|Minimum Stay||4 - 5 nights|
From the pearly white sand only a few steps will lead you to a beautiful wooden verandah and to the main entrance of the spectacular TV room. There is a Sony 42? flat screen TV, a large and comfortable sofa, and a jacuzzi for two facing your favourite movies. The walls are hand painted giving a warm ambience to this room. There is also a gorgeous powder room adjoining this room.
To the left of the TV room is the Greek bedroom, ideal for teens or kids (one double and one single bed). There is also a charming full bathroom. The washing machine is found in the utility room at the back of the villa.
A dramatic Mexican staircase will bring you to the next level.
Middle Floor (hardwood floor)
The double mahogany doors bring you to the living room and kitchen. There you will find a leather sofa, ottoman, lounge chair, large antique coffee table and buffet. The kitchen counters have beautiful Mexican tiles, along with a stainless steel stove and refrigerator and an 18th century wooden dining table that seats 10 people.
To the left of the living room a big opening framed by two antique hacienda columns leads into the family room, which is furnished with a built-in sofa with the finest Guatemalan fabric, a beautiful coffee table and an adjoining enclosed verandah with an Indonesian seating area overlooking the tropical pool. At the end of the room is the studio with an amazing 600 pounds stone desk.
To the right of the living room, the master bedroom will fascinate you. Wood beam ceilings, mahogany custom king bed, antique armoire, a built-in closet and enclosed verandah with hammock. The very spacious bathroom has double hand painted sinks, a big shower and large ottoman to relax on.
Third floor (hardwood floor)
From the living room a beautiful mahogany spiral staircase will get you to the gigantic master bedroom. There you will find a big walk-in closet, a king sized bed from Indonesia, and an antique desk and chair. The bathroom has a huge shower and handmade tiles and sink from Mexico.
Separate access is available to the two stunning sun bathing bed terraces, with their breathtaking view to the Caribbean Sea and reef, as well as the outstanding sunsets over the lagoon.
Things to Do: If you are a snorkeler or scuba diver, go to Belize!!! Our friends said that this was one of the best places to snorkel ever! They swam with nurse sharks, stingrays, beautiful fish, turtles, etc. Anna can set up an excursion for you. If you are a beach / ocean person, Belize is not the place to go. The sea grass in the ocean is very dense and heavy, and unless you have swimming shoes, I wouldn’t wade through it. The beaches attract sea weed, sea grass, and every type of litter possible (cans, bottles, shoes, etc.). It is really a shame. While each place tries to keep the beach clean, it is a never ending battle. From the swimmer in the group…the water is right in front of you…but the sea grasses and shallow depth don’t allow swimming from the beach. And swimming beyond the dock was discouraged because of the heavy boat traffic. Although the pool was lovely, the water access was extremely disappointing. The snorkeling trips, however, were really special.
We took advantage of the spa people who come to the villa for pampering. I have been getting massages for more than 25 years in a variety of places, and I had one of the best massages I have ever had. We had massages, body wraps, facials, reflexology, and a manicure. Very nice and competitively priced.
We also went into San Pedro (again, the water taxi!!) for shopping and to eat lunch at Victoria House. I will post a separate review on this, but suffice it to say that this is a beautiful property, and we had an excellent lunch with outstanding service.
THE MAJOR NEGATIVE and a few other issues – Our outside furniture was in terrible shape. Ripped pillows, and rusted chairs. One person in our party was sitting in a chair when the rusted leg gave out. Luckily he did not hurt himself. We reported it, but unfortunately the property management team doesn’t have much control over this. It is the responsibility of the villa owner. This is something that the villa owners must improve. If not, we would recommend staying away from this villa.
A few of the other items that need to be replaced are the coffee maker, microwave and toaster oven. The first two are very old with the microwave being made prior to digital technology.
We also recommended that the property management stock the bathrooms with facial tissue. I can honestly say I have never been to a property that did not have tissues in the bathroom.
