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Reviewed April 29, 2012 via mobile

*stayed in March 2011

We're seasoned adventurers who like to explore new places with a little luxury. We thought TB was a nice enough place, with rather basic rooms. Good diving services. (excellent dive master)
But it's isolated. Which means you have to eat at the Pier Restaurant.

Food there was below average, no variety and no healthy choices. Although there were options available very few were available during our stay. This meant eating the same food over and over. 

Even though the 30mins boat trips into San Pedro were offered, they were expensive and at not always convenient times  which was not made clear on the site. 

Staff was nice but overall the experience left us wishing we hadn't stayed for 5 nights. (3 would've been ideal)

If of course, being secluded is your thing and you can put up with the food. Then it's a nice enough place.

Note it was EXTREMELY windy when we went in March. Pleasant enough when you're sleeping at night but during the day it wasn't relaxing to be on the beach. No Sandflies or mosquitos though because of it. Other than diving / kayaking there is very little to due to its location. Also, BRING your own alcohol so you can enjoy drinks in your cabana. 

Room Tip: Choose a room that's far away from the restaurant and pier to avoid noise and obstructed views.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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3  Thank Maxime C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2012

Wow! That's a fairly negative review! We are sorry you did not seem to enjoy your time at Tranquility Bay. Dear TripAdvisor readers, a review like this does in fact serve a good purpose, Tranquility Bay Resort is not for everyone. We advertise ourselves as a semi-secluded getaway. Congratulations you are on the right track as you are reading about your upcoming vacation. It is important to do your homework before you go on vacation. When a guest does not read up on where they are going this is the type of review that results, the guest is unhappy with their vacation and the establishment receives a negative review based on what some may say is an asset. Semi-seclusion is sort of the point of TBR! To ride on our boats to town is $10 usd one way. That is actually less than the water taxi charges for about half of the distance. Our boats go to town based on check-outs, tours and check-ins, it is more difficult to get to town on days when you are taking a dive course. Chartering the boat to town is more expensive, but approximately ¼ of the cost of chartering the local water taxi, we don’t actually make any profit on it as we do it simply as a service for our guests based on availability. The food in our restaurant generally gets great reviews but again it is hard to please everyone. We have a fairly extensive menu and I have trouble remembering a period where we did not have something on the menu that was not out of season. I would admit that we don’t do exceptionally well with vegetarians which may be the case with this review. We are working on our vegetarian options. We are happy the guests enjoyed their Dive course and instructor. Note to people wanting to book three nights: If you Book five night and more, the boat transfers to and from the resort on arrival and departure are complimentary!
Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed April 16, 2012

Over three decades I’ve traveled to 5 continents and stayed in a wide variety of places, ranging from seedy urban youth hostels patronized by heroin addicts to luxury hotels. I’ve recently taken my family to other Central American all-inclusive resorts. From this I’ve learned that you are not disappointed when you get what you expect, and what to expect depends on how well you research a place. TBR was both exactly what I was looking for and what I was expecting, based on their own website and TripAdvsior reviews. Read through all the FAQs on their website.

Unless you live in one of the airline hub cites serving BZE, it takes three planes and a boat (or two planes and two boats) to get to this tiny resort, and everything about it totally reflects this. There is nothing there but coconut palms, water, sand, seagrass, coral reef, and bits of sargassum that drift in with the trade winds. And your own extremely cozy, colorful private beach house that is steps from the water. And a bar and restaurant that serves great drinks and perfectly fine food based on other remote Caribbean or Central American standards, to a constant reggae rhythm. Otherwise, no cars (or golf carts), other resorts, no crowds, no TV, internet, phones. You can walk into your cabana in a dripping wetsuit to use the bathroom. This place is so laid back, you could do “travel light extreme” and stay for a week bringing only a couple bathing suits, three shirts, and your dive gear. Flip-flops are even optional; I wore nothing on my feet for 7 days straight (except my fins). I wore a bating suit to dinner, because I never knew if we'd end up jumping in off the restaurant dock after dinner. To really enjoy it, bring a dive light or other waterproof/submersible flashlight, and look in the water (and at the sand) day and night.

