Barbara Smalley, Vacation Rentals Belize
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About Barbara Smalley, Vacation Rentals Belize
I've lived most of my life in the U.S. but have also lived for a couple of months to up to two years in different countries: Germany, Spain, Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico & Belize. Since 2011 I've been living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle while exploring, working & volunteering in new & old places -- it's a great way to keep learning! I was lucky to meet Deb & Mark from Dallas, who own the Cartagena, Colombia, & Ambergris Caye, Belize, vacation rentals I'm listing. They asked me to help them out and I've fallen into doing something that I love -- helping people like you with their travels. Let me help you with your dream vacation! We also partner with 'Pack for a Purpose', an organization that links travelers who'd like to help fulfill wish lists of non-profits in developing countries. We work with Cartagena Paws (helping street animals) and Fundación La Vecina, a community organization in Cartagena, and in Belize we partner with Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) and the Saga Humane Society in San Pedro. We'd love to have your help! Thank you! Barbara Smalley
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Nice Unit But Poor Management and Unappealing Beach for Swimming or Strolling
It was our first time in Belize and we were hoping for a beautiful, quiet beach as the description indicated. Instead, a large group had rented several condos and proceeded to drink and loudly party for the entire time we were there, taking over the entire pool and gazebo area and making quiet relaxation impossible. Complaints to the rental manager as well as the "concierge" and the on site "caretaker" produced no results. We were stuck listening to a non-stop, spring break-style booze fest next to the patio for the entire trip. Further, if you are looking for a spotless beach and clear, caribbean waters in front of the condo, look elsewhere in the Caribbean! Tons of seagrass washed up daily (and sat mixed with garbage, stinking up the beach in many places both up and down the coast from the condo) and was everywhere in the water off the beach. Few, if any, people actually ventured into the water to swim. You must take a boat out to near the reef to enjoy the beautiful water free of the seagrass. As for the town, you must rent a golf cart to travel the one bumpy road (partially unpaved) which was a bone-jarring experience. Once in town, cars, carts, dogs, bikes and people all shared the narrow road: a less than relaxing experience, especially at night. Unlike other Caribbean destinations, there were few if any fine dining options. We focused mostly on not getting food poisoning. Even the seafood was often frozen and not fresh. We were told pointedly not to even try any beef on the island. In short, neither of us will ever be back to Belize and would not recommend this condo.
I’m sorry that this was not a good match for you. I apologize that you were disturbed during your stay; there was a group there celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary, but we did not get complaints from others who were staying at the resort at the same time. It seems you were not aware of what to expect on the island. As the barrier reef is so close to shore, it is an ideal diving & snorkeling destination so most people head out there rather than swim off shore, although many do also enjoy swimming off the dock (& snorkeling right underneath!). There is turtle grass all around in the water which feeds the amazing sea life that so many people come to Belize to see and enjoy. There is a sargasso issue that comes & goes all over the Caribbean; no matter what, our beaches are raked daily to keep them clean. I am glad you liked the condo but again wish that all in all this had been a better fit for you; as indicated by the other 4 & 5 star reviews for Sunset Beach condos at my profile (https://www.vrbo.com/my/93c65fc2-24a4-41cf-9581-0902e8d9185f), many others have been quite happy with their vacations here. Thank you for your feedback.
Family trip with Grown Children
It was our first time to visit Belize and we had an excellent time. The set of condo units are south of town and out of the hustle and bustle, but close enough that you can easily get there by golf cart. We rented one for our stay through the owner, and it worked out great. It was delivered at our unit, and the company rep was very helpful. We chose this particular unit for its beachy vibe and second floor level for the view and breeze. We thought the 2nd floor would also keep us away from the mosquitoes. (We actually were surprised by the lack of mosquitoes, they were definitely active at sundown, but did not find them to be a problem at other times of the day.) The unit was clean, comfortable, and had everything we needed. The water pressure was a bit low, and it was shut down by the local municipality from 10 pm to 5 am on two nights (repairs it seems), but we were informed by Chapin ahead of time and so we were prepared for it. Wifi is available, but sporadic at times. A local coffee shop also has wifi, and we took advantage of it a couple of times as well. The beach is beautiful and the grounds maintained extremely well. There is an onsite property care taker (Chapin) who was available every day to help and answer questions. He did a great job. The local concierge, Judy, lives just down the street and was very helpful as well in answering our questions. All in all, a great experience. If/when we return to San Pedro, we will be returning to Sunset Beach Resort!!
Thank you so much for your nice review & I'm so glad you all had a great time! Water pressure can be a bit tricky on the island overall, but there are projects in place to improve it! Internet in Belize in general is not what it is like in other places, but we are also always working to have the best solution available. Glad you liked the condo's 'beachy vibe'--it is definitely fun!! :)
Ambergris Caye, “La Isla Bonita”, is a popular tourist destination. San Pedro is a quaint little town of about 13,000 residents that has retained its charm while handling the growing number of visitors. Sunset Beach Resort is located 2.5 miles/4 km south of the town core, which means you are away from the crowds yet still within easy reach of everything. Not only will you be able to enjoy a restful day on a quiet beach, you will have a quiet night as well – no bar or restaurant noise, just swaying coconut fronds and the occasional fish jumping in the water!
Town is not far away when you want to go in for some live music, shopping, restaurants, etc. But there are things close by too; here are a few things within walking distance of Sunset Beach:
--Suya Tour operators (1 minute walk)
--Marin’s, a small grocery store (2 minute walk)
--Restaurants: Lone Star Grill & Black Orchid (4 minute walk)
--Beach Bar & Grill with outdoor bowling (10 minute walk)
--A beach yard filled with coconut sculptures! (5 minute walk)
The Belize Barrier Reef, the longest in the western hemisphere, is just 1/2 mile off shore. The water is warm and crystal clear--ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing.
It's also easy to take a day trip from the resort to visit Mayan sites such as Altun Ha and Lamanai; or a trip to observe some of the 500 species of birds found in Belize and/or catch a glimpse of monkeys, manatees and crocodiles in the wild!
Most people rent golf carts when visiting Ambergris Caye (it’s not possible to rent a car). Our concierge team can arrange your golf cart rental and have it waiting for you at Sunset Beach on your arrival if you wish. Rental costs depend on the cart size and time of year but start at about US$300/week.
As mentioned, there are also complimentary bikes & kayaks available at the resort. It’s about a 10 minute bike ride into town.
It’s also possible to walk to town, either via the beach (40 minutes to an hour, depending on how fast you walk) or via the road (slightly longer).
Taxis are also available.