Friday, July 3, 2015

3 tips for guests!! Free/fun stuff to get before you come...best coffee options....avoiding seaweed woes!

Based on some recent guest feedback, I am throwing out there three tips that are totally unrelated, but may improve your trip :)

1.) Before you get here, while you are planning your fun, I just found out something interesting this week. BTB--Belize Tourism Board, which is the board who asks for your passport info, and who makes the magazines you see, and promotes tourism here, collects money with each hotel guest. Part of what they give back, is a FREE service to incoming guests.....they will send you a bunch of information to your home for FREE if you sign up here:

https://www.travelbelize.org/request-brochure
(you know you want to put out the Belize magazines on your coffee table so people will ask about it, then you get to talk about your trip! Or, just put it in the bathroom where it is sure to be read.)

You can also get newsletters about what's happening in Belize by signing up with your email here:

https://www.travelbelize.org/newsletter

And, you can actually FOR FREE call them and ask them any questions you want (and enjoy the charming Belize accent!)...the only caveat is you get 10 minutes per call and then you have to call back :) But, this is a really nice service if you have some exotic questions that you can't find answers to! Here is the FREE number!

Toll free info--from the US--1-800-624-0686

These are the guys that came up with the cute logo for the country!


2.) I will try to be as nice as I can for #2 :).....Guatemala is known for their coffee, right? I am not sure if this is something Belize is really known for. What I know is, there are coffee bags available at all the stores. I have tried all.of.them. Some are really expensive and some are cheap, but this has little to do with the taste. BIG TIP here.....I am noticing a lot of guests buy the Belize coffee in the green bag, and then leave almost the whole bag in their cabana when they leave.
I decided to do a PSA and announce that no one should buy coffee unless they are SURE that it is sealed properly in the bag, like never opened. I notice that some of the stores stock Belize coffee that was ground, then put back in the bag, but by the time it gets in the consumers hands, it is often.....quite sour (ie: gross.) I notice at Wallen's you can grind your own right there, this works! Otherwise, here is my suggestion, as someone who has tried them all.....one of the cheaper varieties available here looks like this:


That is BZ price, so it is about $5.50 US for this bag. It is IMHO the best tasting coffee and also one of the cheapest. You can also get fresh ground at Above Grounds or Brewed Awakenings. But nothing makes me sadder than thinking a guest will experience this... "BELIZE COFFEE YES!! I AM GOING TO ENJOY THIS ON MY VERANDA! Waaaaait a minute,....this coffee is totally gross and has now ruined my false memory of what the morning would be...." you get the picture. So, buy from Wallen's and grind yourself, or buy the blue bag anywhere (it's always sealed!) or buy from the coffee shops. :)

3.) We are not out of the woods on this Sargassum thing yet. I am so sick of this seaweed that when I see it rolling in I can't get my eyes to stop rolling. It is NOT THAT BAD since last winter, but it IS bad enough that the shores haven't been totally clear in a while, and just enough of it rolls in that we have had to deal with raking it every morning. We feel terrible when guests come, ready to jump in the Caribbean, and have to dodge seaweed. (It is not just here, it is everywhere, and people are working on this issue.) Please note our back up plan if you are dying to get in the water....

Here are Some Open-to-Everyone Pools, Bars, and Daytime Fun!!

---Fusion Beach is a wonderful, Miami-beach style pool and bar, open to the public, just a short walk north on the beach. (walk to the beach and turn left, you will run into it!)

---Tranquilo is a bar on Placencia Caye, known as the place to be to watch sunsets! You can float around on rafts with cupholders there. If you want to go, walk to the pier and call Jeff at 620 7763, tell him you are at the pier and want a pick up. The boat “3 Things” will take you on a 2 minute boat ride to the bar. Free sunset shots too! It is the opposite side of the island so no seaweed.

--Belize Ocean Club, about 25 minutes north on the peninsula, offers shuttles throughout the day to their resort, where you can kayak, paddleboard, play volleyball, or use their great pool. Sometimes the seaweed will be worse one place vs. the other, so this is an option for a day when it gets too bad here. Free Daily Shuttles from Placencia to Belize Ocean Club depart from Belize Ocean Club's village office (between Mojo and office supply) at 10.30, 2.30, 7.30 and 9.30.
--Taking excursions out to Silk or Ranguana Cayes is another great idea to see what the shores are really supposed to be like!! You can schedule these throughout the village at any of the tour booths.

Mother Nature at times can try to ruin a good time, but we can still make the best of it!!

Again let me emphasize, don't panic if you are on your way here, it has been at manageable levels, but aesthetically, it could be better :-/. Here is a picture from Ambergris Caye, from San Pedro Scoop's blog, but it is a perfect example of how most of the shores have been looking--




3 comments:

  1. Coffee is the most important menu for my breakfast. It's give me a lot of energy. Are you know coffee cuts your diabetes risk by almost half. It's worked for me. Roasted Coffee.

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  2. Laura! I have been reading your blog for the past days now as we are thinking of a change in environment, pace, lifestyle...just can't decide where to. I love your blog!!! So straightforward. The good and "the bad". Thank you for sharing your experience! Your beach hotel looks so beautiful! I can't wait to visit!

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