We were needing an amazing beach vacation when Travelzoo flashed a great deal on the Belize Ocean Club in Placencia. We made a snap decision and purchased almost on the spot. (March 2016)
Luckily, it turned out to be an incredible buy.
The Travelzoo offer and the pictures on the website accurately represent the property. It does look like that. It is that nice. What they can’t convey is the absolute kind care and interest the staff takes in you and your enjoyment. Not obsequious, but friendly in a lively, and real way.Very authentic hospitality.
So quick overview: Great location; beautiful, fresh seaside room; solicitous customer service. Now, let’s talk about the food . . .
The food served at both the Ocean Club Bar and Grill (breakfast and lunch outside on the Caribbean) and the Shore House Restaurant on the lagoon was delicious to excellent.
I loved the ceviche ($18 Belize/$9 US) and in five days, I probably had three orders. Seafood chowders ($19bz/$9.50US), and fresh fish ($47bz/$23US) should be at the top of the decision tree. We watched local fishermen bring their fresh catch into restaurants and the chefs appear from the kitchens to negotiate for dinner that day.
I had one day of digestive discomfort and the kitchen whipped up a homemade
chicken soup especially for me that was probably the best I have ever eaten. I live in the culinary capital of Napa, CA, and expect great food — just not always in far-flung locations.
All the rooms at the resort are suites, full kitchens and two baths. If you reserve a one room suite, you will find that one room and bathroom are locked off.
If you would like to use the kitchen, you must request pots, pans, and other kitchen ware to be added to your room — which they are happy to do. If however, you would like the housekeeping staff to do your dishes, you will be charged extra.
The bathroom in our suite was a little small and dark for good makeup, so my beauty regime was moved to the kitchen table. There was a Jacuzzi(r) tub in the bathroom, but we never used it. The water pressure was moderate, and the water temperature warm, but never hot. If you are just showering, that was fine. I don’t know that it would have been the correct temperature for a long soak.
Tips, if you are staying
- Bring Deet. If you can’t put it on your skin, use it on a sarong, or light shirt. Mosquitos are a problem, and sand fleas voracious.
- The resort charges 10% tip on your drinks and meals charged to your room. You will not see this on the tab you sign, but it will be on your bill at check out. Leave a tip, but remember that they will add some also.
- Is the meal plan worth it? Perhaps. There were several good restaurants to try in town, so we did not eat all our meals at the resort. We also don’t normally eat three meals a day, just two and maybe a snack. And, we do like our cocktails. There was nothing wrong with the local beer and rum, and we enjoyed both liberally. Our resort meals and drinks for two came out to about $90 a day (without tip) for both of us.
- Carry a plastic bag in your beach bag for covering paperbacks, wallets, and eReaders during sudden rain storms.
- Keep to the resort beaches. They rake up the dried vegetation where biting sand bugs live. Also sadly, the native beaches can be covered in flotsam trash — lots of empty plastic bottles, and an odd number of old shoes.
- The resort has a shuttle that runs to Placencia three times a day.
- Beach cruiser bikes are available (some with baskets) where you can shop at the near-by Asian markets and stock up your kitchen.
- Paddle boards and kayaks are included at no additional cost to take out on the ocean.
- An excellent number of eco-tours are available through the concierge that include tubing through caves, archeological excursions, jungle tours, and nature preserves.
Belize Ocean Club Resort, Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize
Reservations, call 1 (800) 997-1289. belizeoceanclub.com