We recently went to Ambergris Caye with a group of friends to celebrate a friends birthday and had an amazing time. North Beach Retreat, the owners, and Manny were certainly the highlight. This location is a bit away from town (~45 mins via golf cart) but that honestly made it even better. Feeling so removed was relaxing, but at the same time we could get to where ever we needed to go.
Highlights begin with the Puppers--Gringo, the property is actually his, he was there when the owners bought the property, and he is such a good boy; Niko, who is ready to accept any scraps you bring him; and Bailey who loves to play fetch and studiously protects the beach from all pelicans!
Next is Manny, who is super nice and helpful. There aren't enough platitudes to describe him. You definitely feel taken care of and are in good hands with Manny around.
The FOOD-so good! The best meals we had while visiting Belize were the tasty and filling breakfasts (those fry-jacks, I need the recipe), and a locally made dinner that was delivered to us.
And, lastly, the beach bon-fire that the hosts and Manny built for us.
All in all, our stay here was perfect.
We can’t hype this place enough!
Our room (beach cabana) was beautiful - very spacious, comfortable bed, lots of windows and natural light. You also have your own fridge. And the room was right on the beach, which is lovely.
The property is amazing - there are gorgeous birds flying around and four adorable dogs. There are kayaks available so you can paddle out, not very far at all, and there is fish and other sea life to see. Manny took us out lobster hunting/snorkeling and we saw so many different types of fish (there was snorkelling gear available there for us to use, or you could bring your own). I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to stay on the island. We were so happy we chose to book North Beach Retreat for Christmas as we wanted something really special that wasn’t insanely expensive. This was exactly that.
As an added bonus, Kristin and Sam are amazing cooks. The free breakfast is delicious and your cup won’t be empty for longer than a minute before someone is offering more coffee. We were treated to the best cinnamon buns we’ve had in our lives. We were lucky enough to be there for Christmas dinner and the feast they cooked for that was insanely good also.
Yes, there are mosquitos, but you will find this anywhere on the island. Just take normal precautions i.e use bug spray or wear long clothes. There are mosquito coils provided in your room and Sam/Kristin/Manny are vigilant about keeping coils lit in the dining area. The cabana we stayed in was well designed and airtight, with bug screen windows, so it was only the odd mozzy that got in (probably due to us leaving the door open a bit too long). We slept with a coil going just in case. I HATE mosquitos and am very paranoid about them but I found the situation to be totally manageable.
The location is a bit of a drive from the main town but that’s sort of the point. It’s private, quiet and calm. You can drive to the main town for a night in the hustle bustle if you want, and then drive back up north to sleep somewhere calm and beautiful and wake up to sunrise on the beach. Best of both worlds.
The only thing to be mindful of before booking is that in the cabana (not sure about other rooms) the toilet is not separated from the bedroom by a door. It is semi-open. We are a couple who have been together for a few years now (through sickness and health haha) so this wasn’t much of an issue for us but if you’re a bit shy about it you could just ask your roommate to enjoy the beach for a bit while you do your thing. Not a big deal.
My teen son and I spent 3 nights in the tree house at Sam and Kristin’s. They, along with Manny (property caretaker), were the perfect hosts. The property speaks for itself, beautiful grounds, breathtaking views. Yes, it’s way north...but so worth it. Get the golf cart rental and get up there!
I had mentioned in a pre-arrival email that I was hoping for a traditional Belizean breakfast one day...and I got it the first morning: fresh fry jacks, eggs, beans, bacon, fresh fruit, and french press coffee. Have you made your reservation yet??
Their place is about a 20min drive from Secret Beach, which made it easy to get there before the rush and easy to get back.
Sam and Kristin offer dinner, which we joined them for, for one night. We were treated to bbq chicken and veggie kabobs with coconut and cilantro rice. They are excellent cooks, great to have a choice of dinner on the property.
We were assisted with a snorkeling excursion, and Sam’s recommendation was excellent.
I slept like a baby, the bed was comfortable and the pillow was perfection (proclaimed pillow snob).
North Beach Retreat was an exemplary way to start our Belizean Cayes adventure.
To quote Schwarzenegger, “I’ll be back.”
Sam and Kristen’s property is beyond beautiful, private and well kept. Furthermore, they are exceptional hosts and tended to our every need without hesitation. The rooms are all very nice, cool (in both senses of the word) and clean interior. The views from all rooms are beyond ridiculous beautiful and getting up early for the sunrise is Instagram worthy.
You’ll have absolutely everything you need here. The included breakfast is amazing. Fresh fruit and freshly made breakfast and access to fresh clean water. They will accommodate you as well for dinner and they are extremely capable cooks. They’ll even put on a fire with smores on the beach followed by drinking fresh coconut milk, harvested directly from the palms on the beach.
Thanks for everything Kristen and Sam!
My wife and I stayed here for 4 days with some friends celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. Kristin and Manny are wonderful hosts and very nice people with whom to spend your time in Belize. We played cards, Farkle, etc. and just visited. The view is idyllic and the rooms are quite nice. We were allowed to use the facilities (pool, bar, restaurant) next door at Sapphire Beach which is a nice perk. Kristin and Manny helped us set up some great excursions and Manny even took one of our group fishing in the afternoon and cooked the fish for dinner. Wonderful! Kristin even surprised our friends with champagne for their anniversary the last night.