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Reviewed June 13, 2011

We just spent an amazingly relaxing long weekend in this secluded elegant resort on the northern end of Ambergris Cay. Only a 2 hour flight from our home in Houston to Belize City, it was a quick and easy connection to a smaller plane to the island and a boat ride to the resort. The clean white beach and crystal clear water were as beautiful as it gets anywhere in the world. The coral reef is an easy swim from the beach with wonderful snorkeling and scuba diving. The proprietors (Carlos and Isabel) arranged a 1/2 day fishing trip with their knowledgeable guides and even prepared our catch for our dinner that night!

The rooms are private free-standing casitas with a/c (ours was just in the bedroom, but some have full a/c), kitchens and living areas. We slept very soundly and comfortably. The restaurant on the property never failed to serve the best meals (breakfasts included) and all of the staff are friendly and helpful.

You cannot go wrong with this resort, unless you want something near the populated area (San Pedro) with noise and cars. There are daily boat trips into town if you needed to go shopping, etc. The resort is very secluded and feel like you're on a private island much of the time.

We cannot recommend this place more highly!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank Brad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2011

My family (wife and two grown children/adults) spent five wonderful days and nights here in late May, 2011. Nothing much to say which already hasn’t been said. If you are reading these reviews to try to determine whether to stay here, it’s pretty simple. If you need night life, city life, a pool, or 5 star accomodations and meals, look elsewhere. Everyone else, this is your choice.

A few highlights:
- Beach is fantastic.
- Your blood pressure is guaranteed to go down 10 points during your first 2 days
- Snorkeling right out of your front door is world class. Right in front of the resort while snorkeling, we saw manatees, sharks, lionfish, lobster, rays, tarpon, barracuda, and more tropical fish then you can imagine.
- Accomodations are clean are comfortable
- Wait staff is first class
- Restaurant is fine - prices around $20 US for dinner entrees, with the same quality of a good restaurant back home.

Tips:
- Hike to Rocky Point is great, but prepare for a long hike with good shoes and a 4 hr overall duration.
- If you are trying to save a bit of money, bring snacks and lunch food. Breakfasts are good and free, so the only meal you really need to pay for is dinner.
- Buy water at the resort - very reasonable price for 5 gallon jugs. Bring flavored drink to add to water, and chill bottles in the refrigerator.
- Make sure you utilize the free kayaks for getting quickly out to the reef, although fish are also plentiful close to shore.
- The trip to Hol Chan (about 45 minutes each way, cost of about $55 per person) from TBR was well worth it and highly recommended.

I had a concern that, being a very active family, we might be bored after a few days, but a 5 day trip was just right for us.

We will be back.

Gary
Houston, TX

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank GaryHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2011

Thanks for the great review! We hope to see you back at the resort someday soon.

Cheers,
Carlos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2011

Our first trip to Belize and what a wonderful experience. The management and staff at The Tranquility Bay Resort are the best. If you want to unwind from your busy schedule, this is the place. Everything is at your pace.

Cabana was spacias and nicely appointed. To be able to walk out the front door and on to the beach and it's pristine water was priceless. And hats off to the ladies in the kitchen, wonderful food.

Room Tip: Ask for the Prime Ministers Suite. Great view.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank buster80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2011

Thanks for the great review! We hope to see you again soon.

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed May 23, 2011

We chose Tranquility Bay Resort for our honeymoon based on the stellar reviews here at Tripadvisor, the remote location on Ambergris Caye, and the estimated cost. We thought it would be a fun, laid-back two weeks which also wouldn't break the bank. Reality was even better than our expectation!

Some thoughts in loose categorical order:

LOCATION: The boat ride from San Pedro can take a good 30 minutes to an hour, depending on load. The managers Carlos and Isabelle did their best to help us schedule our activities and day trips for when it would be easier and cost effective for everyone involved, which we appreciated. Generally though we were quite happy to be away from the hundreds of resorts which crowd each other for space on the rest of Ambergris Caye -- it felt like a real escape where we were.

