Thursday, August 30
In this particular case the deal is pretty sweet. American Airlines are offering a special sale from South Florida to Grand Cayman.
Fly roundtrip from Miami to Grand Cayman for only $158. This just gives you even more incentive to visit us this fall! All you have to do is log on to AA.com to see terms and conditions, but do so quickly as this special offer expires September 4th.
Monday, August 27
We know that our members and guests like The Reef, but to be honest we really had no idea how much so many of them feel like The Reef and everyone who works here are part of their family, and that we are their "Cayman home". Boy, stuff like that makes all the hard work oh so worthwhile !
For those of our guests who had to cut short their vacation, we emailed them to let them know that in addition to refunding their unused nights stay, we were also giving them a five night certificate to use the next time they came down to Cayman. The following is a reply to one such email just received by our reservations department :
In the time since we've been home from our vacation, my wife and I have fielded at least four dozen inquires from friends and family about what our vacation was like considering the change in plans that Dean necessitated. We told everyone that the short time we spent on Grand Cayman at The Reef was wonderful — and no one believes that the lobsters we saw while snorkeling out near the reef were really as big as we said they are (I swear the tail of the largest could feed a family of four).A few more excepts from emails replying to our main email last week :
Even though we had to flee to Miami, we did so with the mindset that there are far worse places to be a "refugee" for three days. Our only remorse was that we had to cancel our trip to Stringray City in order to catch our flight out.
Thank you for the generous offer. It only goes to cement The Reef's reputation in my mind. We'll eagerly take you up on the five-night voucher for next summer — and we look forward to some more of Sandra's cocktails — after we check out Stingray City.
Take care !
Our thoughts and prayers have been with you and The Reef Resort during this crisis! We are very thankful that everyone is safe and not much damage. The Reef is our other home and family that we look forward to every year. We are bringing our 4 daughters this year the week before Christmas for our first family vacation. Our daughter’s ages are 27, 25, 12, and 8. We are looking forward to spending time with our girls and enjoying our time together at The Reef!
We were very happy to know very little damage occurred at The Reef. After the last one, we know how prepared and efficient the resort is. We appreciate you letting us know how the Caymans faired. Our thoughts and prayers are with you always.
Thanks so much for the email regarding the Royal Reef post Hurricane Dean. I have stayed many times at your resort and have had positive experiences each time
I am so glad to hear that you all and the resort are ok. I had been thinking about you guys. I must say, my first thought was about the resort since we're hoping to come back there in December, but also, I suddenly realized I was worried about the people. So, I am so glad to hear all is basically well with both. That feeling that I got is a real testament to everyone that works there (and also the other people on the island). My girlfriend and I pass on our well wishes. Hopefully we'll see you in December and I hope the hurricane season passes without too much incident for you all there. Take good care and I hope the re-opening is smooth.
It’s so reassuring that damage in your area seems to be minimal. Thanks for the update, we have been following the weather situation from ‘SAFE GREAT BRITAIN’ . We had a great vacation with you last year and a great week also in Cayman Brac. I hope they too escaped with little damage. We WILL be back, so until then keep sending the emails – best of luck for the future.Thank you for your letter. We are extremely pleased to hear that there was minimal damage as we thoroughly enjoy staying at The Reef throught the year.
As locals it is so refreshing to feel we have had a vacation away from the island without even leaving the island and everyone is always so kind and helpful.
Hi Tom......we just wanted to say how nice it was that you sent this e-mail to ALL of your Reef family. We were not scheduled to come down to the Island, but I just wanted to say it was nice to hear that you were on top of the clean-up. It's people like you that make us want to come back....
Way to go TomWe are proud to be owners at your resort
Friday, August 24
We want everyone to know Hurricane Dean was “no problem”, so we are making a very limited time offer for stays through the end of Hurricane Season (November 30th) of not only 25% off their regular rates, but also a free room upgrade. They’ll even throw in one of their new “Hurricane Eraser” cocktails as a free welcome drink !
To grab this particular deal, move fast. Contact The Reef no later than September 6th at 1-888-232-0541 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your stay, quoting code “DEAN”.
What if you change your mind, or (heaven forbid!) another Hurricane threatens. Don’t worry, The Reef already has a “No Problem” Hurricane Guarantee, you can cancel at any time, for any reason, no questions asked, with only a one night penalty.
