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“Pampered in Style” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cayo Espanto

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Cayo Espanto
Cayo Espanto Island, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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Ranked #12 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
New York City
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Pampered in Style”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We spent 7 nights in the Aurora villa at Cayo Espanto and were relaxed and pleasured from the first moment to the last. Two housemen, a Chef and a housekeeper were literally at our beck and call (via walkie-talkie). The quality of the villa was first rate from the spaciousness and the wonderful outdoor areas down to the beautiful furnishings and even the bedding. Everything is done to your individual desire. The food was first rate, utilizing much fresh seafood. All meals are served in your villa at a time of your choosing. Three choices for both lunch and dinner and off menu if you prefer. Breakfasts are wonderful as well. Even the included house wines were acceptable to a pair of oenophiles with an additional wine list if necessary. There are massages, kayaking and day trips available as well. For us, just "doing nothing" for a week was what we needed and royally received.

Room Tip: Each villa is a bit different but all seem wonderful. Check all 7 out on line.
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed at Cayo Espanto as part of a group retreat. We were in Casa Ventanas, one of only 7 dwellings on the ~4 acre island (ours was the one over the water). If you read the other reviews, you'll get an excellent sense of what it's like there, so I want to quickly focus on the Pro's and the Con's and then give you my overall assessment of Value.

Pro's:
- Excellent accomodations - well designed, thoroughly clean, comfortable, great views. We visited a number of friends and all the Casas were of similar high quality
- Staff/Service - friendly, service-minded, always available at an instant's notice. They really tried to learn our preferences so the longer we stayed, the less we had to ask them for. Again, friends were all bragging about their excellent bulter service
- Food - not 5-star, but good variety and excellent taste. Very flexible if you wanted to go "off menu". They also did a great job of accomodating our diet, which was dairy- and gluten-free
- Ambiance - Peaceful, beautiful, quiet, relaxing. Not a place to go for a party, but if you want to get away from it all - this is the place. (Note: since we were part of a retreat, we did not get to take advantage of any day-trips they had on offer... did enjoy sailing the hobie-cat, kayaking, and dips in the ocean - no sea lice as others had reported... also had a very good massage in my room)

Con's - OK, going to sound stupid, but really had no complaints... but looking back, I found myself asking myself if it was worth the high price tag? Which leads me to...

Value - With tips, we were at about $1750 per day, which would buy you a lot of vacation anywhere. I started to make a mental inventory - a private villa, 2 on-call butlers, great food and drinks, amazing setiing... then I compared it with the Ritz Carlton St. Thomas, where I've stayed often. There, an oceanview room with 3 meals, drinks and use of the beach/ocean gear (kayaks, hobie cats, etc) would run about around $1200. This for a regular hotel room, no personalized service, no ability to have complete privacy... for me the extra $550 was worth it. Mind you, I wouldn't call Cayo Espanto a bargain, but you do get what you pay for - a unique, luxury experience... one that I'll never forget.

I'm looking forward to going back - 'nuff said?

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

My (now) husband and I stayed at Cayo Espanto four years ago and it remains our best vacation to date. Everything was perfect. Before you leave you complete a survey regarding your food likes and dislikes and each night you are escorted to a different area of the beach (or inside your villa if you so choose) where a table with candles and a new menu of your favorites had been setup. Every meal is . In addition to the food, the service was really impressive. Upon arrival you are given a walkie-talkie so you can speak to your house butler at all times. They were always unbelievably accommodating; on one occasion they even brought us s'mores upon request.

During the day we spent our time laying out, sipping on their famous Hurricanes (very different than the new orleans version) and playing paddle ball in the shallow waters that surround the villas. We also went snorkeling in the crystal clear water and were able to see some nurse sharks. We only left the island once and that was for a day trip the hotel setup. We got to see some underwater caverns, went rappelling and did some minimal hiking. It was a great experience.

  • Stayed March 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We decided what better time to write a review then while still enjoying everything that Cayo Espanto has to offer.  Short of what must be the norm for visiting Royalty, I cannot fathom anywhere that could offer this type of luxury and privacy. As I write on our last day here in paradise, our houseman Luis and Jose (our houseman in training), have just finished clearing breakfast, which was taken on the dock overlooking the water while listening to the soothing trickle of the infinity pool beside us. He is resetting the bungalow for "daytime", opening its three sides to the wonderful breeze, arranging our lounge chairs and opening our two 15 foot wide umbrellas to provide some shade from the morning sun. This has been our life for the last few days and I can honestly declare that Cayo Espanto has officially  ruined us for all future vacations.

Everything that you have read here of a positive nature is 100 percent accurate and then some. As for the negatives, I can only assume it is a case of "you can't please everyone all of the time." Although I really can't see how that might be possible here. I knew we were in store for something special when someone met us at Belize International Airport just to ensure we made our flight to San Pedro without difficulty. After a short seven minute boat trip we were greeted by all the staff waiting for us on the dock and we officially arrived in paradise.

