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“A stunning private island gem - with 5-star service” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cayo Espanto

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Cayo Espanto
Ranked #26 of 54 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Inver Grove Heights, MN
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A stunning private island gem - with 5-star service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2011

We traveled to Cayo Espanto in April, 2010 - and from the moment we stepped out of the plane in Belize City - we knew it was going to be a spectacular trip. There was an island employee waiting for us. He took our bags and told us he would arrange our short flight to San Pedro - and invited us to sit down, relax - or go shopping. Once we arrived in San Pedro - we were whisked away by van to a private dock where a boat waited for us. Once on the boat - we were asked what we would like to drink upon arrival to the island. When we arrived at the island - the staff was waiting for us with drinks in hand.

We were taken to our beautiful villa (Casa Manana) - where they had prepared the most delicious quesadilla. We felt like royalty the entire trip. Our houseman brought our 4 year old daughter an assortment of beach toys literally on a silver plater. By the second day of the trip - we felt like the staff could read our mind. They anticipated our every want and need - we have never had service this amazing. Our favorite part was the laundry service. Everyday the housekeeper takes your dirty laundry in the morning - and returns it clean and folded in the evening. It was the first time we ever returned from a trip with no dirty laundry!

The food was out of this world. The spa services were fantastic. The activities were an experience of a lifetime. We can't wait to go back - and highly recommend this resort to everyone - including families with kids! It may be pricey - but this is definitely a "bucket list" type of vacation that everyone should take.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bswift
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2011

From what I have seen, Cayo Espanto is best place in Belize and for that matter one of the best getaway spots in the whole world. I hesitate writing this as Cayo Espanto is such a great gem of a find and I don’t want anything to change.

I think everyone going to Cayo Espanto expects perfect accommodations on an idyllic private tropical Island, and it is all that. But I was so surprised with the quality of the service and food, first class by any standard. The staff leaves you all alone and magically appear just as you think you need something. They truly have the concept of incredible service and leaving you alone down to an art. I also loved the ‘all included’ concept there. Normally, I don’t prefer ‘all included’ places – but it’s different at Cayo Espanto. They don’t hold back on food quality or drinks or anything. We had lobster, crab, steaks, exotic fruit, all severed on a different part of the island or right on your own private dock. You get this sense that the staff and chef want to overwhelm you with something so special. It also never felt like they are serving you to get a tip or charging you for every little add on. I hate how some high end places do that – not here. There was no tipping allowed (until the end). I was so overwhelmed by the service that I could not wait to show my gratitude on my way out. This is the way tipping was meant – for exceptional service and never expected.

Cayo Espanto is perfect. Calm and secluded, but a 5 minute boat ride to some activity and shopping. It’s luxurious and fancy, but not pretentious. I loved it.

I’m already booked to go back.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelguy70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Gatos, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2011

If you are a seasoned traveler looking for a unique, relazing, romantic, special and extraordinarily beautiful vacation spot - this is the one. Cayo Espanto is a great example of nature and man doing it right - the island itself is stunning, great weather, beautiful sunsets but the villas are arranged in a way that gives you the utmost in privacy while utilizing the views all around.

Service here was the best I have experienced anywhere. From the connections at the airport, the boat ride to the island, being greeted by smiling faces and the Wave (their signature cocktail), it was pure perfection. We stayed in Casa Espanto which allows some shade, excellent breezes, beautiful views all around and what can I even tell you about the perfection of the view at end of your private dock. Our housemen were Elio and Adam and they were respectful of our privacy, seemed to be aware of our needs before we could even communicate them and took brilliant care of us. Each evening they set up our dinner in a different but equally beautiful and romantic spot on the island. Stunning!

Our fridge was stocked, the sheets were fabulous, the Veuve was always chilled and ready, the food was good but it was truly the beauty of the island and the extraordinary service and detail to attention that makes this a one of a kind place. We are already trying to plan our next trip to Cayo and will try to have the same villa as well.

The day trip to the Mayan ruins in Lamanai was a great adventure, complete with Carlos and Carlos (our two very well versed tour guides), two beautiful river trips and a hike through the rainforest to see the ruins. It is a wonderful trip - the bus ride in the middle is a little long but we wanted the full experience and I highly recommend this trip.

One evening we took the kayaks out to enjoy the sunset hand in hand floating around in the Caribbean sea - does it get any more romantic?? My husband enjoyed some fishing from our dock and villa as well when Elio brought him a reel and some bait. Every day the chairs were set in a different spot, always fresh, always clean. The plunge pool was beautiful and refreshing on a hot sunny afternoon.

Then there is BRENDA - a massage therapist with the hands of an angel -hands down the best my husband and I have experienced. A very talented and lovely woman with great great skills. Cayo is lucky to have her and hope they realize the talent she brings.

