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How to Enjoy Grand Cayman Island on a Mid-sized Budget: 1. Stay at vacation rentals or low cost hotels that serve breakfast . 2. Since most of these vacation rentals or low cost hotels have kitchen facilities, they are a HUGE money saver for travelers in the Caribbean. When virtually all the food has to be imported from Florida, this can save on the cost of eating out. 3. You can also stay on the East End and pay significantly less, not everything is along 7 Mile Beach, despite what you read. I prefer to split up my vacation and stay in both, as they are like two different vacations wrapped up in one. The east end is quieter and less crowded. For recommendations of a Vacation Rental near 7 mile beach or the East end: I suggest you take a look at TripAvisor’s expansive list of vacation rentals available, as I found several under $250 a night for a family of four. For recommendations of a low cost hotel along 7 mile beach: I can recommend The Comfort Suites, which is a Choice Hotel franchise as a value-based property that has hotel rooms from studios to two bedroom suites. They have kitchen facilities and a free breakfast. Not only that, they are literally 75 steps from 7 mile beach (I counted). Sure the aesthetics are basic, but the genuinely happy service, high occupancy rate and the latest 2.8 million dollar overhaul in 2014, plus the next $1 million dollar one that will begin this September helps to create a fun and warm atmosphere. Don’t forget that breakfast and Wi-fi are included. Recent dates show it renting for $130 a night, but the average rental price is $192 per night. It is www.thehotelguide.com

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considered to be a 3.5 star hotel and accordingly has no spa or high-end dining, but instead a pool and a local bar. The Comfort Suites has found its success is not being a Westin or Ritz, but instead an affordable option on 7 Mile Beach, one of the most expensive locations on the island. I did want to mention that it is beach adjacent and not beach front, since there is a condo blocking its view, however, it is literally steps down a sandy lane with lounge chair access for its guests. According to the general manager Thomas Mason, “We offer a fantastic value” and he says they “target a lower income bracket.” They have been quite successful since they have one of the highest occupancy rates on the island. For recommendations in the East End for a lowcost alternative hotel: I can recommend Turtle’s Nest Inn – this is a beachfront alternative to the large hotel chains. We loved our 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen. They also have all the snorkeling gear you need, all for borrow, not even check out, and this ocean front property has an amazing reef right out in front. So, what IS there to do when you get there? I already mentioned Sting Ray City, Rum Point, visits to turtle farms, shopping, diving and snorkeling, and just plain ole’ relaxing on the beach. But there are also things like the free art museum called the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the Pedro St James Castle. That right there should do you for at least a week! For more information, visit www.PointsAndTravel.com. Written by: Dr. Cacinda Maloney, Points & Travel 41


Hotel Guide - Summer 2 Edition - 2016