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#427771 - 01/14/12 02:46 PM Why Victoria House is a Gem on Ambergris Caye
Marty Offline

Discover Victoria House, the Luxurious Boutique Hotel on Ambergris Caye

Belize is a diverse country. Itís known for its ancient Mayan temples, lush Central American jungles and sun drenched Caribbean islands. Most visitors to the Caribbean coast are recommended to stay on the popular Northern Cayes, specifically Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.

Though only a short ferry ride apart, the islands are actually quite different. Both have easy access to the Belize Barrier Reef and its abundance of marine wildlife, but each has its own distinct vibe and reputation.

Our conversations with fellow travelers revealed completely different descriptions of the islands.

When we stayed at the luxurious Kaíana Boutique Resort and the Lodge at Chaa Creek, guests raved about Ambergris Caye and its picture perfect sandy beaches, but they didnít think much of Caye Caulker. When we stayed in the towns of San Ignacio and Placencia, younger budget travelers said, ďAmbergris Caye is too expensive, head to Caye Caulker instead. Itís less touristy and more laid backĒ.

Lucky for us, our itinerary included both islands!

Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

As we pulled up to the entrance of Victoria House, our Mexican taxi driver gave an approving smile and said, ďPeople love this hotel for the palm trees and grassÖ itís one of the best in San Pedro.Ē

We were escorted to the beachfront Plantation Villa that would become our home for the next three nights. Needless to say, we were impressed. The large tropical grounds are neatly groomed with dozens of tall, shady palms scattered along the silky smooth white sandy beach.

Our Private Deck at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

The photo above is our spacious wooden deck of our Plantation Villa, complete with comfy loungers, chairs and hammock. The first photo above (the beach photo with a pair of loungers) is the view we had while sitting on the deck. The relaxing moments spent on that private deck are some of the most memorable from our stay.

Check out this Twitpic Ė Views from our villa at Victoria House

Our Room at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: the master suite of our Plantation Villa at Victoria House

Casita at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: one of seven thatch-roofed Casitas with seaside views of the Caribbean

Pool at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

The main pool at the hotel has unobstructed views of the colourful Belize Barrier Reef. If you look closely at the horizon, you can see the white water crashing on the reef, giving perspective to the proximity of the Western Hemisphereís largest barrier reef.

Pool Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Because there are so many outdoor activities to do while on Ambergris Caye (fishing, diving, snorkeling, kayaking, cave tubing, etc), the main pool and beach were often empty during the day. We had already spent full days snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef and searching for whale sharks, so we were quite content simply lounging by the pool, taking full advantage of our luxurious tropical surroundings.

Victoria House, Belize

At first, we couldnít put our finger on what made Victoria House feel so romantic and exclusive. Of course, the private beach helped, but it was much more than that. We thought there were only a few guests staying at the hotel, but as the days passed we realized the boutique hotel was actually almost at capacity.

The calm atmosphere is the opposite from what you would find at a typical all-inclusive. The loungers and hammocks are strategically spaced along the beach, giving us the feeling that we had the entire beach to ourselves. It never felt crowded and we always had several choices beside the pools or on the beach.

Because it is east facing, itís also the perfect beach to capture a Caribbean sunrise. Check out our Sunrise Time Lapse Video that was taken from just in front of our Plantation Villa.

Beach at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: Postcard picture straight out of the travel brochure!

Private Dock at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

As much as we love sinking our toes in silky sand, we also love hanging out on waterfront docks. Canada has a lot of fresh water lakes that usually have docks, so we both have fond memories of summer days spent chilling out on the dock with a cold beverage in hand.

We were thrilled to learn that Victoria House not only has a dock for its guests, the dock is outfitted with comfy loungers and a thatched roof for shade. The loungers had our names written all over them!

Dock at Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Itís not every day that we find ourselves relaxing on a private dock with unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea, so itís easy to see why this was a highlight for us.

The sound of the water splashing against the swaying dock, the hot tropical sun beating down, the smell of the fresh salt water blowing in from the ocean Ė itís the perfect seaside atmosphere.

Sun bathing on the Private Dock

Above: Nicole sunbathing on Victoria Houseís private dock

Sun bathing on private dock in the Caribbean Sea

We had endless panoramic views of the Belize Barrier Reef and the Caribbean Sea. Thereís a roped off section for guests to swim and snorkel straight off the dock, protecting swimmers for boats. We even spotted a large sting ray while snorkeling off the dock!

