While travelling in Belize we decided to spend a couple of nights in Belmopan. Belmopan is the capital city of Belize and often sadly acts as merely a stop over for some. However we wanted to check this place out so we found the El Rey Hotel online and booked in for a couple of nights. It’s now my job to convince you to also spend a few nights in Belmopan – you will love it. It’s a relaxed, calm and peaceful city and best of all you can escape the tourists and explore what is the tenth smallest capital city in the world.
While some travellers head to San Ignacio and base themselves there, that is just a tad too common, so Belmopan was the place for us. From my base in the El Rey Hotel in Belmopan, I was able to tour not only the city itself, but two separate day trips – one out to Actun Tunichil Muknal caves and another to Spanish Lookout and Xunantunich. I’ll cover those separately.
First up my 6 key reasons why you should choose not only Belmopan, but base yourself in the El Rey Hotel.
The location of the El Rey Hotel is perfect for so many reasons. Firstly it is on a quiet street in a pleasant neighbourhood. Great place to relax and feel safe.
Secondly on a street nearby (5 minutes walk) there are shops and restaurants and a bank so you have all the amenities you need on your doorstep.
Thirdly it’s only a short walk from some of the sights in Belmopan such as the Belizean Parliament and the market. Plus the main bus station is also only a 15minute walk so for location it can’t really be beaten.
2. Warm Welcome/ Friendly Staff
After a hot stuffy day of boats and buses we arrived to a really warm welcome at the El Rey Hotel. We were greeted by friendly staff, especially Jennie who made us feel completely at home.
I also met up with Nick and Shannon Davies who run a lot of businesses in Belize including Belize Budget Hotels as well as the El Rey Hotel and have given Belize its very first “budget boutique hotel chain”. Their promise is that their business is all about ‘service’ at all price points. This is very noticeable when you stay here – the staff are always friendly and saying hello and rooms to fit all budgets are here.
Wow is all I can say – check out the huge range of tours that can actually be booked with the help of the staff at El Rey Hotel, and thanks to local companies like Belize Travel Services and Hun Chi’ik Tours:
- Zip line canopy
- Cave Tubing
- Cave/Zip combo
- Crystal Cave
- Crystal/Zip combo
- Rappel/cave tube
- ATM Caves
- Caracol Maya Site
- Xunantunich/Cahal Pech
- Tikal, Guatemala
- Belize River Canoe
- Mountain biking
- Barton Creek (1/2 day)
Personally we didn’t have time to bung all of those in of course, but it just shows you how many cool things there are to do on day trips from Belmopan!
4. Local Pub
With all its ex British links and Commonwealth status, I knew Belize probably still had a hint of Britishness and a reminder of UK history to it. What I didn’t expect was to have a “local” for a few nights! Belize’s only British Pub!
Corkers Restaurant and Wine Bar is only a 10 – 13 minute walk and they do great food and drink! I’ll feature it on a Friday’s Featured Food sometime soon!
5. Accommodation Range – Suits All Tastes and Budgets
The El Rey Hotel has lots of different rooms to suit all budgets. They have single rooms, double rooms, family rooms and rooms which varying depending on facilities – ensuite, air con, TV etc. Here are the different rooms and rates. 10% discount is offered for 10 or more people in 4 or more rooms which is a good saving for a group tour. Also family wise, up to 2 children 10 years and younger sharing room with adults stay free. Here are some photos of the rooms available.
Plus regular users stay 9 times get the 10th Free for individual or group bookers, always a bonus to get a free night!!
Yes – cheesecake – this is one sure fire reason why you should stay here in El Rey Hotel! They have two cheesecakes here which they make themselves – cherry and blueberry and you need to try them. I included the cheesecakes in my Friday’s Featured Food section recently. Wash it down with a coffee (great range in the El Rey Hotel) and your morning/afternoon is complete.
Aside from those 6 reasons, the El Rey Hotel also has free Wi-Fi, clean and cosy rooms and a great restaurant menu – you can order different breakfasts and a range of drinks. It’s a great place that I happened to stumble upon and I hope you all make the plunge to visit Belmopan, stay a few nights and if you do meet Jennie the manager, tell her Jonny sent you there!
Here is a video I made at the El Rey Hotel: