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“Worth the money...impeccable service...simply amazing...again!"”
Review of Cayo Espanto

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Cayo Espanto
Ranked #27 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Worth the money...impeccable service...simply amazing...again!"”
Reviewed August 5, 2011

We had been waiting all year to visit our favorite, Cayo Espanto, again! Our second visit was just as fabulous as the first.

We wanted so much for our three daughters (ages 7, 9 and 11) to experience this tropical paradise with us, that we decided to bring them along. We were hesitant because one of the reasons people love coming to Cayo Espanto is to enjoy the luxury of peace and privacy. We were a bit concerned that our children may cause a problem for others, yet the island assured us that all would be fine. Once we arrived, we realized that we had made the right decision. The island is set up such that every villa (there are 7) is so incredibly private and secluded in it's own way, that it was as if our little family were alone on a tropical island together. The experience we had could never be duplicated at at a resort. Taking our children out of the hustle and bustle of the world was magically bonding for our family. The staff took great care in creating special activities just for us! Watching my children snorkel for the first time in the crystal, blue waters was something I'll never forget. The sea life one can see here (without having to deep sea dive) is rivaled only by a few other places in the world. Every day was filled with excitement and at the same time was refreshing and rejuvenating for my husband and me.

The service at Cayo Espanto was again... impeccable!! The staff always seemed to know just what we needed (wanted!) without our even asking. We have traveled extensively throughout the years, and we can honestly say that there is a true difference between the service here vs any other. Always smiling, energetic, respectful, and creative.

Chef Patrick and Chef Richard are simply amazing. Everything we were served was absolutely delicious, and the presentation was always beautiful. I cannot say enough about the food! It was always over the top perfect!

Traveling to Cayo Espanto is so easy. You are able to leave in the morning and arrive by lunchtime which gives you another full day. The staff is there to help you from your arrival at the Belize airport all the way to the island which makes it so simple and problem free. We loved our private boat ride with German, the fantastic island boat captain, from the San Pedro airport directly to the island. It's a short ride, but just long enough (I believe 7 minutes) to make your arrival so exciting. The entire staff lines up to welcome you with your favorite frozen beverages. (They are actually there to greet you each time German brings you back from any boating excursion!)

Our trips to Cayo Espanto are always worth the money. Whether you are searching for a tropical paradise for pure romance, for peace and privacy, or for a magical bonding experience for your family, there is truly no other island like it!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mwthomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2011

What a fantastic experience. We stayed at Casa Estrella, a beautiful villa on this secluded island. Simple but luxurious, every luxury and desire was anticipated. The service was wonderful and professional. The food was truly exceptional--however we wanted it, five star presentation with a special island twist to every meal. We had delicious lunches and wonderful candlelit dinners under the stars and over the ocean. Bonefishing around the island was outstanding. Snorkel trips with rays, eels, sharks, turtles and manatees--absolutely world class. We also visited Mayan ruins on a day trip. I cannot recommend this trip more highly. Well worth the money, we feel like we have found paradise!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BrentB001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2011

It is difficult to add to the many glowing reviews on this page.

The people, the location, the service, the food, the scenery and the activities are superb.
Snorkeling with sharks - check, fishing for barracuda - check, swimming with giant turtles - check, Hobie Catting at sunset - check, learning to stand up paddle board - check, eating lobster ravioli for dinner by candlelight at the end of a pier surrounded by azure blue water - check - etc.

Some people on this site have had some gripes.
Let's talk about who will likely enjoy this island:
1) People who enjoy travel and new experiences;
2) People who marvel at the planning and execution of a 5 star island in the middle of Belize;
3) People who also enjoy places like St Barth, Sardinia, Santorini and Lake Como.

Then the people who may not enjoy this island:
1) People who think the Ritz Carlton chain experience is as good as it gets;
2) People who think more people in Paris should speak English;
3) People who wonder why finding a parking spot in Venice is so hard;
4) People who insist on direct flights to every destination.
5) People who wish they would smarten Jerusalem up a bit

Hopefully you fit into the first category so go ahead and book that trip.
Enjoy.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank gnvhp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2011

There's probably not much I can add to the well-deserved glowing reviews of this island paradise so I will focus on our villa, excursions, and Belize. We stumbled upon this "resort" after doing some internet research and we quickly decided it would be the ideal place to celebrate our 15-yr anniversary. We had never been to Belize before but have been to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico and prefer them to the Caribbean due to their culture, people, and ancient Mayan ruins. This little country turned out to be a real gem! It's the perfect balance of Caribbean life with a bohemian feel in a country that can only be described as completely unspoiled. I don't know when we have ever travelled to a similar destination where we felt like we were the only tourists there! Truly remarkable country. And its people are extremely warm and friendly. Unlike trips to Mexico and to Caribbean islands, you don't have the sense of desparation and poverty. The people here live humbly and seem genuinely happy.

We stayed at Cayo Espanto for 4 nights following a stay at Blancaneaux Lodge of 3 nights (I have provided a review of Blancaneaux as well). To put it in the simplest way possible, Cayo Espanto far surpassed our high expectations. I don't know how it's possible since I had read every review on here and thought I knew what I was getting into. Wow! It was magical, romantic, and beyond words. The staff is FANTASTIC!!! We were assigned to Larry our houseman and he couldn't have treated us any more like celebrities. He told us he doesn't care who you are, he treats everyone like a celebrity. He certainly proved that. Larry handled all of our day-to-day needs, including breakfasts, snacks, drinks, and dinners, while our guest services person, Erica, handled lunches and our arrival/departures.

