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“Amazing!”
Review of Maya Beach Hotel

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Maya Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 August 2013

We just returned to Vancouver from a two week vacation in Belize. We spent 8 nights in San Pedro and then flew south to Placencia and spent 6 nights at Maya Beach Hotel (MBH) We rented the main floor of the Joya del Mar house, which is about 50-60 feet from the hotel. MBH doesn't own the house but manages it along with a few other homes next to the hotel. My only complaint about our stay at Maya Beach is that it wasn't long enough. We should have spent 3 days in San Pedro and the rest of our vacation at Maya Beach. Next time...

This property is amazing. I stumbled across MBH and Bistro when I was researching a place to stay while we were still in San Pedro. I had been to Placencia when I visited Belize 7 years ago so knew I wanted to go back for the great diving the area offers. I read the reviews about MBH and once I read about the bistro it was a no brainer. I sent an email to MBH through their website and they responded promptly and answered a few questions that helped me determine which of the houses adjacent to their hotel would suit our needs. We booked the main floor of the Joya del Mar house. Two days later we arrived in Placencia and the driver was waiting at the airport when we landed and took us to MBH.

From the first minute we arrived we felt so welcome and really it was a feeling of being at home. We settled into the house quickly and made our way back (a 15 second walk on the beach) to the bistro for happy hour. The food at the bistro is amazing! The food in Belize was actually very good everywhere we went. Good quality and flavourful compared to Mexico and Cuba (to make a gross generalization). We enjoyed many good meals in San Pedro but the food at MBH bistro was a few steps above. They use local ingredients and fuse Belizian cooking with twists that give the dishes an international appeal. Their bistro had been awarded the best restaurant in Belize. Everything I read online was true. Also about the staff all being so friendly and helpful. Especially Marlon. He was awesome. He helped us so much arranging diving and our Cockscomb jungle/river tubing trip. My partner Keith's birthday was going to be our last day/night at MBH so I started trying to plan something as soon as we arrived. Marlon went above and beyond looking for drummers to come to MBH or figuring out where we could go to see drumming or for a special dinner on the Saturday night. In the end we decided to have dinner at the bistro for Keith's birthday and I was surprised that they had remembered earlier in the week that I mentioned Keith loves chocolate cheesecake. They made the most delicious mocha chocolate cheesecake and even brought it out and sang happy birthday to Keith. It was wonderful and Keith was surprised and touched. He had the lobster for dinner and loved it. We actually loved every single meal we had at the bistro. The breakfast sandwich, the pizzas, and all the seafood dishes were awesome. There wasn't one meal either of us had that we didn't love. I think I easily gained 5 pounds in that 6 days we were there.

We of course had a full kitchen at the Joya del Mar house but cooked there only a few times because we loved the food at the bistro (and the convenience of being able to stroll over from our front door).

We borrowed a couple of cruiser bikes to ride half a mile down the road to the local market to stock up on supplies. It is quite convenient having the market close by and there is no need to rent a car to get around if you are doing diving or tours with operators who pick you up at the hotel. The market sells everything you can want...beer, wine, meat, dairy, household items, etc.

Now, about the house...it was a great set up for us (a couple traveling without children). It wouldn't work for a family because it only has the king bed in the bedroom and the only washroom is an ensuite to the bedroom. I would highly recommend this house to couples. Probably even friends traveling together because I believe the bed can be separated into two singles. The house was large and as a bonus we had a washer and dryer, which was great because we had been traveling for over a week when we arrived. This suite also has a TV with cable. We didn't go to Belize to watch TV but it was nice to relax on the couch after we finished watching the sun go down at the edge of the ocean 30 feet from the front door. We got to watch Shark Week on Discovery Channel which was an added bonus. This house has a suite upstairs and a suite behind the property. They were both unoccupied so we had the house to ourselves. Facing the ocean, the MBH is a short walk to the right and on the left there is nobody, just a lot that hasn't been built on that is full of trees and bushes. So it was very secluded. The Flip Flop Palace house that MBH rents out as well is on the right (and between Joya del Mar and the hotel). It is far enough away to still give lots of privacy for each rental. Even with the other suites in the Joya del Mar house rented, I think you would still have a lot of privacy. Although you might be taking turns with the chairs and hammock on the beach in front of the house.

