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“Great place to stay on Ambergris Caye”

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Athens Gate Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great place to stay on Ambergris Caye”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

We're a family of 7 - parents, adult children, spouses. It was our first time to Belize so we knew only a little before getting there. Overall, it was a great vacation and we'd highly recommend Athens Gate and Ambergris Caye but there are some things you should know.

PROS: Wonderful spacious, newer condos w/excellent amenities and fabulous views of the insanely beautiful ocean. We had a 3rd floor 3-bedroom and a 4th floor 2-bedroom condo. Maid service was included. Great service in general is one of Athens Gate's biggest strengths. Lori, one of the owners, was terrific helping us with reservations and answering all our many questions through emails in the months prior. We met Greg, her husband, at Pelican Reef during breakfast one day - it's their sister property just a short ways down the beach. He introduced himself and was very friendly and accommodating. E, the concierge at AG, is terrific at welcoming guests, answering questions, and then making arrangements for everything from dinner reservations to excursions. He's a wealth of information and we found out the locals respect him as well. Athens Gate is on a pretty stretch of beach and the grounds are well-taken care of. We used the pier quite a bit since the breezes blow so well out there and there's ocean life all around for gazing or snorkeling (it has a covered hut if you don't want sun). We rented 2 golf carts for going into town and we used them almost daily. We had a great day with Captain Oliver and his crew for a full day of snorkeling and fishing, etc., some of our group went to the Lamanai ruins and really enjoyed that, we rented jet skis for an afternoon, and we had a private charter boat to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley for an amazing snorkeling trip. We ended the private charter day at Palapa Bar which was a lot of fun. We were at Athens Gate for 6 nights and 5 full days. We made plans for three of those days and just lounged the other two which turned out to be a good idea. The weather was very changeable - it went from rain to sun to rain to sun quite often but it didn't ruin anything for us. We had a great time!

CONS: There aren't many and none are deal-breakers. WiFi service is only available around the pool area. If the weather is bad you can't hang out in your condo and check emails or surf the net or even do that right before you go to bed at night or when you get up. We liked the idea of being unplugged for the most part, but there are so many conveniences at Athens Gate that this missing one is a little glaring. The stretch of roads near Athens Gate is especially bumpy if you're coming/going to town for dinner, etc. AG is south of town by about 15-20 minutes on a golf cart depending on where you're going. The roads are paved for much of the way, but the dirt parts are extremely rocky and bumpy due to the island getting so much rain recently. There is no onsite restaurant at AG (but there is a nice pool bar and a friendly bartender named Dion). There are at least 3 good restaurants within walking distance but we found only one (Pelican Reef) is open for breakfast early. Black Orchid is a great choice for late breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you're breakfast eaters, we'd suggest you get some groceries for your condo unless you want to walk to Pelican Reef every day. Their food is great, but there were a lot of flies around due to the weather during our stay so we preferred takeout. It was humid during our stay so we did have some various bug bites - we recommend bringing bug spray - but it wasn't a huge problem.

One last comment concerning holiday week travels. Athens Gate is a terrific pick for an Ambergris Caye vacation but it is a small boutique property. We had to deal with a loud family and their screaming kids taking over the pool area a couple times and some other adult guests who drank too much - none of which reflected on the quality of Athens Gate (and we didn't hear them inside our condos), but the reality is, it's harder to get away from annoying guests on a smaller property. Still, without hesitation we'd go back to the island and Athens Gate and we're confident we'd have a wonderful time!

