Placencia Peninsula Road, Belize
Offering a more DIY alternative to service-oriented Robert's Grove (outside of town) and Turtle Inn (a short walk away), Chabil Mar offers large, fully-equipped villas that can be rented by the night and has the most picturesque beachfront in the area.
With 22 spacious suites of one or two bedrooms, Chabil Mar offers Placencia visitors a way to stretch out and have a big kitchen without having to commit to a week-long rental. Each unit has a large living room area, a full kitchen with high-end appliances, a washer/dryer setup, and at least one private terrace or balcony. The property functions more like a hotel, however, with maid service, two large community pools, kayaks for rent, and a recently expanded bar area.
Situated bike riding distance from Placencia village on the way to the airport, the resort sits behind a gated entrance (no non-guests allowed) and has the feel of a small community. Families are frequently found enjoying one of the two infinity pools and the beach with lounge chairs or taking out the complimentary bicycles or kayaks for exploring. The six buildings with blue roofs and dark wook balconies are intersected by paths and greenery. The owners continue to tweak and improve the facilities, making the most of their waterfront location by installing oversized lounge chairs on the pier and beach.
Most guests choose to cook in their own kitchen or grill at the onsite gas barbeques for at least some of their meals, but an on-site chef and butler service can combine to deliver your meals poolside, in your villa, or at the end of the dock stretching into the sea. The outdoor poolside deck restaurant is the best spot in town for seafood with a view of the sea. For those who want to completely leave the cooking to someone else, an all-inclusive meal plan is available.
As with all of the Placencia Peninsula, the 400 feet of beachfront here is rather narrow and strewn with sea grass, but the staff rakes it regularly and it's a pretty spot for swimming and sunning. If you don't feel all that comfortable on the water you can take out a paddleboat or just play volleyball on the beach. The staff is accustomed to setting up excursions to inland ruins and jungles or working out snorkeling and diving trips offshore.
The air-conditioned villas here are all furnished in different styles, ranging from Caribbean colorful to Mexican to pseudo-European, with eclectic local art work adorning the walls. Each unit has plenty of sitting room inside and out and most bedrooms are big enough for a queen or king. The honeymoon suite has a huge 4-poster bed and a granite and stainless steel kitchen, plus an additional half bath. The two-bedroom Oceanfront villas have terrific vistas as well as contemporary baths, stunning kitchens, and several TVs with DVD players. All have at least a partial sea view. All units have complimentary wireless Internet access, more than enough utensils, dining tables, electronic safes, robes, and fine linens. Kitchen appliances go well beyond the basics to include things like blenders, juicers, and coffee grinders. Much of the furniture and cabinetry is made in Belize from local hardwoods.
Transfers from the airport are complimentary for guests and golf carts are available for a jaunt into town. Children 12 and under stay for free but additional guests incur a $50 charge.
If you're looking for fine dining, a large service staff, and high design, Turtle Inn is probably a better choice. But if you want your own kitchen, a quick hop to the beach, and a spacious apartment feel, Chabil Mar offers a great environment for chilling out in Placencia.
Web Address: www.chabilmarvillas.com
Total Number of Units: 22
Published rates: $250-$550 1BR, $325-$650 2BR without meals or taxes.
Review and photos by Timothy Scott except for bar photo courtesy of Chabil Mar.
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