I picked this place because I could get frequent flier seats to BZE for the whole family and I wanted my kids to be able to snorkel from the beach. It is expensive to stay there, but it is very remote, and its unavoidable and constant exposure to a tropical marine environment means that maintenance is undoubtedly a challenge. For us the price was more than worth it. My youngest still isn’t crazy about boats, and this is the only place on Belize where you can snorkel to coral from the shore. My kids were already water rats, but they both really blossomed here. I hate the cliché, but it was truly a priceless experience. We were in or on the water literally 6-8 hours a day the first 5 days. Although the more northern reef in Belize may not be the healthiest, it was a delight for kids too young to know what a truly healthy coral reef should look like. There is still great diversity there, and my 9-yo squealed with excitement through her snorkel on every swim, particularly with the brightly colored juvenile damselfish and wrasses, whether it was a species we’d already seen countless times or not. She loved seeing the tiny shrimps associated with the giant anemones (you can see both the brown and white squat anemone shrimp, and bright purple/translucent Pederson’s cleaner shrimp. We watched the latter clean a squirrelfish, all in water only 6 feet deep). It really paid to stay a week and spend a lot of time looking closely at all the different habitats: the sandy bottom, the different types of seagrass beds, the coral, and one of the best places, right under the dock which holds the restaurant and dive shop. The dock structure attracts a large and permanent multi-species school of chub, young snappers and grunts. A huge green moray lives under one of the piling supports. Barracuda come by in the daytime to snack here, but the best is at night. Lights on the dock bring out big tarpon that come right up below the restaurant to feed, with typically 6-8 spotted eagle rays cruising back and forth at the outer edge of the lights’ penetration. Another patron hooked a tarpon from the restaurant’s veranda on a fly rod, which was exciting for everyone. A highlight for my 11-yo was night-snorkeling in front of the restaurant to see the eagle rays and tarpons up close. Walking the water’s edge at night with a flashlight was also a treat, where we’d find different crabs coming out, and marvel at all the different patterns the little yellow stingrays came in. (Make sure you look for the spotted sea hares – giant sea slugs – in the seagrass at the water’s edge in the evening. Pick one up, give it a gentle squeeze, put it back and watch it squirt bright magenta ink.) We saw something new every day. Even the two days that the trade winds were blowing really hard and we didn’t snorkel much, we saw new things that got washed in from outside the reef. A highlight was a sargassum anglerfish that was blown all the way to the shore. If you plan a trip in the spring, I would definitely advise staying longer than a few days in case the trades blow really hard. Our first five days were much calmer, and the visibility was best. (By the way, nary a mosquito nor sand fly during the spring season with the trade winds blowing constantly.)

The place is super family-friendly and the staff was awesome with the kids, particularly the wait staff in the restaurant. (Have them ask Hill for a Chunky Monkey milkshake.) Carlos the manager is relatively new as a dive instructor, but was really excellent with the kids also. Our kids did the PADI Bubblemaker and Discover Scuba Diving units, and Carlos was really patient. For our 11-yo, the latter was supposed to culminate with an open water dive to 40 feet. We went to a mooring buoy at the outer edge of the reef where he would do a back-roll entry and descend down the mooring line. The swells were pretty big and he was really nervous about the entry, and ended up not being able to descend. The next day Orlando the divemaster gave us a little weight belt so he could easily free dive to the bottom in front of the restaurant and practice clearing his ears. Carlos gave him another shot a couple days later at a spot that was more challenging from a divemaster perspective (inside the channel that cuts through the reef), with a bottom at only 20 feet. This time it worked out perfectly, and we had one ebullient little boy who had been waiting to scuba dive since he was 3. For my wife and I, it was nice to be able to dive the outer reef after a 5-10 min boat ride, surface interval back at the resort, then do a second dive after another 5-min run. Both kids thought this topped all our previous vacations.

We still have a lot of frequent flier miles to burn, so as soon as the dates open up, we’ll be planning a return trip to TBR next year!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank CDubDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2012

Thanks for the great review! Look forward to having you back at the resort for some night snorkeling!

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed April 10, 2012

Remember that Chorus from Cheers? "Where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came....."

During our week In this intimate setting of warm sun, coconut palms waving in tropical breezes and beautiful azure water, the TBR mgmt and staff treat guests family (in a good way). Their smiles are contagious and no reasonable request is left unsatisfied. As for the Cheers reference, the friendly staff and the small size of the resort create an atmosphere where guests can relax and share life, if they choose. Each morning, we enjoyed new fishing, diving and travel stories shared between tables by smiling guests while enjoying fresh squeezed juices and tastey breakfast fare.

Before arrival, i was concerned about the logistics of getting to the resort. Not to worry. We walked to the Tropic Air desk at BZE and told them we were going to SanPedro and then on to TBR. The rest was effortless. Ask to sit in the jump seat (co-pilot) on the plane. It's a great view and the landing is a blast.

The queen size beds were surprisingly comfortable. We're accustomed to a larger mattress, but slept very well at the resort. If your A/C has a recirculation setting, use it. The room will stay much cooler and dryer.

