We returned from our stay at Sueno Del Mar yesterday. I really rely on these trip advisor reviews so I am going to try to be as honest as possible.
Location: Ambergris Caye is so beautiful! The water is so blue and sparkling. We saw so many amazing fish, sting ray and lobster (heads) from the pier in front of the resort, it was great. We were able to fish from the pier and at one point the staff joined us and taught us so much. We loved kayaking the area and biked and walked the shore line up north. Beyond that, there isn't much else to do on site. This resort is 30 minutes from San Pedro and almost 2 hours from Belize City. The resort staff would allow you to sit in on a ride if they were already going to town, but no special accomadtions were available for the most part (see below for more info on that). I would personally plan to stay closer to San Pedro to allow for a better option of activities, but it depends on your style. The day we flew out our flight was at 3:30 but we had to take an 8:00 boat with Sueno as that was our only option, kind of defeated my plans of lying by the pool my final day.
Time of year: We traveled in mid June, I have to be honest, I would not recommend traveling to Belize at this time of year. The bugs were everywhere. My husband and I each came home with 50-100 bug bites (despite the use of deet/bug spray). The hotel resturant was open air and each meal was accompanied by the constant slapping of bugs. The staff attempted to use a smoke machine and candles but the bugs were ever present. We were the only couple in the restaurant many nights as everyone else had to eat in room to avoid the bugs. I did not see any mention of bugs when I read reviews, so if you travel June-August watch out for mosquitos!
Property: Our 2 bedroom villa was beautiful. The bed was comfy and the shower was amazing. Our "ocean view" room did not have a view at all unless you walked to the very front of the porch and looked through the trees. We met another couple with an "ocean view" room that was positioned so far back they were only looking at another villa. The pool was very nice. A little small if a family or many couples were out, but we enjoyed it. The main problem with the pool was that you couldn't lie out for more then 5 minutes before the bugs began to attack. The free use of kayaks, bikes and fishing gear was awesome! There is no beach at Sueno. There is a sandy walk way which leads to a bricked off drop off, (about 1 foot deep) with lots of sea grass. You can swim a little off the end of the pier but there is fair amount of grass everywhere unless you kayak out deeper.
Staff: Here is our main complaint. We picked Sueno after much research, mainly because we read all the amazing reviews about the staff. Sadly this was not our experience. We were treated decently for the most part, and there were some wonderful stand out staff (Glenn, Edwin and Adrian) but otherwise I felt like we were a bother to the staff. One night we went into San Pedro for lobster fest. The staff and another couple that we befriended set it up. The plan was to take a sueno boat about 5 minutes to meet up with a water taxi/group shuttle, same plan for the way home. On the return trip the Sueno boat failed to show. We were stuck on a dock, in the middle of the night, with 2 other couples. We called Sueno repeatedly and were faced with the choice of trekking ~5 miles through the jungle or waiting all night. Finally another boat got a radio call to the resort and they begrudgingly came to pick us up. No apologies were issued and the staff said that it was our fault because we didn't notify them (this was not the case as I personally heard the driver confirm our pick up time). Upon check out they tried to charge us 60.00 US for this little courtesy, a charge we had to fight hard against (as no mention of payment had been made). The shuttle/water taxi was another 60 so getting to town can be very expensive.
Take home message: We had a great trip. We loved getting to see Belize, we saw amazing natural marine life and enoyed the sun. We hated the bugs and were understanding about the many rainy/overcast days (June is part of rainy season). We would not stay at Sueno again. I would stay somewhere much closer to town where I could enjoy differene restaurants (sueno has one) and gain access to more excursions. We did take part in an incredible full day excursion which inluded reef fishing, an awesome BBQ lunch at a local bar where they grilled up our catch, followed by time at Caye Caulker and snorkeling at Shark Alley and Hol Chan, this day was the highlight of our trip. However the gentlemen/staff member who helped set it up got in trouble as it was not a preferred excursion that the hotel sold (i.e. made money off of), which put us in an awkward spot. I would not travel to Ambergris Caye again in rainy season. I think that it would be easier to enjoy at another time of year, when weather is better and bugs are in hiding. Hope this helps!
- Also Known As:
- Sueno Del Mar Hotel San Pedro
- Sueno Del Mar Hotel
- Sueno Del Mar Belize/San Pedro
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to La Isla Bonita, known as the Island of San Pedro Ambergris Caye! It is the largest island in the Beautiful Country of Belize and home of the largest Barrier Reef in the Western Hemisphere. Sueno del Mar opened its doors in 2005 and represents the best that San Pedro has to offer. Walter, our taxi driver will pick you up at the San Pedro Airport and take you to Fido’s dock (pronounced Fee-doe-z), a local’s favorite Bar and Grill and great place to prepare for your scenic Caribbean boat ride to your home in paradise. Our Concierge staff will greet you at the resort’s dock and walk you through the spacious complex to your villa. Groceries, soft drinks and alcohol can be pre-ordered and in your villa upon your arrival at - info at suenobelize dot com. Due to our proximity to the reef; snorkeling, fishing, kayaking and Hobie cat sailing are activities you can experience right out your front door. ... more less