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Reviewed 28 September 2011

We waffled when booking our trip to Ambergis Caye between The Phoenix, Las Terazzas, and Victoria House. Boy, are we glad we chose The Phoenix! We were concerned about being "in town" but it was such a blessing. The town is really quaint and adorable and it's great to be steps away from all the dining and shopping. Las Terazzas and Victoria House are considerably far from town and would require a boat/golf cart to get there.

As others have said, once you're inside the resort you don't even realize that you're anywhere near town. It's quiet, clean, and well-landscaped. The outside is beautiful and everyone we ran into said "Oh! You're at the resort with the gorgeous pool!" Yep, that's right. The pool is lovely, the pool bar is convenient (have Ricardo make you a dirty banana, he makes them best), and there are plenty of lounge areas.

The condo itself was clean and very spacious. They tv's worked well, the bathroom had lots of space for me to store our scuba gear when we were cleaning it, and the views....oh the views....the best I've ever had. The pictures on their website are spot on. Everything looked just as it did in the pictures.

The staff here is super friendly, always trying to go out of their way to help you. I was impressed when they set us up on a private tour on the mainland and called our guide twice during the day to make sure we were having a good time. That right there is great customer service. They also had a cab waiting for us at the small airport after our tour, even though we arrived back an hour early. How did they know? I have no idea but it's the little things like that that really made our stay special.

The only warning I have for you is that if you stay in a 3rd floor condo like we did....there is quite a wall of stairs in your future. (See my picture) You get used to it quickly but if you're not a fan of stairs you might want a ground floor condo. There are no elevators.

I can't recommend this place enough. There's a reason it's currently the #1 place to stay on Ambergis Caye. If I find myself back here in the future I won't bother looking for a place to stay, I'll be back here in a heartbeat.

Thanks to everyone at The Phoenix for making our stay so great!

Room Tip: Room B5 has an amazing straight-on view of the resorts pool and then the ocean.
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lotti-Ann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2011

Don't need to spell out the same things that everyone else has said, just know that it's all true. I've never had such fast email interactions with any resort both booking the room and activities. The same level of service continued during our stay. Short walk to all of the restaurants/bars as promised and even shorter walk to the dock where we were picked up for our fishing/diving excursions. Gorgeous rooms, amazing view, friendly and extremely helpful staff. Will definitely be returning soon!
Brian Kopec
Stayed Labor Day 2011.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank bkopec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

My husband and I just returned from a ten-day trip to Belize. Based on reviews in Trip Advisor, we stayed at the Phoenix Hotel and had an amazing vacation. We absolutely loved the Phoenix and here’s why…

Booking the Accommodation
The Phoenix Hotel worked with us to book the perfect room and coordinate our transportation to San Pedro and the Phoenix. They were incredibly efficient and sent us an extensive document outlining the services of the hotel, describing trips and other activities, what we may need to pack, and providing us with the menu for the hotel restaurant, Red Ginger.


Arrival
When we arrived, the Phoenix staff warmly welcomed us with a delicious local drink and quickly checked us into our rooms. Our suite was incredible. In addition to our bedroom, we had a full kitchen, dining area, two full bathrooms, and washer and dryer. We had a beautiful terrace that looked out over the ocean. The room was extremely clean. (I bring disinfectant cleanser wipes to all hotels so that I can clean them to my standard. I did not need to clean anything at the Phoenix. This was a first for me.)

The Phoenix also has a business center with three computers and printer. You can also borrow iPads, Wiis, Kindles, etc. It has a selection of books and DVDs for you to view in your room.

Throughout our stay, the Phoenix staff went above and beyond the call of duty to provide us with the perfect vacation experience. They scheduled all of our trips, recommended restaurants and other activities, and always greeted us with smiles. We spent a good deal of time at the pool and had delicious cocktails. We highly recommend the dirty banana and the frozen mojito.

We ate all of our breakfasts and several meals at the Phoenix’s Red Ginger restaurant. The food and service were very good. (If you go, bring a sweater because it has high air conditioning.) The Red Ginger makes its own hot sauce – unlike most restaurants on the island – and it is both tasty and extremely spicy. Yum! Red Ginger has a great indoor ambience. However, if you want to go outside, you can visit its sister restaurant Blue Water Grill. It is an outdoor restaurant on the beach with a very similar menu. If you want to try another restaurant outside of the Phoenix sister restaurants, I highly recommend Hidden Treasure (see my review under restaurants).

Note, when you eat at one of the sister restaurants – you get 10% off!



Activities
The Phoenix helped us schedule and organize our various activities outside of the hotel.

