My husband and I booked our trip to San Pedro in March and found a decent deal on Coco Beach Resort. Since I had never been to the island, I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel was stunning, the staff was great and the overall vacation was fabulous.
Travel by air from the US was non-eventful. There is basically one flight into the island and back to the US each day by the 3 major airlines in the states. From Atlanta, the flight was about 3 hours and there was a two hour time difference.
We did splurge and booked additional air travel from the mainland to the island via Tropic Air. Travel was quick and efficient and without issue. I was happy not to have to take a boat for the longer ride from the mainland. However, I understand that the travel via boat from the mainland is also an easy trip, once you get from the airport to the docks.
We stayed for a week in April 2014, traveling from Wednesday to Wednesday. I would highly recommend mid-week travel and the prices were a little lower and the airports, check-ins, etc. were a bit faster. Still, given the upcoming holiday it was a fairly 'full' hotel, but you might not have ever realized it! The resort was fairly empty on Friday afternoon thru late Saturday afternoon as this is the time that most guests either arrive or depart.
The hotel took care of our transportation from the San Pedro airport to the hotel. We took a 2 minute taxi ride from the airport to the dock... and then a 15 minute boat ride to the hotel from there. Same for the way back upon checkout. No issues!
The hotel is well maintained and our basic hotel room was lovely. In fact, the ENTIRE hotel was lovely!! It was equipped with a mini fridge, microwave, hair dryer, lovely king bed, fabulous HUGE shower. They provided 2 nice size bottles of water daily, but the hotel water was 'drinkable' too. The hotel was clean and comfortable and well appointed. We had no issue with water pressure or bugs of any kind. We had a 2nd floor room with a balcony overlooking the pool but never found it too be too loud.. well except when the power went out for 4 hours and there was no hum of the air conditioner to cover the sounds of the kiddos in the pool.
We had no problems with our internet connection UNTIL the power went out, but in talking to the desk and explaining we needed the connection to be able to communicate with our kiddos at home, they provided us with a myFi and we were set.
The was one day with an afternoon power outage that effected the entire island and I was very surprised to find there was no back up generator for the hotel.. but there was one for the restaurant. We lost power for several hours in the evening but by bed time, it had been restored. We did have the power go out 4 other times throughout the middle of the night, but it was quickly restored (and each time it happened, we were awakened by all the off and on of the systems kicking off and on).
The food on the island is pricey and it is really not much of a better deal to get your own snacks, etc a the little grocery stores in town. Simply put, EVERYTHING is shipped in so the prices reflect that. So, plan a little more for a food and beverage budget and ENJOY the amazing fresh fish and seafood options.
The 'fancy' Italian restaurant in the resort was pricey and nothing great. I ordered gnocchi (a favorite) only to find that their supposed Italian Chef served it so overcooked it just was a mush. My hubby had a steak (which I was told had to be flown in (yep, that makes sense) and it was ok.
According to the hotel concierge, the hotel restaurant and bar are not actually run by the hotel itself. Instead, they are managed and serviced by outside companies. They will however allow you to charge food and beverages to your room without issue.
The pools and grounds were sparkling clean, the beach well maintained and the property was lovely! There really doesn't seem to be a bad room in the place.
We found our hotel was a bit out of the way, as we were a good 3.5 miles north of the bridge into downtown. The golf cart rentals via the hotel were OUTRAGEOUS but we did get around by water taxi quite well.
We found it cheapest and easiest to get a weekly pass for the Tuff Enuf Water taxi and just had to time our outings into town by their schedule. They would basically take you from the hotel dock to the heart of downtown to a dock at 'Ruby's.
We basically went into the 'downtown' area of San Pedro for most of our meals and outings. (I will do reviews of the restaurants separately). We learned that if you ask, the taxi will drop you off at the resorts and/or restaurants along their routes as long as you can time your outings to their standard schedule and they will stop at other places as long as you ask!
My husband and I are certified scuba divers, so basically, we spent our days doing that. Before we left for our trip, I scoured TripAdviser for reviews and recommendations on the local dive shops and chose BelizeProDivers in advance of our arrival. Via email, I set us up for 3 days of diving prior to our arrival. We were happily diving as early as our 2nd morning. I have also reviewed the dive shop separately, but I will say here that they were FABULOUS!!
On our arrival on Wednesday afternoon, we got checked into the hotel and found that we were going to want to get some snacks etc. and made the decision to have dinner 'downtown'. We went to the tour desk (right on the Coco Beach dock) and purchased the taxi pass and set off for the 'heart of the city'. Tickets were priced at $40 usd each for unlimited one week travel.
Once downtown, we had dinner at Elvi's Kitchen (fabulous, and again, I reviewed separately) and then found a local shop to pick up groceries for the room. We headed back to the hotel, had a nice evening beverage at the pool bar and slept soundly!
For the next five mornings, the BelizeProDiver shop picked up us in their boat right at our hotel dock (times varied a bit but mostly they arrived by 8:30am) and we set off for a 20 minute boat ride to the shop. We had only planned to dive for 3 days but had such a splendid time that we made arrangements to add 2 more days of diving to our plan. For 5 days of diving, for 2 persons, including transport to the dive shop, air, boat fees, snacks between dives, etc, we paid $600 usd!!! We couldn't be more pleased!! (remember we had all our own equipment!)
At the end of each day of diving, we would either come back to the hotel and nap.. or have the dive shop drop us off downtown so we could get a nice lunch and then head back to the hotel for some afternoon sun and drinks! Later, we would venture into town for dinner or other. Most nights, we simply dropped into bed by 9pm (it gets dark very early here compared to Indiana) and slept like babies.
Since we didn't dive on the last full day, we did our own version of the 'Walk Down the Beach Pub Crawl'. We left at 11am and walked a good 2 miles down the beach, ending at Palapa's Bar for lunch. It was a long and warm walk, so we stopped several times along the way at various resorts and bars to 'sample' their offerings. It was not an 'easy' walk that I would recommend to any one not in decent shape due simply to the distance and the heat (90 degree day, full sun).
Along the walk, we found an abandoned Mormon Retreat center (closed), A Yoga Hotel, Captain Morgan's retreat (complete with a hotel room size casino that that is a MUST MISS), Aji's Tapas bar (where we returned for dinner it was so cute) and more. We passed lovely seaside mansions and condos.
I never really like to go back to the same vacation spot more than once (simply because we have a huge world to explore!) .. but I will seriously consider a repeat of this one!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award winning waterfront Coco Beach Resort is located on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, 3.5 miles north of San Pedro Town and the island's only airstrip. Resort guests can expect a subtropical climate, Palm trees, Coconuts, and the island's most incredible free form swimming pool and swim up bar reserved for the exclusive use of our registered guests. Luxurious accommodations, great staff, complimentary kayaking, paddle boarding and weekday water aerobics, various food and beverage options, on call spa services, complimentary WIFI in public areas and onsite vacation planning/concierge service ensure an unforgettable vacation experience. A team of dedicated reservations professionals are available to plan your stay as well as your transfers from the Belize International airport to the resort. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your Coco Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Coco Beach Hotel San Pedro
- Coco Beach San Pedro
- Coco Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro