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Reviewed 4 July 2016

My family and I loved our 2 bedroom condo. We got a room in the H building that faces the water. It was exceptionally clean and well kept up.

Upon arrival at the resort, the cold towels at checkin were much appreciated after a long day of travel. We were walked to our room, and our luggage was delivered promptly. The daily laundry service was an added bonus.

The only complaints I have are that the grounds could be a little more tropical feeling, and there isn't much shade around the pool. Also, the last night, we had some really loud people above us, but that wasn't the resorts fault.

If we ever return to Belize, we will stay here again.

Room tip: Ask for a room on the South end. The North side has a little construction going on, and you may hear hammering.
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank baybekitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2016 via mobile

Spent a week with the family at Grand Caribe. Simply loved it. The resort is as nice as the pictures. The staff was great, courteous, helpful, friendly. They helped plan wonderful excursions around island and on the mainland. Nothing disappointed.

Date of stay: July 2016
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2016

The Grand Caribe is a newer resort located approximately 2 miles north of San Pedro. It is a condo hotel, with each unit facing the ocean. The original section of the resort is in a U-shape: the A-building faces the water and is closest to the dock to the north, while the H-building is directly in front of the water to the south. I booked a ground floor condo in the H-building through a vacation internet site, but I believe you can book condos directly through the Grand Caribe resort.

Even though I went through an independent owner, the resort handled all of the particulars: arranging for our transfers to and from the airport, payment of the condo, and hiring of a golf cart. The resort was easy to work with, always responding to my emails very promptly. Housekeeping came daily and would even do the laundry left in the pop-up laundry baskets. Additionally, the resort will help arrange for any excursions, but my husband always likes to research and reserve our dive trips himself so we didn't use that service.

Although there are many lovely properties on Ambergris Caye, there are several reasons why we chose to stay at the Grand Caribe. While I wanted to stay in San Pedro, closer to the shops and restaurants without the expense of a golf cart or water taxi, my husband wanted to relax somewhere not so congested. And since we were traveling with our young-adult children, we thought they would like a more "American-style" resort with a big property, air conditioning in each unit, and good WiFi. When we arrived after our flight from the mainland, my family was very happy and impressed.

The facility is certainly impressive. When you first arrive, bellmen take your luggage from the taxi van, a doorman holds open the glass entrance, and the front desk staff offer rum punch and ice-cold towels. Once you finish signing the paperwork, you head out the back of the lobby and encounter a humongous swimming pool. Supposedly, there are five pools on the property, but I spent my whole time at the huge pool by the swim up bar. Beyond the central pool is a swath of grass, then a small stretch of white sandy beach with a few palm trees and lounge chairs. To the north of the beach is an activity kiosk and pier. Every morning I saw workers raking up the sea grass and every day I watched other workers dredge up sand from below the pier and bring it to the beach to counter the erosion. While the beach isn't large, it is very pretty and well taken care of.

We rented a two-bedroom, two bath, oceanfront condo. Since there were no elevators in our building, my kids were happy to be on the ground floor, steps away from the main pool and the pool bar. The kitchen had granite countertops and high-end appliances. The master bedroom had a king bed and a private bathroom; the second bedroom had a king that was separated into two twins and also a private bathroom. My daughter felt the twin was too uncomfortable, so she ended up sleeping on the sleeper sofa in living room, which was fine. Housekeeping brought sheets and blankets and made up the bed for us.

While I have stayed in other condos with more designer decor, this villa had a lot of space, a good air conditioner, and a killer view of the ocean. We thought the ocean view was pretty spectacular. We have rented ocean front before, but this unit had a clear view from all rooms: dining room, living room, master bedroom. There was a small, shaded patio where my husband and son spent their afternoons sleeping and reading after coming back from our morning dives.

Even in paradise, though, things are not always perfect. On our first night the air conditioning got locked off at about three in the morning. My daughter couldn't figure out how to work the water efficient toilet. The shower light had a loose contact so it flickered on and off. But with a call to the front desk, issues like these were always quickly resolved.

As far as food, we made breakfast in the condo, then tended to eat out for the other meals. We had lunch by the pool one day, which was delicious but a little pricy. Dennis, the concierge, pointed us in the direction of many local favorites: Neri's Tacos, El Fogon, and the Black and White Cultural Center. We ate twice at the Truck Stop down the street because we liked it so much. My family loved Belizean food--we wished that we had had more time to try more places. So that is one of the benefits of staying a little closer to town at a resort like the Grand Caribe: You have easy access to many different dining establishments.

While it is not absolutely necessary, we rented a golf cart through the resort for our entire stay. We liked the flexibility of going somewhere at a moment's notice without having to make an hourly reservation in advance. This was a little pricey but worth the convenience. Golf carts on the cayes have lights, so you are able to drive to town for dinner. Also, teeangers, 17 years-old with a valid US driver's license, are eligible to operate a golf cart. Be aware that if you stay north of the bridge, there is a $2.50 USD toll every time you pass over. We noticed that locals had some sort of pass that they would flash and get waved through and that trucks, taxis, and vans were exempt. Be sure to have cash ready to give the toll attendant, unless you pass over after 10 pm--or even 9 pm, if you are lucky.

