- Telephone Service
We have radiotelephone, E-mail and radio-fax service available
for our guests but recommend against using it - the news from back home is
always less interesting than what's going on at Lighthouse Reef. If you do
need to check in though, the phone's in the office and we suggest you dial
115 and ask for "AT&T Direct" or 556 for "Sprint Global One" to get the
best U.S. rate on your credit card or collect call (There is an additional
Bz$1.00 per minute radio fee for these calls). If you want it on your hotel
bill the direct-dial charge to the U.S. is Bz$6.00 per minute including
radio fee. We reserve the right to charge you double that amount for a
business call that depresses you and we'll pay for any call to cancel next
week's appointment with Dr. Kivorkian. (return to top)
We have towels for the rooms, towels for the boats and towels
for the beach. Our boatmen stock the boat for you and if you need a beach
towel just ask any staff member - they'll round one up for you. Please help
us keep the towels in their place. Since it's fishermen, not divers, who
steal our towels, it's not necessary to discuss the luggage inspection
Saturday morning, but anyone found with towels on the airplane earns a
strip-search before landing. (return to top)
We've stocked your room with several different drinks and
snacks. There's an inventory sheet nearby that will be picked up daily so
that your refrigerator can be restocked. If you will mark your purchases on
the sheet it will facilitate stocking. Also, if you want something else or
more of something, make a note on the sheet or tell the staff member.
Don't worry about paying for the items, it'll be on your bill
Friday. (return to top)
Mother Nature has been good to Lighthouse Reef. And we owe her
the same respect. As one of the Western Hemisphere's four atolls, Lighthouse Reef's 42 miles of reef-wall offer a variety of site destinations, each with it's own distinct fragility.
Man has always been selfish when dealing with our environment
and we at Lighthouse Reef Resort have made our share of mistakes in the past but we're learning and we're trying harder. We work at preserving the bounty we inherited for those of you who have yet to enjoy this beautiful atoll.
You will notice patches of vegetation on or near the beach. Or
turtle grass in the shallows. Except for those damn sandspurs we let nature
run its course at Lighthouse Reef. It's difficult to find an instance where
man has improved upon Mother Nature and we do not presume to have the
answer. Come check for yourself.
We try our best to keep the miles of beaches clean for you but
with all those ocean liners, live-aboards and yachtsmen out there it's
Our beach is like a magnet for everything inorganic in the
Caribbean. You'd be amazed at our annual collection of plastic, scrap,
styrofoam and left shoes (left thongs, left tennis shoes, left booties, left sandals - nothing for the right foot!).
Often it's the simple things that are most important. Our
guests are good about helping us conserve water. Allowing the wildlife to
feed themselves and not touching the coral. They even help us pick up the
plastic items thrown from the live-aboards so Lighthouse Reef will be a true natural experience when you arrive. (return to top)
You won't need your black patent pumps. No one ever wears shoes.
