With natural splendor and ancient sites, the best resorts in Belize highlight the diversity and wonder of this South American jewel.
The South American nation of Belize has always had an ephemeral, exotic quality. Most recently, going to Belize was a euphemism on Breaking Bad for characters that had reached the end of their run. The metaphor is apt, only because visiting this country is like opening the doors of heaven. Natural tranquility, modern amenities, and a window on the ancient world, Belize has everything this wonderful blue marble we call home has to offer. Well, at least for a vacation. The best Belize resorts have a leg up on their competition in other nations, because of how beautiful the country is.
For centuries, this place has been a haven of cultural diversity. With strong ties to the Caribbean, Latinx, Mayan, and American global communities, it’s a country that always feels like home. Not that it resembles your old neighborhood or the modern urban sprawl you call home. Rather, simply breathing in the warm air, feeling the sun on your skin, and surrounding yourself with the culture feels familiar and exotic at the same time. It’s a place that gets under your skin and into your soul. There is history here, no doubt, but Belize is a place that also has a big future ahead of it.
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Common Features of the Best Belize Resorts
Naturally, the best Belize resorts offer unique experiences meant to distinguish themselves from their fellows. However, none of them are reinventing the concept of travel abroad. There are things that all travelers care about and expect from the best Belize resorts or the best resorts anywhere. Here are the things to look for when you make your choice about where to stay.
It’s no surprise, but the best Belize resorts are all found along the coastal regions, because tropical travelers want some time on the ocean. So, when you are looking for a place to stay while traveling, figure out what’s most important you about the location. Because while everyone wants to spend time on a beach, make sure the location of your resort fits with the other things you want to do. If you want to visit ancient Mayan ruins or travel through the local economy, you’ll want to choose a resort that isn’t too far from those things. On the other hand, if you want to just relax on the resort or find some solitude in the natural splendor, look for more secluded and private resorts. Also, check out the major cities of San Pedro, Belize City, Hopkins, Seine Bright, Placencia, and Mullins River to see which offer the kind of off-resort activities you are looking for.
Another thing to think about when choosing between the best Belize resorts are the sort of amenities you are looking for. Do you want a lot of different dining options or would you prefer just one or two really good restaurants? Are you content with a beachfront resort or do you want your room to be right on the beach? Do you want a big fitness center with a lot of workout options or are you more into the spa treatments and that sort of pampering? These are the questions you have to answer to know if the best Belize resorts are the best ones for you. Because nothing can derail a vacation like expecting to spend a couple of days getting spa treatments only to find out it doesn’t offer that many services. A few minutes of research can make all the difference on your trip.
One of the reasons you might choose to visit the best resorts in Belize rather than, say, the best Bali resorts, is that you want to see the country. Belize has a lot to offer, which we’ll delve into more below. So if your interest is not so much what is inside the resort but outside of it, you’ll have to do your homework. If there are specific ancient Mayan sites you want to visit or certain trails you want to hike, make sure you find a resort close by. Luckily, tourism is such a focus in the country that no matter where you choose to go on the coast, you’ll have plenty of options. Still, if excursions into the heart of Belize are what you are looking for, there are resorts to accommodate you.
4. Best Belize Resorts: Service
One of the things that separates the best Belize resorts from the others is the unparalleled level of service you can expect. Whether you want to be waited on hand-and-foot or if you a prefer more privacy, you can find something that fits your needs. If service is your main concern, check the reviews for the resorts you are considering. There will always be some negative reviews accusing the staff of rudeness or negligence. What to look for are reviews mentioning the same things as dissatisfying, because multiple reports of the same thing can indicate a bigger problem. However, the best Belize resorts take service seriously, so no matter which one you choose, you can expect to be treated very well.
Things to Consider Before Planning a Trip to the Best Belize Resorts
Planning a successful vacation requires much more than picking out the best Belize resorts. You have to consider far more than just where you will lay your head at night. Below, we clue you in to the things you will want to be thinking about before you take your vacation.