Many mornings when the ocean was completely still I would walk over to the palapa (dock) in front of the hotel for the sunrise and sit and watch the fish jump around the dock while I had my tea. I did this for 2 hours each morning and this quiet special time is something I cherished because I have two young children at home so not much quiet time for myself. The only person around at 6am would be one of the staff who was raking the sea grass from the beach. The palapa has a double wooden swing, a couple of hammocks and a few Muskoka/Adirondack style chairs. Very comfy.

Marlon helped us arranging our diving with Splash Dive Centre. They are really good. A bit pricey but great service, clean and big boats and nice staff. They picked us up and dropped us off at MBH for each dive. Keith did the full day Glover's Reef trip (I was under the weather that day so couldn't go). He wasn't overwhelmed by it and was more impressed by the dives we did out of San Pedro with Amigos del Mar. He didn't see much on the dives and the visibility wasn't great but that can change day by day. We both went out a few days later and did the full-day Silk Caye dives and I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in diving from Placencia. I won't say what we did on the dives because it will spoil the surprise if you decide to do them. The dives were really good but the icing on the cake was what we did apart from the diving. The water in Belize (at this time of year) is hot. I dove in just a bikini...95 feet down and 20 miles out in the ocean the water was still 85 degrees.

In the middle of the week we took advantage of calm seas and used the double kayak from MBH (they have a number of kayaks and bikes for guests to use for free) and paddled over to False Caye which is about a mile directly in front of MBH. It's not really an island, just a large cluster of mangroves. I saw a few spots with a bit of sand and small beach but mostly it's just mangroves. On the way over to False Caye we had two dolphins come up to our kayak and swam about 10 feet from our boat for a few minutes. Then we went to a great little snorkel spot and dropped an anchor (thoughtfully provided by the owner Ellen along with directions to the snorkel spot) and swam around for about 90 minutes. TIP: the kayak seat wore the sunscreen off my butt and upper legs so I got quite the little burn from snorkeling so would recommend reapplying sunscreen after kayaking. We were on the east side of the False Caye with nothing but the ocean to the east and nobody around. It was a highlight of the trip and the solitude of being out there was totally consistent with the vibe of MBH in general.

On our last full day at MBH we choose to do the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve trip. It was interesting and it was fun to do the 45 minute tube ride down the river after the 2 hour hike (more like a walk). We aren't overly interested in birds and flora and didn't see any wildlife so the trip didn't blow our hair back by any stretch. When I booked it I thought I was booking one with a bit more adventure (cave tubing or jumping off a waterfall?) so I can't say it was a bad tour so much as not what we were expecting. But the guide was really nice and super knowledgeable about the jungle and Mayan culture; specifically all the natural remedies they have using plants found in the jungle.

I can't say enough good things about Maya Beach Hotel and their bistro. The owners John and Ellen and all of their staff were amazing. I especially liked the take out wine service :) And the extensive wine list. The food was among the best I've ever found in all my travels. And the location can't be beat if you are looking for a stunning view of the ocean in a quiet chilled out setting.

We are already planning our trip back for whale shark dive season next year :)

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank West P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 July 2013

We loved MBH! We stayed for two weeks and when it was time to go the kids begged to stay longer. The owners, John and Ellen, have clearly poured their hearts into this fabulous place; all of their hard work has paid off. The food was INCREDIBLE; absolutely gourmet and scrumptious every single time. And we ate there a lot in two weeks! The staff was kind, caring, professional, genuine, efficient, funny. I think the stellar staff is what makes MBH such a treasure. Every little detail was attended to, from delicious brewed coffee available bright and early in the morning to the way the staff assisted us in planning our day trips and subsequent hotels in other areas of Belize. The Coconut Room (really rooms, two separate sleeping areas) was clean, airy, brightly decorated, and the deck/patio seating area had a great view. My 12 year old daughter and husband put the complimentary kayaks and bikes to good use. My 14 year old son liked the pool, especially the in-pool seating/bar area where he could be served cold fresh fruit juices. I liked the hammocks and swing seats out on the pier, sitting under the thatch roof in the breeze after a dip in the calm ocean water was so peaceful. We usually don't visit vacation spots more than once (the world is too big!) but where MBH is concerned, we will make an exception. We'll be back!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2013

This was our third stop on our Belize anniversary trip. Our first night here was the night of our anniversary. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. We stayed in the Jaguar room and it was much nicer than the photos portray! It was great having an awesome ocean view from our bed!

