Cayman Time

Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

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)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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
nytlogo152x23

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      

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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!!!

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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

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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” ?

bait-and-switch

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 !

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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!!!

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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

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The Reef’s Super Staff

Stingray Awards

You know by now that vacationing at the Reef is a relaxing experience – but many hands make light work and we have many staff on hand to make your vacation at the Reef memorable.

 

This year five of our wonderful staff has been nominated for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Stingray Tourism Awards. You may recognize some familiar names below:

 

Linda Locke – Nominated for Accommodation Employee of the Year

Jake Morgan – Nominated for Accommodation Manager of the Year

Nick Harlan – Nominated for Restaurant Employee of the Year

Brian Ebanks – Nominated for Rising Star Tourism Award

Lawrence Haughton – Nominated for Long Service to the Industry

 

The awards ceremony will be held at the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday November 28th and we wish all our nominees the very best of luck!!!

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Pirates Week at the Reef!

It’s Pirates Week again and the Reef Resort is ready.

Grab your hat & sword and join our excursions to the East End, North Side and George Town District Days.

Cayman is full of history and guests can learn the fine art of rope making, thatching, fire pan smoking, coconut oil making and how to knit a fish net. There will be exhibits on how Cayman used to be - in the days when the only way you could get from East End to George Town was by Donkey or Mule on a dirt road!Pirate Of course the best part of any district day in my opinion, is the food, East End heavy cake, fry fish and fritters, fish tea, mango jam and guava jelly, rice and peas, festival bread and of course jerk chicken, just to name a few. Often cooked by women older than your grandma who know how food should taste. Just writing about it makes my mouth water. After dark the music starts and the dancing begins, and boy can the locals dance, and of course there will be Pirates everywhere, because when it comes to drinking and dancing Pirates know how to have fun.

So join us, wear a pirate costume and prepare to have fun.

- Cathy , Concierge

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Bicycle Diaries

image003Bicycle Diaries is the musings of a cyclist, and a famed cyclist at that, David Byrne of the Talking Heads. The book is an off-beat, interesting read of an urban bicyclist who for more than 30 years rode a fold-up bike while at home and on tour. Byrne reflects on each destination from Istanbul to Buenos Aires and of course, American cities. He considers American cities car friendly not biking or walking friendly and for the most part he’s right.

Maybe we can get Byrne to visit The Reef Resort and participate in the Reefathlon, a bike friendly event that will take place this November 22. The first event was a smashing success and the second event has already attracted Peter Stetina, an up and coming cyclist with his eye on the Tour de France. Ok Byrne, you may want to come and share cycling stories with Stetina or bring a few books for a beachside book signing, as the resort is 100% beachfront.

For those interested in Byrne’s book, review it on Amazon.com and for those interested in the Reefathlon read more here; www.thereef.com/reefathlon.

Makes me want to get my bike out and go for a ride!

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Simple “a new buzzword” for 2010

usat_logo2A new survey released today is touting “simple” as the new buzzword for 2010. The survey, reported by Bruce Horovitz, USA Today, also goes on to state that cheap prices will become a thing of the past while fewer parts, additive or ingredients will be the future.

Well this is no surprise for the folks at The Reef Resort, for the past three years, have been touting ‘simply’ as their mantra as the resort’s guests have repeatedly expressed their idea of a perfect vacation “simple relaxation”. That’s exactly what the management team and staff have been dishing-up to all guests, and it appears to be working just fine.

The resort not only offers-up a bevy of special package; Simply All Inclusive, Junior Simple Adventure package need we go on. The resort takes “simplicity” seriously and is dedicated to making the vacation experience as simple as possible from booking, hurricane guarantees, cancellation policies and more.

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Spooky goings on at theReef…

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Halloween is almost upon us and the Reef has some awesome activities ahead…

  • Kids Trip to the Haunted House in Prospect on Thursday 29th Oct
  • Family scary movie night on our 100ft outdoor screen on Friday 30th Oct
  • Creepy costume contest with prizes for young and old on Halloween (Saturday)
  • BBQ on the beach with the Terrifying Andrew Bacon
  • Scary Sunday Brunch with Mimosas

 

Halloween is not just for kids either! On Saturday 31st October The Rusty Pelican will be offering half price drinks – from Bloody Mary’s to the Devil’s potion and everything in between!!!

