We liked Tio Pils. Comparatively inexpensive. Good central location. Very friendly staff. Good value. Basic rooms with some ammenities.
When on vacation we normally do not spend a lot of time lazing around the room or hanging out on the deck or pool. We want to be out sightseeing and doing things! We want to eat what the local people are eating! Maybe having a drink on the deck as the sun goes down. For this Tio Pils was perfect. It's not a "resort". Honestly, what's the point of going to a place like Ambergris Caye and staying on the resort grounds for your whole trip? You could do that in New Jersey.
For some reason (my assumption) I thought the ocean view rooms were at ground level and you could walk right out onto the beach. As it turns out, all seven rooms are on the second floor. All have access to a lovely shared balcony but only rooms 1,2 & 3 have ocean views. We originally booked an ocean view room but had to change our plans due to some emergency surgery. When re-booking, only room 4 was available.
Let me just comment that, unlike some other places that wanted a cancellation fee to make a change, Dora was very accomadating and allowed us to simply apply our deposit to our new dates. American Airlines wanted another $266.00 PER TICKET to change...
We didn't feel that there were any secruity issues mentioned by other reviewers. The hallways were well lit and the whole area felt safe to us. Our room (#4) was on the inside corner by the office. Although the office wasn't ALWAYS staffed, it was staffed often enough for our needs. And there was a sign on the door telling us when someone would be back.
There was also a whiteboard next to the office with daily events listed and recommendations of places to eat and things to do. Other specific recommendations and answers to our questions could be found by asking Dora and she was always spot on.
The room itself was clean and included a small refrigerator and cable TV. WiFi was available but I didn't bring anything to use it. A/C worked very well and was quiet. There was a coffee pot in the room and coffee was provided - but for us, only on the first day. I think it was just overlooked. No big deal, we were up before 6:00 everyday and going out for breakfast anyway so I never mentioned it to Dora. The shower water pressure was good and, though it took a little while for the hot water to come up, it was nice and hot when it did. Bottled water is provided in the room and bottles can be refilled for free at the office. Drinking the tap water is not recommended as it has a slightly salty taste. There was no dresser but there was an open free-standing wardrobe and tables with shelves on each side of the bed. The bed was comfortable and quite long enough for my 6'1" height. Towels and linens were in great condition. Like others in the vacinity, this building is older (1970s?) and could use some updating. It seemed that they were working on some of this. As you can imagine, repairs are a constant battle in this environment. I think they're doing a good job.
Breakfast next door at Lilly's Treasure Chest was very good and they were open early. We went there twice. I don't know if Lilly's is still associated with Tio Pils (formerly also named Lilly's) or if they are now separate businesses.
As far as the staff, we mostly interacted with Dora and only briefly with the housekeeper. We can't say enough nice things about Dora. She's friendly, knowledgeable and really made us feel welcome. Since I did not bring a laptop, she was willing to log on and print our boarding passes for our return trip. Out of all the places we've stayed over the years, she was the only one who sent a personalized e-mail after our trip thanking us for staying there and asking for any suggestions to improve. While some owners have responded on TA to negative reviews, scrolling down you'll see that Dora responds to almost every review. I think that says something about her willingness to please her guests.
We'd recommend Tio Pils and would stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a quaint, classic, beachfront inn with air conditioned rooms, cable, internet, and a beautiful ocean view patio. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- DC & Szana's Country Cabana Belize/San Pedro