Lodging on Ambergris Caye

Old May 3rd, 2012, 04:27 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lodging on Ambergris Caye

My girlfriend and I are considering Belize for a two week vacation. We are thinking that we would spend one week on Ambergris and one week inland (Black Rock Lodge?).
On Ambergris, we want a nice hotel/resort (nothing over the top really) with a nice view from the room but close to town so we can partake in the nightlife/festivities (considering the week of Lobsterfest; how if that festival?). We'd like to keep it under $125-$150/nt.
So..... I think our choices would be Banana Beach (a little bit out of town but close via $5 cab), Caribbean Villas Hotel, or Sun Breeze Suites. Of the three, which would you reccommend? Has anyone stayed in the Eagle's Nest loft at Caribbean Villas? I was thinking of "splurging for it" if the rooftop deck is worth it.

If there are other options on Ambergris that would fit our criteria, I'm all ears!!

We'll be diving during the day and then relaxing/drinking at night.
Thanks!!
aztoad is offline  
Old May 4th, 2012, 01:39 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paradise Villas condos are under budget, and they have nice views, pool, dock, and are right on the beach. The back gate leads directly to town. Lots of different managers (and prices), and also VRBO availability:
http://www.ambergriscondo.com/Paradi...s%20Condos.htm
We have negotiated rates as low as $100/nt for 1 bdrm in the past.
sylvia3 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2012, 02:08 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm hoping Jean chimes in for you; she leaves on Ambergris for part of the year. We stayed at Victoria House, but it's pretty pricey. We loved Ambergris.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old May 4th, 2012, 03:56 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the reply sylvia. Is Paradise Villas walking distance to town? In my further research I also came across Belize Yacht Club, Coral Bay Villas and Belizean Reef. So now I have some options!! Any opinions on any/all of these would be greatly appreciated!! How does one narrow down the choices?!?!?
Banana Beach
Caribbean Villas Hotel
Sun Breeze Suites
Paradise Villas
Belize yacht Club
Coral Bay Villas
Belizean Reef

Thanks!!
aztoad is offline  
Old May 5th, 2012, 05:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,911
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, Paradise is about the heart of town; the front is beach, the back gate of the complex opens to a street with a grocery and hardware store.
Having stayed at only one place on Ambergris, I can't personally recommend others; but this is a great map for placing lodging (I suggest places that are oceanside (Paradise is on the lower map, the "town center" blowup; the dock just above is the place where the mainland shuttle docks).
http://ambergriscaye.com/pages/town/...owndetail.html
sylvia3 is offline  
Old May 6th, 2012, 04:15 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Paradise Villas is right on the north edge of town. I hear conflicting reports. Some of the units have no balconies or patios. That would be a deal breaker for me. Some are in need of updating. There are several companies who have rentals there, if you can find one that's been recently renovated, it's a nice place. I'm pretty sure all the beach front units have balconies or patios.

I own a unit at Coral Bay Villas. So, I'm biased. They're nice units. All furnished the same. The pool is only a couple years old and simply stunning. Also a hot tub. Free use of a kayak and bicycles. About a mile south of town. We walk everywhere.

Caribbean Villas is right next door. The grounds are large and 'jungly'. I've been in one of the loft suites, it was pretty nice. I've also stayed in one of the one bedrooms, the room was fine, not as nice as Coral Bay I didn't think. Cute little beach bar. Pool is small, but, attractive.

Belize Yacht Club makes me nuts. I have friends who stayed there this past winter. Some units are much nicer than others. I wouldn't stay there, simply because of the management. They recently implemented a policy where non guests have to register at the front desk to set foot on the property. Not necessarily a bad thing for security purposes, but, a pain when I'm walking by on the beach and can't walk over to the pool to say something to my friend who is sitting there.

Belizean Reef is right in town as well. We used to stay there. Nice condos. Very large and bright. Downside is no pool. Oddly configured in that you enter right into the bedroom. Not a big deal for a vacation though.

