Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#167028 - 08/11/01 12:10 AM New Places on the Island
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Just got back from rambling around Belize, a trip that included five days on Ambergris (at Banyan Bay, which was terrific).

Did get a chance to see some of the new places on the island. I'll post a more detailed report soon, but a few quick comments:

* The new three-bedroom units at Sunset Beach are going to be great for big families or groups.

* Portofino (at the site of the old Green Parrot) has great plans, and if they all turn out it will be quite a spot ... though I can't see how in the world they can possibly make their announced September opening.

* The controversial Fountain Blue turned out nicer than I expected. It just opened about a month ago, and the 21 rooms and suites are attractive and not a bad value at all.

* I really like what Gaz Cooper is doing with his new place, Playa Blanca. The four first-floor units were full when I was there. The "penthouse" is huge (and not cheap) but I imagine it has its place with dive groups and big families. The view from the rooftop is fantastic, too. When the pool and hot tubs are in, this will be a fine spot.

* Belizean Shores is still building -- it looks very nice. Captain Morgan's is still building, too -- is there really a market for all these condos?!

* Gary was kind enough to give me the cook's tour of the Basil Jones timeshare project. I'm not a fan of timeshares of any kind, but Gary seems to be trying hard in a difficult situation (sorry to hear that Tammy has gone back to Florida). The location is spectacular, though remote, and construction has in fact recommenced, but, again, it's hard to see that everything will be done by the October 1 announced opening date.

* Enjoyed my dinner at Caliente (it seems to be a new favorite of local folks), but for value and good simple eating we liked Carmen's accross from Woody's Wharf. Mango's was good, too. A lot of the old places are still great, though a couple seem to be slipping (maybe it's the time of year.) Rico's at Banyan Bay has a truly lovely setting, especially at night. Among the visitors I talked with, Papi's was getting the nod for the best good-value restaurant.

* The water being off on most of the island for three days was a pain (it started coming back on Thursday) but the places like Banyan Bay and Banana Beach were able to provide guests with some water from their wells.

* One wonders what is going on with Avalon (the old Casa Caribe, which was a problem property for a long time). Another timeshare company, another series of environmentally suspect plans, another big change to an island that seems to be in the throes of big changes.

* Can't believe all the new homes that are going up, north and south. Before long, San Pedro is going to be wall-to-wall houses and apartments!

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Magazine http://www.belizefirst.com
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#167029 - 08/11/01 12:31 AM Re: New Places on the Island
mcjennifer Offline
Just wanted to second the rave for Papis Diner. I hadn't heard about it on this board, but someone recommended it to me and it ended up being one of my favorite meals on the island. Also really liked Celi's at the Holiday Hotel. And BC's for drinking!

#167030 - 08/11/01 12:30 PM Re: New Places on the Island
cajunflo Offline
I agree on BC's for drinking......if you haven't had their Gran Marnier margarita, then youve never had a margarita!!!

#167031 - 08/11/01 01:46 PM Re: New Places on the Island
Chloe Offline
Thanks, LAN, good report, we can always depend on you and your information. You are greatly appreciated here.
Dare To Deviate

#167032 - 08/11/01 02:13 PM Re: New Places on the Island
seashell Offline
I'd like to get more info on the Fountain Blue. Lan, have you put info up on Belize First or do you have a website for them that sets out their prices, etc.? TIA
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#167033 - 08/11/01 05:34 PM Re: New Places on the Island
Laguna Punta Offline
Thanks for your standard great report. I haven't yet eaten at Carmens, but will do so on my next visit. Good economical meals are at a premium in San Pedro.
Gone fishing!!

#167034 - 08/11/01 07:33 PM Re: New Places on the Island
Marty Online   happy
we love Carmens kitchen also....

#167035 - 08/11/01 07:43 PM Re: New Places on the Island
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I believe that Marty is doing a Web site for Fountain Blue, but don't believe it's up yet. Their phone number is 501-263700. Rates are around US$100 to $125, depending on the type of room.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#167036 - 08/11/01 11:47 PM Re: New Places on the Island
seashell Offline
Thanks Lan. Marty would you please let us know when the site is up. TIA
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#167037 - 08/13/01 02:37 PM Re: New Places on the Island
munichchick Offline
Lan is right! Gaz Cooper's new Playa Blanca Resort is very nice and prefect for families and dive groups. He did a great job. And the Basil Jones Resort is in a spectacular beautiful location with a super nice beach.
You really get that Robinson Cruso feel there.

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