Costa Maya Reef Resort
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Reviews of Costa Maya Reef Resort
Ambergris Caye, Belize
My husband and I had a great time. Lots to do and the staff is very friendly. We loved the kayaks. Took them out 200 yards from shore and had the best snorkelling. Warm waters and lots of fish, coral and rays to see. The bikes need to be repaired but if you can find two that work the ride along the ocean to town is not to be missed. We went cave tubing and saw the Maya ruins. Wonderful day trip!! We also dive so having the dive shop right at the reort is very convenient. We will definitely be back and I hope soon.
great location, great staff, very helpful. Units are not brand new but are spotless.... had a great time. Would return.
Third world describes it all: lodging, food, service, facilities, furnishings.....
Had the opportunity to visit this resort this past spring and enjoyed the hospitality of the people. Everyone was very friendly and genuinely concerned that we enjoy our visit to their country.
The accommodations were very comfortable with beautiful deck views of the ocean and the pool. There were frequent live local bands playing to entertain us in the afternoons as we sat around the pool and also some evenings.
There are lots of things to do here. If you want peace and quiet, you got it. If you want some fun and adventure, you got it. It is an adventure just getting around Belize as the roads are very sandy and muddy so if it has rained, be prepared for a rough ride - but that is all in the fun of the adventure. They also provided ample opportunity to get to town on their own boat without having to use the island ferry. They provide some trips for free and some for $5 fee so pretty cheap taxi rides in my mind.
Some things around the resort were a bit dated, but I was told that they are gradually replacing everything so all will be new.
Overall, I enjoyed our time here and would recommend anyone to stay here.
BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD, BAD.
STAY AWAY, STAY AWAY, STAY AWAY.
The Costa Maya Reef resort sits approximately 6.5 miles north of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye, accessible only by boat. There are 10 separate two-story condo buildings, with 29 units in all.
The resort setting is glorious, affording marvelous clear sea views to the reef from all upstairs units. Sea views from downstairs units are diffused by palms. We exchanged our 5-star 2 bedroom lockoff for what we were told, was the only resort available in Belize.
While our 2-bedroom unit was roomy enough inside and had a huge outside deck, the unit itself was in a sad state of disrepair and lack of maintenance; e.g., splayed fan blades, broken window, thick corrosion build-up on windows, ceiling bulb without shade, shower/bath plumbing moveable from wall, worn out, rusty and discolored faucets, poorly supplied kitchen and very hard beds.
At check-in, they require that you sign a sheet stating that there will be a $25. charge per item to your credit card, should keys or towels not be returned at check-out. Don't leave your towel on a tourbus.
This resort does not accept cash, so all purchases are made with a credit card. They also do not give receipts for charges that you incur, so it would be prudent to keep a tally so as not to have any nasty surprises at check-out. They also charge a 9% hotel tax, the country's way of making money. At checkout, we were shown a receipt for this tax charge on which somebody else had signed our name! We were told that this tax will soon increase to 10% and will be a GST. There is a small convenience/equipment rental store on-site where you can buy half a gallon of milk for $6.90, rent a beach bike for the day for around $11., as well as snorkeling equipment and fishing rods.
There is a restaurant and a separate beachside bar on site. Most employees of the resort are young Belizeans, who were, it seemed, being trained on the job.
Food at their on-site restaurant was mediocre at best; pork chops were offered two nights in a row, the second night with a different name. Their pool is suitable for toddlers and small children, half of it being 4 to 24 inches deep.
Resort information (including Resort boat schedule/pricing) sent to us from our exchange company two months prior to the trip was too old for the resort to honor (2-1/2 years old, according to one of the resort's employees), and so, could not be honored, nor were we offered suggestions or an alternative. So every time we wanted to leave the resort and go to San Pedro town, the cost would be $10. per person each way. The resort did offer two midweek days of free boat transport into town at specific times, but with only an hour or so of land time, these trips were not conducive to going out for dinner, only grocery shopping. Palapas are spaced enough for privacy along the resort's beach, but seagrass is voluminous so running into the water from your chaise lounge after you fry your bod is not an alternative.
There are many resorts with restaurants and bars dotting the coast between San Pedro town north to the Costa Maya Reef resort, offering an alternative for dining, however, as the only transportation is via boat at a cost of $5-$10. per person each way,(depending on how far you go) going out to dinner on a speedboat is a lot of fun, though definitely not cheap. However, my mate and I actually walked along the beach to a couple of other resorts for drinks and meals, and were welcomed with open arms even though we were not hotel guests. Remember to take a flashlight, with spare batteries, if you go.
A golf cart can be rented in San Pedro town, which can be used to get you to the resort most of the time, and is a lot of fun. However, when it rains it pours, so check first to make sure the road hasn't been washed out. Golf carts are too heavy to lift.
While walks along a beach are something we always love to do, beach walks along this part of Ambergris Caye was a little disenchanting since it was completely littered with rubbish. While each resort keeps their respective beach clean, beaches outside of each of the resorts was practically covered with rubbish, mostly plastic and rubber, which, the locals say, has washed in from Cuba. It's amazing how far a washing machine can swim.
The resort can arrange specific tours for you, and you are whisked away by boat from their dock. You also have the option of reserving tours/trips through any tour operator of your choice if you book via the internet before you go. But remember to inquire about pick-up and delivery charges to the tour operator's dock, considering this resort's location plus boat charges. Food and gasoline (at $5.00 per gallon) are expensive in this part of the world, so if you stay at this resort, you are paying for the quiet location and the cost of transportation. Due diligence beforehand is essential.
If this resort wants to increase their revenue, they're going about it the wrong way. Their employees definitely need some help in the PR department. They also need a decent chef, employees who put the customer first, and a maintenance program. You'd have to be more than intellectually challenged to buy a timeshare at the Costa Maya Reef at the prices offered.
If you want peace and quiet, staying at one of the resorts north of town is the ticket. If you want easy access to restaurants, bars and shops and lots of other people around, you have to stay in San Pedro or within walking distance. And forget the wristwatch.
This resort is phenomenal. The staff is incredible and the views are picturesque. The villas are extremely well equipped, new and very nicely decorated. I would truly rate it as the best vacation my family and I have ever had.