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“Unbelizable!”

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Tranquility Bay Resort
Ranked #28 of 57 Hotels in Ambergris Caye
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 March 2012

In a word, unbelievable. A relaxing atmosphere, phenomenal views by day and clear starlit nights. The food was authentic, reminded me of my Mom's Jamaican cooking. All the staff was friendly, helpful and professional. We stayed in the Prime Minister's Cabana. It was kept spotless on a daily basis. The staff at the Aquarium knew my name in minutes and seemed as though I'd known them forever. Hill and Albert we're great in suggesting new dinner selections and libations. Carlos and Isabel were the most gracious of hosts going so far as to convince me to go shark diving...it was phenomenal...don't miss going to Hol Chan. Jamal was a great guide and boatsman. Orlando was very reassuring despite my phobia of deep water and made certain to outfit me so that I'd be comfortable...Thank you again. Unfortunately, as I write this, I am on my way back to work but am already planning our return trip. Thank you everyone at Tranquility Bay Resort for surpassing even my wildest dreams and expectations for this trip.

Room Tip: Any cabana is great.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Innerdiva13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thanks for the great review! Hope to see you back soon! :-)

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 2 March 2012

We took our first "big" family vacation and went way out on a limb in our choice of tranquility bay. Not only was it in a country which is a little off the beaten path, but the resort is off the path which is off the path.

When we first arrived there was a moment of hesitation with the cabana. It was in clear need of updating in a few areas and there was a strong smell of something like insecticide. Then again, I think I always see the worst in a place in the first minute.

While it is undeniable that there were some "upkeep" related issues, I honestly can't think of a better place to disconnect and enjoy a magical time with my family. After the first day I really didn't care about any of the negative stuff (except the insecticide smell) and I think that is part of the magic. After a few days at Tranquility Bay, your perspective completely changes. I think for the much better.

The staff is just great. Almost everyone immediately learns your name and uses it every time they see you. They are sincerely nice and make every attempt to enhance your experience.

The food is better than I would have expected although it is quite expensive relative to what you get. To elaborate a bit on that, the portions are actually appropriate and, given the expense of getting the food to the resort, I think the cost is reasonable. It just would have been helpful if there were a few simple items which could be at a little lower price. After the week our food bill was a bit of a shock. By the end we were mostly avoiding the dinner entrees in favor of appetizers and salads.

What you really should care about though is the tropical paradise you are immersed in. The beach is lovely and the water is crystal clear. You can snorkel to coral heads right off the beach and there are fish everywhere. There is a constant breeze and the waves can be heard breaking in the reef all day. It was actually almost unreal how relaxing and beautiful the whole place was and we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were awake.

A few hints...
1. Expect to go to bed early. We were asleep by 10 most nights and there really is no nightlife. We didn't expect or want any but you shouldn't either if this is where you are considering.
2. Excursions to the mainland are VERY expensive. This is due to being off the path which is off the path. That said, I couldn't imagine how disappointed I would be if we hadn't visited Mayan ruins and done the zipline and cave tubing.
3. Speaking of, if you are planning on doing the cave tubing, which you should, bring a few things. 1. Water shoes. They have then there for rent but they are really gross. 2. A waterproof camera. 3. A waterproof flashlight.
4. When you get to San Pedro, take a few minutes to stop off at a market for some essentials to keep in your cabana. Alcohol at the resort is very expensive and there are no "snacks." Picking up some will save you money.
5. Take an opportunity to walk up the beach to the north. There are a few scattered private homes and not much else. You really are in the middle of nowhere and the beauty is striking. My wife and I kept joking that we were in an episode of Lost. That said, expect to be very saddened by the amount of trash that washes up on the beaches from basically every country in the atlantic. Since there is no one to clean it up it looks really bad.
6. There is great fishing off the dock at the resort but you can't keep anything. If you are bringing kids who fish, this won't matter. I do suggest bringing some small circle hooks, the smallest you can get, since they almost never badly hurt the fish. The hooks they have available for use are good for only VERY large fish and your kids will be frustrated. We got some in town at the fishing shop next to the airport.
7. Take the snorkel trip to Hol Chan. I will always remember the beauty and abundance of natural life on display. I wonder if I will every see anything so unspoiled again.

If you are looking for an experience bordering on the rustic with a focus on relaxation, friendship and natural beauty, this is your place. If you are also considering Atlantis or a Cruise, Tranquility Bay may not be right for you.

