Is Hopkins Inn right for you? Maybe not.
We pride ourselves in offering a good service for value experience and we work hard to exceed our guests’ expectations. But it’s important that those expectations are realistic. At the risk of boring you, the biggest surprises may be:
*We have a natural beach. There are not machines that come and clean the beaches each morning, like in Florida or Mexico. We do have groundskeepers. Trash floats up--the farthest we've had is a water bottle from India. And some people liter. We have trees on our beaches, which means we also have leaves and fallen palm fronds. The beach is a workplace for fishermen, and so they store their boats on the beach and clean their fish.The beach is everyone's back yard, so you may see laundry hanging. And chickens, dogs, cats, and iquanas. We even had a bunny that called our the inn home for several months!
*Hopkins only got electricity in 1994. This means we are not as up-to-speed as you may want us to be. Ten years ago, the streets were not paved and there were few vehicles and televisions in the village. Hardly anyone had land lines and instead most people went straight to cell phones. Things are changing quickly, but maybe not as quickly or "progressive" as outsiders think they should. The library got electricity in 2014-2015.
*The village embraces the morning-time with singing tropical birds, dribbling of basketballs, children playing, music, and the washing of laundry. Even the roosters and dogs welcome the sun. Yes, there are chickens on the beach! (It's common for Belizeans to keep chickens.)
*We cannot ask the Garifuna to stop playing drums. Belizeans, especially the Garifuna, enjoy a party. They love their music and play it in times of celebrations, holidays, and rituals. And just about every day is a celebration to them. Mourning a loved one means playing drums from sunset to sunrise in order to accompany their love one “up” and to ask them to stop would mean they can not send their loved one "up." If you want a cultural experience in Hopkins, it means music.
*We are not a resort-style hotel. If you require a more hands-on vacation experience, televisions, and pools, you may be happier at an “all inclusive” or larger resort as opposed to the cultural vacation experience in our village. There are several hotels that provide wrist bands and meal packages located a few miles south of Hopkins in the village of Sittee Point, but that's not us.
*We can't control the sarfassum. Sargassum is not unique to Hopkins Inn. It is an algae that looks like brown seaweed. When floating in the ocean scientists refer to as a “golden floating rainforest.” However, when it arrives on the beach its unpleasant in appearance and smell, releasing hydrogen sulfide. Sargassum arrived in mass quantities in Belize less than ten years ago. It now comes and goes along the Caribbean coast up to the Yucatan in Mexico unpredicatably. Sargassum comes and goes, with little notice. There is no way to predict when it arrives or how long it will stay. In Hopkins, we may go six months without any and then, the sargassum literally appears overnight. It stays for a few days or even weeks at a time. At Hopkins Inn, we clean our beach. Groundskeepers rake it. But at times, the sargassum becomes too much and we cannot fight Mother Nature.
Want to learn more about sargassum and why it is showing up in the Caribbean? https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/great-atlantic-sargassum-belt-here-stay/593290/