A few minutes’ bicycle ride south from Hopkins village  will bring you to a small oceanside strip of upscale resorts, restaurants, and condos. The water off the beach resorts at False Sittee can be muddy at times because of the proximity of emptying rivers and streams, and depending on the time of year, sand flies and mosquitoes can get fierce. Still, this is a popular spot to stay because of the quality of the lodges, as well as the location’s direct access to so many inland and offshore attractions and activities.
The most low-key option in this stretch of resorts along False Sittee Point is Beaches and Dreams Seafront Inn and Pub (tel. 501/523-7259, www.beachesanddreams.com , US$125, includes breakfast), whose four ample rooms have tiled floors, porches, and private bathrooms; ask about the new treehouse—great for families.
The on-site restaurant, the Barracuda Bar and Grill (4 p.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. Wed.–Mon., bocce tournaments on Fri.) features chef “Alaska Tony” Marisco’s amazing menu, including jerk smoked pork, aged beef, lots of seafood, and some of the best pizza this side of the Sittee River (US$15–25 pp dinner, US$25 for a large lobster pizza, US$12 for a cheese pie).
Another pleasant midrange option is next door at Parrot Cove Lodge (tel. 501/523-7225, U.S. tel. 800/207-7139, parrotcovelodge.com, US$130–250), with a handful of standard rooms and suites plus a few homes and villas for rent. Take a kayak out to sea or lounge by the pool. All the standard sea and land tours are available.
Awarded “Hotel of the Year 2010” by the Belize Tourist Board, Jaguar Reef Resort (tel. 501/520-7040, U.S. tel. 800/289-5756, www.jaguarreef.com , US$190–275) is a full-service accommodation with an ever-improving variety of spacious, comfortably furnished rooms and cottages.
Next door, if you can afford it, there is a selection of ridiculously large luxury suites at Almond Beach (U.S. tel. 866/624-1516, www.almondbeachbelize.com , US$180–325). They have a large open dining space shared by the two properties; several pools and bars; plus bikes, kayaks, sand volleyball, and many activity-based packages. The ultra-luxe “beachfront vista suite” costs US$820 a night and includes a private chef. This is a popular spot for fancy weddings, especially with the addition of the Butterflies Spa (8 a.m.–7 p.m. daily, tel. 501/523-7291), offering a full range of treatments at about the same rates as back home. Butterflies Coffee has grinds from all over Central America, roasted fresh daily.
Belizean Dreams (tel. 501/523-7272, www.belizeandreams.com , US$285–685) has nine beach villas with one- and two-bedroom suite options, along with two resort restaurants. Area tours are available.
Hamanasi Adventure and Resort (tel. 501/520-7073, U.S. tel. 877/522-3483, www.hamanasi.com , US$275–350) is the area’s premier diving operation. Sitting on 17 acres, including 400 feet of beachfront, Hamanasi offers eight beachfront rooms, four suites (including a honeymoon option), and nine deluxe treehouses tucked away in the littoral forest, all with views and tiled bathrooms, air-conditioning, fans, porches, and colorful Guatemalan bedspreads. Meals include delicious pasta and, of course, fresh seafood. If you’re not into dive adventures, there’s a pool, kayaks, bikes, and hammocks to use at your leisure. Hamanasi has a high occupancy rate; make reservations ahead of time.