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“Amazing Island with Incredible Luxurious Service. A must!”
Review of Cayo Espanto

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Cayo Espanto
Ranked #26 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 September 2011

To summarize our experience at Cayo Espanto one must first understand that as seasoned travelers we have high expectations. Like most of your guests we are Ritz Carlton regulars. The “average” amenities and accommodations are certainly acknowledged; however, superiority is not an easy quest. It requires a few things. First, things must run like a finely tuned machine, and secondly, posses those qualities that make an impression on the guest making them feel important and as if their needs were not only anticipated but also of utmost importance.

Cayo Espanto is a finely tuned machine. The timing of everything is finite, accurate, and unbelievable. From the arrival in San Pedro to the numerous varied requests for coffee in the morning, snacks in the afternoon, to drinks for our afternoons on the Hobie Cat “sailing,” or our varied last minute requests that were all met by the ever so willing staff. Honestly, there was no detail missed. To include all those small things that make you think “wow”, this place really gets it they just nail it every time would take too many pages.

The single most important thing that stood out for us was the ease and simplicity of the whole experience. We absolutely didn’t have to do anything but relax. Factor in the beauty, incredible food, fantastic accommodations, and sex appeal and it was a true trip of a lifetime which we will be repeating.

The staff defined professionalism and grace. All the way from Russell during the reservation process through the whole experienced team. Ester, Carlos, Sylvan, German, Patrick, and all of the misc. players that were equally important yet were behind the scenes. They were well trained and consistent yet shared their charm and good humor with us and made us feel like a part of a select family.

Kudos on an incredible operation.

Thank you for sharing your island with us.

Room Tip: Casa Manana had incredible sunsets and Casa Brisa offerred a wonderful breeze
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank tamodom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 - 132 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2011

From the minute the boat picked us up at the dock in San Pedro - we knew were in for a special experience. Stepping off that boat onto Cayo Espanto was just as it looked in pictures, beautiful and so peaceful. This paradise is everything we could have imagined and more! My husband and I do a lot of traveling and have never stayed in such a special and relaxing environment. Our villa, Casa Manana, was so beautiful, with sunset views. The food was absolutely perfection! We can't stop thinking about the amazing cuisine, which was expertly prepared by the superb kitchen staff. We felt so spoiled the whole 6 days we stayed there and a huge thank you to Carlos who made our stay truly unforgettable. We went snorkeling with German and kayaked every day around this extraordinary island. Eating under the stars every night was so magical and the Carlos and Selvin went out of their way to make each dinner so unique and special. We cannot say enough wonderful things about Cayo Espanto and all the work and attention to detail that makes this place so special. We were truly sad to leave but know that we will be visiting again soon!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NDR18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2011

We are world travelers. Our experience at Cayo Espanto was not 5 star. 3 at best.
The villas are exactly as you see them online. The beds are indeed very comfortable. The meals were hit or miss. On three occasions the Chef was not capable of producing an entree temperature of medium rare. (In our opinion, this should be mastered by award winning chefs at the very least)
The resort touts, privacy, seclusion and relaxation. This was not our experience. There are 7 villas on 4 acres and other buildings for staff, kitchen etc. In our opinion there are too many villas to afford any privacy. A palm tree between 2 villas 20 feet apart does not make for any privacy at all. Of course this is our opinion and everyone has their own
idea what privacy means to them. To us, it means that we won't see or hear anyone. (not the case here)
Our biggest complaint would be all of the young children running about, yelling and being kids. (no fault of their own, mind you) We love kids. We have kids. This particular group of children (half dozen.....looking under 10yrs. old) were brought to the island by the owner of the resort. At San Pedro airport, he introduced himself and his young daughter and mentioned he was bringing friends with their kids to the island, and how it was so much fun to bring the kids along. We were speechless. Shocked. After reading many reviews and only coming across one where someone had brought their child along, we never thought
we'd encounter any children during our stay. Least of all brought to the island by the owner who advertises privacy, seclusion and relaxation at his resort.
Clearly, none of those adjectives can apply with a group of children on a tiny island. I do not want drag on and on here. I would like to describe a situation that anyone with children or who have ever been around 2 or more children probably have witnessed. Trying to lay on a deck chair on the dock and read. I hear........."No! Give me that! NO! MOM! MOM! MOM! So and so won't give me......?" This is not relaxing at all. We came to this island to hear no bickering, no yelling, no children. Just to relax and just "be".
We did contact the guest relations manager and she seemed to sympathize with our concerns about the yelling and bickering and said that she would take care of it. With it being your "boss'" children and guests, I'm guessing she couldn't do much as not to "step on any toes". We were offered free spa treatments, but who wants a spa treatment with children running and yelling? It would defeat the purpose.

I would like to mention the housemen here. Our housemen, Carlos & Selman did a very good job and were eager to help in any way that they could. However they seemed a little on edge. Perhaps having their boss on the island had elevated tensions.

Before leaving the island, we were given a "survey" to fill out regarding our stay. I clearly stated in the survey, the things we liked and the things we did not. (we actually left a day early because it was just a waste of our precious time) Even though, the trip was paid for and there are no refunds, it just wasn't worth another day of noise.

Three weeks after our stay, we received an email from the owner. It contained an
apology about all that went wrong with our stay and said it had never happened before. And how nothing he could say could change what had happened. (which is true)
He offered us a 4 day stay if we could get away. We declined the offer. As we replied to him, there just weren't enough good memories to spark interest in making the trip again. However, we did state that we would welcome some sort of refund gesture even though it would not change what had happened, it would take some of the sting out of having paid so much for such an experience. ($15k+) We haven't received another email from him.
All that being said. We would not recommend Cayo Espanto to anyone expecting a 5 star experience, or anyone needing a private, secluded and relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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32  Thank Bfulk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2011

How do I begin to put into words the amazing vacation we just experienced? Actually, I should say, "Trip of a Lifetime!" The incredible staff, food, accommodations, etc. were beyond phenomenal. It was truly a relaxing vacation. Which is a first for me since having children. As you know.....you usually need a vacation after your vacation!! My husband and I were trying to plan some alone time and time with the children and this was the perfect location. I think the most incredible part was the feeling of utmost trust and security. As a Mother these days you can only fantasize about an environment where your children can run freely to frolic and enjoy themselves like you experienced as a child.
Our society today just doesn't allow it.....but Cayo Espanto does! When my children were out of my site, (and even when they were in it) I knew they were being watched over by the Cayo Espanto Angels (staff), who felt like family to us during our stay. I have to say, you can't put a price on that feeling and I find it indescribable. Thank you for allowing me the TRUE relaxation that can only be experienced by this happening.
My husband and I enjoyed plenty of alone time and even romantic dinners on the private docks and under a mangrove tree!! This was truly beyond our expectations and made for the best
birthday celebration of my life.....at 50.....I've had my share!
We can't wait to come back!! We will miss you all. I am truly appreciative for the little slice of paradise you shared with us. I'll make it a point that all my friends add this to their "Bucket List!"

Room Tip: We stayed in 3 separate villas to enhance our experience. They were all first class and amazing!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank cdacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2011

It has been three months since our Honeymoon and we think about our enchanted stay at Cayo Espanto almost daily! Our pictures do not do Cayo Espanto justice, and is rather a must “see it to believe it” type of resort and experience. The serenity of being in your own villa on an extremely private island is just what we needed after planning our wedding. It's located in the perfect area just a boat ride away from San Pedro, where local attrations and excursions can add a bit of excitement to your day. Everyone on the staff was exceptional and anticipated our every want and need. Every meal was not merely “food” but an appetite satisfying, work of art. Our one year anniversary is nine months away, but I know what I’ll be asking for… an Espanto Wave and week stay at Cayo Espanto!!

Room Tip: We had the joyous experience of staying in Casa Solana and Manana. Casa Solana had an exceptional v...
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mdim52011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

We had been waiting all year to visit our favorite, Cayo Espanto, again! Our second visit was just as fabulous as the first.

We wanted so much for our three daughters (ages 7, 9 and 11) to experience this tropical paradise with us, that we decided to bring them along. We were hesitant because one of the reasons people love coming to Cayo Espanto is to enjoy the luxury of peace and privacy. We were a bit concerned that our children may cause a problem for others, yet the island assured us that all would be fine. Once we arrived, we realized that we had made the right decision. The island is set up such that every villa (there are 7) is so incredibly private and secluded in it's own way, that it was as if our little family were alone on a tropical island together. The experience we had could never be duplicated at at a resort. Taking our children out of the hustle and bustle of the world was magically bonding for our family. The staff took great care in creating special activities just for us! Watching my children snorkel for the first time in the crystal, blue waters was something I'll never forget. The sea life one can see here (without having to deep sea dive) is rivaled only by a few other places in the world. Every day was filled with excitement and at the same time was refreshing and rejuvenating for my husband and me.

The service at Cayo Espanto was again... impeccable!! The staff always seemed to know just what we needed (wanted!) without our even asking. We have traveled extensively throughout the years, and we can honestly say that there is a true difference between the service here vs any other. Always smiling, energetic, respectful, and creative.

Chef Patrick and Chef Richard are simply amazing. Everything we were served was absolutely delicious, and the presentation was always beautiful. I cannot say enough about the food! It was always over the top perfect!

Traveling to Cayo Espanto is so easy. You are able to leave in the morning and arrive by lunchtime which gives you another full day. The staff is there to help you from your arrival at the Belize airport all the way to the island which makes it so simple and problem free. We loved our private boat ride with German, the fantastic island boat captain, from the San Pedro airport directly to the island. It's a short ride, but just long enough (I believe 7 minutes) to make your arrival so exciting. The entire staff lines up to welcome you with your favorite frozen beverages. (They are actually there to greet you each time German brings you back from any boating excursion!)

Our trips to Cayo Espanto are always worth the money. Whether you are searching for a tropical paradise for pure romance, for peace and privacy, or for a magical bonding experience for your family, there is truly no other island like it!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank mwthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2011

What a fantastic experience. We stayed at Casa Estrella, a beautiful villa on this secluded island. Simple but luxurious, every luxury and desire was anticipated. The service was wonderful and professional. The food was truly exceptional--however we wanted it, five star presentation with a special island twist to every meal. We had delicious lunches and wonderful candlelit dinners under the stars and over the ocean. Bonefishing around the island was outstanding. Snorkel trips with rays, eels, sharks, turtles and manatees--absolutely world class. We also visited Mayan ruins on a day trip. I cannot recommend this trip more highly. Well worth the money, we feel like we have found paradise!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank BrentB001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cayo Espanto

Address: Cayo Espanto Island, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#7 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro
#16 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#25 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range: £1,126 - £1,879 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cayo Espanto 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cayo Espanto San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Resort San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Belize/San Pedro

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