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“Nice, but not up to our expectations”

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Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums
Ranked #7 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice, but not up to our expectations”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

We stayed in a very nice 2-BR 2-BA condo at the end of November 2013. The condo was great, but the complex let us down in a few areas.

The condo was very well appointed with a big kitchen, decently sized bedrooms, two big bathrooms, and higher end appliances. The condo was very clean and had excellent housekeeping service that included doing all the dishes and doing our personal laundry. Loved that. We also liked that the bedrooms are located at opposite ends of the condo so you have a little more privacy than if they were side-by-side. Our condo (and all the others from what we could tell) had a nice view of the pool and the Caribbean.

The rest of the complex and some of the staff were a bit lacking. The pool was clean but the water was cold and we rarely saw anybody swimming for more than a few minutes. They have two hot tubs on site - one was empty and the other was awful. We stayed for 10 days and the hot tub was disgusting every day, with cloudy luke-warm water and some kind of floating slime constantly swirling around the tub. There was also a bit of construction noise from the new phase being built next door. The noise wasn't terrible and could only be heard during the day if you were laying out. From what I was told by the staff there will construction here for many more months.

The trip planner / concierge (Rachel?) was also a big let down. She was very low-energy and didn't seem to know anything about the trips other than what was written in her book. She didn't have much at all to offer for recommendations on trips or restaurants. When she couldn't answer a few questions I had on a particular trip I had to push her to call the tour group and get the info. The remainder of the staff was helpful and pleasant to deal with.

Access to the complex was a bit of a surprise. I looked at the map and saw it was a couple miles from town so I expected it would be a short taxi ride. I had also read about the water taxi service and that sounded good too. The reality was a bit different. The road from town to the complex is unpaved and was a mess the entire time we were there. Potholes everywhere and a lot of standing water in places. Taxi service is $35 US round trip, golf carts run about $70 per day unless you plan to rent for several days. The water taxi was much less expensive and a nice way to travel but they only run about once an hour and they stop around 11pm. None of this had a huge impact on the trip but we may consider booking something closer to town if we return.

Much has been said in other reviews about the overpriced bar. The bar is certainly overpriced and we thought the food was poor, but we didn't plan to eat there frequently so it wasn't a big deal for us. The service at the bar was excellent, and the drinks were good. Ingrid in particular was very fun and upbeat.

The security staff was very helpful on a few occasions and we felt that security overall was very good here.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RSJ09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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718 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (243)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
HoustonTrav
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in a 1 bedroom on the beach with a beautiful view. The staff are very helpful--front desk, housekeeping, pool bar, and security. It is in a good location to walk to restaurants by the sand paths along the beach. Bring a flashlight! We took fishing and snorkeling trips arranged by front desk. Lil Alphonse snorkeling and Captain Rudy fishing. Sheena cooked our catch 4 ways and we had a wonderful feast! Ingrid at the pool restaurant learns your name and loves to tease and have fun. Her frozen pina coladas are the best! The resort made reservaions for restaurants and arranged water taxis to go there--Portofino and Matachica. We had the resort provision our room with breakfast and snack items and wine but probably didn't need as much. It is a beautiful modern condo. There are some families but lots of couples. Belize is wonderful--not commercial or Resort overload. Enjoy the beauty and difference from your hurried life!

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank HoustonTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montana
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2013 via mobile

The condos are first class! They are newer and of very high quality construction. The resort has the largest and most number of swimming pools in San Pedro. The staff all recognize you after a day and acknowledge you by name. They are very nice and accommodating for everything you need. The 24 hour security provides comfort. I would recommend to rent a golf cart from the resort for transport around the island. There are several great restaurants and bars only a few minutes from the resort or take a short beach walk to the Palapa Bar, a great experience. Going the short ride into San Pedro may seem intimidating, but definitely do it, great culture, food and places to have a drink. The reef is visible from the resort and there are kayaks for guests. You can kayak out and tie off to a buoy that is near the reef just a little north of the resort dock for snorkeling. The pool bar is fun and Ingrid and the crew do a great job. Grand Caribe is first class and was a very high quality experience.

Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
3 Thank CaribbeanMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Grand Caribe is lovely. The rooms beautiful and VERY clean. Having the laundry done for us was a bonus luxury!! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. The layout of the facility is perfect for a family trip with children. The pool was just steps from our back steps which was an ideal set up for us. The pool is large, clean and provided hours of fun. We were delighted with our choice to stay at Grand Caribe. We also loved the pool bar and grill. The kids thought the swim up bar was the greatest thing ever.

That said, I'm not sure I'd go back to Ambergris Caye. Definitely not a "beach" vacation as the beach seems to be there for photos only as you can't really swim & the actual "beach" area is tiny. Not much to do or places to eat on the north end when we visited mid November. Luckily the pool bar and grill had good food as it seemed to be one of very few options available. We did enjoy a delicious dinner at Aji just up the beach which opened for the season our last night there.

The town of San Perdo seemed sad, neglected and shabby (FYI - my travel taste tend to run closer to backpacker than 5 star so my expectations are usually pretty low - still somehow San Pedro managed to disappoint).

But - if you are going to Ambergris Caye I would definitely recommend the Grand Caribe

Room Tip: We loved room E2 - back patio access to the pool area was key for us.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alwayssunny2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2013

The condo was beautiful. The room was cleaned each day and laundry washed and folded. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Ada and Sherlette, who work at the pool bar and grill, cooked the best breakfasts each morning before our dive trips. They are our new friends....they are so sweet and friendly. They were the highlight of staying at GrandCaribe......they made us feel so welcome in Belize and we learned so much about the people and culture from them.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2013

The suites are huge with incredible views. Large pool and very friendly staff. Your clothes are cleaned daily, and at no extra charge. Ingrid and Sheena, who run the bar/kitchen after 2 are so friendly and love to laugh. If you want peace and quiet, this is the place.

Room Tip: The suites have kitchens and the resort will have them stocked for you when you arrive
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stonesdoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennesaw
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2013

The location of Grand Caribe is perfect walking distance from our condo that we own currently on Ambergris Caye. We have been to Grand Caribe several times over the last couple of years with friends, who are in the market to purchase a second home in Belize as well. Grand Caribe topped their list, until now. The staff was warm and welcoming at the swim up pool bar/restaurant. The restaurant has recently been turned over to Grand Caribe to run instead of outsourcing as it has been in the past. The menu prices are in US Dollars and are high compared to other nearby restaurants/bars. The last visit we spent about half a day here and had a mildly unpleasant visit, but decided to try again last week - every place deserves a second chance. We spent about 2 1/2 hours and $300 eating and drinking by the pool bar and enjoyed a dip in the pool before leaving. As we were paying our bill and getting ready to leave a security guard came up to us very close and asked if a dog that had followed us was ours. We informed him that the dog was not ours. He then told us the dog could not be by the pool. We kindly said no problem, we are leaving now anyway and were sure the dog would follow us out. One person walked away, the dog followed and we believed all to be fine. ( The local staff had been kind, but not mentioned the dog before now). The security guard, Sabal then asked our name. My husband gave his and asked Sabal for his name. The guard stood VERY close to our party and told us we need to go sign in at the front desk to be on the property. We have no problem with this practice, but at no time during our visit did anyone ask us to sign in anywhere. (This is evidently also a new practice for the resort) We explained we had been there before and were now leaving, but his attitude and space intrusion was intimidating and very unfriendly. We went to the wait staff at the restaurant to let them know what had happened and they were apologetic, but our friends quickly marked Grand Caribe from their list of properties to consider because this was not a typical warm welcome from the people of the island and left us all feeling that this was the last time we will choose to spend our money here.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank st_anywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums

Property: Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums
Address: 2 Mils North of San Pedro, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#8 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Family Hotel in San Pedro
#14 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums 3.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The unique layout of this premier resort provides the entire 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom condos with an unobstructed panoramic view of the second largest Barrier Reef! The residences are beautifully appointed with spacious, fully equipped kitchens. The living rooms and bedrooms have flat screens and all accommodations also have ipod docking, DVD and internet service. Concierge can arrange local flights, golf cart rentals, all tours including snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, mainland excursions, private charters, private chefs and babysitting. Contact us for your next vacation, honeymoon or any special occasion! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Caribe Belize Resort And Condominiums Hotel San Pedro
Grand Caribe Belize Resort And Condominiums San Pedro

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