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“A great disappointment”

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St. George's Caye Resort
Certificate of Excellence
So. California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“A great disappointment”
Reviewed January 10, 2009

I was a frequent visitor to St. George's Caye Lodge in the late 80's/early 90's when it was under different ownership. The diving was excellent and the owner and staff very friendly. I knew the ownership had changed but I was hopeful the diving had remained great so I took my family of 5 down so our adult children could get certified for diving. Unfortunately, sometimes you can't go home again!
The reef has suffered greatly in the past several years. The area has been over-fished and very polluted due to the 400,000 cruise-ship passages who now make their way to Belize. The visibility is poor and the reef has really been trashed. We've gone diving all over the world and this place used to be great - but no more. We made two trips to Turneffe Island an hour away, where the diving is much better (still not great as in years past) but it's an additional charge.
The new owners are rude and unfriendly. They have no experience in the hospitality industry and it shows. There were 8 - 9 people total at the resort while we were there (we were 5 of the 8/9) and yet the owner sat at the communal dining table with us for four days and never spoke a word to us. Finally I went over and introduced myself. His wife/co-owner is overbearing and as the kids said [--] She berated the staff in front of us repeatedly. The staff is fantastic! They were the high-light of the trip. Jose, the dive master, has been at the resort for 13 years - trained under the previous owner. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and gracious - as was all the staff. It's the new owners who are the problem.
The meals were marginal with very limited variety. The resort advertises it has "waverunners" and "windsurfers" available but this is not true. They advertise a hot-tub but it is not available to guests. There are a couple Hobie-cats, which Jose graciously took us out on and kayaks. Diving, snorkeling and some off-site trips are available at an extra charge. You can't go in the water off the beach. For this kind of money, if it's a relaxing, upscale Caribbean resort you are looking for - this is not it.

  • Liked — The local staff is very friendly and competent.
  • Disliked — The on-site owners and owner's-representative.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sepcdm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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TropicalTraveler2008
1 review
Reviewed October 26, 2008

My wife works in the airline industry & we fortunately can travel pretty much anywhere we want. We love to find new places & rarely come back to the same destination a second time. We just made our third trip to St Georges Caye Resort. Why 3 times when we could go anywhere in the world? First, it's close enough and easy enough to get to, only a 20 minute boat ride from the main land, but remote enough that we're away from any typical "tourist" activity. The diving is fantastic, some of the best we've ever experienced. The Chef and food are is tremendous. The Spa, massages, etc were a great new addition as is the swimming pool. One of our favorite activities is the BBQ at the sand bar (see photo). Out in the middle of the ocean is a shallow sand bar. They bring out a BBQ and prepare your lunch. It's an experience all in itself. The trips to the mainland include Cave Tubing, visits to Mayan ruins, Zip Lining and more. If you want to relax, be pampered & have adventure GO!

  • Liked — Relaxed atmosphere and staff
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank TropicalTraveler2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, FL
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

We (husband and myself) just returned from 5 days at St. George's Caye Resort. We were there in the last week of June which does fall into the low/rainy season. The rates are better during this time but the rate is per person which means if there are two of you, you will be spending $500-$600 a night, which is comparable to some of the finer hotels found inland and also in San Pedro. We were met at the airport by the hotel staff. Although we did have to wait 2.5-3 hours for the next couple to arrive from a delayed flight, Herber was gracious and a great host buying us drinks in the air-conditioned restaurant and provided us with good conversation. The boat ride to the island was very enjoyable, and we were greeted at the dock and drinks were in our hand right away. The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained. They were almost complete building a pool, so construction was going on but it was not intrusive at all.

Transportation/ Location:
There is no water taxi service to this island so for inland excursions you depend on the resort boat for transfers. The charge is $75.00 per person round trip. They did ensure we got inland on-time and were accommodating. We did not book our two full day inland trips through the resort because I wasn't able to get the detailed information I wanted about the excursions. So based on Vitalino Reyes outstanding reviews we hired him for two days and enjoyed every minute. You can also read our review of him.

