North Beach, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
One of Belize's trendiest and most talked about luxury boutique resorts is simple in design, color, and size, but is anything but common. Azul's two 3,000–square–foot luxury villas occupy a 400–foot stretch of beachfront on Ambergris Caye's north side, right next door to Mata Chica Resort. The white and azure Mediterranean lines of the structures mesh wonderfully with the turquoise ocean and reef–adorned horizon just offshore.
These enormous three–floor cribs boast full kitchens, exposed ladywood beams, wrap–around balconies, and share a palm–shaded infinity pool. They each have two spacious bedrooms and baths, and quadruple occupancy rates or only a little higher than the double occupancy rates quoted below. The king beds boast memory foam mattresses and pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets, and of course, Egyptian cotton bathrobes for those jaunts to and from the rooftop of lounge. The interiors are filled with light, space, and all the modern amenities you could imagine, including gourmet espresso machines, plasma screen televisions, WiFi and your own iBook and cell phone, should you wish to stay connected. Better yet, unplug on your private rooftop Jacuzzi with one of Azul's famous frozen mojitos in hand and sky full of stars overhead. The roofs have a 360–degree view of paradise, as well king size day beds and dining area.
Azul's adjoining Rojo Lounge and Restaurant add an impressive, delicious dimension to the property, with its sleek bar, shady patio, and lovely dining area only a couple of meters from the Caribbean's edge. In the exhibition kitchen, you'll find former punk record producer Jeff Spiegel preparing some of the island's best cuisine in his newfound incarnation as a world–class chef. Indeed, Rojo Lounge is causing the biggest buzz on Ambergris' culinary coconut grapevine, where the succulently sophisticated menu will leave you grasping for adjectives. Or maybe you'll just reach for your cocktail in stunned silence after each bite of cashew crusted lobster, shrimp–stuffed grouper, or conch pizza.
The future of dining at Azul became a bit less clear in 2013 though as the property went from an all–inclusive plan to more of a rental villa feel. Meals are a la carte now, as are the cocktails that used to flow freely.
Of course, a full range of ocean and inland activities are still available. You can even charter a private helicopter to take you to Belize's archeological sites and natural attractions. This is an experience in itself, a sea–world safari as you leave the island looking for all manner of sharks, rays, dolphins, and manatees below the water's surface.
Web Address: www.azulbelize.com
Total Number of Rooms: 2
Published rates: $350 to $1,800 per night including transfers
Review and photos by Joshua Berman.