Review: White Sands Cove in San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro, Belize is one of my favorite destinations in the Caribbean. It’s a beautiful island (although not a true island) located along the Belize Barrier Reef and one of the top diving destinations in the world. The only drawback to the island is that it doesn’t have many choices for using reward points for hotels. On San Pedro, you’ll find a handful of large resorts, cheaper properties, and then a lot of smaller boutique hotels. Many of the properties are also rented out condominiums.

Location

On our last visit to San Pedro, we stayed at the Grand Colony Villas on the south side, but this time we wanted to try out the north side of the island so we tried out the boutique hotel, White Sands Cove. The north side, located about 2.5 miles north of the main heart of the city, is very laid back and quiet compared to the city center, but there are still plenty of places to eat and drink in the area.

Since we had dives at 8am each morning, we found a restaurant that opened up at 7am called, “Rain.” They serve nice hearty breakfast dishes that will surely fill you up and you can order everything from traditional American breakfasts with pancakes to breakfast burritos.

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Burrito from Rain.

So if you’ve got a long day ahead of you I recommend going there, as it’s a only a 5 to 10 minute walk from the hotel. Plus, it’s on the rooftop and they’ve got some amazing views.

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The view from Rain.

For dinner be sure to check out Pirate’s Treasure for some amazing lionfish. Just be sure to inquire when they will be doing the live-cooking and make sure to make reservations.

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A great dinner spot for tasty lionfish.

Check-in

When you arrive at the hotel, you’ll likely be greeted by the property manager, who is beyond enthusiastic (about everything) and excited to help you to the bar where you’re given a complimentary rum punch that’s very tasty. (Belize is known for its rum punch and you’ll be able to find plenty of it at just about any bar on the island.) The staff here is very friendly and accommodating so if you ever need anything don’t hesitate to ask.

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The bar at the White Sands Cove.

The hotel consists of a number of disconnected two-story condominiums located right on the beach. It’s bare sand between the buildings, so you might want to go with your flip flops or just bare feet to get around. Unfortunately, there was some dredging taking place nearby so the water directly on the coastline on the hotel was not very pretty, which was a bit of a let down (although other parts of the island further south weren’t affected at all).

The condos are situated around the bar/restaurant and pool area in the middle of the property, making it extremely convenient to grab a drink or quick bite to eat at any time. While there, we dined once at the restaurant and thought they did a pretty good job with the fried fish.

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White Sands Cove bar and restaurant.

The pool is a bit on the smaller side, but nonetheless a nice place to relax and many people will appreciate its proximity to the bar.

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The swimming pool.

There are several hammocks located throughout the property, including a couple that surround the pool.

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Relaxing in a hammock after a long day of diving.

Overall, it’s a cozy scene at the property. The one drawback to our room was that it was directly across from the bar/restaurant. Surprisingly, noise was not an issue but it wasn’t hard to see right into our suite from the outside, so privacy was a bit limited for my liking.

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Outside of our suite.

Inside the “Romantic Suite”

Our suite was pretty much exactly what I expected. It came with a nice kitchen area complete with stove/oven, microwave, and refrigerator. If I had been better prepared, I would have thought about buying groceries to make our own breakfasts in the morning but that didn’t quite happen.

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The kitchen area.

I’m not sure what’s so different about a “romantic suite” versus a normal suite or room, but they do appropriately decorate your room for the occassion.

White Sands Cove

The bedroom is pretty spacious and luckily the room was tucked away from the middle of the property so that noise from the bar didn’t make its way into our bed room.

As an aside for sports fans: you should be able to watch major US sporting events from your hotel room (or any of the sports bars around the island). We visited during the NFL playoffs, and we were able to catch each game, although the broadcast wasn’t exactly HD. Still, San Pedro is filled with sports bars, so if you don’t want to miss your game just stroll around the island and you should be able to find a spot playing your game.

White Sands Cove

The bed was ultra-comfy and sheets, pillows, etc. were fresh.

White Sands Cove

One problem with the room was the water pressure from the shower. It was very weak to the point that you had to spend a few extra minutes in the shower to get the soap off of you. The water temperature controls worked fine, but it was just the pressure that was the problem.

White Sands Cove

Although the shower situation wasn’t great, the rest of the bathroom was nice and the decorative towel was a nice touch.

White Sands Cove

Wifi trouble 

The other issue with the property is that the wifi can be horrible in your room. Sometimes you may need to go outside just to get decent wifi reception, because it often will cut in and out inside your bed room. So if you like to utilize wifi inside your bedroom, you may have some trouble trying to do that, although this probably depends on exactly which building you’re located in.

Final word

This wasn’t a bad hotel experience, overall. For a boutique hotel at about $200+/night on a Caribbean island, I feel like they do a good job in line with what you’d come to expect from such a hotel. However, I don’t think I’ll ever be staying there again. I’d like to try out something a bit more luxurious in the future and the poor water pressure, shoddy wifi, and somewhat limited privacy are all factors that will have me shopping elsewhere.

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