More about Xanadu Island Resort Belize
My girlfriend and I stayed 4 nights at the Xanadu Resort during the July 4th weekend, 2006. I had read some of the reviews from tripadvisor.com about where to stay, and realized Xanadu was exactly the kind of place I was looking for- we were looking for that 'tropical/bungalow' feel. We were going to stay at Captain Morgan's, but realized it was just too far from town (and we like to walk to various restaurants, etc.), or Ramon's (but it was too pricey for what it was, and I heard bad reviews about the airport being across the street). Xanadu was all that we expected and more. We had a travel glitch (TACA had overbooked us out of L.A.), but Susan (one of the workers at Xanadu) was nice enough to move our reservations around without penalty. We stayed in number 15 for about $160/night, with a slight ocean view, and was very impressed. The architecture of the place was really cool- huge egg-shaped hurricane-proof monolithical structures with 3 floors (2 units) and a thatched roof. We had the upper portion, which included a loft. The room was spacious, and was like a house, because it had a full kitchen (with almost any kind of accessory that you would need- there was even a gallon of bottled water in the regular size fridge), and a spiral staircase with a full bath upstairs as well. The air conditioning worked very well, and there were fans above the bed. It was always a relief to walk into our very cool room! Despite slapping on DEET all the time, we still managed to get eaten by the mosquitoes. NOTE: the front office is a mosquito area! When you go in there to book tours, etc., be sure to wear DEET. This is where we got a lot of bites. The beds were comfortable and clean. Maid service was great. There were plenty of towels, even for the pool. The beach was clean and simple- it's not the kind of beach where you go in the waves- there is seagrass, etc. - it is pretty much the same all over Ambergris Caye. Martin was great at booking tours for us at the front desk, which we paid for when we checked out. We did snorkeling at Hol Chan, parasailing, a day-trip to cave tubing/zip-lining, SCUBA diving, and a snorkeling tour to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef (a great tour, but bring the dramamine or patch for the 3-hour boat ride out there!). The grounds at the resort were well-groomed, and the pool was a nice center point, and a great place to cool off. The property is pretty quiet, well off the main road, compared to other places closer to town. We rented golf carts at the front desk and drove up to the north end of the island past Journey's End- quite an adventure- we were glad we didn't stay up there- it was simply too remote. We also used the free kayaks (there are free bikes to use too- but you will get very hot riding them!). We just walked on the beach to town (about 20 minutes)- it was nicer than taking a hot taxi. We never used the TV in the room, but it was nice to have a phone to call the front desk. The only thing I would have wanted on the property was a bar/restaurant (but then again, that attracts more noise), but there are many food options within a few minutes (though everything is VERY expensive- we actually ran out of our spending money ($2000 for two of us for tours, food- for 6 days) on our last day. There is a store at the end of the driveway, which is convenient if you need some snacks or forgot anything from home. We tried to snorkel of the end of the pier (where the tours will pick you up), but found the water too murky. Overall, I give Xanadu the highest of the marks. Friendly and caring staff, clean and cool rooms, tour bookings on site- I'd come back and stay here again for sure!
our second stay at Xanadu
My husband and I are divers, and had travelled to Ambergris Caye in the summer of 2003 with two other couples to go diving. We had discovered Xanadu on the internet, and stayed there for our 2003 trip. Our experience with Xanadu then was so very positive, that when it came to booking a return trip to Ambergris this month (August 2006) with another couple for diving, there was no question that we would again stay at Xanadu. My husband contacted Susan by email, and the accommodations were booked quickly and easily. For this trip, we stayed in the Manatee Suite, which is perfect for two couples travelling together - two bedrooms with extremely comfortable queen beds and full private bathrooms, a large living room, and a full kitchen area. Like on our first trip, the first thing we did was walk to Marina's Market to purchase groceries to stock the kitchen for the week - this is wonderfully convenient. (We do not at all miss the fact that there's no restaurant at Xanadu.)
The diving on Ambergris is among the best in the world, and we didn't need to do a thing to make all of our diving arrangements - Susan and Gustavo in Xanadu's office made all arrangements for us through Amigos del Mar, (in our opinion) the premiere dive operation on the island, including full-day trips to other dive locations in Belize.
Since our last trip to Ambergris, a number of excellent restaurants have opened, and we fully agreed with the recommendations made by the folks in Xanadu's office - we had wonderful meals every evening.
