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“Un-Belize-able"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pelican Beach - South Water Caye

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Pelican Beach - South Water Caye
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Dangriga, South Water Caye 00000, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Wausau, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Un-Belize-able"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

This is my third time leading a group to stay at the Pelican Pouch Resort on South Water Caye. It will definately not be my last. This is a true tropical paradise! From the 1st minute you are greeted on the dock until the moment the wave good-bye, everything was perfect. The accommodations are clean and beautiful, the food was excellent and the staff are incredible. I especially love that you can snorkle right off their beach! The guided snorkling trips and line fishing excursion were great!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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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119 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

Pelican Beach Resort is located on what is basically a sandbar held together with coconut trees on top of the reef (most others must take a boat—you’ve already taken one an hour to get here), so snorkeling is just a matter of wading out and sticking your head in the water. From our beach, we saw several boats of day tripper snorkelers and there was a lot to see. Pelican Beach also offer night-guided snorkeling, which the other guests said was terrific.

We stayed in a bungalow two nights and then in the main building (still on the island) for our last night because we waited late to book and could only get two nights in the bungalow. The room in the house is fine for a night, but I would not want to stay there the whole time because the room is just beds and there's the composting toilet and it's right above the dining area so it's a little noisy--it's just not a lot of value for what you're paying. The bungalows, on the other hand, are spartan but cute and nice. We had a view of the sunrise over the water from our bed and could see the sunset over the water from our back porch. The hammocks on the front porch were perfect for lounging.

Mr. Leonard is a warm and engaging host and our primary waitress (Samika?) was lovely. I really liked the food because it was simple but very fresh. The banana fritters were terrific, the conch was fresh (we picked it up on the way in from some guys shelling them in a boat), and the papaya was great--and I don't like papaya!

There was some noise at times from the neighbors (Pelican Bay only has part of the island) during the day, but the sound on the island generally comes from the wind, waves and very noisy birds, but it's not as loud as the jungle. We had to force ourselves to stay up until 9:00 pm because there's not much to keep you up.

There's a cute island that you can see from the beach, Carrie Bow Caye, where the Smithsonian has a research station. We did not take a day trip there, but our friends did and found it to be very interesting if you get there when the marine biologists are present.

The complimentary kayaks are fun to take out--we saw several rays and a school of bonefish on one of our outings. There are a number of communal fish, bird and other marine life books, as well as lots of fish charts. Rooms have fresh water and ice stocked daily, and there is bug spray (though we didn't encounter mosquitos, only annoying sand flies). There is only wifi in a small area in the main house where the dining room is, but you're here to unplug, right?

Note: The boat ride is $65 each way, which seemed a bit pricey. Some people will do an outing to South Water Caye out of Hopkins for about the same price and then you can also get a snorkel or a dive, but you do need to do that both ways.

Pelican Beach is a simple, almost throwback experience. Very mellow. It's not for everyone, but we loved it.

Room Tip: Definitely stay in the cottages!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

What a lovely piece of paradise for the environmentally oriented visitor. This is a small resort with cottages and rooms in the main building. We stayed in a cottage which we would highly recommend, it was simple, comfortable and very clean. Each cottage (two singles and the rest are duplexes) had a rain barrel, solar panel and composting toilet to name a few environmental features. Due to the small nature of the resort it is very quiet and leaves you to relax and be in awe with the amazing scenery. When we visited the waters were warm, the trade winds blowing and the snorkeling off the beach was clear. We enjoyed the hammocks (at our cottage and along the beach), kayaks that we borrowed to go along the South Water Caye shoreline and the tiki torch lit dinners.

The food was wonderful with a set menu each day, generally based on Belizean fare. ‘Seconds’ were offered to ensure that everyone was full. You have the opportunity to take side trips, primarily to snorkeling sites in the area which are worthwhile if you have the time.

Theresita and Leonard were gracious hosts that ensured all of our needs were met and their team worked hard to make our stay a pleasure. We have wonderful memories of this resort and will dream of this idyllic location until we return again.

