While operated as a hotel, I believe most, if not all of the units are individually owned. We stayed in a 2BR/2BA poolside unit, C-6. This was very nice as the owner recently replaced the furnishings in preparation for putting it on the market. We had nice comfy porch furniture and a great king size bed in the master bedroom, with 2 twins in the second. Many units have cheaper plastic tables and chairs. The units all have excellent kitchens with modern, full size appliances. Staff are super friendly. Pool is one of the larger ones on the island-not as nice as Grand Caribe but the location is a lot more convenient. We found the pool view units to be more than adequate-no need to pay for ocean front which is also closer to noise at the restaurant.
There is a good supermarket within a block, and also a great bakery next door with fresh croissants and cinamaon rolls every morning ($3 Belize each). By beach, you can reach many restaurants within 5-10 minute walk. Grand Caribe, which is newer and larger, is 3 miles north of the bridge and is not within walking distance of anything other than the Palapa Restaurant and Bar. While that is a great place (worth a visit and float with beer for sure!), it was nice having lots of options at Banyan Bay. If you have kids, it is nice having options for them to go to outside the resort.
Travel tip: Snacks and such are expensive everywhere-bring non-perishables such as a box of cereal, nuts, peanut butter, etc from home to save $.
Had good maid service every day at BB. They even have foot rinse stations at the bottom of each set of steps, with a floating flower changed daily. Ricos Restaurant is good for breakfast. Food and service are generally very good but the menu price does not include the 12.5% tax so prices are a bit higher than elsewhere. Still, we enjoyed our first dinner there after long flights, and partook of the pool bar service available from 12-5 each day. Ricos also has a very good happy hour deal (3 beers for $10 Belize and half price local rum drinks) from 5-7PM. It never gets too big or boisterous-you need to go into San Pedro for more raucous fun. Speaking of which, the locals and tourists tear it up in town for New Years Eve. In general, if you stay in town, it will be noisy. Very quiet (other than a rooster crow) at Banyan Bay.
While BB is about a mile walk to center of San Pedro, you can use free bikes at the resort. These are just beach cruisers but do the job for getting places. I recommend renting a golf cart for a day or two (to visit north and south ends of the island, eg). Carts Belize is very helpful and located just a couple blocks north. With a 10% discount (just ask), they are slightly cheaper than Banyan Bay and will deliver and pick up for you. Taxi is $10BZ each way, so budget accordingly. Oh, BB will pay your taxi fee from and to the airport.
Dive shop on site is very good. They do a free get acquainted withy scuba class, and run AM and PM trips daily. We took the Hol Chan/Sting Ray Alley tour with them too. They also arranged a private trip for us four with a captain. We snorkeled in several places outside the reserve, and lunched at Caye Caulker. Definitely go to Caye Caulker, even if just by water taxi from central San Pedro. It is what San Pedro looked like 20 years ago. VERY laid back, and restaurants are cheaper than SP. Take a day to explore if you have time. You can walk the whole town easily. There are no cars.
Overall, we had nothing but praise for Banyan Bay. Would definitely stay there again. It would be nice if they had laundry machines in unit or for guest use on site (costs a lot to send out), but I did not see that amenity anywhere else we looked. Also, Wi Fi is OK but spotty-best on your porch or in the reception building. Don't expect blistering fast DSL
Melt Cafe (near Crazy Canuks, Peperonni's Pizza) has new owners and doing a great lunch for $12-$20 Belize. Walking distance via beach
Peperronis Pizza-Excellent. Pizza is double the price you pay in the states, anywhere on the island. Must be the cheese prices. They deliver to Banyan Bay for $2 Belize. $48-$55 Belize for a 16 inch hand tossed pie that fed four of us well.
Definitely rent a cart and go to Palapa Bar on the north side, 3 miles north of bridge and about 1/4 mile before Grand Caribe. Wonderful atmosphere on a pier over the beautiful sea. Bring a swim suit and float in inner tubes while they lower buckets of beer to you. Note: there is a $10 Belize RT toll for the bridge linking the north side to San Pedro. Lord knows where the money goes- certainly not road improvements! We also drove to the south end where there is a Mayan "archeological site" that no one visits. It is appearently not much to look at and costs $10 US for entry. The guard will show you some artifacts in his hut for free -that's all you need to see, according to him!
Check out the Chicken Drop in San Pedro at Caliente Thursday nights. If you can't get a wager ticket for the first drop, just place a side bet with someone else there at the bar if you don't want to stay for all 3 drops.
If you have money to burn, dinner at Victoria House (walking distance south of BB) will take it. Very nice retsaurant, but expect to pay $30-$50 pp US dollars, plus wine.
That's it-enjoy your trip to Ambergris Caye!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located by the beach less than a mile from downtown San Pedro, Banyan Bay Suites offers a great getaway from the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Featuring 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms poolview and beachfront suites and 3 bedrooms/3 bathrooms beachfront suites, with kitchen fully equipped and central air conditioned. Spa is available onsite. A 3-level fresh water pool. Pier 366 Seafood House located by the beach offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. A full service diveshop onsite, that can help in your diving and snorkeling activities. A tour desk that can help in fishing and trips to the mainland including the Mayan temples, ziplining, cave tubing and the Belize Zoo. Banyan Bay Suites is the perfect resort for activities or relaxation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas At Banyan Bay Hotel San Pedro
- Hotel At Banyan Bay
- Resort At Banyan Bay
- Banyan Bay Suites Belize/San Pedro