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“Great place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Athens Gate

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Athens Gate
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Beach Front, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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Ranked #2 of 54 Hotels in San Pedro
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

4 of us stayed here. It was off-season so we had the place to ourselves. It was like staying in a luxury house with a private staff. E, James and Jon were attentive yet non-invasive. The pool area is one of the nicest I saw. We toured several other places while there and I did not see a place I liked better. I preferred the smaller, more intimate setting at Athens Gate. We went to Victoria House, Mata Rocks, The Phoenix and Pelican Reef to have a drink and look around. I preferred Athens Gate to them all. The Phoenix was too close to town and the pool closed early from what I could tell. Athens Gate kept the pool lights on all night so you could swim whenever. Victoria House was beautiful, but too formal for my taste. I will definitely be back to Athens Gate.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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113 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
new york
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Stayed 9 nights this month and while the overall experience was a positive one, the spectacular reviews I had read to make my choice are not shared by me nor the 7 friends and family who traveled with me. The hotel is a condo property in San Pedro. It is on the quiet side of the island which can be both good and bad. The 2 bedroom apartment was really nice with kitchen and 2 bathrooms. Washer and dryer are provided. Balcony overlooked the beach.The maid came in every day and kept the condo clean. It is owned by Joe, a developer from Texas with his wife Rhonda. "E" is the concierge, James the bartender, and Jonathan cleans the grounds.All are very nice and will grant just about any want you might have which includes excursions, renting golf carts, ordering food, and providing information.The trips are expensive when booked through "E" because of all the middlemen involved. We used TUFF E NUFF TOURS owned by RICO and were very satisfied especially because we had his brother WILLIAM as our guide for 2 of the 3 tours. Some points to consider are that the beach is full of seaweed and is not ideal for swimming or snorkeling. There is a good spot for both at the sister property Pelican Reef-just a short walk on the beach. San Pedro had the hottest sun I have ever experienced so bring plenty of sun block. The island is known for it's mosquitoes and sand flies. You will get bit. Basic spray will not help much-use baby oil for protection. Town is a short golf cart ride away with many plenty of restaurants, stores, and bars. the carts cost about $260 for a week. they are fun to drive and will be needed. The hotel has no restaurant on site nor any spa or gym. You can go across the street to Joe's, into town, or again to the Pelican to eat. there are spas in town. For 7 of the 9 nights we were the only people besides the owners who were sleeping at the property. Initially this was strange but then when people showed up we kind of liked being the only ones there. Which leads to my next point-I would hate to see this hotel at full capacity. there is just not enough room at the beach area, pool, or bar if there are alot of people. The island is very safe despite the downtown area being poor.Overall, it was a nice trip, but certainly not one of my favorite island destinations. Athens Gate is nice but the Phoenix Resort in town might be better option beacause it is more of a "resort". but then again it's what you like better.

Room Tip: The rooms are all nice as we actually viewed the whole hotel being that it was empty and the owners...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Bagram
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Well where to begin. The location is great not in down town but not that far either. The grounds are beautiful with immaculate landscaping. The staff is just incredible everyone bends over backwards to be sure you have a great time. The condo was just beautiful, spacious and well decorated. Everything works and the A/C is great. It is so convenient to go on your excersion or dive trip right from the beautiful dock. I did not want to leave. I highly recommend this location for couples, friends and families. I look forward to going back again!!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

My brother and I returned from an impromptu trip to Belize that was absolutely incredible. We stayed at Athens Gate after researching for less than 24 hours, and with less than a week’s planning time. I can honestly say that if we had taken a year to plan the trip, we would not have found a better place to stay nor had any more fun than we did. Athens Gate is a small hotel/resort/condo (whatever you call these places that only have condo units – I will call it a resort for now) that is indeed unique. After arriving at the resort in the car that the folks at Athens Gate sent to the airport, “E” took my stuff up to our room (a 2-bedroom unit) and told me to meet him at the bar to check in. Athens Gate does not have a front desk, concierge, or plethora of staff. Instead, E and James handle everything at the bar. Anything you want, they will get it for you. After a few drinks at the bar and having a wonderful chat with E, I decided to take the rented golf cart (the way to travel if you want to tool around San Pedro) and check out San Pedro while waiting on my brother’s flight to arrive.

San Pedro was a quaint little beach front town, with numerous shops and restaurants on two main streets. It had the typical tourist shops and restaurants, but it also had a number of shops for local inhabitants. I also found a very nice woman selling tostadas and other food out in front of her house, and bought one for $0.50 (it was very tasty). After my brother arrived, E set up a dive trip the following morning to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. We had another drink, and then we went to Blue Water Grill in San Pedro for supper. I had the black bean crusted snook, and my brother had the grouper stuffed with crab; both were delicious.

The next morning, the dive boat from Tuff-e-Nuff with Ariel and Victor picked us up from the Athens Gate dock and took us on a shallow dive (max of 30 feet) in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Although the current was a little strong, we saw some nice marine life, including grouper, rays, barracuda, very large hermit crabs, cucumbers, shrimp, and many other types of fish. Ariel then led us to Shark Ray Alley, where we fed and played with nurse sharks and large rays. I highly recommend swimming with the sharks, as they are very docile (just do not be stupid and put your hand in their mouths).

