribbean road party to rival all others!

For those who don’t already know, Batabano is a truly unique street parade, filled with music, art, food and fun. Participants have the chance to dress up in stunning carnival regalia as the island comes alive with celebration. I have to say, Cayman’s street parades are something I miss the most when I’m away at university. It’s almost impossible to capture the atmosphere in words- you really have to experience it for yourself!

There is something for everyone. A junior parade starts on April 24th, which is a kid-friendly fete that the whole family can enjoy! Then, if you’re looking for some more grown-up fun, stick around for the main street dance on May 1st. If the costumes alone don’t get you, the rhythm and flavor of the event will!  And with every room at theReef being beach-front, you can celebrate in the streets one day and relax by the ocean the next!

Come and “jump” in the streets with locals and people from all over the world- it’s a Caribbean tradition you don’t want to miss!

For more event info check out the Cayman Carnival website: http://www.caymancarnival.com

 

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The Reef Resort offers a Cheat’en Husbands getaway

Is your husband or boyfriend a cheat? Do you feel like your partner belongs in the same rehab as Tiger Woods or were you blind-sided like Ms. Bullock? Dry your tears, round-up your girlfriends, and hop the next plane to Grand Cayman, as The Reef Resort, is offering an Cheat’en Husbands respite package. Enjoy a complimentary Men Are Pigs’cocktail upon check-in and relish the opportunity to send the ex a postcard from the village of Hell, Grand Cayman. Other package amenities include an island shopping discount and a manicure and pedicure. Another fun way to feel better is a T-shirt painting therapy workshop. Create a personalized t-shirt. Here are a few possible phrases to use: “men are scum,” “cheat’en is for losers,” just let your imagination soar, laugh, and have fun while enjoying the secluded, spacious beaches, coconut palms and the lapping of the waves. Cheatn’en Husband/Boyfriend package prices start at $445 per person for a party of four during the summer season and $595 per person during the winter season. Included is a four-night stay in a two-bedroom beachfront suite, a jeep rental and all the aforementioned goodies. When making a reservation, make sure to refer to the “Cheat’en Husband/Boyfriend Getaway” to gain all of the benefits.

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Planning your summer vacation?

Winter is taking a backseat to spring, and summer is right around the corner, which means moms are starting to gather ideas for summer vacations. How about a volunteerism vacation? It’s such a great way to give back, it’s culturally enhancing, and (don’t tell your children!) oftentimes its also very educational.

The Reef Resort, a popular family destination, has developed a wonderful volunteerism package. Families will have an opportunity to help the critically endangered Blue Iguanas, known by locals as “Blue Dragons.” These magical creatures need help to survive, as only 20 are left in the wild. The Reef is happily involved with the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, so much so that they have adopted a “blue dragon” named Tootsie. As the name implies, he is quite a character. Read more here and become a Facebook fan to post your experiences with Tootsie when visiting him on your next Grand Cayman vacation.

Read below for package details on The Reef’s new volunteerism opportunity:
The Reef Launches a Cayman Island Submersion Experience
Travelers looking to submerge themselves and experience an authentic Cayman vacation can do so with the Reef’s new Cayman Island Submersion Experience vacation package. Guests will have an opportunity to visit some of the island’s most historic sites both on land and under the sea with excursions to Pedro St. James, Mission House and Wreck of the Ten Sails. Lovers of animals will relish a snorkel trip complete with a fish recognition card and a behind-the-scenes tour to see the critically endangered Blue Iguana in its natural habitat at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. A special volunteer morning is also on the menu, allowing guests to get involved in the local community through different weekly activities such as beach clean-ups and the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme (clean-ups, building cages, feeding etc.) The Cayman Island Submersion Experience includes:
5 nights stay in a beachfront Studio Suite for two
5 day car rental
Guided ocean tour to the Wreck of the Ten Sails with White Sands Watersports
Behind the scenes Blue Iguana tour at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park with Blue Iguana Trail island map
Guided tour of East End/Bodden Town/Savannah including Pedro St James, Mission House and East End attractions
Volunteer morning – get involved in the local community participating in The Reef’s weekly ‘volunteerism’ morning
Daily snorkel rental with fish recognition card
Dinner for two with the Barefoot Man
The Reef will donate $25 to the Cayman National Trust for every package booked
Rates: winter 2010 — US $1,995/summer 2010 – $1,695 for two including taxes (Sunday/Monday arrivals only)

Tootsie looking gorgeous

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…

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52 Perfect Days Touts The Reef’s Valentine’s Day Package

The Reef Resort has been working the editorial circuit with posts on Examiner.com and 52 Perfect Days both tout The Reef for their wonderfully romantic Valentine’s Day travel package.

