Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#102511 - 05/08/05 02:06 AM Best mid-range hotel...
Moon Offline
Well the restaurant list w/everyone's input is definitely something to print out, and I just wondered (as polling is disabled here) if people could do the same thing as far as hotels, especially those of you who've been back and to different properties on AC.

If you could rate the hotel as far as things like:

- Proximity to town;
- What the beach was like as far as being able to walk in the water;
- Whether the hotel was noisy or not;
- Whether the hotel had a pier (that you could either snorkel around or get a water taxi from);
-If the hotel had dining and bar facilities;
- If the hotel had a pool;
- If the hotel had an entertainment night.

And anything else you can think of!

Right now I THINK I'm looking at Exotic Caye, Belizean Shores, Banyan Bay and Banana Beach (which said it's across from a quarter mile opening in the reef, so gets more wave action, good beach, less grass, etc) but I do like the idea of the "cabana" type rooms.

They all seem to be in the price range I'm looking at, so just wondered if anyone could rate maybe those four and tell me the pros and cons for each one!

I know you'll all be SO glad once I've got this narrowed down and actually get the trip booked, even though it's months away!!

Oh, just one other thing - could you just respond to this if you've been a guest and any of these hotels and not if you're trying to promote it?!!!!

Thanks! wink
_________________________
Cheers!
Moon

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#102512 - 05/08/05 07:33 AM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
Wendy Offline
Of the 4 hotels you are considering I suggest Banyan Bay. Has a beautiful pool, restaurant/bar, next to/on the best beach available, very nice property.

You are worrying so much though!! In 1992 I arrived in San Pedro (a single Mum) with my 2 kids and stayed at a budget hotel ~ thinking ~ what have I done?? Turned out to be the best trip! I took a risk...

27 trips later I am glad that I did!

Try not to plan too much.

smile smile Just my opinion.

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#102513 - 05/08/05 02:25 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
Anonymous
Hi,
I have stayed at one of the four and I must say that it was very disappointing. I will not state which it is, but I will give my opinion about the best, as I have been inside of all of your choices.
Of the 4, hands down I would say that Banyan Bay is the best. They have beautiful condo's, a really nice beach, Rico's restaurant on site, and a wonderful couple running the dive shop/gift shop.Banyan Bay is close enough into town to get there easily, yet far enough away to make it out of the main part of town. They have tons of water toys and a beautiful pool area.
If, on the other hand, you want a very nice place, best pool on the island, but totally away from the "town" atmosphere, then Belizean Shores would be the best choice. Their condos are lovely and they have a nice beach.
Great question, I am not a promoter of any of your choices. I own a management company on the Island that used to represent another property.

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#102514 - 05/08/05 07:07 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
sophnramon Offline
Definitely Xanadu!!!!!! We stayed there recently and LOVED it! We visited most of the resorts and hotels while we were there and in our opinion, none of them compared to Xanadu.

So I will answer your questions about Xanadu, even though it is not on your list......

- Proximity to town: Pretty close, but far enough so that it was quite and peaceful and people were not parading around on the beach all day. It took us about 20 minutes to walk down the beach into town. We usually used the bikes for the guests and got there in 5-10 minutes. Xanadu is south of town which is much more easily accessible that the north resorts over the cut.

- What the beach was like as far as being able to walk in the water: I wouldn't walk into the water at Xanadu, but really, we didn't want to swim from any of the beaches while we were there. It is definitely not a 'swimming from the beach' kind of place, although the local kids did around the docks. It was a lot of fun to jump in at the end of the pier- it is clear of sea grass there and deep enough to swim around. Honestly- the whole time we were there we only saw a few people at Ramon's hanging out (standing not deep enough for swimming) in the warer off the beach. We didn't miss it at all though.

- Whether the hotel was noisy or not: VERY quiet. Xanadu is like little apartments and doesn't have a restaurant of bar which meant peace and quiet. It was wonderful to relax at the Xanadu pool then walk just 5 minutes down the beach to have fun at the bars. Our favorite moments were each night when we got home from town- we would swim in the pool under the full moon with no one else around..... can't beat that!

- Whether the hotel had a pier (that you could either snorkel around or get a water taxi from): Yes. We loved the pier! We took our coffee (they give you the BEST coffee and a coffee maker) down to the end of the pier each morning to wake up. We swam there- didn't snorkel there- you will want to go to the reef for that. All of the tours picked us up there too.

-If the hotel had dining and bar facilities: No. We have never stayed at a place without bar or restauarent before except when we have rented houses. We loved it- we were close enough to town to walk for a bite to eat, and we had a full kitchen in our 'apartment.' There is a small store right by the entrance to Xanadu and larger supermarkets in town.

