Casa Blanca By the Sea Hotel: A “Great Buy” or a “Black Eye” in Consejo?

Casa Blanca Hotel view from the sea
Casa Blanca By the Sea in Consejo.

Imagine bringing your boat up to this pier on the Northern tip of Consejo looking to experience Northern Belize.

The Casa Blanca Hotel looks like a jewel, inviting you for a night stay or two, for a few cocktails and some great Belizean food. You can’t wait!

But then you realize that the cast iron gates are chained. You can’t get in. The place is empty and you’ll need to find other parts of Northern Belize to whet your whistle.

Casa Blanca by the Sea is for sale.

The location that hosted local conferences, and tourists for a number of years is now empty due to the owners’ unforeseen circumstances.

It’s weird to read the reviews on tripadvisor.com. It’s also confusing that the same listing invites you to check out possible stay dates.

But that’s what happens when you close rather abruptly and the owners want to put it into the hands of someone who can take it on.

I know what you’re thinking. “I bet I can make a go of it as the owner of Casa Blanca!”

I thought the same thing when a local real estate agent showed us the place during our recent trip to Northern Belize.

Karen Wilkinson of Corozal Belize Properties in Consejo Shores told us the sad story of how the Hotel came onto the market. She showed us the rooms, the land, the bar and the kitchen.

You could still envision a bustling business within its walls.

Enjoy this pictorial of our tour and decide for yourself if Casa Blanca is worth a look.

THE ROOMS: COMFORTABLE AND INVITING

Mayan Door Carving
Each door of the dozen or so hotel rooms invites you in with a Mayan carving on it. No detail is spared to make this an inviting hotel.
two levels of rooms
The rooms look over the sea from the top or bottom levels. The sea breezes hit you smack dab in the face as you scan the horizon from your balcony.
room interiror
The rooms are fully and smartly furnished, complete with ceiling fans and some with air conditioning.
The featured suites boast comfortable wicker furniture and large window access to the Caribbean Sea.

THE GROUNDS ARE CHARMING AND SPEAK TO OPPORTUNITY!

Palapa dining
A full palapa has seaside dining written all over it and has weathered the storms wonderfully. A small palapa sits at the end of the sturdy pier and entice those who want a more private dining experience on the Sea.
Parking
The cobble stone courtyard area is perfect for parking and a late night stroll.
Land to the West
Vacant land to the west of the Hotel could be used for lawn games such as futbol or volleyball or could be used for future development of private cabanas?
Seawall palapas
Shade palapas serve as nice shade spots along the sea wall, offering a great view of Chetumal about 2 miles across the Bay.

ADJACENT HOME IS A BONUS!

Adjacent Home
A two-bedroom home sits empty across the street from Casa Blanca and was used for the Hotel manager. A full workshop also is on the land and provides a perk for the absentee owner to offer to his on-site management.
The adjacent home comes fully furnished with plenty of space.
Bedroom
The master bedroom in the adjacent home is quite cozy and would make a perfect place for the on-site manager and his family to call home.

DINING, SERVING AND ENTERTAINING AREAS

Although the kitchen, bar and indoor dining area on the ground floor of the Casa Blanca Hotel were too dark (no electricity at present) to take decent photos, make sure your tour of Casa Blanca includes some time in these areas.

The kitchen is large, well laid out and boasts all of the stainless steel appliances needed by any full-service restaurant. All are included in the price of the Hotel.

The bar is rustic and expertly made from local exotic hardwoods, while the dining area is fully furnished with complementary wood tables and chairs.

An office area also serves the owner and/or manager a comfortable air conditioned area to attend to daily administrative tasks.

THE VERDICT: “BLACK EYE” OR “GREAT BUY”?

As you see from the pictorial above, Casa Blanca features everything a thriving Hotel and Restaurant needs, such as great sea views, perfect sea breezes, a nice design and an infrastructure that could be sustainable with a bit of tender loving care.

According to local real estate sites, the reduced listing price for Casa Blanca is $799,999 USD at the time of this writing.

From our visit, we assessed that the price seemed like a bargain based on the quality of the construction, the layout and location.

Of course, any possible investor should get a hold of the financials of the business when it was in operation and thoroughly investigate the future tourism potential  of the area.

