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Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC

Posted By: BankerWoman

Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/11/02 03:56 PM

Well, the kids are finally grown and we no longer have to look at that summer vacation window of June/July/August. Have been yearning for Belizean sand and sun for years and THIS is the year! We are a married couple, 50 and 53, not divers. Love the quiet, a great book, beautiful water, native flowers and plants and maybe a fishing trip or two. Nightlife if the surroundings aren't too wild. Have certainly had many thoughts of the Caribbean Villas or maybe somewhere on Caye Caulker. Going to see the travel agent SOON. Any advice from anyone willing to point us in the right direction? Thanks in advance!
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/11/02 05:52 PM

As an old fogie myself (so says my wife) I think Ambergris Caye, and Caulker, too, are great places. There's some nightlife if you want it, but it doesn't interfere with one's quiet enjoyment of a good book or a rum and tonic.

Caribbean Villas would be good choice, and there are a number of other places, too, in a similar vein. Some of the small condotels are wonderful, and they offer a lot of space and value for the money.

My new guidebook to Ambergris Caye will be out shortly -- you might look for it starting around the end of this month.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: BankerWoman

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/11/02 09:18 PM

Lan: Thanks for the input. We're being pushed to pick dates (those dratted vacation schedules at work!) so won't be able to wait until we see your book. But you can bet we'll pick up a copy when it's out.

We are hoping for somewhere right on the beach. The sound of the surf is my idea of the ultimate lullaby. Also am hoping to avoid rip-offs(who isn't?). No matter how wonderful the holiday is, I hate leaving thinking I've been had (probably a personality defect...) Being a little spoiled, I like clean, fairly modern and something with a Caribbean flavor. If it looks like the Des Moines Holiday Inn I'm out! Judging solely from Marty's pictures, the Caribbean Villas, Ramon's and Fountain Blue look wonderful. Will I get sticker shock?

Also, I'm thinking about 10-14 days in April. Right time of the year? Completely wrong??? I've lurked on the board long enough to know I don't want to be in Belize in hurricane season. Experienced that once on the gulf coast of Florida and once was plenty enough for us.

Thanks for leading us in the right direction! (p.s. My family is from Asheville - old Buncombe County area. Lovely place!)
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/11/02 10:38 PM

you will get sticker laugh! most places are rediculously reasonable (i think, compared to rooms in the US), excluding the highest end places like victoria house & banyan bay. it is always the airfare, diving & excursions that add up $$.

if i remember, 2 years ago, a beachfront casita at journey's end was $185 a night. it was 10 steps to the beach.
Posted By: BankerWoman

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/11/02 11:53 PM

Could someone who has stayed at Caribbean Villas or Fountain Blue tell us about your stay and the accommodations? Was the staff nice? Are CV and FB on a similar level? We are particularly drawn to CV as their owners are from Kansas and we are from Iowa - kissin' cousins geographically.

Where are CV and FB in relation to SP town? Too much noise at either one? Too close (or far away) to/from the things we'd like to avoid or be near? Where would YOU stay if you were fogies in search of blue water, quiet beach and a few Belikins? We certainly want to try out the local cuisine and are open to almost anything. (No, I won't eat bugs - chocolate covered or otherwise - but am pretty okay with most everything else.) Would love to meet and talk with the local folk - not get isolated.

Any help you can offer will be most definitely appreciated. And if you are based in AC or CC, we'll buy you a Belikin or two in thanks!
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/12/02 12:23 AM

Fountain Blue is new, having opened this past summer. It's a three-story building at the north end of town. It was somewhat controversial when it was being built (by a local businessman, who also owns a hardware store among other things) but I think it turned out pretty well. The suites are not overly large, and in fact are on the small side but all have sea views. There's a small pool. The pros here are that it is convenient to everything in town and is brand new. The cons? A little pricey in-season, suites on the small side, and being right in town it is not for those who want to be away from things.

Caribbean Villas dates from the early 90s, with a mix of rooms and small suites in two-story buildings. Owners Wil and Susan Lala are well known and popular on the island. I think they have always done an excellent job running this place. It's about, oh, a half mile or so south of town, but within walking distance. The setting is very nice, on a large wooded piece of ground -- this part of the island is developing fast and it's nice to still have this little stretch of greenery. It's on a pleasant small beach, with a pier where they have done a little artificial reef to attract a few fish, rays, starfish, etc. No pool, though, and for me that's a negative. I've heard a complaint or two that things were not quite as spiffy here as they used to be, but when I visited it again in August it looked in pretty good shape. I think, though, that perhaps there will have to be some additional investment here to keep up with the Joneses -- that is, with some of the newer places, with pools, cable TV and all the other amenities.

