Close to a year behind on this, but my husband and I made our third visit down to Ambergris Caye for my birthday in December '08!
Note: please excuse the poor quality of many of the pictures--they were taken with my old camera!
This time, Victoria House was all booked up (we booked last minute), so we stayed at Xanadu Island Resort.
We were very pleased with our stay here! We were upgraded at arrival to the 2-bedroom Dolphin Suite, which takes up the entire third (top) floor of one of the buildings.
It was very spacious and well-appointed, with a view over the tops of palm trees to the sea and a large wrap-around balcony with hammock, dining area with table and chairs, and another seating area. The photos I took of the room/deck came out terribly, but here are a couple of our view!
There's a lovely pool hidden in lush foliage with plenty of cushy lounge chairs...
...and a nice beach (though only a few beach chairs).
The property has no restaurant/bar but it's within walking/biking distance from town, and there are a couple of options right down the beach. The service was excellent and so friendly! My husband had let them know in advance that it was my birthday, and when we arrived we found a several beers (by the time the below picture was taken, all but one had vanished down our throats) and a "happy birthday" postcard in the fridge.
They also helped my husband order a huge bouquet of flowers for me from the mainland (apparently there are no flower shops on Ambergris), which was apparently no small or simple feat (the flowers got their own plane ticket from Belize City--so sweet of Bob)! When we got back to our room after breakfast at Victoria House, these had magically appeared...
Overall, I would definitely stay here again--it was lovely and the value is excellent! Victoria House is still my all-time favorite place to stay on the island, though.
We rented a golf cart for the entire stay, which I highly recommend--it's great to be able to explore the island at will, and so much fun to drive around!
A few tips from this trip...
-Even though it has a tropical climate, Ambergris was not really hot in mid-December. If the sun was behind a cloud and the wind was blowing, it was almost a little chilly. Still great for laying on the beach as long as the sun was out, but not as hot as one might expect in Central America. It's an excellent time of year to go if you don't like the weather to be too hot, though! (Just make sure to bring a jacket/something to cover your legs if you're in an open boat--got pretty nippy out on the open ocean on our fishing expedition.) And it was fun to see the Caribbean-style Christmas decorations!
-We didn't do much in terms of excursions/activities this time, mostly spent our time exploring the island via golf cart.
I got a massage at Sol Spa (a birthday gift from my wonderful friend Robin!), which was fantastic. http://www.thephoenixbelize.com/SolSpa.aspx
And we took a 1/2 day fishing trip (not really my thing, but DH enjoyed it and caught a few fish!) with Belize Flats Fishing. http://www.belizeflatsfishing.com
-Palapa Bar, north of "the cut", is such a fun place to relax and hang out. It's out on a jetty over the water, has yummy drinks, and live music on Sundays. They also have inner tubes if you want to float around and have drinks lowered to you in the water! Can't believe this was the first time we've noticed this place!
People bring their dogs to the bar....this one took an immediate liking to Bob, squeezing in between us to cuddle up to him! I couldn't resist capturing the sweet moments they shared :)
Gorgeous sunset views as well!
More shots from Palapa Bar (yes, we spent a LOT of time here during this trip!):
-Waruguma has really yummy huge lobster burritos. It's just a tiny shopfront on center street, but not hard to find.
-George's Kitchen is great for an inexpensive but delicious breakfast (the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich with hash browns is particularly yummy!)
-My favorite restaurants on the island are still:
Caliente on the beach in town--the lobster here is fantastic (and the prices are the best on Ambergris)!
Palmilla at Victoria House (definitely try the pecan-crusted grouper and the chocolate lava cake).
Also love Palmilla for breakfast - we ate both breakfast and dinner here on my birthday, and walked around the grounds for a bit in the morning!
Yummy lobster omelette and Bob's more traditional breakfast:
Must take picture with the infamous Jet of "Jet's Bar" in the domestic terminal of the Belize City airport (BZE)!