Hopkins is quickly becoming a key tourist destination in Belize. The tiny Garifuna fishing village provides an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience authentic Belizean culture. The tranquil area is within close proximity to many key Belize attractions and boasts some pretty scenic shoreline.
While Ambergris Caye is this Examiner’s part-time home now, many parts of the mainland are still becoming noted favorites. The friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere of Hopkins makes this an easy village to navigate, and resorts like Hopkins Bay, are well-worth the stop in Hopkins.
I had the privilege to stay at Hopkins Bay earlier this year for a tourism conference and was invited back again during the recent Garifuna Settlement Holiday celebrations.
Hopkins Bay Resort is unlike many properties I’m used to in other parts of the world that set up shop in traditional villages and then proceed to isolate themselves from the local culture. In fact, Hopkins Bay has gone so far to incorporate various aspects of Garifuna culture into the property itself.
Accommodations at Hopkins Bay Resort
Ideal for couples, groups, and family gatherings, Hopkins Bay Resort has multiple luxury lodging options. Choose from one-bedroom upstairs units, or choose the downstairs more spacious two-bedroom units with kitchen, or if you need, you can rent out an entire villa.
Both of my stays have been in the downstairs two-bedroom units, and for couples, this is definitely ideal. You have spacious outdoor decks, and common areas that are perfect for taking in the views and enjoying a quiet evening in.
The master suite is very spacious and with the recent upgrades at Hopkins Bay Resort, the rooms feel more cozy and romantic. Dual sinks and a large bathroom make for a breeze getting ready to head into town.
There is a full kitchen that can be stocked prior to your arrival so all you need to do is unpack and get your swimsuit on. Upgrades to the common area include a flat panel TV, viewable while cooking in the kitchen – one of my guilty pleasures while on the road.
Amenities at Hopkins Bay Resort
When I was at Hopkins Bay last month, they were in the process of building a beach bar that promises to be a great spot for congregating. To showcase the local Garifuna culture, look for drums to serve as barstools.
The Beachside Bistro opened on Dec 15, and with Belize’s very talented chef Sean Kulyen at the helm, there is absolutely no doubt this will become one of the premier dining spots in the country.
One of the most unique and admirable qualities of Hopkins Bay Resort is the interactive Garifuna cooking experience they are offering. If you are renting one of the two or three bedroom villas, give them at least 24 hours’ notice and you can learn about Garifuna food right in your own kitchen.
If you are looking to go diving, check out a Maya temple, or explore Belize’s rainforests, Hopkins Bay Resort can make arrangements for any tours and excursions.
Groups at Hopkins Bay Resort
One thing I learned while touring the property with travel agents who book a lot of family gathering/reunion vacations and in speaking with someone who was looking at the property for a company retreat, Hopkins Bay Resort is ideal for large groups. The resort is willing to tailor events, excursions, and private dinners.
About Hopkins Bay
Hopkins Bay Resort is located near the Garifuna Village of Hopkins in the Stann Creek District of Belize, south of the town of Dangriga. Over 1,000 residents live in and around Hopkins, many of them working in the hospitality industry.
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