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New Places on the Island

Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 05:10 AM

Just got back from rambling around Belize, a trip that included five days on Ambergris (at Banyan Bay, which was terrific).

Did get a chance to see some of the new places on the island. I'll post a more detailed report soon, but a few quick comments:

* The new three-bedroom units at Sunset Beach are going to be great for big families or groups.

* Portofino (at the site of the old Green Parrot) has great plans, and if they all turn out it will be quite a spot ... though I can't see how in the world they can possibly make their announced September opening.

* The controversial Fountain Blue turned out nicer than I expected. It just opened about a month ago, and the 21 rooms and suites are attractive and not a bad value at all.

* I really like what Gaz Cooper is doing with his new place, Playa Blanca. The four first-floor units were full when I was there. The "penthouse" is huge (and not cheap) but I imagine it has its place with dive groups and big families. The view from the rooftop is fantastic, too. When the pool and hot tubs are in, this will be a fine spot.

* Belizean Shores is still building -- it looks very nice. Captain Morgan's is still building, too -- is there really a market for all these condos?!

* Gary was kind enough to give me the cook's tour of the Basil Jones timeshare project. I'm not a fan of timeshares of any kind, but Gary seems to be trying hard in a difficult situation (sorry to hear that Tammy has gone back to Florida). The location is spectacular, though remote, and construction has in fact recommenced, but, again, it's hard to see that everything will be done by the October 1 announced opening date.

* Enjoyed my dinner at Caliente (it seems to be a new favorite of local folks), but for value and good simple eating we liked Carmen's accross from Woody's Wharf. Mango's was good, too. A lot of the old places are still great, though a couple seem to be slipping (maybe it's the time of year.) Rico's at Banyan Bay has a truly lovely setting, especially at night. Among the visitors I talked with, Papi's was getting the nod for the best good-value restaurant.

* The water being off on most of the island for three days was a pain (it started coming back on Thursday) but the places like Banyan Bay and Banana Beach were able to provide guests with some water from their wells.

* One wonders what is going on with Avalon (the old Casa Caribe, which was a problem property for a long time). Another timeshare company, another series of environmentally suspect plans, another big change to an island that seems to be in the throes of big changes.

* Can't believe all the new homes that are going up, north and south. Before long, San Pedro is going to be wall-to-wall houses and apartments!

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Magazine http://www.belizefirst.com
Posted By: mcjennifer

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 05:31 AM

Just wanted to second the rave for Papis Diner. I hadn't heard about it on this board, but someone recommended it to me and it ended up being one of my favorite meals on the island. Also really liked Celi's at the Holiday Hotel. And BC's for drinking!
Posted By: cajunflo

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 05:30 PM

I agree on BC's for drinking......if you haven't had their Gran Marnier margarita, then youve never had a margarita!!!
Posted By: Chloe

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 06:46 PM

Thanks, LAN, good report, we can always depend on you and your information. You are greatly appreciated here.
Posted By: seashell

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 07:13 PM

I'd like to get more info on the Fountain Blue. Lan, have you put info up on Belize First or do you have a website for them that sets out their prices, etc.? TIA
Posted By: Laguna Punta

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/11/01 10:34 PM

Thanks for your standard great report. I haven't yet eaten at Carmens, but will do so on my next visit. Good economical meals are at a premium in San Pedro.
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/12/01 12:33 AM

we love Carmens kitchen also....
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/12/01 12:43 AM

I believe that Marty is doing a Web site for Fountain Blue, but don't believe it's up yet. Their phone number is 501-263700. Rates are around US$100 to $125, depending on the type of room.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: seashell

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/12/01 04:47 AM

Thanks Lan. Marty would you please let us know when the site is up. TIA
Posted By: munichchick

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/13/01 07:37 PM

Lan is right! Gaz Cooper's new Playa Blanca Resort is very nice and prefect for families and dive groups. He did a great job. And the Basil Jones Resort is in a spectacular beautiful location with a super nice beach.
You really get that Robinson Cruso feel there.
Posted By: Marty

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/13/01 08:07 PM

will do, we have the pictures ready and are awaiting the text.

if anyone needs pics, here's a couple:
//ambergriscaye.com/pages/photos/337.html
//ambergriscaye.com/pages/photos/346.html
Posted By: Gaelen

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 01:53 AM

Where is the Fountain Blue located? It looks beautiful. I'm probably going to be booking our hotel soon and it may be a possibility.

Gaelen
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 02:04 AM

The Fountain Blue is on Front Street (Barrier Reef Drive) just north of Caribena Street, where Front Street stops being one-way.

A lot of people were up in arms about the hotel and its originally planned height, but I thought it turned out okay.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: Honeymooner

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 03:54 PM

Where is BCs? I am going down in a couple of weeks and want to try one of those Margaritas.
Posted By: B_b_f_b

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 04:01 PM

Any idea how to get in touch with Fountain Blue? Do you know what they are charging for one of their suites? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 05:23 PM

Fountain Blue's phone # is 501-263700. They quoted US$125 for a one-bedroom seafront suite. As they've just opened and don't seem to have much business yet, they might discount some off that rate.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: B_b_f_b

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 05:37 PM

Thanks Lan. Can you suggest a hotel for me that is comparable to Banana Beach but closer to town and not near a lot of noise. Thanks.
Posted By: Over_40_Pirate

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 07:50 PM

Becky, I believe Fountain Blue is pretty comparable to Banana Beach, and seemed to be in a central, yet quiet location. They told me $125 oceanfront, $100 gardenview, and 15% discount if you stay longer than 2 days ...AND they have central air! (And you can still see the ocean from the garden rooms because of the way the units are staggered.
Posted By: Bobber

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 09:54 PM

So, Fountain Blue is that new one that's been under construction for the last year or so, just south of the cemetary? Looked pretty cool going up.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 10:30 PM

Comparable to Banana Beach? In terms of facilities, I guess I'd say The Palms, Mayan Princess, Belizean Reef Suites and, yes, the new Fountain Blue. Banana Beach's staff is hard to beat, though, and of these only Banana Beach and The Palms have pools.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: New Places on the Island - 08/14/01 10:43 PM

And Fountain Blue has a small pool ...
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