Laid-Back Tropical Resort along Belize Coast
"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree," wrote Romantic poet Samuel Coleridge in his famous 18th-century poem Kubla Khan, which eventually inspired the look of Xanadu Island Resort. Six monolithic domes with thatched roofs sit on the shores near the tip of Belize’s Ambergris Caye. They circle around the resort's freshwater pool, and are adjoined by wooden decks overlooking the pool and its surrounding coconut palms. Tropical gardens, palapas, hammocks, and a long pier jutting into the ocean recall Coleridge's imagined paradise at this resort, named #3 on TripAdvisor's Top 25 Hotels in Central America.
Inside the domed casitas, earth tones matching the palette of the island decorate the one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites. Each includes a full kitchen furnished with cooking utensils and modern appliances. Units face either the Caribbean or the resort's gardens and Banyan tree, and all have easy access to the beach where chairs, towels, and barbecue equipment are provided.
The beach also has a private, 350-foot pier that juts out into the ocean, where the tour operators pick up guests for scuba-diving trips of nearby Mayan ruins. With the included golf-cart rental, you can also quickly head over to the island's only town, San Pedro, located just minutes away.
Ambergris Caye, Belize: Small Island near World’s Second-Largest Barrier Reef
Recognized by Travel + Leisure magazine as one of the World’s Best Islands, Ambergris Caye sits just off the northeastern coast of mainland Belize. Only about 25 miles long and 1 mile wide, the island packs a lot of natural sights into its small landscape, including low sand ridges, lagoons, and mangrove swamps. It only takes a 10-minute boat to reach the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest barrier reef, home to a wide variety of fish, corals, and sea creatures.
The town of San Pedro is situated on Ambergris’s southern end. Formerly a small fishing village, it’s now home to various boutiques, where you can shop for artisan crafts ranging from ziricote woodcarvings to Guatemalan jewelry. Though it’s the island’s commercial center, San Pedro tends to have a relaxed vibe like the rest of Ambergris; most of the traffic here consists of golf carts and bicycles.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.