Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#47137 - 01/14/02 04:39 PM Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
BankerWoman Offline
We've got it narrowed down to two choices now - Ramon's or Caribbean Villas. We like the all-out friendliness of staff I hear about at CV (especially Wil) but also are wondering if we wouldn't miss out on something (especially the pool and the Purple Parrot) if we didn't stay at Ramon's. The $ is a fair bit more at Ramon's (which may or may not be telling us something...) but we are willing to pay more if the experience justifies it. (Love the look of the high-ceilinged casitas at Ramon's, too!)

Anybody have a feel for either or both of them? Which would you do (have you done) if faced with the same choice?

Thanks in advance. Can't wait to meet the faces that go with the names here. The Belikins are on us!

#47138 - 01/14/02 05:36 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Below is my review of Ramon's and its new "associated" property.

If it were I, I would probably choose one of the condotels rather than a resort. More space and in most cases a better value than many of the regular hotels, with all the amenities except on-site restaurants. My favorites include The Palms, Banana Beach, Villas at Banyan Bay, but there are several other excellent ones.

If I were going to stay at a resort in the price range of Ramon's, I'd probably go with Victoria House.

--Lan Sluder


* * * * Ramon's Village, Coconut Drive, San Pedro; tel. 800-624-4415 or 601-649-1990, fax 601-649-1996; e-mail info@ramons.com; www.ramons.com. Anyone who has heard of San Pedro has probably heard of Ramon's Village, the creation of Ambergris native and pioneering hotel operator Ramon Nuñez. Now American-owned, over the years it has grown from a small, moderately priced collection of thatched cabañas on the beach into a much larger group of multiunit buildings and individual cabañas, with 60 rooms and suites. Rates also have gone up, now being near the top price point on the island, but Ramon's retains its sand-and-thatch ambiance. The resort has, arguably, one of the better beaches on the island, and certainly the best in or near town, part of its 500-foot water frontage, though those who have seen beaches in the BVI, on Anguilla or in the Yucatán won't be impressed. A small artificial reef near the 420-foot pier brings fish to snorkelers. The new pool is gorgeous, but it’s smaller than it looks in the brochures. Ramon's has a popular bar, a (fairly pricey) restaurant, and a well-regarded dive operation. Rooms vary from okay to gorgeous. They are divided into three basic categories: beach front, seaside and garden view. There also are one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes, including the deluxe 600 square-foot Presidential suite, and several "honeymoon cabañas." All are now air conditioned. The location, just south of the airstrip, and a five-minute stroll from town, can't be beat. Ramon's does a first-rate job of marketing, especially to travel agents, and it enjoys one of the highest occupancy rates on the island. The crowd here is usually a little younger and more active than the average at island hotels. Rates, which vary depending on package and date, US$140-$300+ plus tax and 10% service. Bottom line: Popular, well-located, well-run hotel which manages to retain its island ambiance despite expansion and relatively high prices.
* * * + Steve and Becky’s Cute Little Hotel, Coconut Drive, San Pedro; tel. 800-624-4415 or 601-649-1990, fax 601-649-1996; e-mail info@ramons.com; www.steveandbeckys.com. This new cottage colony, with the island’s cleverest name, opened in late summer 2001. It’s right across the street from Ramon’s and, being associated with it, guests have beach, pool and pier privileges at Ramon’s. The wood, “colonial-style” one-bedroom cottages don’t have sea views, but all have porches, fans and air-conditioning and are painted in colorful Caribbean colors such as pink and lime. Bottom-line: New and nice, though not on the water.
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#47139 - 01/14/02 06:25 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
jkdiver Offline
Hi Bankerwoman,

I stayed at The Palms, which is are condos right next to Ramons. FANTASTIC! While I was there, a couple moved from Ramons to The Palms. They said that the price was about half as much, pleus they had about twice as much room.

I highly recommend the Palms. They all have fully furnished kitchens too. The room I was in was 2 bedroom, 2 bath.


