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“Great stay”
Review of Seaside Cabanas

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Seaside Cabanas
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Caye Caulker
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 January 2009

I just got back from Caye Caulker and stayed 3 nights here (Jan. 23-26). The hotel is small but has everything you need. My wife and I stayed in one of the rooms (cabanas were sold out) and it came with cable tv, mini fridge, hot showers, full size bed, remote controlled AC, alarm, etc. The hotel DOES have wifi. I used it a lot. Just ask reception for WPA key as it is protected. The reception desk closes early (around 6'ish pm) due to the fact the last water taxi to come in is at 530p so they just expect the last minute arrivals. Bartenders are super friendly at local bar (Uno Mas).

The island itself is awsome. very relaxed and you just do a whole lot of nothing. snorkeling is a must, we used E-Z tour (right across from the nightclub). Captain Harry did a very good job guiding thru 4 dive points. At the end, he offered to dock the boat by the split and watch the sunset. we made sure we had plenty of booze (beer not included, but rum punch and lunch was). We paid $85Bz for each.

Yes, grilled lobster is found all over. The cheapest spot we had it at was at "Jolly Roger". Huge guy on the main drag. Runs small eatery. we paid $30Bz for each lobster. each platter comes with 3 sides, 2 rum punch and desert. BTW, if you come back next day, he will give you the platter for $20Bz.

Habaneros, Roses, Amor y cafe, Don Corleone, and Sandbox are highly recommended. i liked their food a lot. The sports bar gets wild on trivia night...for sure best nights to go. Food is ok too. Hit the nightclub on Saturday night....it gets packed.

Ther's only 1 ATM/bank in the whole island. make sure you have plenty of cash as it tends to run out of money by the weekend. Most restaurants/bars take CC though. I noticed most places charged a $25Bz minumum to use card. Also, some places (i.e tour guides, some restaurants) will add a 5% charge for CC use. BTW, the island operates one 2:1 ration for BZ to USD. the official rate is a bit over $2bz for every 1USD. Use your math sense to know when it pays to use CC to get the best exchange as banks will honor the actual official exchange.

that's it. i'm sure there's plenty more i left out.

Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jlp187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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553 - 559 of 659 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2009

I can only agree with what most people have already said, this is a GREAT place to stay at.

We were here during New Years Eve, stayed in one of the rooms and found everything to be perfect. We did see the cabanas and would have stayed there if we would have realized how nice they look, maybe next time!

Check-in was a breeze, the rooms are nice and clean, with cable-tv, mini fridge and free WiFi. Location is great, you're right at the dock for the water taxi and within walking distance to everything else. The "Split" is located about 10min walk and that's also the most you'll end up walking on this island.

We needed to get in contact with a doctor on the 1st of Jan and the reception were very helpful in arranging this for us, they also helped us with information regarding water taxis, air planes etc...

I would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone...

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Kalthor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2009

Seaside Cabanas is a recently-reconstructed resort located right at the foot of the water taxi pier in Caye Caulker. Comprised of about a dozen motel-style rooms and three cabanas (one bedroom suites with roof terraces), it also has a swimming pool and bar. The rooms are clean, well-maintained and decently appointed.

Strengths: it is the lowest price resort on CC to have a swimming pool. The location is central. The rooms are comfortable. The pool is lovely. Cable TV in each room was a plus. No wifi, but you can "borrow" a wireless signal from a neighboring hotel.

Problems: One staff member seemed reluctant to help us arrange our diving and snorkeling excursion. When prompted, she ultimately made a call on our behalf, but we had to finalize the arrangements. No beach/pool towels are provided and, although our confirmation specified this, I found their explanation for why they don't offer guests pool towels a bit lame. Because of its central location, it can get a little noisy in the morning, with people headed for work, the first water taxis arriving and departing and, of course, an occasional drunk tourist or local shouting in the streets.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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Thank famdoc67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seasidecabanas, Owner at Seaside Cabanas, responded to this reviewResponded 26 January 2009

Hello,

Glad you enjoyed your stay, though just want to address the points you made.
Wifi for the hotel is fully available, network name SEASIDE01. We do encourage guests to ask at the office if they have any trouble connecting.

We were having trouble with one of the dive shops as they had a new receptionist, so apologise for the problems with booking a dive. We are no longer using that dive company and are always happy to arrange trips and dives for our guests.