We have loads of scary activities to keep the whole family frighteningly entertained from apple bobbin to ghoulish games! Don’t miss it!!

Halloween Reef

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Where the Wild Thing Adventures Are

wherethewildthingsare_200909091524Can’t wait to see this movie and watching the trailer makes me we want to go now (wherethewildthingsare.warnerbros.com)! It’s about life as a kid…oh, those were the days.

The folks at The Reef Resort want you to bring a “wild thing adventure” to your life this fall with their Junior Simply Adventure package – An adventure the whole family (families of four) will love. The package is now on sale at just $1,795 a savings of $280 and is available until 12.20.09. The Junior Adventure Package includes:

  • 5 nights stay in a Beachfront One Bedroom Suite
  • 5 day snorkel rental for the whole family
  • 5 day midsize car rental (insurance not included)
  • ½ day peddle boat with canopy rental onsite with Whitesand Water Sports
  • 1 hour glass bottomed two person kayak rental x 2 onsite with Whitesand Water Sports
  • Behind the scenes ‘Blue Iguana Tour’ at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
  • Donation to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme
  • On site kids activities
  • All taxes

Did you know The Reef Resort, has sponsored its own “wild thing”, Tootsie, the endangered Blue Iguana. So, just by booking this package the resort will give back to the island’s Blue Iguana Recovery Programme to help keep this species alive for generations to come. Visit Tootsie’s facebook page, become a fan and have a wonderful “wild thing adventure.” Bring along your video camera as you may just have the makings for the sequel to Where the Wild Things Are.

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Top Pro to claim the $1000 Reefathlon prize!

peterWe are excited to announce that Peter Stetina has confirmed his entry to the November 22nd Reefathlon event, where he will be gunning for the $1000 prize for breaking the open course record.

Cayman cyclists are reminded that not only are we offering $1000 for breaking the open course record, but if the Cayman course record falls, the local record holder will also receive a special prize. Always seeking to motivate the top local cyclists, and by popular demand, the prize for breaking the local course record will be a) a one night VIP stay at The Reef, along with b) US$250 cash.

Peter will be staying at The Reef for the weekend on his own “beach bike break” and will take part in a relaxed and social group ride around the course at 3pm on Saturday November 21st, all Reefathlon guests and friends of cycling are invited to join in!

Check out www.reefathlon.com for event details, as well as Peter’s bio!

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Simply Spook’in a new Halloween Event at The Reef

image003Forget knocking on doors and begging for candy. Pack your bags for a Caribbean-styled Spook’in Halloween at The Reef Resort. The Reef Resort, located on the undiscovered East End of Grand Cayman is the perfect place for a Simply Spook’in Halloween. A new vacation package at The Reef is literally sending its guests to Hell (a small village on the island) and back, while also offering a trip to a Haunted House, a Friday night scary movie and a very cool marine life bioluminsecent kayak tour. Wrap up your Simply Spook’in weekend with a draculiscious Bloody Mary Brunch. Visit thereef.com for rates and packages. Happy Halloween!

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Barefoot Man – Always Exclusive to theReef, Grand Cayman!

Barefoot

Perhaps one of the Cayman Islands most famous export is the Barefoot Man’s music! Widely renowned for his daring lyrics, Barefoot is the biggest B to hit the island since Blackbeard and no visit to the island is complete without taking in Barefoot and his band.

Barefoot plays exclusively at theReef every Tuesday and some Thursdays. His full schedule can be found at http://www.thereef.com/en/thingsToDo/entertainmentSchedule.html

You can email Barefoot at: GoneFishing@Barefootman.com

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A Couples Retreat a Movie or Reality

couplesretreat-ps-2Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Faveau and the rest of the cast maybe onto something in Couples Retreat. Yes, it’s about a group of friends/couples who escape to an island, one couple for some much needed therapy and the others as a support system. The idea of the movie is sound, as travel is about escapism, reconnecting and frivolity. Where the movie goes astray is the “mandatory” classes as I am not sure of any resort that forces guests to participate in classes or any special events for that matter.