- If the hotel had a pool: The best pool on the island in my opinion. Maybe the best pool ever! It is small-ish, but all of the pools there are. It is so beautiful- surrounded by palm trees and plants, hammocks and comfortable chairs. No other pool on the island compares and we found that the pool was VERY importnat- the water is so salty that it is great to relax in fresh water at the end of the day.

- If the hotel had an entertainment night: No. We were not looking to stay in that kind of place at all. We walked into town for our entertainment. Wouldn't want that on our doorstep!

We loved the people at Xanadu- they booked all of our tours and were very helpful with any questions. They have a little library to borrow books too. Where we stayed made a huge difference in our trip.

Hope this helps- for pictures of our stay at Xanadu have a look at my trip report "A Mini Trip Report"
Sophie

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#102515 - 05/08/05 08:45 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
Moon Offline
Thanks for all the great feedback, this is really helpful!

I know it sounds like I'm worrying too much about it all Wendy, but the thing is I booked a trip as part of my husband's 50th a few years ago - a two-part present - to be IN THE WARM on December 29th for his actual birthday, and to go to Cabo San Lucas to go into the lagoons and see the whales and their calves.

We've been to many of the Caribb islands and we loved St. Kitts, and loved what we saw of Nevis on a day sail over to the island. So having thought Nevis had the greatest beach ever (before being totally destroyed in a hurricane since we were last there)I planned for us to be on Nevis for his birthday, but right up until we got to the airport had kept it all a surprise.

Well, I eventually had to tell him something, so I told him we were going to St. Kitts (true!) but once we got there the hopper to Nevis was late and things went a little south, but the property we stayed at, and I'd booked it all online and everything, was gorgeous, EXCEPT it wasn't actually ON the beach and was quite a long walk to it, and then you couldn't wade or swim from it.

So I'm just keeping this experience in mind. I think we've both agreed now (because I keep plugging the beach thing!) that we still really, really want to go to AC and it'll help going with that in mind, that you probably can't wade from the beach, etc., so I'm just trying to diffuse any expectations before we go!

We do usually just pick a spot and go with it, but this site has opened up a whole new realm of information that it's hard to stop asking the questions!! We really ARE low maintenance and go with the flow with whatever happens on any of our trips and always have a good laugh at whatever it is that went awry, but we're ready for a different experience and I'm sure this is going to be it!!!

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to share your opinions!

Cheers!
_________________________
Cheers!
Moon

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#102516 - 05/08/05 08:58 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
klcman Offline
Of course you can wade from the beach....Mar de Tumbo is located between Banyan Bay & Banana Beach (the two resorts are basically side-by-side. It's one of the San Pedranos favorite swimming/sunning places.

The "cabana" type rooms at Xanadu appear that way from the outside, but are actually concrete structures covered with thatch.....if that's a big issue for you. Probably not though, as your original list does not imply that.

Both the BB's have a restaurant/bar & pools (Banana Beach has 2) but neither has "entertainment" so neither are noisy. Easily walkable to town in under 30 minutes.

And like virtually every acco on the island, your tour op will pick you up on their piers.
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_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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#102517 - 05/08/05 09:01 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
JeanH Offline
Hey, Moon, would you mind if I asked you some questions about Nevis/St. Kitts? If you don't mind, please e-mail me at jhecht@mchsi.com

Thanks. Jean

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#102518 - 05/08/05 10:29 PM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
Chloe Offline
Moon put on your water shoes and wade on into the sea, if the grass is an issue with you.
_________________________
Dare To Deviate

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#102519 - 05/09/05 01:23 AM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
Scott Offline
JeanH... I have close friends that own a couple of villa properties on St. Kitts and live there about half the year... Go to www.caribreezes.com You can e-mail them from that site for all the info you might ever need.

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#102520 - 05/09/05 01:27 AM Re: Best mid-range hotel...
john robertsdenver Offline
Moon, Well in my humble opinion, the bang for the buck goes to BANANA BEACH. you can walk on the beach to the town in 35 min, they are now offering free bikes and it is a 15 min. bike ride to town. they have 2 lovely pools. the beach has palm trees providing both shade and sunny areas. you have breakfast included whic is very good. the staff is excellent and will take care of your every need. and monkey business, their travel shoppe can hook you up with any and all trips you may want to do. I have used them twice as well as mata rocks next door twice, as well as a number of other resorts on the island. the 2 mentioned are my favs.... john in denver

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