The restaurant food is excellent as well. We stayed here for 3 nights and had all of our meals at the bistro. We didn't have a single thing we didn't like.

The pool is nice and not overly crowded. In fact, nothing was crowded. It's is a great place to stay to unwind and get away from it all and just relax.

Overall a great stay if you don't mind being out of town a bit. They do have bicycles to borrow if you want to go into town. We did use the bikes, but never went quite that far. Just went to the grocery store down the road and to have a massage nearby.

Enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: We loved the Jaguar room and would request it agin if we returned.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Amanda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

We spent 4 of our 12 nights in Belize at the Maya Beach Hotel, and this was the highlight of relaxation. We enjoyed our stay in the main floor of the "Dreamsicle House" which was a nice 2 bedroom beach front room with a semi-private pool separate from the main hotel pool. These were the most comfortable beds in all 5 different places we stayed in Belize. Maya Beach staff arranged a great scuba/snorkel tour for our family understanding our special desires and abilities. The breakfasts and gourmet dinner offerings are outstanding! We had a rental car which allowed us to get to Placencia for other activities, but it was like coming home when we'd get back to the Dreamsicle House.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Rod N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We spent 9 days and nights in Belize before ending our trip with 3 nights at the Maya Beach Hotel. What a great place to land! This hotel was the most comfortable place out of 4 different places we stayed during our trip. The AC was robust, the beds were excellent and welcoming and the food was consistently outstanding from breakfast to lunch to happy hour to dinner, all reasonably priced. Ellen and her staff were extremely welcoming and the hotel sits right on a nice beach and the hotel has a pool area for relaxing. Would definitely recommend to anyone going to the Placencia area.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Coconut room which is great for families. It has a separate room for the kids and...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank dianatwang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

We stayed in Maya Beach Hotel just for a couple of days. We loved this place very much. It is a small cosy hotel with an excellent restaurant and a beautiful beach. The owners are very friendly as well as the staff is.

Our room was on the first floor of the hotel, very cosy and spacious. We enjoyed the beautiful view from the terrace in front of our room.

We had all our meals at the hotel. The food was delicious, and cocktails were also very good. The portions for breakfast were very big;)

The swimming pool and the beach are clean and well maintained. The pier with hammocks is an excellent idea!

We really liked this hotel and would recommend it to everyone who wants to enjoy calm and friendly atmosphere. The restaurant can get very busy over the weekend so it is a good idea to book in advance.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Myska74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2013 via mobile

Great place to not only stay but have a great dinner. This was the resting spot I chose after a long 3 days of sailing with Ragamuffin Tours from Caye Caukler. Very comfortable and affordable.

We stopped into the restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner followed by the best slice of banana coconut cream pie I have had in a long time.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank Couvebear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Maya Beach Hotel

Address: Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Placencia
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
#3 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
Price Range: £64 - £192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sitting on a pretty stretch of natural sand beach, the Maya Beach Hotel is a small mid-range beach resort for couples who need comfort, but not luxury. Our hotel rooms are air conditioned with queen beds, our king suites have king beds and kitchenettes and we also offer some beach house rentals in different price ranges. Our Bistro and swimming pool are a gathering place at the end of a day filled with snorkeling, diving, fishing, kayaking, jungle hiking, spelunking, climbing Maya ruins, or just plain relaxing on the beach. The restaurant was also has also been awarded "Restaurant of the Year" twice by the Belize Tourism Board, and it remains a highlight of a stay here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maya Beach Placencia
Hotel Maya Beach
Maya Beach Hotel Belize/Placencia

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