Room Tip: Amazing views from 3rd and 4th floors but you'll have to climb stairs each time - no elevator.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank mes09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2013

I would highly recommend staying at Athens Gate. it is a picturesque as it looks on their website. Great amenities in the rooms because it's a new construction, nicer kitchen than what I have at home! E, the operations manager, personally gets to know all guests and helps coordinate activities - if you need or want something, just ask E!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank brady b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alabaster, Alabama
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

We recently traveled to San Pedro for the second time. This trip was for our 25th wedding anniversary. We arrived on the latest water ferry and were a little worried when the cab driver headed out of town and down a dirt road. This resort is not in the town and we were concerned about getting to restaurants and shops. However, when we saw the rooms we were a little overwhelmed. The condos are magnificent. We had a two bedroom and it looked brand new and had the most spectacular views from every window. If you want to be in town around the "action" this is probably not your place however the beaches are the best on the island and it feels like your own private resort. Joe is a great host and has created a perfect retreat. E and James were very helpful, and the next morning pointed us to the Pelican Reef resort which is a sister property. We literally walked a short distance down the picture perfect beach to their outdoor eating area overlooking the water. Get the banana pancakes! They are awesome! E and James obviously love their jobs and are very good at making you feel comfortable. Our concerns about being too far away from food were further dispelled by eating at the Black Orchid - a restaurant within walking distance with excellent food!
We took two excursions. One was a half day snorkeling excursion to Mexico Rock. The guide was excellent and I don't think you can find any better snorkeling anywhere. The reef is spectacular! The next morning we went to the Blue Hole. Wow!!! It takes the whole day from early in the morning but this is a must do trip! The snorkeling in the Blue hole is not the best but most people dive there. But the other two stops on the trip are the best anywhere. We stopped at Half Moon Caye, which is the most perfect island in the world and snorkeled there and then at the Aquarium which was deeper but just as beautiful. Then one day we rented a golf cart and drove into town(James and E made all of the arrangements) and then we came back and hung around the resort and swam in the pool and relaxed by the pool and at the beach. What an amazing trip. We highly recommend staying at Athens Gate! And we will be back!!!

Room Tip: All of the rooms are spectacular - we liked the top floor but there were lots of stairs!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chip P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 December 2013

My husband and I recently took a trip with another couple and stayed at Athens Gate. The moment we landed and told the airport attendant we were staying at Athens Gate, we learned that Carlos was on his way to pick us up (without us asking!). When we arrived at Athens Gate (about 3 miles from the airport/town), "E", the operations manager of the property, was there to greet us, let us into our condo, and had a welcome drink ready for us at the bar after we settled in.

It took us about a day to adjust to island life (with the help of some locals that we met at the bar), which means that you relax and do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and if you don't get around to it then that's ok!

The view from the property is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures on the website are gorgeous and are extremely accurate. There is no reason to ever leave the property (I would have been content sitting on the beach the entire time soaking up the sun and the view), but if you want to and aren't sure what to do during your vacation, just ask E! During our stay, E set us up with 2 tandem kayaks and snorkeling equipment (both supplied by Athens Gate). They also had a golf cart for us to rent so we could get to and from town. We were able to get some good recommendations from E and the locals on what to do in town on any given day. E also chartered a boat for us for a very reasonable price on the last day of our stay. Our knowledgeable boat captain (Dave) took us to 3 local snorkeling locations and to Caye Caulker for lunch. What an amazing way to wrap up the trip. All excursions, bar tabs, and cab rides were conveniently added to our bill to settle up at the end of the trip. Leaving the condo, our bags were taken to the cab for us and cab scheduled to pick us up (again, without asking!) based on our flight times.

The condo itself was fully furnished, very clean, with every amenity you could need. If there was something it didn't have, E got it for us personally, or he told us where to get it. What sets Athens Gate apart (and why we will stay here every time we come back) is the service and the care that is taken to make sure guests have the best experience possible on Ambergris Caye.

Best vacation ever...we will be back!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Temple, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 November 2013

This is our third trip to San Pedro and second stay at Athens Gate. A great facility with great host, Joe and Rhonda. If you need or want anything, just ask E and he will find it for you. Great job as onsite manager.. James is the caretaker of the grounds and bartender as well. GREAT JOB fellows, we loved every day...