The location was exactly what I was looking for. A short 15 minute boat ride to the island. We wanted some of the inland adventure, but also wanted to wake up to the beach each morning. So this fit the bill. We did go mid-week, so we did not see any locals around except the resort staff. There also was only one other couple there, so we really felt we had the island to ourselves. I do have to say that the staff and customer service was remarkable. The staff truly do care that you have a good time and are very genuine and caring. I have to commend the resort on their attention to the guest without being overbearing. While I was on the dock, one of the construction crew even put some of his lunch (chicken) in the water in front of me so all the colorful fish came to the surface.

The resort does have a pay phone but it was not in service. So Heather did offer the house phone for us to use to check on the kids, 23 months & 3 months. We did bring our cell phones, but they do not get service on the island. Inland there was no problem, we were able to call home.

There are no TVs in guest areas. This would be OK if it did not heavily storm for 4 days straight. This did severely limit the outdoor recreation, which is a chance you take going during the rainy season. The resort did set us up to watch a movie in the business room one evening and even provided popcorn and juice. A business center is in the works, and I would also recommend adding a few pieces of exercise equipment. You can run on the island but over uneven terrain. The island also does not have any stores at all, so we stopped on the way to pick up sodas and bottled water. They do claim the water is drinkable but I wasn't taking the chance with an infant a home. I did drink the juice made with the resort water and did not get sick. Be sure and bring antibiotics with you just in case.

The Accommodations:
We stayed in the beachfront cabana. This was well appointed. The linens and towels were nice. Our cabana did get mopped and cleaned daily, be sure and put your card on the bed to get your linens changed if you happen to bring some sand into bed with you. The fresh tropical flowers were a great touch. There were plenty of outlets for power in the cabana. There was no bathtub, this was OK but I did miss my daily baths. OK, some honesty now. The cabanas are really cute, but they are not sealed and have many open areas. With heavy rains and mosquito's we did end up with water and biting visitors in our cabana. Bug spray is a must in all parts of Belize. Do not forget it, and put it on at all times. I will smell like Off for months, but the mosquito bites are vicious and the CDC does report malaria especially in caves and rain forest areas. Because of the time of the year is was very hot in the cabanas at night. We were unable to open the windows or doors due to rain. The AC does help a little at night (brings the room to about 78-80 degrees) but does not stay too cool in an unsealed cabana. I am not high maintenance but I do not enjoy sweating in bed at night after being in the sun or jungle all day. The time of year we went did contribute to this. The rains actually brought some cooler temperatures. We were also at ease that a safe was provided in the cabana.

The beach and docks are lovely. The beach does have sea grass so you can not just walk right in. Beware that stingrays do hide in the sea-grass. You can jump off the end of the dock for some ocean swimming.

The Snorkeling:
This was worth every penny ($50.00 per person). Jose was our guide and knows the area very well. The snorkeling was amazing, and I have never seen such pretty coral. I have snorkeled in Florida, Hawaii, & Antigua and this has been my favorite so far. Lots of tropical fish, stingrays, lobster, & color. He even stopped a two different locations on the trip. Jose even taught us how to spear lobster which was a fantastic adventure. We ate our catch that night. Jose also put safety first and was always aware of every divers/snorkelers locations in the water. Jose was also a great host in the evenings as well.

The Food:
Unfortunately this was the disappointing part of the trip. We had Chef Adam the 1st night or two in which the food was good, but we can get meat lasagna and cheese manicotti (this was terrible) dinners anywhere in the US. When Chef Adam was gone it was apparent that the culinary skills declined. I believe when you are at a resort charging these prices for all-inclusive meals you need to make your mark at the dinner service. Family style was great, but for the prices paid serious improvements need to be made to the main entrees. You go to an island expecting fresh seafood, fish, or tropical dishes. We did have lobster the last night, and that was a bit of improvement. I also did enjoy the cheese fondue and the sauces served with appetizers. There also was always plenty. After being very active all day long I never left the table hungry. The coffee delivered each morning was a great touch as well as the sweets left on you bed in the evening. The bartenders did make great drinks and even used the One Barrel Rum I picked up as soon as I arrived. Nikki was also a terrific server and always had a smile on her face.

