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“I always stay here when in Belize City” 4 of 5 bubbles
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
Lethbridge
Level Contributor
72 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“I always stay here when in Belize City”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

Compared to the other option nearby (the Radison Fort George) I always stay here. The hotel is comfortable and you have a clean and spacious room that feels very home like. The room has a bedroom area and a sitting area with dresser, table, etc and of course your desk. There is always bottle water, as well as soda crackers and bananas in your room which is nice. There are not any meals included but for the price per night, go next door to the bakery and buy a delicious croissant and coffee (or latte) and call it a day. The restaurant on the main floor is comfortable and as a solo traveler I often went there in the evenings to read a book, have a glass of wine and something to eat. It is a very pleasant hotel and much nicer than the other options nearby.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gypsytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2009

I'm writing this review along with 3 others from my July 2009 trip to Belize. This was the one which I was wondering the most as to how to deal with. We stayed one night prior to flying out. A previous time I had been in Belize City, I had noticed this hotel and thought it looked neat.

What you will find is a 4 story, white, wood frame, colonial, house which has been converted to perhaps a dozen highly irregular guest rooms. It has large balconies, and in some areas you can see the sea. It reeks with history.

There is a slight feeling of run down in this hotel. The floors are not perfectly level, the decor is dated, and the paint is no longer perfect. We were allowed to look in a few rooms to pick one we liked, so I saw 3 rooms. That said, it's generally clean, there are no disturbing stains, and everything works (A/C, shower, etc). It's not scummy, just a little run down.

Now here is the thing. In my opinion, all of Belize city is run down (let's be honest, it's an Armpit), so the Great House is actually doing better than the rest of the city. Even the Radisson across the street is missing letters in its sign and looks like (from the outside) it's past its prime. I'm not a timid traveler, but I was a little nervous in BC (perhaps unjustified). The location of this hotel is about as safe as I think you will find. With the Radisson nearby (I believe they had guards), and this in the heart of the tourist area where I think there is a vested interest to make sure that the rest of the city's problems do not show up.

As I said, the room was clean, but the decorative pillows had a moldy smell. The real pillows were fine and the bed was quite comfortable. The bath room was clean with lots of hot water. I did notice something strange, in that I noticed a little swirl of grit on the bathroom floor under the sink which I assume got missed when the room was cleaned. I grabbed a spare towel and swept it away. The next morning, the same swirl of grit was back. I can only assume it was something falling off the sink bottom, but my mind recoils and will not let me fully consider what this might have been :).

The staff were nice on the phone, but I found them a little more "city" when we were there in person. By "city", I mean a little less warm, and slightly disinterested. Nothing large, they were helpful, willing to talk, but a little less than the normal warm openness of the Belizeans.

In terms of Value, I think we paid around $100 for a night which was okay.

In terms of recommendations, I have the impression that this is one of the nicer hotels in BC, and for that reason, I think you'd be happy (or rather, Happy that you are not in a different hotel).

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Larrabee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novato, CA
Level Contributor
140 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2009

The Great House is a beautiful hotel with spacious, quiet rooms in a peaceful setting. The staff is very accomodating and pleasant. Since bugs are pretty prevalent to Belize, I didn't find the roach in the bathroom upsetting, as the building and room were immaculate. There has been care taken of the property itself, and it definitely benefits from being close to a couple of other well-maintained properties, including the Radisson directly across the street.

We stayed here when we first arrived so that we'd have a full day to travel in case our flight was delayed or we had some other unforseen circumstance delay our departure inland. As we drove in, Belize City did not appeal as a destination in and of itself, though we did take a walk along the waterfront in the immediate area of the hotel. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of trash in the rip rap and the area suffers from apparent neglect. The Great House itself is a lovely building and certainly not bad for a one-night stay.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sunbunny31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2009

This place seemed nice until the electricity went out. Unlike the Radisson across the street (which was MUCH nicer), the Great House did not have a generator, therefore the hot water and lights were out the entire time. When we asked for our money back to move to another hotel, they refused and we had to pay them almost $200 for not even staying there. Belize City is not that great, but if you are staying here, be sure to stay in the Radisson. It is about the same price and much nicer. It has a pool, air conditioning, gym, computer, etc...all which the Great House lacks.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kbr209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelly020, Management at The Great House, responded to this review, June 10, 2009
When guests arrived at the property indeed there was no electricity, which is beyond our control. However these guest came in for less than 5 minutes and wanted to check-out to go to the Radisson because we do not have a pool. From the time these guests booked The Great House Inn they know we do not have a pool. Like all hotels we have a cancellation policy and a penalty fee.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2009

We stayed for one night on the last night before coming home. The power went out for over five hours. The staff, while sympathetic, did nothing to help us. Apparently power goes out frequently and that also shuts the water down. We tried to connect using the internet service the hotel offers. We connected once and then it failed to keep a connection. We asked for a refund and were argued with by the staff and management. If a service is offered it should be somewhat reliable. The rooms are old and decaying and they have armed guards out in the area because it isn't the friendliest area.

On the "pro" side, the restaurant isn't too bad.

When visiting Belize I would stick with San Ignacio or Ambergris Caye. Belize City is basically just a stopping point for the Airport.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nyboyinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shelly020, Management at The Great House, responded to this review, June 10, 2009
These guests did have problems connecting to the internet, however technical assistance was provided. The problem they had was the charge for the internet is $16.50US for a 24 hour period, and they did not use the entire 24 hours. This is a set fee by the internet provider, not the hotel. Once there are usage on the account there is no refund. The hotel refunded these guests their money back and paid the internet provided for the services the guests used.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Liked — Colonial third hird world atmosphere
  • Disliked — Lack of basic services
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DowningB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Illinois
Level Contributor
155 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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.

  • Liked — Setting, good restaurant on premises, room
  • Disliked — Location, face it, Belize City is a dingy city
  • Stayed December 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank tbschlat
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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