The villas are closed up and air conditioned at night so that you are cool and mosquito free under your gorgeous netting to rest and prepare for another day. In the mornings the coffee and fresh fruit arrives as soon as you call and while you are waking up and enjoying that course, your breakfast is prepared and served. I could go on and on forever - I cannot go back there quickly enough. It is one of the most relaxing places I have ever visited and if you are reading these reviews and considering a trip there......run to the phone and get going!!!!

Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank OCPB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2011

My husband and I stayed at Cayo Espanto January 16-20, 2011. We book our trip two days prior to leaving so we got a last minute deal on our villa. We were greeted at the Belize City airport by hotel staff. Our luggage was taken care of for us as we boarded our flight to San Pedro. Upon arriving in San Pedro, we were greeted by our houseman, Johnny. We took a taxi to the boat dock and headed over to Cayo Espanto. It was an 8 minute boat ride. You can take a ferry to San Pedro for about 1/4 the price of the flight. but it takes approx 45 minutes. The flight time was 14 minutes and offered great views of the cayes. Our flight round trip was 63/pp. There is an option of renting a helicopter to take up to 4 people directly to the island from Belize City. The price was 2500. I think that was one way. While on the way to the resort, the boat driver called ahead and had our welcome cocktails waiting. You must try the Espanto wave. It was excellent. All of the staff was present when we arrived. It was quite the welcome.

We stayed in Casa Brisa. It was absolutely beautiful. Casa Brisa faces west, so we had great views of the sunset every evening from our dock. The weather was great while we were there. We did not find a trace of any mosquitos during our stay. The island is sprayed every hour for mosquitos. And you can spray more with some sort of control from your villa. We didn't even sleep with our mosquito net over our head. As for the sea lice, we really didn't get in the water too much except when we left our kayak or hobie cat sailboat.

Johnny was an absolutely delightful houseman. Selven was helping him during our stay. He anticipated anything we could have wanted. He was never more than a walkie talkie call away. He was very polite and respectful. We throughly enjoyed having him help us. He made our stay so incredibly enjoyable. There are not enough words to describe the service he and Selven provided. We were definitely pampered and taken care of. Also, he makes a great mojito.

The resort was not full while we were staying there. We really did feel like we were on a private island as we did not see anybody else while we were there. Since a few of the villas were empty, Johnny took us to see 4 of the other villas. I still think Casa Brisa was the best!!!

While we were staying at Cayo, our chef was Richard. Words cannot describe how wonderful and amazing the food was here. We were blown away by everything we were served. The fajitas were amazing for lunch. Our favorite dinner was the grilled lobster and seafood risotto. It was to die for. Breakfast was fabulous as well. When your houseman comes to open your villa, he will bring you a plate of fruit and a beverage of between my husband and I, we tried the cinnamon roll french toast, the banana pancakes, the breakfast tacos, the huevos rancheros and the american breakfast. By far our favorite was the cinnamon roll french toast. We always ordered a side of bacon for breakfast. It was the best bacon I have ever tasted. As for their snack menu, we had the quesadillas, the shrimp cocktail, guacamole (which wasn't on the menu) and the soft pretzels. All of the food was amazing. I think my husband and I came back 5 pounds heavier after only 4 days. Chef Richard will share recipes if you ask. I got the recipe for the pumpkin soup. It was soooooo good. I am sure I won't be able to make the same as he does!!!

The drink list is endless. We typically stuck to Mojitos or caphrinas. They were both fabulous. Wine is not included in the price but Belize allows you to bring two bottles of wine per person into the country. We brought 2 bottles of red and 2 bottles of white wine and were served our wines at dinner. The refrigerator in our room was stocked with water, soda and beer. In filling our the questionnaire, include your favorite drinks and they will make sure your bar refrigerator is full of them. I drink Diet Coke throughout the day and the refrigerator was always stocked with cold Diet Coke for me.

We did a snorkel/scuba diving trip to Hoi Chin (I think that is the name) and Shark Alley with Germann. His son in law, Eddie came along as well as a snorkeling guide. The scuba diving was excellent. The reef at Hoi Chin was only in 30 feet of water and there were so many fish to see. The cost of the trip was 300/couple. You can get a cheaper price in San Pedro, but if you go with Germann, it is a private tour. You and your spouse are the only ones on the boat with him. It is definitely worth the money. While we were at Shark Ray alley, Eddie found 7 conch shells and we brought them back to the resort and Chef Richard prepared conch ceviche for us. We were also able to bring a large conch shell home to our kids.

My husband brought his fishing pole with him and was able to fish from our dock and from the dock on the Ventanas villas since no one was staying there while we were there. He was able to catch a few bone fish from the dock. That seems to appease him instead of doing a fishing excursion.

We did go into San Pedro one morning for a couple of hours. Definitely go in the morning when it is cooler. San Pedro can get really hot in the afternoon. We bought a couple of t-shirts for our kids. The staff at Cayo Espanto will give you a cell phone so you are able to call them when you are ready to come back. When you arrive back at your villa, drinks will be waiting for you.