I would recommend this place to others with all the above said. Location is ideal, secluded, and the customer service was fantastic.

  • Liked — The Customer Service and Hospitality
  • Disliked — Temperature in the cabana at night, and the mosquitos
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank stacyssite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 16, 2008

My wife and I had a wonderful time at St. George’s Caye Lodge and would highly recommend it to those visiting Belize who want a more secluded experience with great diving, wonderful staff and convenient access to the mainland for excursions (20 minutes versus 1.5 – 2 hrs from Ambergris).

The one thing that didn’t come across in the material is how thin the island is (though it is much longer than it is wide). The Lodge has property that spans the width of the island, with the lagoon view cabanas on one side and the ocean view on the other. You can literally walk from one side of the island to the other in 2 minutes. And both sides are beautiful in different ways.

The lagoon side has views of the mangrove groves, as well as a really pretty house that is all by itself on a tiny island. The sunsets from this side are incredible, and I enjoyed kayaking through the mangroves. The ocean side has the sand beach and pier with a quintessential Caribbean feel including coconut trees and thatched “umbrellas” to relax under during the day. I enjoyed getting up early and watching the sunrise in one of the hammocks with the coffee and juice they deliver to your door every morning.

If you are looking for a wading or swimming beach experience, this beach isn’t really good for that as you can go about ankle deep in sand before you get to reef muck and sea grass. However, this is pretty consistent throughout Belize from what we understand. The Lodge offers a convenient trip out to a sandbar for more of a sandy swimming experience, which is something you can’t get elsewhere.

The cabanas were great. They had just been redone with an amazing amount of varnish work. The beds were comfortable with nice sheets and there were great reading lights next to the beds. The bathrooms only have a shower, but we had no real desire to take baths anyway. With the breeze, we did not need the air conditioning. We also understand the owners will be building a pool.

The owners were very involved in our stay, and they joined the guests for appetizers and dinner every night (food is included in your stay, but alcohol is not – stick with the Belizean booze as shots of imports to mix in your drinks were $10). They really made us feel welcome and worked hard to make sure we enjoyed our stay to its fullest. Staff was wonderful and attentive. Food was very good and varied, though generally simple. They make the best fresh juices; we had never had watermelon juice before and now will try making it at home. You must try the Belizean rum called 1 Barrel. Delicious. We enjoyed the family style dinners to catch up with the other guests at night.

The diving was incredible of course. Jose the divemaster was very good at assessing skill levels and finding sea life to point out. The wind was very strong while we were there, which is evidently somewhat unusual, and this limited our diving, so we did 2 excursions. The excursions were well worth it and were private (just the two of us). We went to Lamanai and did the cave tubing + zip line. Would recommend subbing the Belize zoo for the zip line as it is only 8 “zips” and you can zip line other places, while the zoo is unique. We also did the Blue Hole trip, which is not to be missed. Just wonderful.

All in all, highly recommended. We will definitely stay here again when we come back to Belize.

  • Liked — Location off the beaten path close to diving & excusions
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank seventhwavetx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Golden, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2007

My wife and I just returned from a week at a lovely slice of tropical paradise called St. George's Caye Resort in Belize. Just a 30 minute cruise from Belize City, St George's Caye was famous for years as an island get-away for Belize's upper crust, and St. George's Caye Lodge (as the Resort was then known), as a scuba diving hot spot. Now under new management, the diving is still first rate - I saw turtles, rays, moray eels, a nurse shark and tons of fish and healthy coral in just 3 dives - but it also offers snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, jet skis, sea kayaking, fishing, and of course, world class relaxing. No phones, no TV's, no computers (except in the office). Our thatch roofed cabana was set over the water of the lagoon and had gorgeous sunset views. The staff was so friendly and attentive we felt like long lost relatives. The food was fresh, local and delicious and the Tahiti style bar was the perfect place to relax and relive the adventures of the day. And with the short boat ride to the mainland our
excursion to Belize's amazing caves and rainforest (the cave tubing and zipline were a blast) was easy.
If a tropical vacation is in your future, definitely check this place out.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — cabana was a little small and spare
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelGuy54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 13, 2007

