We went to Belizean Dreams for our 1-year anniversary trip, and it did not disappoint. We were there from October 12-19, 2012. The weather and the water were perfect. It was a little windy and choppy the first two days, which caused the water to be cloudy but after a few days, the wind calmed down, and the water was like glass & crystal clear! Perfect for snorkeling right off the beach - we saw several starfish, conch, and lots of fish. Be sure to slow down and enjoy your travel companion, the staff at Belizean Dreams, and the people of Hopkins Village; it will make your trip 'unBelizeable.'
Here's a rundown of everything we enjoyed:
Staff: We felt like we were staying with friends and family. Everyone was so knowledgeable about the town, local culture, and history. They went out of their way to make sure you had a nice stay; we did not meet a single staff member we did not enjoy. However, we did have a few favorites. :) JOSE the bartender was always smiling, super friendly, and always listened to your requests for which music you wanted to listen to (and would even put on TV what you wanted to watch). MARIA, the bartender/waitress, is a little shy (so please don't mistake her for being rude) and warms up very quickly. By the way, any recent reviews about Jose & Maria are completely inaccurate. We spent our entire week with the people who wrote the review and know firsthand that they spent very little time with them and definitely not enough time to get to know them. JORGE, a waiter, is seriously so cute!! We loved our time with him; he will get so excited about a topic and will start talking really fast, we enjoyed it. He is funny and also very knowledgeable. HUESTES, a waiter, looks out for each guest to make sure they are fully taken care of, even if it is not his table. He would be absolutely perfect in a management position and we would highly recommend him for one. He is extremely funny and quick witted too. We thought ETZEL was so professional and very polite. He made sure everything we well taken care of (he even found us on the beach to let us know about our dive trip planned for Wednesday). CHARLES the bartender had an infectious smile. ALFONZO "BALL" took us on the Mayflower hike and was an incredible guide. BUT, our most favorite of all was the beach mascot, a black lab/beagle mix (we think?), Pork Chop!! Her name is actually Buffy, but only her mom calls her that (the owner of Diver Sity). Pick up some dog treats at the supermarket or give her some of your bacon and she will be your forever friend. If you meet Mia, a huge Rottweiler (or her mom, an even bigger Rottweiler), or a pitbull strolling the beach, don't be alarmed, they just want to play fetch or walk with you.
Accommodations: The villas are beautiful! Don't leave the interior light on by your bed or the bugs will find their way in, and they WILL bite you! There is plenty of hot water and the a/c works great. The rooms are cleaned daily. The beds are deceptively comfortable, they keep lulling you back to sleep long after you want to wake up. WiFi is available in the office, dining area, and the bar (even on the beach!). Blow dryer, soap, shampoo/conditioner are available in the bathrooms too. Be sure to bring lots of bug spray with high deet content & sunscreen. Our room had a TV, but we never turned it on. However, there is a TV at the bar & the bartenders are very open to turning it on any channel you wish to see (it is USA satellite TV) or they can turn it off too (which we preferred). Music is played at the bar and requests are taken for volume and style of music. Also in regards to a previous review, the music is hardly loud enough to hear it beyond the beach bar. (If you're looking for a lively bar scene, check out Coco Plum, an island about 30-min off shore from the resort.)
Food: A really good mix between local Belizean and American with a gourmet twist. If you catch it, they will cook it! Jose, the Chef, (or Jos"B" as we called him!) did a great job with the Barracuda caught while out diving. Our favorites included the Healthy Morning Blast with a side of eggs and bacon, the chips and salsa are amazing, the pizza is pretty good, the fry jacks (or, to quote one of the other guests, "Heavenly Pillows") were delicious, the bananas are super fresh, and the jerk lobster was very tasty, but very spicy!
Hopkins Village: If you're willing and able, we would suggest walking into Hopkins (instead of taking a golf cart or a bike) as you'll catch plenty of local gems along the way. It is a long walk (about 4-miles to the very end of town, one-way, but well worth it!). Check out Maureen at Iris' Sunny Side Up, she is great and can tell you a lot about the area. Alex (who is located right across from Maureen) makes some very nice local jewelry - coconut bracelets, shell necklaces, etc. Driftwood Pizza is everything everyone says it is - Delicious!!! Try the Hawaiian Pizza (coconut shavings are sprinkled on top!). Innies - we heard it is simple, but tasty. Shop & Save Super Market is nice!
Other Places to Check Out: The Sittee River Marina (to the left when you leave Belizean Dreams). Curve Bar, located at the Marina, is a great spot for a Belikin and has a fantastic view of the Monkey River. It is approximately 2-miles from the resort. Hamanasi is next door; Franklin is a great waiter and will greet you on the beach ready to take your drink order. It is quiet, peaceful, and relaxing! Chef Rob's & Barracuda Grill are yummy.
Diving: Check out Hamanasi and C-Dog for a structured, organized diving trip. It is perfect for newbies to old pros alike. Coco Plum & Scuba Steve are great if you know what you're doing and you just a need a means of getting out to the reef. They have a more laid-back approach.
Bottom Line - we had a FANTASTIC trip. Truly wonderful & everything we could have ever hoped for. We recommend coming with an open heart and an open mind to really soak in the local culture; you will not be disappointed. If your vacation time allows, go to the Belize Zoo - it really is "the best little zoo in the world"!! A must see!
Katie & Jason
- 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