Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#31470 - 11/16/00 01:13 AM Our Honeymoon & 1st time to AC :) (Jan/01)
cwscrc Offline
Hello Everyone!

My fiance & I are extremly excited about our upcoming wedding, espicially our trip to Belize. We were really searching for a destination where we would be able to chill out away from it all with the locals.
I'm still a little skeptical about Hurricane Keith Damage...Has anyone seen Mata Chica in San Pedro or the Blancaneux Lodge in the Cayo?
I'm hoping that the damage has not affected the beauty of Belize or impacted local life too much.
If anyone knows about either of these two resorts any info you have would be greatly appreciated. We're also interested in hearing about a "locals" bar and any great local restaurants specializing in Belizian cuisine (cheap or expensive).
Please reply and we look forward to visiting all of you!

#31471 - 11/16/00 11:15 AM Re: Our Honeymoon & 1st time to AC :) (Jan/01)
Big Frank Offline
Because Ambergris is an island most of the bars and restaurants are all "locals" spots;the cheaper the spot the more locals
Riddems on the pier was phat. Spring for a Guinness stout for a local and you're in. Use the water taxis [they pick up regularly on the pier or for a few $ more will come when called]and land taxis for ear-to-the-ground [water?] tips. don't rent a golfcart as you will isolate yourself, although on a honeymoon that's more than ok. ;]

When on island last march Jimmy Buffett stayed @ Mata Chica--so La-de-da! Don't know status of resort but feel confident of repairs

#31472 - 11/16/00 03:16 PM Re: Our Honeymoon & 1st time to AC :) (Jan/01)
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Not sure if you're asking whether we've seen these places since Keith or just seen them in general. I haven't seen either since Keith -- Mata Chica did get significant damage, I'm told, but is saying it will reopen in mid-December, while Blanacaneaux was totally unaffected by Keith.

However, I've seen both on several occasions and have stayed twice at Blanacaneaux.

Blancaneaux is really a terrific place, especially the villas, which are in my opinion among the two or three most deluxe accommodation options in Belize. Mata Chica is lovely, too, though the design themes are perhaps a little over the top for my pedestrian tastes. The only addition I'd like to see at Mata Chica is a swimming pool.

Francis Ford Coppola recently bought Turtle Inn in Placencia and is renaming it Blancaneaux's Turtle Inn. I guess for that reason Blancaneaux no longer will do joint packages with Mata Chica.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/
Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#31473 - 11/17/00 06:53 AM Re: Our Honeymoon & 1st time to AC :) (Jan/01)
Edwin Offline
cwscrc, I returned just hours ago from a 2-week stay in Belize, the last 5-days were a on AC. There still is significant damage on the island, especially to the north. If I had it to do over again I would skip AC altogether. We stayed to the north of town and had to deal with intermittent power and water and the place looked like it was hit by a bomb. There are fewer tourists than usual and as a result fewer bars, eateries, water taxies are available. I wasn't impressed with San Pedro, you would get a better feel of BZ if you travelled the mainland (only my humble opinion of course). My wife and I stayed for 6 days near Hopkins Village which is a few miles south of Dangriga (we were actually married there). I found the locals very friendly and engaging, more so than AC. There are far fewer Gringos in this part of BZ, which is something that I appreciate. We discovered a fantastic little restaurant called "Over the Waves" that is actually on a pier. Great food for a reasonable price. We also discovered a resort named Hamanasi that is under construction and is offering rooms for $50 US per night. Rates go to $185 after completion, this isn't where we stayed but we spent most of our free time there (we would of moved to this resort but we prepaid for our lodging). They also have an excellent dive master and better reef diving than AC, but the boat rides longer. There isn't much for night-life if that's what you're after.
One discovery that I would like to share: the hotels/restraurants/bars/dive shops that had the owners present were universally better with repect to customer service. If there is a way to find out if the owners are on-site I would recommend it.
I sorry I'm not directly answering you question about the resorts you listed, it's because I'm not familiar with them. Good luck and enjoy Belize.

PS: Other than high water and a few downed trees, the center and southern Belize weren't damaged.

The roads can be pretty bad.


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