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“Paradise Off The Beaten Path”

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Belizean Dreams Resort
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 17, 2012

My husband and I (in our 50s) absolutely loved this secluded, quiet spot on the southern Belize coast near Hopkins, a fishing village. We got a deal with Groupon.

People in-the-know bought wine and liquor at the duty-free shop at the Belize City airport before boarding a small plane to their resort destination. It's much cheaper than always buying drinks at the beach bar. ($7 margaritas.) If you buy wine, don't forget a corkscrew!

Winslett, the manager of Belizean Dreams, was waiting for us at the Dangriga airport after a 15-minute flight in a small plane. He stopped at a convenience store where we bought crackers, chips and salsa for snacks. The drive to Hopkins was quite bumpy, with many working people riding bicycles on the road. Winslett drove us down the main road and pointed out various places to eat. He said it was a very safe town and only a mile away from the resort. We could ride bikes or walk into town anytime. (Or rent the golf cart.)

Finally we arrived at Belizean Dreams and were welcomed by Noemi while our bags were delivered to our one-bedroom suite (5A) which was so beautiful! We could see the ocean from our front porch and the jungle and mountains from the back porch. The king-size bed had mosquito netting all around for a lovely romantic effect. Lots of wood -- floors, ceiling beams, tables and chair, armoire and sofa. There was a microwave, mini-frig, and coffee maker which I was not expecting! The bathroom is big, with Saltillo tile floors and two huge Talavera sinks. I recommend bringing a sleep mask as bright sunlight fills the room by 6 a.m. and maybe ear plugs. Or just get up early, drink coffee on the balcony, and watch the variety of tropical birds flitting from the trees.

We had two welcoming rum punches at the beach bar and I admired a local artist's artwork he had for sale. Didn't buy anything but should have because I didn't see him there again. There are also occasional vendors on the beach with nice items, not pushy at all.

The grounds are a little dark by 6 p.m. (no Daylight Savings Time) but solar lights illuminate the paths and steps around the pool. We decided to eat dinner ($12) at the cafe. (Did not get the all-inclusive option.) The food is good but we wanted to try the other places too. Since we were the only ones eating at that time, our waiter Huestes, told us a little history of Belize and the types of people that live in this country.

This is the perfect place to relax on the beach and take advantage of the free kayaks. We took kayaks out on the water which was pretty smooth in the morning, then got choppy in the afternoon. The white sand is coarse and the beach is small, but the clear water is so warm! Bath water warm!

For lunch, we rode the resort's free bikes into Hopkins. Innies is rated the best restaurant in town, known for it's local Garifuna dishes. The stewed chicken and coconut milk rice is delicious. In town, make sure you go all the way north of town to a beachside place called Driftwood Pizza where an Irishman/Brit has the best pizza anywhere! Really! Also Rosie at Yugadah's makes authentic Garifuna food. Make sure you talk to Alex, the Rastafarian by the side of the road who makes lovely shell jewelry, and Dave, who creates wood figures in his shop.

Our first excursion was Cave Branch River, a 2-hour drive into the jungle. Many in our party were honeymooners. We were the oldest folks! Anyway, we had such a blast hiking through the rainforest, climbing the platforms and zipping through the trees and valleys! After a buffet lunch at this place, we got inner tubes and helmets with lights, and hiked through the jungle about 30 minutes to the Cave Branch River and an entrance to the most magnificent cave! We hooked on together and our guide jumped into the river and pulled us through, swimming and talking the entire way. The river swept us into a large cavern room, dark and cool, and slowly meandered around the stalactites. There was a lovely waterfall cascading into the cave and more twists and turns. It was better than a ride at Disney World! This was the real thing! After about 30 minutes, we exited the cave and floated down the river, back to the point where we got in. It was a wonderful adventure.

So after a long, bumpy 2-hour ride back to Belizean Dreams, we showered and relaxed on the balcony with some wine and local beer (Belikin) until it was 6 p.m., already dark outside. We walked down to the beach and went to Jaguar's Reef next door for an excellent seafood dinner. The dining room was much larger and very romantic.

