What’s Going On at “The Hotel”: The Resort that Never Opened
A few days ago, I got a message from a friend asking: What’s going on at “The Hotel”? And I wasn’t sure…so I stopped by to take a look. But let’s back up…
For those of you who don’t know the building(s) – it’s a huge white complex less than a mile over the bridge on North Ambergris Caye. Built between the years 2008 and 2012, it never opened completely…I’m not sure anyone officially overnighted at “The Hotel”.
And these days you frequently hear conjecture around San Pedro…most often: “The town should turn the buildings into a hospital”. But here’s the thing…this is private property! The property, I’m sure would cost millions – and then converting this empty shell into a hospital? It’s a nice idea but it’s like saying “They should make the building into a Neiman Marcus!”
Maybe it’s a tiny bit more possible than that…but, in my opinion, it’s just not going to happen.
But let’s go back to when it was actually open…or at least some of it.
In 2012, the lobby level opened. One side was a very impressive real-deal Irish pub…
and the other side opened as a NY Deli – though very briefly. The lobby was beautiful…
You can see some pictures of one of the hotel rooms that was completed (WOW). I think at the time, there were only one or two finished. But there were plans for a gym, a spa, there was a golf-ball-shooting-island…
and a pool and lounge area on the top with a gorgeous view.
The pub and the deli were open for a bit…and then the whole spot closed down a few months later.
From what I know, the owner is primarily a developer in the NJ shore area – and Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in late October 2012 HARD. 346,000 homes in NJ were damaged. And she left around $70 BILLION worth of destruction in her path. (The 6th costliest tropical storm of all time – you can see the list here)
So The Hotel shut down. And didn’t re-open again until it was leased by someone else. You can see two 2014 blog posts about it and the new couple – by John – and – by Bob.
I stopped by a few days after the 2014 grand opening – the plan was to ultimately open the hotel.
And it never happened – an expensive project to say the least.
And since then…about 2014, The Hotel (the name IMPOSSIBLE for searching in Google – just try a search for “The Hotel” Ambergris Caye…it’s infuriating) has been empty…and overgrown. At times, it looks like a handful of people are living in the rooms…there are missing doors and windows.
Some ugly graffiti.
You can see a bit of The Hotel in 2017 in Ben & Joe’s Tour of San Peezy, Belize-y
And just last week, some 8 years later, a crew came and clear-cut most of the huge overgrown plants in front of the hotel…
I went to take some pictures and see if anyone was around so I could get the scoop.
What I found was an empty hotel – in better shape than I would have thought but still quite sad. The Hotel that never opened.
Here’s what I saw…and the answer to “what is going on with the Hotel?” I can only show you these pictures. I’ve got nothing more for you. But I’ll work on it and let you know.
It’s just north of the old Legends Bar and Grill – which is getting a face-lift and an addition on the back.
I’ll stop for a moment and say that I wouldn’t recommend wandering around…it’s very creepy. And though there were construction workers right next door – it’s not super close. I did not go upstairs…and for safety, I whistled loudly the whole time. (That keeps you safe, right?)
The courtyard in the back (covered in pretty umbrellas in 2014)
The building extends quite a way on the south side – where the gym and the spa were to be. You can’t see much farther…what was the clear-cut area with the golf island, is now a forest!
And back out. Like I said…it’s very creepy.
And along the south side – the building is like a large letter L.
You can see the back of Legends below…
That’s all I’ve got…for now. If you know anything about The Hotel, let me know.
After 2 days of RAIIIIN here on Ambergris Caye – though way more on the mainland – it’s a beautiful day and should be a great weekend. Enjoy.