When we think about tropical vacations it’s only natural to envision white beaches and dancing palms. But staying at The El Ben Cabanas Resort was a great reminder that there’s so much more to island getaways than I’d remembered. A group of my closest friends and family and I had the pleasure of bringing in the New Year at this magical haven and to say we had fun would be a complete undersell.
As a born and raised Belizean I was of the impression that there were no surprises left for me when it came to Caye crusades. I was pleased to have that idea debunked the minute we set foot onto the pier at El Ben. This quaint little retreat is only a 5-minute boat ride north of Caye Caulker. As we were picked up at the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi and whisked away from the buzzing mainland, I could immediately appreciate the shift in atmosphere.
The cluster of cozy cabanas are surrounded by a network of mangroves that give the entire resort a secure and exclusive vibe. Our rooms were just a quick walk from the dock and came with all the amenities we could think of to make our stay comfortable. I was admittedly more taken up with laying back and gazing up at the rustic thatch roofing than I was with our sixty-inch tv.
The restaurant and deck-bar held true to the Caribbean Christmas theme and were beautifully adorned with lights, ornaments, and a gigantic Christmas tree to match. My friends and I would spend most of our nights exchanging laughs there; including New Year’s Eve when we all got dressed up and danced our way into the early hours of 2022.
The staff, locals, and everyone else staying at the resort were beyond welcoming and even participated in some of the festive foolery that filled the weekend.
El Ben is also conveniently located near the KoKo King Beach Club and the Blu Zen Resort so visiting friends nearby and getting a change of scenery was quite easy. At the end of every day though, it was always nice to come back to our private and peaceful slice of the island. So much so that it never even occurred to our group to revisit mainland Caye Caulker during our stay (which is worth mentioning given my undying love for Caye Caulker).
Our greatest pleasure on the trip would have to be the breath-taking sunrises, comparable only to the mesmerizing sunsets at El Ben. We were never too tired to await the first golden rays peeking out behind the mangroves or gaze at the soft hues of purple and orange fading beyond the horizon each day. The experience was nothing shy of amazing and I think we were all humbled by the simple grandeur of everything the El Ben Resort has to offer.
Needless to say, I recommend paying a visit for anyone looking for a soothing yet thrilling taste of the tropics. I can’t wait to revisit the wonderful experiences I had while at El Ben and I’m eager for the new ones that lie in store.
Written by El Ben Guest Kory Leslie