Belize Hotels, Lodges and Resorts
Belize is home to a wide variety of hotels, lodges, and resorts, all with their own unique charm and character. From small guesthouses to luxurious jungle and beachfront resorts, Belize offers something for almost everyone.
Also, Belize has only a few hotel chains (only in Belize City and Ambergris Caye), so while you can be assured of not finding cookie-cutter hotel rooms, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Belize hotel, lodge, or resort:
- Location: Where do you want to stay? Belize has something to offer everyone, from the bustling Ambergris Caye to jungle retreats and secluded cayes and islands.
- Amenities: What amenities are important to you? Some hotels offer amenities like air conditioning, swimming pools, and Wi-Fi, while others are more rustic and offer a more basic experience.
- Budget: Are you looking for upscale or more moderate lodging?
Once we understand the kind of lodging you're looking for, we can offer you choices of Belize hotels, resorts and lodges that we think you'll enjoy. (You also might want to take a look at our discussions about Belize beach hotels and resorts, and Belize jungle lodges included on our site.)
A Few Notes on Belize Hotels, Lodges and Resorts
- All Inclusives: Belize offers very few all-inclusive resorts with the exception of jungle lodges and resorts on small cayes (islands) or in the Hopkins area. The reason is that most beach hotels and resorts are in locations that offer travelers easy access to nearby local restaurants, shops and services. No need to duplicate what is already available - and guests who patronize local businesses help spread the economic benefits of tourism further within local communities.
- Hotel Licenses: By law, all lodging facilities must be licensed by the Belize Tourism Board and charge hotel tax. The nine percent (9%) hotel tax funds the Belize Tourism Board, which inspects and licenses hotels, tour guides and tour operators, and which markets Belize internationally. If you are arranging your own lodging, and are interested in an apartment or condo that is not operated as part of a hotel or resort, please make sure the place where you are staying is licensed. If it is not, it is unfairly competing against local businesses.
- Service Charges: Service charges of 6% to 15% are often charged by full service Belize resorts and lodges. If you're not sure if a service charge is included, make sure to ask. Also, the Belize Tourism Board requires that service charges actually be distributed to hotel staff. (Note that service charges for Belize hotels are added to the price of the room only, not including the hotel tax. However, Belize's sales tax (currently 12.5%) is assessed on service charges at restaurants and other businesses. For example, if a hotel room costs $100 and a 10% service charge is added, the total bill will be US$119 - US$100 + US$10 + US$9. But, if your restaurant bill is US$100 and a 10% service charge is added, your total bill will be US$123.75 - US$100 + US$10 = US$110 + US$13.75 in tax.) Plaase note that some resorts and lodges are now adding on what they term a "resort fee." The resort fee may or may not be a gratuity - some are using the resort tax to increase rates -without calling it a rate increase. Some split the resort fee with employees - so ask the hotel to clarify what they mean by the term before you book - otherwise, you won't really know what you're paying for with the resort fee.
- Amenities: Air conditioning is now common at Belize beach hotels and resorts, but some very upscale properties, such as Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn, do not have a/c. However, a/c at a jungle lodge is still the exception rather than the rule, primarily because most jungle lodges are not on the grid, and must manufacture their own electricity. Fortunately, the jungle is most often fairly cool at night, so a/c is usually not needed (as long as you have a fan), especially from November through April, when a/c is usually not necessary at night anywhere in Belize - jungle or beach. If you're very heat sensitive, though, and a/c is important, ask. Swimming pools are also becoming more common at mid to upscale jungle lodges and beach resorts. But, smaller places likely won't have swimming pools (very expensive to operate in Belize), and you're more likely to find swimming pools at the beach rather than in the jungle.
- Internet access: Internet access is available at most moderate and upscale Belize jungle and beach hotels, although some hotels still charge for it. If you absolutely must have Internet access during your vacation, don't assume, ask first.
We hope the above information is helpful, and that you'll let us help you select the best Belize hotel, resort, guesthouse or lodge for your Belize vacation.