When vacationing either here in the Cayman Islands or elsewhere, accommodation is going to be one of your biggest priorities (unless you’re going camping). Whether you choose a hotel or condo/villa for your place to hang your hat comes down to personal preferences and what kind of services you crave.
Are you the kind of person who likes to be waited on hand and foot or do you like facilities that allow you to self-cater? Are you happy with just one room, or are you looking to really stretch out over a bigger space? Are you traveling with others or as a solo/couple? All of these questions are ones you should ask yourself before you start looking to book.
Here are some points to consider:
Unless you’re really springing for the big bucks and getting into the suite category, you’re going to be looking at a bedroom with a bathroom and possibly a balcony. The hotel rooms in Cayman tend to be pretty spacious with some offering a separate bath and shower (good news for those who aren’t keen on awkwardly climbing into a tub). When traveling to major cities like New York and Paris, don’t be surprised if you open the door to reveal a glorified shoe box, but here you’ll be pretty safe no matter where you book. A single person or couple will be quite comfortable in a hotel room.
– Condos and villas
If there are more than two people in your party you could get adjoining rooms at a hotel, but when considering family trips or friend reunions, a condo or villa is definitely something you should look at. You’ll have multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and access to – at the very least – a kitchen and living room. You also can’t put a price on a washer/dryer if the vacation is more than a few days long. It means being able to pack less and saving money on laundry services. Higher end properties should have a shared or private pool and maybe even an outdoor barbecue you can use.
It may not be something that immediately crosses your radar, but housekeeping can make a big difference to your stay. Who doesn’t love that feeling of coming back to a clean room with the beds made each day? Some of these housekeeping teams will work daily or even twice-a-day, moving through the hotel to remake beds, change towels, and replace consumables. Nicer properties will also offer that lovely turndown service with chocolate on the pillow. It’s hard to turn that down, ahem.
– Condos and villas
Some places will offer weekly or bi-weekly housekeeping services, but they are rarely as frequent as hotels. Additionally, some will charge extra for them. This is where your personal preference kicks in. If you’re a really neat person, make your own bed and are happy to not have someone in each day to clean, then this may be absolutely fine for you. Others who crave a daily refresh either have to seek out a condo/villa that offers more regular housekeeping visits or a hotel it is!
Food and drink
When it comes to onsite food and drink, hotels definitely have the options. We’re talking about cooked meals, served to your room or in an in-house restaurant. Vegas is one of the top locations for offering multiple restaurants in one hotel; and room service? Fuhgeddaboudit! No matter what time of the day or night you crave some nosh, you can pick up the phone and someone will answer. Most hotels over the 3-4 star rating will offer 24/7 room service, even if the menu is significantly reduced after a certain time. There will almost definitely be a bar on the premises as well; great for socializing and getting your favorite tipple.
– Condos and villas
There are pros and cons here. On the one hand, you won’t be spending the kind of money it costs to be catered to in a restaurant or your room, but on the other hand, you also need to get your own food and stock the refrigerator and cupboards. This means trips to the local supermarket, at the very least. There is delivery pizza, of course, and more and more companies are popping up that deliver restaurant food to your door – yet that kinda defeats the purpose of having a kitchen at your disposal. Condo and villa dwellers are going to be more likely to self-cater and cook their own cuisine. Some people love the idea of cooking up meals themselves. More power to them.