Style Private island beach houses
Setting Caribbean coast of Ambergris Caye
Three miles out to sea from the Belizean coastal city of San Pedro, Cayo Espanto offers the kind of peace and quiet you only find in the most exclusive island hideaway – which is precisely what this hyper-luxurious boutique resort is. Seven brightly, tastefully decorated wooden villas are dotted among the tiny island’s palm trees, with private pools to plunge in, hammocks to snooze in, and a dedicated ‘houseman’ on hand to ensure that you’re treated to whatever you want, whenever you want it. From the ingredients in the kitchen to the music playing on the in-room iPod, everything is designed as you like it.
Need to know
- Rooms Seven villas.
Double rooms from $1495.00, excluding tax at 24 per cent.
The price shown represents the lowest nightly rate for a double room available at this hotel over the next 21 days. Any price conversions from the hotel's local currency ($1,495) have been conducted using today's exchange rates from xe.com.
- More details Rates include airport transfer, butler service, all meals, snacks and drinks (except champagne, wines and cordials).
- Facilities Spa treatments, small gym, library, CD/DVD selection, free WiFi throughout the island. In villas: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, Yves Delorme linen, Lady Primrose toiletries.
- Poolside All villas have heated private plunge pools – perfect for cocktail hour(s) – except Casa Ventanas, which is encircled by the sea.
- Check-out 10am (but flexible by an hour or two); check-in, 4pm.
- Children Infants under one year old stay free and cots are available, although Cayo Espanto is much more suited to canoodling twosomes than frolicking families.
- Also There’s a four-night minimum stay – seven nights between 17 December and 6 January and 14 over Christmas and New Years – although exceptions can be made depending on availability.
Food and drink at Cayo Espanto
- Hotel restaurant The hotel sends you a questionnaire before your arrival to get a picture of your culinary tastes, then award-laden chef Patrick Houghton constructs a bespoke daily menu of dishes, which you can savour anywhere on the island you wish.
- Dress code As you like it – dress to the nines, or lounge in a Hefner-esque dressing gown all day.
- Top table Your personal butler (or houseman, in the hotel's parlance) will bring you food wherever you choose. Ask him to arrange a private picnic – you’ll be taken to a deserted beach to find your meal prepared, then be left alone until you wish to return.
- Last orders The hotel’s food and drink schedule is entirely in your hands, with a ‘what you want, whenever you want it’ policy.
- Room service Your houseman is on call 24 hours a day.
- Hotel bar From the blue-hued Espanto Wave cocktail you receive on arrival to the premium cognac nightcap, all drinks are brought to you where and when you want. Sip a sundowner in a hammock or perched on a pier, or even have your drinks brought out to sea.
Cayo Espanto Cayo Espanto, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, x
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Smith extra at Cayo Espanto
A massage each
In the know
Our favourite rooms
Two-floored, two-bedroomed Casa Estrella captures the feeling of staying in a glamour-drenched tree house, with open-plan living areas, cream-cushioned wicker furniture and a panoramic ocean view. Floor-length turquoise shutters line three of the house’s four walls, allowing you to configure the balance of inside/outside space as you see fit. Casa Aurora has the largest pool, and smaller, more private Casa Ventana is set out to sea on its own wooden pontoon.
None – even if you forget your Heidi Klein swimwear, the hotel’s staff will whip you out a designer bikini without problem or complaint.
Almost any activity featuring water can be enjoyed at Cayo Espanto. Kayaks, pedal boats, fishing rods and other non-motorised sports equipment can be freely plundered, and there’s a vast range of excursions, including diving, snorkelling and golf.