Hats off to the cooks! The food at the restaraunt was wonderful. We ate all our meals there except for the day we spent shopping in SanPedro. The menu had excellent variety and given the monopoly, reasonable prices. All the fish and shrimp dishes were delicious. Don't miss the coconut pie and coconut ice cream - YUM!

If you're a diver, it's just a short (<10 minutes) trip to Basil Canyons (and other sites) just outside the reef with the TBR divemasters. The coral and sponge are healthy & beautiful and fish were abundant. The all-day trip via Amigos del Mar to the Blue Hole / Lighthouse Reef is worth the effort. The Blue Hole is one of those "bucket list" dives, but the Half Moon Wall dive was i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e; maybe the best dive I've ever made. Amigos has some mixed reviews on tripadvisor, but I found their boat to be clean and comfortable and their guides were personable and attentive. The TBR staff made all the arrangements for me.

Fishing and fish / ray sighting from the TBR dock seemed to be best later in the evening after the restaraunt closed and most guests retired for the night. The resort offers several options for fishing trips. We didn't catch the "big one", but enjoyed our sunset fishing adventure.

Don't bother taking your PC. The satellite internet connection is painfully s-l-o-w. Don't expect to check your email.

The resort setting is beautiful, quiet, relaxing..... but secluded. For you Type-As that find too much relaxation to be stressful, stay in touch with whoever is manning the front desk and ask when the resort boats are scheduled to make the trip to SanPedro or ask about other activities.

Room Tip: #9 is a wonderful 2BR. A/C in both BRs was powerful. Great view of the beach & water. #7 has two beds. One is in a private BR with A/C; the other, in an open loft - no A/C, but a great breeze and ceiling fan. Great view of the beach & water.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank OKzhnalTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2012

Thanks for the great review! I loved cheers! lol!! Look forward to seeing you at the resort again soon!

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Reviewed April 5, 2012

We stayed here for a week earlier this year and our experiences were quite mixed. Having read some reviews we knew not to expect luxury, we are quite used to staying in budget places so didn't think it would be a problem. However given the price we paid (which certainly wasn't budget) we expected a little more.

The towels were stained and full of holes, sheets also had holes, the towel rail was hanging off the wall, sofa felt damp. But the WORST thing of all was the lighting in both the cabanas and the restaurant/bar which was horrible. A really bright, stark light that made everywhere feel an unpleasant place to linger after dark. This was especially a shame in the restaurant/bar which with just a little TLC (and not much money) could have been really nice. As it was we ate and left promptly as it just wasn't a nice place to sit and relax. The food was also mediocre at best and wasn't super cheap so didn't feel like great value. You can walk to the neighbouring resort (which we did a few nights for dinner) where the food is a bit nicer and the environment is so much better.

The saving grace for this place is it's location. It is gorgeous - super quiet, right on the beach with plenty of hammocks and beach chairs to relax on. To walk out of your cabana and be right on this beautiful beach is amazing. The staff were also very friendly and nothing was too much trouble.

Overall would I stay again? Probably not.

Also upon leaving I was asked not to put anything negative on trip advisor - I wonder if this accounts for the overwhelmingly positive reviews??

Room Tip: Go for the budget room - much cheaper for the same level of accommodation. You are just a few more steps from the beach
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Curfrine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2012

Thanks for the compliment on our website! We are proud that none of the pictures are photoshoped and what you see is what you get. We are a laid back Caribbean beach resort. I think Hemmingway probably would have approved. TBR is the way the Caribbean used to be and probably should be.If you are looking for a fancy resort with slate and stainless steel TBR is not it. I would like to apologize for the towels, the holes where unexcusable and they have been replaced. I would also agree that our location is our true asset!

Cheers,
Carlos

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Reviewed April 3, 2012

Recently spent an outstanding week of treking in Guatamala and Belize with Wildrness Inquiry. We stayed at some nice hotels and resorts and at a private home in the beach in Hopkins. We had decided that after all that exercise, we wanted to relax before flying home and we found the perfect spot at Tranquility Bay. Right on the beach, clean and neat casitas with chaise lounges outside our door. We were 5 minutes from the Great Barrier Reef by kayak for awesome snorkeling. Isabel and Carlos are gracious hosts and work very hard to please their guests. The highlight of the resort is the restaurant, right on the water with fish swimming under the dock. Albert and Hill are excellent servers and the ladies in the kitchen are very talented. The food was delicious, I had fresh fish everyday! We will be back for a week in 2013!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank shoreman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TBR-Manager, Manager at Tranquility Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2012

Thanks for the great review! Look forward to seeing you next year!
Cheers,
Carlos

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