You can't go to Belize and not see the Mayan ruins. We went on another excursion to Xunantunich, clear across the country toward Guatemala. Bernard was our driver and guide which was great because he is Mayan.
We also wanted to go on a birding excursion to the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary the next day however it was kind of rainy and muddy so Bernard, our guide again, suggested driving a loop around the Sittee River where we saw beautiful tropical birds.

For dinner we walked (on the longer street side rather than the beach side because of those pesky sand fleas) to neighboring Hamanasi Resort which was favorably reviewed recently in the New York Times as a ecological friendly place. It was very jungly with treehouses and huts with hammocks on the porch. The restaurant food was delicious but much more expensive. I imagine the lodging was quite a bit more as well.

Final impressions -- Belize is not as cheap as Mexico or Guatemala, but is the friendliest country I have ever visited! Local folks smile, wave at you, initiate conversation, and basically get along with each other. Everyone speaks English and some Spanish. Expect that this is the rainforest, which means rain, bugs and humidity and be prepared. Also, I wish I was a diver or had gone on the snorkeling trip because the reef is supposed to be spectacular.

Additional Tips:
Get a list of excursions from the resort ahead of time. Some trips may be rained out.
No need to buy bottled water. A huge bottle of purified water is in the room. Don't drink the tap water.
WiFi is available in the office only.
Since there was no TV in the one-bedroom suites, it's a good idea to take some books, games or download some TV shows or movies on your iPad or laptop.
Leave your extra Belizean change for the housekeepers. They do a good job.
Nice robes are provided in the room.
The best souvenir t-shirts are at Art Box shop on the way to the Cave Branch zipline tour. There are also cool t-shirts at the airport.
Bring sunscreen and bug spray. And microwave popcorn!
Tip your guides for a job well done!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank dinabwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 16, 2012 via mobile

We took advantage of Groupon deal. Seeing the roos, we are convinced it was an amazing deal a bit of trouble getting booked. However, once that was out of the way, Isabella was helpful in this process, we were off and running. We read that this time of year was low and rainy season, so we expected iffy weather. After a couple of days of windy and stormy conditions, the weather improved markedly and we had a clear and beautiful ocean. The rooms were kept clean and tidy. We had coffee machines and a ideallic view from our baxony, 3a, every morning. Here is where it gets tricky. There is a bar on the beach, its the only one among four resorts. Every day at about eleven, the start playing music. Once we commented to the bartender to turn it down, she was literal
Y blasting techno music, she turned it down, but it was still loud. My husband went up again, but we Finally left to go next door to hamanasi resort for some peace and quiet. Bottom line here: if you are looking for a quiet time on the beach, this may not be the best place. Yo can't get away from the noisy bar, no matter where you are sitting. Also, on our second day, we had 3 families arrive, some with very small kids. If you want an adult emvironment, check to see who else they have booked.

We did not buy all in packages, so we had the flexibility to go anywhere to eat, we are glad we did that. The breakfast here was OK, but very slow. Today, we went to hamanasi, that was great. 14 $us for a really nice buffet that you don't have to wait for.
We also explored all of the restaurants on the beach: barracuda grill is superb, chef robs. In addition, we went into town a couple of nights for some driftwood pizza, fabulous.

Staff is amazing. Enzel, George, filipe thank you enzel for all of yr help and advise. Enzel is one the best front desk people we have come across,ever.

The bar staff is not so deserving. Maria is slow and unfriendly, she may be shy and have a language barrier, but then, she should not be a bartender in a place where 98% of clientele is from the US. She is also the one blasting techno during the day, completely unaware that people may want some peace and quiet. Jose seems perpetually drunk, sporting an unnaturally loud laugh and inticing passers by to come and have a drink. Not very classy, compared with the other places/bars on the beach.

