Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel

New Town Barracks, Kings Park, Belize City, Belize District, Belize
(2.5 star hotel)
#11 of 24 hotels in Belize City
Bad (2.0 out of 5.0) 4 reviews
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The Good, the Bad, and the Mediocre

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on January 5, 2015

The Good
-The employees of the hotel really tried hard to make our stay pleasant. The best example of this is that although we paid for the hotel through Priceline.com in November and we checked in on the Saturday after Christmas, the hotel didn't receive the funds from Priceline for our stay until Tuesday. In spite of this, the hotel manager was calm and reassuring and at no time indicated that she thought that the funds wouldn't come through or that she wanted us to do anything but continue to enjoy our stay. She handled the uncomfortable situation beautifully. Other examples of the good customer service are that we were allowed to check in hours early at no extra charge, we were able to leave our bags with the hotel after we checked out while we waited for it to be time to go to the airport, the gift shop attendant left her store to help my husband use the complicated phone card that he purchased from her with the pay phone, service was always with a smile, and the hotel was constantly being cleaned by one or more employees.

-The free breakfast buffet met and exceeded all expectations. Delicious homestyle potatoes, omelettes made to order, scrambled and hard-boiled eggs, bananas, pineapple, toast, dried cereal, breakfast sausage, and a variety of sliced vegetables and cheeses were consistently available. On varying mornings there were pancakes, french toast, bacon, watermelon, and johnny cakes.

-We were warned by the taxi driver who took us from the airport to the hotel to not draw attention to ourselves or wear anything "bling bling", so the easy-to-use in-room safe was perfect for storing our wedding rings in addition to our other valuables.

- The New Year's Eve dinner was affordable ($30 USD per person) and delicious. Especially excellent was the lobster bisque and rib eye steak.

-There is a taxi stand right outside of the hotel. This is good, since walking around the hotel didn't seem to be an option.

-Our room was clean and serviceable with a comfortable bed, cable television, easy-to-use safe, mini-fridge, hot water, a/c, ceiling fan, plus a functional sofa-chair-desk combo. There were no screens on the window, but there weren't any bugs while we were there.

The Bad
-The surrounding neighborhood was neither walkable nor shoppable. The inability to leave the hotel compound without a driver and/or a guide made the whole vacation feel claustrophobic and artificial. For meals, we were at the mercy of the limited menus and schedules of the hotel's restaurant and the Calypso restaurant across the parking lot. For any shopping, sight-seeing, and all other activities outside of the hotel, we had to take cab rides away from the hotel through the surrounding neighborhood. I saw a lot of the vacation through a backseat car window. For most meals, I really would have liked to have had a simple sandwich, some local fruit, or a fresh salad out of the mini-fridge in the room. "Brodys" is apparently the only grocery store in town, but it's really more of a sparingly-supplied K-mart-like store with only sad-looking apples and grapes for fruit, and tired and tasteless looking vegetables. So the mini-fridge remained empty and we kept on eating hotel food. A walk along the ocean or in town would have been nice, but we were warned by multiple locals that it was not safe to walk. During one of our cab rides, I admired the beautiful day and the nice sidewalk next to us (I was so craving a walk), but our driver pointed out that the sidewalks were desolate and we wouldn't want to have someone "drive up on us" (meaning stop their car along side of us and ambush us). On New Years Eve, a security guard stood in the hotel's taxi stand all night with a shotgun. The hotel is surrounded by a fence, and the hotel staff stands at the gate to prevent locals and all cars, including our taxis, from entering the parking lot. When our taxi stopped at a convenience store on our way out of town, the driver chased the beggers away from my husband while he made his transaction through the iron-barred store window. Overall, I had the distinct feeling that I would be an idiot to take a walk around there, day or night, with or without my husband with me. If it provides any perspective, I have been living in Oakland, CA for the past six months and regularly walk through some of the scuzzier neighborhoods to shop and use public transportation. I acknowledge and respect the risk, but I still get around fine. In comparison, I would have felt stupid to have walked around the neighborhood surrounding this Ramada. It would have been a pointless exercise in asking for harassment and possible violence for very little reward, since there are no attractions that I could see beyond being able to stretch your legs in really nice weather. When we were sight-seeing, I felt very conscious that "the meter was running", knowing that although a flat rate had been agreed upon for the trip, our driver would probably rather not be there at the Zoo/Monkey Refuge/Swimming Hole/roadside restaurant with us.

-The workout room was unusable. The cardio equipment had a 20-minute limit, not because of the lines (I was the only person in there) but because I'm pretty sure it would have fallen completely apart if I had tried to use if for longer. The two treadmills were older and in worse shape than most that I have seen in thrift stores. I couldn't make either of them go faster than a slow limp, and one made a very distressed noise while I was trying to use it. There was another ancient stairmaster-type thing, but I didn't try it. The room reeked of the rubber mat that covered the floor, and it was unbearably warm due to the sunlight baking through the huge window. The posted hours of the room were 8:00am - 5:00pm. I'm a relatively fit person, but I only lasted about ten minutes before giving up.

-Instead of a hotel laundromat, there was only a VERY EXPENSIVE per-piece laundry service. In USD, the cost for washing a pair of underwear was $1.75, a pair of socks $1.00, shorts $3.50, jeans $5.00, t-shirt $2.50, skirt $6.00...

