You’ve doubtless seen tantalizing photos of people sitting on a beach in Belize, but the reality is that the country is a better diving and snorkeling destination than a beach one in most locations on the mainland. At Chabil Mar Villas in Placencia you can take those beach lounge chair shots to post online and make everyone jealous though, on the white sand or on a gorgeous pier going out into the water.
The town of Placencia is the epitome of laid-back Belize. It’s a little village with a couple of streets. When my daughter had to go to the clinic there to check out a fever, the charge at reception was “whatever you can pay.” You can ride to town on a bike from Chabil Mar in a few minutes, so you’re not tethered to the resort for dining and drinking.
This resort isvthe best of both worlds for families and couples who don’t need to be waited on hand and foot. If you want it, there’s a restaurant by the beach and you can order snacks and drinks poolside or on the pier. If you want a romantic dinner for two in a specific spot, they can arrange that too. The colorful bar here is a great place to gather at the end of the day and share fish stories: the diving kind or the fishing kind.
Nobody’s going to feel hurt if you don’t take advantage of these things every day though, because each unit at Chabil Mar comes with a full kitchen. Not some little “extended stay” hotel one with two burners and a microwave. Here you get a full fridge, full stove/oven, all the utensils, and loads of small appliances. You get a real dining table to eat at, some comfortable living area furniture to lounge on, and a washing machine for when you start running out of clean clothing.
Rooms are furnished in different styles, most making use of local touches like hand-crafted hardwood items and bright artwork from the Garifuna communities. Configurations and rates vary by size, bedrooms, and whether there is a view of the bay. There are just 20 in all, including a honeymoon suite. All have flat-screen TVs with cable and DVD player, safes, quality linens, good ec0-friendly toiletries, that full kitchen set-up, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Guests can borrow bikes, kayaks, or a golf cart.
The resort’s beach area stretches for 400 feet, with lounge chairs that have a pull-up shade, and there are also two infinity pools on the grounds to lounge around. A barbeque area with gas grills is for guest use.
Staffers are there to set up excursions for you though and there are a lot to choose from in this region. On the water there are trips to go snorkeling, diving, birdwatching, or fishing. On land Placencia is not far from multiple nature attractions and adventure activities. Cave tubing, jungle hikes, Mayan ruins exploration, and horseback riding are just a few of the options.
Rates start at $250 for a one bedroom unit and go up to about $650 for the largest in high season. Check the packages page though for deals that include various activities you may want to try. Book direct to work out the best plan and transportation to Placencia.
Review by editor Tim Leffel. Photos courtesy of the resort.