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“Dream House”
Review of Hotel del Rio

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Hotel del Rio
Ranked #35 of 54 Hotels in San Pedro
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Dream House”
Reviewed 12 May 2012

We stayed 10 nights in the Dream House in April, 2012. It had a great view, very comfortable beds, a good sea breeze to keep the nights comfortable and was very cute from the outside. Javier was extremely friendly and helpful and made our stay enjoyable. Downside was that it was extremely rustic, with broken door handles that look like they were that way for years, a bathroom door that jambed, and the kitchen utensils and pots and pans were in such poor condition, I would not dare give them away at a garage sale. We shared 2 butter knives with 4 people. Most pans had broken handles and there was no kettle for boiling water. OK if you do not plan to cook anything and only use the coffee maker. The other units were in much better shape and this one seems overpriced for the condition it was in. Still had a great time though! Will miss Javier very much. The people of San Pedro were extremely friendly too. A pleasant beachfront walk to town was also enjoyable. Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan were highlights of our 3 weeks in Belize. Javier can set you up with whatever trip you want.

Room Tip: Dream house seems to be the oldest and least renovated of the cabana but has the most space for 4 pe...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gerry_the_Pitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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Ireland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2012

Stayed 3 nights at Hotel Del Rio on Caye Ambergis. Loved this little place. We stayed in a room at the back which was basic but exceptionally clean. It had the softest sheets and pillows I've ever slept on. It also had a fridge which was very handy. Javier on the front desk is extremely helpful. Anything he suggested for us was awesome. He recommended Waraguma restaurant in town and without doubt it's the best seafood we've ever eaten. He also suggested we go with Searious to do some afternoon snorkelling and again it was the best snorkelling we've done anywhere.
The hotel is a nice walk along the beach front to town. It is directly across from the sea but there is no beach. It is still possible to drag a sun lounger over by the water or on the dock and get some sun. I would have no problems staying here again.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cara23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NEWBERG, OREGON
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

We stayed in the upper front room, which was perfect because you could sleep with the doors open and get the sea breeze all night. The rooms were clean and the staff was great. They had great suggestions for places to eat and a were a great help in organizing any activities we wanted. The hotel is on the north end of town and a little quieter than right downtown in San Pedro. We rented bikes the entire time and felt very comfortable riding on the streets and on the beach. Great way to meet the locals because you ride along with them every day. The only drawback is not being able to snorkel and swim in the water right outside the hotel but I loved the trade off of the accessibility of all that San Pedro had to offer,

Room Tip: Choose the upper level thatched room. Great view and great breeze.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JEANOREGON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ampthill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We booked the Hotel Del Rio only the day before arrival following a change to our 3-week Belize itinerary, and booked to stay for two nights. We chose the hotel primarily because it was excellent value, but also because you could check availability and reserve online which was perfect as we didn't have time to email places and wait for responses.

Much as we were tempted by the gorgeous thatched roof cabanas we booked the double room in the 'Palms Verandah at the Sea' - the lowest cost rooms at $50US a night (the change in the itinerary had cost us so we were trying to save a bit where we could). The photos on the website showed relatively basic but clean rooms. On arrival we were surprised how pleasant the room was! It definitely exceeded our expectation. It was large and airy, with a ceiling fan and shuttered bug-screened windows which let through a fantastic breeze (we wouldn't have used aircon even if it had been there). The decor was simple but bright and cheery, enough room to store our belongings and a bonus of a fridge, coffee maker plus glasses, mugs and cutlery. The bathroom was small but had everything we needed; shower, wash basin, toilet and shelves for our belongings. Bath and hand towels were provided. There was another big double bedroom which was accessible through the front bedroom, but also had direct access to the bathroom which would be handy if both bedrooms were fully occupied. Everything was spotlessly clean and the bed was SO comfortable.

The two 'Palms' rooms are at first floor level so has a lovely verandah with traditional wooden Belizean chairs (more comfortable than they look!) and a partial view of the sea (partly obscured by the thatch room of the 'Dream House' Cabana). It was the perfect spot to chill out with a Belikin or enjoy breakfast pastries from the bakery just behind the hotel. There was also a clothes line and pegs which was great for drying towels and clothes - the breeze meant everything was dry in no time!

The hotel itself is two main verandah-fronted wooden buildings facing the sea, with a cluster of thatched rooms cabanas infront and at the sides, with a central Palapa with seating and hammocks, plus there were a few sun loungers which you could use in the central grounds or pull across the road beach-side. There was a very relaxed and chilled out vibe all the time and as the location is north of San Pedro town it was quite quiet. It is also directly opposite the seafront, with a great dock which we enjoyed sunbathing on and with steps into the sea. Not so much to see in the sea at the end due to the seagrass and because its quite shallow, but it was great for a dip to cool down.

