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The Phoenix Resort
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Reviewed 24 April 2012

The two bedroom suite we stayed in was gorgeous and it really lives up to its world-class top ranking on TripAdvisor. The balcony wrapped around the entire suite and overlooked the pool and ocean. Huge mahogany doors, high ceilings, washer/dryer, and beautiful kitchen were impressive. The hotel itself should change its external appearance because from the street it doesn't look at all impressive - you have no idea how great it is once you get inside! The hotel rents out kindles and iPads and we had some of the best drinks we tasted at the pool bar. The kids had a blast swimming and didn't want to leave.

The Red Ginger restaurant was also great - one of our best meals on the island.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank kdrake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

The Phoenix Resort is a great lodging option with superb customer service. There is good reason for why this hotel consistently receives such awesome reviews and I can only second the comments made by several other reviewers. Once you pass through the portal (lobby entrance) you enter a tranquil oasis of sedate elegance, comfort and luxury. The hotel has a prime, waterfront location in the heart of San Pedro. To be frank – and some may disagree - San Pedro is a bustling, dusty and somewhat unappealing little, coastal town. Hence, the stark difference between the circumjacent area outside the hotel and the swish environment within the hotel which is obvious but a welcoming experience. As an example – and this must NOT deter you from selecting The Phoenix Resort – directly across the street from the hotel is the police station along with the fire station and next door on the south-side of the hotel is a hardware store. Bear in mind though that most of the other hotels in San Pedro will likewise be surrounded by commercial activities and/or local residences that may be bland or unattractive. Basically, a sensation of calm and order envelops you once you are within the confines of the resort. Customer service, quality and the overall setting is what makes the place. For us the positive experience began before we ever arrived while booking the hotel. I had questions and exchanged several emails with their representatives. I found them to be communicative, helpful and enthusiastic. In this day and age, it is nice to interact with people who are genuinely committed to assisting their customers. The hotel’s website is very informative and we recommend that prospective customers check it out including doing the virtual tour. The resort itself is not very large – which is a good thing. It consists of four three-story buildings constructed in a u-shaped pattern around the periphery of the property with most rooms facing or overlooking the sea and/or the interior grounds. Congruous to a fortress, this configuration shields the central grounds from the surrounding urban area and creates the impression of a seaside resort in a tropical paradise. The grounds consist of the pools, jacuzzi, pool-side bar and sunbathing/lounging deck along with gardens. Though the resort is situated right on the shore there is no beach in front of the property. Instead, there is a waterfront promenade lined with palm trees that links the beaches extending both northward and southward from the hotel along the shoreline. Guests can utilize the beach just north of the property as well as a pier that the resort shares with a neighboring hotel. The beach is comprised of hard, coralline sand that is very compact. The beach is not very wide and the near-shore waters contain a fair amount of sea grass. One is better off going out on the pier and entering the water via the dock ladder to swim or snorkel. While the water around the pier is certainly pleasant for swimming, snorkelers will not find much to look at under water. Also, you will have to keep an eye out for boat traffic. We actually spent most of our time at the pool. At this point, to keep things in perspective, a comment needs to be made about the nature of the beach and the general character of the shoreline in San Pedro. Both are fairly consistent for at least a few miles both up and down the coast. The beach remains hard and compact and never gets wide. In fact in some spots it is almost none-existent. Though we encountered many people walking along the beach we did not see many using it for sunbathing and/or swimming. Additionally, the beach is transected by many piers jutting perpendicularly out into the water to support dive operators, facilitate sport fishing and water-related activities, accommodate water taxis and ferries or simply provide moorage. Therefore, all the waterfront hotels in San Pedro are likewise impacted by these activities. After having walked about four miles up and down the shoreline (several times) and observed the appearance, setting and condition of many other hotels we can definitely say without hesitation that The Phoenix Resort possesses the best visual appeal, has a lovely setting and embodies the highest quality available. No other hotel comes close although a few have their own, distinctive character and rustic setting, and undoubtedly some people will find them appealing or at least satisfactory. The rooms at The Phoenix Resort, referred to as suites by the hotel but in actuality condo units, are spacious, modern, appropriately decorated with quality fixtures and furniture, and airy because of the high ceilings. All rooms will have either a balcony or patio depending on the floor. Essentially, it is like renting a trendy, fully-furnished