What I do like about what I’ve seen from viewing the trailers are the opportunities for each couple to experience activities that deviate from their normal routines. It’s fun to do something that you’ve never done, it stretches the soul and interjects creativity and of course, it’s always great buzz for cocktail parties or water cooler exchanges.

Couples go ahead and retreat, come as one or bring some couple friends, enjoy, relax, laugh and go ahead, do something out of the norm. Power snorkeling anybody?

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Away.com announces best resorts and lodges

away-logo-199x80Away.com, a premiere travel site ranked 888 on the worldwide web, recently announced their 2009 picks for best resorts and lodges. The Reef Resort, won a coveted spot for one of the best all inclusive resorts.

Past guests will certainly agree that The Reef Resort offers one of the finest all inclusive packages in the marketplace, and The Reef’s all inclusive offering is a rarity in the Cayman Islands, as all inclusive packages are far and few between. If your idea of an all inclusive is top-end pours while dipping your toes in the ocean, opportunities for non-motorized sports programs – kayaking, snorkeling, and relaxing on one of the largest beaches on the island — forget about afternoon shaded beaches as the resort hugs the coastline providing plenty of rays until the sunsets. This is the place. Oh, and did we mention all of their suites are beachfront?

Visit Away.com online for more details as this site is a go-to for travel enthusiasts, vacation.away.com/plan-a-trip/best-resorts-and-lodges-sp.html.

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Cayman Airways – third checked bag free!

Another great excuse to visit us here at the Reef in Grand Cayman! Last week we brought you news of AA’s beach sale, this week we are bringing you news from our very own carrier -  Cayman Airways.

Cayman Airways has just announced that on selected flight to Grand Cayman, the third checked bag is free!

Great news for all those from Florida state as this offer applies to flights from Miami or Tampa to Grand Cayman.

With a third bag checked free you are limitless!! Pack your tennis racket and get out on the court, pack your snorkel gear and take to the reef or just bring a bikini for every day of the week!

Remember we have a wide range of activities on offer at the Reef ranging from snorkeling, kayaking, volleyball, basketball to simple relaxation on our 1600ft white sand beach! Idyllic! :)

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Get Your Lance Armstrong on at the Reefathlon

DSC_0039Calling all Lance Armstrong wannabe’s to The Reef Resort, Grand Cayman for the first ever Reefathlon. Get geared-up for a 19-mile ride on the East End of the island, which is undiscovered and uncrowded, perfect for a hobbyist, a fierce competitor and/or a beginner seeking race experience. On the other hand, if you’re a cyclist looking to support the greater good, join us, as this race assists the Cayman Islands Cancer Society with a percentage of the proceeds being donated locally to help islanders fight and win.

Cyclists will race a 19-mile loop, of which 14-miles of the race are oceanfront and include a category three hill. Cyclists will enjoy jaw-dropping views of turquoise oceans, complete with breezes to keep you cool and challenged. There will also be many points-of-interest along the route, for a scenic and stimulating ride.

The Reef Resort, has successfully launched its non-motorized sports program and the Reefathlon is an extension of this program and a natural fit. Simplicity, adventure escapes, and green activities are the mantra of the resort and the Reefathlon supports this philosophy and allows guests to enjoy some of the best the island has to offer.

Visit www.thereef.com/reefathlon or call 888.714.2309 for travel details.

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Another fantastic wedding at theReef!

It has to be said your wedding day is the most important day of your life. Which is why we have a dedicated wedding coordinator to help you plan every step of the way!

Picture this…barefoot on our beautiful, white sand beach with the turquoise Caribbean ocean lapping the shore, surrounded by swaying palms with the beautiful colors of tropical flowers accenting your perfect, customized wedding ceremony.

Recently, Nate and Alicia were a part of this picture and loved their wedding so much they couldn’t wait to tell us how much they enjoyed it!

“Alicia and I are still talking about our wedding, our guests loved it so much. People that went to visit the other side of the island were so happy we selected the reef as our wedding location. Your resort was so beautiful, and peaceful.  Please show this letter to everyone that worked there, even the guys that ran the water sports.  We had a blast.  Your staff is wonderful.  People looking at the pictures were amazed!!!!”

So what are you waiting for, make like Alicia and Nate and book that unique Cayman wedding!

For more information contact weddings@thereef.com

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