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The tiny nation of Belize contains a wealth of natural and cultural attractions befitting a country many times its size. Its coast is blessed with a succession of beautiful white sand beaches liberally sprinkled with graceful coconut palms, while the Caribbean Sea's stunning coral atolls, deep open waters, and sheltered lagoons make for some of the best diving and fishing in the region.
Inland, visitors will find extensive areas of pristine jungle filled with gushing streams and trickling waterfalls, where colorful butterflies glide in sunny clearings and tropical birds flit through the canopy. The area — especially along the coast — is heavily influenced by Afro-Caribbean culture, with swaying reggae rhythms and delicious seafood dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and other spicy and exotic specialties.
As the only English-speaking nation in Central America, it has long been a popular tourist destination, which has given rise to an abundance of boutique retreats, modern resorts, and idyllic beachfront hotels. Here, our absolute favorite retreats in Belize.
Best Overall: Matachica Beach Resort & Spa
Facing out onto a beautiful stretch of sand in the island oasis of Ambergris Caye, the beachfront casitas of Matachica Beach Resort & Spa offer an authentic and luxurious tropical experience with thatched roofs, indulgent bed linens, and artistic furnishings. The private verandas on the front of each casita come with woven hammocks to laze in while enjoying tranquil ocean views. The Jade Spa offers exotic treatments such as coffee scrubs and facial cleanses based on tropical fruits, as well as a range of aromatherapy and therapeutic massages. Active guests can undertake kayak expeditions and guided snorkeling tours, while others can enjoy cocktails while relaxing on the double sun lounges lining the infinity pool which also features a hot tub. The Mambo restaurant serves Caribbean-fusion dishes made with fresh local ingredients (AKA lots of seafood) in an open, relaxed space with cushioned bamboo benches and colorful artwork. Guests can also choose to eat out on the shaded outdoor terrace.
Best Budget: BlueBelize
On a scenic stretch of coast offering views over the Amantique Bay, the BlueBelize hotel provides comfortable accommodations, excellent service, and an enviable location at a price that'll satisfy even the most budget-conscious travelers. Set amid lush gardens, spacious guest suites are simply but comfortably designed with local wood furnishing adding a touch of warmth. Rooms contain full kitchens with coffee and tea facilities, and sofa beds are provided to accommodate extra guests. Roomy private balconies come furnished with glass-topped tables, deckchairs, sun lounges, and hammocks for enjoying the expansive waterfront views. For guests wanting to explore the local area, the hotel provides complimentary use of their recognizable ‘BlueBelize’ bicycles. Other facilities include the complimentary continental breakfast, laundry service, a DVD library, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
Best Beachfront: Turtle Inn
the Turtle Inn offers an idyllic slice of beachside oasis perfection
A spectacular view out over glittering Caribbean waters is just one of this stunning oceanfront property's most enviable features. The idyllic oasis unfolds around a triangular infinity pool where a collection of Balinese-style beach cottages feature hand-carved wooden décor. A range of styles is available, with the upper-end rooms featuring private swim-up pools, ocean views, and private terraces. At the front of the hotel, a relaxing beach-view pool overlooks white sands and a bunch of hammocks strung between swaying palms. The open-air Sunset Spa delivers traditional Thai massages, sea salt body scrubs, and coconut hair rinses in a calm, serene atmosphere. A range of dining selections include Caribbean-fusion at Mare restaurant, beachfront grill dishes at Gaugin, and traditional Belizean dishes at the social Auntie Luba’s Kitchen, as well as a selection of fine wines from the ‘wine aquarium’ cellar.
Best Boutique: Blancaneaux Lodge
With a remote wilderness location, the Blancaneaux Lodge offers a secluded and exclusive escape from the modern world without sacrificing any comforts. Luxurious private villas are full of natural wood elements, rustic artwork, and unique conch shell telephones; some also feature extras such as waterfall-view terraces, plunge pools, and telescopes for viewing the night sky. Guests can take a dip in the hotel infinity pool or hot tub or chose to plunge into a number of cool freshwater ponds along the nearby Privasson River. Treatments available at the Waterfall Spa include soothing Thai massages and refreshing papaya body cleanses. In the Montage Ristorante, chefs serve traditional Italian dishes and gourmet pizzas on an open-air wooden restaurant terrace while hummingbirds fly between flowers on the beautifully landscaped grounds. Guests can explore the surrounding forest in the company of informative hotel guides in a search for waterfalls, tropical orchids, and a dazzling array of birdlife.