This small intimate resort that sits beachfront on an island- St. Georges Caye. Just a 15min boat ride when you arrive to Belize City Airport. You arrive to a piece of heaven on earth. The white sand and clear warm waters are just breath-taking. Shells all over the beach which is rarely seen anymore. The resort offers overwater and beachside bungalows all with cozy linens, soft towels and air conditioning. The ceiling fan and open screened windows offered this perfect breeze at all times. We could hear the ocean coming in/out each night. It was so romantic. No tv or telephone in the rooms made for better conversations with the other guests and evening star watching. There were so many water sports offered your never bored. The staff are so friendly and warm you feel like part of the family at St. George's. I cant wait to return to get certified to dive by their great dive instructor.
All meals are served family style in their dining room always offering something great and tastey. They offer a bar & lounge area to hang out also where internet access is offered as well.
I cannot say enough great things about St. George's Caye Lodge. Its a must!!!!! Its a true home away from home. Laid back, all the services you need and located on a quiet super safe island.

  • Liked — overwater bungalows
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sgarcia10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norman, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2007

OK- to have full disclosure - I was invited here by the owners to check out the place, since I'm a travel agent and specialize in honeymoons and destination weddings. This is an honest review none the less.
The owners bought this resort not too long ago and are still making improvements, but this was a great place! I have stayed at many different types of resorts and hotels, and none are quite like this. No shirt, no shoes, no problem! You can really be barefoot the whole time, wear a t-shirt and shorts or swim suit and cover up - whatever! It was so nice to be able to be casual the whole trip.

This is a place for couples or a group of friends or family to be together - great diving, an intimate atmosphere, and great staff make for a wonderful trip! There isn't a lot of entertainment, which was actually great - no distracting TV (although we did have internet, and watched some YouTube stuff) This is a great place for someone who wants to get away from it all.

The rooms are pretty basic - If you stay in a Cabana (very Tahiti like), which is what we had, it has a bathroom, bed, fridge, and some chairs and table. You don't spend any time in the room - this is a resort where you meet the other guests and hang out. The lodge bar and sitting area is where we would relax, have a drink, and just chill. Meals are served family style, so it was fun to get to know everyone. We now have lifelong friends because we were here! Also, they are happy to accomidate any eating preferences or requirements if you will let them know in advance.

The snorkeling was great and they also have kyaks, hobbie cats, and jet skis. I'm not a diver, but I heard the diving was great as well.

Our vow renewal was really great! They went out of their way for us and had great decorations, got a photographer and JP to preform the ceremony. The cake was fun because the set up looked like the cake was in the sand, but it was raw/brown sugar! Almost everyone at the resort came and shared the love with us, and it was so great! I think this was our best renewal so far! (we renew every year)

We plan to go back soon!
Feel free to contact me with any questions! Go, relax, and enjoy

  • Liked — all our new friends, the staff, relaxation
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MDUTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. George's Caye Resort

Property: St. George's Caye Resort
Address: Beachfront, St. George's Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > St. George's Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in St. George's Caye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — St. George's Caye Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St. George’s Caye Resort is a secluded paradise located on a private residence island just seven miles from Belize City. Accessible only by boat, St. George’s Caye feels miles away from everyday life thanks to its cozy cabanas, breathtaking views of the Caribbean, and the highest level of service in Belize. Divers, anglers and those looking to just get away from it all will find everything they desire at St. George’s Caye Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. George`s Caye Hotel St. George`s Caye
St Georges Caye Hotel
St. George's Caye Resort Belize/Belize Cayes

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