ACCOMMODATION: We had a 1 bedroom cabana, which was more than big enough. There are actually two beds, one in an upstairs loft and one in an air-conditioned room. Porch out front where you can sit and enjoy the breeze (if for some reason lying in the hammocks next to the water gets boring), living room with plenty of seating, kitchenette with plates, utensils and refrigerator, and a spacious bathroom. No TVs or phones, but wireless internet is available in the bar/restaurant. Every day the cabana was thoroughly cleaned while we ate breakfast, and the beach was swept free of sea grass and debris.

Note: Most of the cabanas have screened windows and slatted glass, so some of the elements do get in. We preferred the natural breeze, but if you can't stand even a small amount of sand, there are a couple of fully air-conditioned and closed cabanas which you might be able to request.

DRINKS/MEALS: Breakfast was included with our accommodation. Food was always tasty and varied. It's not gourmet, but the portions were exactly what we wanted and prices were reasonable compared to what we saw in San Pedro. Hill, Alberto and Alex were our friendly staff at the bar/restaurant (which sits right over the water) and they'd recommend cocktails and dishes for us. The cooks also kindly saved us some of their wonderful Sunday lunch special, a local dish called Belizean stewed chicken, when we were away for the day.

ACTIVITIES: We were most interested in scuba diving and snorkeling. Before we arrived, we arranged to take the PADI advanced open water course at the resort, and Carlos hand-picked a wonderful dive instructor from San Pedro, which allowed us a personalized experience. We also enjoyed a fantastic day of diving and snorkeling at Esmeralda, Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley with the resort's own divemaster, Orlando. When Orlando had days off and we wanted to dive again, Carlos again arranged for a divemaster to come in from San Pedro. We saw THREE sea turtles on those last couple of dives!

As for snorkeling from shore, you can snorkel right out to the barrier reef, or take one of the kayaks for free. It's only several hundred yards away, with some coral heads much closer.

The other activities we did were just as personalized:

- One of the staff members, Jamal, took some of us on a day trip to see the Mayan ruin Xunantunich, followed by cave tubing, with some excellent meal stops along the way (highly recommend Jamal's favorite BBQ and taco joints). Jamal really went above and beyond on this trip -- for one thing, the river current was low for cave tubing, so he literally towed our lazy butts almost the entire way! :-) He was also a great overall guide, clearly very knowledgeable about a wide range of Belizean history, culture and wildlife, and moreover very proud of and enthusiastic about Belize, and happy to show it off to us.

- Carlos also took the two of us out sailing on the Hobiecat and even gave my husband some instruction on how to sail it (I was happy to just go along for the ride).

- We got an afternoon in San Pedro, which again was helpfully arranged for the most convenient and cost effective time. An afternoon was plenty of time for us to wander around shopping and to also hit three different restaurants for a pre-lunch appetizer, lunch, and a post-lunch drink. ;-)

TIMING: For some reason, May is the start of the slow season in Belize. No idea why -- the weather is absolutely gorgeous, with clear sunny days, a good consistent breeze and comfortable ocean temperatures. But this meant we got to enjoy the resort without any crowds -- in fact, there were a couple of days when we were the only customers staying. We loved the feeling of having our own "private" resort.

OTHER NOTES: Try and get in touch with the management yourself after you book. The booking office is actually located in the States, so if you really want to get questions answered and get a sense of who will be taking care of you during your stay, do reach out to Carlos and Isabelle directly.

ALSO: Carlos and Isabelle's adorable baby daughter waving and smiling at everyone totally added to the family feel of the place. An unexpected bonus! :-)

IN SUM: Words we'd use to describe TBR -- warm, friendly, down-to-earth, remote, affordable, relaxed, romantic. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: 1 BR cabana seemed the best value
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank theakmeng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2011

Thanks for the great review! We hope to see you back at the resort soon.

Cheers,
Carlos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2011

We found Tranquility Bay Resort just hunting around online for a place to stay in Belize. I called the US number listed for reservations and from that moment on - I was hooked on Tranquility Bay. I was on the phone with the reservations team for 45 minutes or so while they took the time to give me prices and tell me ALL about the resort. It was so nice to have such personalized service right off the bat and trust me, it only got better when we arrived at the resort. Tranquility Bay is literally a private little piece of paradise!! From the actual resort, to the staff, the location, the food - everything far exceeded our expectations which were very high to begin with.

