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.
- 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