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Luxury Hotels in Belize

One of the smallest, least populated, and newest countries in the hemisphere, Belize is home to luxury hotels and resorts that offer a laid-back escape with plenty of personal attention. This country is a short hop from the USA or Canada, plus the temperatures stay relatively steady throughout the year on land and in the water. The Belize luxury travel market is in its own elegantly rustic class within the Caribbean and Central American regions. For one thing, even the best resorts in Belize are small (70 percent of the country's licensed hotels have ten rooms or less). International hotel chains are almost completely missing here—for now—mainly because of the small size of the market and labor pool. In addition, most Belize luxury hotels and resorts are independently owned and managed, resulting in each property being a truly creative expression of its owners' dreams and visions.

Finally, Belize is an active destination and guests at even the most luxurious resorts invariably come to dive one of the world's largest barrier reefs, explore some of the Maya world's most fascinating ruins, and paddle and hike Belize's enormous swaths of wildlife–heavy protected areas. All these things translate to a uniquely intimate and nature–focused experience. Don't expect swift efficiency though in Belize, where the unofficial motto is "Go Slow, Mon!"

Here's our rundown of the best places to stay on Ambergris Cay, the Cayo District, and the rest of the mainland.

Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Resorts

Azul Belize

Cayo Espanto — just offshore of Ambergris Caye

Las Terrazas Resort

Matachica Beach Resort

The Phoenix Resort

Victoria House — Ambergris Caye

Inland Belize and Cayo Hotels

Blancaneaux Lodge — Mountain Pine Ridge

Chan Chich Lodge — Gallon Jug Estate

Ka'ana Resort and Spa — Cayo District

Belize Boutique Resort & Spa — Maskall Village

The Lodge at Chaa Creek Rainforest Reserve — San Ignacio, Cayo District

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge — Cayo District

Placencia Peninsula Luxury Resorts

Umaya Resort & Adventures

Chabil Mar Villas

Naïa Resort & Spa

The Inn at Robert's Grove

Turtle Inn

Silk Cayes - Belize

Ray Caye Resort

Punta Gorda

Copal Tree Lodge — Punta Gorda

Stann Creek District Resorts

Hopkins Bay Resort - Hopkins

Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort

Thatch Caye Resort — offshore from Dangriga

Note: many visitors on vacation in this country choose to spend half their time on the Caribbean's edge, concentrating on ocean activities, and the other half in the inland forests; most of the Belize resorts and lodges reviewed here cater to this "surf–and–turf" combo by teaming up with each other. The biggest concentration of luxury resorts is on Ambergris Caye though, where honeymoon couples and moneyed scuba diving enthusiasts come for an upscale vacation.

Note that all our luxury hotel reviews are written by experts who are professional travel writers. Rates quoted generally range from low season double occupancy standard rooms to high–season suites in U.S. (not Belizean) dollars. Most quoted rates do not include Belize's 19 percent tax and service charges.