We agonized over where to stay on Ambergris, and finally narrowed the choices down to Coral Bay and Caribbean Villas. We chose Caribbean Villas cuz they offered us a GREAT deal on their 1-bedroom suite, Room Number One, which was perfect. HOTEL: There are two buildings, plus the office, set diagonally to the beach. It looks like there's a room over the office as well. One building has the pool between it and the beach, and the other building (where we stayed) is RIGHT on the beach. There are no closer units to the beach on the South side between Mata Rocks and San Pedro proper--we walked the beach to that distance and compared all the other hotels to CV--we were so pleased with ourselves! :)
ROOM: Nice room with wooden shutters on windows, AC in bedroom (which we didn't need), tiled floors, spacious bathroom with hot water and strong showerhead. Our suite had a full kitchen and sofa and table with 4 chairs. All the rooms have verandas with views, but our view was awesome! We were on the bottom floor, and there was a large group with kids staying over us, and we didn't hear a thing because of the thick concrete floors. We spent a lot of time on that veranda--shady all day!!
POOL: Gorgeous small pool surrounded by chic teak decking, and 2 jacuzzis, and lots of cool teak lounge chairs. The deck is sunny in most places, but there are a few spots of shade which are nice!
PROPERTY: The property itself is large, and lushly landscaped, on 1.5 acres of wooded areas full of birds. The trees block a lot of noise from the street--most other hotels don't have that buffer zone, and the road is really noisy. There were hammocks everywhere--comfy, clean hammocks with great views--and adirondack loungers as well as teak loungers and chairs. The beach bar is thatched and adorable, and has a teak deck on the beachside, but is sand-floored on the inside. Really beautifully done. The thought put into all the details here is phenomenal--kudos to whoever did it! The dock right outside is super-convenient, as tours pick you up from it--you can wait in shady comfort in a hammock for your boat to pick you up!
LOCATION: Yes, it's about a 10-minute walk into town. Bike rentals is $5 a day--super cheap. Unfortunately the roads were recently paved with concrete paving bricks that bounce you terrible whether on a bike, in a taxi, or in a golf-cart. We bought bananas at the grocery and the part that touched the bike's basket was pulverized from all the bouncing by the time we got home! We ended up walking into San Pedro on the beach and returning by taxi ($4). But since San Pedro really sucked, we enjoyed just hanging out at the hotel. After our first exploration of the town--during which we were repeatedly harassed by people trying to sell us food/lodging/drugs/taxi rides/souvenirs, we fled back to the hotel and went into town only to eat--and each time our first impression was reinforced. And my husband is a 6 foot brown guy who can pass as a local! So we were more than happy to be 10 minutes from town.
FOOD: The best meal we had on San Pedro was the pesto pasta at Cafe Picasso--but it was expensive. The second best meal was ramen I'd brought for emergencies. Seriously. We like beans and rice usually, but there are no spices in the ones here! We ate at Wild Mangoes and that was good but overpriced, and the Pupusa Lady at Warugama makes great bean and cheese pupusas (tortillas) right in front of you on the street. We're vegetarian/no fish, BTW.
ACTIVITIES: We snorkeled 3 days in a row. We've snorkeled a lot, in a lot of places, and the snorkeling here was second-best only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and in terms of accessibility, better. It's a five-minute boat ride from Caribbean Villas to a fantastic snorkel spot--we went with Tony on a private tour each day because it's the same price as the group tours, he takes you at different times than the groups, so you've got the place to yourself (no stranger's flippers in your face), and you can spend as much or as little time as you want in each spot. He took us to 5 spots. The hotel has his contact info and will arrange it for you, or you can call him from your room. We also went to Caye Caulker--that's La Isla Bonita--what San Pedro was ten years ago when everyone fell in love with it. Now . . . If we come back, we will stay at Caribbean Villas again, and we'll bring boxes of pasta and sauce and other dry goods so we can cook for ourselves here--it'd be tastier! And we won't go into San Pedro except for the ATM there. :)
VIEW: I can't say enough about the gorgeous palm trees, hammocks, pier, sunsets, turquoise water, white sand at this hotel. Yeah, you can't swim off the beach--the water is filthy, full of garbage--I'd never swim off the pier! But it's beautiful to look at, and swimming in the ocean is a 5-minute boat ride away. Just bring food to cook in your room--trust me!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye has comfortable suites/rooms with Caribbean views, beautiful grounds, a large sandy beach all within sight of the reef. Whether you want a romantic vacation or a getaway from the crowds, a spell of renewal or a stepping stone to adventure, we can cater to your needs. With an onsite Dive Shop on our dock to arrange Scuba and Snorkeling excursions, and the Belize Sailing Center on the beach with Sailing, Kayaks, Paddleboards and Windsurfing & Kite surfing rentals, there is no lack of activities for adventure seekers. Or just relax with an oceanfront massage from their onsite masseuse. Our full-time concierge is available to book any mainland tours including Reef & Deep Sea fishing, Jungle Zip-lining, Cave-tubing and Maya Ruin tours. Golf Cart rentals are also available on site. Guests also have access to two fresh water pools, the only Waterslide on the island and the on-site restaurant which serves gourmet Caribbean and Belizean cuisine. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Caribbean Hotel San Pedro
- Caribbean San Pedro
- Caribbean Villas Hotel Belize/San Pedro