We love the laid-back, relaxed atmosphere on Ambergris Caye - so different from Washington, DC, where we reside. And Xanadu is perfectly located, has a beautiful pool, a spectacular dock, and a decent little beach area. In fact, several people we met on the dive boats were so disappointed in the hotels where they were staying for a variety of reasons (no beach, loud pool, too many kids, lousy rooms), and because it was the low/summer season, we suggested to all that they contact Xanada and move over from their hotels ... and a few did just that.
We will indeed return to Ambergris Caye yet again for the phenomenal diving, and will stay only at Xanadu.
Xanadu nice but overall mixed
Xanadu is a nice place to stay, with friendly staff and conveniences such as free bicycle use. However, if I had it to do over, I would choose to stay closer to town.
For one thing, my 15 year old son and his buddy were along for the trip, and the semi-remoteness and small crowd at Xanadu was a bit of a yawn for them. They were wishing we had stayed at Ramon's, but after visiting there one day, am glad that we skipped that particular hotel due to prohibitive cost of food and drinks. The Palms, right next door to Ramon's would probably be my pick as the beach in front is fairly nice, and is located right at town. Xanadu was peaceful, and pretty clean, and with nicely kept grounds. The staff were helpful about making tour arrangements, which are about the same price wherever you book (from hotel or directly in town). There is no beachfront at Xanadu as there is a few doors south at Banyan Bay Villas. There is simply a seawall with plenty of rock and eel grass. Very uninviting for swimming. They do however have a nice pier/dock which my boyfrined and I enjoyed laying out on. It is also convenient for pick up when you go on tours. All the tours we took departed by boat, and all were very worthwhile. The trip would have been nothing without the tours we took which included: snorkeling Mexico Rocks and Tres Cocos one day; sailing by way of 35 foot catamaran to Caye Caulker with snorkeling stops at Shark Ray Alley and one other place along the way (Steven the guide, and his deck hand Roy were wonderful, and kept the rum punch flowing). As an unknown bonus on that trip, we were allowed/encouraged to fish off the back of the boat, in order to feed the sharks. That was very enjoyable as a we pulled in many red-snapper and one barracuda. The longest (and arguabley the best) trip we took included heading back to the mainland for the zoo and cave-tubing. Since I am from San Diego, I thought that the Belize zoo would hold nothing worth noting, but that was not the case at all. The zoo is very natural and interesting and maze like. We were able to get so close to the animals that I touched a toucan's bill, and scratched the neck of an ocelot through the wire cage as he nuzzled up. About the only snorkeling we were able to do without a boat was right at the end of Ramon's dock (saw many, many fish as well as a moray eel there) and also there is a bit to see in front of the park in center of town. Look for the locals swimming and go there. It was a fine trip, but I won't go back. For one thing it seemed ridiculously expensive at both restaurants and grocery stores. Toward the end of our stay, we found the grocery stores frequented by the locals as well as the restaurants (mostly at the north end of town right before the bridge, and felt much less "gouged". Exploring the island from one end to the next by golf cart and bike was peaceful and enjoyable, but really, the place is not-so-much (in my opinion) except for the paid for excursions. Oh...to end on a positive note...the people of San Pedro are sweet, helpful, sincere, friendly and not at all aggressive, as I have encountered on other island vacations.
I guess for every happy camper there has to be a sour one. The staff at Xanadu were very nice and took on their responsibilities with top notch professionalism, however the management met and exceeded qualities found at a half star hotel. Do not rent the golf carts, we did and they both broke down on the far side of the island, the lovely management made us taxi back to xanadu and still charged us for the broke down carts that ruined our day.... they are a waste of money and you can reach the farthest point of the island by bike in roughly the same amount of time. Property and rooms are beautiful (if you get the right one, we didn't) and air conditioning is a must any time of the year in belize however there were many nicer places that i would choose before xanadu. Talk to Alehandro at crazy canucks (bar two minutes down the beach) for a fishing trip, he was a million times better than the fishing tours xanadu arranges. i will never return to xanadu and will point out to any friends or family traveling to belize to avoid xanada
Very Quiet And Clean
We stayed at Xanadu from Nov 4, to Nov. 17, 2006 and loved it so much. The rooms are very nice and well appointed. We loved having the full kitchen. We went to the little store at the end of the driveway and stocked up and then ate one or two meals a day in the room and then went out at night to get a taste of the local quisine, which is awesome by the way.
