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“Easily the Best”
Review of Cayo Espanto

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Cayo Espanto
Ranked #25 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 September 2010

My wife and I had a fabulous time at Cayo. It surpassed all expectations and created new ones. I've told as many people as I can of this gem in the Caribbean. Give the location and time zone, there is no better place for a honeymoon. Why spend the first 1.5 days of your vacation in planes and airports when Cayo is less than 8 hours from all major U.S. cities. The service, food, and attmosphere are second to none. Some of the best snorkling and diving in the world are only a 20 minute boat ride away. There's no excuse not to visit Cayo.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank avlahos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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147 - 153 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 23 August 2010

This was our 3rd trip to Cayo Espanto. Our first was 2005 for our Honeymoon, we stayed in Estrella. Our last two 2009 and 2010 we stayed in Ventanas (the best Villa in our opinion). Obed was our houseman all 3 times. I am against human cloning, except in Obed's case. He is the gold standard for everyone in the service profession to be measured against.
If you want a vacation a true vacation from reality this is the place for you. From minute one it is total relaxation. You are greeted at Belize City airport by a gentlemen (cannot remember his name) who has the placed completely wired. Just give him your info and let him do his thing. If a flight to San Pedro is about to leave and there are two seats he will get them to hold the plane for you. The flight to San Pedro is on a 12 seat prop plane, but the views make up for the somewhat tense flight. Arriving in San Pedro you are greeted by someone from Cayo Espanto and they take care of everything. You get in a taxi for about a 2 minute ride to the boat. Then a 7 minute boat ride to paradise. Upon arriving your reqeusted drink and a cold towel await you. Since we already knew our villa we did not need the tour of the amenties, which are plush. We got unpacked and when we finished up Obed had a lobster quesidilla ready for us to eat on our dock. And that is the theme for the trip, they are ready for you. The staff somehow instictively knows when you need something and are there with it before you realize it. Within an 1.5 hours of arrival I was fly casting for Bone Fish, they already had the best local flies in my Villa waiting for me upon arrival. Obed was on the dock spotting for me, and I was hooked up within 15 mintues. You can pretty much repeat this for the rest of your stay. Great food, amazing scenery, amazing fishing, amazing spa treatments for the wife and better service than you have ever received. We did not turn on the TV once while there. There is no need for it, just sit on your dock and watch the world go by. It is better programming than anything the dish could provide. The only negative is leaving.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank ATLNOMAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

My husband and I thought that the photos of Cayo Espanto were amazing, but didn't compare to what we actually experienced on our visit. It truly is paradise unparalleled. I can say that it is the only vacation we've EVER taken where we relaxed completely and needed nothing. The cottages, service, food and general attentiveness of the staff was the best we've experienced anywhere in the world and an incredible value to boot.
The only bad part was returning to reality. We'll definitely be back...

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BettsC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

If you enjoy completely relaxing vacations and have the disposable income to afford it, do put this place on your bucket list. We LOVED it. Like many other Trip Advisor reviewers, we thought the food was spectacularly good and it was highly attuned to our personal likes (if you can get Patrick to make you a personal key lime pie, do it -- it's to die for). And, yes, the sunset views were lovely (though that's the case in many places, watching the sun set sipping a chilled cocktail on your own dock or lying on your hammock is a pretty nice way to spend time). Our casa had a plunge pool which was great for cooling off -- and the staff couldn't do enough for us (though we did not find them in any way intrusive). For those who want social interaction with other travelers, this is not the place to do it. You may see someone in passing, or on their dock while you're sailing by, but in five days, we did not get close enough to speak to any other guest (again, that was fine with us). The accommodations are nice, but have that "we don't blow over or get damaged in a hurricane" feel to them with the heavy shutters and concrete floors. We've stayed in more palatial digs, but never had a more relaxing time.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MerryMocster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2010

All these reviews definitely helped me prepare for my trip to Cayo Espanto. I have only a few things to add:

We had Obed and Lester as our housemen and they were WONDERFUL! We stayed in Casa Olita, I chose this one because of it's location on the island (most space between it and other casa's and also the side of the island it's on is perfectly facing the open ocean). We had a snorkeling trip and massages which were both AMAZING (highly recommended if you don't do anything else do at least these 2 activities).

Yes, the island itself is quite boring but that's what we wanted, we wanted to just chill, lounge and enjoy the isolation (def. bring reading material). We had no real desire to go out to San Pedro even though the staff mentions you should and they offer a free boat ride, but landing in that airport and seeing the surroundings didn't really entice us. We just kayaked each day and ate their delicious food. Definitely order their shrimp cocktail, nachos and huevos rancheros. I loved their black bean bisque served at one of our dinners as well. Oh and their fish tacos are the best! Only CON is that I'm highly allergic to bug bites so the mosquitoes were killing me at night but as long as you keep the netting over the bed closed well, it's okay. We didn't have any issues with sea lice but I also didn't care to go in the water, my husband did wade out quite far and he wasn't bitten or anything.