Since the Fountain Blue only opened recently, I'm not completely sure, but I would think that the two places would tend to attract different kinds of people. Fountain Blue draws those who want an in-town location and competes with places like Mayan Princess, which is older but less pricey and very comfortable and even with SunBreeze, which is has motel-like rooms but is pleasant and well-run. Years ago Caribbean Villas used to be compared to, say, Victoria House but VH has now gone more upscale, with renovations and a pool. It would appeal to those who want to be a little away from the hustle and bustle, but not too far, and who don't need a pool or the latest decor and who are just on the island to relax. I think it still gets a good bit of repeat business.


--Lan Sluder
Posted By: CHOOCHOO

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/12/02 02:53 PM

For the past two years we've put some "overflow" from our spring trip up at Caribbean Villas. It is very, very nice, comfortable, and, based on your description of your motivations, most likely exactly what you are looking for. About a 15 minute stroll to town. Restaurants and bars in both directions. We have stayed at the adjoining property for 4 years, several times a year, and find the location ideal. Send Wil or Susan an email (addy is on their lodging page) and have them give you the latest on the accomodations.

CC
Posted By: BankerWoman

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/12/02 07:26 PM

Lan & Choo Choo: Thank you so much for the information! We did visit our travel agent this morning and, indeed, got sticker snicker rather than sticker shock. After pricing several options in the rest of the Caribbean, the cost for AC was HALF (or less!) of what we saw elsewhere.

The pool thing is not an issue for us --- not the interest nor in the shape to be parading about the pool. That is probably where we will end up (or perhaps Victoria House, we'll see) if they have the space for us in late March/April/early May timeframe. Choo Choo, what property is it that you stay in adjoining Caribbean Villas. Something that might also appeal to us old fogies?
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/12/02 08:08 PM

This old gal, did a good job of hiding out behind a batch of grandkids for 14 days, and no one noticed how old I am, at the Sunbreeze. They were all watching the young european topless sunbather by the pool.
Posted By: Tammi

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/12/02 09:10 PM

BankerWoman---The adjoining property ChooChoo stays at is called Coral Bay Villas. We're fellow Iowans and own one of the six units there. I know it's a slightly biased opinion but it's perfect for doing nothing but sitting in a chair or hammock, reading a book and sipping Beliken. The more we go back there, the more perfect it is for us. Close to town yet in a quiet area. Step off the porch and you're in the sand (although you can say that about most of the places in AC). You can pull up pictures on this website. We're from Keokuk by the way and my wife is a bankerwoman, too. Good luck on your choices. It's really kind of hard to go too terribly wrong
Posted By: CHOOCHOO

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/14/02 03:36 PM

Tammi,

All we can say is "amen to that". (BTW, finally met Ruth and Art in December, but I don't think you've ever been there when we have)

CC
Posted By: BankerWoman

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/14/02 03:45 PM

Well, I think we have it narrowed down (finally!) to Caribbean Villas or Ramon's (surprise entry --- we decided we're not entirely dead yet and the Purple Parrot sounds interesting as well as how beautiful the pool area looks).

Any opinions on Ramon's would be appreciated. It is considerably higher in $ than the Caribbean Villas but not so much as to put us off if you think the difference is worth it.

On a totally different subject, how available is DIET soda there? (We call it "pop" in Iowa but I think we're in the minority.) Yes, I know guys, Belikin is the drink of choice, but I'm not sure I'm ready to get my caffeine jolt from a beer at 8 a.m. (and no, I don't drink coffee - told you I was weird). Can't drink that fully leaded stuff --- too syrupy sweet and gloppy.

Thanks again to everyone who is helping us out here. Just proves exactly what is bringing us to AC --- the friendliness of the people!
Posted By: kathyw

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/14/02 06:31 PM

I like diet coke myself (with the rum of course) The distributor on the island now sells only Coke Lite. I like it much better than the Diet Coke they used to carry, I think it has a better taste.
Posted By: Mike and Daphne Ryan

Re: Old Fogies Coming to AC or CC - 01/14/02 09:07 PM

Hi BankerWoman --

Daphne also wanted diet coke (caffein free). We found that more than one six-pack had someting wrong with it. She switched to diet pepsi and had no problem. If they're not stocking the caffein free diet coke, that's probably a good thing. We didn't find the wide range of diet drinks we have here in Boston, but we didn't find the wide range of freezing rain and ice we have here in Boston, either. Just try out more than one store. We liked the "Turks" (they're Lebenese, actually) just south of town. Of course, they were closer to where we were staying, but it's a nice big store with a pretty good selection of stuff.

Mike Ryan
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