Overall, the lodgings and service are first rate, the bar staff and approach really need a second look. The food is middle of the road.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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2  Thank dianezhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

My wife and I stayed at Belizean Dreams for our honeymoon from 18-24 September. We rented a car with the intent of trying as many things as we could in the area and travel out if we needed to. We drove from Belize City and while it's a beautiful drive, there isn't much help getting to the resort in Hopkins. I recognized Hamanasi and followed the signs there and asked them where to go. It just so happened to literally be the next resort up.

Once we arrived we were taken to our room and then to the bar for a complimentary drink. There is no TV or wifi in the room but that can be a good thing for some. Considering how difficult it is to get around and there being no phones in the room either, having wifi would definitely help when planning activities. Speaking of which, we were left with a one page form on the table describing activities and which days they would be available with the resort. However, there were no times, locations or prices on the paper. A trip to the office rectified this but it seemed none of the activities were really planned all that well. Several trips had been changed and there were no additional options on the same day offered. There was no real communication or a sense of order for most of the trip.

Lightening hit our room blowing something out of the wall and melting the rest of it to the outlet which also blew the circuit the refrigerator was on. We notified the office around 10am but it did not get repaired until after 6pm. At 4pm I again let them know there was a melted plug still in the wall and that they probably would want to have it removed before someone just decided to reset the breaker potentially causing a fire. This same storm knocked out the wifi at the restaurant for the rest of the vacation. They kept saying each day that it would be fixed that evening but they had only restored wifi at the front office.

I'm not too sure how much more the all inclusive cost but we ended up going with the resort for a few trips and it will cost you a good bit so it may benefit you to go that route since everything seems to be a 2+ hour trip away and at 650US a gallon of gas it can get expensive fast if you're not sure where you want to go. ATM's are few and very far between and almost every place takes only cash.

The food stayed pretty much the same throughout the week. Usually a choice of a beef, chicken and fish/seafood meal for dinner at about 25 dollars US. This is usually no choice of appetizer or dessert. Breakfast never changed from the basic menu choices and costs about 12-15 dollars each. Alcohol was relatively cheap, especially if you stuck with the basics. Rum and coke's were 2 dollars each and happy hour was buy one and get one free.

The staff at the bar and at the restaurant really made what could have been a horrible trip into something very decent. They really made this place and were the highlight of the resort stay. Always happy to engage in conversation, very polite and always trying their best to make you as happy and comfortable as possible. I wish I would say that I felt this way when dealing with the office.

The morning we checked out they had none of our paperwork ready. The gentleman at the desk said he wasn't told we were leaving that day. One of the receipts had no price on it and he didn't know the cost of the trip but we were able to still get out without too much of a delay

If you're looking for a rustic stay and just relax with no stress and just float along with the local atmosphere then Belizean Dreams would probably be perfect for you. If you're looking for many activities, a nice beach to lie on and a few modern conveniences then I don't believe this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jayhawkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2012

My husband and I went to Belizean Dreams for our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We got a great deal on Groupon and purchased a weeks stay. We don't drink so we chose not to get the inclusive deal.This was our first trip abroad so I don't have a lot of experience out of the country but Belizean Dreams was a great beginning.
First let me start by saying we had a wonderful stay at Belizean Dreams.

The staff is warm and helpful. They go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and accommodate. We absolutely loved them and enjoyed getting to know them. We loved our one bedroom suite in 5A. There is not a tv and thankfully my husband thought to bring his laptop and download some movies from iTunes prior to our trip so a few nights we watched a movie.
After the hurricane earlier this summer they lost a antenna so there is very limited internet connection and that is mainly at the office or at the restaurant so be warned. If they haven't fixed that by the time you go- internet connection is slow and difficult. We weren't on it all the time, that's not why we went on vacation, but when we did try to download a movie it never fully finished.

That said, we chose to do 2 trips to the Mayan ruins and snorkeling. Both were great and well worth it. We were fortunate enough to hear and see Howler monkeys in the jungle during our trip to the ruins. The ruins were impressive and awe- inspiring.
The snorkeling trip was amazing and we spotted sting rays, barracuda, and many small colorful fish. We never felt in any danger when we were in the water and we stopped for lunch on the island of Coco Plum. It was a beautiful island that looks like it's straight out of a calendar spread. It's only for adults so that's something to consider and it's just you, the beach, a restaurant and a bar.

