Caye Caulker: A go slow getaway!

Caye Caulker is a gorgeous island, which, I fell in love with the minute I stepped off the boat. A combination of clear water, white sand and welcoming locals, I knew I would have a wonderful stay before I’d even left the pier.

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It’s popular with backpackers looking to sample the laid back atmosphere of Belize but reluctant to pay the expensive prices on nearby Caye Ambergris. Luckily for me, this beautiful island has the best of both worlds with a great mix of budget/luxury accommodation and eats. If you have read my previous blogs you will know that I like my luxury!

Don’t come here if you like a fast paced lifestyle, as nobody is in a rush on Caye Caulker! The laid back living was just what I needed, and if I didn’t have Machu Picchu pre- booked in Peru I would have definitely changed my flights to stay longer!

Diving and snorkeling are popular here due to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef and world-class dive sites like the Blue Hole Natural Monument. It’s a great place for experienced divers and keen fishermen!

Lots of people come here just to relax on the beach, get a tan, eat food, and spend the evenings dancing at one of the reggae bars. All you need is a good book, a pair of sandals and sarong! Smart attire is most definitely not needed on this island! Laze around, feed some Tarpons and swing in some hammocks, that’s what island life is all about!

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Belize-Liberty Children’s Home

Travel is the sweetest engagement to which my whole life is blessed but it is the greatest privilege to help people in need along the way.

Unfortunately, vulnerable children around the world are left susceptible to capture and torture, however education and support gives these struggling children the means to create their own freedom. Education can shift an impossible current, free people and change the entire nation. Every child deserves a safe, loving permanent home, that’s a basic human need.

We are a well-intentioned international community so attuned to meeting immediate needs with measurable results, but we are blind to what might come in the next century? There are obvious repercussions of millions of children growing up without so much as primary and secondary education and these habits tend to duplicate as we reproduce.

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing an inspirational lady- Ms. Agatha Valentine. Ms. Agatha has been the director of Liberty since March 2013 and shows so much love and passion for the institute. Prior to managing Liberty’s, Ms. Agatha spent many years working for non-government organisations- mainly with disadvantaged women and children in crisis. Her professional background and empathy shines brightly throughout the grounds of Liberty, creating a feeling of happiness and hope.

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Caye Caulker-Sea Dreams Hotel

I don’t know where to start with the beautiful Sea Dreams. I felt so content here it almost felt like home. The lovely hotel is located on the north side of the island offering a rare combination of being perfectly located but peace and tranquility.

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Just a few steps away from the split, you can spend the day lazing by the ocean or enjoying a refreshing rum punch at my favourite bar on the island- Sip ‘n’ Dip.

The small dock at the back of the hotel gives access to one of the best swimming areas on the island – the water is beautiful and free of sea grass, which is common in other spots in the island. Caye Caulker has such a relaxed vibe, it’s tempting to do nothing but lay horizontal and eat the wonderful island food however if you want to get a little bit active then take advantage of the hotels canoes, paddle boards and bikes which are complimentary to the hotel guests.

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The sunset is incredible at the back of the hotel but for a wonderful panoramic, head up to the rooftop lounge.

The rooms are cute and quirky with colourful walls and original paintings by local artists. I particularly liked the complimentary toiletries as the body wash, shampoo and conditioner were all in a full size dispenser- if you are female with long hair then this is a big deal!

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I have stayed in both a courtyard room and a one bedroom apartment, both are comfortable, elegant and relaxed. A particular favourite spot of mine is on the rooftop, where you can laze in a hammock with a beautiful breeze and an ocean view.

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Being a family run hotel, it has a wonderful vibe with a personal touch. Breakfast is served on the rooftop every morning and is complementary for guests. There is a western option or a traditional delight!

The owners have a huge influence on the island and give back to the community in multiple ways.

Owner Heidi Curry co-founded the island’s first high school. Prior to the opening of Ocean Academy in 2008, the island’s only school stopped at seventh grade. Today, the school has grown to six teachers, a Principal, and fifty-eight students. Now, Caye Caulker’s high school attendance rate is above 90% compared to the national average of 40%. Heidi serves as the school’s Managing Director.