1. What Sort of Experiences Do You Want?
When you plan a vacation, all you’re likely thinking about is a soft bed and a warm beach. However, you can only do so much lying around. That’s where the best Belize resorts provide some diversity to what you can expect. They all have great accommodations and sandy beaches, but what else do you want to do? You can look for resorts that offer free activities like biking, diving, or other experiences. You can pick the best Belize resorts closest to ancient Mayan sites you want to visit. Maybe you want seclusion and natural splendor, so you find a more exclusive, remote locale. Of course, if you just want to have the full resort experience, from spa days to getting buzzed on fruity drinks by the pool, at least one of the best Belize resorts will have you covered.
2. Who Is Coming with You?
Some people go on these sorts of vacations alone, but it’s rare. In most cases, you are likely heading to Belize with at least one companion in tow. When choosing between the best Belize resorts, don’t just consider your comfort but the comfort of your group. If you are traveling with a lot of friends, look for resorts that offer villas or three-bedroom suites. If you are bringing the kids, make sure that the resort offers family friendly activities and childcare, so you can get some “you” time. While one resort might be great for a romantic getaway for two, it might make for an awkward trip with just your friends or family. Luckily, Belize is such a diverse and interesting place that no matter where you choose, you are sure to find something for everyone.
3. What Makes Belize So Special?
Belize is a county that, while technically part of the United Kingdom, has been an independent nation for nearly 40 years. They recognize Queen Elizabeth II as their monarch, but are more a part of the South American, Caribbean, Latin American, and Central American communities. Because of its unique position between North and South America, the country is very rich in biodiversity, which makes for great outdoor excursions. The country’s economy is mainly a mix of agricultural business and tourism, with some seafood trade as well. The populace is made up of a number of different ethnic groups, including the Maya, Creoles, Garingau, Mestizos, and Mennonites of Russian and German origin. While there are plenty of language spoken amongst the different peoples of Belize, English is the country’s official language.
As one of the least populated countries in the region, Belize is a perfect home for the more than 5,000 species of flora and fauna found in its borders. The coast, which is home to the best Belize resorts, is almost fully lined by the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Of the species that call it home, experts believe around 90 percent remain undiscovered. And there is also the underwater sinkhole known as the Great Blue Hole, which is a marvel to see. It’s a temperate climate, but it does rain often. The late fall and early spring months are the “dry” season. Belize is also a treasure trove of ancient Mayan historical sites, where the old Mayan empire controlled the land for nearly three millennia.
Questions to Ask Yourself About the Best Belize Resorts
Now we know what Belize has to offer and what you want to do when you get there. The next step is to figure out how to compare the best Belize resorts to each other. Remember, the luxury resort experience is very subjective. You don’t just want the best Belize resorts but also the best one for you specifically. Here’s how you might evaluate that.
1. What Are You Looking for in the Best Belize Resorts?
The first thing to consider is what is most important to you when it comes to choosing a place to stay. Are you mostly indifferent about the room beyond it being clean because you plan to be out in the wilderness all the time? Or, maybe you want to park yourself by the pool and make sure you are never more than twenty steps from a snack or a drink. What sort of experiences you value you the most will help you when it comes to deciding between the best Belize resorts. Whether you want to be waited on hand-and-foot or keep the service staff at an arm’s length, there is a place for you.
Just beware of being dazzled by options. If all you want is a beach, a drink, and maybe a boating tour, don’t be sucked in by a resort offering 25 different sorts of activities you’ll never do. Rather, consider things like how close you want to be a city or how deep into the jungle you want to go. Belize has much to offer any sort of traveler, you just have to know what you want.
2. Does Your Budget Work with the Best Belize Resorts?
One of the resorts on our list is situated on a private island, and you can rent out that entire island for your vacation. Of course, individual rooms start at around $1,200 per night there, so renting the entire island would be quite an expense. Your vacation to the tropics is supposed to be a reward for a year of hard work, but you shouldn’t have to spend all you have to enjoy it. Make sure when choosing resorts that you consider your budget along with your desires. For example, if you are going to be outside most of the time, perhaps you can budget better with a smaller room. Or if you plan to lounge around the resort most of the time, make sure the price of your room includes the use of the amenities. You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy the best Belize resorts.
