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“Best experience ever!!”
Review of Maya Beach Hotel

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Maya Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 June 2012

We had the best time on our trip to the Maya Beach Hotel. We were in the Hummingbird room which had a beautiful view of the ocean. The staff was so hospitable and fun. We loved everything about it from the room, dock, hammock, food and drink. It's such a beautiful place. I would go back anytime!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2012

We had a great stay at the Maya Beach Hotel. The owners were friendly
and helpful with arranging tours. The location was great if you don't
mind being not being right in town. There was another resort nearby
that we walked and biked to for lunch and a kayak trip to the lagoon.
The food was amazing!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Theresa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2012

We planned out trip to Belize at the time of the full moon in May to coincide with some diving with the whale sharks. It was our first trip to this area, and we were blown away by the scenery, both above and under water, as well as the kindness and hospitality of the people.

We chose Maya Beach on the basis of the superlative postings on TA, and we agree with those, in the main. We do have a couple of issues, however, which we hope will help the management to make what we thought was a very good place, a great place.

Maya Beach sits in an idyllic location and this cannot be taken away. It is simply post card gorgeous, quiet, and peaceful. This is just what we were after and in this sense the contract was fulfilled. We stayed for 13 nights in the Dreamsicle Lower apartment. The hotel caters mainly for short term visitors, as we experienced many departures and arrivals during our stay there. It must therefore be taken into consideration that the length of our stay may have a bearing on our experience, which may not be that of guests staying only for a week or less.

The apartment is part of a two storey complex right on the beach and a little lodge on the side, which benefits of large decking areas and a superb private swimming pool. Full marks for location and external facilities. Internally, the accommodation was very generous, with a main living/dining and cooking area, and a queen bed, facing the beach. To the rear was a large bedroom with two double beds, which we used as general store. Sandwiched between the two was a bathroom best described as modest in size. This backed onto a large rear entrance hallway which was, in our view, wasted space and could have been put to better use to extend the bathroom, and maybe add a tub (there is only a shower). There is ample storage facility, a decent kitchenette area with full size fridge and gas hob/oven. We did not use the latter as it simply does not comply with what we expect in Europe in terms of safety: No clear working surface on both sides, the cooker was in a corner. There were low cabinets less than 18” above the hob area. No fire extinguisher, no fire blanket. Whilst we are on the subject of safety, other items seemed deficient: no smoke alarms in the property, and plenty of falling from heights dangers around the lower decks due to lack of balustrades, and a very deep pool. For this reason alone, we would not recommend that families with very young children stayed here.
The accommodation was comfortable, the AC worked well. The hotel did not have any guests staying above for about a week, but there was noticeable noise from steps in the Dreamsicle Upper when occupied. This was not so intrusive as to be an issue, however.

The level of cleanliness was fine. The bed linen was changed every other day, towels every day. The bed linen had seen better days, and carried marks of colour bleaching accidents, as well as threadbare sheeting. The pillows were well worn out. This is an inexpensive fix, and a trick is being missed as this is very noticeable and only serves to create an increased awareness that the furnishings in general are typical of a rental property which is not loved by its owner: they are tired and basic. The bedside light shade was broken. We do appreciate that the property is not owned by the hotel, who act as agents. However may be some useful comments to take back to the owner?

The staff at Maya Beach was delightful, which tells a good story about the management’s attitude to its staff. We only have praise for the helpfulness and responsive actions of the entire staff, and the consistently friendly attitude in delivering services. We booked several trips through the hotel’s front desk, and we were highly impressed in the quality of the trips selected for us, and the organisational ability of the front desk. The owners Ellen and John were professional and helpful, always coming around the tables to greet the guests each day at all sittings. They also once gave us a lift into Placencia village, which was much appreciated as the bus service, though very friendly and cheap, is infrequent to and from Placencia.

About the food. The menu offered an extensive list of options for starters and mains, and normally a dish of the day. The presentation of the food was superb. Some dishes met with our enthusiastic approval, such as, the coconut shrimps. However, we often failed to appreciate the flavours, as there were rarely any which were distinguishable for the invariably and generously liberal use of chillies in almost every dish. We do love highly spiced dishes but would have welcome more options for flavour and distinguishable aromas created by the herbs and spices used. The food was, on the main, excessively hot. Though, as we found later, you can request sauces ‘on the side’.

There was another sin of some magnitude, that of inconsistency. My husband ordered the fish cakes which were very tasty and only with a hint of chillies, and I was so taken with them I stole one or two from his plate! I ordered the same dish a few days later, which was quite frankly almost inedible such was the fierceness of the loading with chillies. This time, two fishcakes stayed on the plate.