If your idea of tropical paradise includes a small environmentally oriented resort next to the barrier reef, simple but comfortable surroundings, a beautiful quiet beach with warm sand at your toes, dinners by torch and candle light and skies full of stars, then this may just be the place for you.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

We did not stay at the hotel in Dangriga but rather their sister place on South Water Caye Pelican Beach Resort. We did hear that the hotel, although nice, was a bit noisy due to the adjacent airport (small planes). Dangriga itself is a bit dirty and busy, but probably interesting... The Caye (pronounced "key") was fabulous. We took a water taxi from the Dangriga hotel for about 45 minutes to the Caye and were met by Leonard and Therasita (husband and wife managers) of the resort. They were both laid back and extremely accommodating. We had reserved an Intimate Island Interlude package which was perfect for me, my wife, and a couple of friends. Our particular cabin, the Sandpiper North, was perfect for seeing the sunrise on the front porch, and the sunset from the back porch. Honestly, I'm not sure there is a bad cabin in the place. Food was provided in the package as well as two boat/snorkeling excursions. This place is NOT CHEAP but well worth it if you want to leave stress behind. There was only 14 people in the place when we were there (35 max I think) but it was ideal. You can snorkel off the beach, or sun, or just relax in one of their many hammocks and chairs. The island has solar power for each cabin, and rain water for showers. There is not a lot of either but there is a ceiling fan and multiple cabin lights for general use and reading. Cabins do not have electrical outlets....there are two power bars in the office available for guest use. Wifi is quite weak to non-existent so if this is critical, don't stay here. Emails/messages may go thru a couple of times a day; don't even think about adding attachments. The snorkeling was fantastic...rays, sharks (nurse ones...bottom feeders), squids, all sorts of fish....it's like swimming in an aquarium. The food here was great although not haute cuisine. Evenings are very quiet...no music or activities, so great for reading, relaxing, and sleeping until sunrise or later. I'd certainly return to this place. It's really beautiful!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Whistler
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

My husband and I stayed for 4 nights at South Water Caye at the end of our Central American trip through Honduras and Guatemala. We were looking to avoid the crowds of Ambergris and Caye Caulker and for a place we could snorkel from the beach. This we found.

The caye is on the edge of the MesoAmerica reef so there is good snorkeling from the beach and also a short boat ride away - Ritchie the boat captain was excellent. The reef is not very healthy - it is a shame how our marine world is deteriorating - given that - there are good fish and corals to be found in quite warm water. We had our own snorkel equipment and were shocked to see those without were charged a daily fee - in a resort of this price - this should certainly be included. The location of the resort on this small caye is excellent however the design could be much better - they have the bar and dining area in the center of the caye with no real water views - there is a dock on the west side that most guests went to afternoon sun and for the sunset - this could easily be a sunset bar - we had to walk to the bar for our drinks - no staff ever came to offer anything?? There were also fences to stop you from exploring the rest of the caye - usually beach is common area up to the high tide mark?

The rooms are good - all have good views - they are spacious and clean - modern composting toilets are no issue and we had plenty of hot water. Hammocks are on your deck and the grounds - which are well kept.

The meals are average at best - the staff were having fresh fish and we were not ??? I have the feelijng that they think they are catering to a North American palate - but are failing. Therisita - our waitress was wonderful.

The housekeeping staff were very nice - however the rest of the staff - other than Therista and Ritchie - desperately need a course in how to service guests at a resort in this price range. We could hear them partying every night after the guests retired.

This is a lovely little resort - it may not be over priced for Belize - but it is certainly overpriced compared to island resorts in other parts of the world - the South Pacific for example. It would have been very good for 1/2 the price.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Detroit, Michigan
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I spent five nights at Pelican Beach in February 2014. This place is tropical paradise defined. We spent our first two nights in the Pelican's Pouch rooms and the last three in Egret's Escape. The cottage was fantastic, but the rooms were a bit rustic (very simple furnishings, composting toilets, not all rooms have a shower). You're not there to sit inside, though, so if it's a choice between staying in the Pelican's Pouch rooms and staying at another resort -- stay in the rooms! The cottages all have multiple porches to see both the sunrise and sunset and the ocean breezes keep them plenty cool. You'll be hearing the roar of the ocean in your ears for days after leaving. There are no power outlets in the room since the rooms are all solar powered, so devices need to be charged at the restaurant building.

The food at the resort was delicious. We had seafood for almost every meal that was incredibly fresh and well-prepared. There is always a unique juice to sip -- my favorites were soursop and watermelon. You can get seconds of anything at every meal.

We spent three days diving and one day hanging out at the beach. We used a dive shop at one of the other resorts on the island, which was fantastic because we had plenty of time to hang out at the resort between dives. The staff didn't seem thrilled that we were working with a rival resort, but the dive shop they recommended went out of business and frankly, they have nothing to worry about because PBR is by far the nicest place on the island! The diving was gorgeous and the snorkeling off the island was good too. We didn't snorkel until our last day and I was really surprised by how beautiful the reef was just a few yards from the island. We used the free kayaks to go around the island (you can't actually go around because the reef intersects the island at the north end, so you have to go one way then back and around the other way). It's a good way to see the other resorts and to get up close to the reef crest. We did a night snorkel on our last night and it was very cool to see some of the sea creatures that usually are hidden during the day.

