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The Grand Colony Villas Hotel at Ambergris Caye, Belize, is definitely one of my top hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The service was phenomenal, the room exceeded expectations, and we enjoyed having a spacious and beautifully decorated room to “come home” to each night we were there. Here’s a review of the Grand Colony at Ambergris Caye in San Pedro, Belize.
The hotel is located right on the beach and many of the rooms have beach front views. The beaches on Ambergris Caye aren’t the most stunning (it’s really all about the reefs there, in my opinion); however, the beaches are still great for lounging around and you can easily rent kayaks or go for a dip to take advantage of your close proximity to the ocean.
The hotel is located about a 5-10 minute taxi ride south of “downtown” San Pedro, which means that the you’ll have to get up in your golf cart or a taxi each time you want to venture into the heart of downtown or settle for about a 30 minute walk (taxi rides to downtown from here are $5USD one way). However, there are a number of places to eat and stores just a few seconds away from the hotel so you can definitely get by without venturing into downtown if you don’t want to. While it’s a little inconvenient to be away from downtown, if you’re looking for a quiet area to stay at, this area definitely fits the bill.
One thing I really loved about this hotel was that it was located right next door to the Belize Pro Dive Center, whom we did an amazing intro scuba dive with. The dive center was great and having them located about 60 seconds away from our hotel was even better. However, even if your dive center’s HQs are located on another part of the island, they’ll usually come by and pick you up from the nearest dock anyway.
The service was absolutely great at the hotel. The main desk is located in a little building on the other side of the street from the entrance and there is usually someone there from about 8 to 5 pm (you can inquire with the neighboring hotel’s front desk if outside of those hours).
As soon as we checked-in a staff member took our luggage up the three flights of stairs for us and we were given a walk through for our rooms and shown all the features. They were very helpful with booking tours, recommending places to eat, offering to make restaurant reservations, and helping us book taxis. Basically anything that we didn’t know or wanted to know, they would help us out in finding the answer.
What I really appreciated the most from the staff is them allowing us to have a late check out at 2 pm. Because of that we were able to fit in some more diving on our last day, which really completed our experience at Ambergris Caye. Talk to the staff about a late check out – as long as they don’t have any guests coming in that day, they will probably let you do it.
There aren’t any facilities at the hotel besides the pool area, which is really nice as you can tell by the photos. The landscaping is pretty stunning as well. However, there’s no lobby or bar or restaurant located in the hotel so I gave it 4 stars. This wasn’t a big deal since we could have all of those things by simply going next door and I’m pretty sure they could even charge our meals to our room number in the Grand Colony.
Our room was basically an apartment, and a very spacious one at that. The walls and ceiling were beautifully decorated and the furniture and decor had a very relaxing, amber tone.
The main bedroom had a comfy mattress and pillows and came with a huge bathroom that contained a large tub and a nice shower.
Another bedroom had two twin beds that could be pushed together and had its own bathroom with a shower as well.
There was a nice living room area with a tv, comfy couch, and relaxing decor.
The kitchen was fully equipped as well. It had multiple sinks, plenty of counter space, a full-sized refrigerator and freezer, stove, microwave, toaster, trash compactor, etc. It had everything. We even had a washer and dryer!
Outside, there we had a balcony overlooking the pool and with a pretty great view of the ocean as well. (If you’re on the first or second story you probably can’t see the ocean from this part of the hotel and you’d want to look into booking the beach view rooms.)
I really think the hotel is perfect for families looking to stay longer (4-7 days). In that case, you could load up on groceries and enjoy cooking yourself a few meals without any issues, take advantage of the washer/dryer machine, and have plenty of room to relax and not feel confined to a small hotel room.
When we first arrived the internet was basically non-existent but it did pick up later on and actually worked quite well. Ambergris Caye is definitely not some place where you want to spend all of your time on the internet so the slow-speed wasn’t too bothersome but it was nice when the internet picked up its speed for us.
Bang for Buck: 4/5
For peak season (Jan 3 to May 1), this 2 bedroom villa is $599 per night and in the low season it is $499 per night. It’s a bit on the pricey side and although we booked it with points, we still thought that the value was good considering how spacious the villa was and how excellent the service was.
Overall, this hotel is great for families, small groups of friends, or for couples looking for a luxurious and open room layout for their stay. This was a little bit of a splurge for us since we were there for my birthday weekend but I definitely enjoyed having such a nice and open room for my relaxation. If you’re a budget traveler, there are plenty of cheaper options you can search for here, but if you desire a bit of luxury then you might want to give this place a shot.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.