FYI for anyone interested, here are a couple of recent reports on hotels on the island sent to me by readers:

>> * After spending 5 days 4 nights I would like to give you our assessment of SALAMANDER. It is very remote [on far north Ambergris Caye] with few options of leaving the resort/compound. Although the staff will go out of their way to get you anything or anywhere you want to go, there are still limits. The best part of our stay was the staff. They truly did everything in their power to make our stay enjoyable. From the owner to the construction/maintenance workers, they all went above and beyond. They had kayaks, snorkeling gear, a hobie cat, and some hammocks. That's it. There is absolutely nothing else to do at the resort. They only serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a very limited selection. Breakfast is very good, lunch is average, and dinner was never the same. One night it was good, the next night not so good. They have a good connection for tours. We took a morning snorkeling trip with Greg and had a great time and then an all day fishing trip with SeaDuced. Both were very good although we did not catch much on the fishing trip.The accommodations were sparse but comfortable (except for the mosquitoes). Absolutely no where to put your things in the cabanas. Not one shelf or drawer. 3 hangers and that's it. We had a great time and I attribute that to our kids snorkeling for the 1st time and going spear fishing. Two of the resort employees (young kids) took our boys spear fishing for 3 + hours. It must be the highlight of our boys' lives. If you are looking for nothing to do but get away from everything Salamander might be the place. Probably too remote for us to return. If they had fabulous food I might be inclined to return. I also got eaten alive by mosquitoes and had no way to get any repellent. I had over 300 bites and my son had well over 400 by the time we left. Sandy Spengler, March 2004

* My wife and I, and another couple, spent a week this past January on Ambergris Caye. Based in large part upon your own recommendation and other readers' recommendations, I stayed at BELIZEAN REEF SUITES managed by Kenneth Krohn. I would happily recommend this place to your readers,
Belizean Reef is a small, six-unit condotel right
outside of town past the airport. It has no pool or restaurant, which was no problem for our group. The condos were very nice, and cleaned daily by the housekeeping. We had air conditioning in our bedrooms only, but the sea breezes kept our unit cool and comfortable.
Another reader has remarked about the airplane noise from the nearby airport; this didn't bother me, and I didn't even notice it. However, because we were so close to town, I had to close my windows at night to keep out the noise of tourists walking along the beach. Ken is a very affable, accomodating host, very eager to talk to you about Belize. He provided us with shopping, restaurant and tourism info, as well as making certain suggestions when we told him we were
interested in looking at real estate.
The view on our second-floor veranda was hard to beat, and one of my fondest memories is waking up early, sitting out on the veranda, and watching the sun rise as I listened to the local radio station. Drawbacks? Well, the lack of a pool and other facilities may be to some people (especially families with children) but it didn't bother us. We were also worried about the lack of central air conditioning, but that proved not to be a problem (at least in the
winter, when temps hovered around 85 during the day). The only real drawback is its closeness to town means more pedestrian traffic coming by. Its biggest pluses? Its location, at the edge of
town, made the restaurants and shops in town within easy walking distance. I liked its quaintness as well--because it was so small, and because Ken was always around, it felt like we were neighbors rather
than tourists. Wesley Deaton, January 200

Lan Sluder/Belize First