The grounds are very well kept and the staff is friendly and helpul
It is a bit of a long walk to town, but the weather was so perfect that it made it better. Also, the free bikes and kayaks is a very nice touch.
We have stayed at Ramons twice in the past and Xanadu is soooo much nicer and quieter..there is no comparison.
We hope to return to Xanadu next year.
We highly recommend this place...try it ...you'll love it!
Xanadu and Belize a perfect match!
We stayed at Xanadu Nov 11-19 2006 and will return again as soon as we can.
It was the perfect resort for us. The staff was fantastic and the rooms were very well equipped. We looked at a number of other resorts while we were there and for us Xanadu turned out to be the right choice.
We found the dive trips and inland tours booked through Xanadu to be fine. Snorkling with Alphonse is not to be missed. For adrenalin junkies the Zip Lining\Cave Tubing gets rave reviews.
Belize and San Pedro may not be for everyone as it is very laid back and rustic. Anyone who needs to be surrounded by luxury will be happier elsewhere. There are no Marriot's or Hyatts. Come to think of it, I can not remember see anything resembling a "chain operation" - PERFECT!
We have been traveling on island getaways for over 20 years and have never been anywhere where we felt as safe and where the people were so genuinely friendly.
We rented a golf cart for a week and received a very competitive rate from Xanadu. We would not rent one again because it is not needed. Everything is very close and Xanadu has free bikes with large baskets. The roads are horrible once you get outside San Pedro so you are much better off on a bike. You can literally ride a bike on the beach as it is hard packed sand.
Groceries are very expensive as everything has to be shipped in by barge. Figure to spend at least three times what you would for the same thing at home.
The food was good everywhere and we never had a bad meal. Ricos, George's Kitchen, Caramba, El Patio, Celebrity, and Monkey Bites where all good.
As soon as we have enough frequent flyer miles we will be booking another trip to Xanadu.
We had an absoluetly perfect honeymoon at Xanadu. The room was comfortable and clean, the grounds were well cared for, the staff went out of their way and the resort was nice and quiet.
It is in an ideal location for both peace and quiet away from the tourism, but also within walking/biking distance of everything you need includeing shops, restaurants and bars.
We made use of the free bikes and kayaks and enjoyed the case of Belikin Beer that the front desk hooked us up with upon arrival...and loved watching the sunset from the end of their pier.
Would recomend to anyone looking for a relaxing sun vacation but who prefers a taste of real island life rather than the club med experience.
Great Family Place
Xanadu was a great place to stay. This was my 4th time to san pedro and by far this was the best place I have stayed. We brought our 1 year old twins and this was great place for kids. They had a crib for us to use and the pool had a great shallow area for children to play. The rooms were well appointed and made you feel at home and relaxed.
The staff were great and were and were a lot of help in planning trips, booking travel and advice on places to go on the island. Everyone was so helpful and friendly.
They don't have any food service on site, but there are places within walking distance and a store just up the road.
Great trip and a great place to stay. We will be back when we come back to Belize. Thanks!
Our family stayed at Xanadu for 5 days and other than too many clouds in the sky the trip was just perfect. The resort is exactly the way it looks on the website and the staff goes above and beyond to make you happy, thank you Stacey and the grounds crew. Our suite was large, clean and quaint. If you want the best snorkeling experience of your life ,go out with Alfonse .....he was so informative and made you feel very safe. The food and the people of San Pedro are the best I have seen in my travels. We will be telling all our airline friends about this place.
Where do i begin to describe the fabulous Xanadu resort? Lets start with the important stuff....the facilities! The facilities are like no other...you have a luxurious high-class room to stay in with the beach and island life at your fingertips at a very reasonable cost! The pool overlooking the carribean sea is very delightful, the complimentary kayaks and bikes you cant go wrong with but best of all is the wonderful staff at the Xanadu resort. The staff at the resort makes your vacation dreams come true, from keeping the fridge stocked with BELIKINS to booking all of your adventerous excursions the staff will do it in a heart beat with a robust smile on their faces! Stacy, Ninja and Alex are THEEEEE friendliest people I met on the island and they are all part of the team at Xanadu resort. I miss them already and I can't wait to go visit them again!
Journey's End hotel ferry
It can be quiet and empty when theres no music
Sunset on the pooldeck
Enjoying the quiet scene of the Caribbean