We suggest you dig yours out late Friday night to be sure they still fit. (return to top)
Since Belize is a dues paying member of the British
Commonwealth, Lighthouse Reef falls under the protection of Scotland Yard
and Interpol which are ably represented by "Chief" Heustis, our Purchasing
Agent and honourary High-Constable. The last time we had a problem with
theft you could still get your windows washed at a gas station so we don't
even issue room keys. A warning though, it often takes us a quite a while to find a key should you accidentally lock yourself out of your room. At least
once a month we have a Friday afternoon panic when someone swears his/her
passport has been stolen (or that Mark failed to return it after the
check-in) but in six years the elusive passport has never failed to turn up
(average time: 2.34 hours). Generally it was under the toothpaste or in the
romance novel. Please be careful, even a temporarily misplaced passport is a traumatic experience. (return to top)
Don't Pay For Anything
Our guests don't need cash during the week at Lighthouse Reef -
or traveler's checks, or beads, or plastic, or shells. We put everything on
a tab (including T-shirts and toothpaste) and settle up on Friday. If the
bartender should be astray, just take what you want and fill out your own
tab. If we can't trust you who can we trust? (return to top)
Originally there were no bugs, mosquitoes or insects on Lighthouse Reef but we found our guests didn't believe they were in the Caribbean and missed the companionship of the little critters. So we imported an advanced strain of No-see-ums for your entertainment. We seldom notice them unless the breeze dies but if you're not interested in nourishing our mini-vampires we suggest Skintastic, Skin-So-Soft or OFF and have it available in our gift shop. The price is reasonable except during a severe assault and then we charge a pint of blood. (return to top)
The fates permitting, our generators run 24 hours a day at Lighthouse Reef and you are on the American Standard of 120 volts, 60 cycles. You should have no trouble with shavers, hairdryers, battery chargers, etc. (return to top)
Of course we're air-conditioned for your comfort. But during most of the year our guests find it very pleasant to enjoy the Caribbean breezes. (return to top)
We have a very fine lens of fresh water under Northern Caye. The quality of our water is good and only occasionally do we get a slight odor from the palm roots. If you should find that objectionable, we always have a generous supply of rainwater available. (return to top)
You'll find a laundry bag and laundry list in your room. If you need service just place the clothes and list inside the bag and put the bag on your porch as you leave in the morning. Janice will do her best for you. (return to top)
Mark or Dennis will automatically reconfirm your departing flight for you unless you instruct us not to. (return to top)
Tipping, Gratuities and Service Charges
We at Lighthouse Reef Resort are proud of the fact that we have 24 dedicated staff members who cater to the whims of our 22 (maximum) guests. That's over one employee for each guest. Even 5-Star resorts have only one employee for every three guests and we know of no other Caribbean hotel who has better than a one to two ratio. We all work hard and are available for you 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Nothing fancy . . . just friendly, basic service.
We do NOT include a service charge (tip) on your bill. Many Caribbean resorts require a 10-15% service charge while most live-aboards and all "all-inclusive" destinations hide a 15% gratuity in their rate. We feel that forced gratuities are appropriate only for those resorts that do not intend to earn your appreciation. At Lighthouse Reef Resort you have the right to express whether or not you received the service you deserve.
If you should be pleased with our staff and if you would like to thank them at the end of your stay, we will have envelopes available for you at checkout Friday. We do not make a recommendation as to the amount you might leave but many guests have asked for guidelines so we periodically examine our guests' tipping habits and have found that the average gratuity amounts are about 7% of the total bill. Naturally many give more than this average while some leave less. Please feel comfortable that any amount is appreciated. (return to top)
Belize has the typical taxes (Departure, Hotel and Customs) you're familiar with at other tourist destinations. They do NOT have a sales tax but recently enacted a Value Added Tax (VAT) for the sole purpose of confusing everyone and possibly raising a little money. We can assure them it's confusing but the total cost to our guests is running slightly less than 8% of the total package unless you buy a gross of T-shirts and then it creeps up to 9% or so. You'll pay more than that in Miami, Anaheim, Montego Bay, Stuttgart or Aspen. (return to top)
Visiting The Mainland?
If you have some time (even just a few hours) after you leave us, we hope you will take advantage of some of the other highlights of Belize. If you have a late flight Saturday we will be happy to recommend and arrange for a short, inexpensive tour of either the world famous Belize Zoo or the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha.
All visits to Lighthouse are prepaid but whatever expenses you've incurred during the week plus the taxes, gratuities, etc. can be handled on Friday before your Saturday departure. Mark will have your bill tabulated by 2:30 and be in the office for checkout until 3:30. He'll accept American Express, Visa, Master Card, traveler's checks, U.S. or Belizean cash, your car title or the deed to your home. Subsequent mini-bar charges or bar bills can be handled for cash later that evening or Saturday morning.
REMEMBER to keep Bz$30.00 or US$15.00 per person in cash for the departure tax if you're leaving the country Saturday morning. (return to top)