To compare the three hotels:
* * * + SunBreeze Beach Hotel, P.O. Box 14, Coconut Drive, San Pedro, tel. 501-2-62191, fax 2-62346, e-mail [email protected]
The SunBreeze always had a great location, just steps from the San Pedro air strip (but you shouldn't be bothered by airport noise) and within walking distance of most of what there is to do in town. Under manager Julia Edwards, SunBreeze was upgraded and considerably improved. The most-welcome addition was a freshwater pool, which my family of pool experts considers one of the best in Belize. The pool is just steps from Caruso's restaurant and bar, pricey but convenient, and handy to BJís beach barbecue. SunBreeze has 39 large rooms, configured in a two-story motel-style U-shape. Five of them are billed as "deluxe" with amenities such as jacuzzi tubs. All have strong air conditioners, telephones, cable TV and tile floors. The best rooms are the deluxe rooms on the first floor near the water, on the dive shop side. Management promises further upgrading. SunBreeze is directly on the water, with a dock and an independent dive shop, but there's no swimming beach. The beach at Ramon's is nearby. The SunBreeze has handicap-accessible rooms, uncommon in Belize. Rates for doubles, in-season, US$120-$150; off-season, US$90-$125, plus 7% hotel tax and 5% service. Children under 12 free. Some package rates may be less. Bottom line: Not true luxury, but comfortable, spacious, convenient, casual and very pleasant - good place for families.
* * + C/d Holiday Hotel, Barrier Reef Drive, San Pedro, tel. 501-2-62014, fax 2-62295, e-mail [email protected]
This was one of the first hotels on the island. It opened June 15, 1965. Built and owned by Celi McCorkle, an island native and near-legend, the three-story Holiday Hotel has been well-maintained and remains a pleasant hotel convenient to most everything. All rooms have A/C and some have refrigerators. Doubles around US$95 to $115 in-season, with discounts off-season. One of our fave seafood restaurants on the island is here, Celi's, and Celi's Deli is also available for a quick bite. Excellent little gift shop, too. Bottom line: Lots of old island charm, but updated for convenience.
* * * B/c Tropica, San Pedro, tel. 501-2-62701, fax 2-62699, e-mail [email protected]
This newish entry into the South End mix about 1 1/2 miles from town offers appealing A/C rooms in four-plexes on the excellent Mar del Tumbo beach just south of Banyan Bay Villas. On-site restaurant is a good spot for breakfast, pricey and only okay for dinner. Tropica has swimming pool and has added new units. Rates US$125-$140 double in-season, US$95 (or less) off-season, plus tax and 10% service. We've seen a few recent comments that maintenance is slipping and that some rooms need freshening up. Bottom line: Small beach hotel with a lot going for it.
If it were my decision, I'd probably go with SunBreeze unless the price difference was substantial, although any of the three would be fine.
Belize First magazine http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/
(migrating to www.belizefirst.com