I got a last minute invitation by my friend Aimee to join a few people on a short welcome getaway after the hurricane. If anyone deserves it she does. Almost a week later and her house down south is still without water. I am sure a hotel will be a welcome reprieve.
She also wanted to do some shopping, now that their house has done a first run through a storm, she knows better how to prepare for next time.
Since Tropic Air is having a half price sale to anywhere but International airport, a half price flight from San Pedro to Corozal Belize made for a cheap getaway to Chetumal Mexico.
Fees to get from Belize to Mexico
Crossing borders for those of us without Residency was $40 Belize dollars or $20 US each. Since Ryan is Belizean and I am a resident we are the only 2 of the 7 of us that did not have to pay.
Next came another check in on the Mexico side. We paid $50 Pesos or $2.55 American dollars each and got a very small slip of paper we were not to lose. Next time I need to remember to add a paperclip to my passport to help keep my exit paper from accidentally slipping out.
The transfer service from Corozal Airport to as close as we could get to our hotel in the “War Zone” (the whole street was under major construction) cost us $80 in Belize currency.
Everyone else was already booked at the Grand Marlon Hotel. I decided to wing it and hope I could get an Executive King Room for a decent price on on arrival. Aimee booked everyone through one of the online booking services and got their rooms for $40.00 usd per night. When I checked on the hotel website I saw $800 pesos or $43.65 a night. (Currently 20 Mexican Pesos = $1.09 USD)
As it turned out I paid the $800 pesos per night which was not much more than everyone paid online and they and standard rooms. No matter how hard I tried with my translator on phone I was not getting a construction discount.
My room included air conditioning, hair dryer, iron, safe, hot and cold water, wireless Internet, color TV with cable, a king-size bed. What more could a girl ask for, except a better view than that of the image at the top of this page and a little less noise?
Recommended or not?
As it stands, while I think the hotel is clean, decent and the price is good, I would not recommend it based on a few things.
- Staff failed to tell Aimee about what we would encounter upon arrival.
- I know we are in Mexico and English is not their first language, but Front desk people (customer service industry) should not look at you like you are from outer space when you are trying to get help.
Useful Travel App
If you want a good free conversion app try XE Currency converter, it is available on Google play and the Apple app store. They are very handy for Mexico shopping trips. Last time I was on a Chetumal shopping bender, my friend Mary and I were lucky as her husband Mike was our converter and while walking through the isles of Sam’s Club all we had to do was ask and he would do our calculations for us.
Time to run, I just got a text that the crew is ready to go to Sam’s Club now. I will leave you with some pics of our flight, border crossing and hotel.