The walk into town is easy, about 10 minutes at most. We walked in and back twice a day most days, however you don't have to go into town to eat or book tours etc. There is a cool little bar just a couple of minutes down the road (Wayo's bar) with beachfront seating, cocktails and ice cold Belikins. There are dive / snorkel / tour operators on almost every dock, we used one just a few minutes down the beach road for a snorkelling trip to Hol Chan. There are also grocery stores and great places to get local food on the road behind the hotel, just minutes from the hotel itself. We highly recommend El Torito Norte, just south of the hotel on the road behind the hotel - its a little pink wooden hut where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We ate breakfast there each each day we stayed - Breakfast Burritos for $5BZ and dinner too one night (great tacos).

We didn't see much of the hotel staff but thats only because we didn't stay very long - they were always there if we needed them, with a quick and friendly check-in and check out, and they arranged a taxi on our last day to get to the water-taxi dock which was great.

I would strongly recommend this place to travellers on a budget, having spent a total of 12 nights on Ambergris Caye on this trip and seen many of the hotels and accommodation, I think you would be hard pushed to find somewhere of this quality at this budget. Even if you aren't on a low budget and you choose one of the lovely thatched cabanas you won't be disappointed, this place was so relaxing and tranquil, we loved it.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hannahe28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Really sweet hotel and the staff was SO NICE. We loved Javier! The guys were great about setting up everything we wanted to do and they didn't add crazy surcharges like some of the people on our excursions say their hotels did.

The location is excellent! It is right next to an amazing bakery and of course has a gorgeous view. We were an easy walk from everything we wanted to do.

We stayed in the Cabana Casita. We were a little worried because it wasn't air-conditioned but with two fans we had no problem. It was super clean and comfortable and we loved it!

The only thing we didn't love about San Pedro and Hotel del Rio were the mosquitoes. Bring a good bug spray!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BrianaL87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 20 April 2012

Loved the location of Hotel del Rio, just south of the bridge and at a quiet end of town, the water just across the road. While the water is right there, it really isn't deep enough for good snorkeling and we were warned that it can be hazardous to swim there with boats coming and going. It was an easy walk down the beach - footwear optional! - to grab a morning coffee or a late night snack. There is a bakery and a grocery within a block as well. (Hint: Check the price of 'imported' potato or corn chips before purchasing! We made the mistake of picking up a few items that included a bag of chips as soon as we arrived. When we checked the receipt later, we discovered the bag of chips had cost nearly US$12! We laughed about it later, but vowed to never make that mistake again!)
The palapas in the courtyard was the perfect place to relax at any time of the day and the free internet was easy to access from here. With everyone checking cell phones, this was a perfect place to meet other travelers or locals. It was also fun to sit and watch people walk, bike or drive by on golf carts.
Our room was basic but spotlessly clean. There was HOT water with reasonable pressure which was a pleasant surprise though the weather was hot enough that we were more than happy with cool showers! We asked for a coffee maker and one was brought to our room immediately.
The grounds are very nicely kept, flowers abound and the two resident cats are present but not imposing.
One of the highlights of our trip was receiving help from Javier who contacted Carlos to take us out snorkeling. The US$200 for the day was well worth it as our day started at 9am and wasn't scheduled to end until 5pm. Carlos and his son took us to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley in the morning, then a couple hour stop at Caye Caulker before continuing our snorkeling at Coral Gardens and a return trip to Hol Chan to end the day. Sure, you can do a similar trip with a big tour company, but with Carlos and his son giving us personalized tours in the water we were able to see and have the time to watch a sea turtle feeding, numerous rays, several sharks and hundreds of beautiful smaller fish. I believe the charge was for the boat, so the price per person would drop with more people... well worth it!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank goldenbelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Thus place was clean, great value, great location. 5 minutes from water taxi and it costs $5 by taxi or just turn right and walk up the beach for 15 minutes if you are light with bags. We were in a no A/C room on the second floor, room #8 if I recall correctly. The breeze was amazing and we heard from other people that they turned off the air con at night since it got too cold. You are a short distance from everything. Our fave place was the ambergris brewing company which is right across from wet willy's. Le patio was also a great dinner place. Will definitely go back to hotel del rio.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jdcamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel del Rio

Property: Hotel del Rio
Address: 1/4 Mile North of Downtown | Beach Front Boco Del Rio Before the Bridge, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in San Pedro
#25 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#33 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel del Rio 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 10 minute walk from the center of town, on a quite beach north of town, Hotel del Rio has clean and comfortable; Thatch Roof Cabanas on the Beach, Air Condition units and Standard Rooms all with a great beach front view. We also have 2 large cabanas with a complete Kitchen. All our units have private bathroom with hot and cold showers, refrigerators and coffee maker. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Del Rio Hotel
Hotel Del Rio Belize/San Pedro

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