We went snorkeling with Lil Alphonse – who is an incredible guide. We went to Mexico Rocks, to Hol Chan, and night snorkeling with Alphonse. Alphonse went over all snorkel safety procedures, swam with us, and pointed out and named every possible fish on our tour. (We noticed that many guides stayed on their boats while their clients tried to figure out what was in the water. Many of these clients would get frustrated and try to crash our tour.) Alphonse also gave us time to snorkel alone in each area so that could move at our own pace. We swam with sharks and stingrays in Hol Chan. Alphonse helped us hold and touch the sea life so that we really felt like we were a part of our environment. Like many captains, Alphonse is full of tales and is a great deal of fun. He also is incredibly patient. If you are nervous at all, he makes sure that you are comfortable. We had a range of people on our tours. I was really impressed by how he helped the more adventurous find and touch the different fish while also making sure that more nervous people had fun and did not get overwhelmed.

We went to the mainland to go cave tubing and tour the Mayan ruin, Altun Ha. (The mainland had quite a bit of ran so a number of the Mayan ruins were closed.) We had a wonderful guide who often works with the Phoenix Hotel. If you have the time, the cave tubing was incredible and we highly recommend it. As the name suggests, you tour underground caves while tubing and it’s a really unique experience. The river water is also an incredible relief from the Belizean heat.

We rented a golf cart and drove around San Pedro. Though a bit costly, we enjoyed the experience. It gives you a chance to see the island on your own and at your own pace.


Tips
Up the road from the Phoenix is the local “Caye Mart” – no relation to K-Mart – and it has practically everything you need. You can buy many brands available in the US – Tide, Goya, Always, Off, Banana Boat, McCormick (spices)), Pampers, etc. You can also buy underwater film cameras – at the Caye Mart or other shops around town. There is also a neighboring “Belizean owned” store. Unfortunately, we did not find much on the shelves when we visited.

We rented our cart from the Phoenix because it was a bit more convenient. However, if you will need a cart for long periods, you may want to shop around in town.

We recommend bringing your own snorkel and mask – at the very least. Otherwise, you will have to pay to rent them and that can add up. This way, you will only have to rent fins and, if you go on a night tour, the underwater flashlight.

Unlike some hotels, the Phoenix provides you with swim towels and you can take them on all of your adventures. So, no need to pack a towel!

The Phoenix also provides you with Aveda products – bath bar soap, bath liquid soap, rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner, and lotion.

The Red Ginger is closed on Tuesdays. So, even if you decide to eat all of your meals there, you have to break away. If you don’t want to go to a sister restaurant, we highly recommend the Hidden Treasure restaurant (see my separate review). Also, we had some really good food at Elvi’s Restaurant.

Since we were in Belize during the low season, many shops were closed. However, for those who want to do a bit of shopping, I liked Ambar for jewelry. Elisabeth – the owner – makes some really lovely jewelry. The quality was much better than other shops on the island. Look for a range of jewelry including Mayan jade, amber, turquoise, amazonite, cornelian, and silver. Ambar is located in the restaurant Fido’s on the Front Street (or from the beach). The phone number is 226-2824. Fido’s also has two other shops – a clothing shop that sells more than the traditional tourist wear and an art gallery called the Belizean Art Gallery. The gallery has paintings, carvings, jewelry, etc. The Orange Gallery was closed during our trip so I cannot comment on it. If you want the traditional tourist items – rum cakes, t-shirts, etc., you will see them throughout town.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Mabel8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

My husand and I were looking for a get away where the vire was beautiful, the atmoshphere was casual and the dining was good. We found the perfect spot! Ambergris Caye was very easy to get to from Dallas - a 2 and a half hour flight to Belize City and a 15 minute puddle jumper to Ambergris Caye and we were there. The hotels are only 5-10 mins from the airport.
The Phoenix Resort is absolutely stunning but what makes this resort extra special is the exceptional and friendly staff there. They make you feel so welcome and they bend over backwards to make certain that your stay is just what you want it to be. The rooms are condos and are very spacious with every amenity you can think of. The hotel is right in the middle of the island so it is easy to talk to most places.

We will go back and we cannot wait!!

Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank ginamarielandry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2011

The Phoenix delivered on everything promised. My wife and I spent a week here and left very relaxed and content. Everyone at the hotel from the bar tenders to the receptionists were extremely attentive to our needs. Stacey was very helpful in organizing our trip before we landed. The hotel property is beautiful and the rooms uber comfortable and luxurious. Its a great place to spend a fantastic holiday.
Restaurant recs: Wild Mango, Blue Water Grill, Red Ginger, Admiral Grilll at Victoria House and Palapas (the most amazing views in the island).
Best ice cream ( and great conversation): Dandees.
If you like marine life, sharks and rays, you must go snorkelling wih Lil Alfonse. The experience will change your life.

Room Tip: For 1 bedrooms, get the 3rd floor -it has the best views. Ask Stacey.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank NewmanSahay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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