Captain Morgan's Retreat - close yet secluded

Close, but not too close. Thatís what David and April Cazen of Austin, Texas liked about Captain Morgan's Retreat, located about 3 1/2 miles north of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. They selected Belize as their honeymoon destination, on the recommendation of friends who have traveled to Belize and enjoyed the experience.

"We had a great time," said April. "Weíre glad we picked this place (Captain Morganís Retreat). Itís a little more isolated, yet itís still close to town."

Karen Riley is manager of Captain Morganís Retreat. Her husband Ernie Olmstead is director of operations. Riley says that as Captain Morganís Retreat and the town of San Pedro have grown in the last few years, the short distance between the two is complementary. "Weíve grown from what was essentially a fishing camp in the beginning to one of the most exclusive resorts on the north shore," she says. "Guests like our proximity to San Pedro. Itís quieter here, yet weíre still close enough to town for our guests to enjoy all that San Pedro has to offer."

Captain Morganís Retreat was the filming location for Fox TVís "Temptation Island" televisions how. Generally, the publicity generated by the show has been positive for resort business, says Olmstead, but it may have meant even more for raising the stature of Belize tourism. "Suddenly, millions of people saw on TV a country that many have never heard about before," he said.

The name says it all: Captain Morganís is indeed a retreat, a place to get away from it all on 1,200 feet of white sand beach. The resort offers 14 thatch-roofed casitas, 16 one-bedroom villas and three two-bedroom villas. All have air-conditioning, private bathrooms and verandahs, plush queen-size beds, high thatched roofs and hardwood floors. The villas include a small living room area and kitchenette with table.

A large freshwater swimming pool accentuated by the Poolside Grille & Bar for snacks and beverages is the nerve center at Captain Morganís. The resortís Buena Vista restaurant is gaining recognition in the area for its gourmet dining. Buena Vistaís menu includes home-baked breads, fresh seafood and the best of Caribbean and Central American cuisine.

Captain Morganís Retreat offers honeymoon packages, and can assist with arranging wedding plans. The resortís activities director can help guests arrange tours and activities, inland or on the water. Or, just hang out on the beach with a book and a cool drink. As one visitor to Captain Morganís Retreat put it: "We have a tendency to forget how to relax." In todayís busy world, how true that is. At Captain Morganís, you're bound to rest easy, during the day and at night, as the sea breezes cool you and the sound of ocean waves lull you to sleep.