Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#56112 - 08/20/02 03:44 PM First visit - I need your opinion!
IslandFan Offline
Hello All,

I have been reading this message board for a few days now. I am posting now because my Husband and I are taking our very first trip to Ambergris Caye in 3 weeks and 2 days! Can't wait. I had researched all kinds of destinations for a quick trip, but my husband (who does none of the travel research) suggested Belize! I couldn't believe it. I'm so glad he did. After doing some preliminary research, AC looks like exactly what I was searching for all along! Now, here's my question. We will only be in Belize for 3 days. We arrive at BZE at 1:20 on a Thurs. afternoon and have to fly out at 2:15 on Sunday. Given this time constraint, I'm torn between staying at Tropica/Banana Beach area for the beaches or staying at Sunbreeze/Paradise Villas/ Seven Seas for the proximity to town. If it were just me, I'd choose town. Hubby said he'd like to be away from town. But I don't think that San Pedro looks much like Miami Beach, i.e. how 'busy' is town? I know it's impossible to predict what we'll like, but in your opinion, would you opt for staying south and renting a golf cart, or would you stay closer in? Please note that with such a short trip planned, a kitchen is not a big deal, although a frige might be nice. Actually, the biggest deal for us is a pretty place that looks tropical with a lively beach/pool bar! Anything else that I 'must' know - any other info welcomed. Thanks in advance for your help. I'm so excited!


#56113 - 08/20/02 04:33 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
Johnboy Offline
Hallie,Try looking at MataRocks website.... We love it there.....Thr-eir beach bar is great & the staff is "The Best".....John

#56114 - 08/20/02 07:02 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
Bobber Offline
Since you are dropping down the line, I can add an opinion. We've been at Paradise Villas for the last three years, and it is perfect for us. Less traffic on the beach (only a body every five minutes versus the 2 or 3 every five minutes you find in town). As far as the beaches, the difference between a real good one and a not so good one is very slight, usually mostly in the perception. We like being close enough to town to walk to meals, and be close enough to stagger back if we drink too much lunch. Paradise has a nice pool. My opinion is just another opinion. Actually, AC is great no matter where you stay, just different versions of great.
Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt

#56115 - 08/24/02 09:09 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
beale1 Offline
We just got back and stayed at Ramon's, which is right at town. Yes, you are correct it's not Miami - it's small w/three main streets - all walkable barefooted with delightful little shops, all run by local individuals. Prices are reasonable, the people are fabulous and you will never regret this decision. We did not want to leave and neither will you.

#56116 - 08/25/02 01:01 AM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
sweetjane Offline
LOL! not miami beach? here is what downtown looks like:

#56117 - 08/25/02 04:20 AM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
SP Daily Offline
That's an old photo... sure wish it still looked like that!

#56118 - 08/25/02 01:13 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
sweetjane Offline
(yeah, i know. add 6 golfcarts & 3 vans to the pic. nice to see ya, cap'n jessie! i send debbie's hello to you)

#56119 - 08/25/02 02:16 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
IslandFan Offline
Thanks, everyone for your imput. I've looked at all the websites for the hotels at least three times. I'm leaning toward Ramon's because of the location, nice looking pool and pool bar, but I've heard quite a few negative comments about it. Beale 1, what did you think of Ramon's? Also, while I'm on here, I saw that the Sunbreeze has a special for September - $60 per night because of their "exterior refurbishing" that's going on. Does any one know what kind of refurbishing is going on? The pictures on their website look so pretty, Is it really as nice as it looks?
Thanks again!

#56120 - 08/25/02 06:03 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
beale1 Offline
I enjoyed it a lot. It's certainly grown over the years, but wonderful thatched roof cabanas, with small porches and sandy paths connecting you to the bar which looks over the water. They included breakfast, which I found especially good after a couple of long nights at Fidos w/Pineapple Willy.

The staff is attentive but not overbearing, helpful but not smothering. They will also help with laundry at a per piece or there is nellie's in town which will wash and fold for you at a per pound price - everything is reasonable.

Ramons also has a long pier with cabanas at the end of it and a deck you can use to go off of for snorkeling/swimming. It was untouched by the recent waterspout and it has a Tuesday night BBQ, and lobster is considered standard BBQ fare in San Pedro. I would be curious as to the negative comments you heard. The only negative I had was at the beginning when we were in the planning stages - had trouble w/Ramon's US agent - but other than that - a definite thumbs up.

#56121 - 08/26/02 03:01 PM Re: First visit - I need your opinion!
IslandFan Offline
Beale 1,
Thanks for your prompt reply. I guess the negatives I've heard are that it's not 'worth' the money and that it tends to be more touristy and crowded than some other places. Last night, I finally got my husband to sit down and look at some pictures and info about the various places to stay. (it's like pulling teeth to get him to do this - I can't understand since vacation planning is what I live for!) He said Ramon's was his top choice, so I guess I will probably book there today or tomorrow. Rooms are not a big deal to me, I love beautiful/tropical looking grounds and it certainly seems that Ramon's has done a good job on that. Thanks again for all of your help and input. 17 days, I can't wait!

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