Each time I get asked the question “Have you left Canada in the last 14 days?” I sigh and think of my last trip in February, pre-lockdown – it seems like a lifetime ago.
This trip was especially memorable since I vacationed with some friends in Ambergris Caye Belize at the stunning Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, a Curio Collection hotel by the Hilton. I had been to different areas of Central America before, but this was my first trip to Belize and I was so excited to explore.
Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island, is known for its water sports, scuba diving and Caribbean beaches. Off the eastern shore, the Belize Barrier Reef features famous snorkeling and dive sites such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
A direct flight to Belize from Toronto is fairly quick, and so is the ferry or plane ride to Ambergris Caye. Between the two transportation options, I’d recommend the flight – it brings you right to the centre of the island in 20 minutes.
The week itself was filled with everything I look for in a vacation: perfect weather, home-like accommodations, friendly people, great food, picturesque beaches and fun activities. Read on for all the details.
I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels in my time, and the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club felt just like home. With a variety of accommodations from traditional hotel rooms to three-bedrooms cottages, the decor is exactly how I envision my future beach home: warm, breezy and chic.
The hand-crafted architecture of each accommodation showcases colonial-era detailing, paired with heirloom-quality furnishings made from sustainably harvested local hardwoods. All the while, price value of the accommodations surpasses anything I have experienced before.
During your stay, you can opt to stay and relax by the pool or take a short boat ride to the resort’s private beach that’s equipped with everything from paddle boarding to kayaking to private cabanas, along with incredibly crystal clear water.
The resort boasts a large variety of food options inside a gourmet village. Whether you’re looking for a quick taco for lunch (check out the Taco Shack and get the quesadillas) or a special night out (I loved the sushi at Jyoto and the local dishes at The Verandah), there is something for every craving.
Also, shout out to the Rum Bean for making us custom coffee drinks daily!
Want to explore food options off of the resort grounds? Take a quick golf cart ride across town and you’ll find The Truck Stop, Belize’s first shipping container food truck park with everything from pizza to pad thai.
Between the pool, beach and fitness centre, the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club offers plenty of things to do. The resort’s gym has an outdoor area that overlooks the aquamarine bay too.
An aerial yoga class took me by surprise; the teacher had me doing flips that somehow brought me into a zen-like within an hour.
Of course, the area is known for the snorkeling at the Belize Barrier Reef (the largest living barrier reef in the world!). Hol Chan is stunning and it’s only a 15-minute boat ride away from the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club.
Wading through the rich habitat that thrives with diverse marine life is magical – my guests and I opted for the experience that included Shark Ray Alley, where we got to experience the novelty of swimming alongside friendly nurse sharks and southern stingrays.
Plus, 90 minutes from the resort, you’ll find the incredible Maya Ruins including the Jaguar Temple. The town of San Pedro is adorable and you can rent a golf cart to explore the area. Thankfully, the staff at the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club is happy to help you book an excursion of your choice.
The Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club opened up to tourists again in early December and I’m already dreaming of my next trip back. Interested in a winter escape or planning to take your WFH abroad? The Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club has got you covered. Check out their Instagram for updated information on pricing and packages. Westjet plans to resume nonstop service from YYZ to Belize in November 2021.