My wife and I spent the night here before going on to Turneffe Island Lodge the next day. There really aren't many viable options for a place to stay in Belize City other than The Great House, The Radisson (which is right across the street) and the Princess Hotel & Casino. All three have their issues.
The Great House is three stories tall. The hotel takes up the top two stories. The first floor has an open entryway with several small shops running down the sides of the entry, including an internet/cigar store, and leads into the entryway of the Smoky Mermaid, the hotel restaurant, located in what would be the side yard of the Great House.
When we arrived we were greeted by a young man who offered to carry our bags up to our rooms. This was great because we were packing a lot of dive gear and the Great House has no elevator. After checking in at the lobby on the second floor, we proceeded to our room on the third floor, around the corner overlooking the Radisson's pool and looking directly at the Radisson. Not the best view but, hey, it was only one night and somebody has to sleep there.
The room itself was kind of small but manageable. The bathroom was serviceable. The water pressure in the shower wasn't very good. The television didn't work, which wasn't a big deal as we were tired from traveling all day and went to bed early.
I walked around Belize City that afternoon and early the next morning. It's a rough town, to put it mildly, and not for the easily intimidated. As long as you're in broad daylight and out in the open you'll be fine but definitely not a place you want to be walking around in at night. The panhandlers there can be very aggressive and the best way to deal with them was to simply ignore them and keep moving.
We ate both dinner and breakfast at the Smoky Mermaid as it was the path of least resistance. The food was only ok, not bad but not especially good either, and overpriced. The outdoor setting is very nice with lots of shade and a fountain for atmosphere.
Checkout is at noon. Since we weren't going to be picked up to go to the marina until 2 o'clock, we asked if we could have a late checkout and were told no. So we dutifully checked out at noon, lugging our luggage back down to the first floor ourselves as the young man from the day before had apparently gone to lunch. Guess I didn't tip him enough the day before.
Then we hung around the open air lobby on the first floor for two hours. We couldn't really go anywhere with all our luggage plus it was hotter than Hades at that point. But this isn't as bad as it sounds as there were some comfortable chairs to sit in and we had brought our own reading material. We also killed some time in the internet/cigar store. My impression is that the place had just opened so it may or may not be there when you go.
So if you're looking for a one-night stay with a little local charm but very little of that and pretty much no services to speak of, the Great House will do--especially considering that there are so few alternatives. Next time I think we may try our luck at the Radisson, although from what I saw of it and the reviews I've read on Trip Advisor I'm not sure it would make any difference. I doubt I would ever stay in Belize City more than one night, and I can put up with just about anything for one night.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Belize is fast becoming the English speaking Central America destination of choice for those seeking adventure, a host of natural wonders, and beautiful people. We invite you to experience the awesome wonders of our world-renowned barrier reef system, to bask in the warmth of our numerous offshore and costal destinations, to be humbled by our magnificent archaeological sites, to be awed in the depths of our cave systems, to be totally swayed by the unique qualities of our natural and protected areas, and to be mesmerized at the biological diversity you will encounter in your daily adventures. More importantly, we invite you to be consumed by the passion, gentle embrace and authenticity of our diverse culture and people. As you travel the length and breadth of our home, we will greet each of you as friends but will let you leave as family. My staff and I invite you to choose The Great House Inn as your headquarter for your Belize Adventure. Old world charm with all the amenities for the Business and Leisure Traveler. It would be our pleasure to welcome you to this wonderful Colonial Home, which we have meticulously appointed with all the amenities for your comfort and convenience. The look and feel of yesterday with today's modern conveniences make The Great House Belize's most desirable "outpost" away from home. Our colonial heritage and ambience are faithfully preserved in all of our sixteen guestrooms. Each is individually color coordinated with a host of tasteful and comfortable appointments. All of the spacious rooms feature: Wi-Fi, Air conditioning, Ceiling Fan, Private Bath, Hair Dryer, Mini Refrigerator, Coffee maker, Direct Dial Telephone, Desk, Remote Control Cable TV, Alarm clock, Iron Board and In-Room Safety Deposit Box. Daily Complimentary: Wi-Fi, Light Continental Breakfast, Coffee, Tea, Bottle Water, Bananas and Cookies From polished pine floor to fresh fruit on arrival, our guestrooms and staff let you know you made the right choice. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Great House Hotel Belize City
- The Great House Belize/Belize City