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Reviewed 18 March 2018

Ambergris Caye was nice, but Tranquility Bay was isolated - about 40 minute boat ride away. They sent a fairly small boat with no roofing or coverage for people or luggage. If it is raining, everything gets wet and feels like a very rough boat ride. Since we went in October, we knew it was off-season but still expected some amenities. They couldn't help that the water was rough and we couldn't snorkel at all. But, other than a short time period allotted for meals, their office and restaurant/bar was closed. They gave us a menu but didn't have any of the desserts on it. It was miserable and not a nice place other than a pretty beach. Without good weather, the beach was no good to us. The food was expensive and so so . Not ever going back.

Stayed: October 2017
5  Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2018

I visited in March of 2015 and was remiss in not reviewing it then. Having been to three other resorts since, I wanted to capture its highlights.
My strongest memory is that this is the first resort that, as I pulled away from the dock and the staff waved us off, a tear literally came to my eye, something I cannot say about many other vacation destinations.
The small number of guests makes for such a special experience. We loved the food, every meal was delicious. We loved the snorkeling -- how we could either swim or kayak and anchor at our destination.
The excursion to the reef - the marine sanctuary was "stand out".
My only cautions were that the week we were there, it was very very windy. In retrospect we were fortunate it only rained heavily part of one day. Also, I received many many sand fly bites, and its the only reason I hesitate to return. If you are prone to sand fly bites, come armed with the very strongest repellant, and use it, and sit in hammocks at your own risk.

Stayed: April 2017
Thank Irene M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2018

I chose this place because I am not a strong swimmer, and I like to snorkel off the beach. T think this would work better during a different season, as the wind in February made the current quite strong and difficult for me. This did not bother my husband, who is a stronger swimmer, but it made snorkeling less pleasurable for me. We took a trip to Mexico Rocks and ended up drift snorkeling, which worked well. The good thing about the wind is that we saw literally no sand flies or mosquitoes.
We enjoyed our little one bedroom house, which was comfortable and roomy. We didn’t need the air conditioning in the bedroom, as it was cool at night. The dining room was comfortable and the food was tasty but expensive. The cook made vegetarian meals for me that were quite good, especially the vegetable curry. We also took advantage of the happy hour special prices every evening.
There were delays being picked up when we arrived and when we went into San Pedro one afternoon. This seemed to be the result of having only one person doing all the trips.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank KMSChicago_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

My goal with this place was complete serenity. The idea was to see the sunrise, eat breakfast, snorkel to my heart's content, watch the sunset, maybe photograph the stars at night, then repeat the next day. I did this one on Lady Elliot Island, off the coast in Queensland, and my hope was that Tranquility Bay was half as good but a lot closer.

The resort does have the location. Ambergris Key is already so populated that any more tourists could potentially sink it, but Tranquility Bay is far enough north that you're almost to yourselves. A few other tourists do wander in, which is why there are locks on the rooms, but not too many. The snorkeling is pretty good, if you take a kayak (only for guests) out to one of the farther buoys. We saw nurse sharks and rays, along with tons of corals and fish. In most places the water is shallow enough to stand. Sunrises are very nice here, and as a photographer I found a new angle each day.

One note about the beach: in the pictures the water meets the sand but when we were there, there was several feet of seaweed in between. The staff raked a lot of it into the sea each day, but the effort was mostly in vain. Also, there's a huge amount of garbage on the beach. The staff removes most of it from their own beach, but you only have to walk a few feet in either direction to be confronted with a very sad state. Since this isn't the hotel's property, it's not really their fault, but I would have loved to see someone clear this up rather than wait for the sea to reclaim it. It's really quite disgusting to witness literally tons of garbage pile up. I've travelled to many other beach destinations, and I've never seen a beach so disgusting.

The rooms are good and have air conditioning in the bedrooms. I found the stairs to the top floor a bit interesting. They weren't planned well and at the top they realized that there wasn't enough space, so the final few steps were very thin and allowed an easy tumble if not careful.

The restaurant was pretty good, if a bit expensive. The menus are the same each day, but I had nothing to complain about with the food.

We were very worried about sand flies before arriving, but never had a problem with them. It was very windy the entire time, and I understand that sand flies aren't as much of a problem on windy days.