The cabanas at Tranquility Bay were very nice each complete with comfortable beds and linens, plenty of pillows, a cozy seating area, kitchenette with dishes, microwave and coffee maker and a private safe. There was never a problem with power or hot water or anything for that matter. Being a secluded resort, I worried that might happen but not at Tranquility Bay. The best part of the rooms was the gorgeous porches all with a view of the beach just steps from our door. Comfy porch chairs and conch shells decorating the porch - not to mention the hammocks hanging in the palm trees all up and down the beach - it was perfect!! And there was also free wifi connection for those that have to stay connected. The cabanas are one or two bedroom as well as the Prime Minister Suite and the best kept secret - the budget traveler's room. It sounds like nothing but the budget traveler room is amazing studio accomodations for a low price. Truthfully all the cabanas are worth the money!!

Now on to the staff - I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Tranquility Bay!! The management, the wait staff, house keepers and activity guides were all the best that I have ever dealt with in all of my travels. Like I said - the personal attention started from my very first phone call and it did not stop for our entire stay at Tranquility Bay.
The activity guides were my personal favorite (especially Jamal - loved him!!). We were able to schedule our trips day to day and change them as needed. If the conditions were not right for diving or fishing etc - we simply rescheduled with no penalty at all. Jamal always reminded us - "This is your trip and we will do what makes you happy!" And trust me - he meant it. Every one of our excursions was worth every penny and then some. We went to the Mayan Ruins (Xunanantunich), ziplining, reef fishing and snorkeling at Holchan, Shark Alley and the Coral Gardens with a stopover in Caye Caulker. Every trip far exceeded my expectations!!

The housekeeping staff was wonderful - even though we hardly ever saw them - LOL!!Our room was always immaculate, sand free, fresh linens etc. They took care of our room before we ever even thought to ask. It was great!!

The restaurant and wait staff were also great. We started every day with fresh squeezed OJ and a smile and the food just got better and better every time. The fish tacos are out of this world and if you do any fishing - be sure to have them prepare your catch for you! The bar staff are good fun and will teach you how to play dice, play some fun music for you and even make sure you have cards or games to play while you wait.

Now on to the true magic of Tranquility Bay - location, location, location!! This resort is 12 miles north of San Pedro, accessible mostly by boat (15 min ride or so to San Pedro) or a long bike or golf cart ride for the locals. The location of the resort was perfect for us. We were able to walk all up and down the beaches exploring and we saw the most amazing wildlife. If you like to geocache - Tranquility Bay is the place to be. You can log 6 caches within walking distance from the resort. Geocaching is a great way to get out and explore. The marine life is out of the world because the resort is located in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. Boat traffic is very limited and all boats must travel at idle speed while in the marine reserve. So you never have to worry about the boats while you are snorkeling. We saw an abundance of fish, lobster and spotted eagle rays from the moment you went into the water. Snorkeling gear is also available at the resort as well as sea kayaks - all free of charge. Tranquility Bay has several buoys placed offshore to mark snorkeling spots and places to tie up the kayaks. The resort staff also gives plenty of advice on where to snorkel and what to look for. The Belize Barrier Reef (2nd largest in the world) is swimming distance from right off your beach - it is truely amazing!!

For the parents - Tranquility Bay is the perfect place to take your children. The location of the resort is the perfect place for the kids to run up and down the beach, swimming, playing games and just exploring. You don't have to worry about strangers being around because Tranquility Bay is the kind of place where you get to know everyone while you are there. It is really like one big family. There is also a local family near by with 3 amazing children who know the best secrets of Belize out there. They know it all!! If you are a fly fisherman - be sure to have a chat with Daniel - he has the fishing knowledge of an old salt and he is not even in his teens!! He is an amazing kid!!

I truely could go on and on about all the great things Tranquility Bay has to offer but the reality is - you need to experience this place for yourself. You will not be let down!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Seaturtle77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2011

Wow! Thanks for the great review! You've got the job our new pr person!! haha We enjoyed having you here at the resort and hope you come back soon. Just to clarify a couple of points: The kayaks are included with your stay at TBR but we do charge for the snorkeling gear. The boat ride is rarely less than 30 minutes to town. You must have really been enjoying it!

Cheers,
Carlos

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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