The Comical Realities of Living at a Hotel in the Caribbean

I remember watching the Suite Life of Zack and Cody on Disney Channel as a kid and dreaming about how cool it would be to live in a hotel… Fast forward 15 years and it appears I am some kind of manifestation guru because I’m literally living that childhood dream. And at a hotel in the Caribbean of all places!

How Bryan and I became a full time hotel residents, you ask? Well, it’s the same familiar story as any Cayman apartment shopper. We were aimlessly scrolling the Ecay Trade classifieds one day, as one does, and stumbled upon an advert for a Holiday Inn 1 bedroom unit. We thought, huh…sounds strange but, what the hey, let’s check it out! (A fool-proof approach to life). A couple days later we walked into an all-inclusive timeshare-esque unit complete with a weekly housekeeping service, pool access, and not to mention, an OCEAN VIEW, and said YEP, 12 month lease it is! It almost felt too good to be true.

I’m happy to report in my first official month at the new place, there have been no “fine print” situations. So far hotel living has proved to be wonderfully convenient and unique to the point of being laughable. Read below to see what I mean as I detail the comical realities of living at a hotel in the Caribbean.

The key to my “apartment

Gone are the days of mini “where are my keys” heart attacks! Losing this card will only cost me a trip to the lobby.

hotel in the Caribbean

Housekeeping has spoiled me for life

At our last apartment I was becoming irrationally stressed by our perpetually damp, mismatched towel collection and the unrelenting dust bunnies mocking me in every corner. I was seriously doubting my abilities in basic house maintenance. Here at the Holiday Inn, my worries are whisked away once a week by the lovely housekeeping staff who even change the bedding and towels. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven. Perfectly white linens? Fluffy towels? Not a speck of dust in sight? They’ve ruined me.

…But reception may think I am delusional

Embarrassing story alert. One day I came home and my dirty dishes had disappeared from the sink, the coffee pot included. I thought, this is absurd. Who has taken my dirty dishes and for what reason? And how will I make COFFEE!? In a state of utter confusion, I contacted reception about my “missing items,” only to discover that they were, of course, in the dishwasher. Housekeeping had run a load while I was at work… The poor receptionist must have thought, yeah, this woman is not the brightest bulb in the box. IN MY DEFENSE, Bryan and I NEVER use the dishwasher. I had forgotten it existed. And the coffee pot disappearance sent me into automatic helpless despair. Don’t worry, I sent an apology email and most importantly, had my morning coffee the next day.

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I am now a hoarder of travel sized shower products

You get a mini shampoo, you get a mini shampoo, you ALL get mini shampoos! Everyone knows what they will find in their stockings this Christmas. A generous handful of mini coconut lime verbena products. Housekeeping just keeps bringing them and I keep squirreling them away. At first I had very honest intentions to kindly ask them to stop replenishing the supply, but now I seem to be growing an emotional attachment to their miniature cuteness.

Did someone say room service???

I call. I order. They say my quinoa salad and breaded cauliflower will be right up. And that right there is the kind of dependability I need in life. (They also deliver alcoholic beverages but that’s neither here nor there…)

hotel in caribbean

Poolside cocktails are DANGEROUSLY accessible

Imagine living next to a bar. More specifically, a poolside bar with an ocean view flanked by swaying palm trees. Are you imaging it? Okay, so tell ME you wouldn’t be there every week ordering a margarita from the luxurious comfort of a pool chair? It’s a slippery slope, one that I’ve been shamelessly walking since move-in. I certainly didn’t come to the Caribbean to drink a sad cup of tap water with my feet up on the coffee table. NO, life is too short! If you need me you know where to find me.

Pictured below: Classic Margarita from Driftwood Bar and Grill

hotel in caribbean

I’d like to file a noise complaint against a rooster?

Through no fault of the Holiday Inn, my rowdiest neighbors happen to be a family of extremely vocal chickens. The roosters like to kick off their crowing around 5:00 am or earlier but then just carry on throughout the better part of the day, loudly voicing their complaints and concerns. Try meditating on the balcony with a constant stream of cocka-doodle-doos in your ear. Worst of all, they drown out the sounds of the ocean waves. Then again, they did live here long before I came…

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Entirely impractical vacationer storage

The average hotel closet is simply not designed for a European man’s wardrobe. Certainly not ours anyway. (I’m not the issue, I have a minimalistic island wardrobe.) In the honeymoon stage of touring our apartment, we dismissed the limited storage space as a minor blip but when it came time for move-in, we were left scratching our heads. See below our sad excuse for a closet (note the completely unnecessary safe placement) along with our current creative storage solution thanks to AL Thompson. We are also utilizing bins that fit under the bed and storing random items inside bathroom and kitchen cupboards. (Maybe I should put stuff inside the dishwasher, hehe).

The pet-themed emails blasts I receive from the restaurant manager

Besides the neighborhood chickens, the Holiday Inn is also home to a grumpy cat named Ginger who we often get updates about via email. (See below). Another especially interesting email blast sent last week was basically a dating profile for a neighborhood dog named Duchess including a photo and description of her hobbies (and that she is a non-smoker). What’s funnier is that these pet updates are often featured alongside weekend drink specials. Honestly, I think that’s the kind of content we could all use a little more of in our inboxes.

These competing views

From my balcony I can either choose to stare at the beautiful ocean horizon OR a random heap of lord knows what (where the roosters and cats like to hang out). If I’m feeling luxurious I gaze at the ocean… If I’m feeling like I need to knock myself down a few notches I opt for a view of the rubble piles. See below.

I have a land line!

Exciting, right!?

More to come!

The lease is young! Who knows what other funny situations we will find ourselves in this year at the Holiday Inn. Hopefully my blonde moments are limited to the dishwasher incident, but you just never know, do you? The sun keeps making me blonder, it’s hopeless. Despite my unruly feathered neighbors, I am fully embracing the hotel lifestyle and look forward to having visitors one day soon! The sleeper sofa is waiting to be pulled out and the mini shampoos are eager to be opened.

Thanks for reading! Stay tropical!

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MEET KATE

 Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a Wisconsin native who traded her snow boots for flip-flops in May of 2020 when I packed my whole life into two suitcases and moved to the Cayman Islands with my partner, Bryan.  I created Island Diaries as a way to document my island adventures and share about the Cayman lifestyle. A Midwest girl at heart, I bring a fresh perspective to Caribbean life, serving as a guide for locals and tourists alike on all things Cayman Islands. Whether you are local to Cayman, planning to visit, or just curious about island life, I invite you to explore Island Diaries and let this site guide you on your next island adventure!

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