As far as beach and pool towels. It is very expensive to do laundry on a small island with a delicate eco system so we have tried to encourage people to bring there own towels for use outside the hotel rooms. We have however just ordered a batch of outdoor towels that will be available to sign out to your room from the office.

We have also ordered some weatherproof sun bed cushions for around the pool, for greater sunbathing comfort :)

Regards

Owner
Seaside Cabanas

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2009

WHERE: Seaside Cabanas, Caye Caulker Belize

WHEN: Christmas 08. While the airports were packed with Christmas and weather-delay crowds, Caye Caulker was a great place to get away from all of them. Not once during my 4-day stay, did I have to wait in line for anything or feel crowded. There were a couple small rain showers, and the seas were pretty rough for a day or two, but that’s about it. Temperatures stayed between the high 60’s and 70’s (F).

WHO: I spend probably 25% of my time on the road for business. I typically stay at Hiltons and Marriotts, with the occasional Sofitel or Star Hotels thrown in for good measure. This is just to give you some idea of my frame of reference.

WHAT: I booked (from their very convenient website) room 16, and paid the posted nightly rates. I think it was $110 a night. VERY reasonable for a nice place during the holidays. I would much rather have had a ‘cabana’ with its own private rooftop lounge area, but it just wasn’t available at the last minute when I booked. My rating and review is based on the value received here, rather than luxury.

ARRIVAL. From Belize City, I opted to take the 8 minute ‘Tropic Air’ puddle jumper to Caye Caulker. I highly recommend this route as opposed to hauling luggage to the pier to catch the water taxi....for pretty much the same price when all is said and done. A short (5 minute, including a stop at the ATM, $4US) golf cart ride later, I arrived at the hotel.

LOCATION. Seaside Cabanas is located across the ‘street’ from the main water taxi pier, and essentially on the edge of the touristy area. Everything on Caye Caulker is within walking distance, even the airport.

LAYOUT. The hotel layout is “U-shaped”, with the open side facing the ocean, and the buildings arranged around the freshwater pool. It’s a pretty small operation, so the pictures on the website + tripadvisor really tell the whole story, and there’s absolutely no danger of getting lost or turned around. The bar is just opposite the main office.

CHECK-IN. There were no problems with my online booking, or with the check-in process. Everyone was very helpful and friendly. It’s worth noting that guests sign for and receive the remote controls for the TV and AC unit on check-in, and must return them when checking out.

THE ROOM. I was extremely happy with the condition of the room. Everything looked like it had been freshly painted, both inside the room and around the entire hotel. The room had all the necessities: Air Conditioning, Television, mini-fridge, and a small closet. Being honest, however, I can only describe everything as no-frills. The “bed frame” and “sofa” were simply concrete slabs, with a mattress and cushions on top. They were perfectly comfortable, just basic. The “closet door” was a wicker panel, with a little hand-rigged stick for a latch. Again, I’m not complaining, it’s just important to manage expectations.

FYI, the electricity and plug type in Belize are the same as the U.S.

Earlier reviews for this and other hotels in Belize, made reference to not being able to flush toilet paper. There was no mention of this during check in OR the room literature, no notes in my bathroom, nor did I have any issues.

The hot water side of the bathroom faucet simply didn’t work, but that wasn’t a big issue. The shower had lots of very consistent hot water, and the water pressure was surprisingly good. There weren’t many hooks, pegs, shelves, etc to put toiletries. As a result, most people would hang wet dive gear on the railings of the walkway outside their rooms. That normally wouldn’t be a problem, except that the upstairs walkways are extremely narrow. There are wooden chairs outside each room, but they pretty much take up the entire width of the walkway. People sitting are constantly having to scoot to let walkers pass, and people passing are constantly having to dodge sitters and wet dive gear.

I don’t know if light bulbs stronger than 15 Watts are illegal in Belize, but there certainly weren’t any in my room. I had to open the window shutters and even the door at times to get any light.

The only other downside I can recall, was the lack of soundproofing in the small rooms. Unfortunately, every time someone in another room opens or closes a door, slides a chair across the tile floors, or wants to watch their TV, the sound really carries to other rooms. This isn’t something a concrete-and-tile hotel can control. The upside is, there wasn’t even one incident of people getting loud and stupid. Most noise and activity was over by 11pm every night. Luckily, the crowd here seemed to be more focused on diving than partying. It is explicitly posted that the pool area is closed after 8pm.

