Staying at Xanadu Island Resort: A Luxury Paradise in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

backpacking belize

Relaxing at the pure luxury of Xanadu Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

As a long term backpacker and veteran of more dingy hostels than you could count, the flash packer in me comes out now and again and I’ll admit it’s a new phenomenon! Partly inspired by my travelling girlfriend Panny as her slow and relaxing style competes with my “be busy, do something every day, chill out later” attitude. I sometimes need a luxury spot to recharge my batteries before hitting the next bit of hardcore travelling. I found a paradise yet again when I took my backpack to San Pedro in Belize and specifically Xanadu Island Resort. If you haven’t already seen my Facebook uploads from my time here, read on, and admire the photos…this place is something really really special!

The wow factor - Xanadu Island Resort.

The wow factor – Xanadu Island Resort.

What is Xanadu Island Resort?
Xanadu Island Resort is a luxury paradise which has been voted the BEST hotel in Belize for the last 4 years on Trip Advisor!! Quite frankly, if you are ever going to splash out on a night of luxury, then Xanadu is the place. In San Pedro it is second to none and it would be hard for any resort in the whole of Belize to better what Xanadu Island Resort provides.

Sun loungers by the sea at Xanadu Island Resort.

Sun loungers by the sea at Xanadu Island Resort.

Where is Xanadu Island Resort?
Xanadu Island Resort is situated on the island of Ambergris Caye, in the town of San Pedro, in Belize. San Pedro can be reached by ferry from either Chetumal in Mexico or Caye Caulker/Belize City in Belize. Once you get to San Pedro, get a taxi to Xanadu – the taxi drivers will know it – a taxi should cost 10 Belize Dollars. You could walk it but in this heat and when you have this luxury in front of you – you’ll want to get there a bit quicker! In fact we simply hitched a ride on the back of a golf cart from the ferry terminal, by coincidence it was Laura, a Belize based blogger from Tacogirl.com!

San Pedro town centre in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

San Pedro town centre in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

10 Reasons to stay in Xanadu Island Resort

To make your choice easier, I’ve highlighted my personal 10 reasons why I think you should spend at least a few days here and sample this type of luxury.

A few days of luxury at Xanadu and why it's worth the extra cash!

A few days of luxury at Xanadu and why it’s worth the extra cash!

1. Paradise
Xanadu has an instant paradise feel to it. Coconut palm trees line the entrance on approach, you walk across sand to the reception, you have a view to the clearest blue waters you’ve ever seen and the sun beats down and tells you this place has a heavenly feel about it. Forget about your worries and stress here!

Xanadu is simply a paradise!

Xanadu is simply a paradise!

2. Self Catering
Each unit is self catering. You are in control again. For once you don’t have hotel or hostel staff bothering you and you’re not competing for kitchen space. Panny cooked meals every night here, nice and fresh and saving a lot of cash too.

Panny cooking for me!

Panny cooking for me!

Home made breakfast at Xanadu thanks to Panny

Home made breakfast at Xanadu thanks to Panny

3. Complimentary Kayak Rental
Free kayaking? Yes! Included in your cost of the room is free kayaking, saving you at least $10 US per hour. It’s unlimited as well, so you can get more than your money’s worth for the room. If you remember we paid for kayaking in Lago Atitlan, it was nice to get a freebie here!

xanadu resort kayaks

Complimentary Kayaking at Xanadu Resort.

4. Complimentary Bicycle Rental
Free bikes? Yes! Included in your cost of the room is free cycling – access to the bikes, not only will this save you money on a hotel which charges for bike rental. Plus it’s a fast and easy way to tour the island.

Bike rental is complimentary for guests.

Bike rental is complimentary for guests.

5. Welcome Cocktail
After a few hot and sweaty bus and boat journeys, not to mention a few days of border crossings, we arrived at Xanadu resort. Instead of asking for passport details or money straight away, the question from the staff was “what drink would you like?!” and every guest is given a complimentary welcome drink. Mine was a fruity rum punch.

Cheers at Xanadu with a welcome rum cocktail.

Cheers at Xanadu with a welcome rum cocktail.

6. Complimentary Snorkelling Equipment
Again as a guest of the resort, you have free unlimited use of snorkelling gear – simply jump off the end of the jetty and get your fix of fish viewing! As well as doing a snorkelling tour with Black Hawk (recommended) and Tsunami (not recommended – we had a very rude guide), we did some FREE snorkelling.

Making use of the complimentary snorkelling gear.

Making use of the complimentary snorkelling gear.

7. Swimming Pool
You’ve seen the photos of people relaxing by the pool while on holiday and you’ve thought it was all a big fake. The good news is – it’s not. It’s completely real. There is a well designed central swimming pool here at San Pedro and you should make use of it. You can sleep in the many sun loungers and hammocks around the pool, and you can even use wifi by the pool!! Count me in, but don’t forget your sun cream and insect repellent!!

Making use of the pool at Xanadu.

Making use of the pool at Xanadu.

8. Wifi
While some people head to a paradise resort to escape the internet and wifi, I work on the move so I rely on it! I was able to relax and get some work done here in the tropical heat.

Blogging away - here in a Xanadu Paradise, wifi is fast!!

Blogging away – here in a Xanadu Paradise, wifi is fast!!

9. Escaping Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker is a nice part of Belize but it’s so cliched. Here on Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) you get a different mix and a more relaxed vibe amongst the clientele. It certainly didn’t feel like a backpacker resort, nor one where locals try to sell you things. This was just really really relaxing.

Caye Caulker - slightly more of a backpacker resort so it was nice to be based on Ambergis Caye away from the 18-30 parties and the locals trying to sell you stuff!

Caye Caulker – slightly more of a backpacker resort so it was nice to be based on Ambergis Caye away from the 18-30 parties and the locals trying to sell you stuff!

10. Spotless Rooms
What I loved was as soon as we opened the doors to our room in Xanadu, the rooms were tidy, clean, spotless and just felt good. So good, I’ve included a few photos of our room (Room 6) so you can see for yourself. It’s just hard to fault a place like Xanadu.

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So here are all the details you need for booking Xanadu Resort:
Rooms and rates – go in low season like me as it’s cheaper.
Email – info@xanaduislandresort.com
Phone – (1866) 351 4752
Book it on Agoda – Xanadu Island Resort

And if this post still isn’t enough to convince you, check out my videos:

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