Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#43156 - 08/21/01 07:45 PM First timers need help!
SandyG Offline
Hi, my name is Sandy and I have been reading this message board for a couple of weeks now and decided to give it a try. My husband, myself and another couple are planning on coming to Belize for the 1st time for all of us 10/28-11/10. We are not divers, but snorkelers and world travelers.Belize and esp. AC sound great, and just what we need to escape! I think I have narrowed down our lodging choices to Banana Beach, Belizean Reef, the Palms, or Paradise Villas. Each couple wants a 1 bedroom condo, and we want to be able to go into town easily for rest., nightlife, etc. So I have kind of ruled out anything north of cut as being too hard to get back into town. Am I right about this?Seaven Seas has a great price, but I get the impression these other places I have mentioned are nicer. I am mostly interested in roomy, comfortable,with full kitchen if we decide to eat in a few nights, and FANTASTIC OCEAN FRONT LOCATION AND VIEWS WITH NICE BEACH. We are landlocked and beach starved here in Colorado.Villas at Banyan Bay sound great, but my husband and I will be staying for 13 nights and the other couple probably only 7 nights. So can't afford Banyan Bay on our own and don't want to move. Thus, each couple renting separate 1 bedroom unit.

So glad Chantal didn't do any damage. I have already made a special place in my heart for the people of AC just from reading this message board. It has been fun, and my first time to venture into online "chatting".

Thanks for any info, suggestions, etc. Also, we are debating staying the entire 13 nights on AC and doing tours from there, or else staying 2-3 nights on the mainland first before we go over. We have done rainforests, Mayan ruins before,and here in CO we are surrounded by nountains, water falls, but definitely want to see the best of the Belizean ruins and any other "MUST SEE" highlights. Otherwise, we want to RELAX, snorkel,get destressed, eat lobster, SNORKEL, maybe sail a little, boat tours, etc. What are your thoughts on dividing our stay or making AC our base for the entire time?

SandyG

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#43157 - 08/21/01 07:54 PM Re: First timers need help!
Jules Offline
In July we stayed a week at Banana Beach and a week at Paradise Villas. The whole time we were at Paradise Villas I wanted to be back at Bananas. The oceanfront room views are great! Can't be beat you're just a few feet from the water. The rooms are comfortable and clean and the pool area is just great. It is farther from town, but we rented bicycles or a golf cart right from the front desk and had no problem going into town a couple times a day. The Mata Rocks beach bar nest door "The Squirrels Nest" is a great place for a light lunch and happy hour is the best!
Have a great time, we did our first time and will be back!

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#43158 - 08/21/01 08:00 PM Re: First timers need help!
Big Frank Offline
As another Colorodan, I would highly recommend a stay on the placencia peninsula. Although you will not be disappointed at all if you stay in AC the whole time, Placencia is fantastic IF you want a reallyslow paceand minimal nightlife. The Singing Sands Inn has wonderful grounds, cool tours, just enough to do locally that 3-5 days there would be great. I like to ge there first, get de-stressed, then head onto AC for a little craziness.

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#43159 - 08/21/01 08:20 PM Re: First timers need help!
Florian Offline
I stayed recently in the Mayan Princess. It is not a resort or beach club. It is a condo-style hotel. No swimming pool, but ....

It is very centraly located, in the heart of San Pedro. Amigo's Del Mar is right there. Fido's in just a few steps away. So is practicly everywhere else.

The rooms have fantastic views with nice balconies. The beach is as much 'main street' as Front Street and the balconies overlook the beach, bay and reef. Sunrises were spectacular.

The rooms are all at least one-bedroom condos with kitchen and sitting room. I think they have units with more then one bedroom.

The hotel was neat and clean. Building maintenance needed a little work, but nothing profound.

The rooms were moderate in size, clean, bright and airy.

Service was very good. The staff were friendly and helpfull. My room's maid was a particularly sweet person.

I was there this last spring and I has an arrangement of local flowers put in my room each morning. They were very nice, and well worth the $15 US (each).

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#43160 - 08/21/01 08:30 PM Re: First timers need help!
mcjennifer Offline
I stayed at the Seven Seas and enjoyed it very nice. Very affordable, nice small pool..on the beach with a lovely dock for swimming. Staff was great as well.

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#43161 - 08/21/01 08:36 PM Re: First timers need help!
Over_40_Pirate Offline
It really depends on how much time you plan on spending in your room. (We never made into the room until well after midnight and back out again at 8 or 9AM) All of these places are on the beach. I just returned last Monday having spent the entire week at Seven Seas, with no regrets. The grounds are beautiful and the staff is superb! Plus the price allowed me to get my fill of lobster!
I did find the beach area around Banana Beach and Mata Rocks a little more to my liking, and the Squirrels Nest is a neat little place...but my fave place to hang out was BC's.
I haven't heard a bad thing about any of the places on your list. The Palms is probably the most central of the ones on your list. Banana Beach will require some walking, or a bike/golf cart. Good luck and have fun. Be sure to go see Tony and Yvonne at Fido's dock for Parasailing or whatever, Tony can hook you up! AND DON'T MISS BC'S BEACH BBQ ON SUNDAY!!! LIP SMACKIN'GOOD! Tell Charlene the Pirate said HI!

P.S. I was de-stressed the minute I set foot on Belizean soil!

[This message has been edited by Over_40_Pirate (edited 08-21-2001).]

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#43162 - 08/21/01 08:48 PM Re: First timers need help!
shabetty Offline
We have stayed at the Belizean Reef,all units are oceanfront, it is close to town and you can't beat the price. Rooms are spotless. Will stay there again

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#43163 - 08/21/01 08:50 PM Re: First timers need help!
JillB Offline
Doesn't Lobster Season end in September????

We stayed at Paradise Villas. Great location. Nice condos. Lovely pool. Best thing, close walk to Lilly's for the most awesome breakfast (especially the lobster omelets!)!!

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#43164 - 08/21/01 10:13 PM Re: First timers need help!
Over_40_Pirate Offline
Another option..email Tony and Yvonne Buono at paradisehillbz@hotmail.com. They have a place up by Mata Chica with 2 one-bedroom apts for a VERY reasonable price! You get a pretty secluded and beautiful stretch of beach, plus Tony and Yvonne wil give you a free hop into town in the AM and a ride back in the PM. (they own the parasail biz on Fido's dock). They are a great couple and can steer you in the right direction for anything you want to do.
There are also water taxis that run all the time, so access into town is very easy.

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#43165 - 08/21/01 11:15 PM Re: First timers need help!
Gaelen Offline
I can tell you I've done a ton of research for our upcoming trip and are now deciding between Tropica Beach Resort and Banana Beach, and I've heard nothing but praise for how wonderful Banana is. It seems to come well-recommended by just about everybody, including the several travel books I've read.

Gaelen
Concord, CA

[This message has been edited by Gaelen (edited 08-21-2001).]

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