Driving a golf cart in San Pedro can be a little tricky at first, even if you have spent much time on a golf course. While it goes pretty slowly, you need to drive much slower than you expect because there are speed bumps made of thick, heavy rope near the resorts out of town and dips for water drainage at the intersections in town. At first I was getting wildly bumped and thrown around in the backward facing seat until my husband got the hang to maneuvering the cart.

One thing we didn't know is that if locals see a vacant seat in your golf cart, they are not shy about asking for a ride. With a four-seater golf cart and four in our family, people didn't ask. But one day my husband, daughter, and I drove up north to explore the island while my son stayed at the resort. On the way back, a worker at the Las Terrazas resort asked for a ride toward town. At first we were taken aback, but then invited her on board. She was so nice and interesting to talk to that we ended up taking her all the way to bridge. In the States, you are strongly discouraged from picking up hitchhikers, but in Ambergris Caye it is a great way to learn a little bit more about the life and culture on the island.

I'm sorry for such a long review, but I do want to say a couple more things about the cash economy, swimming in the ocean, and the construction noise that reviewers have talked about. First, San Pedro reminded me very much of when we went to Cabo San Lucas a few years ago--having cash is a real necessity. Thankfully, you don't have to exchange your money into Belizean dollars because it seemed like everyone would accept USD. However, be sure to bring enough since other reviewers have commented on the difficulty of getting cash off their credit cards. We actually only used our credit card a few times: for a large purchase at a grocery store, for lunch at the new Truck Stop, and for incidentals at the resort. Otherwise, we pretty much used cash.

Another thing to note: Belize is not known for its swimming beaches. With the shallow waters near the shoreline and the abundance of sea grass, the recommendation is to swim off the resort's dock if you want to snorkel. Personally, if you do this, I would recommend staying very close to the dock. Do not venture too far out into the ocean because going too far out is the equivalent of playing on the edge of The 10 Freeway here in Los Angeles. It's just not safe. I watched water taxis, water shuttles, dive and snorkel boats race up and down the coastline all day long. You wouldn't want your tropical vacation to end in some sort of horrific way. However, if you stay close to the dock or towards the shore, or if you are using the more visible SUP or kayak, you should be fine.

The other thing I want to explain is the current construction noise. Before I booked, I read many conflicting reviews: Some said the noise came from the south of the resort while others complained of noise from the north of the resort. When we arrived, I realized that the Grand Caribe is building an entire new section just north of the main, original resort. By the time we got there in June, most of the high rise structures looked complete. When I was at the main pool inside the "U", I would occasionally here hammer noise, but nothing bothersome. It might be louder if you had a condo on that north section of the resort. The reason why people said that there was noise to the south is that each morning, a barge full of construction materials would dock just south of the resort. I could sit on our patio and watch the earthmover scoop up sand from the barge, go in reverse with its back-up beeper on, and then deposit the construction sand or other materials into a waiting truck, which would then drive around to the northern construction site. It was more interesting than bothersome, and it was nice to know that the San Pedro economy is strong enough to support jobs and growth.

Finally, if we are ever lucky enough to return to San Pedro, we would definitely consider staying again at the Grand Caribe. The friendly service, proximity to town, and spacious condos make it ideal for families or groups traveling together.

Room tip: Without elevators, we liked being on the ground floor. Ocean front is truly amazing.
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank TulipL0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2016

We love everything about everything before we even arrived! The concierge and I were communicating via email for months leading up to our arrival about everything we might need while there. Upon arrival in to San Pedro, we were greeted at the airport and taken to the resort. We were greeted at the door with RUM PUNCH and BIG BEAUTIFUL SMILES! The condo was furnished beautifully with everything we could possibly need and our view was spectacular!! As close as you could get to the beach! Gildon was amazing and booked our return flights as well as many excursions. It was also fun even just sitting and talking to him:) We now consider him a family friend:) Edwardo, Brian and Wilfredo took excellent care of us at the pool bar and room service. They also were super fun and friendly:) We had a little 3 year old with us and she was treated like royalty. The staff always called us by name and we were very sad to leave them. The beach was beautiful white sand with tons of gorgeous seashells:) One of my favorite things to do there is swimming off the dock in the Caribbean!! You MUST do that:) The water is amazing!! We saw lots of iguanas, crabs and birds:) The grounds were well secured and beautifully landscaped. The food and drinks were wonderful and the staff was top notch!! It was my second time to Grand Caribe and I plan to return at least once a year. Wouldn't mind investing and moving there permanently. MY FAMILY AND I LOVE AND MISS YOU GRAND CARIBE:)

Room tip: rooms near the dock are the best:)
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Bensonsheil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2016

We spent a week in the 3 bedroom PH. Nice place, amazing property and great people, but for the top dollar you pay the resort lacks many of the essentials that most have for customer use.
One piece of advice is for your adventures, do not book through the hotel, we booked the same things for half the price all over the island.

Room tip: all rooms seem very good!
Date of stay: June 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank fredvdp929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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