apartment equipped with kitchen, laundry and hot-tub. We were in a one-bedroom suite on the second floor of “B” Building that provided a view of the entire central grounds and pool area as well as the ocean in the distance. Housekeeping service is good. The only disappointment with the room was the minimalist aura generated by the lack of wall décor combined with white walls and ceilings – in other words, too much “whiteness.” However, not all rooms are the same and we were informed that some of the other rooms would have more “color.” The management team is courteous and attentive and they seem genuinely concerned about their guests’ welfare. Not only do they make an effort to be helpful but, they also make you feel welcome. At this point I would like to compliment the hotel staff/management for arranging a bottle of wine (gratis) in our room upon arrival to celebrate my wife's birthday. I had made a note in our reservation and they followed through in a wonderful way. The front-desk personnel are equally competent and very willing to assist you. They have the ability to arrange a myriad of tours, outings and water-related activities but the prices on some excursions can be high compared to the rates quoted by outside agencies or the vendors themselves. We had the hotel arrange a sunset cruise which turned out to be a disappointment because of poor handling by the cruise operator. Though not the hotel’s fault – the staff and management felt bad and “comped” the cruise along with giving us a generous voucher to their restaurant. For me - this is customer service at its best and, again, I must give them kudos for their handling of the matter. The quality of food and service rendered by the on-site restaurant (Red Ginger) is excellent and prices are reasonable. Lastly, the central location of the hotel in San Pedro means that it is an easy walk almost anywhere within San Pedro and guests can avail themselves of all the dining, entertaining and shipping options extant in town. Moreover, there are several mini-markets nearby where one can shop for food and beverages to take back to the room and prepare your own meals and drinks. The inclusion of full kitchens in the rooms makes this feasible and is another positive attribute of The Phoenix Resort. After all this positive commentary one may naturally ask – what are the negatives? There are none per se. But, there are a few things you may wish to consider. They are subjective in nature and may be inconsequential for some. Though called a resort and located on the waterfront, the hotel neither offers a lot of onsite, outdoor amenities nor free use of any water sports equipment. Secondly, the resort has 30 rooms and they claim that all offer a view of the Caribbean Sea. Yes, this is strictly true. But, in a few cases the orientation or alignment of the room (floor plan) within the building is such that you will have to go out on the balcony and turn your head to directly view the ocean. If you remain within the room itself, the “sea” view will not be directly visible. Instead your field of view from within the room will be either of or overlooking the central grounds and pool area. The affected rooms are notably located in the “A” Building. Generally-speaking, our fellow guests were mostly adult and well-behaved. It is our observation that most guests are seeking the quiet and calm proffered by the setting of this hotel. Reading, relaxation and/or conversation seemed to be the preferred pastimes at the pool and sunbathing area. However, unfortunately, during part of our stay there was a group of couples who would freely imbibe of their preferred libations in the afternoons; the consequences of which is that they became a little animated and felt compelled to share their music (boom-box) with everybody else. While not exceedingly loud or annoying it was inconsiderate and unwanted. The issue was that the staff at the pool bar made no effort to ask the boisterous crowd to tone it down a bit. This episode, which occurred more than once, combined with the lack of action by staff contravened the tranquil ambiance and prevailing decorum that we felt defined the hotel. At a hotel of this stature, I expect the staff to be attentive and concerned about all their guests and where appropriate take discreet steps to intercede without other guests having to say something. However, to be fair, this predicament can happen anywhere. Finally, I wish to make a comment about the room rates which are not cheap – particularly with the addition of the lodging tax (9%). Let’s be clear, the rates charged by this hotel are on the high end of the spectrum for the locality. There are several less-expensive lodging options in San Pedro and around Ambergris Caye. Moreover, I have stayed in hotels and rooms of equal quality elsewhere in the world for less money. And while I think the rates are a little high, they need to be put in perspective with the rates charged by competitors of comparable rank as well as the cost of constructing, operating and maintaining a high quality hotel in a developing country burdened with infrastructural, political/bureaucratic and cultural challenges. At this juncture it is important to recall the old adage that you get what you pay for. One of the benefits of higher pricing is that it generally ensures a better level of clientele. Apropos our stay, the hotel did not appear full and we enjoyed a certain level of tranquility and intimacy that may not have been experienced at lesser-priced and/or lower grade hotels. We highly recommend this hotel because of its tranquil setting, restful atmosphere, clean and well-appointed rooms, quality facilities, good food, and excellent customer service.

