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Presented with formidable competition from the Ritz-Carlton, the only hotel comparable on Seven Mile Beach, the Westin has stepped up its game. From the rooms to the common spaces, the whole place has a fresh coat of paint and a bright new look. Well managed and versatile, it's a beautiful setting for a wedding, and with great kids' programs, it's also a good family option.

The lobby is inviting with wainscoting and columns, a high, open-beam ceiling, and large windows and French doors that open onto the pool and beach. The ample grounds are lush with plenty of space for the meandering pool and leafy palms.

In addition to new furniture in the lobby and the rooms with overhead fans, new cabinets and countertops spruce up the bathrooms and compliment stone flooring. 

The Spa is state of the art with 15 massage rooms, including some doubles, able to provide couples with an intimate space and a private pool. A full menu of  treatments is offered. 

When you arrive take some time to get your bearings. The governor’s house borders the north side of the property. Walking through the common areas and hallways is a treat in itself. Old black and white photographs transport you back in time with scenes of old Cayman. You may see a rickety wooden fishing boat in a swamp or a family in front of a traditional wooden house from a bygone era. Some of these same images are also displayed on the walls of the National Art Gallery.

Walk along the perimeter of the grounds on the beach side to find the Beach House, and the less formal Ferdinand’s restaurant. All the food here is well planned, beautifully presented, and wonderfully prepared. There is also a deli with health conscious snacks to take on the go.

A full-service dive operation will take you to Sting Ray City or other dive sites, and they pick you up right in front of the hotel. Get a free paddle surfing lesson and then rent a board on your own and glide over the shallow water looking for fish.

Winter season rates are from January to the end of March; for April and May, rates go down by CI$100. The summer season is June and July, and from there, August through November, prices descend yet another hundred dollars. From November to around the 20th of December, they go back to summer rates.