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“A disappointment” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Bella's Backpackers

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Bella's Backpackers
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Crocodile Street, Caye Caulker, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“A disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

My friend and I are travelling trough Central America. On our way we had 5 nights at Bella's in Caye Caulker, Belize.

We did not have a reservation in advance, but this is very commen in Caye Caulker because of all the backpacker coming throug here (Even though the hostels is fully booked on the web, they are likely to have vacancies anyway).

Went we arrived with the boat to Caye Caulker, where we were greeted by one of the locals who ask us where we were staying. He took us to Bella's. When we arrived there, he yelled for some personnel and after a couple of minutes a young woman appeared and we went in to a 10 bedroom dorm. A single dorm bed cost 25 BZD and a double bed 20BZD each. My friend and I wanted to save money, so we went with the double. And that was pretty much it. All she said was to come up stairs and pay for the first night and that she would need our names. The "office" is at the kitchen.
We had to ask ourselves about thing included/not included. There was no explanation about the place what so ever.
In the price there are Canoes and bicycles included. The canoes are fine, but the bicycles are in horrible shape. We found only one working, the others either missed the chain or had a flat tire and had been for a long time. So we ended up renting two at Marcy's for 15BZD each for a whole day.

In general Bella's has a lot of potential. Is is a nice place, but it is dirty. We saw one trash can in the dorm, but that got removed to somewhere else? The bathrooms are not clean at all - the toilet paper bucket are only emitted once a day, if you are lucky (meaning paper on the floor as well up against the wall), and the toilet often does not flush. People tend to be very bad at cleaning up after themselves. This resulting in old shampoo bottles and used razor left in the bathrooms. Off course the people should be better at cleaning up after themselves, but the staff is next to non-existing. It is a tough job, but the toilets should be kept clean and tidy all the time.
Also there are no bins at the property besides in the bathrooms - which are overfilled!

The staff is impossible to find, even figuring out who works there is challenging it self.
When you mange to find someone who works at Bella's, they do not say much, very rude and absolutely no smiles.
In the early evening of our first night, we realised that we only had one sheet, which of course makes sense, since we has the double bed, but we wanted an extra. We had to waite until the next day, since there were no personnel to be found anywhere.

The madrases in the dorm are pretty bad. You can feel the boards underneath, so sleeping on your side proved rather difficult. Also the doors leading to the dorm, is constantly opening and closing with a bang. Try falling asleep/sleep with that sound.

The property is neither bad or good. The front yard is fine, a couple of hammock to lay in and relax, but the back yard is full of building materiel and other stuff.

All in the Bella's has a whole lot of potential, it is a nice place, the people who are staying there are really great. But the surroundings, the general cleaning and the personnel needs a big step up!

We had a great 4,5 days in Caye Caulker, but we did not like to hang out at Bella's.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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146 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

Bella's is a great place to meet new people most people there are fairly friendly and relaxed. The staff were the most friendly but the hostel has everything you need. You will get little sleep here as it seems to the be the party hostel with people still singing and screaming in the yard at 2am. If you're in for a good time then Bella's is a great place for you!

Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

how's this for a time.. no sleep. overcrowded. dirty. unorganized. drunks. loud music ALL night... ALL day. overpriced. no privacy.
needless to say, don't waste your time here unless you're looking for a party. we definitely weren't and we're in our 20's backpacking.. common.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

We went there cause it was suggested in a travel guide. We were lucky to pay just for one night, because it was enough time to realize that the place is horrible.

The room was ugly and dirty. They play music during all night. And people were completely drunk all around.

The owner or manager, whoever talked to us was not nice since beginning.

Unfortunately I was sick that day and I couldn't rest because of the mess. We could not sleep during the night because of the noise.

Early in the morning we took our things, left that place and founded a cheapest and much better place.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

This was my first stay in a hostel. I was not overly impressed. All I was looking for was a place to sleep. But while the management of bella's seems to be better about noise, dirty mcnasty's is so loud that it's hard to sleep because of their noise. I did see cockroaches when I woke up at night but they do wash the floors every day. I think it's just hard when dealing with an older house like bella's has. I think they're trying to make improvements with the bathrooms and the owners aren't bad once you get to know them, but it is challenging when you first get there. I also had many bug bites but that may have been from mosquitos. So as far as I'm concerned probably not a place I'll stay at again soon but not all their fault either.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Staff is super friendly. Super. Rather than that it's kinda dirty, no hot water in showers (Not that you need to either), beds and sheets are in poor conditions. The kayaks at the back are free but floating in a swamp and the smell makes you want to do something else. In spite all this, it's probably the cheapest hostel in Caye Caulker, which in general is not a fun place (I'd totally skip it and the blue hole), and for the 15BZD you pay - you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

The only negative comment this review will contain is for myself: I feel awful that it took me so long to comment on the awesomeness of this hostel!

My boyfriend and I started our Belize trip here and had a fantastic time. The hostel had recently been acquired by the totally awesome Nicole, and she was putting a lot of time and love into renovating/cleaning up the beautiful Mennonite houses that make up the site. The buildings alone are worth the visit - I challenge you to find a hostel with a cooler layout, and more hidden nooks, crannies, and corners!

Bella's has everything a budget backpacker could ask for in a hostel: cheap dorms and private rooms (you won't find a more affordable place on the island), camping space for the hardcore, a kitchen, central location close to stores, restaurants, and the split, and a really relaxed, chilled-out vibe with friendly people. This hostel is decidedly un-fratty and unpretentious, which in my mind makes it exactly the kind of place I want to stay.

Our favorite part of staying at Bella's was definitely hanging out with the awesome new owner Nicole. From pointing us in the direction of the best and cheapest fry jacks for breakfast, to lending us free bikes, to going dancing with us at the bar, to just hanging out in the kitchen and chatting, she really made the start of our trip memorable and fun. The best part is that next time we're in Caye Caulker we'll feel like we're stopping in to visit an old friend rather than coming in like tourists.

If you're a laid-back and outgoing traveler looking for an affordable and friendly home on Caye Caulker, look no further than Bella's. And be sure to tell Nicole that Joni and Sandro say hi!

Room Tip: The private two-story cabana is a great option for couples or friends traveling together, especially...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bella's Backpackers

Address: Crocodile Street, Caye Caulker, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Caye Caulker
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Caye Caulker
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bella's is a large wooden family-run house, clean, safe place to stay on the water with beautiful sunsets and free canoes for the guests adventuring pleasure. We have kitchen, cable TV, internet, tour bookings, fishing trips, and other Belize information, as well as refreshments and nice people. Rooms, private cabanas, one apartment, camping, and small dorm sleeps 7, private/shared bath. It would be our pleasure to show you some sweet Belizean hospitality. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bella`s Hotel Caye Caulker

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