From nightly romantic candle lit dinners on your dock, veranda or beach, to personalized drawings in the sand around your Casa, to the unbelievable service and the never ending gourmet meals, this resort has everything you can ask for and thinks of the things you would never imagine to.  The houseman are anything but obtrusive and quickly determine your particular needs, gauging their arrivals accordingly if not called on.

Not wanting to repeat everything already said in other reviews, a couple of items we can specifically comment on and highly recommend. The spa services here are the best we've ever experienced. Take advantage of a relaxing massage on your deck and a facial while you're here. Even the "Men's Facial" was a unexpected treat. We also took a snorkeling trip and, as avid divers, weren't expecting much. Were we in for a shock. German, the dive master here,  understands the reefs here better than most and we saw more in the way of marine life during our private tour than at any reef we've visited before. In between stops, he had us jump into the shallow waters at some old finishing grounds of his (now protected) where we spent half an hour swimming with eagle rays, nurse sharks, and loggerhead and green turtles. Expecting you were there to feed them or something, they continuously came close to say hi. It was one of the most enjoyable times I've ever had in the water and my only regret was that I left my dive camera at home.

Some might suggest I'm too easy to please but we had serious reservations about the costs associated with staying here. At Cayo Espanto, you get what you pay for, and then some, and we will most definitely be returning. Our short four night stay here  was to close out a two week long Honey/Baby Moon and Cayo Espanto turned our trip into an incredible memory that will not soon be forgotten.

Room Tip: Casa Solana - While I imagine there is no bad room on the island, we stayed in Casa Ventanas for the...
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  • Stayed December 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.
Clarksville, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I really have a hard time meditating, but this place was so much like heaven prayer and meditation came naturally.
We took a helicopter ride to the blue hole on our way to the resort. It was a bit pricy, but was worth it.
Service was great, and the location was awesome.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I can't believe places like this even exist! What an amazing trip. My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary here and it couldn't have been more spectacular. I've never been pampered more or fed better in my life.

We stayed in Casa Solara and Olita over a 4 night period. Both rooms were incredibly beautiful, but Olita had a few more perks that made it even more special (bigger and better shower/bathroom, bigger living space, and private dock).

The food and drinks here are so delicious. I don't think there's a meal that I thought was anything less than spectacular, and you eat often at Cayo. I loved having breakfast outside in front of the water, always beginning with a plate of fresh fruit and hot coffee. The fish tacos we had during lunch were so tasty, and the 4 course dinners were some of the best dinners I've had in my life. Exquisite.

Our houseman, Luis and Ricky, were wonderful. They made our stay literally more than I could have dreamed and I was so sad to leave!

The excursions and the simplicity in which they are booked were also fantastic. My husband and I snorkeled and dove together one day, and then on another he did an all day 3-tank dive to the Blue Hole. Both experiences were great and Eric and German were excellent guides on the excursion.

Really, this place is a dream. I can't wait to return (with bug spray) : )

Room Tip: We loved Casa Olita
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  • Stayed November 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.
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Romance is the cornerstone of this exclusive 4-acre island resort. As experts in catering to high-profile clients the team at Cayo Espanto work tirelessly to create a custom experience for all their guests.

With only six villas, and no more than 16 guests permitted on the island at one time, a private and intimate escape with your loved one is guaranteed. Upon arriving at our two-storey open-air waterfront villa with personal plunge pool and 180-degree view of the Caribbean, we were treated to the first of many personalized gourmet meals served by our Houseman Eddie.

The thought that a need or want might go unmet in this island paradise is unfathomable. Each morning we awoke to a three-course breakfast on the veranda, and for the remainder of the day freshly prepared snacks and beverages magically appeared at our villa. Prior to dinner Chef Richard would visit to review the evening’s menu, which we then devoured al fresco under a blanket of stars and flickering lanterns.

A deserted beach picnic, bird watching or private snorkelling tour can be arranged prior to your arrival, or as an impromptu excursion during your stay; however our favourite activity was the spa. No need to travel far for your pampering, as Ms. Brenda, the island’s masseuse and aesthetician, will bring her treatment table and homemade lotions, scrubs and massage oils to your villa.

Cayo Espanto’s Babymoon package was the perfect farewell to our former life. We now are the proud parents of a 7 month old little girl and our travel needs have temporarily changed.... however we will return to this little slice of heaven.

For pics and more details about our trip check out www.arrivalstravel.com

  • Stayed December 2011, 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.
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Additional Information about Cayo Espanto

Address: Cayo Espanto Island, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#11 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cayo Espanto San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Resort San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Belize/San Pedro

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