Monday, September 14, 2009

La Isla Bonita

Last year, we went to Europe. The process of booking the trip involved six million hours of internet research, hemming, hawing (whatever that is), stalking and totally sweating airfare. This was because we had a budget.

This time, I am ashamed/liberated to say, we don't really have much of a budget, because we don't really have any money! Friends of my parents generously contributed a shocking amount of money to our honeymoon, and we figure we'll pay the rest with the money we get at the wedding. I know this doesn't sound particularly responsible, but hey - I ain't a role model, it is what it is. (I should say, however, that I do have enough savings that I can cover the trip if I have to. No matter what, we're not letting this trip languish on our credit cards.)

I mentioned before that we were debating between a bunch of different ideas, among them Miami Beach and Belize. In the last few weeks, we decided on Belize. Nay, we didn't "decide," we got super excited about Belize!

My friendor DOC went to Belize on her honeymoon and loved it.

However, she also told me a sort of alarming story about her first scuba diving trip, which happened on the honeymoon: at the point when she got to "then I looked up and saw how far above us the boat was" I decided I was probably never going to go scuba diving.

When she got to the part about a hand-signal communication breakdown with her new husband, resulting in a near panic attack, I decided I was never going scuba diving.

Anyhow, Belize is a big scuba destination, especially because of the incredible, beautiful barrier reef off the coast of the country.

But I understand there is lots to do in Belize outside of scuba. Thank, god! Yeck.

After a ton (but not six million hours) of internet research, mostly on, we decided to choose between two resorts in Belize: Matachica near San Pedro in Amergris Caye

And Victoria House, which is also on Ambergris Caye.

You may remember that I have a serious thing for swimming pools, especially infinity pools. Especially infinity pools on the beach! So you won't be surprised to learn that we chose Victoria House.

The pool wasn't the deciding factor though. Like a true former grad student/executive assistant extraordinaire, I gathered a ton of information (the grad student in me) and made a chart (the exec assistant in me) comparing Matachica and Victoria House. I put everything in there, from "free bottle of chilled champagne," to "unlimited use of kayaks." I compared which season we would be in while at each hotel, as our honeymoon will be on the cusp of high season and it varies by resort. Finally, I compared prices.

Ultimately, the differences in amenities were not significant, but the price difference was. Victoria House is beautiful, offers just about the same kind and amount of stuff as Mata Chica, but the price was a lot less.

Here is what we get at the Victoria House:

  • We're staying in a "Plantation Room" which has a private entrance and patio, a view of the gardens, the pool and the beach. Each bed has a canopy and the rooms have central A/C.
  • welcome cocktail
  • bottle of champagne
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner in their restaurant(s)
  • his n hers massages
  • snorkel trip
  • unlimited use of kayaks
  • dinner served on the beach or next to the pool
  • all taxes and gratuities included
  • they take care of reserving the puddle-jumper that gets you from Belize City to Ambergris Caye
Sounds goooooood, huh?

I called up today and asked for the price of the 5-night package. The operator quoted me about $2,800.00 for five nights, for two people. However, when I called back, I was told that for five nights we get a sixth free! We do have to pay for our food on the sixth day, but that's cool. So for about $3,000, give or take, we're spending six nights in La Isla Bonita!

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