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h2oskifreak 02-07-2013 03:37 PM

My wife and I are planning to book a 10 day trip for July in the next 48 hours or so. Airfare is set and now we need to nail down the property. We have one in mind called The Phoenix, rooms look big and nice and reviews couldn't be beter on service. Not a lot of photos of their beach? Close to town location has upside for dining options. The other we have looked at is the Beleizean Cove Estates. Any input for me on Amberguise in July or another highly recommended place? We like snorkle, not scubba. We like beachfront properties on the higher end and well maintained places and understand you get what you pay for. I want to book w/ peace of mind, so suggestions welcomed.

BrianM 02-07-2013 04:02 PM

Been twice. Absolutely love Belize.

Pretty much all of Ambergris doesnt have much of a beach. Lots of sea grass. Find a property with a nice pool overlooking the beach. If you want to swim in the ocean you will end up walking out and getting in the water from a pier.

Part of the charm to me are the small hotels not the newer and bigger resort type places. San Pedro is not a resort town. Its funky and a slow.

Last time I was there they hadnt finished building Phoenix.

Victoria House is another great option if you like the higher end. Small intimate property. Its a little to the south but still close enough to town. Don't stay north of the cut if you want to spend time in town.

We stayed at the Blue Tang Inn the first time. Small property with a nice little pool right in town. Its more upper mid level as far as rooms go. The oceanfront rooms are all big with nice kitchenettes.

You'll love it if (Belize) you like laid back.

Don't miss Georges Kitchen. Best stewed chicken rice and beans on the island (the Belize national dish).

gts-20 02-07-2013 04:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My fiance went to Amberguise Caye/Beleize for her 40th b-day. They stayed @ Ramon's village. She loved it. Older property, but service was excelent!

rtw_travel 02-07-2013 04:52 PM

We were just in Belize at Christmas/ New Years. Actually we were in Caye Caulker, not San Pedro. If you are looking for upscale, then I understand Ambergris is a better choice, but we really liked Caye Caulker. I understand it's even more laid back than San Pedro.

As I said, we did not see ambergris, but you may be disappointed if you want beachfront. All the islands were formed by mangroves, so it is muddy and shallow. Waterfront yes... beachfront, not really although the shores are sandy. The snorkeling in Hol Chan, a short boat trip away, was pretty good - we saw a turtle, an eel, lots of colourful small fish, and an eagle ray in about 10-15' of water. If its calm, the snorkeling on the outside of the reef is spectacular... but you need the perfect conditions to get out there. We managed to get outside the reef when we were at Tobacco Caye and had the best snorkeling day I've ever had - the visibility was probably a few hundred feet.

For true beachfront you may want to head further south on the mainland to Hopkins - Jaguar Reef and Hamanasi are the higher end resorts if I recall correctly. We stayed at a small house near there. As nice as 10 days on the water seems, you may also want to consider heading inland for a few days to San Ignacio for caving and Mayan ruins. The caving is spectacular.

BrianM 02-07-2013 05:12 PM

The Lamanai Ruins are also worth a day trip to the mainland.

h2oskifreak 02-07-2013 06:09 PM

We looked at Hamansi but were told the town Hopkins next door is pretty awful. I had a friend who owned a home there for a few years and steered us away from the area. She said "Resort great, but isolated".

TxsRiverRat 02-07-2013 06:33 PM

Man - Ambergris was absolutely WONDERFUL last year, I have other places I wanna go with the GF or I'd go back again in 2013...

Here is my review I wrote up - I was as detailed as i could be (see review by mcohen1021):

I will say I got ALOT of bang for my buck, and I loved the condos @ Tradewinds!

If you scuba, please book with REEF ADVENTURES - Tell Ched Cabral and Captain Ron that Mark Cohen from Dallas TX sent you.

Food and drink @ Wet Willies is awesome and affordable - plus the drunken Karaoke nights are fun!

And I can not stress enough to you to not miss the smoked chicken guy that sets up his smoker on Sat/Sun in front of CAYEMART - it was $5 per plate and the BEST MEAL we had all week - seriously!

Another MUST - PALAPA BAR AND GRILL.... get a golf cart and drive the potholed road to close to Portofino - theres a HUGE pier there - go out to the end of the pier - VERY peaceful - so quiet you can hear the waves crash on the coral reef (not able to hear that in San Pedro!!)

BTW - Ramones, was extremely nice, but it was extremely over priced. There are alot of great restaurants on the island and going AI will cheat you of that...

I'll PM you a link to my video I made from the trip.

h2oskifreak 02-08-2013 10:53 AM

Brian and TX, great input. I think we are settling in on 6/7 days at the Phoenix and 3/4 days on the mainland. That being said; what part of the mainland is better, keeping in mind we will explore the caving and ruins?

rtw_travel 02-08-2013 11:17 AM


Originally Posted by h2oskifreak (Post 907471)
We looked at Hamansi but were told the town Hopkins next door is pretty awful. I had a friend who owned a home there for a few years and steered us away from the area. She said "Resort great, but isolated".

Yes, its isolated... and I can see why your friend would not have liked it, but I actually quite liked Hopkins. I guess its one of those 'ymmv' things, and maybe my standards are different. But it's OK to walk barefoot everywhere, and all the locals say hi when you walk by them. That's pretty good in my book and just set me in the right mood to really enjoy myself. We were there at New Years, and the whole town including tourists went to the same party. I travel a lot (hence my teamtalk name), and I have not seen this anywhere else. There are lots of restaurants ranging from $20US per person down to $3pp. My favourite was Fran's Kitchen, where literally you walk into a grass hut that has three tables and a kitchen - best burritos ever! However if you want western standards and western service, then you'll certainly be disappointed when you leave the resort. The one thing our kids still talk about is the phosphoresence we saw on a night time boat trip in a brackish slough near the mouth of the Settee river. It was spectacular - it would light up the fish as they swam away from the boat. The boat wake was two solid bars of green lights following the boat. We followed a manatee for a while - it was lit up like it was a 10' firefly. I've never seen anything like that before.

Having said all that, while I really liked Hopkins & Belize in general, its not a place I need to return to any time soon. There's so many other places to go!

swardco 02-08-2013 12:10 PM


Originally Posted by gts-20 (Post 907444)
My fiance went to Amberguise Caye/Beleize for her 40th b-day. They stayed @ Ramon's village. She loved it. Older property, but service was excelent!

Wow, Ramons is still there?! Stayed there on our honeymoon in 1989!!! I am guessing my comments on Belize from 23 years ago wouldn't be particularly relevant.

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