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“Great Place for the Right Visitors”

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Tranquility Bay Resort
Ranked #23 of 56 Hotels in Ambergris Caye
Certificate of Excellence
El Cajon, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Place for the Right Visitors”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

We ( a senior couple and my son and daughter -in-law) just left 8 days ago after 5 short nights. We are all experienced travelers and snorkelers. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We used the Prime Minister's Cabana and loved the veranda and the overall accommodations. Unfortunately, we experienced 2 days of rain and the walls and windows do leak in the living room. The housekeeping staff was very responsive about bringing towels to put on the puddles. The mosquitoes were a problem in the upstairs bedroom even though we were careful to keep the door closed, etc, so be prepared.

The staff is wonderful and helpful. The food in the restaurant was very good and not too overpriced considering the logistics of bringing it in, etc. We did think that the "food prep" charge for fish that the guest caught ($12.50 U.S. per plate) was a little unreasonable, particularly considering that you pay for the fishing trip and the resort keeps your extra fish.

The snorkeling was very good right from the beach if you don't mind traversing through the sea grass (I didn't mind). The always available kayaks were great because you could tie up at snorkeling areas in shallow areas near coral. The resort dive master was not available the day we wanted to visit Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley so they arranged a tour through Belize Pro Divers. It was by far the best snorkeling tour we have ever taken with great guides. We also took a fishing/snorkeling/lobster diving trip with Pany which was great.

I was pleasantly surprised, because I had not read it in previous reviews, that you are able to walk on the beach in the northerly direction for quite a distance from the hotel. My only suggestion for improvement would be that they improve the wi-fi so that it is available in the cabanas. I realize that is a sad commentary about how wired-in most of us are these days, but it is a reality.

Room Tip: Ask if there are any that are better sealed for mosquitoes.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank sralph48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Newnan, Georgia
Level Contributor
93 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a week at Tranquility Bay, a "bucket list" trip for my diver husband. There are many positive things about this property, it's location and it's people, but it's not for everyone. It is very remote, which is not a problem with great weather to enjoy the beach and the water. However, if you have rain and bad weather each day (as we did), being so remote is a true disadvantage. The accommodations are comfortable, but lack in privacy as they only have window coverings on the bathroom and bedroom windows. I understand enjoying the beautiful view, but having the option for some privacy in the living area would be nice. The mosquitos were a real problem, even in the restaurant, which is a real shame because the food is so good. They did fog around our cabana one day, but with no breeze at times, they were pretty bad. The accommodations were comfortable, but fairly rustic. Small double beds on what seems to be home-made platforms that seemed a little less than stable in one of our bedrooms. We were also disappointed that we had to ask for clean towels and coffee when we ran out, instead of them just taking care of that pro-actively. However, any request was always quickly fulfilled. There is no air conditioning in the restaurant, and it gets pretty steamy in there when there is no breeze. Some ceiling fans would really make a big difference. The service is wonderful and we would really like to thank Anita and Caesar for taking such good care of us. The kitchen staff are so sweet. It's like having your favorite Aunt cooking for you. Excellent food, great selection and reasonable prices. The staff did a great job of keeping the beach clean, even with all the storms, but if you walk the beach outside the property, it's pretty disappointing to see how much trash is washed ashore. We didn't have ideal conditions for snorkeling, but it's just a short kayak ride to the reef. We had a large nurse shark paddling right alongside us, and the coral heads are gorgeous. My husband is a very experienced diver who dove twice with Yemen, the dive-master at the property. He could not have been more pleased. He and Kathryn, the manager were also very helpful in helping him with arrangements for his Blue Hole dive. As for water, they have 5 gallon bottles with dispensers available for purchase, which is far more convenient that bringing them in from town, so would recommend you save your shopping for snacks. Wi-Fi is very limited, just a small area around the office and in the restaurant. If you have bad weather, as we did, you want to make sure you bring enough books and other activities (especially with children), as there isn't any place else to go. The property has no TV's. Also, no clocks in any of the cabanas, so bring an alarm clock with you if you have early travel plans. The boats they use to bring you in from San Pedro are open. They have tarps to cover your luggage and some ponchos, but would recommend being prepared, just in case. This is a very unique property and travel experience centered around enjoyment of the ocean. It is not well suited to those accustomed to spas and room service. It was not anyone's fault that we had bad weather the entire week, so we would probably return, but not for as long.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ingrid J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 29, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed here for our Honeymoon and were blown away. We wanted something relaxing, private, great food, and with the option for adventure - we found it all here! There are only 10 cabanas, which are beautifully built and kept very clean daily. The only room that was air conditioned in our unit was the bedroom, which was perfectly fine since you definitely wanted to be outside anyways. The beach is cleaned daily from the natural seaweed and whatnot, you can find wonderful shade under the palm trees on the beach in their comfy chairs, and if you are feeling a little adventurous take your kayak out a little bit and snorkel the coral reef right in front of your hotel!