Infinity Pool Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: the refreshing infinity pool, where several fresh tropical juices were enjoyed

Poolside - Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: poolside tables and loungers at the infinity pool,
with views of the green grounds, swaying palms and beach

Our Plantation Villa at Victoria House, Belize/p>

Above: Cameron standing on the deck of our Plantation Villa.
We had the downstairs suite, but guests are also able to rent the entire villa

Private Dock - Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: enjoying the sunset hour on the dock

Dock at Sunset, Victoria House, Ambergris Caye, Belize

Above: the main pool and restaurant hidden behind a wall of coconut palms

Infinity Pool at Victoria House, Belize

Above: the infinity pool at sunset, illuminated with colourful lights

Infinity pool at night, Victoria House, Belize

Above: night views of the infinity pool

Restaurant at Victoria House, Belize

Victoria House is located a couple miles south of San Pedroís city centre, which is an appealing quality because it creates separation from the city noise and party atmosphere. But it also means that there are limited options for dining within walking distance.

Fortunately, the Restaurant Palmilla at Victoria House is one of the best dining experiences on the island. There is an air-conditioned fine dining room and an outdoor patio with views of the pool and ocean. One evening, a couple was served dinner directly on the beach, surrounded by tiki torches and the sound of waves crashing on the shore.

We preferred to sit outside on the patio under the stars, with the cool ocean breeze chasing away the bugs. Although we usually like to try different restaurants when visiting a new place, we saw no reason to leave the hotel. It has an informal yet romantic ambience, the food was fantastic and reasonably priced, and the tropical atmosphere was perfect. We began to feel like we were on a second honeymoon!

Below are some photos of the delicious meals we sampled at Restaurant Palmilla.

Tortilla Appetizer with Parmesan

Tortilla appetizer topped with chili sauce, sour cream and Parmesan cheese

Grilled Plantain with Black Beans Sauce

Grilled plantain with black beans, sour cream and fresh herbs

Calamari al Tomate

Camarones al tomate Ė fresh squid in a tomato garlic sauce topped with Parmesan

Camarones en Hamaca

Camarones en Hamaca Ė Sauteed prawns and heart of palm served
on pan fried plantain slices with a lime, ginger, tomato and caper sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado and Black Bean Suace

Chicken Enchiladas served with fresh avocado and black bean, sour cream and green sauce

Pasta Primavera Alfredo with Fresh Grilled Prawns

Pasta Primavera Alfredo with grilled shrimp and fresh local vegetables in a rich cream sauce

Beach at Victoria House, Belize

Above: pair of comfortable beach loungers on the Victoria House private beach.

This was also the location where we shot our Sunrise Time Lapse Video

Paradise at Victoria House, Belize

Above: this photo does a wonderful job capturing the romantic spirit of Victoria House

As a couple that travels extensively and has stayed at many hotels and resorts, we would highly recommend Victoria House. What we liked most about the hotel was that it doesnít have the all-inclusive, mass tourism vibe. Itís the perfect tropical destination for couples looking for a quiet, romantic getaway Ė without the crowds.

It was easy to see why itís consistently rated as one of the best places to stay in Ambergris Caye.

travelingcanucks.com


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#427821 - 01/14/12 08:27 PM Re: Why Victoria House is a Gem on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
Sunny Reef Offline
Yes, this is the place and it is well deserved! Bravo Victoria House!
_________________________
Again another beautiful day in paradise - just smile and be happy :-)

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#427824 - 01/14/12 10:18 PM Re: Why Victoria House is a Gem on Ambergris Caye [Re: Sunny Reef]
BeBelize Offline
All the photos are lovely, but the food pics have me drooling all over my keyboard. Wow!

Emily
_________________________
Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
http://travelingtwosome.weebly.com

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#428628 - 01/21/12 05:06 PM Re: Why Victoria House is a Gem on Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
VICTORIA HOUSE RECEIVES THREE NEW AWARDS

KICKING OFF 2012 IN STYLE!

Victoria House, the historic boutique resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize receives travel industry awards at the start of 2012 from Condť Nast Johansens, Travel + Leisure and Trip Advisor.

Luxury travel guide Travel + Leisure Magazine, January 2012 edition, announced their annual T+L Top 500. Victoria House is the only hotel in Belize on the list.

Travel website Trip Advisor recently announced the results of their annual Travelerís Choice Awards. Victoria House was named as one of the Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Central America.

Victoria House is a beachfront resort just two miles south of San Pedro Town overlooking the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world. Comprised of 42 accommodations including casitas, rooms, suites and private villas, the resort is set amongst lush tropical gardens with swaying coconut palms, four swimming pools and sweeping views of the Caribbean. Victoria House also boasts the award winning Palmilla Restaurant and Admiral Nelsonís Beach Bar and the Fantasea Dive Shop, located on the adjacent private pier.

The U.S. Toll Free Reservation Line is 800-247-5159 and email info@victoria-house.com or visit www.victoria-house.com or www.destinationweddingsbelize.com for additional information.

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