Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#54760 - 07/14/02 08:23 PM 1st Time to Belize
Miha Offline
Hi guys,
Great message board! I have been lurking for a couple months, and am planning a family trip to Ambergris and Cayo over Thanksgiving.
Hubby and I are bringing the kids - ages 10 and 7. We are thinking about 5 days/4 nights at Banana Bank, then 5 days/4 nights at Ramon's.

If any of you have stayed at either of these places recently, I would appreciate your feedback. Do you have any other suggestions about lodging? What are your favorite things to do with kids?

Thanks for helping me out. We're counting down the days until we leave!!

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#54761 - 07/14/02 08:46 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
sweetjane Offline
i stayed at banana bank, but it was '93. i understand it is a bit different now. this year, we stayed at duplooy's instead. i do think it was terrific for kids. you may want to look into it. (i have online pics available)

for ambergris, with kids, i strongly suggest a condo-tel with a kitchen. not that i cooked, but we had snacks, choc milk, leftovers, juice, (rum!) etc available at all times, night or day. while the ocean is nice, a pool will be a must for the kids too.

i secretly admit having the cable tv gave us (mom & dad) a chance for down time too.

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#54762 - 07/14/02 11:55 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
klcman Offline
BB is nice - was there in '99 but can't imagine staying there for 5 days - move on farther west...or south to Cave's Branch
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But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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#54763 - 07/15/02 12:31 AM Re: 1st Time to Belize
d-jon Offline
Miha, I would definitely agree with sweet jane. Havign access to a kitchen and TV with kids is great.

I live here in Belize and was in AC last weekend and just went to the supermarket and bought stuff for the kids and just put it in the refridge. There is microwave, cooker etc.
and having the swimming pool there was great too.

I was just looking at Green Heaven Lodge and it looks very nice. It's not far from duPlooy's either.

you can contact if you need more help,
djones@btl.net
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Hi, trina I would suggest the Orange Walk area. There is a lot to offer there. In particular there is the Lamanai Outpost lodge that offers exactly what you're looking for. You can contact me if you need more info at djones@btl.net

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#54764 - 07/15/02 06:40 AM Re: 1st Time to Belize
Miha Offline
Thanks for your help. I'll look into your suggestions.

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#54765 - 07/15/02 08:42 AM Re: 1st Time to Belize
seashell Offline
Miha, I stayed at Banana Bank for a few days this past winter. It has things to recommend it but I found those outweighed by the things that drove me crazy. For myself, I did not care for having to eat at assigned times of the day. I also did not like that the lighting in our cabin was so low that I could not see what was in my suitcase (in the evening). And even though all of the wild animals on the property, were there because they had been rescued from a cruel fate, I hated to see them captive. The monkeys were on long leashes and I found that particularly upsetting. I'd much rather have seen them in a large cage than with that noose around their necks. Further, I cannot imagine what would keep a family occupied there for as many days as you are considering.

First, there is quite a drive in to the property from the highway and then a crossing of the river. The crossing is in a little boat that is pulled across the water on a rope that is strung over the river. I felt quite isolated and got pretty antzy after 2 days. Perhaps if you guys love horses it won't be so bad.

One thing I did love was the fireflies at night but I'm sure that they are most everywhere inland. Each cabin is unique, some are quite a bit nicer than others and they are decorated with Carolyn's artwork which is very beautiful.

There is quite a Christian fellowship happening at BB too. Of course, some people love that and actually go to BB for that reason. There were other guests during my stay that were not so pleased, as they had not been made aware of this particular aspect of the ambiance.

Again, unless you guys are big on horses, I cannot imagine what would amuse your children at BB for that length of stay.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#54766 - 07/15/02 03:04 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
Miha Offline
Thanks for all of your input! Now a couple of more questions:
1) When you stayed in Cayo, did you do a package deal (includes room, meals, and tours)?
2) Or, did you just book the room at the lodge, then arrange tours and meals elsewhere?
3) If you go with option 2, is it necessary to rent a car to get around?
4) If you go with option 2, what are some reputable tour operators?

It looks this thread has gotten off-topic for the Ambergris section. Sorry about that - thanks for putting up with a newbie!

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#54767 - 07/15/02 05:19 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
aqtpie2 Offline
BB is great to go to for tours - can't imagine stayign for 5 days though. GREAT people there though!!!! If oyur into horses a WHOLE LOT then that may be the place for you - they cna do other packages for you too. I too would suggest heading farther in to Caves Branch - get a package deal with them - you won't regeet it - you cna even go to BB and horseback as one of your day trips.

AC - Well I am with Jane on that - sice we both seem to like the same place too. (hee hee). I strongly reccommend a place with a kitchen and extra room to just veg out for a bit. You need it sometimes. There are quite a few places like that - and even renting a home is a teriffic option.

I do Belize in November ALWAYS. I would suggest booking your day excursions on AC when oyur there - there is plenty of time and outfits that can help you out. You can even do that on the mainland - but I tend to knwo what I want by the time I get there. Look at Caves Branch - it's for all ages!

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#54768 - 07/15/02 07:37 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
sweetjane Offline
i am gald someone else mentioned the christian thing first. to us it was weird. he is catholic & i am jewish & we do not praftice anything. i did not expect religion to even enter into my vaca at BB, but it did.

i liked duplooys better. they too have horses, plus canoeing etc. you can swim in the river there. meals & times are more relaxed. and there were real lights and 24 hr a day elect.

both times we chose to rent a vehice. we just do not like to be tied to a place.

that said, we ended up eating most meals at duplooys, but san ignacio town is less than a ten minute drive.

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#54769 - 07/15/02 09:03 PM Re: 1st Time to Belize
Miha Offline
Wow! When I asked for reviews, I never expected religion to be an issue. I guess it really pays to ask those who've been there.

If you don't mind my asking, what aspect of the religious atmosphere bothered you? Prayer before meals? Someone trying to convert you to his/her beliefs? Anything else?

If this is too personal a question, I apologize - but your responses have really piqued my curiosity.

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