The staff was very friendly and accommodating, we had no issues there whatsoever. We did a day trip to Lamanai and a snorkel tril to Hol Chaan and Shark Ray Alley; both were super fun and well worth the time and money to go see. We only were in San Pedro town for a short bit, but honestly we don't feel like we missed out on anything. The restaurant at the resort is delicious with a wide array of options to keep you from getting bored, and the food is absolutely delicious. My husband and I were a little worried about going somewhere with a single restaurant, but were very pleased.

As far as food, yes the restaurant is not open all day, but that really is not a big deal - I was never starving or anything. Just bring some snacks and you will be fine. Buying water at the resort is cheap and easy - best way to go.

All in all, we can't wait to go back! Never did I feel like I was ready to go home. :)

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

My fiance and I stayed at Tranquility Bay to celebrate our engagement. We took the puddle jumper in and the resort manager picked us up by boat to take us to the resort. He offered to give us time for grocery shopping and he similarly had a few errands to run in San Pedro. This was nice because it gave us an hour to walk around town and have a margarita. We opted not to buy groceries and regretted this decision later on. First tip if you are going to stay at this resort is be sure to buy snacks, water, sunscreen and alcohol to supplement what they provide at the resort.

The manager then took us to the resort. The boat trip up the coast was absolutely stunning. We were served welcome cocktails that we thoroughly enjoyed and were made to feel right at home. We stayed at the resort for five days. It is very secluded and felt perfectly suited to our needs for the trip: relax, unplug, enjoy the ocean breezes, lay in hammocks, and enjoy each others' company. We didn't travel into town during our stay because doing so is quite inconvenient and anyway we enjoyed the seclusion. There is a dive shop at the resort and kayaks which we made use of. We especially enjoyed being able to kayak out to the reef and jump off to snorkel. The surroundings are spectacularly beautiful and the beach cabanas are the perfect island vacation stay. We ate our meals at the resort restaurant and had cocktails there too. The meals were very good. The portion sizes are small compared to a typical American restaurant, which we appreciated: enough food to fill our bellies, not too much to stuff ourselves. The restaurant and bar has somewhat limited hours, and so if you are hungry at times when it isn't open, this is where grocery shopping comes in handy. Our bartenders did not make the best margaritas and this is another reason that we wished we had brought our own fixings. The resort beach is lovely and clean, and we relaxed in the beach hammocks or in the cabana, listening to the ocean waves and reading. My fiance went for a run south along the beach and found several stray dogs that came after him, barking and snarling. Although this inspired him to run faster, it is probably not the best way to develop cardiovascular fitness. We would not recommend venturing too far away from the resort by land because of these stray dogs.

We absolutely loved staying at the resort and can't wait for our next opportunity to come back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TracyLydia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Tranquility Bay for 8 nights from August 24 through September 1. Our boat ride to the resort was rough due to the bad weather, but we survived! We saw a dolphin on the way to the resort which was really cool. Upon arrival, Katherine, the manager, and her staff, met us on the dock with a refreshing rum punch for us in hand. Katherine walked us to our room (budget traveler's room) and provided us with all the information that we needed to know about the resort, restaurant, activities, etc. Our luggage was delivered promptly to our room. We were impressed by how quickly and well organized everything was handled.

We stayed in the budget traveler's room, which we absolutely loved. It was perfect for the two of us. It has a comfy king size bed, a kitchenette with a small fridge, microwave, coffee pot (coffee, sugar, and creamer provided - we loved this!) a sink, and a huge counter space. Their is also plenty of seating in the room as there is a sofa, a chair, and a coffee table. The bathroom is a good size and the water pressure in the shower is awesome. Shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel is included in a dispenser in case you forget yours at home. The room has a/c and a remote to control it. We had no complaints at the a/c at all. It worked extremely well. The housekeepers, Elda and Karina, did an amazing job cleaning the room and providing fresh towels daily. They were so nice to talk to and joke around with.