#47140 - 01/15/02 12:32 AM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
alcmaeon Offline
Hey There

I stayed at Ramones over New Years, here is my take: Overall service was great, we even met Ramone himself as we checked in. They have a first class staff, all very nice. We stayed in 2 rooms. First we were in a garden view. They were gorgeous, large, A/C was great, all wood and thatch. We had booked to late to get a king size bed so we had 2 full sized instead. Great if its you and a dive buddy, not so good if its you and your honey. They do have King size available.
However! The airport and the road were right behind us. It sounded like the road went right through the room. The road can be noisy at any hour and as soon as the airport has its first flight-so long to sleeping in. I imagine Steve and Becky's Cute Little Hotel is even worse as it is across the same street and borders directly on to the airport.

Than we moved to an ocean front room. It was smaller in overall size (the gardenview were huge for one room places) and since it was on the first floor of a 2 story building it had a regular roof instead of the palapa roof that Ramones is famous for. It was much more like a regular hotel room. However it had a king sized bed (yay!) and it had incredible views of the beach, out to the reef. Great sunrise place. Best of all, no road noise and no airport noise! It was worth the extra money--and it was only something like $20 a night extra, very worth it.

If you snorkel, Ramone's dock has a ton of fish under. They have built a lot of structure out of cement rubble and wooden poles. Hundreds if not thousands of snappers of all species as well as French and Grey angels, tiger and Nassau groupers, damsels, butterflies, cardinals, one big green moray we saw only one time, a 2 foot puffer, all kinds of stuff! Even if you don't stay there head on over and have a snorkel.

Enjoy your trip!

#47141 - 01/15/02 02:15 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?

Having had experience with both, I feel that you were on the right track with your first choice CV's. The preceding comment regarding the Palms would be true of Caribbean Villas, Coral Bay Villas, and also several other properties alluded to by Lan in his reply. (At one point one of my more astute traveling companions calculated the difference as 220+ rum and cokes at typical San Pedro prices, per week). Have fun.


#47142 - 01/16/02 09:38 AM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
BankerWoman Offline
Thanks to all for your help. We have decided on CV (with the gratefully-received comments of all of you) and will, indeed, put the $ difference towards the depletion of rum and (diet) Coke on AC.

Probably will be bugging you again with questions as the time to fly gets closer. Should be deciding with our travel agent today what the actual dates will be (hopefully late April). This promises to be BankerWoman and Computer Guy's BIG ADVENTURE!

#47143 - 01/16/02 12:47 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?

Do NOT tarry as far as making the arrangements. Late April is a pretty heavy season in SP, although it remains to be seen what the 9-11 shakeout is. We know 6 "o f" type couples who will be there 3-26 to 4-6. Right next door. Please do not toss the empty rum bottles north.

Diet Coke is now generally available, although some places carry a Coke "Light", whatever the devil that is. The tonic by the way (if one was so inclined) is Fanta, but has a rather startling pink tone.

#47144 - 01/16/02 01:36 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline

There's actually two types of Fanta tonic, one pink (bitters) and one clear. But I miss diet tonic water, which I've never seen in Belize.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#47145 - 01/16/02 03:30 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
That's interesting. When we would order up a case of the stuff (for medicinal purposes, i.e see "botfly") it is usually a mix of the clear and pink. The last two years it has been all pink. The diet tonic is also sorely missed by our family. Since Mr. Bowen is bottling the Fanta and Coke products I doubt we'll see the diet tonic anytime soon.

We always watch the grocery in case Mr. B decides to import and distibute some Schweppes diet (provided he can extract the "proper" margins). Maybe I'll have SWMBO leave that in the suggestion box outside his house.

#47146 - 01/16/02 04:24 PM Re: Ramon's or Caribbean Villas?
BankerWoman Offline
Lan and Choochoo: We promise not to pitch the bottles northwardly...and we are trying as hard as we can to pin down dates TODAY. Figured that late April would be a busy time.

What I'm really hoping for is Diet Pepsi --- but, in paradise, anything at all will do. Thanks again for the assist.

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