SERVICE:

Room – The housekeeping lady came every day, mostly in the afternoon, and did a fine job.

Front desk / admin – Everyone was always very friendly and helpful. I also booked a dive thru them, and had no issues.

FOOD: Seaside Cabanas doesn’t have a restaurant, so the choices on Caye Caulker are to either stock up at the local grocery stores, or to eat at a nearby restaurant. The grocery stores, of which there seemed to be quite a few, were surprisingly well-stocked for a small island. The restaurants I tried were all....okay. No, you can’t swing a stick without hitting a lobster dinner, but at the risk of sounding like a food snob here....just because it’s lobster doesn’t mean it’s good lobster. The Rainbow bar and grill did the best job of not overcooking the little critters.

DRINKS: Rum is the local specialty, and it all seemed pretty good. Don’t expect to find a decent margarita on the island. The mojitoes, on the other hand, were excellent.

SAN PEDRO: I took the water taxi to Caye Caulker’s nearby bigger sister, Ambergris Caye. San Pedro is the tourist draw there. I walked around for 30 minutes, and couldn’t wait to hop on the next boat back to my little oasis of serenity. The hotels were perhaps a little ‘nicer’, but the bars / restaurants / shops were no better....only louder and more crowded.

SUMMARY: For what little I paid during the Christmas time period, and for what I was expecting on the tiny island community of Caye Caulker, the Seaside Cabanas was a great value and very nice experience. If I find myself returning, I would happily stay at there again. I hope, however, that I have enough advanced warning to book cabana #1.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
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4  Thank travelducky2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2009

We spent 4 nights here before moving on to Ambergris Caye, and I would have preferred to stay on here. The hotel is very clean, the front staff is helpful, the pool and landscaping are inviting, and the rooftop palapas are wonderful. Be sure to book units 1 or 2. Jobalus at the bar has a warm smile and cold, delicious drinks. 2 problems -- bedside lamps were too dim to read by and they could provide nothing else, so we bought flashlights to read by. Room was very dim even during the day. Pool and rooftop lounges are beautifully crafted Belizean hardwood.....but no cushions made them very, very uncomfortable, almost unbearable. Overall, we were very happy that we chose this hotel. Be prepared for Caye Caulker because it is very tiny and a bit primative...just enjoy the experience and go with the flow. As far as eats - we enjoyed Tropical Paradise, Don Corleone's, Rose's, Sand Box. Don't eat at Femi's - horrible service, cold food, long wait. Check out the ladies clothes at the little shop run by Annie near Chocolate's. We definitely plan to return.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank catvag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

We came here for the second part of our honeymoon and had a wonderful time. The hotel was lovely and clean, we had one of the cabanas with the roof terrace, definately worth it for a special occasion. Staff were lovely.

I found seaside cabanas to be just the right size, a busy flow of people but not too big and not too many people.

I love Caye Caulker. We went to a day trip over to san pedro and think we made the right choice staying on caulker. It feels more, quiet, relaxed, and less tacky. You have all you need on caye caulker, amazing restaurants. Best include rosie's and habeneros (but don't over order like we did, portions are huge) and our favourite lunch time and more low-key evening meal location was sand box, but we were not disappointed with any restaurant we ate in.

We had the best time I recommend it to everyone!

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank eternal_backpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2008

My wife and I visited Caye Caulker in Belize January '08 and we loved the trip so much we went back in November '08.

When you first visit a place you have impressions and sometimes on the second trip things aren't as you remember. This was not the case with Seaside or Caye Caulker, we loved it!

The staff is great, everything is clean and it's just the right size to escape or meet new friends at the pool.

We will be back next year!!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008
    • Value
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1  Thank copyrocket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Seaside Cabanas

Address: Caye Caulker Village | PO Box 39, Caye Caulker, Belize
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Caye Caulker
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Caye Caulker
Price Range: £98 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seaside Cabanas offers Caye Caulker in luxury with a true atmosphere of the tropics. Hotel reception staffed by our friendly and professional team. 24hr security. Free Wifi, pool, bar, gift shop, tour/dive office. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Seaside Cabanas Caye Caulker
Seaside Cabanas Hotel Caye Caulker

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