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“We found paradise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tranquility Bay Resort

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Tranquility Bay Resort
Basil Jones Beach | San Pedro,Ambergris Caye,Belize, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 56 hotels in Ambergris Caye
The Dalles, Oregon
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“We found paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We are normally budget to midrange travelers but the ability to snorkel from shore and flyfish unguided lured us in and will keep us heading back to Tranquility Bay Resort. The off season (summer) rate on the Budget Traveler's Room was under $100 US and included breakfast off the menu and everything else you've read about in other reviews: over-the-top service from Isabel and Carlos and the staff, a clean, gorgeous beach, excellent snorkeling and flyfishing, cute, well appointed cabins, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

We'll choose the Budget Traveler's Room every time - the perfect size and configuration for us and the king sized bed was the most comfortable we've ever had on a trip. When our air conditioning unit struggled to keep up with the afternoon heat, a replacement was ordered immediately and installed the next morning and we were offered a neighboring cottage for the night - stellar customer service.

Neighbor boy and flyfishing prodigy Daniel was a bonus and helped my husband figure out the tides, flies, and locations to make his week of fishing a blast; the last bonefish he caught was so large he couldn't control it with 1 hand in order to get a photo. I enjoyed a morning of diving and, thanks to easy access to snorkeling, was wet more than I was dry during our week there; snorkeling highlights included a resident scrawled filefish, an octopus, big rainbow parrotfish, huge barracuda, and a turtle. A beach wedding, the murals and Bob Marley playing in the restaurant/bar, and manatee swimming by the dock added to the charm.

We arranged for the taxi to stop at local grocery and fresh produce shops enroute to the dock in San Pedro so we could stock up and prepare most of our own meals. The meals we ate in the restaurant were wonderful - breakfasts always delicious and the beach barbecue dinner fabulous; my husband will never forgot those 2 huge lobster tails.

We can't wait to head back and share this paradise with loved ones - highly recommended!

Room Tip: The Budget Traveler's Room was perfect for us.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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298 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012 via mobile

Location is amazing but the service was not. When we first got to tranquility bay we were met hy the management & served a drink & provided an overview of the place. That was the end of the hospitality. The staff (restaurant especially) seemed annoyed or put out whenever we ordered a basic meal. They seemed more interested in visiting with each other. I was with a small group and it is the only restaurant to order your meals from. If we asked or inquired about something no one ever got back to us. The food was good only at the end, there seemed to be a different cook at the end Between our group we have been to Belize 6 or 7 times over the last 4 years. There are many beautiful locations to stay with far better service.

Just as an FYI, if your traveling as a group & need to sleep on the sofa bed there is no air conditioning in the living area. The wind or even the lack of it can make it hard for that person to sleep. People ended up taking turns sleeping out there as it was pretty hard to get a decent sleep.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
We are sorry to hear that you did not like the hospitality at Tranquility Bay Resort. We will have a talk with the restaurant staff. Generally the bartenders/waiters get great reviews. I would also agree that the bedrooms are much comfortable and peaceful than the pull out couch in the living area. I'm sorry that, as we were fully occupied during your stay, we could not rent another unit to you as per your wishes.

Cheers,
Carlos
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

This was a perfect end to our vacation after visiting Mexico, Guatemala and the Belizean jungle. It was time to relax and stay disconnected from all technology and the crush of humanity. From the moment we arrived San Pedro airport we had our transportation arranged by Elizabeth and Carlos (Host and Resort owners). Upon arrival to the resort we were greeted by our Hosts and offered a fabulous drink at the bar. Quick tour to cover our basic needs and asked us up front if we needed help with arranging any activities. Our little house was perfect. The sand white beach was several feet away from the turquoise crystal water. Falling asleep to the ocean waves was like a relaxing dream.

Back home we completed the Closed Water part of the PADI Cert so one of the influencing factors for staying at TBR was that they have an onsite PADI Center. They helped us arrange the Open Water PADI Certification (2nd part of the cert requirement) with Nef our Dive Master. Everyone was very knowledgeable and helped us feel comfortable with our SCUBA training. Two days later we were officially SCUBA Certified. On to the Blue Hole. Again Carlos and Isabelle went above and beyond to help us find a tour guide with an excellent reputation (Amigos Del Mar). Our Host test out several different guide services and recommend the one’s they think are the best. It was comforting to know that they recommend from experience.

