Take a look at the best boutique hotels in San Pedro.
Opened in 1998 and located on a private island near Ambergris Caye, the luxury Cayo Espanto's seven air-conditioned villas have wraparound porches, private docks, and ocean-view plunge pools. Interiors are rustic Caribbean, with details like cement floors and exotic hardwood furniture. All villas have two assigned butlers and the resort’s chef visits daily to discuss (and tailor) the menu for guests. Sadly, Cayo Espanto’s beaches are small and shallow. The resort is seven minutes by water taxi to San Pedro, Ambergris’ Caye’s commercial hub. Travelers looking for a property with a great beach and a sleek ocean-view pool should consider the villas at La Perla del Caribe, though rooms there aren't quite as lovely.
Arguably the swankiest resort on Ambergris Caye, the four-pearl Matachica Resort & Spa excels at combining Belizean charm with modern opulence. Its 27 individual thatched-roof casitas are painted in eye-popping hues and feature romantic elements like canopied beds and two-person hammocks. Grounds are meticulously kept, but still maintain a laid-back island vibe thanks to sandy pathways and open-air buildings. All-inclusive rates are available, and top-notch amenities include a stunning mosaic tile pool, a beautifully maintained beach, and an excellent on-site bar and restaurant, but the lackluster spa and tiny fitness center fall flat. Matachica is located five miles north of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye, which is a bit far for travelers who anticipate spending a lot of time in town. As an alternative, Ramon’s Village Resort is located within walking distance of local shops, bars, and restaurants in San Pedro, but isn’t nearly as posh as Matachica.
The three-pearl White Sand’s Cove Resort is a laid-back, 14-condo seafront property that's a 15-minute drive from Ambergris Caye’s San Pedro Town. The spacious condos with homey, beach-inspired decor -- a handful have ocean views. The resort’s sleek, ocean-view pool is rarely crowded, and while the resort has a jetty to jump off for swimming, there's no proper beach. Guests usually spend their days diving or exploring the island and mainland tourist sites. White Sands Bar and Grill serves up a tasty international and Belizean menu -- but not breakfast -- with locally sourced and homegrown ingredients. Freebies include morning coffee, kayak and bicycle usage, and Wi-Fi. Travelers looking for somewhere a bit livelier with its own dive shop might prefer Captain Morgan’s Retreat.
With its sleek pool, free welcome massages, and sophisticated beach vibe, the upscale Las Terrazas Resort and Residences feels more South Beach than San Pedro. Its 39 air-conditioned rooms -- many with ocean views -- are decorated in blacks and browns with granite-countered kitchens and king-size poster beds. The saltwater infinity pool is a big plus, considering the beach isn’t great for swimming due to sea grass. A poolside bar has happy hour specials and a weekly rum tasting, for a fee, and freebies include kayaks, Hobie cats, and stand-up paddleboards. Fishing gear can be rented and the resort’s tasty, attractive restaurant will clean and prepare your catch. For a more tropical vibe and two giant pools, it’s worth considering Coco Beach Resort, which has similar rates but far less style.
Undoubtedly the nicest boutique hotel in San Pedro Town, upper-middle-range Caye Casa entices guests with its beautiful decor and quiet atmosphere. The property’s eight rooms are bright, airy spaces decorated with vibrant colors, local artwork, and island-inspired furniture. Caye Casa’s room types range from standard hotel rooms to multi-bedroom casitas with full kitchens, separate living spaces, and large outdoor balconies. The hotel has a tiny plunge pool and a sandy lounge area, and is across the street from a teensy beach. It’s within walking distance of San Pedro Town’s shops and restaurants, but still manages to feel quiet and secluded. The hotel doesn’t serve any kind of breakfast and some rooms are tight on space. Travelers looking for larger rooms and more of a resort atmosphere might prefer Las Terrazas Resort, though its pricier than Caye Casa and far from town.
Mata Rocks Resort is a mid-range property located on the southern end of Ambergris Caye, about a 10-minute golf cart ride from San Pedro Town. The hotel has 17 rooms with simple, beachy decor and a tiny pool that overlooks the ocean. Its beach is marred by the piles of seaweed that wash up on shore, though travelers will notice this everywhere on the island. Mata Rocks offers free continental breakfast, free bikes, and free Wi-Fi, but there isn’t much to see or do in the immediate area surrounding the hotel. Travelers who’d prefer to be in San Pedro Town should check out Caye Casa, a more sophisticated property with nicer rooms and slightly pricier nightly rates.
Pedro's Hotel is a well-known destination in San Pedro for budget-minded, party-hearty travelers. If it feels like a hostel, that's because it partially is. The non-hostel half of the property is located across the street and offers 31 low-priced private rooms: two twins, or two twins pushed together to form a king. Rooms are as barebones as it gets, but many guests who stay here are just looking for a cheap crash pad after hitting the town. The staff -- mainly, Peter (a memorable British fellow who owns the joint) -- rents golf carts, bikes, and diving gear during the day, and tends bar by night. This is when the sports pub springs to life, and there's plenty of good pizza, drinks (ahem, Jagermeister), live music and conversation to be had before stumbling into bed.
El Secreto Hotel is a secluded four-pearl boutique hotel on the northern shores of Belize’s Ambergris Key. Its eight rustic-chic villas with lake, ocean, or garden views have vaulted thatched ceilings, air-conditioning, private whirlpools, and outdoor showers. The hotel’s posh infinity pool is done with marble accents and built-in lounge chairs, all with views overlook the sea. The restaurant, El Secreto, serves an international and Belizean menu that -- despite its expensive prices -- gets mixed reviews, and the hotel's beach is frequently littered with debris. Freebies include kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, and Wi-Fi. For a romantic getaway, El Secreto ticks most of the boxes, but those wanting more action closer to town it’s worth considering the condos at Captain Morgan’s Retreat.