Best for Romance: Victoria House Resort & Spa
Set in a secluded corner of famous Ambergris Caye, the Victoria House Resort & Spa provides an elegant atmosphere for couples looking to relax in a quiet tropical oasis. Though a range of accommodation options are available, couples would do best with a private casita; these face over green lawns and the resort's stretch of private beach, making for the ideal romantic holiday. In traditional fashion, casitas are built from natural materials and feature elegant bed drapes, handcrafted mahogany furnishings, and shaded verandas complete with comfortable hammocks. Guests can lounge around the oceanfront infinity pool, drink wines and cocktails in the Admiral Nelson Beach Bar, and dine on fresh ceviche and grilled lobster at the Palmilla Restaurant. For couples looking to indulge, the Reef Romance package pampers with a cocktail and bouquet of flowers upon arrival, followed by chilled champagne, a couple’s massage, an intimate candlelit dinner on the beach, and a host of activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.
Best for Families: Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums
With children 12 and under staying for free and a huge range of activities available, the Grand Caribe Belize is the perfect place to enjoy a fun family vacation. A large, modern resort, the hotel building is modeled after traditional colonial hacienda architecture encircling an extensive central courtyard and facing onto a large beach and private pier. Guest suites come with one to five bedrooms to accommodate families of any size and are complete with comfortable furniture, full kitchens and bathrooms, and furnished balconies. Family-friendly activities can be arranged through the hotel, including snorkeling tours, cave tubing, sailing expeditions, and ancient Mayan ruin expeditions. Five pools are spread throughout the resort; there's a shallow toddler pool, waterfalls and bridges to excite older children, and hot tubs for parents to laze in while watching the young ones play. The Rain Restaurant provides a range of grilled dishes, seafood, and pasta from its scenic rooftop location which provides panoramic views over the island and sunset ocean vistas.
Best for Luxury: Cayo Espanto
With only seven villas set amongst the palms of a private island, Cayo Espanto is easily the most exclusive and luxurious resort in Belize. Each of the gorgeous, open-plan villas come with a private heated plunge pool, a dedicated butler, and uninterrupted ocean views. Looking for the ultimate secluded stay? Book Casa Ventanas which forgoes a plunge pool in favor of being constructed over the crystal-clear seas on a private pontoon. With immaculate service a hallmark of the property, staff will bring a personalized menu of fresh, flavorsome dishes and premium wines, cocktails, and spirits to guests wherever they choose to wine and dine. Guests can also choose from a huge range of activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and snorkeling, or they can opt for a range of spa services in the privacy of their villa, or just choose to stroll along deserted beaches and picnic under shady palms.
Best for Singles: The Phoenix Resort
Located in the heart of downtown San Pedro on the popular Ambergris Caye, guests at the Phoenix Resort will find themselves surrounded by numerous restaurants, tropical bars, and thumping nightclubs. A slick modern resort with dramatic angles and smooth lines, the spacious suites feature wooden furnishings, full kitchens, bathrooms with a jacuzzi tub, and large private balconies overlooking the courtyard pool and adjacent beach. The pool contains plentiful sun lounges and a popular pool bar while the Sol Spa offers a range of massage and skin care treatments. A wealth of free amenities includes the use of bicycles, paddleboards, and kayaks, as well as complimentary yoga and painting lessons, wine tastings, and chocolate samples. A social highlight is the free drinks offered during happy hour at the scenic rooftop bar where crowds of happy travelers sip hand-crafted cocktails while enjoying the sunset views.
Best for Nature: Chan Chich Lodge
Located in the middle of pristine rainforest filled with an abundance of wildlife — including mammals, frogs, and hundreds of bird species — the Chan Chic Lodge immerses guests in the heart of the Belizean wilderness. Verdant grounds are filled with colorful tropical flowers and charming, comfortable thatch-roof cottages constructed from locally-sourced materials. Guests can relax in the free-form pool and outdoor hot tub complete with a trickling waterfall. With a strong focus on conservation and sustainability, the restaurant serves local and international dishes prepared with ingredients produced at the on-site organic farm. Experienced guides conduct a variety of tours in the surrounding jungle, identifying birds, medicinal plants, and ancient Mayan ruins — all of which can be found within the resort's 30,000 acres of private reserve. Guests should join in the 4WD night tours for their best chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive jaguar. Other activities include canoeing, horseback riding, and a variety of off-site tours to local attractions.
Our writers spent 4 hours researching the most popular Belize hotels on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different hotels overall and read over 30 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.