Room Tip: If you want a "sea" or "ocean" view make sure to check location/floor plan or specifically ask. Apropos a few rooms, the orientation or alignment of the room (floor plan) within the building is such that you will have to go out on the balcony and turn your head to directly view the sea/ocean. If you remain within the room itself, the “sea/ocean” view will not be directly visible. The few affected rooms are notably located in the “A” or "D" Building. Also, palm trees in the gardens and along the promenade will intersect the field of view.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank bjaune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

WE couldnt have been happier with any aspect of the Phoenix Resort. The staff was friendly, incredibly helpful in all regards and the rooms and facilities were fabulous. Our family of 5 had tons of room in the 2bedroom suite and the views were lovely. The pool area is great and the proximity to the town was actually pretty cool and intereting9even though we werent sure about that when we got off at the airport) The only problem was that the beach bar down the beach was hosting a VERY loud band until 2:30 am on both weekend nights we were there. While the Phoenix cant necessarily control this type of thing (and admittedly, they said that it was a rare occurrence) this is something that you should definitely ask about before you stay there. We would stay again but only if we were assured that the band wouldnt be in town.

Room Tip: Dont go during local party weekends.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank MarylandTravelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2012

Beautiful, quality and peace is what you get at this fantastice resort. I took my family to Belize and we stayed 4 nights here. I wish we stayed the last 2 nights at this resort because the next two nights were terrible. We had a two bedroom suite/condo and my 3 grown kids were so delighted. The balcony wrapped around the front with views of the beautiful ocean. All the people who worked there were kind, helpful and had a great spirit around them. Best time and Best resort for any country.

Room Tip: Our room was in front of the ocean and there wasn't noise at night. We did go during Easter break so a local club had their music blasting but the resort took care of that problem
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank rose1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

The Phoenix really did live up to the rave reviews that you find on Trip Advisor. We debated about a property that was in the north part of the island and a property in the south. During the week, we visited both of our other choices and they were lovely, but the location of the Phoenix is right in the middle of San Pedro where all of the restaurants are located...and the ice cream shops and my favorite early morning coffee shop. We had a lovely kitchen in our 3 bedroom apartment, but we really only made breakfast there. Don't miss the Matthieu Delicatessan across the street if you want some yummy German pastries for breakfast! The pool area is gorgeous - we missed having a beach, but everything else made up for that slight deficiency. The spa is wonderful- I had a wonderful massage with Heather! We had lunch at the hotel's Red Ginger restaurant almost everyday although you must try the ceviche at Lily's for a great for lunch! There are many lovely restaurants along the beach and in the city - all an easy walk from the Phoenix. There are two great ice cream/ frozen custard places which we frequented every evening after dinner (Manelly's and Dand-E's). The hotel took care of all of our transportation needs and set up all of the excursions during the week. All of staff members at the hotel are wonderful - ready to help whenever you need anything! Kudos to everyone at the Phoenix!

Room Tip: We loved our first floor apartment since we had an 8th month old with us and we were in and out of our apartment a lot!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank twomarylanders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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