The only negative thing I can say is that you really can't swim in the ocean because it is so shallow. I am not really an ocean person so this did not bother me, especially because all of the villas with the exception of ventanas has a splash pool to cool off in. While we were kayaking to neighboring islands, the deepest water we saw was about 6 feet. The ocean is very shallow all around these islands.

All in all, my husband and I have traveled all over the world and Cayo Espanto is my favorite place. I absolutely fell in love with it and had wanted to stay there for about 8 years prior. I cannot say enough great things about the service, the food and the staff. Everyone was so gracious and wonderful. It definitely exceeded our expectations. We thought staying here was worth every penny we paid. I would go back in a second. This resort is truly a piece of paradise.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank miacannon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mid Florida, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2010

From the second we pulled up to the island and all the staff was lined up waving at us I knew this was going to be a great trip!! We stayed in the newest house- Casa Solana... it was BEAUTIFUL! It had a great view of the sunset and also the dock where the boats came in so you did see other people.. mostly just the boat crew workers.. which was fine with us!
Upon arrival they already had their signature drink the "wave" (which is sooo good!) and an delicious snack waiting for us.. which was great because we were starving! The service here was TOP NOTCH! After the first day we almost felt like they were reading our minds.. we didnt even always have to call and ask for something.. they would just automatically bring it!! Everything we asked for they were able to do for us! I even wanted a float for the pool and they were able to get one for me! Obed and Larry were our housemen and they were the BEST!!!
We did a dive trip and also a "day at sea with a little luxury" with German. I would highly recommend both! German was really fun and made it a great day! We did go in the water around the house and didn't have any problems with the sea lice that i've heard others talk about.. but the water was very shallow... and it was nicer to swim in the pool. I would recommend water shoes though if you do walk around in the water around the island because the ocean floor is a little rocky.
The food here was the best we have ever had!! We did a few appetizers and cocktails around 4pm everyday and then dinner later around 8. At first we picked the appetizers but then we just decided to do chefs choice and those were the best!!! Let the Chef pick what he wants to make... he knows what he's doing! Trust us! We were here for Thanksgiving and they even thought to offer us two menus.. the regular one and a special Thanksgiving one! The dinner set up every night was stunning! Obed and Larry would set up lights and tiki torches in new locations everynight.. and draw our names or hearts in the sand .. it was all the little things that made it really special!
We were really sad to leave on our last day, but we will definitely we coming back soon!!
Thank you to everyone who made our honeymoon so special!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank honeymoontrip2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Griffith4464
Level Contributor
44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2010

The service is fabulous! From the time we arrived and were met by the property manager, to our houseboys who took excellent care of our every need. The villas are spacious with fabulous linens/bedding and views of the ocean. German took care of us on our excursions, making sure our every whim was met. Our meals were prepared to our specifications and delivered to us every night in a different romantic spot on the island. Cayo Espanto is perfect for honeymooners or couples wanting to reconnect, as you don't see anyone other than each other and the people who take care of you. We will return for an anniversary soon!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Griffith4464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2010

Cayo Espanto is the essence of the word paradise! There is just no other way to describe this island.

Firstly, traveling to the island from the US is extremely easy. We left North Carolina at 7:15 in the morning, and by 11:30am, we arrived on the island (by boat!). If not for our hour or so layover in Atlanta, we would have been there even sooner. An easy trip which gave us almost an entire extra day to enjoy!

Before arriving, we were asked a few questions about our dining and recreation preferences. The staff was awaiting our arrival, ready to exceed our expectations! They greeted us at the dock with our favorite beverages, escorted us to our beautifully appointed villa which was prepared with utmost care. Our favorite tunes were playing. A table set with our favorite foods was awaiting. The boat was already set and ready to take us snorkeling.

We began our weekend with the most amazing snorkeling trip. I have been deep sea diving in some of the most beautiful areas in the world, however, nothing compared to the snorkeling trips that we went on with German. He took great care in making sure that we didn't miss anything! The water was crystal clear, and the sea life was visible all the way to the sea floor from the surface. Usually, one has to dive to 100 feet in order to see this type of amazing sea life. It was truly an unforgettable experience.

Cayo Espanto is the essence of a private paradise in every way. Although there were other guests staying on the island, we felt like we were there alone. The staff took great care in respecting and providing privacy, however, they were there to meet our every need even before asking. Somehow they just knew what we wanted and/or needed even before we did!

I must also mention the food. Chef Richard and Chef Patrick are fantastic. The food was simply amazing, and the presentation was always beautiful.

The beauty of the island is so very hard to describe in words. It surpasses the beauty of any other island we've visited during our many years of extensive travels. It is the one place that we would like to return to over and over again. There is no need for us to look any further for the perfect, private island paradise. We have found it.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mwthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cayo Espanto

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Cayo Espanto 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Cayo Espanto San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Resort San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Belize/San Pedro

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