3. Which of the Best Belize Resorts Most Meets Your Needs?
Now that you have your itinerary and budget in mind, now it’s time to pick a place to stay. You will want to look for the best Belize resorts that offer the things most important to you. If you are staying on one of the cayes, make sure that the hotel has transport to the mainland, so you can tour Mayan ruins or visit the nearest city. If you are looking for high-quality service, look for a package that includes in-room service, either turning down the bed or delivering meals. Choose between beachfront rooms or rooms that allow you take a nice stroll before getting your daily dose of ocean and sun. Luckily, we’re here to help.
Things to Keep in Mind During Your Search for the Best Belize Resorts
You will have to do your own research into the best Belize resorts, because only you know your specific tastes. However, sometimes the information you find doesn’t really tell you all you need to know. Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you make a final decision.
1. The Best Belize Resorts Are All-Inclusive, but What Does That Mean?
Any of the best Belize resorts worth their cost are all-inclusive, but what does that really entail. While in many cases it means exactly what you think it does, other interpretations of the term are more limited. Some resorts will offer extra packages to address this disparity. Most guests don’t mind paying for them, so long as they know its coming. Check to see if your food and drink are included in the price of your stay at the resort. If not, see if they have food and drink packages, because otherwise your bar and food bills need to be factored into your budget. Also see what tours and activities they offer, double-checking that they are included in the cost. Again, many trips and tours are worth paying extra for, but only if you know that expense is part of the deal.
2. Which of the Best Belize Resorts’ Locations Suit Your Needs?
The next thing to consider about the best Belize resorts are their locations. Most are found on the coast or on the islands just off of it. This provides great access to the beach, the Belize Barrier Reef, and quiet natural splendor. However, if you want to visit the Great Blue Hole, the Belize zoo, or a specific ancient Mayan site, you’ll want to make sure you’re close. While most of the resorts will offer travel to these place, though perhaps for a fee, you can save yourself time and money by choosing a location close to where you want to be.
3. When Is the Busy Season for the Best Belize Resorts?
The dry season begins in late fall and ends in early spring, which means this is the busiest time for the best Belize resorts. Luckily, even with all the crowds, some of the best Belize resorts offer privacy and quiet, uncrowded locations for the traveler seeking peace. You can travel during the other part of the year, though in the summer is when it’s the hottest and the rainiest. If you travel at this time, you will want to make sure that your room is really comfortable because weather might force you to stay inside. Still, even at its tourism peak, Belize is a place where it’s difficult to feel packed in. With open vistas and sprawling jungle forests, there is always a place where you can find a little solitude.
The Seven Best Belize Resorts for Luxury and Fond Memories
Now that we know about Belize, and we’ve discussed what to consider, it’s time for the best Belize resorts. Below you will find a list of the top-rated resorts in the area that offer a diverse array of amenities, services, and experiences for all sorts of travelers. No matter which one you choose, you will be in comfort and luxury throughout your stay.
1. Mystic River Resort
Situated near the Mascal River, Mystic River is an environmentally conscious resort that generates all of its own electricity. Yet, they don’t sacrifice the little luxuries for their guests. This is a great resort for those who want to get away from everything but the natural world. There are plenty of outdoor activities, including a haven for bird-watching. Offering studio suites, luxury suites, and one- or two-bedroom suites, there is a room that can match your travel group. This is a great location for families or couples who want a romantic getaway. Located seven miles away from San Ignacio and Santa Elena, there’s still a little urban atmosphere, but only if you go looking for it.
2. The Phoenix Resort
Situated near Ambergris Caye, the Phoenix Resort is a more traditional resort for fun in the sun. This resort features a spa, fitness center, and plenty of athletic, outdoor activities. The real jewel of this resort, however, are its water activities. Right near the Belize Barrier Reef, you can find an array of scuba, snorkeling, and reef fishing options. You can also hit the waves on a jet ski, kayak, or paddle boards. You can also try your hand at wind surfing, kite surfing, and even parasailing. If you still haven’t had enough time on the water, you can enjoy a nightly dinner cruise. Most of your excursions for the Belize zoo, zip-lining, and touring Mayan ruins are all located on the mainland. However, there is plenty of travel to and from the caye.