Everything was perfect. From the time of arrival, welcoming smiles, our clean and comfortable cabana, SCUBA adventures, Kayak galore, food and services. Next time we’ll be sure to stay here longer than 3 nights!

Thank you to everyone at Tranquility Bay!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

You can not go wrong with this hidden gem. It is the perfect place to snorkel off the beach and kayak. Your children will adore the location as will the parents. We are a couple with no kids and would not have traded this resort for any others. The restaurant is delicious and will accommodate you. If you are into luxury this is not for you. This is the kind of place that you can call a home away from home. Oh, if you want to spent time in San Pedro it will take a long and expensive boat ride unless you find a group you can tag along with.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

From the moment we stepped on the boat in San Pedro our impression of Tranquility Bay Resort has been excellent. All the workers seem genuinely happy to be working at this place and it shows in everything they do; always with smiles on their faces and always trying to improve on themselves.

Winfield and Kevin, the boat captains, were awaiting our arrival at the dock in San Pedro, put all our luggage in the boat and we were set off for the last leg of our travel day. The 30 min ride to the resort was great, the 2 were making sure we were all ok, and letting us know all the places along the way.

When we arrived at Tranquility Bay Resort Isabelle was standing there waving and welcoming us with open arms. The staff whisked our luggage off to our rooms and we were escorted to the bar where Hill, our fabulous bartender, had made us welcome drinks. (Hill, Andreas and Alberto made some excellent drinks during our stay and after just a day they knew what we liked and would make us our own concoctions.) Isabelle gave us a run down of the resort and showed us personally around the resort to our rooms; the place is not very big so this didn’t take long.

Throughout the week we were shown how great this place is. We wanted to do a few tours, have a dinner on the beach and go into San Pedro to see the town one night, all of this was scheduled by the fantastic managers Isabelle and Carlos; we didn’t have to do anything but go and have a good time (they even picked better weather days for the different activities). They are a married couple that run the place and do such a great job at it. If anything came up they fixed it right away, something that I have never seen in all the places I have travelled to. Their professionalism and relaxed way is a combination of traits that many managers try to achieve but usually fall short, these two have mastered these traits to a T.

The Resort’s restaurant and bar, The Aquarium and Tackle Box, was the best food we had while on our vacation in Belize, and could have been possibly the best lobster I have ever had. If you get the fish or lobster here they are always fresh and swimming in the ocean earlier that day. The main chef was on vacation during our stay but from the quality of the food you would have never have known that (and we didn’t until the end when I was getting all the names written down for my review). Yolanda, Dinora, and Anita were the cooks behind all the tasty food we ate during our stay.

The servers and bartenders were Hill and Andreas for most of the time and when Andreas went for his vacation Alberto stepped in and all three did such a good job. They were always polite, nice, prompt and made you feel like it was your home too. I don’t drink too much so I left it up to them for the tasty drinks, all I had to do was tell them the flavors I liked and they brought me the yummiest drinks (one I just started calling Coconut Yumminess.) These guys would do anything for you, one day we wanted coconut water, so one of the guys climbed one of the many trees and cut down 2 fresh coconuts, shaved the top and stuck a straw in it (another thing I have never experienced in customer service, they would even climb a tree for you).

Now the rooms, they were always kept clean by Marseni. The best part about having our room cleaned by her, she knew when we were out of the cabana and would never wake us to clean the room. When you are on vacation why would any cleaning crew decide it is a good idea to clean at 8am, well they knew this was not good practice so they don’t do it. If we needed extra towels or another pillow she had them there within a few minutes, she was always prompt and nice.

The activities we had that were done through the resort were sailing on the Hobbie Cat, Ocean Kayaking, and snorkeling. Tranquility also offers SCUBA diving and has a dive shop on site, as well as a dive master (which we will get to later). The day we went on the Hobbie Cat, Jamaal took us out. He is a California native and is living the dream of doing what he loves everyday. Since he is happy in life he just spews happiness all around and you can’t help but have a good time and have a smile on your face when around him. He loved taking us out on the water, we even lost track of time and ended up spending about 4 hours on the water sailing around.

The dive master Orlando took us on the snorkeling adventure. He is a very knowledgeable guy that is one of the safest guides I have encountered. I have been diving for almost 14 years and unfortunately I couldn’t dive this trip due to my sinuses. At each spot he showed us all the marine life in each spot he could. If it was something really interesting he would bring us all in to show and then at the end he would explain if there were any questions. Before we would all get in he would tell us the route he would be taking us on and even then had other safety precautions set up.

