Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#93446 - 11/09/04 04:09 PM best spot for us?
infojunkie Offline
We're hoping to spend about 5 nights on Ambergris Caye this winter (and the other half of our vacation in the Cayo district). I'd appreciate your help choosing as affordable a place as possible with:
--A lovely, shady place to relax on a relatively beautiful beach, with relatively pleasant wading in from shore. (Yes, I know, "it's not the Yucatan." wink )
--Effortless access to good, usually inexpensive food, via an on-site restaurant and/or other restaurants within a 5-minute stroll (ok, maybe up to 10 minutes).

Simple, small rooms are fine as long as they are clean and comfortable.

So far, we're considering...

...Banana Beach (the least expensive room class, $115)
Seems to fit the bill reasonably well, but it seems like it might be a little motel-like and possibly family oriented rather than romantic and sedate.

...Steve and Becky's Cute Little Hotel ($130)
This was seeming like a good option, but the reviews on this board, though there aren't many, haven't been enthusiastic, though I don't know why? Is there noise from the airplane taxi-way someone mentioned? Is it more than a 5-minute walk from there to Ramon's pool and beach, which it shares? Is it (and the Ramon's facilities) overly 'lively' for a couple of boring early-to-bedder's like us?

...Victoria House (the least expensive room class, $170)
This would blow the budget, and then we might have to downgrade the Cayo part of the trip to compensate. (Currently, we're hoping to splurge there on Ek' Tun.) Is the newer, less expensive restaurant at Victoria House good?

...Elsewhere??
Are there other options that fit our two priorities better than these?

Thank you!

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#93447 - 11/09/04 04:16 PM Re: best spot for us?
JeanH Offline
I'd look at Blue Tang, we stayed there in June of 2003, nice room, small pool, but nicely landscaped. I'd also check out Sunbreeze, Corona del Mar, maybe even Holiday Hotel. Some of these don't have on site restaurants, but they're so close to town, that it isn't an issue.

Jean

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#93448 - 11/09/04 04:40 PM Re: best spot for us?
MALIBU Offline
You are going during the 'hi' season. It is much more affordable during the 'low' season.

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#93449 - 11/09/04 04:59 PM Re: best spot for us?
Skyliner Offline
IMHO, if you're looking for the "romantic and sedate" atmosphere to come from the resort, expect to pay for it - like $170/night at Victoria House. On the other hand, if you can get in tune with the natural vibes of San Pedro, it's all romantic and sedate. As you noted, this isn't the Yucatan!

Ramon's has the beach and the atmosphere, but it is more "hotel-like." We always stay at Seven Seas - good prices, but rather basic accomodations - one bedroom, small kitchen and living room. Beach isn't great, but you can swim off the dock. Close to town but quiet. Good choice of inexpensive restaurants (Papi's is next door). Walk to town. Decent shaded area in front of the building with lounge chairs, etc - no hammocks unfortunately. Helpful staff, small pool.

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#93450 - 11/09/04 05:13 PM Re: best spot for us?
govikes Offline
Corona del Mar. Hammocks, hang out on the end of the dock, take a dip. Nice beach walk to town, it's quiet, excellent bargain for the rooms and the staff are the best, very friendly. The money you would save staying here you can spend on restaurants or elsewhere on your stay! Do a search on Corona - it gets very good reviews! laugh

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#93451 - 11/09/04 05:42 PM Re: best spot for us?
windyw Offline
We stayed at the Blue Tang in Jan 04 and we are going back in Jan 05. Rooms are clean, staff is wonderful(Fanny is great!) and the pool is small but nice and cleaned every morning! No restaurant but so close to everything in town that it doesn't matter.
The Blue Tang has a nice area (shaded) to sit and read or people watch.
We are excited to be going back, this time for 15 wonderful days at the Blue Tang and San Pedro.
But really, anywhere you stay is great because you are in San Pedro!! Have a great vacation!!

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#93452 - 11/09/04 11:57 PM Re: best spot for us?
NC_Diver Offline
My wife and I just got from a week at Ramons. "Steve and Becky's" is right across the street from Ramons...a stone throw away (you can be at the bar/pool in 1 min from S/B's). The place looked very quiet. It's not directly on the beach, however, you have access to everything. The planes will only bug you after 7:00am, most of the time people/boats/carts woke me up. You are also about a 5 min walk to downtown.

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#93453 - 11/10/04 03:44 AM Re: best spot for us?
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Banana Beach. You'll love it. Great spot, not "too" far from everything (a good grocery store and breakfast spot steps from the front door, pleasant walks to several restaurants as well as one of the best on the island on-site for your special dinnners) a great staff, very clean, access to the beach bar next door, etc.

You can't get a better bang for your buck, IMO.
_________________________
* I Go Pogo *

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#93454 - 11/11/04 05:31 PM Re: best spot for us?
infojunkie Offline
Thanks very much for all the suggestions! I poked around their websites and comments on this board, and they look appealing.

I could use more input on how their beaches compare, since in the website photos, you'd swear every hotel has a lovely beach. Based on pretty, shady places to sit and "wade-in-ability," how would you rank the beaches of the initial ones and some of the suggestions:
--Banana Beach
--Steve and Becky's (i.e., Ramon's beach)
--Victoria House
--Blue Tang
--Corona del Mar
--Sunbreeze
--Xanadu (I'm adding this one into the mix... Rank it only if you've seen it this year, since they recently expanded their beach.)

Thanks again!

--Stacey

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#93455 - 11/11/04 07:52 PM Re: best spot for us?
CrackerLarry Offline
Stacey, we stayed at the Xanadu in June. It was fantastic, no complaints and when we go back, that's where we are going to stay again. No need for us to look at anything else.

The beach area is very nice, well kept, raked ever day. Has chairs, shade trees, free canoes and kayaks. It really is not a walk in beach, in that there is a rocky seawall. They have a long dock/pier with a thatched palapa hut on the end with a swim platform and ladder.

I've got some photos of the beach, but don't know how to post them here. Email me and I'd be glad to send them to you.

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