-There was no coffee pot in the room, so we had to wait until the breakfast service started at 7:00am for our first cup of coffee. It sounds petty, but we are early risers and on our days off we like to lounge for an hour or so with coffee before dressing and going out.

-The points of interest we went to see were miles away and only accessible by taxi and therefore very expensive to visit. $200 USD for us to get to the Belize Zoo, $125 USD to get to the Howler Monkey Reserve, $70 USD to take the water taxi to San Pedro...

-Really weird towel service: One bath towel per adult, and housekeeping collects all towels, dirty or clean, every morning. Washed and slightly damp from the dryer towels are brought back in the afternoon. The absence of towels in the interim is quirky if you don't want a shower, annoying if you are trying to take a nap when they come back the second time with the towels, and irritating and gross if you have returned from a snorkling in San Pedro and really want to take a shower. Housekeeping comes separately to clean the room. One day we had housekeeping knock on our door four times, twice to collect towels.

The Mediocre
-The hotel itself is huge and grandiose, but shabby and run-down. Think "Overlook Hotel" meets "1970's TravelLodge". The lobby usually smelled of mildew, despite the near constant cleaning activity of the staff. The helter-skelter lobby, restaurant, and room furniture was your basic 70s-style Goodwill variety, solid and in pretty decent shape for being 35 years old. The decor was wood paneling, wooden floors, marble, and high ceilings.

-The pool was large and clean but far too shallow to swim in. It was almost always empty.

-There is no beach. There is just a sidewalk along the ocean that starts in the Calypso's parking lot and ends at the fence on the perimeter of the hotel's property.

-We broke even at the large casino that's mostly made up of the same slot machines you see in the USA. The Diva Dancer show was cute. The troupe is made up of seven fit, pretty Ukrainian women in their early 20s. The show had the overall feel of elementary school girls with high-school cheerleader talent playing dress-up and working hard together to put on a fun show. It was definitely worth the price of admission (free) and I wanted to go back and watch it again but couldn't seem to stay up late enough for the 10:30pm show time.

-The hotel and Calypso restaurants have a narrow range of really good food, and unless we paid a cab to take us out of town, these two were it. The hotel serves a mean breakfast buffet, but their lunch and dinner buffets and menu items are only so-so. The Calypso has outdoor seating right on the water and serves awesome fish tacos, but their burgers are yucky, their fries are limp and cool, and their pasta was really disgusting - it tasted like dish soap. The beef from both restaurants was not great, with the exception of the hotel's New Years Eve rib eye, which was delicious.

-The free wi-fi was adequate in the room.

-The ocean view from the room was nice to have, but it would have been better if there had been a balcony or even better if we could have walked on the sidewalk next to it, but there was no balcony and the chain link fence around the perimeter of the hotel prevented walking.

-The drinks at the hotel bar, the Calypso, and everywhere else we went on this vacation were weak to the point of being a waste of time. I can usually get a pretty good buzz off of two beers, but no matter how much I drank the whole time I was there, I was stone cold sober. The only beer you could get was the local Belikin brand, which tasted slightly yucky (think Miller High Life). The hotel bar's pina colada was insanely delicious but might as well have been virgin.

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Pleasant Splurge

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 1, 2007

I stayed at the Princess Hotel for one night during a trip through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. I read about the Princess in a guidebook and decided to splurge. Overall I was satisfied with my stay here. The rooms are large with comfortable beds, great views of the Caribbean, airconditioning, large bathroom, and tv.

The dinner buffet changes with a different theme each night. The night I was there, it was an"Asian" theme. The variety of food was quite lacking. There were about three entree choices and then a few sides for the theme. The fresh fruit was really good. For the price (~30$BZ), I expected more and was disappointed, although after a day of nearly nothing to it, I ate a lot. The breakfast buffet, which is included with the room, was better than dinner. They had an omelet station with a good variety of ingredients and the cook prepared it well. There were other choices of waffles, "hot dog sausages" (oddly just chunks of hot dogs with onions and peppers), skillet potatoes and fruit and other sides.

Unique Quality: This hotel has a casino with many different slot machines and few table games such as roulette, blackjack, and poker. Some machines take only US dollars while many others tokens. The casino pays out in US$ unless you request BZ$. The hotel also has three movie theatres showing relatively new movies for 10$BZ, which is less than half the price I pay in the US. There is also a video arcade and a bar/lounge.

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Snooze and Lose!

by written on July 16, 2007

Did not stay there but heard from some who did. They said that almost no one wins in the casino. That alone is reason enough for me to stay out.

Avoid!

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on June 27, 2006

Do not stay here.

The place is an absolute dump and they quote one price and charge another. They quoted me $89US for a 1 night stay. When I got back home I found out they charged me over $500. I tried calling and e-mailing the hotel manager to resolve the mistake, but he says that they have no record of my stay. The belize tourism board is just as incompetent and unhelpful.

Lookout for scams and liars almost everywhere in this country.

Nearby Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel

Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

  • Princess Casino
  • Princess Hotel Belize City
  • Princess Hotel And Casino

Address: New Town Barracks, Kings Park, Belize City, Belize District, Belize

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Amenities at Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel

  • Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Fitness Center
  • Free Parking
  • Business Services
  • Suites
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Shuttle Service
  • Bar / Lounge
  • Free High Speed Internet

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