Banana Beach has a nice restaurant. Also has a bar, but, it's inside, small and kind of dark. I think they set up a bar outside by the pool during the day. It is further from town, feels sort of congested to me. Lots of loungers on a small stretch of beach (actually, there's a sea wall).

Sun Breeze Suites I really don't know much about. In town. Nice location. Bar/restaurant on site. It looks nice from the beach. I've heard the units are small, but certainly adequate. The pool is in quite a bit of shade.

Happy planning!
JeanH is offline  
Old May 6th, 2012, 08:17 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the information Jean. Looks like we've narrowed down our choices to Coral Bay Villas and Caye Casa. Our number one thing is a patio/balcony overlooking the ocean, steps away from a beach chair/hammock. Any preference of the two? Pros/cons of staying just North of town at Caye Casa, vs. south of town at Coral Bay? Thanks a ton!!!
aztoad is offline  
Old May 7th, 2012, 04:39 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've always thought Caye Casa was a really cute place. Pool is very tiny. There's a 'road' between the place and the ocean. It doesn't get as much traffic as it used to, since the main road was paved. Still a fair number of golf carts and an occasional cab. I honestly don't recall what the actual beach looks like.

Of course, I'm biased towards Coral Bay. If you stay in a first floor unit, you're maybe 20 steps from the pool and a lounger. When the pool was built regular visitors were concerned that the ocean views from their patios would be blocked by the pool. It didn't happen. Views are still excellent. Hammocks are on the other side of the pool, closer to the water. Coral Bay does sit back from the water's edge a bit, makes the people walking/riding their bikes on the beach less noticeable.

It seems like Coral Bay is a bit further from downtown San Pedro than Caye Casa, but, it really isn't much different.
JeanH is offline  
Old May 7th, 2012, 09:45 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Once again, thank you Jean! We'll have to digest all of our options. looks like we can get ground floor oceanfront/view condos at Caye Casa, Coral Bay Villas and Caribbean Villas. It seems like we can't do wrong with any of these choices!!
I can't wait to get down there! it'll be the week of Lobsterfest too!!!!
aztoad is offline  
Old May 7th, 2012, 02:53 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jean was very helpful to us when we visited Belize a few years ago (hi, Jean and hubby!), We visited them at their condo and the location and setting is lovely.
virginiafish is offline  
Old May 10th, 2012, 12:25 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stayed at Caye Casa years ago and it's cute with nicely designed studios (they were cheaper back then) - but I can't imagine using that tiny plunge pool. The plus with Caye Casa was sailboat access (with a captain) for very reasonable prices at that time. $40-ish/pp for 5 hrs of sailing and snorkeling, going to the marine reserve, shark alley, etc. Lobsterfest was enjoyable but don't imagine some huge event -- it's a small island fun diversion.
fishee is offline  
Old May 10th, 2012, 12:52 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It truly is a tough choice! It's down to Coral Bay and Caye Casa. We love the exterior look of Caye Casa, and the interior seems a bit more bright/tropical with the colors than CB. Coral Bay's patios seem to be a bit more private than Caye Casa's and although we don't think we'd use the pool, it's nice to know that it's there for a late night dip (are there hours associated with it?). We also like the fact that Coral Bay has bikes and a kayak available "free" (it's more expensive though; ~$70 for the 6nts)! And Caribbean Villas Palapa bar next door looks fun (is it open late?). I'd say we're leaning towards Coral Bay, but just can't get over how "Belizean" Caye Casa looks like! Hmmm.....
aztoad is offline  
Old May 10th, 2012, 12:58 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fishee, thanks for the info on Caye Casa and Lobsterfest. We realize that lobsterfest won't be a huge event, but it sounds like it could be fun!! In fact, the way our trip planning is going, it looks like we'll be celebrating lobsterfest on Ambergris and Caye Caulker!! =D
The last two nights of our trip on Caye Caulker will be primarily lounging/relaxing, so we're looking forward to the distraction of Lobsterfest there, but will probably spend more time in a hammock with Belikin in hand rather than partying hard in Caye Caulker! We can't wait!
aztoad is offline  
Old May 10th, 2012, 05:16 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you can reserve an end unit at Coral Bay, there is lots of light.

