Grand Cayman offers a beautiful and relaxing vacation experience. Camille Catlett, Turtle Nest Inn & Condos frequent guest, talks about her experiences while vacationing on Grand Cayman. Listen or read more to find out about the beauty of the Cayman Islands from Camille’s perspective
John: Hi, I’m John Maher and we’re talking about the Cayman Islands and Turtle Nest Inn & Condos on the Island of Grand Cayman. I’m here with guest of Turtle Nest Inn, Camille Catlett. Welcome, Camille.
Camille: Hi, John. Thank you, it’s great to be with you today.
John: Great, thanks. Camille, what made you choose the Cayman Islands for a vacation originally?
Camille: It was a really simple introduction. I read a Facebook posting that a friend in Maryland made referring to some of the things that she and her husband had done while on vacation on Grand Cayman. It just sounded like the kind of vacation my husband and I would enjoy. That was step one. Step two was in exploring possible lodging for a trip to Grand Cayman, I stumbled on an article that I think was something along the lines of the most romantic, least known bargains in the Cayman Islands.
Turtle Nest Inn was listed as a place that people had consistently found to be just a delightful place to visit for a very reasonable price, considering the value received for a stay there. That was my introduction.
John: When you saw that original Facebook post from your friend, that was just about Grand Cayman, in general, it wasn’t about Turtle Nest Inn specifically?
Camille: Exactly. In fact, my friends stayed where many people do on their first visit to Grand Cayman, along the seven-mile beach where all the large hotels and possibly best-known places are, but because my husband and I really enjoy a place that we can be completely relaxed, I found us really drawn to the idea of a more laid back location, and that’s why Turtle Nest Inn was so appealing.
John: Right. You were thinking that you’re not looking for the type of vacation where you’re on the really busy beach with lots of people there and there’s lots of nightlife going on and noise and music and things like that. That’s for some people but maybe not for you so much?
Camille: Exactly. We also enjoy not having to eat out three meals a day and part of what I love about what I’ll call our “apartment” at Turtle Nest Inn, it is very much like walking into your own apartment because they thought of every possible convenience. There’s an ice chest in the closet. If you want to go on a picnic all you need to do is get some ice out of the refrigerator and you can take your picnic lunch to the beach. There’s a full kitchen with anything that you might want. If it’s not in the kitchen, the staff have always magically made anything we need appear. It’s just delightful.
John: That’s great. What do you like about Bodden Town and the area around where Turtle Nest Inn is located as opposed to other parts of the island?
Camille: I think what they like about it is that it feels very authentic. It feels like a place where, for lack of a better expression, typical people live, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, where on a daily basis there can be anywhere from one to five cruise ships that come in and make the beach and make the shops and make everything that’s in that area a lot more congested. For some people, that’s really what they enjoy.
We enjoy walking on the beach, being able to literally walk to different places where we might have lunch, or for a short drive. We can find delightful places where the local policeman is also having lunch and it just feels like a much more authentic kind of experience and much more laid back.
John: You just felt like you were immersed into the culture of island living.
Camille: Yes. I think something else that we really enjoy is the feeling that we can set our own time clock. If there’s a day when we want to sleep in and — I will never forget the first memory of walking into Turtle Nest Inn because I’ve recounted this memory to many people. Several friends have subsequently stayed at Turtle Nest Inn and loved it as well, but you literally walk in and take five steps and you are at the registration desk where delightful people greet you; five more steps and you are at their beautiful swimming pool; five steps beyond that, it is one of my favorite locations in the world. It is a palm tree with two bright blue Adirondack chairs to relax in. Steps beyond those chairs is the ocean. It’s just — it’s all there.
John: Right, so very compact and located on that one spot as opposed to a larger resort or a hotel where you’d probably feel like, “okay, I have to take the elevator down a few floors, and then I have to walk out through the lobby, and then it takes a few minutes to walk past the pool area, then I’m finally on the beach.” It’s just right there.
Camille: Well, and for us I think in terms of our own time clock, it means if we sleep late one morning we make breakfast late; if we get up early and want to go to the botanical garden for a walk, our breakfast is there; as opposed to being held to whatever the schedule of the restaurant is of the place that we might eat, or what the schedule for the pool is. It’s just there for us to use as if this were truly our own apartment.
John: Right. Did you explore other parts of Grand Cayman or the other Cayman Islands while you were there and where did you go?
Camille: We’ve not been to the other Cayman Islands but have explored Grand Cayman many times over. On our first visit, I think we were the most ambitious tourists because we really wanted to take advantage of everything and went to Sting Ray City and probably were less relaxed and more exhausted because we felt the need to see everything. On subsequent visits, and there have been I would guess eight of them, we have really had a very different pace, where we typically may take a drive and target that as part of that drive we would take a walk, we would stop for lunch; it’s a much more relaxed pace that also seems quite in sync with Grand Cayman.
John: When you go often like that, you don’t feel like when you’re there that you have to see every single thing on the island; you can pick and choose. What are some of your favorite things to do?
Camille: Well, that’s actually a great question. I would say that there are things that we do every time, and there are also things that are unique to each time. We typically eat out at least once a day and have absolute favorite places like the Brasserie or Catch or Calypso Grille – places that are right on the water where you feel like, moments ago, the fresh seafood that you’re eating was wiggling in the water.
But, part of what’s also delightful is that there are always new places to try. On this visit, for example, we tried a new Southern Indian restaurant called Pani that…it was fabulous, and purely coincidentally the chef was from a part of India that I have visited and the waiter was from the same part of India, and we just had a delightful conversation. It’s a place that’s both local and international simultaneously, it’s wonderful.
John: Do you take part in activities like snorkeling or water sports when you’re there?
Camille: We have from time to time, it depends on how energetic we’re feeling. Again, the beauty of Turtle Nest Inn is that if you want snorkel gear they provide snorkel gear. If you want a bike to ride, there is a bike to ride. It’s always been so completely accommodating that whatever we thought of that we wanted to do, there was always a support for figuring out either what they had to make that happen or who they knew who could make that happen.
I think there have been times when a massage therapist came in and provided massage in our apartment because that was just something that felt right at that time.
John: Do you have any final thoughts for people that may be considering going to Grand Cayman or in particular staying at Turtle Nest Inn, that you’d want people to know?
Camille: I do. I think it’s important to know about Turtle Nest Inn that it’s a place where you can be completely relaxed and comfortable and go at your own pace, but if what you find necessary for your comfort on a vacation is lots of luxuries, like a salon and a fully stocked bar and many different restaurants, it’s not a typical hotel; instead, it feels very much like someone has pulled together lovely apartments in a small inn, under the best possible leadership. So, it’s about comfort but in a very relaxed form not in a high maintenance form.
John: All right, that’s really good information and advice. Thanks again for speaking with me today Camille.
Camille: My pleasure.
John: For more information about the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, and Turtle Nest Inn & Condos, visit www.turtlenestinn.com or call 345-947-8665.