As one reviewer said the beach at the resort is not the turquoise blue you often see. We did get that on our snorkeling trip as I just stated. So if that's what you're seeking I'd suggest checking into Coco Plum. It's an island with about 8 cottages for adults only. The water at the beach at the resort was clear and perfectly fine just not a beautiful shade of blue.
We did take the kayaks out but they don't have the snorkels that are listed in the website however I'm not sure you'd see much even if they did.

The food was good. We didn't eat every meal there, most often we were there for dinner. They usually had 3 options for dinner. Some type of fish, chicken and beef. It was about $50 US for a dinner for 2 which includes a appetizer, entree and dessert. The desserts were lacking but I'm a baker so my standard is high. We went to Chef Robs one night, another resort down the beach. We weren't impressed and it was about the same price wise.

You can get much less expensive meals in town but you are in a third world country and you need to remember that they don't have a sanitation rating on the wall. We did adventure out to the village almost every day. Often taking a meal in as we were there. We had pizza at the Driftwood. It was good. We went to a bakery (turn at the basketball court) she is an american that has great muffins and sweet breads at a pittance! (That's what we had for breakfast most days.) She bakes and has things ready in the afternoon. We also went to The Frog Cafe for breakfast and that was good. My husband loved eating at Innes. He had Hoodut. (Red Snapper and mashed plantains cooked in coconut milk)He's adventurous like that!

If you do go into town it's only a mile drive. We road the bikes. They are pretty worn down and they only have 2 adult and 3 children's. Not a bad bit of exercise and we just didn't feel like paying for the golf cart.

Over all we loved our trip and would return again. This is a small resort and it was perfect for our needs. We wanted to relax and just enjoy each others company. If you want adventure I suggest more excursion packages. We went in the off season and the days we didn't go on excursions we made our own into the town or just lazed around the pool and had the resort practically to ourselves and loved it!

Room Tip: We stayed in 5A for the first few days of our trip and then moved to 3A for the last couple of days...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ldskathryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

When we arrived @ Belizean Dreams we were taken directly to the outdoor bar,and treated to a complimentary drink. The bartender(Charles) was smiling and very friendly. He made us a rum punch,delicous!! The bar is situated between the outdoor infinity pool and the Carribean Sea. Breath taking views!!

After we unpacked,and got situated we headed out to take in the incredible views. We were greeted by a gentlemen with a million dollar smile,Arnol. He walked with us on the beach,and showed us the resorts that were next to belizean Dreams.He told us we were welcome to stroll about anywhere on the beach and visit the other resorts. He then pointed out the coconuts. Arnol, explained to us the different ways to use a coconut,depending on what stage it is in. Arnol and another gentlemen then climbed the tree and cut a couple of them down using a machete. He cut the top off of the coconut,opening up a small hole. He put straws in them and brought them to our room. What an exciting way to begin our stay @ Belizean Dreams.

We had purchased The Just Chillin Package.(this included all of our meals). We absolutely enjoyed all the food! Each day we could not wait to see what entre'es would be on the dinner menu. Lobster was offered almost every night,prepared many delicous ways! Breakfast was refreshing and very tasty.(try the fry jacks) Fruit was offered every morning,and the banana pancakes,yummy!! We could also enjoy one snack each day. The chicken wings and fries were excellent,and the nachos too!
Oh, we would be remissed not to mention the banaffi pie! This is positively the best pie we have ever had! Try it,you won't be disappointed. On Friday,Arnol and some of the staff set up tables on the beach for dinner! What a nice touch! They decorated the tables,and the chairs. What a beautiful night on the beach!! The campfire was an added bonus!!

The staff: Arnol,Charles,Trina,Raymond,Albert,Alfonso,Bernard,Naomi,George,the wonderful cleaning ladies(sorry I don't remember all your names) You all deserve the best! Please tip them well!!