I've never been in the units at Caye Casa. I think they're a bit newer, they might
be nicer.

There are hours for the pool at Coral Bay, I don't recall what they are. I'm also not sure if anyone really cares as long as you're quiet.

I don't know how late the bar at Caribbean Villas stay open. I'm guessing it depends on how busy they are. There's a couple other bars within a few blocks as well.

I know I'm biased, but, will say that the beach is much, much nicer at Coral Bay.
JeanH is offline  
Old May 10th, 2012, 09:26 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You definitely don't have a lot of privacy at Caye Casa when you are out on your patio. The units themselves aren't attached but the outdoor patios are visually proximate. We ended up hanging out with our neighbors so didn't mind but not a good setup for alone time outside I did a trip report for Ambergris a long time back -- maybe 2 yrs ago? There may be more details that you might find helpful.

I think Coral Bay sounds more of what you're looking for with a resort-like layout and amenities. Free kayak access and bikes are a huge plus as renting either is quite expensive. I love Caye Caulker as well -- where are you staying? The private cabanas at Sea Dreams look great for a couple and they also offer free bikes and kayak access there - both of which I enjoyed when I stayed in one of their courtyard rooms.

Good luck!
fishee is offline  
Old May 11th, 2012, 09:01 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Funny thing is, we're not necessarily looking for "resort-like". We want a place with a great view but also allows us to enjoy it with a bit of privacy. We love hanging out with and getting to know other people, but we also want the opportunity to enjoy paradise alone from time to time. The pool and bikes are nice (we may never use them) and we definitely will try and get out on the kayak, so to have it available for us to use is a bonus but not a deal killer.
I think we're going to book Barefoot Beach in Caye Caulker. It looks quirky (which we don't mind), but the biggest selling point is the dock with the hammocks at the end of it! The cabanas at Sea Dreams do look nice, but a little pricey. We can get two nights at Barefoot Beach for the price of one at Sea Dreams! We are also looking at Caye Caulker Condos...
aztoad is offline  
Old May 11th, 2012, 11:48 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't stay at resorts. I don't consider Coral Bay resort like at all. I guess it's 'resort like' in that it has quite a few amenities. I think it's too small to feel like one.

Get Abraham, the maintenance guy to get you a coconut. He'll cut a hole in it, add some rum (or not) and have a drink of coconut water. Some people love it, me, not so much....
JeanH is offline  
Old May 16th, 2012, 12:59 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,224
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mmm, i love fresh coconut water (as long as it's not overly ripe....)

Mara's on CC has a private dock with several great hammocks at the end and it's also very close to the split if you want to lay on the beach or get a gropuer burrito (another mmm). $40-ish/night, I really loved it but it's quite basic. Friends just told me their room at Mara's had a fridge, will have to request that next time. (they just loaned me a cooler....)

Caye Cauker Condos were nice -- but I recall at least $100/night in low season when I checked them out. Jan's House is also a cute little place on CC in a similar price range. The food on Caye Caulker is really quite good -- definitely check out the Italian place off the main road around the corner from Get Hooked Up fishing shop. It's amazing and perfectly al dente homemade pasta. Don't miss the fresh watermelon and fresh squeezed OJ stands, either - $5 for a 1 liter bottle. I really miss CC alot!
fishee is offline  
Old May 16th, 2012, 04:28 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 35
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots to choose from fishee. Thanks for the options. Barefoot is $95 for their oceanfront room, so $100/nt is still in our price range. Of course less inexpensive is always better (more $$ for Belikins! =D).
I will definitely write down all you recommendations and check them out; thanks!!
aztoad is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PMJ
Mexico & Central America
6
Jan 5th, 2012 07:06 PM
cmp6e
Mexico & Central America
15
Aug 11th, 2009 09:20 PM
sjwgator
Mexico & Central America
4
Jan 14th, 2005 11:56 AM
lost
Mexico & Central America
21
Aug 18th, 2003 09:59 AM
kballou
Mexico & Central America
4
Apr 14th, 2003 08:46 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:56 AM.