My wife and I are wrapping up a 5 night stay at Almond Beach after spending 12 nights in various parts of Belize on our honeymoon. After staying at a couple of more upscale resorts, we decided to end our journey here due to the location on the beach and the modest price. We probably set ourselves up for disappointment, but this place isn't all that bad, depending on what your looking for.
If you have kids, this place is great. Your kids will make a lot of friends, and have fun playing in the two pools here, and swimming in the ocean. If you are looking for a romantic honeymoon resort in this area, you may want to try down the road at Belizian Dreams or even Hamanasi, where we didn't see any kids at all.
To elaborate, we stayed in the Sapra honeymoon casita, which has an outstanding view of the ocean from a huge window. Although the view is incredible, the pool is in front of this casita, and it sounded like a playground at all hours of the day. I was glad we brought along our mp3 players and some speakers so we could drown out the noise coming from outside when we needed to. ;) This is not an appropriate resort for honeymooners or anyone looking for a romantic getaway. Quiet and peaceful, it is not.
The room itself is very nice, although it doesn't compare to the top-flight resorts in the country. Our room was kept very clean throughout our stay, and was nicely decorated. It was difficult to keep cool, though, as only a few smaller windows could be opened. Using the air conditioning was an unfortunate necessity most days, though the room cooled down nicely at night with some windows open. There's a large jacuzzi in the room, and a shower in the bathroom. Hot water was mostly reliable here, although water pressure sometimes dropped off considerably. The king bed was comfortable, but we both have huge brusies on our shins from a piece of wood on the footboard that sticks out that we kept walking into! Something to remember Belize by for a few more weeks, though, right? Wireless internet was available to us in the room. There were some nice flowers in vases around the room when we arrived, but they haven't removed them or given us new flowers, so now they're just dried up husks now.
The grounds of the resort are well manicured, and it has a wide and long stretch of beach with tiki huts, a long pier, hammocks and lounges. Unfortunately, like in Placencica, trinket peddlers will be walking up and down the beach all day, and seldom walk by without bothering you. Also, the hammocks and lounge cusions are very dirty, and my wife and I both have shirts and dresses with huge black stains from the hammocks.
The layout of the resort is somewhat cramped, and I felt a bit mislead by the illustration on the web site. Everything feels very crammed together, and is a stark contrast from resorts that are more spread out, like Turtle Inn or Chaa Creek. Being that this is our honeymoon, and we value our privacy to that end, we felt our casita was a bit too close to the pool and to neighboring casitas. On the other hand, we still had our own casita, which beats a hotel room.
The level of service here is acceptable, though nothing to write home about, and the staff are friendly. Things truly happen at "Belize pace" here, with the exception of the poolside bar, from which we usually received prompt service. Staff are generally friendly, and the women at the reception desk are especially friendly.
Service at the restaurant was somewhat slow, and we often needed to remind servers a second time about a drink request or appetizer. After only about 3 meals, we started going off-site for lunch and dinner. Restaurants at nearby Belizian Dreams and Hamanasi are competitively priced and much tastier, especially at Hamanasi, which had some of the best food we tasted in Belize. Both are within walking distance on the beach, so I'd advise against getting the Almond Beach meal plan if you do choose to stay here. Many meals are served buffet-style, with much of the food either soggy or cold. The eggs at breakfast looked pathetic, and the potatoes were completely dried out. We ordered off a menu twice, but the food was only mediocre, especially compared with the fare at nearby resorts and restaurants. Servers also do not write the cost of your meal on the bill, making it an awkward affiar trying to figure out what to tip while the server stands over your shoulder.
There is a nice full-service spa here, which my wife took advantage of by getting a manacure and a poolside massage. The manager of the spa is very friendly and accomodating, and we would highly recommend stopping by if you are staying here. The poolside massage was great, and it was free(!), and was done by a gentleman known as "Dr. Ray" around the village.
We didn't do any tours here, as we had already done plenty while we were in the San Ignacio area, and were ready to do some diving. Since I was doing a PADI open water referral course, Almond Beach referred me to Hamanasi, which has an extensive dive operation with many friendly instructors and dive masters. I did my checkout dives, and an additional dive, with Hamanasi, and was impressed. It's only a five minute walk down the beach from Almond Beach, as well, so it's easy to go diving with a world-class diving operation if you're interested in that.
This is a nice resort for what it's worth, and if you have kids or don't mind being around them, you might be happier than we were here. It just was not for us, and if you're going on your honeymoon or anniversary, or looking for culinary bliss, I would think twice about staying here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Proud member of ViVA BELiZE, the leading Hotel Group and Adventure Company in Belize for the past 20 years. Almond Beach Resort & Spa is- A Haven for Romance & Wellness. It provides wonderful private honeymoon casitas and family suites located on a long golden beach that stretches for miles. Other features of Almond Beach Resort & Spa: -WINNER 2015 TripAdvisor HALL OF FAME Award -PADI 5 Star Dive Centre -FULL Service In-house SPA -Longest & Finest Beach in Belize -Pool with Swim up Tiki Bar -Kids pool -Beachfront Dining -Water Sports & Land Adventure Tour Desk ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Almond Beach Hotel Hopkins
- Almond Beach Resort All Inclusive
- Almond Beach Resort & Spa Belize/Hopkins