I will have to submit several reviews to cover our trip - here is part 1. Getting there: This is the hardest part of the trip. You fly into Belize City and then you have the option of taking an inexpensive but long ferry ride to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, OR flying a 14 passenger plane for a beautiful 20 minute flight. We opted for the flight and were very glad we did! La Perla makes all these arrangements. When you land at the San Pedro airport, you will be met by a taxi scheduled by La Perla. Your friendly cab driver will take you about a mile. Then, he will carry your bags to the pre-arranged water taxi! Yup – now you have about a 20 minute ride in a boat. I suffer from sea-sickness, so my sea bands and sitting outside the boat was the way to go for me! Twenty minutes later, you pull up to a dock where the staff from La Perla meets you. Your luggage is delivered to your villa, and the staff walks you through the house and gives you your keys. They will also answer all of your questions – at this time and throughout your stay.
The Staff: Everyone on this property is wonderful. Toshiva is always there and can do maintenance work, carry luggage, give you advice, etc. Anna, who was new to the property, is your coordinator for everything – spa, dinner, private water taxis, excursions, etc. She was wonderful – very personable, friendly, and prompt in her duties. Rene is the property manager and took time to talk through the few issues we had (more on this later). The housekeeping staff was second to none! They kept us well stocked (towels, water, coffee, etc.). They made sure the villa was spotless and clean. The housekeeping responsibilities include washing all your dishes! The grounds keepers (Daniel and Jose) work tirelessly to keep the grounds, beach, pool, landscaping, etc. looking beautiful.
The Villa: This is a beautiful, well appointed, and comfortable villa. There were 5 of us and we were comfortable all the time. There is a lot of living area – porches, hammock, living room, sitting area, and entertainment room (including an indoor Jacuzzi). The furniture is nice, comfortable, and perfect for the villa. The dining area table is enormous! And the kitchen is big and well equipped. Although I have read in other reviews about no in-villa safes, we had one safe which was fine for the 5 of us. We had no problems with the Wi-Fi during our 8 day trip. Also, we did not experience any bugs, mosquitos, etc.
First of all, I must say that we stayed in Villa Topaz at La Perla by default. We were originally booked at Solaria for our Christmas holiday but the management company, Absolute Belize double booked our 5 bedroom villa and we had to scramble to find an alternative since we had already paid for air travel. Absolute Belize recommended La Perla as a comparable alternative however they did not have a 5 bedroom so we would need to rent a 3 bedroom and a 2 bedroom to accommodate our extended family.
Our family of 4 stayed in Villa Topaz. It was stunning at first glance. Spacious rooms and interesting island decor with a huge dining table to accommodate our Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner for 10 people. We especially enjoyed the large outside deck overlooking the property and water as well as the hammock room off the master. Although, the villa was incredible spacious it only had three bedrooms two of which only had one bed. It has a huge bonus room on the bottom floor with a large sectional and TV (the only one in the villa). This room was very dark and cavernous and since no screens on the doors to outside we never used the space. We also found that the decor on closer inspection was a bit tired. The outdoor lounge chair cushions were faded and ripped and the white linen drapery had stains. We found the resort as a whole had some furnishings in disrepair as well. There were only 7 lounge chairs at the pool, one of which had it's back torn. There were 5 kayaks for the guests use however only 3 paddles. We were also told that the resort had its own boat that could be used for the guests transportation free of charge. We asked if we could get a ride to town rather than wait and pay for the water taxi but was told that it wasn't used for those purposes.
I will say that the staff was very attentive. Rene checked in with us most mornings to see if he could help with anything and Toshiva was very helpful as well.
As a whole, we thoroughly enjoyed are visit to Belize and our stay at La Perla but feel that the 40% upcharge for the holiday week was definitely out of line. I would recommend La Perla at the low season rates and then you would feel like you got what you paid for.
La Perla is pretty far from San Pedro and golf carts are out of the question. The road is mostly impassable. Order at least minimum food from Mata Grande Grocery and have it delivered prior to your arrival. Recommend hiring a personal chef at least once while there.