Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

Zombie Driftwood a B-movie produced on Cayman Island

It’s definitely a zombie thriller but would Michael Jackson have taken notice? Obviously, we’ll never have an answer to that question but the folks at the Cayman Island Film Commission are betting zombie movie enthusiasts will.

Zombie Driftwood, wrapped-up shooting this past summer at Driftwood Bar, on Grand Cayman Island. The bar’s owner Phil Eckstein wrote the screenplay while Scottish filmmaker Bob Carruthers, stumbled into this opportunity during a conversation with Eckstein while hanging out at Driftwood. Driftwood does have the best mudslides on the island!

The 75 minute-long film follows a small group of people fighting off piratical zombies who get to Cayman on a mystery cruise ship that shows up with no one on board – or at least, no one alive. The movie genre is typical for the movie class but if you love Zombie movies you may want to tune in as this one has a local aesthetic. All of the zombies were played by local Caymanian actors as opposed to flying in Hollywood types.

The film is a “guinea pig” for future productions made with the assistance of the Cayman Islands Film Commission. The commission was set-up in January of last year, with the goal to develop the film industry in Cayman, which will be managed by Lesley-Ann Thompson, head of marketing at the Cayman Islands Department of Commerce and Investment which runs the Film Commission.

The team behind the movie also created a local company and has been inviting people to invest in the project by buying 1 per cent of the company for a mere $5,000. All of those who invest will have an associate producer credit. Interesting! Come on now, its Grand Cayman the home of investment would you expect anything different? It just may be a worthwhile investment opportunity for those who have a couple of extra thousands lying around and have an interest in the film industry.

It might not have the dance moves that made Thriller one of the top-grossing videos of all times, but it will definitely have the moans and groans of a classic zombie thriller! Look for an October release just in time for Halloween, across the US and UK.

Zombie Driftwood

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You sunk my battleship!

The Ministry and Department of Tourism in partnership with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association will witness the sinking of the USS Kittiwake, a battleship, that will soon reside on the north end of the infamous Seven Mile Beach, on Grand Cayman Island. The event will take place sometime after the Hurricane Season which ends on November 1st 2010. We will keep you posted!

With all of the above partnerships involved, make no mistake that this is part of a tourism effort to attract divers and snorkelers to the Island, as these wrecks make for unique and interesting dive sites. What is most interesting to me, is someone on the island is thinking “eco-friendly”. The sinking of U.S.S. Kittiwake is part of the artificial reef movement in the Caribbean, as it will join MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian Frigate sunk off the coast of Cayman Brac in 1996. Artificial reefs have been found very beneficial in promoting and restoring marine life.

Reports put this ship at 20 feet below the surface so even snorkelers can enjoy this new attraction. Just being on island and visiting the Reef and chatting-it-up with the resort’s watersports team, I discovered that you can take “power snorkeling” devices underwater for as long as you can hold your breath and power through the water. It would be amazing to see the U.S.S. Kittiwake via power snorkeling.

Of course, Grand Cayman, renowned for world class diving, will add this exclusive attraction to an array of impressive dive sites already found on the island. Did you know the East End of the island is pristine and reports state that new dive sites are being discovered monthly?

Fall is right around the corner, and rates to Grand Cayman are never better than in September or October. This could be your chance to get acquainted with the U.S.S. Kittiwake or the plethora of other dive sites that are yearning to be discovered.

Enjoy and let us know what you discover!

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Music Video Made in Cayman!

Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea recently made Cayman the location for their latest music video. “Nothing But A Song” is the first single off their recording “Safe Upon the Shore”. The video features the band touring the island, hanging out with locals, playing with stingrays…  and generally kicking back and having a good time!

We’re pretty proud that the group, containing some pretty seasoned travelers, gave Cayman some very high praise in their blog!

“It could very well be the best Island destination in the Caribbean.”

Check out some shots from the video!





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WestJet adds flights to Grand Cayman

logo_dotComWestjet Airlines, a Toronto based low-fare airline announced their 2010-2011 new routes and Grand Cayman has been added to the line-up. Travelers from Toronto will now be able to escape the cold and enjoy a tropical vacation in one of the worlds best Caribbean escapes, Grand Cayman.

Starting November 4, WestJet will fly three times a week to Grand Cayman. Flights will depart at 9:40 a.m./1:45 p.m and return at 2:35 p.m/6:30 p.m. and vacationers have a choice of leaving on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday with introductory fares starting as low as $189.

The Reef Resort, is a the ideal choice for Toronto travelers looking for an all beachfront escape. The resort boasts the largest beachfront on the island, 1,600 feet, and has a cool beachfront bar; the Rusty Pelican serving up Caribbean-concocted island beverages. The resort also offers a wide-variety of water sports; new to the activity list is power snorkeling, add-in kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding wind surfing, sea hammocks and more, plus it’s East End location is a true Caribbean escape idyllic and authentic, untarnished from tourism development.

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Even BudgetTravel.com is talking about our incredible deal!

budget travel coverWe think the $99/night deal on our beautiful beachfront studios is unbelievable, and apparently so does everyone else. Featured on BudgetTravel.com as one of their “Real Deals,” these one-bedroom hideaways are proven perfect for couples or singles looking to relax at The Reef, enjoy the amazing amenities it has to offer and the authentic dining found on Grand Cayman’s East End.

Are you a single diver that hasn’t checked out the East End reefs yet? Or maybe you’re a young couple that wants to discover all the relaxation and culinary delights Grand Cayman has to offer. Either way, this deal is for you! If you’re new to the island and only require one room, why wouldn’t you book a beachfront studio at such an incredible low price? BudgetTravel.com says you should and so do we! Take our advice and grab hold of this “Real Deal”!

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Have you voted for your favorite Caribbean Resort yet?

Caribbean Travel & Life is celebrating it’s 25 anniversary and is seeking votes from Caribbean enthusiasts from around the globe to weigh-in and cast their vote on their favorite places, to stay, play, eat, visit, adventure and more.

We, at The Reef Resort are asking all of our new and repeat guests alike to cast a vote for The Reef Resort. We know from our TripAdvisor posts that The Reef is a Cayman Island favorite and we hope your votes will show the world what we already know; The Reef Resort is truly a fun, low-key escape on the isolated East End of the island, offering affordable rates, a ton of family-friendly activities, great food some of the best island entertainment and more.

Thanks for the votes!

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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!

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“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!

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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!

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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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Spongebob is coming to Cayman!

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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 

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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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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…

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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

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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

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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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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!

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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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