Our main complaint though, was with how the resort is run. There are two guides who handle snorkeling/diving trips and fishing. They also handle pickups and drop-offs. Since there are new guests arriving and departing each day, this often means that there's only one guide who can do trips. This guide gets booked very quickly.

Note that most of the top snorkeling destinations are not close to the resort. They're closer to San Pedro town. We did a fishing trip, and booked a simple reef trip for our kids. However, the guide decided to turn this into a deep sea fishing trip, and both our kids nearly hurled from the high seas until I ordered him back to the resort. In fairness to him, he later rectified this by taking us out for reef fishing at night.

Another problem was the snorkeling gear. First, the guides are the ones who rent the equipment, but due to trips and pickups they're almost never there. I had brought my own mask, but I needed fins. Unfortunately, they hardly have any fins and didn't have any my size. They handed me a pair of diving fins and called them "adjustable", and with nothing else to use I foolishly put them on. They proceeded to tear my toes apart and I was out of commission for nearly two days. I've never been to a snorkeling resort that didn't have fins for me. I recommend anyone else going there to just bring their own fins.

The reception staff seemed tired whenever we asked a question. On one morning, the water was shut off, and it took about an hour to figure out that we weren't lying. I felt guilty every time I had to ask a question, which I shouldn't have.

Overall, I think this resort has promise, but it needs a lot of work in terms of how it's run. My recommendations to the resort:
- Work with the other resorts to clean up the garbage along the full stretch of beach
- Have reception rent out snorkeling equipment
- Buy more snorkeling equipment, especially different sized fins
- Hire someone who does only drop-offs + pickups
- Consider investing in a bigger boat or using a different company for deep sea fishing

One note to other travelers: please do not take the conch shells. They're very easy to find when snorkeling, but the species is nearly endangered due to people taking shells. Sadly, I witnessed locals at the resort next door harvesting them, but we can at least try to do our parts by not taking any more.

Room Tip: The rooms are mostly the same
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank kirispupis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018

This was our 3rd stay at Tranquility Bay. My husband is an avid fisherman and can fly fish unguided for bonefish, permit, and tarpon. This trip he caught lots of bones included some huge ones and got to cast to a few permit and lots of tarpon (they school around the dock at night) but couldn't get them to bite.

I'm a diver and love to snorkel and it's awesome to be able to snorkel from shore. Best day out I saw several nurse sharks, 4 kinds of rays including eagle rays feeding in the sand, a huge green moray, squid, gray and queen angels, schools of juvenile damsels and sergeant majors, an octopus, plus the usual cast of characters.

Tranquility Bay is a splurge for us but the included breakfasts, shore snorkeling, and unguided fly fishing plus the availability of the Budget Traveler's Suite makes it a good value.

The Budget Traveler's Suite doesn't face the beach, although you can see it through the windows and from the porch. It's a largish studio-style room (so ac throughout, not just in the bedroom) with a kitchenette, seating area, comfortable king bed, separate bathroom, and 2 geckos, at half the cost of the next smallest cabin.

We shopped in San Pedro before heading north and prepared most of our own meals aside from the included breakfasts. We especially loved the grilled lobster wraps in the bar/restaurant. Note that the kitchenette has only a sink, fridge, coffee pot, and microwave - no oven or stove top. It has a few place settings but no cooking implements or larger bowls; I think the kitchen staff would loan items if you asked nicely. We packed along a knife (checked with my husband's fishing gear), a silicone steamer, and a silicone bowl and lid (unbreakable and almost no weight).

Our cabin had a comfortable bed and great linens, fairly new coverings on the stuffed furniture, some things a bit rough around the edges but clean and comfortable. Internet wasn't available in the cabins while we were there this trip but was sufficient in the bar/restaurant and tables on the deck.

Staff was friendly and helpful. A cold snap hit at the beginning of our week and dive staff wanted to wait to go out until it warmed up; it didn't warm up significantly which meant we didn't end up diving; guess I should have advocated for myself harder. I felt a little let down about that but knew I'd be diving the next week from Caye Caulker. I'd have picked 4.5 instead of 5 dots for that reason had it been an option.

Tranquility Bay is a unique place and a great fit for us and we're likely to return.

Room Tip: We love the Budget Traveler's Suite
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank hopefulist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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