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“Wouldn't want to stay for more than one night”
Review of The Great House

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The Great House
Ranked #2 of 26 Belize City B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2008

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.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DowningB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 - 307 of 333 reviews

Reviewed July 27, 2008

We stayed at the Great House on our first night in Belize before traveling to Caye Caulker. It was a neat old place. We stayed on the 3rd floor with comfortable beds, nice bathroom, tv, etc. The views from the porch were great, esp. at sunset. We ate in the restaurant and enjoyed the cold Belikins (beer), too.

  • Stayed: December 2005
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1  Thank tbschlat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2008

Charming building horrible service.
We spent a night at the place after spending 3 days in balckbird resort.The rooms are charming but there are no elevators and as the receptionist explained to me it is not a hotel but an inn.Subsequently there may or may not be help available for houling your luggage up the stairs.The other problem is the restaurant which is beautiful and the food is decent but service is horrible.We didnt get water glasses and the waiter did the magic disappearing act.No one bothered to refill the vine .The restaurant was more or less 33 % full and staff was doing nothing.The next day we ate breakfast at the raddison across the street and were thrilled to be back in the civilization.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank travelwellNy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2008

We stayed at this hotel for just one night before departing Belize. There are just a few hotels on the Belize City water front. I was looking for something upscale, safe, within the walking distance of the restaurants, and with secure parking. This hotel seemed to fit the bill. Almost.

Belize City has but a few street signs. However, the hotel promptly e-mailed me excellent driving directions. We had no trouble locating it. Hotel does have ample parking with ever present security.

Hotel itself occupies the top two floors of an old Victorian house; check-in area is on the second and rooms are on the third. There are no elevators. Elder guests might find it difficult to climb steep stairs. You will get help with your bags.

The rooms are spacious and nicely decorated. Each room has a different theme. Bathrooms are large. Selection of complimentary toiletries is very poor; bring your own. Each room has a safe. However, there are no instructions on how to use them. We asked the front desk staff. Sadly, they seem unwilling to come and help us. The worse thing about these rooms is the exceptionally thin walls. You can hear your neighbors walking and talking. Each room is air-conditioned. Hotel has no pool. Rooms also have small refrigerators, unfortunately empty. Complimentary snacks included a single package of cheese crackers.

The first floor of the hotel has a gift shop, cigar store, travel desk, and a nice restaurant the Smoky Mermaid. This restaurant is conveniently opens for breakfast at 6:30 am.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Gene_Augusta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2008

After finishing a week on a liveaboard dive boat, we were planning to transfer directly to Blackbird Caye on Turneff Atoll, but that resort had other plans, so it put us up in the Great House for one night. It was an excellent break. We had the room right around the corner from the front desk. Our room was huge (particularly after being on a boat for a week). We had a small sitting room attached that looked out over the courtyard restaurant (but was not noisy even so). Wireless access (for a small price) gave us an opportunity to crank up the laptop and contact our son and check on things at home. Check in and check out were completely w/o hassle.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Capt_Nemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2007

I just recently came back from a trip to Belize. The most important thing about the Great House was that it felt safe. Sure, there were people that stood outside the hotel and asked if you needed a taxi, wanted a tour, wanted to buy a wooden boat. In the evenings, we would see a guard walking in the front lot, which was comforting.

The price was reasonable, the rooms were nice and clean. The only time I asked for some information from the front desk about getting to San Pedro, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the response. The tour desk at the Radisson was much more informative.

The Smokey Mermaid was alright, the food was mediocre, and pricey even by US standards. However, the bar at the Radisson had a decent menu, with happy hour specials, for a much more reasonable price. Le Petit Cafe was nice for breakfast or lunch.

There is an Internet cafe about a block and a half away. Tourism Village is close. There was not an ATM within close distance to the hotel. It wasn't a far walk, but, on a day when there was not a cruise ship in town, it was a bit, dodgy at times. The closest ATM was out of service, which seemed to be a common thing as everyone gave directions to both, just in case. The working ATM was across the swing bridge.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with friends
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2  Thank ClumsyIsis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2007

The Great House stay was a nice experience for our first 4 days in Belize. The staff was very friendly and courteous and our room was large and clean. The Smokey Mermaid was a bit pricey, but after we checked around the immediate area for other decent restaurants, we discovered that it wasn't so bad. We had a/c and a large ceiling fan in our room which kept it cool enough that we shut it off at night. Granted, it's not the cheapest place to stay in Belize City, but it's location just a block away from the tourist village and ocean front made it convenient for tours and shopping. We recommend it!

  • Stayed: March 2007
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4  Thank barry1170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Great House

Address: 13 Cork Street | PO Box 85, Belize City, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize District > Belize City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 26 B&Bs / Inns in Belize City
Price Range: $135 - $201 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Great House 3*
Number of rooms: 16
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

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