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“The Reef Place”

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Tranquility Bay Resort
Ranked #23 of 56 Hotels in Ambergris Caye
Certificate of Excellence
Newton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Reef Place”
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Recently I decided to take my family to see coral reefs, one of the Earth's great and endangered wonders. I heard Belize had amazing reefs back in the '80s while traveling in Quintana Roo, but couldn't get there at the time. With this in mind I slowly scanned Google satellite images of the Belizean coast. The distance between the beach and barrier reef varied - it varied from a hundred feet or so to miles and miles. Tranquility Bay Resort appeared to be the ONLY resort in Belize where you could wade directly to the barrier reef (please see the attached image).

When we arrived we found this to be true! Except you don't need to wade... they have scattered seaworthy kayaks along the beach in front of the cabanas, and provided mooring buoys out by the barrier reef. The reef is alive and teaming with life. One guest snorkeled with a manatee near reef channel South by Southwest of the resort in the image.

Everything else was fine: rooms, food, service, and the people were exceptionally nice. We availed ourselves of many of the activities including a trip to Mayan temples at Altun Ha, fishing, snorkeling, and in fact my wife and I became PADI certified!

I could wax on about the coolness of this place - but I'll finish here by saying if you want to experience the great barrier reef of Belize, there is almost certainly no better place.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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1 Thank Chitistone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

This was my first time to Belize and we clearly made the right choice staying a week here. Having reef access directly out front made the whole week for me. Snorkel, kayak, scuba, swim lounge, then repeat. The day excursions are really good as well. Visiting Bacalar Chico is a must. Exploring the pristine reef, all alone for miles is something impossible in most destinations. Basil Jones Canyon and Basil Jones Aquarium dives right outside the reef were both amazing. Three minutes and you are in the water. I went out with the great dive master and captain and it is really some of the best diving in the Caribbean. Scientists and students worldwide come to this area of the Caye to study the reef.

The cabanas are really great and accentuate the natural environment. The restaurant served an energizing breakfast, plenty of fresh seafood options and variety of good drinks. They even set up a wonderful family style New Years Eve dinner in the sand. This is the real Caribbean and very unique. Everyone is kind, authentic and do everything to make your visit what it is. Highly recommended place for adventure seekers and those who love engaging in local culture.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank rhoughta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Ridge, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014

My husband and I, and our 12 and 14-year old sons spent a week here and it was wonderful! The resort is beautiful and clean. The staff was personable, knowledgeable and went out of their way to meet our needs . The weather wasn't great, but that didn't stop us from fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving and generally enjoying the water and the reef.

The food was fantastic - I can't say enough about the shrimp ceviche!! Best in Belize - and try it spicy! My sons loved the seafood, but also ate cheeseburgers galore.

We'll be back for sure. Great opportunity to reconnect with your children as it's very quiet and remote. You're forced to rely on one another for entertainment and conversation. I loved that.

I recommend taking a lap-top and a few movies, a deck of cards or game you like - just in case the rain lasts too long.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tracy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambria
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2013

If you like to snorkel, Tranquility Bay is the place. We stayed 13 days and absolutely loved it! It's the closest resort to the reef because it's at the end of Ambergris Caye. You couldn't snorkel safely to the reef from the other resorts: too much boat traffic. Here, none. And you don't even have to go the 100 yards to the reef (which you can do by kayak, free of charge). Just 15 yards from shore, right in front of the 10 cozy cabanas that make up the resort, is excellent snorkeling as well. Many schools of tropical fish, rays, eels, even a small nurse shark (harmless, not to worry).

The food is really good, fresh fish every night. The staff was wonderful, friendly and accommodating. It's easy to schedule snorkeling or diving trips to other places as well. And their prices are very reasonable. All in all, top drawer. We'll be back. Highly recommend it.

Steve and Cathy, Cambria, CA

Room Tip: From #5 on up, better views (restaurant not in front of you); but all rooms are pretty good.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2013

We loved Tranquility Bay - the resort is set on an idyllic beach, which due to its remote location in the far north of the island is only frequented by the guests. At times we had the entire beach to ourselves. This obviously isn't the place to choose if you are planning nights out in the bars of San Pedro - it is a good half hour away by boat, so really once you are there you are there. Maybe if you were there for a long stay you would get a bit restless, but we were quite happy to be stranded in paradise! The resort is right on the reef and provides kayaks, so you can paddle out and snorkel from the beach. They will also organise diving trips for you - there is a dive shop on-site.

The cabins are spacious and very comfortable. They are equipped with a fridge and some basic cooking facilities, so you could stock up on some supplies before you got there if you wanted. The downstairs bedroom is air-conditioned, but it gets very warm in the upstairs bedroom.

I know some previous reviewers commented that about having to eat in the restaurant - which is true unless you want to pay for a boat trip somewhere else. However, we didn't feel this was in any way a problem - the food was great, reasonably priced and delicious (particularly the lobster rolls!). At night, the lights under the restaurant attract large numbers of fish and rays and we loved sitting on the deck watching them whilst having a pre-dinner beer!

The staff at Tranquility Bay were really friendly and helpful. We had a really enjoyable and relaxing stay - the only disappointment was that we had to leave and come back to reality.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

My family stayed here three nights and then stayed at the Phoenix three nights. The weather was rainy, stormy and that really put a damper on our stay at TB. While our son and his girlfriend still scuba-ed and snorkeled, the rain prevented us from fully enjoying the resort. The food was great but the bugs were everywhere. We stayed in the Prime Minister's suite and it was nice. But the third night we were there, my husband and I woke up to an infested room- the mosquitoes were everywhere. That last night we slept in the living room in chairs. I must have been bitten a hundred times. I still have marks on my feet. This despite ample bug spray and baby oil. We couldn't use the large veranda as it was flooded and slippery. As there was no internet except if you stood right in front of the office, there was nothing at all to do during the rain. No board games, no movies to watch, nothing at all to do. I am sure it is a lovely place in good weather but there should be something to do in bad weather. Katherine was lovely and very helpful. My son said Yemen was the best dive master he ever had. There were no intercoms in the rooms so you had to find Katherine if you had a need anything or have a question. The food was very good but if you don't bring snacks there is nothing to eat when the restaurant is closed. We had a great time because this was long needed family time. However, this resort needs to make some changes not the least of which is work on bug/pest control; have intercoms in the rooms; sell snacks; have board games or movie night or offer some other food option. I am sure we would have felt differently had we had any good weather but everything (including the cabana and the verandas) were damp and we were very happy when we got to the Phoenix. All the staff, from the restaurant to the management to the transportation were just excellent.

Room Tip: We had the Prime Minister's cabana but had issues with bugs and water probably because this unit...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank ebwrite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Level Contributor
66 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Tranquility Bay Resort is an experience not to be missed. It is isolated, relaxing, and beautiful. It took us a day, or two, to unwind and start relaxing, but once we did we didn't want to leave. The staff makes you feel like you are part of their family, and you are pampered from the moment you arrive. When you walk out of you cabana you are directly on the ocean, it is truly beautiful.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank liketotravel167
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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