“Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize


Around a week ago Rose, Ziggy and I took a drive up north to take a look a the road that is being constructed that will initially run for around three and a half miles from the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge.

We hadn’t been going long when we came to Grand Caribe and saw the progress that had been made on the new building that is being built to the south of the resort.

It looks grand (well it would do, wouldn’t it) from the outside but what’s it look like inside I thought. My inquisitiveness (some might call it nosiness) got the better of me so I sent an email to ask if there was any chance I could have a sneak preview before the official opening of this “all singing, all dancing” addition to what is already one of the outstanding developments in Belize, let alone Ambergris Caye.

I’m pleased to say that permission was granted and this morning I had the real pleasure and thrill of being given a guided tour.

Before the photo roll a bit of background information and a few facts and figures:

Grande Caribe, which is set in seven acres located at the edge of the Caribbean Sea two miles north of the core of San Pedro Town opened its doors for business in June 2010 ( around three and a half years after construction started).

It comprises ninety-three well appointed accommodations in 11 separate, very tastefully constructed buildings which between them account for twelve 1 bedroom /1 bathroom, one 1 bedroom/ 1 bathroom penthouse, fifty-one 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom, twenty-two 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom and three 4 bedroom / 4 bathroom condos. And a 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom villa if that’s what you’re looking for.

The resort already has five swimming pools with one of them featuring a swim-up pool bar, spacious, well laid out and meticulously manicured gardens, well trained and extremely courteous staff and a concierge desk that will do its utmost to satisfy your every whim.

Nothing’s that good you’re thinking. He’s being paid to write this. Does he have a condo there (I don’t but wish that I did because a one bedroom condo sold recently for US$ 415k) ? Is he a partner in one of the new businesses? Nope. None of those. I’m just recounting what I saw and the impressions I formed.

Here’s just a few of the photos I took:

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The main entrance.

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The view you get when you’re booking in. Not bad eh!

And after you’ve dropped off your suitcase?

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Take a dip in one of the four pools.

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Or a stroll around the lush and verdant walkways.

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Watch the world go by at the end of the dock.

Or keep cool , inside and out, at the pool bar.

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Grand Caribe is impressive and I hope I’ve whetted your appetite but what about the new stuff you’re thinking. Well I’m convinced it’s going to be equally impressive and can do nothing but materially increase the Grand Caribe experience.

The finishing touches on the new four story building are just being made.

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Ground level will ‘house’ a Convenience store incorporating a Deli.

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Floor markings for racking/shelving in place.

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The Deli area.

Up to the first floor where you will find a 1,000 square feet fitness center which will have the necessary equipment to help you burn off any unwanted pounds you’ve managed to put on.

Currently under consideration is a membership scheme which could include use of the swimming pools and the swim-up bar.

On this floor there’s also a fully equipped, 3,000 square feet, conference centre.

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With two refreshment areas.

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The area is adaptable with wall dividers which will make it an ideal area for presentations, staff training and, who knows, a venue where two sides with differing views can meet to reach a compromise. No, I’m not thinking of Rose and I!

It’s when you get up to the second and third floors that you’ll probably think that use of the fitness center might become a ‘must have’. Why? Well this is going to be the “home” of Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace Bar (the website is currently under construction but will be fully operational very soon – bookmark it, you’ll be glad you did).

This new restaurant is owned and going to be run by the husband and wife team , Victoria and Hugo Meyer, who many of you will affectionately remember from their time running Aji Tapa Bar & Restaurant.

Within five minutes in their company I was infected (in the nicest possible way of course) by their unbridled enthusiasm to create a dining experience “par excellence”. Their ambition quite simply is to provide their customers with whatever they want to eat. Great food. Great service. And a great atmosphere. The restaurant you leave thinking “wow”. They want it to be THE only place to go!

When I was there they were training staff but they very graciously took time out of their very busy (and tight) schedule to show me around and tell me about the type of experience they are hell bent on providing for their customers.

With a menu that they describe as world cuisine they’re aiming to have something for everyone. A wine list that boasts twenty- nine wines and champagnes from around the globe. From the very affordable to that bottle for the special occasion.

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The fully air-conditioned restaurant, which is on the third floor, has seating for two hundred and fifty

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Seating re-arranged for training purposes.

and

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a chandelier no less!

But you don’t need to rush to eat your meal. No. Spend some time at the bar

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and get that drink that you just haven’t been able to find!

And where are these culinary delights magicked up?

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In this state-of-the-art kitchen, that’s where.

