Jul 262012
 
Our balcony view at the beautiful Phoenix Resort in Belize!

Our balcony view at the beautiful Phoenix Resort in Belize!

When you’re a middle school teacher, kindness becomes priceless.

Thus, when Colin and I (both public school teachers) walked into The Phoenix Resort in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye for the first day of our Belize Honeymoon, we were nearly moved to tears.

“Welcome!” sang Gabriela at the front desk. “You must be Lillie and Colin.”

“Oh!” I gasped, stunned to be addressed by name, rather than as an anonymous traveler.

“Fresh ginger punch,” said a gentle voice behind us as we were handed two frosty glasses with straws. (Background information: Colin and I are obsessed with ginger and regularly eat chunks of it with all meals.) Happiness!

Pam and Rose: Two of the wonderful and kind Phoenix staff members who made our stay such a delight.

Pam and Rose: Two of the wonderful, kind Phoenix staff members who made our stay in Ambergris Caye such a delight.

But the awe had just begun.

Gabriela led us up a spotless outdoor stairway to a second floor terrace and opened a hardwood door using a key dangling from a flip-flop carving.

As she threw the door open, light poured in through the giant glass wall, illuminating the azure infinity pool and palm-lined ocean-front right outside.

Ahhhh!!!!

Later, the manager, Mark, explained that The Phoenix was constructed to feel like a condo or home rather than a hotel. Sure enough, as we gazed around the granite-topped kitchen (with its full-sized stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, stocked cabinets, and purified water tap) we considered trading in our Boston apartment for this one. (Our current Boston kitchen is a three-foot by five-foot nook, and Colin and I are both over six feet tall.)

The glistening kitchen in our suite at The Phoenix. See the wrapper of the complimentary coconut lime bars that we devoured?

The glistening kitchen in our suite at The Phoenix. See the wrapper of the complimentary coconut lime bars that we devoured?

Our eyes then flew to the living room area.

The plush couches and flat-screen TV framed a classy table so that when seated, we could look out the wall of windows onto the private balcony, the pools, and the Caribbean Sea.

“Ahh!” I wailed, “The problem with this is that I’ll never want to leave this suite!”

“Don’t worry,” said Gabriela, “our staff will help you find great activities to do.”

Indeed, we did emerge sometimes from our luxury suite! We ended up taking the staff’s recommendations for fabulous snorkeling with sharks and rays, tasty restaurants, and (for Colin but not for me because I got scared) Scuba Diving lessons!

Our living room at The Phoenix, looking out onto the balcony and sea.

Our living room at The Phoenix, looking out onto the balcony and sea.

“Let me show you the bedrooms,” said Gabriela.

“Bedroom-s, plural?” I squealed.

I nearly fainted when we walked into the Master Bedroom.

Carefully spelled across the giant, cloud-like white bed in fresh flowers of all colors was written: “I <3 U, L + C!”

WOW.

I have never, ever seen such thoughtful attention to detail.

“Eeeiii!!!!” I screamed. “This is amazing!!!!”

The white curtains billowed softly with the current of the fan and the air conditioning, framing the wall and a half of windows overlooking the sea.

I have never seen such thoughtful customer service touches as this fresh flower message on our bed at The Phoenix.

I have never seen such thoughtful customer service touches as this fresh flower message on our bed at The Phoenix.

(Note: The Phoenix is so cleverly designed architecturally that it only offers two types of rooms: “Beach View” and “Beachfront.” No “Concrete Wall View” rooms for this place.)

We toured the other bedroom and the two stately bathrooms of the suite.

Each of the washcloths was folded into an artful fan shape, and fresh, bright red flowers peeked jauntily from each towel nook and the clasped hands of the hanging bathrobes.

“This is beautiful,” I sighed. “All teachers deserve this, always!”

Colin nodded vigorously, recalling his past two years with Teach for America in one of the most challenging school districts of Massachusetts.

See the fresh flowers in the stunning suite bathroom?

See the fresh flowers in our stunning Phoenix suite bathroom?

“I want to write a really detailed article about this so everyone can cyber-travel with us and feel the beauty, also,” I murmured.

We circled back to the kitchen where Gabriela pointed out two hand-written postcards for us next to delectable treats. On the counter next to coconut-lime bars we read:

“Welcome to The Phoenix, Lillie and Colin. Thank you for staying with us. Please let us know what we can do to make it special.
– Gabriela, Pam, Rose, Ted, and Danny” 

In the fridge in front of delicious iced beverages it said: “Happy Honeymoon, Lillie and Colin! Thanks for celebrating with us. Enjoy…”

The lap pool at the Phoenix, overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

The lap pool at The Phoenix, overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

So thoughtful!