There is one restaurant/bar at the resort. The food is not fancy, nor is it 5 star, however, it is very good and there is something for everyone. Our favorite meal was the fish tacos. The coconut shrimp was also very good. My husband requesting fried fish filet (not on the menu), and the cooks prepared it for him. It was delicious! I think it would be a great addition to their menu. He also requested garlic shrimp and they prepared that as well, which was great. We ate most of our meals at the resort, but skipped lunch a few times as we brought food and snacks from home. Breakfast was included with our stay. It was very good. The waitstaff, Cesar and Anita, did an excellent job through our entire stay. They were quick and super friendly. We enjoyed talking to them. They were so friendly and always had a smile on their face. Cesar makes some really good drinks, too. His sea grape mojitos were delicious! He also made me a dirty banana drink that was so good. The cooks were the sweetest and friendliest ladies. They were always smiling.

The resort was not full when we were there (we didn't mind as we pretty much had the entire place to ourselves!) and we wanted to go snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan. They normally only go when they have at least 4 people booked, however, they made special accommodations for my husband and I to go since there was nobody else to join us. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. We are still talking about it. Yemin, the dive master, and Winfield, the captain, took us out on one of the smaller boats. I cannot say enough about Yemin. He is the best snorkeling guide ever! He made us feel very comfortable. My husband is not a strong swimmer and gets very nervous being in deep water, however, he did well with Yemin as our guide. Yemin pointed out several types of marine life. At Hol Chan, we saw so much marine life. We saw 3 huge sea turtles, a baby nurse shark, string rays, a great barracuda, 2 green moray eels (the coolest thing ever!), parrotfish, hogfish, lobster, Christmas tree worms, and butterflyfish (I told Yemin that they were my favorite fish, so he pointed a few of them out to me - very cool!). Shark Ray Alley was cool, too. We swam with tons of nurse sharks and stingrays. I can't wait to go back and do this all over again!

The beach and grounds at Tranquility Bay is spectacular. The water is clear and is great for snorkeling right off of the beach. There are tons of coconut trees. Hugo, the maintenance staff member, cut fresh coconuts for us and even made us a giant jug of coconut water to keep in our fridge in the room. He is seriously the nicest guy and most hardworking guy we have ever met. We really enjoyed talking to him and anything and everything. We even went snorkeling with his 13 year old son. He showed us some cool snorkeling spots just north of the resort. We had so much fun.

The resort is very remote as it is about 14 miles from San Pedro. There is nothing within walking distance, however, you can take a stroll up the beach. One late afternoon, we took a walk and came across Elda, the housekeeper. She took a walk with us and told us all about the area and how it is living there. During our walk, we saw a stingray swim up to shore that my husband was fascinated by. Elda got the biggest kick out of this because while she and I continued walking, my husband stayed behind checking out the stingray! It's not everyday we get to see a stingray up close and personal, so it was pretty awesome. :)

