My husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary with another couple at Banana Beach Resort. Breakfast was included in the price and was nice since they gave you an option between "American-Style" and "Belizian-Style" entrees. We mostly picked Belizian. Coffee is very strong in Belize and the butter was always frozen, but fit perfectly beneath the coffee cup and was thawed by the time the meal arrived!
Our room was part of a three bedroom suite where the long shotgun-style hallway had two rooms off of it as well as the main living area/kitchen. Our suite was off of the kitchen within the main room. We had an ocean view from the balcony off the kitchen area. A full size fridge plus oven/stove and dishes provided us with everything we needed to cook many of our dinner meals. We typically ate on our dive boat for lunch and took turns cooking dinner. We had spaghetti, lobster and fresh fish, salad, fruit and even made some Belizian style Pico de Gallo (not a single jalapano was to be found on the island...we looked!). So we made it with habanero, or scotch bonnet as they called it. Fresh fruit and veggies can be purchased from many road side stands and is delicious! There are also numerous grocery stores in the downtown area that have tons of fresh fruit/veggies and some unique items such as mole` and fresh ground cocco.
Speaking of downtown, we found a marvolous ice cream shop (Manellies on the road closest to the water, after the open square) and had our pick of 20 or so different flavors every day. There is also a wonderful Jamacian Jerk restaurant on the beach in this same area. We also ate at an upscale restaurant (The Tree House?) on our first night and out at the Plantation(?) House on our last. We also ate at the place where you can feed the tarpon and that was cool.
A golf cart is a must! Don't even think about not renting one as you will need it and use it! We spent too much time at the Road Kill Bar (owned by a lovely Canuck and her Scottish husband) and enjoyed karaoke there very much. A trip to the north end of the island will allow you to take some amazing photos and ends at the glorious Palapas Bar.
We dove with Amigos del Mar and they were fab. We saw tons of large groupers, barracudas, nurse sharks, sea turtles and schools of fish. We had two dives scratched due to weather/seas but felt the time we did spend in the water was quality! Go to the conch grave yard for a snorkle and see the huge logger head turtles and sting rays. The locals have brought conchs and lobster to this spot for years and these creatures are local residents. We did this during an off-gas period between dives.
The water around the island is full of sea grass so don't expect clean beaches like in the DR or Jamacia. This environment provides for all the wonderful sights underwater but does not bode well for ocean shore swimming. BB Resort has an on-site massage and mani/pedi option. I got a sugar scrub, deep tissue massage and pedicure and all were wonderful. The pools (2) onsite are not amazing, but served their purpose of cooling us off. There is an outdoor shower near the beach that allows you to rinse off the sand from diving or beach time. Tons of plants surround the property and there were always huge iguanas sunning themselves on top of the buildings. Cart rental is available on site and was hit or miss on the power/speed of the different carts we used. Tours were also available. Security was good and the night guard (Rasta man, can't remember his name) was very friendly and accessable.
All in all it was a great trip! I highly recommend Banana Beach as a lower-cost option and found the off-the-beaten path aspect a plus.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The friendliest resort sitting on the powdery sand of Mar de Tumbo Beach just south of San Pedro Town on the Ambergris Caye of Belize, Banana Beach Resort has been a haven of fun, adventure, and relaxation for more than 10 years. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Beach Hotel San Pedro
- Banana Beach San Pedro
- Banana Beach Belize
- Banana Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro