Having lived on Ambergris Caye for only a year, there are few building projects that we can say we were there at the birth. Building things here — even houses — takes a very long time — unless you are Ramon’s Village and you want our fire-ravaged resort to reopen by Christmas. In which case, yes, miracles do happen.
We can say with pride that we knew Daydreamin’ Bed & Breakfast when it was just a little hole in the ground.
Daydreamin’ and its satellite coffeeshop Marbucks are the vision of a pair of Canadian ex-pats, Marlene Houghton and Rob Eykelbeysh. Their B&B consists of four lovingly and thoughtfully decorated cabanas, a central focal-point pool and an authentic coffeeshop with fresh-baked scones and muffins.
The complex is one mile north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge; just around the corner is the iconic Palapa Bar & Grill. That’s a short walk north from our own home.
Like I said, just a hole in the ground. The hole became the round and cozy lounging pool with a globe water effect in the middle. From there, decking ran out in all directions until a handsome floating platform covered the property and the construction of five small out building (one is an office) on the perimeter began.
Still, what are they up to, we wondered?
Their vision grew and took shape, and so did our friendship with Rob and Marlene.
Just before Daydreamin’ opened for business, they asked if we would mind “test-driving” one of the units, sort of a shake-down cruise before the paying customers started booking the place.
Having been familiar with most every phase of the construction and well-aware of the extremely high standards to which Rob and Marlene subscribed, I feared that anything we could tell them would sound like nitpicking. Which it did.
Each cabana is a unique artistic and aesthetic expression within the thematic boundaries set by a single design continuum. The layouts are similar — two with super comfortable king size beds and two with queens. Each with a shower, bathroom, sink area, flat-screen TV, air conditioning, ceiling fans, small refrigerator and sideboard for ice and glasses. The hand-picked original art and artistic details make each unique.
Worth noting — two rooms face east and are perfect for those who rise with the sun and thrive on fresh ocean breezes. Two rooms face south and escape the sun’s rays and warmth for a while.
The larger compound serves as a common area, a living room if you will, an extension of the rooms, starting first with the individual front porches and comfortable sitting chairs, then the deck itself with tables and chairs and the lounging pool.
And of course, Marbucks, the adjacent coffee shop with fresh baked goods every morning, is an inviting attraction.
Guests need not wait in line at Marbucks. Marlene and staff serve breakfast to guests, either in their rooms or on the porch. My own breakfast started with a cup of rich black Marbucks coffee and a heaping plate of fresh fruit served in bed.
Fortified, I took breakfast in a shady nook outside where I could inhale the refreshing Caribbean Sea air with each scrumptious bite of lemon-ricotta pancakes, drenched in a strawberry-blueberry compote. Marlene also offers omelettes, waffles and … well, it varies and promises to be a grand gourmand adventure every morning.
Daydreamin’ is consciously small. The size suits the congenial nature of the owners who prefer the personalized attention they can give to four guest rooms over the across-the-board, one-size-fits-all treatment you’d receive at, let’s say, a four-story resort.
Rob and Mar went all out in building Daydreamin’ and Marbucks and that is their approach to serving their guests as well.
I guess great things can come in small packages.
Rob and Marlene can be reached at 501-226-4449 or — coming soon — daydreaminbelize.com.
- Find Daydreamin’ on Facebook here.
- More details on TripAdvisor and Air BnB.
- Here’s a recent review by San Pedro Scoop.
- Marbucks Coffee House on Facebook.