Thanks to Carlos (who I know will be reading this) Isabela, Maya, Winfield, Hill, Jamaal and everyone else at the resort for making our experience great.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank btwaldman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thanks for the review. We are glad you took a chance on Tranquility Bay and enjoyed your trip. Just a note to those of you reading the review... we try to keep our restaurant prices equivalent or less to similar restaurants in town. The view from our restaurant is priceless! :-)

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 2 March 2012

We had the most AMAZING time at Tranquility Bay. I'm not sure I can put into words just how wonderful everything was. The staff, lead by Carlos and Isabelle, were wonderful!! The cabanas were very comfortable. I've never slept in such a comfortable bed. The housekeeping staff did a spectacular job of keeping them clean. The atmosphere in the Aquarium restaurant was very cool, and the food was terrific! Hill has a great way of making you feel like you're family. The drinks that came from the bar were amazing as well. We had 2 fishing trips, guided by Gaspar, and he put us on fish, LOTS of fish! Some of the greatest fishing I've ever had the opportunity of partaking in. The diving on the reef was outstanding as well. The staff were nothing but friendly and would go out of their way to make sure your stay was the best it could be. I have nothing bad to say about Tranquility Bay, other than we had to leave.

To Carlos, Isabelle, Hill, Gaspar, Jamal, and everyone else at Tranquility Bay, Thank you for the BEST VACATION I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED!!! We hated to leave and can't wait to return!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Matt G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thanks for the great review! We hope to see you back at the resort soon!

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 27 February 2012

...just the most picturesque, idyllic setting one could image. A few miles from busy San Pedro, but a world away! A private beach with palm trees and hammocks with your own snorkeling sanctuary....right off the beach! I read three books, snorkeled, drank with the "Edwins" (really Albert and Hill but call them Edwin) and lay in my hammock. I didn't do a thing but relax and remark at the beauty...the place should be a TV commercial. Our bungalow was perfect. Just the homey place you want...with a fridge and AC if you want it! Internet is avail if you need it. The food was great. Carlos and Isabel know how to make you feel welcome and leave you to enjoy! It's a perfect carefree getaway to paradise with enough amenities for comfort!

Room Tip: Choose Cabins 4-10 for better view as 2 and 3 face the building on the water. I stayed in 4 and had...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank DrRich17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thanks for the great review! Hope to see you back at the resort soon! :-)

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 21 February 2012

I miss waking up and stepping out on the porch to watch herons wading in the glittering sea, between the waving coconut palms. The setting here is gorgeous, and the staff are very friendly. We took two tours - snorkeling and fishing. Carlos and Isabelle were great about letting us know which tours were available, at what times, etc. However, keep in mind that you are very much on 'island time' here, so don't expect rigid timetables. Our fishing guide Jamal was wonderful, very kind to us newbies, and there is nothing like a meal of fresh-caught snapper. Otherwise, the food is perfectly adequate and the prices reasonable. Our cabana was nice, some rooms freshly painted, with the bathroom perhaps ready for some minor updating.

It's true you are far from town - for us that was a feature. We also had the opportunity to explore town a bit at the end of our visit, and also at the end of the snorkeling tour. So if you want to spend some time in San Pedro without booking a boat, there are chances to do so.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank springcircle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Thanks for the great review! We hope to see you back at the resort again soon! :-)

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 14 February 2012

TBR is the most natural, laid back, pristine paradise! Luxury that does not feel 'bourgeois', but situated in, and respecting, nature. The location could not be more tranquil. The colors, the sounds,the breezes, the water, the beach, the hammocks, the kayaks readily available to float out to snorkel, the healthy and delicious restaurant cuisine, the helpful, happy staff, there whenever you need anything and invisible when you want to savor the rare opportunity to revel in natural beauty. Carlos and Isabelle and every one of the staff (sorry I cannot remember all the names) are so warm and delightful, even though we did not opt for any of the additional tours or excursions. We basked in the totally comfortable cabana, hiked along the pristine beaches, explored the jungle, and thrilled in snorkeling on our own schedule.The only word that describes is "tranquility" and I am so thankful TBR exists and hope that we may have the opportunity to stay again - and longer. Thank you so much, Carlos and Isabelle and Stacey and all the staff.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Grateful40827
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2012

Wow!! Thanks. Glad you enjoyed TBR! We hope you can make it back soon.

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed 25 January 2012

It's hard to add much new information to the numerous excellent, detailed reviews about Tranquility Bay. So I thought I'd just give my take on the experience as a whole, which might help some decide whether to stay here or not.

With all the 4 and 5 star reviews, one might assume that TB is a luxurious resort with attentive service. It's not. But it is a solid choice, primarily because its location cannot be beat, literally. This is the one place to stay at which the reef is close enough so you can actually snorkel without taking a boat trip. For people like me, who mainly want to snorkel and relax, this is the place to stay.

