Guest Helen Fullarton talks about the difference between Turtle Nest Inn and previous vacations that she and her husband went on, with its more private, cottage-style living, as opposed to the big resorts. She also discusses Grand Cayman beaches, restaurants, and activities.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. We’re talking about the Cayman Islands and Turtle Nest Inn & Condos on the Island of Grand Cayman. I’m here with a guest of Turtle Nest Inn, Helen Fullarton. Welcome, Helen.
Helen Fullarton: Hi, thank you for having me.
John: Sure. Helen, tell me a little bit about what made you choose the Cayman Islands for a vacation.
Helen: Sure. In 2009, the way that that happened is, we had been to many countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Mexico. It was all resort style vacations, and we felt that it was a little constrictive and we felt a little trapped. I decided, when we got home, to do some searches and look for other options. At that time, on TripAdvisor, the inn had been voted the best — I think the best Caribbean destination at the most reasonable price.
I looked into that. I looked into Grand Cayman, and then we decided to give it a try. I managed to convince my husband to go. [laughs]
John: What are some of the things that drew you to Turtle Nest Inn & Condos as the place to stay, rather than a Grand Cayman hotel or a resort, like you said, that you were used to going to?
Helen: Basically I think the difference is that it’s more private and it’s more like cottage living, as opposed to resort living. We have a little apartment. Turtle Nest Inn is very small. We have the pool mostly to ourselves, the beach mostly to ourselves. The other awesome thing is that Turtle Nest provides you with a car when you visit them, and that promoted us traveling every day, exploring new places. We’re listening to American music while we’re driving, looking at the Caribbean sea, and finding new destinations daily to just go and check out.
John: Tell me a little bit more about that. What are some of the places on the island that you’ve explored and the places that you like to go?
Helen: We have been there every single year since 2010, by the way, because we loved it so much. We gave this a try, we decided why bother trying something else when we love this place? Every year, we try different things, but it mostly involves driving. We’ve been to most of the public beaches, which is really amazing because there is nobody at the public beaches, and you really feel — well, you do you have the beach to yourself. That’s the big thing for us, we like beaches. We’ll travel through Grand Cayman to find a new beach.
We like driving along all of the coasts of Grand Cayman and seeing the differences between one place and the other.
John: Do you find that there’s a striking difference between the east side and the west side and things like that?
Helen: Yes. Bodden Town is more local, that’s where I describe that. You feel like you’re right in the mix of it. There are other areas like Rum Point, for example, that feels a lot more touristy, as well as Seven-mile beach. Seven-mile beach has the nice, bright water and the white sand. But the thing about there is that it’s not very breezy, so you feel the heat all the time. Other areas like Bodden Town, where we’re at, there’s always a breeze. It might be hot, but you really don’t feel that hot. We drive around, we see different beaches, we go to different restaurants, we see different sites. There’s always something to see.
John: Do you take part in any activities like snorkeling or other water sports or things like that?
Helen: Not really. I know that snorkeling is a popular thing at Turtle Nest Inn. I watch other people snorkel [laughs]. But they have stand up paddle-boards, so we do that, as well as just pool-side reading and just walking the beach.
John: Just relaxing, yes.
Helen: Just relaxing, which is awesome.
John: What are some of your favorite restaurants that you go to?
Helen: Well, there is this really nice vegan restaurant. We’re not vegan but we like going to this restaurant. It’s called Vivo. Places like the Cracked Conch. Over the Edge is an excellent fish and chip place. Tukka has a wonderful Sunday brunch. There is this — I can’t remember the name of it, I think it’s Sunset House or something like that, close to Seven-mile beach, but it’s a perfect place to go see the sunset while enjoying bar-style food.
John: What type of room or accommodations do you usually get when you’re at Turtle Nest Inn?
Helen: We have a one bedroom apartment. The kitchen comes fully equipped. It has a nice living room area with a flat screen TV. We have a beautiful deck. The other great thing about the Turtle Nest Inn, is they have a large barbecue, so people usually congregate around the barbecue at supper time to cook their meals.
John: Do you find yourself taking advantage of the fact that you have a little kitchen in your room there and maybe you don’t eat out every single meal; maybe you’re cooking some breakfast or lunch or things like that?
Helen: Yes. One of the things that we wanted to try Grand Cayman for, is the fact that we could make our own meals and not eat as much as we would at resorts and then have to work the weight back off when you come back. The way we figured it out is, we usually drive around during the day, or probably we could stay home at the pool, but at lunch a lot of times we’ll go to a different lunch spot, but we’ll have supper every day at home. The way we usually do it is, we’ll be home at four o’clock, we’ll have appetizers at four o’clock, cook our meal, and stay around the apartment for the night.
John: Lastly, can you just tell me a little bit more about Bodden Town where Turtle Nest Inn & Condos is located, and sort of the feeling that you get from that kind of small village?
Helen: Right. What I really like about Bodden Town and Turtle Nest Inn, is that it’s very local. I feel like I belong there; I feel like I mix in with the locals. I get to see the same people every year, like the same employee at the gas station that’s next door, and there’s a fish fry place. I see the same people, the locals; and actually being tourists every year, we’re almost like friends after so many years. I look forward to seeing them and hearing what’s happened since the last time we saw each other. It really feels like you’re local and you’re not missing anything.
John: What time of year do you go, and what’s the weather like when you’re there?
Helen: We always go in February, and it’s always around Valentine’s day, a gift to ourselves. It’s always, always 28 degrees [82 degrees F]. That’s always. Every single day, 28 degrees Celsius, sunny. The weather has always been nice. The thing about Grand Cayman is, if it’s too windy at one place, you can go somewhere else. If it’s too hot at one place, you go to somewhere else where it’s nice and breezy. There’s always a place that you can be, and be very comfortable.
John: All right, that’s really great information. It was really a pleasure to speak to you Helen, thank you.
Helen: Thank you, and it’s nice talking to you, John.
John: For more information about the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman, and Turtle Nest Inn & Condos, visit www.turtlenestinn.com, or call 345-947-8665.