My wife and I travelled to Belize the last week of January and really enjoyed our stay at the Phoenix. Having heard so much about the great water sports and people in Belize, we wanted to find a place that was close to it all instead of isolated from the local folks. We had travelled in Mexico and Jamaica earlier and felt somewhat trapped by these types of accomodations.
Several all-inclusive resorts later, we realized that being walled off in a luxurious resort isn't necessarily the most enjoyable way to immerse yourself in what this beautiful part of the earth has to offer. Don't get me wrong, the Phoenix is as nice as any Ritz or Four Seasons, but doesn't operate with the same stuffy formality that many American or European owned hotel chains do!
The location is incredible, right in the middle of San Pedro, just steps from many dive shops, restaurants, bars, and pretty much everything you'd need for your trip. The construction of the condos is quite different from anything in Ambergris...very modern and utilitarian looking. The grounds are immaculate, well manicured with interesting landscaping. There's no beach in front of the hotel, but if you're craving sand it's just a few blocks either north or south. The pools are cool but very refreshing after a long day's excursion.
The room was very nice...we were in a one bedroom in the "B" building. The "A" and "C" building seem to have a better location and view, as they are closer to the sea wall in front of the property. All the modern amenities were available and it was great to have a washer/dryer and full kitchen. As another reviewer mentioned, you probably won't have many meals in the condo, but it's nice to know you can keep snacks and drinks there and to have the occasional breakfast at home.
Service was excellent throughout the stay, from the front desk to the pool bar to the security staff. Everyone made you feel at ease and welcome in the home! The on site gym is adequately stocked with equipment, but make sure they turn the AC on...it was about 90 degrees one day until the room cooled down. Didn't get a chance to use the spa, but it looks beautiful.
Red Ginger was excellent and we at dinner once and two lunches were delivered poolside to us by the bartender! They have a great 5 course tasting menu that was great, but don't go for the wine pairings...you'd be better off picking up a wine by the glass yourself.
For those of you who dive, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND Chuck and Robbie's! It is 100 yards from the resort and doesn't look like the biggest or baddest dive operation on the island....but trust me, it's first class all the way. Robbie Gonzalez, Big Sexy, Little Sexy, and the rest of their crew are great. Robbie booked a great excursion to the mainland with Raoul "Wolf" Avila for cave-tubing and Mayan Ruins and we had a fantastic time.
Great number of quality restaurants within walking distance...we'd recommend Wild Mango's, Blue Water Grill, Caliente, and Red Ginger for dinner. For breakfast or lunch, Estel's is just past the community playground and you'll sink you toes in sand as you eat! They've got great white wine sangrias at lunchtime and Fry Jacks (think huge beignet or funnel cake with honey) for breakfast. Lilly's Treasure Chest was also great for lunch...honestly, we didn't have a bad meal on this trip and we eat out quite a bit at home in some very nice restaurants. I think I had Ceviche of some type every lunch and dinner and was in heaven. If you're a seafood lover, prepare to be blown away.
Management and service at the hotel is awesome and they'll go out of their way to make sure things are satisfactory...we had one little snafu where the private water taxi to take us to the Rojo Lounge didn't see us at the dock and left! The hotel provides you a local cell phone so they called and apologized profusely for the mix-up...they genuinely want your stay to be without a hitch and were willing to hire a water taxi for us to make up for the error. We politely declined and ended up having a great final night out locally with the Chuck and Robbie folks! Some things, as they say, happen for a reason :)
Overall, you can't go wrong staying at this resort. Great staff, great location, it's pretty apparent that the US economy has devastated tourism in the area, so there weren't a lot of people at the resort (maybe 30% to 40% occupancy?) and therefore the deals they were advertising recently for a January stay for more than 1/2 off are very enticing. We'll be coming back to Ambergris Caye and staying at the Phoenix again for sure...do yourself a favor and check for airfare and hotel specials to this resort. You won't regret it!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Phoenix Resort is a modern and luxurious beachfront resort found on Ambergris Caye, Belize, and in the charming town of San Pedro. The Phoenix Resort features 27 beautifully-finished & spacious condominium suites, gourmet food served at on-site restaurant Red Ginger, the on-site services of Sol Spa, San Pedro's original and most popular day spa, a beautiful saline chlorinated and heated main pool & separate lap pool, pool bar, on-site fitness center, business center, front desk & concierge services from 6am to 11pm, free WiFi, 24 hour security, and the perfect location beachfront in the heart of San Pedro, the social center of Ambergris Caye. All suites face the Caribbean and offer plush Serta pillow top mattresses, 100% cotton linens & robes, Jacuzzi tubs & separate showers, Aveda bath & body products, flat screen TVs, DVD players, Bose wireless speakers, in suite iPads, full kitchens, washer and dryer, laptop friendly safes, central air conditioning, twice daily housekeeping, & much more. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Phoenix Hotel San Pedro
- The Phoenix Resort Belize/San Pedro