The Grand Cayman Marriott Beach(less) Resort?

December 11th, 2017

They say life’s a beach (or something like that). But there’s little to no beach to be enjoyed at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort these days where it appears that the shore has all but disappeared. Even so, images of a once larger beach remain on the resort’s website.

Here’s how the oceanfront is advertised on the hotel’s homepage. Even with rows of lounge chairs there’s plenty of room for building sandcastles on the beach.

Now contrast that with this photo that TINA.org reader Andrew M. said he took from his balcony on the third floor.

Is that even the same place?

Unfortunately for Andrew, who booked a six-night stay at the resort based in part on the picture on the homepage, the answer is yes. It wasn’t until he and his family arrived at the hotel on Seven Mile Beach over the Thanksgiving holiday that he realized that, essentially, there was no beach. At the very least, it didn’t look anything like the “gorgeous oceanfront” as described and pictured on the resort’s homepage.

“There was never a day we were there that the beach had room for more than one row of chairs backed up against the retaining wall,” Andrew wrote in an email.

Andrew said the front desk informed him that the lack of beach at the resort related to the activity of an offshore coral reef, that it had been this way since September, and that all of Seven Mile Beach had been affected. Yet Andrew noted that neighboring resorts still had ample oceanfront on which guests could comfortably soak up the Caribbean sun.

RELATED: It Won’t Look Like This When You Land

Andrew said Marriott offered him “a small discount” and free shuttle service to a public beach. But that did little to alleviate the situation. Andrew and his family had, after all, spent around $5,000 to stay at the resort. Moreover, Andrew said, Marriott gave no indication that it would remove the inaccurate oceanfront photo from its homepage. Indeed, the photo remains.

The takeaway for consumers? Beware of travel pictures such as these, especially when booking online. For a more accurate account of the issues you may encounter when you arrive, communicate directly with the resort as part of the reservation process, and look for recent photos and reviews from recent travelers for another perspective.

TINA.org reached out to Marriott for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on resorts here.

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