The experience at Cayo Espanto is like no other, we felt like royalty waited on hand and foot, to the point where it felt a little weird in the beginning since we're not used to that, but this place does cost a pretty penny so we eventually got the hang of it =)

NOTE: While we were there they were building a new villa right near Casa Olita so it got noisy at times but I brought this to their attention and they made sure not to be loud when we were in our Villa.

Overall most wonderful relaxing experience of our lives and the most memorable honeymoon ever. We would love to return one day. We miss Obed.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Usachan525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2010

I just returned from a five-day trip to Cayo Espanto with my husband and two of our closest friends. It was a marvelous place - charming, utterly relaxing, and really gorgeous. We lounged, snorkeled, fished, enjoyed the delicious food, and slept soundly. I will try not to repeat what others have already described...here are a few thoughts:

- The service is beyond anything we had experienced. The staff is literally there for your every need. Johnny was our houseman and he was fantastic. Another reviewer described his style as somewhat stiff, but we found him to be very friendly...just serious about his job and very careful not to pry or talk too much. When you think about it, it is really nice to have quiet, efficient service without a lot of chit-chatting. The American service standard seems to be leaning towards the "we are friends" type of engagement, and this is not Johnny's style. He is respectful of your privacy and fills his role very professionally. The houseman is very often walking in to your villa to deliver food, drinks, movies, etc. and it was nice to know I did not have to engage in a full-on conversation if I was not in the mood. I thought he was excellent.

- If you take the time to complete the survey and communicate any special events, medical issues, etc., they will do anything you need to be comfortable. We are expecting and they always remembered what fish I am not eating, decaf coffee, non-alcoholic drinks, etc. (It is very early, so they would not have "remembered" by seeing me...you can't tell!) They also surprised us with a cake for my husband's birthday, it was beautiful.

- The mood is *completely* laid-back...come prepared with good books and magazines...it is so quiet and tranquil and a perfect escape. If you are easily bored, this may not be your cup of tea, as there is very little to do on the island. (But of course you can always go to town or on an excursion.) For us, the whole point was to unwind from daily life, and that is exactly what happened. In fact, when we went to town we wished we hadn't...there is not much to see or do (and I tend to really like Central American towns).

- We were in Casa Estrella and loved it. The open-air format is really lovely. Know that the bedrooms are not the same...one is upstairs and is huge and airy and beautiful. The other is downstairs and small and simple. I think Aurora's rooms are more similar to each other, but I did not see them.

- The "Day at Sea" is unbelievable. It was the highlight of our stay. Germann and Victor took us snorkeling, spear fishing, and made us a decadent lunch on a deserted beach. We kept saying "This is unreal!" and it really was. I couldn't even begin to describe how much fun we had that day.

- Snorkeling at Hol-Chan was great, but be prepared for lots of others snorkelers. It is the closest and most popular spot to Amergris Caye, so there are lots of folks there. That said, the reef is spectacular. We saw a sea turtle, nurse sharks, rays, and too many fish to mention. Big schools, little tiny neon fish, lobster, etc. etc. (Also, know that the Cayo Espanto charge for a half-day is over 4x the cost for two people coming from Ambergris Caye. It's worth it not to have to go to town, walk to the operators, sign up for a tour, and go with a boat full of snorkelers, but if you are on a budget you can do it for $30 pp at Ramon's Village, for example. Of course, if you are on a budget you are not likely staying at Cayo Espanto...)

- Wear a really high sunscreen and reapply over and over! We burned, despite 30 SPF and reapplications and olive skin (I don't burn easily)...the sun is really strong, caught me by surprise.

- The masseuse is fabulous. I am a picky client, and she was truly excellent. If I had not gotten the aforementioned sunburn, I would have had at least one more massage.

- As many have mentioned, the food is outstanding. And, the chef will share recipes, too! Request the lime bisque while you are there...I know this sounds odd, but it was unreal. (The recipe surprised me!) If anything, there is a lot of food, and everything is so very "done" ... had we stayed longer, I would have started asking for more simple things...each dish is so exquisite and decadent...I can't eat that way for very long!

- The sea lice were present, but you are really not missing out by not "swimming." The water is so shallow that there would not be swimming anyway. The plunge pool is perfectly refreshing. I thought I would care about the no-swimming thing, but it was not a big deal at all. (BTW, I think they are in fact jellyfish larvae.)

I hope this helps...we had a great time and would recommend it to friends of all ages.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank KatrinaVHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2010

We just returned from an incredible 5 days on Cayo Espanto. The food was fantastic and the service was also the best we have ever had at any resort.

The snorkeling, massages, kayaking and fishing was great. We waded around the island and played with Buddy, the yellow lab. No bugs in or out of the water!

The dinners under the candle lit trees was very special. We even had an outdoor movie one night. We saw dozens of shooting stars while we were there.

You have gotta try the Espanto Wave, their signature drink

We booked our return trip for next March when they told us they give a repeat guest discount for booking within 2 weeks of returning.

Can't wait for the return.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank cliffstaniel
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
#24 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range: £1,125 - £1,878 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cayo Espanto 5*
Number of rooms: 7
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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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