The resort recently locked the gate between their property and the one next door so you can't walk on the island outside of PBR (the purpose of this is more to keep other people out than to keep PBR guests in). We were allowed to once to go to the dive shop at the other resort and I can say that you're not really missing much by being "stuck" at PBR.

Wireless internet is available in the restaurant area. It's fairly slow but works to check email. Most guests left their wifi devices sitting in the corner near the router to allow their email to download continuously so that by the time you sat down to read your email, you didn't have to wait 20 minutes for the emails to load.

The only thing keeping this resort from 5-stars in my mind is their slow responses when trying to book a reservation. Their website says that all reservations and administration is handled from the Dangriga location, but this is not true. It would take 2-3 days to get a response to an email inquiry, which was frustrating when trying to make plans. I also found some members of the staff to be not quite as warm and friendly as the other resort where we stayed in Belize. They were very nice and polite, but sometimes I felt like it was a chore for them to get up and make me a drink. These things aren't enough to prevent me from recommending the place, and I'd return in a heartbeat, but there is room for improvement.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Seattle
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014

My first real trip to Belize other than a cruise ship stop several years ago. We landed in Belize City then hopped a Tropic Air Cessna Caravan down to the tiny landing strip near the mainland Pelican Beach Resort. They picked us up and took us to their dock for the 40 minute boat ride out the the island resort, the ride being an adventure in itself - small open boat with salt spray hitting us like a refreshing spa mist. Approaching the dock at South Water Caye I immediately knew this would be a stunning place, clear water and sandy beaches. The whole island is tiny and PBR has something like 3.5 acres of it at the tip. The main building houses the open air dining area and 4 stool bar, the cottages are sprinkled throughout the pristine sand and palm trees. You can immediately feel your mainland tension draining away as you are greeted with warm smiles and soft breezes. Save for a volleyball net, the grounds are devoid of touristy stuff which I immediately appreciated. The cottages are simple but comfy, totally green with composting toilets and solar power, some might find them a bit sparse, I found them blissfully comfy. The pillows leave a bit to be desired however! Strolling the grounds you find colorful hammocks between stately palm trees, lounge chairs and that is all, and that oh so clear aqua water. Folks this is truly bliss. The water and snorkeling are tops, safe as well which is a plus. Has to be one of the top spots on the planet for pure stunning beauty and relaxation. The staff are pampering and outstanding, so accommodating to your needs, the tree meals are posted daily on the menu board to whet your appetite and all delicious and varied. Try the "sour sap" fruit drink, so refreshing. Service is terrific without being in your face and the whole team can educate you on local things. They have coffee pumper pots full and hot at 6 AM and during the day water and fruit juice plus home make cookies available anytime you want them. Leonard and Miss Terry are outstanding working managers, we invited them to come visit us sometime, how's that for making friends fast! They offer day trips to other locations for snorkeling and diving, we took one and saw amazing bottom life and large spotted rays gliding thru the water. At night it is dark and the sky lights up with a million stars adding to the wonder of it all. They have four nice kayaks free of charge and rental snorkel gear so you don't have to bring yours. I was totally gobsmacked by this place, love at first sight. Again, if you want fancy and lots of activities this may not be for you. If you appreciate a green facility, simple highly relaxing environment, tasty food and a truly caring wonderful staff, add this to your bucket list now and make your booking soon. With only a few cottages on the grounds, each has their pros and cons so ask Miss Terry to explain that to you for maximum pleasure. We traveled with another couple and took the duplex cottage so we were next to each other with a common porch great for families and friends. Other units are on stilts and up higher for a different view. Sit at the tiny bar and have a Belikin Beer, this is Jimmy Buffet off steroids!
Ladies casual is the order of the day, you can wear what you want but no need to dress up unless you want to, we never got out of shorts the whole time! This is truly one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I have ever been to and plan on returning.

Room Tip: The Kingfisher unit is the only one with a sunrise and sunset view, I would consider this one the b...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pelican Beach - South Water Caye

Address: Dangriga, South Water Caye 00000, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > South Water Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in South Water Caye
Hotel Class:3 star — Pelican Beach - South Water Caye 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Two special locations, one great vacation - South Water Caye and Dangriga! South Water Caye, our island getaway-seaside cottages and rooms with fantastic views and cooling trade winds. On a gorgeous beach, atop the barrier reef and within South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Snorkel from shore, dive, fish, kayak or do nothing at all. Environmentally-friendly facilities with separate student group accommodations. For the simple pleasures - spending time together, sharing new adventures and making new friends. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Hotel South Water Caye
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Belize

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