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Cocotal Inn & Cabanas
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Reviews (368)
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Reviewed 26 June 2013

After two trips in 24 months, it's about time I post this much deserved review.

We visited in March 2011 and again in Feb 2012. First in the lower main house and then the upper main house. If you are looking for on-site dining, late night entertainment, crowds of people and a high activity level, keep looking. Having searched extensively for a place to stay two years ago, I stumbled upon Cocotal and can’t imagine spending another minute searching for other accommodations on Ambergris Caye. Without compromising your tropical vacation experience, the value is second to none. The service is personalized to the extent that you choose to take part. You can remain anonymous or visit with the staff & other guests, of which there are only 6 or 7 comfortably spaced units. All of the units are beautifully built and in very good condition. Kayaking to snorkel the reef or even just around the end of the pier is easy and the staff will do everything but paddle for you.
While nearby dining is somewhat limited, it is acceptable. Free bikes are a fun way to get to town during the day but must be back by dark so having a golf cart really opens up your evening options. We had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with the owner Tanya on our first trip and were served exceptionally well by Manager Ernesto this time. If you need anything, just ask and it seems they find a way to provide it or help you find it (always be aware of "island time"). Ernesto has a good sense of knowing just how much contact to have with you, when to stop and talk or simply smile and walk by. Not like some resorts where every staff member is constantly asking you if everything is ok. Mara the dog is very sweet and has become quite a guard dog. She somehow knows if you belong and will bark at those who don’t if they enter the property.
If I had to find one negative thing to say, I’d choose the weak wifi signal. A few inexpensive range extenders would help. The wifi source is housed in the lower level of a concrete building so even upstairs it only really worked well in one corner of the Master bedroom on iPads and iPhones. To be fair, if you want to spend your day on wifi, you probably shouldn’t be here in the first place but it is handy for catching up with family at home and gets frustrating when it’s intermittent.
Our favorite local dining option for lunch or dinner is Capricorn. It is a short walk up the beach and even shorter by cart. While we noticed a lot of folks comment that it was expensive, we felt it was only marginally higher than most other options but the consistent quality of the food was worth it. There is a local BBQ place and burger place down the road which are fine but that’s not what we came here for. Bike to town for lunch or get a cart and eat any meal wherever you like. Don’t forget that you can buy meat or fish from a market and cook on the grill by the honor bar or in your own kitchen. This seems to be popular with some of the longer term guests.
We have only one word of caution, when booking an excursion with a local tour operator through the office. Make sure you don’t commit too far ahead in case your plans change or you don’t feel well. There are no refunds for ANY reason. Even if the boat was full and they are able to take last minute additions to fill the cancelled seat, you are in for a battle. The tours themselves are fun but the big tour companies are inflexible.
For any excursion that has to do with Diving, snorkeling, or a boat ride in the vicinity of Ambergris Caye, I urge you to check with Belize Pro Dive Center. They were right next door at White Sands Cove Resort and without a doubt the most attentive shop in my 5 short years of diving. The guys at BPDC are exceptional gentlemen and very good at what they do.
Lamanai ruins were a really cool excursion but understand it takes ALL DAY round trip. 8 hours of boat/bus for 2 hours of ruins. Caye Caulker is a VERY laid back place with almost nothing to do but swim in the split. It is a mecca for early 20’s students with low cost accommodations and minimal shopping or anything else to see.

Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
Thank 792matt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

This was our second trip to Ambergris and we did not even consider staying anywhere, but Cocotal. You can tell from the other reviews that this is a great little place. They have thought about most everything.
The Cabana's and rooms are roomy and comfy. Ernesto and Analitta will make any arrangments you need and make helpful suggestions for your stay. The guys that take care of the place (Rambo, Calvin, and Fernando) are very helpful and will take care of whatever it is you need almost as soon as you ask. They are on the grounds all day long cleaning, sprucing things up, etc. The level of service is actually pretty amazing for a small property.
I need not mention that having a dog like Mara to hang out with when you're on vacation is a ton of fun. She's got the be the best "resort dog" ever!
I you want great service, comfortable surroundings and a good value, don't look any further!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TravelTalk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2013

My husband and I just got back from Cocotal Inn and Cabanas in Belize. We stayed in the Casita beachfront which was really nice, clean, and at a great price. The view we had drinking our morning coffee or our afternoon cocktail was breathtaking from the front porch. Our back door opened up into the pool area which was very nice and clean. Cocotal is very quiet, peaceful, great location, wonderful caring staff, and away from the crowds. Ernesto and Melida were very helpful in arranging our snorkel excursions. You must snorkel at Hol Chan Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. We went twice to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley seeing different fish and turtles each time. The cost was very reasonable.. We went on a 1/2 day excursion through White Sands and a whole day through Searious Adventures and both were fantastic. I must mention the famous dog "Mara" at Cocotal. When we walked to the restaurant for dinner, Mara tagged along and she would look back at us to make sure we were still on path. She would sit by our table and wait until we were finished and then escort us back to the room. Everyone at the restaurants would greet Mara by name and knew she was with Cocotal's guests. When we returned from our excursions Mara would greet us at the pier. She is very protective and such a sweet dog. There are several good restaurants to mention. Capricorn, Aji, and AkBol. We were not pleased with our Sunday barbecue lunch at Palapa Bar. Our experience was overall great at Cocotal Inn and Cabanas and we will be back.

Room Tip: Even though our Beachfront Casita was near the beaten path, it was still quite and the view is unforgettable.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank BatonRougeTraveler55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2013

We stayed for 6 nights and wish we never left. We had a horrible experience our first night at a hotel in the downtown area of San Pedro, and we were dying to go to the north end. When I read Cocotal's website and saw the pictures of their Cabana's we knew we had to get in there!! From the very second we were picked up by Jesus to bring us to the resort we knew we found what we were looking for. The staff is so amazingly attentive, friendly and helpful. Ernesto was so gracious in welcoming us, giving us tips showing us and always had a smile on his face. We stayed in the Peach Cabana and it was pure luxury!!! Everything about it was perfect. We LOVED having a full kitchen and didn't even care my friend and I had to share the bed. On the day one of the caretakers saw me trying to clean a conch shell and offer to do it for me because he said he had the right tools so I agreed. About an hour later not only did he bring the conch shell back clean but he had Varnished it as well!!!! That is what I call guest service. I will never stay anywhere else in San Pedro. All the extra amenities they offer are based on thoughtfulness and consideration for the guests. Free bikes to get around and explore. See kayaks for snorkelling trips. Honour Bar and Drinks so there was no time limit. Games and Books at the office for those rainy days. Such an great little resort! We will be back!

Room Tip: Rooms farther away from the ocean are more buggy at night.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank DanteDog18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2013

We stayed here for 8 days and had a wonderful time. The staff is amazing, the location is divine and Belize is the best !! We stayed upstairs for the first 5 days and it was great to have some space. The porches are awesome. The bedrooms have a/c but not the living space. It was a bit toasty at times. Then we moved to a Cabana and that was awesome. We had a great view and loved how cozy it was. We kayaked out to the reef almost every day and rode the bikes around some. Lots of great local restaurants within walking distance and only went into town once.
I would return here and recommend this spot to anyone ! We loved it !!

Room Tip: They are all great ! Depends on what you want.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jaoirisheyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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