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“A little piece of paradise”

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Pelican Beach - South Water Caye
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“A little piece of paradise”
Reviewed November 26, 2013

The location: We loved our stay at this magical little spot. And I do mean little – you can literally walk from one end of the island to the other in under five minutes. The resort occupies about a quarter of the island, and from what we could see, it was the prettiest part, and strategically located next to the reef for snorkeling. The tiny beach is picture perfect, the sand clean, and the water is teeming with exotic fish. The reef forms a breakwater, so even if the weather is windy and there are swells out to sea, the water just off the beach is still calm to swim in. The reef is beautiful and draws a daily parade of snorkeling expeditions from the mainland, but even if you don’t have the confidence to swim out to the reef, there are still plenty of fish to observe in the waters near the beach.

Getting there: The company owns a resort by the same name at Dangriga, where you go to catch the boat to South Water Caye. Depending on the weather, the 45 minute ride in an open motorboat is either a pretty but bumpy outing, or, if a storm is up (as on our early morning return journey) an ordeal with swells and stinging rain as you clutch the hood of your raincoat over your face. However, we never felt unsafe with the boat pilot, who clearly knew how to navigate the waters and kept us and our belongings safe and (relatively) dry.

The accommodations: We stayed in a single cottage (Kingfisher) and would probably do so again if we returned; the double units looked like they would provide less privacy. The room was clean, attractive, comfortable, and featured great views through the palm trees of the ocean and beach areas. The large balcony had two comfy chairs plus two hammocks. The Heron’s Hideaway cottage also looked intriguing, kind of set off from the rest of the buildings and with a deck right over the ocean.

The staff and amenities: Leonard and Therisita are the managers, and are warm, welcoming and knowledgeable. For much of our four days there, we were the only guests, and experienced a nice balance of being left alone when we wanted, and friendly conversation at other times. The food was terrific, a fixed menu that changed every day, always featuring fresh local produce, seafood, and authentic Belizean cuisine. The staff keep the grounds immaculate and were consistently friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank ArtAndFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Petersburg, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

Our Nov. 13 - 20 stay at Pelican beach/South Water Caye began with dread as all three online weather sites forecast rainy weather for most of the time. Fortunately they were all completely wrong and we enjoyed mostly beautiful sunny weather and a full moon to boot shining over the water and gracing our dinner table as we ate outside. This was out third visit to the island, the second with pelican Beach. Our visits lasted 5 - 7 days each. We had package deals where we were escorted with a guide in a boat, highly recommended. Richie our snorkel guide was fantastic. Mature, knowledgeable, and sensitive to our needs, he seemed to know intimately where the good stuff was. There is a small area right off the beach for beginners where some fish can be seen along a narrow band of rock rubble. Then a bit further out but still accessible from the beach is a very substantial reef with all kinds of coral and reef critters. The farther out you go the more you see, but getting back can be a bit rough unless you are a strong swimmer. But much of the area in between is only c. 3-4 feet in depth in the grassy areas, allowing you to rest. The boat trips were really super. One time Richie took me out so far that there was no land in sight to the most spectacular reef of all. When I asked him where we were, he said, "we're here." He knows the spots, but how he finds them is beyond me.

The food was very authentic Belizian, more so than last time. Marleen is a fine chef, and the variety is refreshing. She never repeats herself. Be prepared for a lot of seafood such as snapper, conch, and shrimp, cooked in all sorts of ways.

The head boss on the island, Leonard, is the husband of the manager, Teresita. They have both been there for many years, Teresita managing the mainland facility and Leonard on the island. he did double duty this time as waiter as well since there were only 4 of us most of the time. He is a funny guy and very helpful in all sorts of ways. Just being in his presence greatly enhanced the experience. He's one of those really cool guys who brims with energy, kindness, and humor.

The area itself is small, but really pristine and beautiful. Just walking around in the palms is a delight, especially during dusk, when the pelicans, frigate birds, and other big birds take their dinner, diving sometimes four at a time straight into the water and coming up with fish. They also all nest in a large pine tree at night, and it's fun watching them juggle for a good spot.