3. Xanadu Island Resort
At first glance, the Xanadu Island Resort might resemble those you find in Bora Bora or Bali. Yet, these structures with thatched roofs are something entirely unique. When Ivan and Just Sheinbaum started this resort, they kept in mind an unfinished poem by Samuel Coleridge from 1797. “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree…” it starts, and from it the Sheinbaums got two big ideas. The first was to name their eventual resort after the mythical paradise in Coleridge’s unfinished poem.
The second was to build their resort out of monolithic dome structures. They have five of them, each featuring fully-equipped condominiums. This is a great base camp if you want to stay active and tour the island. They have great beaches and all the water sports you can think of. They also offer bicycles and golf carts for exploring the island. If you don’t mind hanging out on a tropical island for your whole vacation, this is the spot for you. They do offer mainland tours, but this is one of the best locales on Ambergris Caye.
4. Victoria House Resort and Spa
If your idea of the best Belize resorts involves themed suites, private villas, or your own casita, Victoria House Resort and Spa is the place for you. This private resort is also on Ambergis Caye, and features extreme luxury at every turn. They have a 3,500 square-foot day spa, the largest on the caye. There are plenty of activities, including diving locales known as Shark Ray Alley and the Great Blue Hole. The carefully manicured and cultivated landscape matches any idyllic vision of tropical perfection you can imagine. This resort offers plenty of privacy and common areas if you want to mingle with your fellow guests. There are three restaurants on the resort, which feature incredible cuisine you won’t tire of. You probably won’t want to leave this resort, but when you do there are plenty of activities on the caye and the mainland to keep you occupied.
5. Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort
If you want an adventurous experience in Belize without big crowds, then the Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort is the place to go. You can go on a night hike through a jaguar preserve or snorkeling along Belize’s Barrier Reef. They have comprehensive tours through the Mayan historical sites, complete with long hikes on those tours if you’d like. You can go canoeing in the jungle river or lounge on the white sand beaches at the resorts. Naturally, this place offers incredible accommodations including beachfront and treehouse rooms. The offer spa services, a free book lending library, and massages in your room. The gift shop also features authentic local and regional crafts and souvenirs to remember your time at the resort. They also have plenty of entertainment, including dancing and festivals.
6. Pelican Reef Villas
Pelican Reef Villas Resort is an exclusive destination for people who want to have a nice balance between relaxation and activities. They take relaxation so seriously that you don’t even have to interrupt your beach lounging to get a massage. You can have a full massage right on the beach, so you can relax listening to the soothing sound of the ocean. After that, you can go snorkeling, diving, or do dozens of other activities. They also will take you an a cave tour in which you ride in an inner tube! One must-see attraction is the human-made coral reef. All of these activities are included with your stay at the resort. You can enjoy fine dining in the resort restaurant or hit up the pool bar for some tapas and libations. They have free wifi in the rooms and the resort areas, so if you absolutely have to work you can do so poolside or pay a quick visit to the business center.
7. Hatchet Caye Resort
This is one of the best Belize resorts because Hatchet Caye Resort is its own private island. While they have plenty of luxury accommodations both on the oceanfront and in the main house, they also offer truly unique luxury experience. You can rent out the entire island so that it’s only you, your groups, and the staff waiting on your every need. Of course, you can leave the island to go visit mainland attractions, but the Hatchet Caye Resort also offers plenty of on-island activities. In fact, you could probably stay on the island your entire trip and do something different each day. You dine in their private restaurant or dine on your yacht, which you can safely moor and dock during your stay. For those who want the ultimate luxury experience, Hatchet Caye Resort is what you are looking for.
The best resorts in Belize offer a variety of different locations, experiences, and services for every kind of traveler.
Belize is a wonderful place to visit during any season, offering rich experiences for all travelers. You can swim with sea turtles, climb the steps of a two-millennia old pyramid, and dine in luxury each night. The best Belize resorts offer a wonderful array of comfort, amenities, and services to ensure that every traveler makes last memories of their time in Belize. The most exclusive resorts and those favored by big crowds all provide a unique backdrop and their own charm for the luxury traveler. Whether you find a studio suite or rent out the entirety of a private island, every trip to Belize feels special and magical.
What do you think? Did we miss any of the best Belize resorts? Share your thoughts, reactions, and experiences in the comments below. Don’t forget to share the article on social media if you enjoyed it, so your friends can get in on the conversation.
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