Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#64507 - 03/11/03 03:04 PM First time/Jan '04/Big Group
blessed Offline
13 of us are planning a week in AC in January 2004. This wil be the first time for all of us. I have been researching lodging and have found a tentative place. It's the Stella di Mare house--very, very North on the island. The owner boasted of the anemities his house offered in comparison with a lot of the other homes on the island. He also stated that the beaches are cleaner/nicer on this part of the island and he and his wife completely upgraded/remodled the house last year. The owner of the house charges $3200.00 normally but is discounting the house down to $3000.00 for the week. He is asking for 100% payment due to the discounting and "wanting to protect himself". Is this normal? I found the house here on www.ambercriscaye.com and some women in the group have concerns as to whether or not this is legit.

Our group consists of lifelong 30 year old friends. We don't want to miss out on AC nightlife--we're not that old! Are there advantages or disadvantages to staying this far North. We, obviously, would like to have all 13 of us in the same house. Any suggestions or recommendations will be deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance

#64508 - 03/11/03 03:37 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
Marie Offline
Hi Lana,

Can't help you as much as I would like, there are more experienced people on this site. I go to AC once a year for about three weeks. I don't recognize this place, but others may. My concern is that if it is far north, you are kind of trapped out there. The hand bridge closes at 8:00 p.m., so you can't get into town unless you pay for a boat trip (about $10US RT per person). That may be just what you what. If not reconsider. It does kind of concern me that he wants a total payment, site unseen, upfront. I bow to the others here, but I've never had that happen. But then, I go to the same place every year, so they know me and don't worry. But, I don't think they ever asked for an upfront payment. Again, my biggest concern, do you want to be that isolated.

There are lots of nice places closer in. I've been on a mission since I got back a week ago today (Sob). The place I go to is never advertised, and hardly ever reviewed. I live in fear it will be one day leveled for condos. If you read some of the other issues on trips and honeymoons you will see me, ad nauseum, tooting its horn. Check the site, and email them if you wish at Paradise@btl.net. Its at the near North, so just a 5 minute walk to anything you want. But, also quiet and secluded if you want that. I'm nuts over the place. Its called the Paradise Resort Hotel...not the Paradise Villas right next door. Trust me, if it weren't nice, I wouldn't say it. Its mostly thatched roof structures, but there is one section they call the 'Villas'. V2 and V3 are right together, with kitchens, and on each side of them, V1 and V4 attach, with doors, without kitchens so nice for a group. V2 and V3 rent for $130 a day, but if you are adding on one of the other rooms, they will cut you a good deal. Check it out. Have a wonderful trip. I hope you like my favorite place as much as I do!

#64509 - 03/11/03 03:48 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
seashell Offline
Victoria House has a 5 bedroom house, that sleeps more than 10 (I believe). It is huge and really neat and has a private pool just for the house. It is south of town, the grounds are fabulous, great lounge and restaurant, use of the main pool. I thought the weekly rental was only $1300/week but I could be wrong, maybe it was $2300. Still, it was a great place, had lots of party areas, ie: wet bar and large entertainment area, huge and I mean huge kitchen. You guys would probably have to toss for the rooms. 4 were similar and one was a cool master room. This house can be rented as a whole unit, or partially with the 4 bedrooms rented separately (there are locks on interior doors and private entrances from the upper patio. This place is ideal for a large group. If you have some in your group that would like just a bit more privacy, then they could rent another room or casita on the Victoria House property and have their greater sensation of independence and privacy but still have good access to the group. The other thing that I like about it, is that it is south of town and you are not restricted by requiring the water taxi.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#64510 - 03/11/03 03:50 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
Paradise Resort is a dump! Should be demolished.

#64511 - 03/11/03 03:58 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
Ernie B Offline
Bettabelizit, when did they let you out? laugh
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

#64512 - 03/11/03 04:00 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
Marie Offline
Hi Bettabelizeit!

Well, I can see you and I are on a different page! Hey, I like the old Belize nature of the Paradise. Don't know what makes you think it is a dump...it really is no where near a dump. The rooms are immaculate, beds great, flowers everywhere (and in your room everyday) the service is terrific. The place is airy and filled with flowers. I wouldn't say it if I didn't live there three weeks every year (and have sent a passel of friends there who also loved it). If you like condos, go for that, but please, have some mercy on a piece of Ambergris history...I think it was the second hotel built, right after Celi's. And to my mind, the finest spot on earth to spend some time.

#64513 - 03/11/03 04:03 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
yat Offline
My opinion is that with so many people that you will be way too isolated away from town. There are a variety of different things to do being in or near town and I would think that with having that many people in the group that you would like to have choices of things to do.

I think it would be like the 13 of you living on Gilligan's island.

Think about this...how many weeks out of the year do you think this owner rents at $3200 per week... and you're getting the bargain rate of $3000 a week payable up front. I'd think more about you're other alternatives.

#64514 - 03/11/03 06:18 PM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
Gaz Cooper Offline
At $32 per person per night for a luxury Beach house steps from the water I dont think is that expensive at all.

I know the house and its very nice, I have been to several parties on the roof of that house and the view is incredible.

North is great away from the hustle and bustle of town but also close enough to get to on the nights you want to party.

If you want to party every night dont stay up north however if you want privacy peace NO TRAFFIC NO DUST and pure beauty, then you have to choose North.

It really depends on what your looking for out of a vacation Town suits certain folk and North suits certain folk.

Both locations have a lot to offer and have pros and cons for both locations.

The house is legit and it is not abnormal for a private house to charge up front to secure the booking.

Have fun whatever you choose.



#64515 - 03/13/03 01:53 AM Re: First time/Jan '04/Big Group
KathyMLT Offline
Bettabelizeit...I'm curious...it seems you dis everyplace that someone praises....is there a place that you would recommend?


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