San Pedro Travel Guide
Hotel Openings / Beach Hotels / Belize Hotels / Ambergris Caye Hotels / San Pedro Hotels / → All Tags
We can't seem to keep our mouths shut. Every time we find an under-the-radar hotel, we swear we'll keep the good fortune to ourselves so the place won't get spoiled. But, we end up spilling the beans anyway when it comes to our latest find which is actually fun, because you know...we're givers here at HC. It brings good hotel karma.
Note:When seeking seclusion, a resort that takes at least two flights and a boat ride to reach it is a good place to start. Lots of properties like to market themselves as being private and remote, but many times that's manufactured by man-made barriers that restrict access and boundaries that box you into isolation rather than expose you to it. El Secreto Resort opened this week just off the northeast coast of Belize, and we find it to be a pretty good example of what a true hideaway should be. Guests catch a boat from San Pedro to make the 11-mile trip up the coast, past mangroves, and escaping civilization almost entirely as the resort is not accessible via car.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: A hotel review that describes a place as an “exclusive lair where guests live out their recluse fantasies” is pretty much guaranteed to perk our interest.
Well, folks, that’s what ForbesTraveler.com wrote about Cayo Espanto, a private island resort off the coast of Belize that’s officially — albeit apparently belatedly — on our radar. Cayo Espanto made ForbesTraveler.com's 2008 list of the world’s top 400 hotels and resorts (one of two Belize resorts to make the cut, we should mention).
If you were wondering where you could dust off your slippers from 1930 and button down to your lounging pajamas then we have the place for you.
If you are still looking for something to do over Labor Day, you must join the Art Deco Festival aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif.
Now technically the Queen Mary is a boat and not a hotel. But the festival is kind of a stellar deal--$650/couple for two nights plus a slough of bashes, lectures and tours, but it's practically a time machine!
You also get to sleep aboard the restored authentic ship which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Two nights aboard a ship hurtling through the past! Talk about awesome. In fact, Clark Gable even danced aboard this ship in its heyday.
The Salamander Belize is located outside of San Pedro in Ambergis Caye, Belize. This very remote, solar-powered hotel has eight cabanas or "huts" running from $180 a night. They come with hardwood floors, bathrooms with running hot and cold water and best of all they sit on the beach, perfect for snorkel and dive afficionados.
And just a 30-minute boat ride from the hotel is the famous diving spot, the Blue Hole, where the water is so deeply blue that one can even see it from outer space.
The hole was formed after the Ice Age caused the existing dry cave system to collapse (we aren't scientists so visit Blue Hole on National Geographic.) At first this diver's heaven was thought to be bottomless until Jacques Cousteau measured it with a mini-sub and found it to be 400 feet deep and 1,000 feet in diameter.
If you are heading that way, you can hit up closer hotels in San Pedro, or stay at the Salamander.
But since this is Belize, a tropical destination, there are some bugs:
Keep your cabin door closed and your porch light off at the end of the day and you should be fine, we did not need nets over the bed. On a still day we left the porch light and coming back from dinner you could see a mat of mosquitos gathered in the thatches above the porch (door was closed).
So just remember to bring bug spray.
Azul is a secluded two-villa beach resort that combines San Francisco loft culture with a Belize beach resort.
Two San Francisco refugees opened Azul earlier this year in an attempt to combine high design with the natural beauty of Belize. The two villas have an open floor plan, 20-foot ceilings with beams of mylady wood, and are beachfront.
Viking stoves, a 50" plasma television w/ Direct TV, and iMac G4 with wireless access make up the best of the new. While bamboo railings, a palapa with hammock, and a rooftop hot tub overlooking the jungle round out the old.
Oh yeah, and it is all beach front, and of course, there is a beach bar serving mojitos.
Yup, this qualifies as a spot we don't even want to tell you about in case we can find a way to swing the rates this winter.
· Azul [Travel & Leisure]