The Reef Resort is offering a new Simply Romance at The Reef – Valentine’s. Guest’s will enjoy the following and please visit the resorts reservation page for availability, rates and more.
5 nights in a Beachfront Deluxe Studio Suite
Champagne and Strawberries in room upon arrival
Private 3 course candlelit dinner for two on the beach with bottle of wine
Sunset Kayak Reef tour for two (or alternative couples watersports activity when available)
Couples Massage at Le Soleil Spa

The Reef wishes everyone a Happy and Lovely Valentine’s Day!

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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.

 

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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

Chicanes, Hairpins and Straights – Oh My! A new kart track is opening in Grand Cayman

A brand new, – think Formula One, professional karting facility, Cayman Karting, is getting ready to open in Grand Cayman right outside of central George Town. Top of the line carts imported from Europe, and 1000 feet of asphalt track featuring exciting, chicanes, hairpins and straights will offer novices and enthusiasts alike a ride of a lifetime. Family, friends and fans will be able to catch all of the action from a second floor viewing deck complete with a snack bar and expansive views. For grand opening news, circuit news or to sign-up and be one of the first to race visit Cayman Karting Ltd.The park is an exciting new tourist attraction, and locals will also relish an afternoon at the track.

After a challenging day at the track come back to the The Reef resort, relax at The Rusty Pelican, and enjoy a cold one!

credit Cayman Karting Ltd.

credit Cayman Karting Ltd.

New York Times pick-up Summer in January

Happy New Year! The Reef ends 2009 with a fabulous news article in the Mac-daddy of em’all the New York Times which featured the Summer in January sale. Hey, if a writer from the New York Times, who get’s thousands of story ideas a weeks sees the value in this package we think you will too. The Summer in January sale guarantees a $230 nightly rate in a beachfront suite. The savings are at least 20% so why not stay an extra day and enjoy all the East End has to offer; think power-snorkeling, kayaking, beach volleyball and more. Check out the New York Times article and visit The Reef’s package page for other exciting offers www.thereef.com
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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

theReef is all about guarantees.. we guarantee it !

Although it is noted on our home page, it may have slipped some people’s notice that theReef is adding guarantees to make your vacation planning simpler.

Our latest guarantee is our “Barefoot Beachfront Guarantee“, which can be simply summarised as :

“theReef guarantees the lowest price for a beachfront room”

Of course there are one or two conditions…it would be unfair of customers to tweak a guarantee to compare our rates to those of resorts without full service amenities or a pristine beach like ours, after all :) …. but our focus is to make it simple for you to plan your vacation and know you are getting the best price for a beachfront room.. and don’t we all want a beachfront room ?

I think we have hit on something, as just the other day I received an email from TravelZoo that they sent out to hoteliers to encourage them in their marketing. Now, TravelZoo are well known for their eye-catching “Top20″ ads, and in fact we were impressed with their efforts when we used them for one such effort a while back, but this latest shows how the industry is going away from being straightforward with their pricing..just as theReef is giving you a guarantee of clear and simple pricing. I know which I prefer ! So, this from TravelZoo :

“People care about the view – lead in with an attractive rate, then offer upgrades to ocean view. 34% of our audience books an alternative deal once enticed leading to a much higher room rate than what was originally promoted.”

Can you say “bait and switch” ?

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I’m not picking on TravelZoo here, this is an industry trend.. just warning you as the traveller to be warned.. and to be sure in the knowledge that at theReef you are guaranteed a beachfront room.. hey, ALL our rooms are beachfront, you can’t go wrong !

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