Vacation Rental or Resort Stay? Which is Better for Your Belize Vacation?

by Megan Rodden

When it comes to planning your vacation, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is, of course, where to stay.  Islands or inland, Belize has beautiful landscapes and amazing adventures to offer visitors, whatever their activity level and preferences.  From world-class diving and fishing, to adrenaline-inducing expeditions deep into lush jungle, and even awe-inspiring cave systems, for a relatively small country, you will be surprised by the diversity of the regions.  Regardless of where in the country you decide to visit, choosing the right accommodation can make a world of difference and elevate your Belize vacation experience. 

Photo by ROEming Belize

Once a land of boutique beachside resorts and jungle-shrouded eco-lodges, Belize’s accommodation options have been growing in recent years to include an astounding number of vacation homes and private villas you can rent.  These vacation rentals are in all areas of the country and provide an attractive alternative to a resort stay for a certain type of traveler.  Which is better for you, though?  Here are some things to consider when planning your Belize vacation and deciding between a resort and a vacation home.

Resorts for Amenities and Convenience

Matachica roeming belize ambergris san pedro

Each cabana at Matachica comes with its own private porch (and hammock). Image courtesy Roeming Belize

Designed to provide guests with everything they need for a fabulous vacation, you can enjoy a hassle-free getaway with virtually no pre-planning when you choose a resort stay.  Onsite amenities such as restaurants, bars, and entertainment make slipping into relaxation mode super simple.  Resorts are designed to provide comfort and convenience for their guests, and amenities can run the gamut from beach or pool toys to luxury spa services or onsite fitness centers.  


In addition to the amenities, a resort offers a certain level of service that is unmatched by vacation home rentals.  Often, the resort’s concierge will arrange your airport transfer and book any tours you’d like.  Resorts relieve the stress of researching, planning, and pre-arranging meals and activities.  If you do choose to get out and explore on your own, the concierge or other staff can give you directions and advice and make recommendations for sightseeing in the area.


Poolside in Punta Gorda. Image courtesy Roeming Belize

Vacationing at a resort allows you to truly relax and unwind but also gives you an opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers in common areas such as the bar, restaurant, or around the pool.  It is so easy and comfortable to strike up a conversation and form a new friendship; this social atmosphere is appealing to solo travelers, extroverts, and families with children that would seek out a playmate while on holiday.  You can’t beat the ease, convenience, and amenities of a resort stay.

Vacation Rentals for Privacy and Affordability

Photo by Casa al Mar, an all-inclusive vacation rental on St. George’s Caye

Vacation home rentals can be a wonderful alternative to traditional resorts and hotels especially if you’re pinching your travel-budget pennies.   If you’re willing to forego some of the luxuries of the resort’s services and amenities, a vacation home is a great accommodation option for its affordability.  Sure, you may not have daily housekeeping or a concierge at your beck and call, but you will likely see significant savings, and more money in your pocket is more money for awesome excursions and experiences.  Vacation homes also allow you the ability to self-cater some of your own meals in their fully equipped kitchens, a budget-friendly bonus, especially for families or larger travel groups.


Renting a vacation home often affords you and your party more space and privacy than a resort stay.  You won’t have to share the amenities with a whole number of other guests so if you’re looking to escape and unplug, a rental home might be your preferred retreat.  Homes can be located anywhere- remote mountain ridges or central-village residential areas.  Your vacation home-away-from-home will give you some insight into what daily life is like in that place.  Great for extended family and groups of friends who can forge their own fun and plan their own adventures, vacation homes are best for independent and confident travelers.

belize airport roeming

Touchdown at PGIA. Image via Roeming Belize

What is important to you when planning your vacation?  Is it amazing amenities and exceptional service?  Or is it affordability and authenticity?  Would you rather research your own activities and seek out the sights on your own or defer to the experts and allow your itinerary to be arranged for you?  Would shopping the local markets and experimenting with the local culinary offerings appeal to you or would you rather not lift a finger or wash a single dish while on vacation?  The choice is yours!  No matter what you pick, resort or vacation rental, you’re sure to have an unforgettable Belize getaway.

Featured Photo by ROEming Belize Travel Agency

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