The grounds of the resort were immaculate. The staff was always out there cleaning up if needed. Also from our many boat trips to and from San Pedro we got to see many of the other beachfront properties, and we were glad we picked our place. Not too many of the other places along the way had much of a swimming area, and when you got even closer to the city none of them did. At Tranquility they have a huge area where you can get in the clear water and take use of the beach area. The reef is very close by that you could either take a short kayaking trip or even swim and walk out there since most of the water was fairly shallow. Since the property is in the Marine Reserve the coral is spectacular and they had a multitude of fish swimming around, if you just wanted to snorkel there you would see more than enough fish to satisfy you. Another thing that none of the other places along the way could provide.

All in all, we loved Tranquility Bay Resort. Now it is pretty remote; it takes 30 mins by boat with no roads to get to there. We like this, when we think of vacation on a beach we like the idea of turning everything off, having a place to ourselves, and that’s exactly what we get here. Many of the days we felt like there was no one else there, at times we would have the restaurant, the beach, and swimming area all to ourselves. Now, it’s not for everyone, if you need the computer, Facebook, Twitter, emails, TV, and parties, this is likely not a place you want to go (though the bartenders / servers are a lot of fun to hang out with and sometimes it does feel like a chill party). I have been thinking this whole time on what I should write for some cons, but I can’t really think of any I had. There would be for some people that need the party scene or the ones who just can’t disconnect, but for us this is the place we want to be.

If you want to see all our experience during our stay check out our blog at
BoutiqueExplorers dot com

Room Tip: All are great cabanas, we stayed in #11 and #3.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

We ventured to TBR after a week hiking through the jungle. I'd scheduled it this way with intention so we could conclude our Belize / Guatemala adventures with some relaxation and a no hurry attitude. TBR fit the bill.

Our main concern in booking the resort was its isolation - we prefer to be able to walk around town and discover little restaurants and talk with people, but that just isn't possible here. This is good if quiet is what you want, but if you want to see an infamous "chicken drop" at a bar while in Belize you should book elsewhere. We ended up choosing TBR for the reviews and the lack of sea grass to mar the swimming.

Making the reservation was not as easy as it should have been, and it felt like I was dealing with someone running the business out of their living room in Texas. It took way too many emails to answer FAQs like: "Should I book snorkeling tours in advance or on site? And if in advance, how do I do that?" Perhaps most frustrating was her reluctance to give me a straightforward answer about the feasibility of spending time in San Pedro on our arrival. She said to check later, but not how to check or whom to ask, so I gave up trying. I can't imagine this isn't a common question though and TBR would get huge props if they could figure out how to address it for customers who are unwilling to "wing it" or pay $$$ to hire a boat later in their stay! My advice is to handle this with good cheer though, make sure YOU are the organized one, and be diligent to make sure they get everything right. Also: The reservations people are NOT the staff at the resort so don't let this part dissuade you!

We flew to AC from Belize City, and had been told to expect a taxi to be waiting for us. There wasn't one, but the airport guy whipped out his phone and made a call and the taxi was there within a few minutes. I couldn't help but wonder "How did he know who to call?" but this is pretty "small town" so it makes sense! The taxi loaded up our bags and drove us the vast distance of 2 blocks to the dock where our boat was. Soon enough three young men came bustling up, offered swift hellos and we were off. It was rather disconcerting and about 10 minutes into the boat ride I found myself fretting that we'd been shanghaied because it was all so very fast!

Our cabana was "No. 3" and was exactly as pictured on the website and in photos here on Tripadvisor. It was fine, and could comfortably have fit a whole family. If we go back I will request one further up the beach as some of our view was the restaurant and I'd have preferred a full ocean view. The downstairs bedroom had AC so we slept there and if (when!) we go back I'd like to go when it is cooler to make use of the "loft" bedroom as it was much more appealing. The kitchen had everything we needed. We were offered purchase of a container of water on our arrival for use in the cabana, which I would recommend for families or if you are spending a lot of time at the resort itself. In retrospect for two of us it was unnecessary - we'd used less than half of it by the time we checked out four days later, in part because our excursions kept us away from the resort much of the time.

