Hopkins Bay Resort is located on the beach right near the town of Hopkins; accommodations include one-, two-, and three-bedroom beach houses. Local art and polished mahogany furniture signal that this is no cookie-cutter chain hotel. The spacious houses are perfect for families or small groups traveling together. Resort activities include dance and music performances that reflect the traditions of the local Garifuna people, descendants of Africans brought to the New World as slaves. Staff can also arrange excursions to numerous cultural and historic attractions, not only in and around Hopkins, but also to iconic sites such as Xunantunich, a Maya site, and the Blue Hole, one of the world's most popular destinations for scuba diving.
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The town of Hopkins sits in Belize's Stann Creek District, on the eastern side of the country. Belizeans have voted the town “the friendliest village in Belize,” and visitors enjoy learning about the culture of the local Garifuna people, who are descended from African slaves. Their unique culinary, dance, and musical traditions have been upheld for centuries and are a point of pride in the community; Hopkins Bay Resort hosts performances that allow guests to glimpse this for themselves. Hopkins is home to about 1,000 people, and many visitors to the resort opt to explore the town by bike. Don't expect roaring business or stellar shopping; like most towns in Belize (with the exception of the capital), Hopkins is what guidebooks would describe as “sleepy.”
Need to Know
Rooms: 19 one-bedroom beach lofts, 19 two-bedroom beach houses, 19 three-bedroom beach houses; from $250. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel's on-site restaurant, the Rhum Shack, is housed in a beachfront palapa. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served here; fare is international in influence. The two- and three-bedroom beach houses have full kitchens, and guests are welcome to cook for themselves. Spa and gym details: There is neither a spa nor a gym on-site, but the hotel offers complimentary kayaks and bikes to guests.
Who’s it best for: Travelers who need a large space and those who enjoy visiting culturally authentic communities. Our favorite rooms: We like the two-bedroom houses for their spaciousness and full kitchens. Best of both worlds: For guests who want to enjoy a jungle stay as well as the beachfront accommodations of Hopkins Bay Resort, the hotel offers packages that combine 3–4 nights at Hopkins Beach with 3–4 nights at Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve, which is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge, a private reserve.