We stayed here last week for 7 days while on AC. This hotel is over a mile from the center of town, which is good for us because we don't like a lot of noise, but it was a bit of a trek to town.
The shower had hot water (whew!) but the pressure was low. Some of the plumbing (like the shower head) was older and a bit of rust, but it didn't really both me.
There were two nice (not large, but nice) swimming pools. Lots of open beach and poolside chairs. A lot of nice plants and flowers. It was great to watch the hummingbirds and lizards go about their business around the hotel.
We rented a golf cart for a couple days, which was a great idea because we could go exploring the island (and explore we did!).
The restaurant onsite, El Divino's is okay, depending on what you order. The Chicken burrito was excellent. Even though Belize is a developing country, don't expect "deals" on food and restaurants unless you go eat at the little street-side stands where the locals eat. Prices at restaurants were as much, or more, than the U.S.
We got a great rate at this hotel because it was slow season...we paid about $60 or so (US) per night--the "backpackers special". This rate didn't include breakfast or transfers, though.
We got the simplest room, which was clean and adequate. The air conditioning worked well (not all hotels on the island have AC). The views were beautiful. The beach in front of the hotel was small, but pleasant to lay out, however, there is not a beachy area to walk into the water right in front of the hotel, it's more like a small wall thing up the water.
We were at the hotel during the impending hurricane, and it turns out that this hotel has its own generator and water supply; therefore, it was a shelter for the families (some of them big) of the employees), so the one night while the hurricane was passing over, the hotel was very busy and noisy with a lot of locals seeking shelter (also because it's a very strong building).
other than that, there were very few guests at the hotel the rest of the time. We felt like we mostly had the place to ourselves. The staff are friendly and helpful. You can book trips, such as scuba/snorkeling, in the Monkey Business travel shop onsite. There is also a computer with internet in the shop, which you can use for 15 minutes for free.
A taxi back and forth to town is only $5 US each way, so not a bad deal. There are a couple of stores a relatively short walk up the road where we bought soda and snacks (Super Buy, I think, is best-- it's the pink store).
We took a water taxi to the island (maybe like a 2 hour ride). You can also fly Tropic Air from Belize City...which I think we will do next time. The boat ride is not exceedingly comfortable, but it's about half the price of a flight (althoug the flights are relatively cheap.)
You can find lots of beautiful conch shells wandering up the beach. The views are like paradise on the island.
A short walk from the hotel (go the beachfront and turn left), is Rico's, a little restaurant in a little octogon-type glass structure over the water. I had a great breakfast burrito there.
Dinner at Fido's in town was great, and they had a U.S. band playing pretty good music.
Suggest steering clear of the Road Kill bar.... I think the name is really NOT a joke here. The food was...well... if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
We ate at Elivi's kitchen in town for dinner one night. It is a well known tourist restaurant with a sand floor, however, I was not overly impressed with their food or prices. It was just "OK".
"The Bakery" on one of the main streets in town turned out to be a great deal for any meal, and at a price better than most restaurants on the island. Plus it was very clean compared to some other places to eat.
Also, don't miss having a beach-side dinner as the sun goes down at Celi's in town. Wow. Good food and decent prices. The pasta was super.
All in all, I would say Banana Beach,and Ambergris Caye was a GREAT experience. However....caution.,..it is not for everyone!
This IS a developing country. It is not for the faint of heart. It would also probably be very difficult for someone with disabilities to get around, as nothing there is handicapped accessible and the roads can be rough, few sidewalks, lots of potholes and mud, stuff like that. I don't think I saw any place with elevators for ramps...just stairs.
If you have an adventurous spirit, you may love Belize, as we did. But don't expect all the comforts of home (yet), since this is a work in progress. For the open-minded and those willing to travel to areas lacking some of the comforts of home, Belize may be the place for you.
***Please buy some of small bags of dog food when you are visiting the island and feed the poor, starving dogs that are not taken care of wandering the island!! :-) You can get the bags at Marina's store down from the hotel for like $2.50. And the skinny pups will thank you for it!! :-)
- Also Known As:
- Banana Beach Hotel San Pedro
- Banana Beach Hotel
- Banana Beach San Pedro
- Banana Beach Belize
- Banana Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The friendliest resort sitting on the powdery sand of Mar de Tumbo Beach just south of San Pedro Town on the Ambergris Caye of Belize, Banana Beach Resort has been a haven of fun, adventure, and relaxation for more than 10 years. ... more less
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