The restaurant was fine. The waitstaff were awesome and treated each other like family, and eating all of our meals there was not objectionable as the menu afforded some variety. The only dish I had that was disappointing was the black bean soup, which was more like a dip than a soup and came complete with chips for dipping! I would also have liked to see more authentic Belezian dishes on the menu - there were only a few things that I couldn't have ordered at Applebees in the US (naming something Howler Monkey Fiesta does not make it a traditional dish). The upside of this is that chicken strips & burgers might be good news for families with children who want familiar food. As for vegetarian options, one woman I met bought her own veggies and offered to show the chef how to whip things up, which was good-naturedly agreed to. Everybody wins!

The tour guides were amazing, gracious, and kind. They fielded everyone's questions with grace even when it was clear they'd heard them a thousand times, and were genuinely enthusiastic about sharing the wildlife and water with us. The dive shop is staffed by very knowledgeable and experienced divers, and offer services for all levels of experience. Renting a snorkel and fins was also very inexpensive, so save yourself the room in your luggage!

A few points:
- This is great for families and couples alike. Very small children may get bored though if the water isn't enough to keep them entertained.
- Do not expect to have time to shop in San Pedro if you tell TBR your exact arrival time. If you only have, say, small rollerbags with you as luggage I think it would be very easy to tell TBR an arrival of 1/2 hour later than is accurate and take a quick walk to the store for Belekin / Snacks / whatever you'll need.
- The swimming is awesome and warm and although the reef isn't perfectly healthy, it is absolutely worth it.
- Take a (long) walk north and you will come across a nature reserve with turtle nesting grounds, etc. Keep an eye out if you take kids though as there is a lot of garbage there that has washed up, and you wouldnt want them destroying any nests!
- You really don't need to pack a lot to enjoy this resort. Don't be surprised if you are tempted to go barefoot the whole time!
- The wifi was out for part of our stay, and was pretty slow (I downloaded a book for my Nook) but hey, you are at an amazing beach resort, why are you surfing the internet for anything more than checking into your flights? ;)

This is a resort I could see ourselves returning to, one of the few places I've been in the world that I can say that about. It is highly recommended!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
raleigh, nc
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

This blows any other place we have been to in the Caribbean out-of-the-water. I was a little concerned about how secluded this place is as we are used to going and doing during our vacations. However, the snorkeling available at TBR was plenty to keep us busy when we wanted to be, and the hammocks and beach chairs were there when we didn't want to be. The beach is gorgeous, kept very clean by the staff, and it is easy to swim to the coral reef, or kayaks are readily available and fun to use. We had a two bedroom cabana and were grateful to have the two full bathrooms available to our family of three. Bedroom upstairs and one downstairs, both with AC. Rest of the cabana was not AC'd, but the breeze was sufficient. The kitchenette is very utility, so don't expect to do any real cooking. Just a microwave, coffee maker and small frig. We bought some drinks after flying in on Tropic Air before boarding the boat, and got gallons of water from the onsite restaurant. There is housekeeping everyday. Beach towels are provided. We got by on bringing very little as lived in bathing suits and coverups. What a joy! Don't expect five star decor, but this is right on the beach, so consider to have beach cottage furnishings and sand. It did rain occasionally during the five days we were there, but it blew over quickly. The staff is great. You have great privacy in your cabana and on the beach, and then everyone congregates at dinnertime and you wonder where the (friendly) guests came from. I had to check in on emails after a few days; wireless is available in the restaurant. It was very slow on my ipad but faster on my iphone. Sure someone understands why. I would recommend if you wish a mainland excursion to do it while staying on the mainland. The TBR staff was very kind to schedule a ziplining/cave tubing excursion but it was an overdeal to take a boat and then a van to get there. I could have done without spending so much time in a boat, but the cavetubing is definitely worth doing. Also went to Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley and those are excursions very doable from TBR and a must-do for a trip to Belize. I wasn't impressed by Caye Caulker and couldn't wait to return to TBR. Excursions were reasonably priced.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Tranquility Bay Resort

Address: Basil Jones Beach | San Pedro,Ambergris Caye,Belize, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#13 Romantic Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Ambergris Caye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A relaxing 12 miles North of San Pedro, Tranquility Bay Resort is a secluded paradise. 10 separate cabanas line the nicest beach on the island. The only resort on the island where it is safe to snorkel from the beach to the reef! Relax and enjoy our beautiful setting from our water top restaurant and watch the Tarpon, Barracuda and Eagle Rays swim under our dock lights! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tranquility Bay Hotel Ambergris Caye
Hotel Tranquility Bay
Tranquility Bay Resort Belize/Ambergris Caye

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