What else can I say? This is our third major visit to this island. It's always interesting. In a way it's becoming a little like another home.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank 505McLean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

This is a well managed, modestly-appointed heaven. Totally, relaxing. Beautiful beach and waters. As long as one keeps in mind that this is a eco-focused resort, and at the whim of environmental conditions, it is close to perfect. We considered the time of year, and did some reading. So, we were prepared for a slow-paced, quite well organized, low stress vacation. Bingo.
We knew that the meals would be good, with a limited menu. They were. We read that the staff was very friendly and strove to do whatever they could to make us feel welcome and content. Terri, Leonard, Richie, and all the others, did just that. We knew that fresh water, communications, and electrical power, were going to be reasonably rationed. We found that when approached frugally, all our needs were satisfied.
The cottages were spare but, very clean, airy, and appropriately furnished.
Morning coffee at dawn was a favorite for me. I would explore a little, then Breakfast. Then snorkeling and the hammocks/reading. Lunch. Snorkeling and the hammocks/reading. Dinner. Conversation and a walk. Goodnight. Repeat.
We were able to connect to satellite internet via wifi. Very slow and easily overwhelmed. We were able to recharge our devices in the office. It had adequate capacity.
The caye has secure snorkeling reefs for beginners in a protected area. We practiced our technique, and built up our confidence. Then we went on outings to surrounding areas. Fantastic! The water is where it is at. Loved it. Invest in a good quality underwater camera (there are many point and shoot models to choose from.) Buy an extra memory card and battery.
Then go on 'safari' underwater. Lots to see and watch. We learned to be patient and just float. We purchased snorkeling gear prior to our visit. You can rent gear at the resort. Take anti-fog lens solution. Glad we did.
My wife is not normally a water person. She truly loved it.
We made our reservations for 2014 before we left. Talked my sister and her husband into going with us this time. I left out a lot.

Room Tip: Chose cottage over a room in lodge. Preferred East facing cottage.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We travelled to Belize in July and August 2013. Pelican Beach South Water Caye was the last place we visited. It was absolutely wonderful! I have never visited a more beautiful beach. The setting is idyllic...the owners and staff are wonderful. I can not recommend this place highly enough. I really hope to get back to Pelican Beach South Water Caye one day.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank mb f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrebonne, Oregon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Our accommodations were GREAT. We had a clean, well-cared for, huge room right on the ocean. Perfect setting. We normally go, go, go on vacation to try and fit everything in, but the setting here is idlyic - give me a good book, hammock, snorkel gear, kayaks, and it was all we needed.
Leonard, Terri, Kevin, the cooks, cleaners...all so nice and welcoming. L, T & K are fun and nice and helpful-they made our stay extra special. You just want to squeeze them.
All the meals were great and yummy as well.
South Caye is a perfect way to start and finish any trip. I wouldn't fix anything.

Room Tip: actually, we were here in February of 2011, but that wasn't a choice, so...I believe it is the H...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CindyJohnSmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glendale, CA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Pelican Beach is very well managed. The onsite managers really go out of their way to ensure all the guests are well taken care of. The food was homemade and delicious. The staff were friendly. The area raked and cleaned daily. The beach was just perfect and the activities were wonderful. I felt so relaxed by the time I left Pelican Beach. I will always remember this very special place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hates_Flying
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Terri, Leonard and Kevin treat you like family. The food and service are fantastic. The island is beautiful, and there is never a crowd. If you like natural beauty, pure relaxation and simplicity, this is your place. We have been 3 times and will go back again. If you love ultra-high luxury, go somewhere else. There is nothing stuffy about this place.

Room Tip: The view from the Osprey is one of the best in the best in the entire world.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lee D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pelican Beach - South Water Caye

Property: Pelican Beach - South Water Caye
Address: Dangriga, South Water Caye 00000, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > South Water Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in South Water Caye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Pelican Beach - South Water Caye 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Two special locations, one great vacation - South Water Caye and Dangriga! South Water Caye, our island getaway-seaside cottages and rooms with fantastic views and cooling trade winds. On a gorgeous beach, atop the barrier reef and within South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Snorkel from shore, dive, fish, kayak or do nothing at all. Environmentally-friendly facilities with separate student group accommodations. For the simple pleasures - spending time together, sharing new adventures and making new friends. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Hotel South Water Caye
Pelican Beach - South Water Caye Belize

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