The Sea Dreams scholarship fund pays school fees for students who would not otherwise attend high school (school is not free in Belize).

Education is so important for every child’s future, and I believe that everybody deserves the same chance in life. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Agatha Valentine, an inspirational lady who runs Liberty Children’s Orphanage in Belize City which gave me a full insight to the education system in Belize.

Now with a clear view of the education system, I understand why Heidi Curry saw the great importance of creating an opportunity for the children of Caye Caulker to continue education in their teenage years. By staying at Sea Dreams, you are actively contributing to the scholarship program and helping the children to have the start in life that they deserve.

You can learn more at www.cayecaulkerschool.com or by contacting Sea Dreams Hotel directly.

Additionally, Heidi’s husband- Haywood Curry teaches fly fishing as a Physical Education elective at Ocean Academy. His class provides students with exposure to one of the best career options on the island. What a power couple!

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Belize is world famous for its reef and marine life, which is probably why many of you are planning your trip to Caye Caulker. Haywood also runs his own fly fishing business which can be incorporated with the hotel package. Take a look at packages HERE

I hope you all love your stay at Sea Dreams as much as I did! For bookings and enquiries click HERE

Belize City-The Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina

The Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina is located in Belize City. Situated on the ocean front and walking distance to the famous Belize sign, this hotel is the perfect place to stay.

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Each room features air conditioning and cable TV. There is also a coffee machine for your morning caffeine hit before you head out to explore. The rooms have private bathrooms, which are equipped with a hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.

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The rooms also include a work desk, which was perfect for me to catch up on some blogs before heading over to Caye Caulker. Each room has a balcony, so if you are also on a business trip and would prefer to work outside then the high speed internet works great on the terrace.

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There are plenty of local activities and tours, which the concierge is more than happy to help arrange. Head out fishing or horse back riding. If you fancy a massage then the hotel spa is a great option. All staff members at the Radisson were welcoming and accommodating, the ladies on reception gave me some great tips on things to do in the area.

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The food is wonderful, with lots of fresh seafood on the menu. There is in- room dining and two à la carte restaurants. We had the most wonderful meal at The Stone Grill restaurant where the food is prepared in the kitchen but is cooked right in front of you on a hot stone. The flavours are wonderful! There is even a special diet menu upon request.

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There are business facilities, cleaning services and laundry.

My favourite thing about The Radisson in Belize City is that it Sponsors Liberty Children Orphanage, matching every dollar spent by hotel guests. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Agatha Valentine who is the business manager at Liberty, which you can read more about HERE.

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is only 14 km away. The hotel can arrange a shuttle service for you upon request.

For hotel bookings click HERE

Sydney – Quay West Suites

Quay West Suites is conveniently set in the heart of The Rocks. Nearby is the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Museum of Contemporary Art and Circular Quay. In my opinion, the hotel really is in the perfect location and I would highly recommend to anybody visiting Sydney.

My suite had stunning views over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge which is the kind of thing you only usually see on a post card.

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Beds come with premium bedding. Furnishings include desks and sofa beds. Rooms include kitchens with stovetops, microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers.

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Bathrooms feature separate bathtubs and showers, phones, bathrobes, and slippers. Guest rooms also offer direct dial phones, CD players, and voice mail making Quay West Suites the perfect pick for business or leisure.

Flat panel televisions have satellite channels, DVD players. Air conditioned rooms also include separate sitting areas, separate dining areas, washers/dryers, and a minibar.

Housekeeping is available. Cribs (infant beds) and roll-away beds are available on request.

Along with relaxing on the balcony and taking in the view, the hotel has some great recreational amenities. These include an indoor pool, a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility.

There is a business center, which offers small meeting rooms. High speed (wireless) Internet access is available to purchase or become a hotel member for free use. The property offers an airport shuttle for a fair price; you can book this via reception. Wedding services and tour/ticket assistance are available. Additional property amenities include valet parking, a concierge desk, and laundry facilities. Disabled access and lifts are available.

I was particularly impressed by the friendliness of the staff; all were very polite and professional.

My two favourite places to visit while staying at Quay West Suites are:

The opera Bar

Pancakes on the Rocks

To make an enquiry or booking click HERE