If you want a more informal, fun atmosphere you don’t have to go too far. Just take the lift to the top floor where you’ll find the Rooftop Terrace Bar. The bar with a Euro lounge feel.

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And it has its own equally well stocked bar too.

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This area will host a myriad of events from live music to learning to paint whilst having a drink at the same time. Don’t worry though, expert tuition will be provided by Melody Sanchez-Wolfe.

It wasn’t all taking photos and asking questions for me though. Oh no. I got to sample some of the menu items (well I would, wouldn’t I!).

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For once my timing was impeccable!

I know I’ve kept you waiting long enough. You want to know what delights are on the menu don’t you. So here you are!

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Look closely and you’ll find the opening times.

And how about these hand painted menus!

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These are the lengths this couple has gone to in creating their vision.

Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace Bar opens bright and early on Monday 1 September. Want to know what I’ll be doing? Pulling mussels from the shell, that’s what.

When you go to Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace Bar do tell Victoria and Hugo that I “sent” you.

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Victoria and Hugo.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1980 by Squeeze which reached number forty-four in the UK Singles Chart.

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23 thoughts on ““Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

  1. Pingback: “Somethin’ Stupid” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. | Belize- building a new life . A Belize blog.

  2. Pingback: “Birthday Cake” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize | Belize- building a new life . A Belize blog.

  3. San Pedro really is going up and up in the tourist world, they do have one of my pet hates on their menu though, why do they always price things in a currency of another country? I personally think it is to catch some people out. I would probably still try out the food though. Nice to see conch on the menu đŸ™‚

    • Hi Jim. I agree, I would much prefer it if everything was priced in BZ$. I would imagine that hotels started the practice first and it then spread to tour operators and restaurants. It serves to confuse.

  4. John I don’t know where to begin. I have been reading your blog since January. We were to come to San Pedro this summer and I found your blog and love it. Feel as if I know you guys personally. We were there August 6th thru 14th. My friends are buying property between Indigo Beach and Sapphire Beach in hopes to retire in a few years.They have been to San Pedro 3 times and love it. This was my first visit and I’m hooked. I did not want to leave. One afternoon we made our way to the Palapa bar and I shouted there’s John and Roses house. And there is Skully in his cage.(I have an amazon parrot too). Needless to say they thought I was mad. Then I told them about you. Now my friend Roger has been following your blog. He is full of questions about moving there. He married a friend of mine, Shirley, and they cant wait! I thought we would possibly see you about but didn’t. I hope I can come back next summer. In the meantime, I will be reading! By the way my name is Melanie. We are from Arkansas, USA. (By the way I’m glad Ziggy is back with you guys) I missed my dogs while away. Its late here so I am off to bed. Another day! Melanie

    • Hi Melanie
      What a really nice “note” from you. I’m really pleased that you found my blog but even more pleased that you like it. Makes those early mornings slogging away at it (joking, it’s not a slog at all) all worth it.
      I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet when you were here a few weeks ago but hopefully we shall when you return next year.
      As to your friend Roger, if he has questions he can send them to me and I will do my best to answer them.
      Thanks again for your kind comments. John

  5. Mouth-watering goodness in your post, John. Thanks! We almost bicycled up there last night under the misassumption that Rain was already open! Now very much looking forward to the real thing!

    • Thank you Bob. I think quite a few people thought it was open already. Saw something to that effect on Facebook but knew it wasn’t. I’d already organised the visit knowing its opening date.

  6. Hi Jane/Hi John—
    We will be back to try the
    “New Foodie” in San Pedro next year. Hope it is as good the grilled shrimp tacos @ pool bar are ausome (ask for ex-shrimp). Enjoyed our stay @ GC.

  7. FYI We have the modern equivalent of Estel’s , caller Spinnakers, its supposedly world famous, but that , maybe , is because of its exotic drinks such as ……… wait ……..for it Kiss of a Rose !!!!!

  8. Thanks for the reporting John…nice job…and I might add, great addition to those of us N of the ‘5 buck bridge’…er, I mean the Barry Bowen.

    • I agree Robert, I think this will be the start of quite a few. As to the Hotel, its not open for staying guests but ‘Malone’s and Valentino’s (a cafe) are still operating. Just I would say because neither get floods of customers.

  9. John – Thanks for this great preview of Rain! We are very close to Hugo and Victoria and know how much vision and love they have already put into their fabulous venture. You all will not be disappointed! Rain is on the road to being “the place to dine” in San Pedro! See you there, Everyone!

    • Jane, you are more than welcome. From the time I spent with them it was patently obvious just how much they care. I bet the customers will just pour in (sorry couldn’t help myself!).

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