Wednesday, August 22
This video was taken by "Sir" Clive Lamont, security guard / superstar.... no need for narrative, the video tells the story.
Remarkable to think we are back to almost perfect conditions within about 48 hours of this video being shot !
Will start with a few from during the storm (we had a very able crew on property, as well as a number of staff taking shelter), then a couple showing where our beach clean up is today.
We are officially closed until Saturday, but a few guests due to check in from today onwards are still coming in...pools cleaned but being refilled as we speak, and beach bar not quite ready to re-open, but hey, they'll still have beachfront suites and a gorgeous view !
This first photo shows how huge the waves are outside The Reef.. we estimate around 20-25 feet waves.... but as you see, our namesake reef largely dissipate them... though not entirely...
As you can see from this next shot, our dock took a pounding, but it is designed to lose planks in order to save the structure, so it'll be fixed in no time.
I should note that the winds really didn't get too high, our staff would not have been out in really high winds, it would have been unsafe.
Mind you, in Ivan our crazy security guard, "Sir" Clive Lamont, did take a video of the storm, and many of our owners and guests have a copy of that in their DVD library !
Clive tells us that he has a video of the Dean "action" to share, and hopefully we can video-blog that for you all soon too.
This last storm shot again shows how huge the waves were, note that the reef is about 1/3rd of a mile offshore, so those waves are HUGE !
By the way, the pools took a lot of sand and debris, but as of this morning, Shawn, Mikey and the crew had them completely emptied and today we are already filling them up ready to go again.
This shot was taken this morning... day two of clean up. We saved our shade palapas by "topping them", cutting them off midway up the posts. So much sand was shifted that we had to remount their foundations and then cover over with sand, then use new posts to join the tops back on... but as you can see, they are good as new already.
Valentino Salvi and his team will have the Beach Bar open on Friday, and Andrew Bacon will be reading this blog and ready to rock and roll with his beach bar party on Monday night !
Special mention now to Lyall Watt, who took charge of the shelter operations of The Reef on Sunday night, then took charge of the logistics of the clean up effort.
Many know Lyall from his years with the Thompson Group, both in Timeshare sales at The Reef, and in his role as Century 21 realtor responsible for the Castaways' Cove condos, a core part of The Reef.
What you might not know is that Lyall was, in a former life, a heavy equipment specialist and he put his knowledge and skills to the fore in the last day or two.
Anyway, this last shot from this morning shows the finishing touches being put to the beach already. Difficult to believe that yesterday and today we had backhoes and bobcats shifting many tons of sand around, not to mention replacing and straightening palm trees etc.
Hey paradise doesn't happen without work !
That should cover it for the Dean updates...hope to see you all here soon !
Long time no blog, but at least last weekend I had an excuse.
Will blog later with current photos of our beach, but suffice to say we had upwards of 50 people and tons of heavy equipment on the beach yesterday redistributing the huge amounts of sand that got shifted around and otherwise cleaning up.
Suffice to say that having a 1600 foot long and very deep beach is a blessing at almost all times other than when we have to clean it up after we get heavy wave action.... Hurricane Dean didn't have any wind impact on Cayman, but coastal areas did get some crazy waves and surf !
We could have fully opened for business almost right away, as our rooms were untouched, but we have decided to give it a few days in order to take the opportunity to bring things back to 100% first.... and also take the chance to do some jobs such as acid washing the pools we just drained... so when they are refilled they will sparkle more brightly than ever.
Anyway, will be rocking and rolling by Saturday, and our beach bar and restaurant will be open from Friday lunchtime.
Almost all docks on the island took a hammering, but our dock withstood Ivan, so Dean was just a scratch. Having said that, it is designed such that the dock planking pops off and floats to shore so as to not stress the structure. We lost over half the planking in Dean and it is on the beach down the coast somewhere, so the dock will be closed for a few days yet.
I feel bad for our neighbours at Morritts, as they just finished their new dock, and judging by the big chunks of it all over our beach, it must have taken a pounding. Anyway, I'm told they are re-opening on Friday too, so they must be basically fine as well.
Monday evening the inimitable Andrew Bacon comes back from his summer vacation, and I have the feeling it will be a killer party at the beach bar !
More later :)