When we were in Belize, we spent three days at duPlooy's Jungle Lodge, then seven days on Ambergris Caye at the Pelican Reef Villa Resort. I'll just shorten it to PRV, ok?
When the taxi driver pulled up to PRV, we were immediately greeted by a smiling lady who said, as T climbed out of the cab, "You must be T! Welcome to PRV!" T looked kind of amazed. Then the lady turned to me and said, "And you're Sandy and where's MT?" She welcomed us all and brought us back to the bar/pool area.
Her name is Terry and she was just about the best customer service person I have ever met. The PRV owners have a gold mine in this woman. You want to go SCUBA diving? Terry will arrange it for you. Want to know a great restaurant in town? Need reservations at the restaurant? Terry will give you some options and make sure you have a table. Want to rent a golf cart? Done. Want to go out on a snorkeling trip and sail to another island? She'll hook you up. Did you not bring a book or a movie to watch on a rainy day? She'll let you into the library at the office. Want your breakfast or lunch brought up to your room. She'll bring it. Need some bug spray or sun screen? She's got a supply. Wondering what drink to have from the bar? She'll recommend one.
She ran the whole operation from a little tiki hut by the bar. It was amazing. There was no computer; she wrote everything down in a notebook. I loved her.
PRV was unlike any resort we've stayed at before. For one thing, the accomodations were all condominiums. Most of them are owned by someone and then they basically rent it out to others and it's all overseen by the owners of the resort and the people who work there. We had a two bedroom, two bath condo. I guess they are all pretty similar inside because the owners want the place to be pretty uniform. They suggest the colors and the furnishings, I think.
Anyway, our unit, number 21, was quite nice. We had a pretty view of the pool and the pier.
The kitchen was nicer than my home kitchen. It was all black granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. If I had so desired, I could easily have cooked there. The kitchen was stocked with pots and pans. plates, silverware and glasses. I was on vacation, though, so I didn't cook. We did stock the fridge with beer, sodas and water and we bought chips and cookies and stuff to snack on. Breakfast was included in the price of our room, and they had a nice breakfast menu. T had french toast every day. It was made with a delicious cinnamon bread.
They also served lunch there, so that was pretty convenient. We always went out for dinner. (The kitchen at PRV wasn't open at night.)
Our condo had a TV (not a big flat screen though; the owner says he plans to upgrade all the TVs by the end of the year) and a DVD player. T watched three or four movies a day, usually. He did get outside every now and then, but I'm not complaining because he wasn't complaining so we were all happy.
Both bedrooms had queen size beds. The bathrooms were very nice, too. The master bath had his and her sinks, so that was nice. My favorite part of the condo was the shower. That sounds silly, but I like big walk-in showers without doors. I tried to take a picture of it, but it was hard to do. Just trust me when I say it was very nice!
The resort was pretty small. I think there are only 24 units on the property. It is also about two and a half miles south of the town of San Pedro, so it was quiet out there. It suited us just fine. It had what we wanted - a bar onsite and a pool. The downside of a non-all-inclusive is that you have to pay for your drinks. We just charged them to our room and paid the tab at the end. We didn't drink too much there anyway because we had drinks in our room. They did make a fine pina colada and an equally fine drink called the dirty banana. Here's a pic of one in front of me. Yum!
The pool was small and deep - six feet deep and no other depth. I couldn't touch the bottom (of course) so when I wanted to get wet, I had to cling to the side or sit on the step. It was kind of a bummer because I like to hang out in the pool. Of course, it rained a lot, so there wasn't too much pool time anyway.
The beach at the resort is not your typical Caribbean beach. It was small and the water wasn't crystal clear blue and you didn't have waves lapping up on snowy white, powdery soft sand. That's because the second largest barrier reef in the world is about one mile off-shore from the resort. I loved sitting on a chair on the beach and listening to the roar of the sea as it broke on the reef. Very cool!
In this picture, the tide is out, so you can see there is a LOT of sea grass right near the shore. I didn't want to go wading out in the sea grass. There are a LOT of little sea creatures living there, like about 10 jillion teeny tiny hermit crabs, little fishes and once I even saw a translucent crab about the size of a dime. One afternoon when the tide was out, I was wandering along the beach and I saw some little things moving around right on the line between water and sand. When I looked closer, I couldn't believe how many little living creatures there were! It was amazing and made me not want to get in the water AT ALL.
By far, my very most favorite thing about PRV was the pier. I would walk out there every day, at least three times a day. What was so cool about it was that I saw different things every single time I walked out there. The water was clear enough that I could see fish right from the pier. I saw bright little "aquarium" type fish, barracudas, lobsters, crabs, needle fish, tarpons (well, one big one during the day, and a bunch of big ones at night), a million tiny sardines, a turtle (!) and a spotted eagle ray (twice!). Under the pier, there was a moray eel and a lion fish. I didn't see those, of course, but I heard they were down there.
One day when I was hanging out under the palapa at the end of the pier, this cute little bird came in.
Here's a view of the resort from the pier:
In this pic you can see the waves hitting the reef and the ominous sky:
So...there's a little bit about the place we spent most of our time. Even though it was so different from other places we stayed, we were very comfortable and happy there. It is just about the only place I've ever heard MT say that he would like to visit again. He has some unfinished business - diving - that he wants to take care of, but that's another story for another time.