The first 3 nights, the chef was Richard and he did not disappoint. Every dish was a culinary delight. On the fourth night, Patrick cooked for us and was outstanding as well. We dined on mostly seafood because that is what we prefer, but there typically would be 3 entree choices for lunch and dinner. And since it was the start of the lobster season, we feasted on lobster every single day (again, our choice!) whether it was in the soup, appetizers, or main dish. After mentionining to Larry that we were on a lobster streak and we hoped there was lobster on the dinner menu on our final night, Chef Patrick put grilled lobster tail with seafod rissotto there especially for us. He told us that he had been asked to have it on there for us! Likewise, when on the 3rd day we were given our lunch menu choices and I commented on being disappointed that we hadn't been offered fish tacos (jokingly), they asked the chef to make them for us that day.

We stayed in Casa Solana and it was wonderful. It has the most glorious sunset views. We spent every day around sunset watching from our plunge pool with drinks in our hands. We were told that Casa Solana has the second largest pool out of the 7 villas. It is the newest villa and it was in perfect condition. You do need to be aware that it is positioned next to the staff dock to the left and the kayak/sailboat area to the right. HOWEVER, it was not an issue whatsoever. We are early risers so we were often eating breakfast when the staff arrived (all at once on a pantoon boat) at 7:30 am. They were extremely quiet and respectful. They wouldn't even look over at us in the distance. The dock also serves as the place where they hold the boats for the excursions so every now and then you would see a sea guide or staff loading a boat with supplies. Again, it was in the distance so it was not an issue and noise was NEVER an issue. And only once in the 4 days we were there did someone use the kayaks which were to our right. It was not a problem either. Overall, we were extremely pleased with Casa Solana and would stay there again in a heartbeat. The only other villa I would consider is the one right next door to us, Olita. It also faced open water and the sunset views and would not have had the staff area near it as we did. In my opinion those two are ideal.

I could go on and on but most of what I would comment on has been said repeatedly. I will say that we considered this at first as a once-in-a-lifetime trip and we are now discussing going back. It was that worth it!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jones4Traveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Beach, FL
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2011

We went on a couples trip and shared a 2 bedroom villa with pool. It was really lovely, so clean and comfortable. The food here is really wonderful, I don't know how they do it on this tiny island. The staff is wonderful and does everything they can to please you. It's all about relaxation here, so don't expect to party. You can hardly tell anybody else is staying on the property. If you need a little adventure, ask to go out snorkeling or fishing.

We loved Cayo Espanto, it's worth the price for the comfort, service, food and privacy!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bluehiggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2011

My husband and I went to Cayo Espanto for his 40th birthday celebration. We stayted 10 days and loved every one of them.

The staff was amazing and the service and attention to detail was phenomenal. Our experience could not have been better.

On the 4th day of our trip, I surprise my husband by having his best friends (3 other couples) arrive into their own villas. They were there for the 6 remaining days of our trip. The staff would rake little sayings or quotes into the sand EVERY DAY “welcome”, “enjoy today” “happy birthday” "friends are what life is about" "40 is the new "20". It was really special.... and entertaining.

The food was phenomenal at every meal. We also LOVED the private picnic on a private beach. It was very romantic. The owner of Cayo Espanto called from the States to check on us on our 3rd day. He also owns an island just a few miles away with Leonardo DiCaprio so we went and explored it…. Really cool.

We have traveled to some of the most expensive resorts (Reethi Rah, Laluna, Altamer and Eden Rock to name a few) in the world and I can unequivocally state that Cayo Espanto is truly world class and, for us, the most wonderful place we have ever stayed.

It is hard to decide what we miss more, the incredible bed, the staff, our houseman, the views, the Espanto Wave (island drink), the food or just being there. Can’t wait to go back. Oh, yes, my husband just informed me that he misses all the bonefish right in front of our villa as well.

Room Tip: Casa Manana was our villa
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank tripsjacksontook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2011

This is the first time I have ever taken the time to write a review and would not have done so, except for how we were treated upon leaving the property. If you are accustomed to 3 star experiences you will love this place and find it unique, however if you are accustomed to first class travel, this is not it. Our stay was sadly a series of one thing after another...none of which were too serious on their own, however when added up they became overwhelming. As we seriously needed privacy and a break, we did our best to smile through everything, and finally, it just was too much to keep ignoring. We were not greeted at the airport as so heavily touted. We arrived to discover our "private" villa was next to the servants housing and dock. Anyone walking by could see virtually anything and everything we were doing. And, there were workers fixing the air conditioning who stayed 3 hours longer than we were told. Our initial spa treatments were completed with sweaty workers in full view. As vegetarians we challenged the chef and after two days the meals were repetitive and very heavy. The food is certainly above average, however if you are truly a world traveler, it lacks on many levels. The villas are sparse and subject 100% to the weather as the walls open during the day and since you are not as private led to believe this is challenging at times. All meals are on site at your villa and depending on your houseman can be fun. We did have two of the most beautiful and romantic settings ever for two of our meals. There were many more things, including waking up to puddles from the broken air conditioner in our room, (not the one they fixed), falling in the middle of the night, etc.
However, it was upon leaving that we saw the true lack of higher end attention. We were given a form to complete just prior to leaving and were careful to acknowledge all that was lovely and even left a very generous tip...however upon walking to the departure boat Ester was so literally seething that she angrily said good-bye and that was what stayed with us as our experience. It seems that your check out questionnaire is what seems to matter most...not return clients or good press from those who have been there.

Room Tip: Try to call last minute to get a reduced rate
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank TOSALL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cayo Espanto

Property: Cayo Espanto
Address: Cayo Espanto Island, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#7 Luxury Hotel in San Pedro
#16 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#26 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Cayo Espanto 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cayo Espanto San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Resort San Pedro
Cayo Espanto Belize/San Pedro

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