After the work out of diving in the stiff current, we went to Robin’s Kitchen for some jerk chicken, red beans and rice, and Caribbean slaw. Robin grills the chicken and pork out on the small grill right under his sign. I highly recommend hitting up Robin’s Kitchen for lunch or dinner. That afternoon, we hung by the pool and the bar with E and James, who set us up the next day for a trip to the Blue Hole. We also met the owner of Athens Gate, Joe, who was as warm as they come and enjoyed hanging out with his guests. That night, we ventured in to San Pedro and tried Caramba’s for some complimentary ceviche and a whole Mayan red snapper, which was absolutely delicious.

The next morning, the boat from Amigos de Mar met us on the Athens Gate dock at 5:30 a.m. to take us to the “big boat” for our trip to the Blue Hole. The approximately 3 hour boat ride was a bit tough on some of us with big swells in the open water portions of the trip; but we made it and dove the 130-150 feet down to the cavernous portion of the hole. I must also say that I was truly impressed with Amigos de Mar and how aware the dive masters were of everyone in the group. Having dived numerous places around the world, I’ve seen some good and some not-so-good outfits, and these guys were top notch in my opinion. The Blue Hole is truly unique and highly recommended for those interested in seeing something a little different than reef life.
After the Blue Hole, we dove Half Moon Caye and the Aquarium, stopping for lunch between the two on Half Moon Caye. Half Moon Caye is basically a small island with a campground and home to the Red Footed Booby (birds, that is). The two reef dives were very nice, and we saw plenty of life without the currents we experienced at Hol Chan.

We got back to Athens Gate around 6 pm and asked James to set up a snorkeling/fishing/picnic excursion for the following day. E had already left for the day, but when James needed help setting up the trip, E assisted from home and got us lined up. I have never experienced resort staff who truly wanted their guests to have the best possible experience as much as E, James, and Joe did (Jonathan, the grounds crew, also gave some helpful tips). Nobody ever “clocked out.” James stayed until at least 7 p.m., and E helped from home to line up the day trip, even after we told them that it really was not a big deal. The folks at Athens Gate are truly devoted to their resort and to their guests’ experience. James also ordered pizza for us that night (Monday) as several places were closed and we were beat from the Blue Hole trip.

The day trip on Tuesday was a wonderful experience. We latched onto some very nice families and went fishing on the Mexico Rocks with Tuff-e-Nuff, with Top as our fishing guide. We caught some snapper, speared some lobster and crab, and picked up a few conch before lunch. The crew whipped up some ceviche (or it may have just been a conch salad) and a very nice dish with the fish, lobster, and crab to go along with some potatoes, plantains, and bread. We finished the afternoon with some more snorkeling/spear fishing, and headed back to Athens Gate. That night, we dined at Hidden Treasures, which was very nice, although it was well away from the main drag of San Pedro. I had the Mojarra a la Lamanai (snapper with Mayan spices cooked in banana leaf) while my brother had the special of snapper, lobster, and shrimp. Both were very nice. We finished with deserts of tasty homemade banana ice cream and an average bread pudding.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the next day, but it was truly a memorable trip, and I hope to return. While I love to try out different locations and hotels/resorts, I would be thrilled to go back to Ambergris Caye and stay at Athens Gate. If anyone is trying to decide between Athens Gate and any other accommodations on Ambergris Caye, you simply will not be disappointed with Athens Gate.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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Wichita, Kansas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

My wife, our four kids (aged 22 to 13) and I just spent a week in paradise. We stayed in a 3 bedroom villa on the 4th floor with what has to be the most spectacular view on Ambergris Caye. The accomodations were as advertised - attractive, well-appointed, comfortable and clean. That description also applies to the entire property. I cannot say enough good things about the staff -Eliazar ("E"), James and Jonathan are very friendly, professional and talented. "E" arranged all of our excursions and gave excellent advice on activities and restaurants. We spent a lot of time in San Pedro, but we were all glad we decided to stay just outside of town, and the south end of the atoll is the place to be. If you go to Athens Gate you will not be disappointed. We will return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antigua, Guatemala
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Athens Gate hosted our recent destination wedding for a party of 50 guests. The owners, Rhonda and Joe Lawrence, are excellent hosts and made sure that every detail was covered and performed in a first class manner. Their leadership and professionalism reflects in the overall atmosphere of the venue. Words can't express our gratitude to Rhonda and Joe for their work to plan and execute a wedding event that seemed almost stress free and effortless. The wedding was a wonderful event and all in attendance were awed by the Athens Gate facility, staff, and overall experience. The catamaran, fishing, and snorkeling trips organized by Athens Gate are spectacular. We were impressed by the genuine friendliness and caring attitudes of the staff which includes Eliazar, James, and John. These three gentlemen and the cleaning staff were key players in an effort to make our wedding and honeymoon the best in history!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sea Bright, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

We stayed at this amazing hotel for my sister's wedding. Eliazar, James and Jonathan were very friendly and helpful!! I would love to go back to Athens Gate!!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Athens Gate

Address: Beach Front, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#4 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#4 Family Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swaying Palms, sandy beaches, and warm ocean breezes welcome you to Athens Gate Resort. Experience unparalleled luxury, and service that is raising the standards, in one of our 2 or 3 bedroom villas. Athens Gate blends deluxe amenities and breath-taking views with a discreet location 2.5 miles south of San Pedro to give your trip seclusion with real panache! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Athens Gate Belize/San Pedro

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