A few tips:bring cash(one U.S. dollar is worth two Belize dollars) You won't find an ATM in Hopkins.
Tours:are well done,and informative! Mayan ruins is an all day trip,but well worth it! Bernard and Alfonso did an excellent job!
Bring a backpack to carry your items in. They stop for lunch on the tour,and a gift shop!
Golf cart: rent one,and tour Hopkins. Dave's Wood Carvings is a must see. There are a few shops and restaurants to visit! Also,a couple of nice bars! The Driftwood has very good pizza!

The people of Belize were so gracious and friendly. They don't have nearly the opportunities we have in the States,yet they are extremely positive people!! We were honored and privileged to meet all of you! You treated us like family!! Arnol, I will never forget you (my new friend,I will be in touch)You are the best! Thank you for everything!! To all the people we met,thank you for your generous hospitality!! To all the future people that visit Belizean Dreams,we hope you have as humbling of an experience,as we did! Thank You!!!

Stayed: July 2012
2  Thank Juno7712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2012

This hotel is a gem in the poor humble town of Hopkins Belize. The staff tries their hardest to accommodate all guest. They make you feel important and valued. The Island is just that and Island, ppl from the states should not expect what they are use to. They take their time with the food and quantities are limited due to cost and location. It was a clean beautiful villa that was more like a house, with good dinners and a great atmosphere.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jeanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I want to start of by saying hello to a few of the friends I made there. Etcel- You were just spectacular my friend. I cannot rant or rave enough about your excellent attitude, and amazing service you gave my family. I can honestly say you would be a family friend if we were natives there. Niomi- The smiles from you made each day a little better. Thank you for such great assistance and help throughout our stay there. You went above and beyond your duties. Winzel- As a manager you were obviously very busy.. yet you always found time to chat and interact with us. You were a wealth of knowledge with generosity and kindness mixed in. I never once felt rushed when we talked, and you were the perfect professional and friend. Justin- OMG. I wanted to adopt this Belizan! He worked hard for the resort, and then consistently found time to play/assist my children as well as us. He is a true asset to the resort, and I give him 6 stars! Much love my friend Justin!

The staff made our trip a 5 star experience. I understand that many go into these places expecting marital bliss, and honeymoon sex on the beach each night. The truth of the matter is simple. It is as good as you make it. We took the time to talk to the local people, as well as the other vacationers there. This made all the difference. The resort itself may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up with huge hearts. My wife and I have traveled around the world, and we have stayed at many wonderful places. This resort was a great place to stay and relax, and a breath of fresh air in service. The accommodations were exactly what we expected and more.

A few tips: Network with your other resorters. The more you can get to go on the excursions...the deeper the discounts you will get. Bring 93% deet with you. The bugs are annoying at times, but that is to be expected. Plan for this, and you will be happy. Bring very good skin lotion. I would suggest Eucerin. Your skin will get very dry due to the salt etc, and you will feel like you are getting attacked by bugs... just dry skin. Go to Janette and get a golf cart! Half of the fun is adventuring alone, and walking is okay, but not when the humidity is 99% LOL.
Plan for there to be no ATM, and bring money accordingly. (We spent about 80 dollars per day for food on the economy, and ate VERY well as a family of 4). Bring a camera with a blue filter...Lots of ocean and blue sky.. plan for that if you can.

We had a wonderful time.. so good we are deciding if we are going to build our 2nd home in Hopkins. Enjoy as we did!

Room Tip: If you want a TV you need to get the larger downstairs room. If you plan on your own "entertain...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank TimZach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belizean Dreams Resort

Address: Sittee River Road, Hopkins 501, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#2 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range: $202 - $537 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Belizean Dreams Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a small, intimate Belizean owned and managed resort nestled on the coast of Hopkins Village, southern Belize. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belizean Dreams Hotel Hopkins
Belizean Dreams Hotel Dangriga
Belizean Dreams Dangriga
Belizean Dreams Resort Belize/Hopkins

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