We ordered the famous ‘seafood boat’ for our last night, at a steep USD 22 per head, to find a very ordinary pastry top baked white fish which was overcooked (dry) and curiously out of character as fairly bland. So in conclusion: Fusion or, confusion? Bear in mind again though that we were there for two weeks and the repetitions on the menu took their toll on our experience.

A good deal of work has obviously gone into the creative menu and preparation but a few simple or classic culinary options would be appreciated. Don’t be dissuaded though if you like hot cuisine, this is the place for you. The ‘local’ set does patronise the bistro regularly and obviously appreciates the fare. The wine list is extensive and on the whole very well provisioned, and there are some more than decent options at a reasonable price.

The hotel is quite isolated, unless you have transport. We chose not to, and this was in fact not a drawback. A lunchtime bus runs daily into Placencia, which we visited for lunch at times. We added mealtime variety by offering our patronage to Mango, just down the road, on recommendation from another guest. We did consider getting a rental car, but the prices were steep, the vehicles looked like wrecks and the deposit liability was frightening.

In conclusion: we loved the location for its postcard quality and peace, the accommodation worked extremely well for us; the staff was engaging, helpful and efficient. The culinary experience however left us wanting after the hype posted on TA. Would we stay there again? May-be. We would look at getting a golf cart rental though; to give us more flexibility, or consider staying closer to Placencia in one of the other highly rated properties listed on TA.
Overall our experience at Maya Beach is a credit to the owners.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Jeanne7759
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I went for three days with my family to Maya Beach Hotel and the room (Coconut room) had a very home-like feel to it with a deck and big comfy couches. The staff is friendly and made us feel welcomed at all times.
It is a very nice hotel but not fancy or luxurious. But to me that does not really matter. What really matters is that I got what I wanted:I had a very nice time, felt relaxed, forgot about the hassle of everyday life, enjoyed the warm and crystal clear water and charged up my batteries.
The restaurant offers excellent food and drinks. For more info see separate review.

Room Tip: If you are in a family trip the Coconut room is definitely the one to go for. It is on the 2nd floor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank doctorskin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2012

I've traveled the world and this is one of the very best places to stay. The experience is great, the room was great, the value exceptional. The food and drinks in the restaurant were world-class. The beach was very well-maintained. Expats though they may be, the owners make you feel as though they really want to know you, in the true spirit of Belize.

The very personable, down-to-earth owners of the Maya Beach Hotel take pride in hosting guests and it makes a difference. They treat you with care, honesty and respect and anticipate every need without your having to ask. They're clearly not just in it to squeeze money out of you (a particularly drastic contrast with other places in the area...see below), they just want you to have a great experience. They also seem to have high expectations for their employees, while at the same time treating them with the respect they deserve - and it shows in the service.

I'm used to budget/backpacker-type travel, so I was a bit skeptical about the prices at first, but now I realize the value...you get A LOT and the quality of both the rooms and restaurant are exceptional. Wireless internet, all-day use of kayaks, snorkel gear, and bicycles - all free. (Contrast this with another place just down the street that offers "50% off of the use of kayaks for guests" - which is - after discount - the same price as one of the less expensive rooms at the Maya Beach Hotel where use of kayak is INCLUDED).

Our room was the Joya Upper. Two rooms with beautiful high ceilings, kitchen with mini refrigerator, separate private bath with hot water, air conditioner, private back balcony and very large, private front balcony with chairs and hammock that overlook the beach and sea. AMAZING deal for the price.

We realized Maya Beach Hotel was great, but we didn't appreciate what a deal it was until we stayed at the place down the street. For the SAME price as the Joya Upper, we got a small single room with NO kitchen or mini fridge or separate bathroom or beach/sea view AND the hot water didn't work (which is normally fine, but it was getting a bit chilly with the rainy season starting). On top that, they wanted to charge for use of wireless internet (who charges guests for internet anymore?), US$15 for laundry service (15 articles of clothing), US$60 for use of the kayak, and $25 per night for a portable air conditioner - which said it was included for free with the room (we showed them where it was stated and they still tried to argue, making us feel like jerks)! Their restaurant was very expensive, the food was terrible, and they offered very little actually Belizean food. Even the beach was littered with trash and sand fleas.

Note: we are not normally "complainers". I think the Maya Beach Hotel and Bistro just set the bar way too high! :) I wouldn't recommend trying anywhere else. We tried and tried, but came up disappointed each time.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ms_Anthrope
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 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
#2 Family Hotel in Placencia
#3 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
Price Range: RM403 - RM996 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Maya Beach Hotel 3*
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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