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank rwdtexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2013

We stayed at Athen's Gate in July. We were VERY happy with the accommodations, property, and service. The rooms are beautiful! So comfortable... E and James are terrific bartenders, concierge, bellboys, & hosts. Joe & Rhonda (the owners) are friendly & welcoming. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here.

We were celebrating our 20th anniversary and we when arrived, there was champagne waiting for us in our condo. E helped us make reservations at Victoria House for our anniversary dinner and he made sure they made it extra special! E made all the reservations for our day trips to Lamani Mayan Ruins, diving, & snorkeling. It was all so easy. We also were very happy with the companies he went through.

We stayed at a different property for the second half of our trip and it didn't even compare to Athen's Gate. Actually, I was a little sad that we had left. It was different in every way, but we still ended up having a great time.

I recommend renting a golf cart because you will want it to get into town. Its fun anyway! Tip: Do not take the first person who says they are there at the airport to take you to Athen's Gate. We fell for that trick and we didn't realize we were in a taxi until we arrived and they asked for $25 for the short ride. Wait for E or James to pick you up.

Overall, it is very quiet, relaxing, and beautiful. The pool is small but there are not a lot of guests because of the small number of units. The beach is pretty. There were times that we felt like we were the only guests on the property. If you are looking for a party, this is not the place for you unless you bring your own party! Highly recommend.

Room Tip: We stayed on the 3rd floor, it was great. We had an awesome view. We did not mind the stairs, it h...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank kamjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 September 2013

My wife and I stayed for a week for our 25th Anniversary in September. At arrival on the island our driver was there waiting to greet us and we were soon at Athens Gate. Again we were greeted, bags taken to our room, and check-in was done at the pool bar with our complimentary drink in hand. It did not take long at all for the relaxation to begin and it did not end until the day we got on the plane to leave the island. As others have mentioned, E and/or James are always available to assist with anything you wish to do and both are very pleasant to just hang out with at the bar. Joe, the developer, was also there for the week and also very friendly and always accommodating. After a day or so, you just feel like you are amongst friends and can kick back and relax. The rooms are very nice and met our relatively high standards. Opportunities for us to get away are few and far between so we typically look for accommodations similar to home and our room had granite, tile, stainless appliances etc. September is the off season (and the rainy season) so some of the closest restaurants were closed but with a golf cart, easily rented from Athens Gate, you can cover most of the island and it was fun to just ride around and look, eat, and of course have the occasional beverage. :-) Even with some places closed, we found ourselves not making it to all the recommended restaurants so dining was not a problem at all. As I mentioned, it was rainy, so we had a couple of days that we did nothing but relax and ride around on the golf cart. We still had enough sun to get our fair share. As I'm writing this, I am back home and still peeling on my chest! For the self employed like us that have to still work a little no matter what, Athens Gate does have acceptable internet service and they are about to upgrade it further. To prepare folks for a little reality though, I will say that a good portion of the trip to Athens Gate is dirt road and during the rainy season especially, there is quite a bit of standing water and it is very bumpy. It was passible every day with our golf cart but the bouncing around almost became comical. After a few cocktails one day, my wife and I just stopped on the road and busted out laughing. It sorta became part of the charm of the whole trip. This is a common issue on both ends of the island so please don't let this deter you from Athens Gate. Anything other than right in San Pedro will require dirt road travel and once you do arrive you will appreciate the quiet serenity. We would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Keith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Athens Gate Beach Resort

Property: Athens Gate Beach Resort
Address: 2.5 Mls South | Beachfront, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#5 Family Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swaying Palms, sandy beaches, and warm ocean breezes welcome you to Athens Gate Resort. Experience unparalleled luxury, and service that is raising the standards, in one of our 2 or 3 bedroom villas. Athens Gate blends deluxe amenities and breath-taking views with a discreet location 2.5 miles south of San Pedro to give your trip seclusion with real panache! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Athens Gate Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro

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