Caribbean Villas - soon!!

Posted By: Mambo

Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/10/04 02:12 PM

I must admit I've been lurking here for the last couple of months and I have found so much excellent information and advice. Thank you all so much. We're first-time visitors and will be arriving at Caribbean Villas March 1. I read in a previous post that the villas were recently sold. We were looking forward to meeting Wil and Susan and taking the "welcome to the island" tour with Wil upon arriving. Does anyone know if they're still there? Just curious. Thanks again!
Posted By: Greg N

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/14/04 02:03 AM

we have communicated with Carribean Villas several times by email. They assure us that even though ownership has changed, nothing else has. We will be there Feb 28 - March 6 so will see you around the beach.
Posted By: Mambo

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/14/04 03:09 AM

Thanks, Greg. That's good to hear. This is our first time to Ambergris Caye and Caribbean Villas. Have you stayed there before?
Posted By: Greg N

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/14/04 04:33 AM

Our first time to Belize. The pictures look great. Can't wait to get some sun, snorkle and fish.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/14/04 07:41 PM

you will LOVE IT!!!
Posted By: Elise W

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/21/04 12:10 AM

Just got back from 5 days at Caribbean Villas. We were also worried about the sale, but you should not be concerned. The entire staff is top-notch and extremely helpful. I was impressed. You will still get a welcome tour and the staff will give you advice and recommendations for tours, restaurant, etc.

After staying there, I think it is probably good that CV has new owners. The rooms are showing their age and need some new furnishings. Again, I wouldn't worry, you won't be spending that much time in the room and when you do, you'll find it very clean and comfortable (just not "luxurious" or as modern as some of the other hotels).

The property is beautiful and we really enjoyed the beach, hammocks, pier, "people perch" for sunsets and especially the hot tubs. The locations is great -- quiet, but still near town. The bikes are extremely useful albeit a bit rusty and run-down.

The new owner is starting to make improvements, so I'm sure it will be an even better property in the future. You will have a great time! Enjoy your trip.
Posted By: Mambo

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/21/04 02:04 AM

Elise, thanks for the information! We don't require luxury, so I'm sure it'll be fine. As long as the place is clean and the staff is friendly, we're happy. Can you recommend a good place for breakfast -- near Caribbean Villas, good food and reasonably priced? How was the beach? Sorry, can you tell I'm getting excited? Thanks again!
Posted By: Greg N

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/21/04 08:33 PM

Glad to hear your trip went well. We have been communicating with CV via email and they have been very helpful. THey are getting beer and pop delivered to our room for arrival and have booked us some fishing trips.

How was the beach at CV? Can you snorkle there?
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/22/04 03:21 AM

Caribbean Villas definitely needed upgrading. Everybody knows that. What the new owners will do is still a question mark, though.

For my part, we're probably going to leave CV out of the new Fodor's guide, and other guides I do, because they haven't responded to our queries and I'm unsure of where they're going with the property.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: Elise W

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/22/04 03:39 AM

Hi Mambo and Greg, you'll have a great time on Ambergris and at Caribbean Villas. Trust me, the staff and service is awesome. Javier gave us the welcome tour and picked us up from the airport. He will give you great restaurant recommendations as he takes you through town. In the office, Ampy and Beth are so sweet and helpful. They will assist you with anything you need from excursion recommendations to changing traveler's checks. The housekeeper for our unit, Hilda, was also very helpful and did an amazing job at keeping out place spotlessly clean. I can't remember ever coming back from a vacation and knowing all the staffs' names, but the service here was so personal, so attentive.

As for the beach, many people will say that a little further south the beach near Banana Beach is much better (Mar del Tumbo, I think it's called). Yes, the beach further south has deeper sand (that you can sink your toes into). But I preferred the CV property as the beach was wider and longer with more trees and more space. The sand is hard packed and not that soft, but when lying in a beach chair or hammock, this makes no difference to me. Besides, if you want to sink your toes into the sand, Mar del Tumbo is only a quick walk south. We spent a lot of time walking the beach south and north into town and I can honestly say that the property (including the beachfront) at CV is one of the nicest and most spacious around (2.5 acres). Once the new owner updates some of the fixtures and decor in the rooms, they will have one of the best mid-priced properties on the island, in my opinion.

As for snorkeling, there's not much in the way of good snorkeling from the shore at Ambergris. CV has built a bit of an artificial reef at the end of their dock. We tried it one afternoon and saw a few fish, but nothing to get excited over. However, CV's office does sell fish food (very cheap) and we forgot to get some. So the snorkeling might be better if you get the fish food first. Better yet, book a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan or Mexico Rocks and you will feel like you are swimming in an aquarium.

By the way, I know some on this board may argue with me, but if you get a strong urge for a dip in a swimming pool (which CV does not have), Coconuts just 3 minutes up the beach had no problem with us taking a dip when we were there for lunch or drinks. Or you can take a water taxi or a long bike ride (about an hour) north to Captain Morgan's where customers are allowed to use the pool (nice excursion if you want to see the north island, take a swim and have a few drinks).

As for breakfast, take a quick walk or bike to George's (near CV) for breakfast. Locally owned by two very nice people, you'll get good food at bargain prices. For a more upscale (but still reasonable by US standards) and delicious breakfast, walk or bike down to Victoria House (we had amazing banana pancakes on their oceanfront deck).

For restaurants, Coconuts had great fish and chips for lunch (breakfast was just ok). Banana Beach is first rate for any meal or for after dinner drinks. Skip Caribe Island - the worst meal and service we've had in a long time. Blue Water Grill in town has impressive food and service. Caliente in town was just ok. Stained Glass Pub was also just ok (we were disappointed based on previous recommendations - my husband's lobster was served mostly raw). Rico's (a couple of minutes down from CV) has awesome burritos at lunch and an incredible view on the beach. And to kick back, be sure to visit the Hammock House for drinks around sunset (the casual food menu is pretty good too).

I also highly recommend stopping by the grocery store (there's a small "convenient" store 3 minutes south of CV on the road) and picking up coffee supplies when you arrive. We really enjoyed the making the local Belizean coffee (Gallon Jug Estates) in our room in the morning and for an afternoon pick-me-up. Even the "hotel" type rooms at CV have a coffee maker, fridge and microwave (very useful). Definitely have CV order beer and bottled water for you - very convenient. You'll really need the water and nothing like a Belikin in the hot tub at sunset... aah, I miss that place already. Also, try climbing the "people perch" at the back of the property at sunset - nice views and so peaceful.

I hope you both enjoy your vacations!
Posted By: Mambo

Re: Caribbean Villas - soon!! - 02/22/04 12:42 PM

Thank you for all of the useful information! What type of room did you stay in? We're staying in a 2-bedroom suite with another couple and wondering how much privacy there is. Does the convenience store you mentioned carry basic grocery items (eggs, fruit juice, bread, butter, etc.)? Do they sell rum? Were there ice cubes in your freezer when you arrived? Just trying to be able to just relax as much as possible our first day there! Again, thanks.
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