But you do need to adjust your expectations to avoid disappointment. Let's start with the rooms. The overall look of the cabanas is charming; you've seen the pictures. I only saw the inside of one cabana, #7, where my wife and I stayed. It is in need of some TLC. The screens are warped, leaving gaping holes for insects to come in. The cabinets/walls/etc are old and are showing it. The lighting is very harsh, which makes it not-so-cozy at night. There was only one free-standing lamp, so we would move it from the bedroom to the living area for some better mood lighting. Anyway, you get the idea. The overall feeling is comfortable and casual, but I think that "luxury" would be a bit of a stretch.

On to the service. There were small issues, like asking two different staff members where the paddles were for the kayaks. We were told by both that the paddles should be in the kayaks-- they weren't. OK, no big deal, we eventually went over to the dive shop and found the paddles in there. We had to ask twice for our laundry to be picked up, and then we had to remind them to bring it back once we realized that they had forgotten. We did do a snorkeling excursion to see the sharks and rays, which was quite good, though our "guide" was a man of few words, so I'm not sure if perhaps we would have seen/learned more with a different guide.

The restaurant. Service in the restaurant was uneven, though always friendly. The food was actually pretty good and reasonably priced, though the portions were a bit small. After a day of kayaking and snorkeling, I could have eaten two portions of that delicious Belizean chicken stew. The "key lime pie" was no such thing, and the coconut pie wasn't very good, but other than sub-par desserts, we thought the food was above average. The flies were an issue whenever the wind wasn't blowing through the restaurant. I would recommend an oscillating fan when the wind isn't blowing to keep the flies at bay. Though I disagree with the reviewer who thought this was due to dirt/food remnants. The restaurant was clean; it's just that food smells good to flies. What are you gonna do? The main problem with the restaurant was the atmosphere at night. The lighting is very harsh. Just substituting some softer bulbs for the harsh ones would go a long way. It just wasn't a place we wanted to sit for very long, which is why we had two of our three dinners at Sueno del Mar (a 10-minute walk south from TB). The atmosphere there was much cozier, there are no flies, the service was very attentive, and the food was quite good. If you do have dinner at TB, I would recommend sitting at one of the tables on the deck outside. The lighting is better, plus you can see the rays and barracuda while you eat, as they are attracted to the lights underneath the deck. That was very cool to watch.

Bottom line: TB is worth it. Just relax your expectations and enjoy the beautiful beach, excellent snorkeling, and solid food.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank wdvl_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 February 2012

Thank you for your review. I couldn’t agree more with a couple of your points. When I first came to manage TBR I wondered why the owners had not made a slate and stainless steel style property. I didn’t really get it, but Tranquility Bay Resort was fashioned with a vision and a view of the way the Caribbean used to be, and in my reformed view, how it really should be. We are a very laid back resort, where you can expect to have a great carefree vacation. We are a three star property with four and five star reviews on Trip Advisor. Remember that the reviews on trip advisor people rate their experience and not always something tangible. Tranquility Bay Resort is not for everyone. If you are looking to really get away from it all TBR has the best beach on the island, and the only one where you can snorkel to the reef, we are a padi certified dive resort, with certifications, fun diving, snorkelling trips, fishing trips and mainland tours. The food in the restaurant is excellent, not gourmet, but I’ve been eating in the restaurant for almost three years and still enjoy it. I think that speaks volumes! The flies are a problem for all of the outdoor restaurants during lunch hour. We are presently trying a variety of flytraps to try and solve the problem. So in conclusion what we are really “selling” is a beautiful location with a true Caribbean vibe. We are not a “Fly and Flop” vacation with drinks by a pool in a perfectly manicured setting. Tranquility Bay Resort is a nature lover’s paradise! Thanks for reading!
Cheers,
Carlos

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Additional Information about Tranquility Bay Resort

Address: | Basil Jones Cut, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#15 Romantic Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Ambergris Caye
Price Range: £90 - £227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A relaxing 12 miles North of San Pedro Town, Tranquility Bay Resort is a secluded paradise. 10 Separate cabanas line the nicest beach on the island. The only resort on the island where it is safe to snorkel from the beach to the reef! Relax and enjoy our beautiful setting from our water top restaurant and watch the Tarpon, Barracuda and Eagle Rays swim under our dock lights! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tranquility Bay Hotel Ambergris Caye
Hotel Tranquility Bay
Tranquility Bay Resort Belize/Ambergris Caye

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