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More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos?

Posted By: suntravelgirl

More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 07:50 PM

Hello again! Thanks for so many helpful, friendly replies to my earlier post. Just to recap, I'm trying to decide what hotel to stay at for a trip August 15-20 in Ambergris Caye. It will be my boyfriend and I (25 and 28 years old). We like small, unique, charming places but it looks like that describes all of Belize! smile

We'd like a place that is on/very near the beach, and one that has more couples than kids. It'd be nice if the hotel has a pool but that isn't absolutely necessary since the beach is so close to everything. It might be nice to have some sort of restaurant at the hotel, or at least a hotel bar. We don't need a hotel room that has a kitchen but if it comes with the room and the hotel is the best to stay at overall than it's fine if we have one. We aren't certified divers but we'd like to snorkel.

Also, does anyone know if it is possible to do an "introductory" type dive where you are trained for the 1 dive but don't have to do the entire certification process? My boyfriend did one in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef and we'd like to do one in Belize if possible.

We like to be social, meet other travelers, go out to bars at night and see the nightlife, so the hotel doesn't have to be super secluded or quiet. On the other hand, I don't want it to be right smack in the middle of town next to an all night disco or something. smile

From all of the advice I've narrowed the hotels I'm considering down to: Banana Beach Resort, Mata Rocks, Xanadu, Corona del Mar, Blue Tang Inn, Belezian Reef, and the Palms.

The three that have really caught my eye are Banana Beach, Mata Rocks, and Blue Tang Inn. Any opinions on whether there is a clear winner between these three? Or beween Banana and Mata Rocks (since they're next to each other)?

Banana Beach looks like a good price for having 2 pools, a bar, and a restaurant. But Blue Tang Inn looks beautiful on their website -- the rooms really look special and luxurious. Then Corona del Mar looks closer to town, and the prices seem really great. Xanadu looks really nice too, lots of thatched roofs and what I pictured Belize to be like. But I've also gotten great reccomendations for Belizean Reef and the Palms. So hard to decide!

I know the hotels I listed above vary in price. I'm looking to find the best deal for what the hotel offers, but we don't need to stay in the cheapest place possible just because it's the cheapest. I'm having a hard time figuring out whether it is worth it to spend a little more per night for the hotel and be in a more "luxurious" hotel, or whether they're all pretty nice and we should go with the less expensive ones and save our money for drinks, food, and day trips, etc. Blue Tang Inn looks like a wonderful boutique hotel but it is a little more expensive than some, and one person told me it looks nicer on the website than it is in person. So I'd greatly appreciate any advice about which hotels are worth the extra cost and which aren't, and also as to whether we'd be better off trying to get a cheaper hotel. I know that we won't be spending tons of time in our room, but this is also going to be a nice relaxing romantic vacation and if some places are worth it to be in a nicer hotel then I'd stay there.

Also, I'm interested in going to Mambos one night for dinner. Any thoughts or advice? Can we take a water taxi or do we need to arrange the dinner reservation and boat transportation ahead of time? And is the food as good as it looks? smile

Also, we're interested in taking a trip to Caye Caulker. Would it be best to just take a day trip or to go there and spend 1 or 2 nights?

And are there any day trips outside of Ambergris to the mainland of Belize that are "must sees?" Like the Belize Zoo, or the Baboon habitat, or any of the Mayan ruins? I don't want to spend the whole vacation jumping off from activity to activity but I feel like we should see more than just the beach/reef. smile

Final question -- as far as getting to Ambergris Caye from Belize City. I see there are short flights or a hour + boat ferries. Which do you reccomend? Is the boat ride a fun experience or is it best to just save the time and fly?

Thanks again for any help!
Posted By: papa D

Re: More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 08:10 PM

for your dive contact TULU he has small boat and is a local. will give personal trips. one or two people. you can find him by asking aroud or go to pardice villa office and they will call him. his ph number can be found on olded pages of this bourd. we stayed at pardice villa. next door to blue tang it seemed very nice.wet willys is the nearest club (about 200 feet) wed. night is ladies nite but not to loud. also 1 bk west is two gro. stores for any needs you may have. local smokes $14.00 U.S. local rum $7 US go local as much as you want. we had the best vac. of life in SP. HAVE FUN D.
Posted By: alaurieb

Re: More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 08:57 PM

I already gave my two cents about the Xanadu so I will try to answer the other stuff.
*My dad and my sister did a "resort dive" for non-certified divers. I'm not positive where (I think it was Ramon's), but I know it is possible.
*I also didn't take the water taxi to the island, but 3 of the people in our group did. They did not really enjoy it and took a flight back on the return trip. Apparently it was very crowded and very windy. Plus the view flying in is AMAZING!
*We went to Caye Caulker for the day and thought it was plenty. I know a lot of people love it and say that you have to spend a night or two there - but it is more laid back than AC and you did say you liked the nightlife.
*We took two trips to the mainland during our two weeks and numerous snorkel trips. One trip was to Lamanai and the other was to the Belize Zoo and Cave Tubing. We thought the trip to Lamanai was amazing. We went with Daniel of Tanesha Eco Tours. He did a really good job of educating us on the history as well as the plants and animals along the way. It is a long trip - but well worth it.
Posted By: mobunny

Re: More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 09:34 PM

IMHO Mambo's is worth the money and the water taxi ride. We enjoyed a great meal there. Upon request the chef even made me a special vegetarian curry. They have a wonderful lounge area with couches and floor pillows for cocktails prior to dinner. Friendly service - the atmosphere is kinda sexy euro - very laid back but romantic, great music. We plan on going back this August. 27 days and counting...mobunny cool
Posted By: windyw

Re: More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 10:06 PM

My husband and I stayed at The Blue Tang Inn in Jan. 2004 and are going back to the Blue Tang Inn 29 Jan-13 Feb. 2005. Wouldn't stay anywhere else. Fanny is so good to all of us and it feels kinda like home. Close enough to walk anywhere in town and to get back safely after several rum punch drink at Fidos.
Just depends on how close to town you want to be or how close you don't want to be. But no matter what you decide, you will have a wonderful time.
The view on the flight from Belize City to San Pedro is a must see. Plus the flight is so much quicker.
Hope you have a great time!!!!
Posted By: IRM

Re: More hotel questions -- and can you do a intro (uncert) dive? Mambos? - 07/09/04 10:12 PM

Any of the major dive shops offer resort dives. They run around $125 a pop. Ramon's and Amigos Del Mar are both good places. Depending on where you're staying they might have an associated dive shop. There are a ton of dive shops on AC, so once you have an idea of which one you might use check to see what boarders have to say about them.
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