Tranquility Bay is not fancy at all. There is no night life, no loud music, etc., however, it is exactly what we were looking for. At night, there are lights in the water right below the restaurant/bar where you can see tarpon and stingrays feeding. We became friends with all of the staff very quickly. We enjoyed talking and joking around with all of them. My husband even made some friends with some of the locals who live nearby and hang out at the resort. Everyone was super nice. We did not want to leave and are already planning our next trip to Tranquility Bay sometime next year. Katherine, the resort manager, is very pleasant and will accommodate just about any request. All of the staff who we talked to had nothing but good things to say about her, which is always nice to hear. A very special thank you goes out to everyone at the resort including Katherine, Hugo, Cesar, Anita, Yemin, Elda, and Karina, and everyone else who we missed. The staff is what really makes this resort so wonderful. Make sure that you tip them well - they all work very hard to make your vacation extra special. We miss everyone at Tranquility Bay and plan to return next year! :)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Mesquita92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My wife and I had long wanted to visit Belize. We came to TBR by using Trip Advisor and searching web sites. It's secluded and intimate nature was attractive to us. We are not fond of crowds, nightlife and ultra-fancy, ultra-pricey services. But TBR was amazing. It is not five star. It is not elegant and fancy. It is very real, very friendly, very comfortable and nearly perfect in our humble opinion. We want go back.
We arrived for our two week stay in mid June during a tropical depression, nearly a hurricane. We were forced to overnight in San Pedro because the TBR boats were grounded and the boat trip would be unsafe. TBR arranged for and paid for our accommodation at an adequate hotel in SP. The next day we were whisked to TBR in a bumpy, soaking ride and met the incredible Panni. That first day was spent acclimating and hoping the weather would change. And it did. We then began our vacation. First, my wife had forgotten her blood pressure meds. Kathryn was an angel and arranged for us to get her meds, without prescription, at pretty much the same cost as home in San Pedro. Thanks Kathryn She was also our coordinator to multiple tours we took to zipline, cavetubing, the Mayan ruins. So helpful. We also did the Hol Chan shark ray alley, Mexico Rocks (awesome Belizian piranha!) and I did a half-day deep sea fishing with Panni (two grouper, three barracuda, a mackerel and some sunburnt legs...not bad). We were very busy. And had plenty of do nothing days as well. Having only one restaurant to eat at was a concern at first but the menu is varied, plenty and delicious. Sometimes the service could be slow if everyone came to eat at the same time...but what the heck. Have a drink and watch the rays and other fish off the per at night. We were also there during Lobster Festival, a big event in San Pedro. My wife loved the fact we could just walk out our front door and start snorkeling as the reef is right there just minutes away. The local iguanas and hermit crabs are interesting and we really never experienced mosqitoes till the very last day. And they are prepared for that. The staff is friendly, laid back and more than ready to help. We met some nice people. And came home relaxed, rested. What more could you want.....if you like to fish, this place and Panni are the best. Another couple was down to attempt a "grand slam" with his fly pole and spent some big bucks getting a special tour guide out of san pedro. Funny thing though, he got two of his three fish(tarpon, permit) just off the dock there at TBR restaurant. And Panni knows how to fish it all. Keep that in mind if you are big fishing fan. One minor complaint - beer selection is very limited in Belize. Not their fault though. So we drank the bar specials. A fun problem solved by Coconut mojitos. Next time we go we plan to take advantage of the PADI scuba shop and get certified to enjoy the reef even more. Blue Hole isn't far from there too for scuba freaks. I'd be glad to answer any questions. Just love the place and the people there. You won't be sorry if you go there.

Room Tip: there are only ten places, they are all good, the beach is fabulous, ask Hugo to cut a fresh coconut...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank quickcda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Felt I had to write a review about TB. We spent a week here for rest and relaxation as part of an 18 day trip to Belize. Following on from four days trekking in the rainforest, it was just about everything we could have wished for. Because of its remoteness, there is no choice but to relax. As has been said before, the cabanas are right on the beach so you get the sea breezes during the day. We had air-conditioning in our bedroom and large fans elsewhere. There are windows all around the large living area and no curtains or shutters, so there is very little privacy at night when the lights are on. My one criticism would be the lighting. No lamps at all in the living room - only the bright central lights if you wanted to read, which we did. So we tended to adjourn to the air-conditioned bedroom in the evening where there were bedside lamps. The accommodation could do with a bit of an upgrade but this really didn't bother us at all.

The restaurant stands out over the water and the tarpin come in at night to get fed. I would say it was quirky but again could do with a bit of mood lighting for atmosphere. The food was great, not fancy but very tasty, more like good home cooking. Lots of sea food which was right up our street. Our compliments go out to the cook, and to all the staff at the resort who were all very friendly and helpful. Our special thanks must go to Yemen who took us out on a trip to Mexico Rocks where we enjoyed wonderful snorkelling with a wide variety of fish, including southern stingrays and nursing sharks! It was truly such a thrill. The snorkelling from the beach was good too. The easiest way was to take a kayak out and tie up to a buoy, as sometimes the current was quite strong for swimming. There is also a lot of sea grass nearer to shore.

My last mention must be of Catherine, the manager who was excellent. I actually took an infection near the end of our stay here and she arranged a doctor's appointment for the next morning in San Pedro and transport there and back by boat and taxi. She could not have done more to alleviate the worry of becoming unwell in a foreign country in such a remote part of the Caye. Luckily, armed with antibiotics, the following day we set off for the jungle again on the next stage of our travels. We will definitely never forget our time here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tranquility Bay Resort

Property: Tranquility Bay Resort
Address: | Basil Jones Cut, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#15 Romantic Hotel in Ambergris Caye
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Ambergris Caye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A relaxing 12 miles North of San Pedro Town, Tranquility Bay Resort is a secluded paradise. 10 Separate cabanas line the nicest beach on the island. The only resort on the island where it is safe to snorkel from the beach to the reef! Relax and enjoy our beautiful setting from our water top restaurant and watch the Tarpon, Barracuda and Eagle Rays swim under our dock lights! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tranquility Bay Hotel Ambergris Caye
Hotel Tranquility Bay
Tranquility Bay Resort Belize/Ambergris Caye

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