We devoured the coconut-lime bars in record time, then scampered outside to snap photos of the infinity pool and beach before changing into a bathing suit and frolicking in the crystal-clear water.

Have you ever heard the Madonna song, “La Isla Bonita”? Well it turns out it’s about Ambergris Caye.

Remember the tune’s first line, “Last night I dreamed of San Pedro”? That’s where The Phoenix is!

What’s nice about the resort is that it’s quiet and tranquil, but it’s also right in the center of the town of San Pedro, meaning it’s a short walk from all sorts of delightful shops and eateries. Other resorts on the island are much more inconveniently located.

The ocean winked at us happily, just out the gate from The Phoenix.

The ocean winked at us happily, just out the gate from The Phoenix.

While we ventured out to all those San Pedro shops in subsequent days, that first night at The Phoenix we were still feeling the three flights we took to get to Ambergris Caye plus the two hour time difference, and thus opted to trot downstairs to Red Ginger, the scrumptious, classy restaurant run by The Phoenix.

I walked in thinking I would fall asleep on the table (our Boston bodies thought it was midnight, though it was 10pm) but strode out after dinner smiling and happy from the heavenly ceviche, salad, and pasta paired with the playful friendliness of the waiter.

After three phenomenal nights at The Phoenix, we now wave goodbye to its gracious staff, pack up our bags, and head out on the water taxi to Caye Caulker, the next island over.

The water taxi to Caye Caulker is just a few steps down the beach from The Phoenix. On to our next Belize destination!

This water taxi to Caye Caulker is just a few steps down the beach from The Phoenix. Off to our next Belize destination!

We feel relaxed, happy, well taken care of, and grateful for such a glorious start to our Belize Honeymoon.

THANK YOU to The Phoenix for showing us how to take hospitality to the next level. We will take the lessons you taught us back to our classrooms in Boston, where we plan to greet our middle school students next year with the graciousness and honor you modeled.

Readers, what are some exceptional customer service experiences YOU have had?

If you enjoyed this article and are still planning your trip, you can check rates and availability at The Phoenix here, click here for an easy link to all Belize hotel deals, or click here for cheap flights to Belize, as it will give a small commission to help support this site at no extra cost to you. Have a great trip!

We were guests of The Phoenix, but all opinions are our own. 

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  18 Responses to “Our Beautiful Resort in San Pedro, Belize: The Phoenix”

  1. It looks amazing! I am from PHOENIX, AZ, so I am sure I will never forget their name!

  2. Awesome! This is just what you deserve, considering how you give yourselves to the world in you work and play.

  3. Beautiful! And those flowers are fantastic. Sounds like you guys had an amazing time!

  4. I’m an owner of one of the condo’s at the Phoenix. You described your experience beautifully. I just wanted to add something else which also helped in our decision to buy there – the local people. They are honestly friendly and appear to be happy – not just to tourists. We walked around a lot and observed the locals talking to eachother, etc. and that was important to us. We have been to other caribbean islands and did not always find such kind and friendly people.

  5. Amazing! I love the attention to detail and fabulous service.

    Congratulations! Wishing you a lovely honeymoon and many, many years of happiness together 🙂

  6. Lillie–it was so great to meet you and host you and Colin. Love the recap and wonderful pics. Hope the remainder of your honeymoon is a blast!

  7. Wow looks like an amazing spot, congrats!

  8. What a beautiful resort and kind hospitality! This is the stuff you remember.

    I have to admit, Belize has never really been on my radar, but after posts like this, I’m VERY interested.

    Happy Honeymoon!

  9. I am so glad you are experiencing one of the main things that made me fall in love with Belize — the service everywhere is exceptional, and in truth, it is what initially brought me back year after year. Over the years those people have become my friends and I know I’m not unique in my experience.

    And awwww, your photos take me back to my stay at the Phoenix in February. It has rightfully earned its accolades and awards — the property is stunning and the staff is incredibly nice. Since I had to move my trip back a few weeks, I am enjoying living vicariously through you and our chats on FB! Enjoy CC and can’t wait for you to see Ka’ana and Chabil Mar!!

    • Well said, Erin! Stay tuned for more updates, and thanks so much for all your great Belize travel advice.

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