Bottom Line: Although at first site, we determined that it has potential for the right investor, it was above our budget.

The longer Casa Blanca sits vacant, however, the work required to get it back into operational condition will increase.

The assessment of whether it is a “Black Eye” for the area, or a “Great Buy” for the right business person should be left up to the person who does extensive due diligence.

Have you viewed Casa Blanca? If so, give us your opinion below.

Do you have information that will help inform future investors, please add to the discussion below.

Did you ever stay at Casa Blanca? Tell us about your experience below!

Here are a few links to start your research:

A Unique Belizean Perspective on Northern Belize

She’s a real trooper.

Linda is strong-minded and persistent. Those are the traits that attracted me to her in the first place.

Our vacation this Christmas took us to Corozal, Belize, on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.

Needless to say, when I told her I that I wanted to investigate the Corozal district of Belize 8 months ago, she shrugged and said, “what do you want to know?”

As a Belizean, Linda spent many weekends with her large family traveling from Orange Walk town and visiting Chetumal, Mexico across the Belizean Border. Her father’s roots from Spain made Chetumal a welcome alternative to Belize City in the South.

But when she moved to the Chicago area in 1981 along with other family members, Linda used her same strong mind and persistence to carve out a long career in dental office management.

She longed for “home” from time to time. The yearly visits to Belize weren’t enough.

When I came into her life, she introduced me to her country. It was a neat vacation spot for me. My job schedule forced me to vacation in the Summer, so it was humid, (in the 90s and 100s) and the rainy season was in full force.  But my love of hot ‘n humid goes back to catching August double-headers in high school. I enjoyed it.

I’ve been to Belize about 6 times, and each time Linda’s family would take me to different parts. I’ve experienced the mountains, caves and jungles in the South, the humid flatlands and farmland in the mid-section and the cool breezes of the touristy Cayes of Ambergris and Placencia Peninsula.

But my time in Corozal District was limited to a 15-mile Caribbean canoe trip with Linda’s brother just north of Copper Bank village on my very first trip to Belize.

Our Plans for Retirement in OrangE Walk Town

Linda owned a lot in Orange Walk and we put a fence on it and came up with a home plan. I was excited about an eventual move to Belize for retirement. Our plan was to build slowly, and avoid debt along the way.

Here is a look at our humble land development project to date:

The past few years have been spent taking a sober look at our finances, exploring possible online business opportunities that would translate to Belize, and reading up on how other Expats have prepared themselves for life abroad.

The more I read, the more excited I grew.  Perhaps that’s because I was usually reading  in the wind-chill of a Chicago winter.

We talked about our plans often and the idea of utilizing Linda’s gifts of cooking and hospitality in a Bed ‘n Breakfast came up quite a bit. We knew that it would need to be in a touristy area.

Maybe Orange Walk would be a good place? The main highway runs through town, plus the Lamanai Mayan Ruin Tours were popular just to the south. Plus, we already owned land there.

I also knew that Corozal was very popular with Expats from Canada and the U.S., so Linda was excited when I asked her if we could explore that area on our most recent trip.

Kicking the Tires in Corozal

So I spent the past 6 months investigating every area of the Corozal District. By the Caribbean Sea. By 4-mile and Progresso Lagoons. And all the way up to the Hondo River that separates Belize from Mexico.  I’ve learned a lot.

But online research can’t compare to kicking the tires, so we spent 10 days this past vacation meandering along many of the trails of Corozal district.

We talked to developers, builders, restaurant owners and current resident Expats. The experience was priceless and this blog is a humble result of our time there.

Here is the view of Corozal Bay from the Bedroom of the seaside home we rented for a week on the south end of Corozal. It’s on a stretch of road known locally at “Gringo Lane” because of all the Expats that reside here.

Our hope is that this blog will help you better understand the possibilities of the Northern part of Belize. We plan to utilize our contacts there to help flesh out this blog for your benefit.

Looking for Your Input

Hopefully, the discussions will be lively and others will be able to fill in pieces of Corozal that we have missed.

If you are already an expert in Belize, please contact us with possible blog ideas and contributions. Please bookmark our blog and come back as much as your curiosity drives you back. We would love to hear your opinions.

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