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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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 – [email protected]
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: