Grand Colony Villas Hotel at Ambergris Caye, Belize Review

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.

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony

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Location: 4/5

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.

Service: 5/5

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).

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
The main desk

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.

Facilities: 4/5

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.

Rooms: 5/5

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.

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony

Another bedroom had two twin beds that could be pushed together and had its own bathroom with a shower as well.

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony

There was a nice living room area with a tv, comfy couch, and relaxing decor.

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony

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!

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony

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.)

Ambergris Caye Hotel Grand Colony
The view from the balcony!

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.

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Internet: 4/5

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: 4.3

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.

Grand Colony Villas Hotel at Ambergris Caye, Belize FAQ

What is the phone number for Grand Colony Villas Hotel at Ambergris Caye, Belize?

The phone number for Grand Colony Villas Hotel at Ambergris Caye, Belize is +0115012264270.

Things to Do in San Pedro/Ambergris Caye, Belize

While I’m not an expert on San Pedro/Ambergris Caye, I had a pretty amazing three days there and found that there’s plenty you can do even if you only have 48 to 72 hours to spend in this tropical paradise. Here’s a rundown on some of the top things to do when visiting Ambergris Caye, even if you only have about three days to do it!

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1. Scuba Dive

Scuba divers with sea turtle

Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, behind only the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. For that reason, I highly recommend going for a scuba dive while you’re there in Ambergis Caye. You’ll likely come across sharks, rays, sea turtles, eels, hundreds of brightly colored fish, and maybe even some dolphins if you’re lucky. My pick is to go with the Belize Pro Dive Center, as Brad and I had an unforgettable diving experience with them. They are a great company, especially if you are a rookie with no prior diving experience.

2. Snorkel at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Two angelfish and coral at Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Even if you do some scuba diving, I still recommend you coupling that experience with a snorkel in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. This is a hotspot for marine life and stunning coral like elk and fire coral (that you don’t want to touch). During our snorkel at the Hol Chan Cut we came across sharks, rays, sea turtles, and a multitude of other species. There are plenty of companies that will take out for snorkeling there but we went with Searious Adventures and had a pretty good experience with them.

3. Visit Shark And Ray Alley

Nurse shark and fish at shark and ray alley

Trips to Shark And Ray Alley are typically part of a larger diving package that also dives in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve or another hotspot in the reef like Mexico Rocks. This experience will bring you within feet, and sometimes inches, of southern stingrays and nurse sharks that are driven into a feeding frenzy over chum. While you can admire the frenzy of sharks and rays from the comfort of a boat, I recommend jumping in and getting up close to these beautiful animals.

Sting ray at shark and ray alley

4. Go for a night dive!

Eel at night
Photo by Geir Friestad

This sounds a little scary but the nightlife in Ambergris Caye extends well out into the ocean. Several operators offer guided tours where you can explore the reefs at night when a whole new community of nocturnal wildlife comes out like lobster and octopus. I didn’t get a chance to do a night dive, but I will certainly look into doing it when on our next trip.

5. Explore the Blue Hole

The blue hole in Belize
Photo by The TerraMar Project

The Blue Hole, considered by many to be a natural wonder of the Americas, is an astonishing site that can be viewed or explored from Ambergris Caye. The hole is nearly 500 feet deep and scuba divers, with a bit of experience, can head down to depths of over 100 feet and explore the huge stalactites and come across sharks that appear from the depths. If diving down into this dark abyss isn’t really your style you can look into ariel tours of the Blue Hole via plane, although it’s going to cost you a little bit (about $200USD per person).

6. Play chicken drop

Chicken Drop in san pedro belize
Photo by Scott Ableman

Forget the powerball, in San Pedro, Belize, you can make your money by betting on where you think a chicken is going to drop its next load. It’s a San Pedro tradition called “Chicken Drop” and you can catch the game every Thursday evening starting at 7:00pm at Wahoo’s Lounge. You’ll pay $1BZD per ticket and bet on a number 1 through 100, with the hopes that the chicken gods will be in your favor. After a few rituals, a chicken is released onto a numbered-tiled mat and everyone cheers on the chicken, trying to lure it to their square. After it’s all said and done, the winner walks away with $100BZD but not before they assume the duty of cleaning up the drops!

7. Enjoy the bars and restaurants

Man with blue drink

There are plenty of restaurants and bars all around the island and many of them serve up some pretty tempting seafood and refreshing drinks that you can enjoy as you look out over the surrounding turquoise waters. Apart from all the diving and snorkeling, those relaxing moments of kicking back and having a relaxing drink on the coast were among my favorite memories on the island.

Lobster with shrimp kabobs
Seafood platter from the Knook Restaurant.

We stayed south of downtown at the Grand Colony Villas (in a nice, spacious hotel room), where we enjoyed cinnamon buns at The Baker and eating at breakfast burritos at El Divino Caribbean Steakhouse & Martini Bar.

Cinnamon roll
Cinnamon bun from The Baker

If you’re in the downtown area, be sure to check out the Palapa Bar and Grill for tasty burgers and a unique opportunity to get your drink on while floating the ocean in an inter tube. (Note: we chose the Palapa Bar located close to downtown  not the location north of the bridge.)

Bacon cheese burger
Giant burger from Palapa Bar and Grill.

8. Rent a golf cart

Golf carts on busy road

The most common method of transportation around the Island is definitely golf cart. You can rent golf carts for around $60-75USD per day and many of the carts can hold up to 6 people. The ride is a bit bumpy and there are some pretty aggressive taxi-vans to contend with on the roads, but riding around on a golf cart is definitely the way to go in San Pedro!

These are by no means all you pack into your stay in San Pedro but they should give you an idea of some of the most exciting and interesting things to do during your stay at Ambergris Caye!