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“Completely Satisfied!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of White Sands Cove Resort

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White Sands Cove Resort
Laguna De Cayo Frances, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% off room rate
Ranked #6 of 56 Hotels in San Pedro
Columbia Falls, Montana, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Completely Satisfied!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

For our honeymoon, my husband and I wanted to stay somewhere with an intimate yet luxurious feel. We are so glad we chose White Sands! The staff was extremely friendly and went out of their way to accommodate our every need. We arrived to a wonderful welcome drink at the bar, as well as flowers showering our bed and a lovely bottle of champagne with congratulations. We loved the location on the island (a little north of town). The complimentary bikes and kayaks are what drew our attention. Other resorts that offered these amenities were all priced much higher. We really enjoyed our accommodations on the Lagoon even though we weren't on the beachfront. We will stay at White Sands again!!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    181
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    3
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30
127
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Miami, FL
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

I stayed at White Sands Cover for three nights after spending a week caving, hiking, and exploring throughout Belize. It was perfect.

Location - You are a $20 cab ride North of San Pedro or a $5 water taxi ride that drops you off on the dock right on the beach. Taking the water taxi at night in itself was a fun experience. Plus, you are walking distance to a few great places. I went to Palapa everyday I was here (5 min bike ride, 15 minute walk on the beach) There are also a few other good restaurants within a 10min beach walk.

Staff - This sold the place to me. Everyone was amazing. My dad wasn't feeling well towards this side of the trip and we were given special local concoctions by the bartender to help his stomach. Ben & Nicki were always around and always giving input on where to go and what to do. Marlon was great. Our DVD player wasn't working so he literally gave me his until they figured out a way to fix it.

Grounds - It is one of the least dense resorts on a great little beach. Nice pool with a bar serving cheap drinks. $2 Rum Punches from 1-5 = Trouble. Palm trees lining the sand. Paradise.

Rooms - Full sized fridge, kitchen, bed, TV, extra couch in the living room. Not luxury, but definitely nice & clean & maintained. I didn't realize until the last day that it is actually part condo so all the rooms are a bedroom plus good sized living room and full kitchen.

Trips - my dad and I took a snorkeling trip and had the guide to ourselves. We swam around Mexico Rocks for 2-2.5 hours.

Food - Not great, but with great restaurants close by, doesn't affect anything. Plus, the drinks are really good.

All & All - Great experience in a great place. I don't visit many places twice, but would come back to White Sands.

Room Tip: If you like beach bars, go to Palapa. Also, there are tons of great restaurants right around the gro...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

"My boyfriend and I arrived at White Sands Cove on Saturday after a week long adventure on the mainland - at Sleeping Giant Jungle Lodge and Jaguar Reef. After an amazing week at two fantastic resorts, we were excited to get to San Pedro and enjoy the last portion of our trip.

When we arrived to White Sands Cove, we were elated with the location and proximity to the water, but generally very disappointed by the accommodations and staff. Our unit was outdated and had a horrible musty smell (most likely from the food items left in the refrigerator from the previous guest). The toilet was also broken and never fully flushed after each use. I understand that the units are condos, so each unit may be different.

The part of White Sands I was most disappointed by was the service. Besides one person, I found the staff to be generally unfriendly and lazy. The customer service of the poolside bartender/waitress was laughable; she was contantly on her cell phone and acted completely bothered when we ever tried to order anything from her.

Our experience wasn't horrible; the location was fabulous and the grounds were beautiful. However, if you're looking for great customer service, or any customer service at all, I would suggest looking elsewhere."

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Brunswick
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

It is truly difficult to review White Sands Cove, as my up-and-down experience here was at some times pleasant, others tiring, and yet other times baffling. In some ways, it was one of the most beautiful places I've stayed. As far as island paradises go, it fulfilled many of my expectations. But in other, more bizarre ways, the hotel experience was unfulfilling. Often, I felt the company was having an identity crisis.

Let's begin at the beginning. White Sands Cove is situated a few miles north of San Pedro proper, making its situation so-so. On the one hand, it's remote enough that the property is shielded from the tourism and noise of the town, but it also means you'll need to pay $10 US a person to get in and out of San Pedro by (often late) water taxi. A plus for seclusion, but a minus if you'd like to see more of the city or eat on a reasonable budget.

For these reasons, the shuttle driver Isaiah came to pick us up from the docks upon our arrival to the island. It was nice to have a personal taxi service, though it does cost double the rate of taking the water taxi to White Sands.

Isaiah was a nice guy, but he put us in a bad position for our first two days at White Sands. He stopped us at a grocery store and advised us to buy "snacks" for our hotel, so we picked up chips, beer, cookies, etc. Upon our arrival, we learned the on-site restaurant was not open for breakfast, so we really should have bought eggs, cereal, and other essentials, not snacks. We ended up biking half an hour and paying a decent chunk of change for breakfast the next day as a result.

This was not the only inconvenience afforded my wife and I by the restaurant. While I could take or leave some of the dishes (wings were great, fish was okay), I was happy to have a convenient dining spot 30 seconds from my room. But a few days into the trip, when we were returning from a long day of adventure, we found the restaurant closed at 8:45 pm. Even though our hotel info book and the sign outside says it's open till 10, the bar/restaurant closed early because "nobody was showing up." To me, this was a huge disappointment considering the hotel restaurant is the only safe, easy way to get food. What is the point of having restaurant hours if they can be changed with no notice? We were forced to eat our "snacks" for dinner and go to bed hungry.

It's weird because it isn't anyone's specific fault. The staff is, for the most part, nice. However, there is a very odd dynamic that made us feel unwelcome. You see, the groundskeeper and (presumably) the manager, Marlon, has been there for a long time. He's worked at WSC for years, to the point where people in the city asked us how he was doing when we mentioned where we were staying. However, more recently, there is a couple that is related to the grounds owners that moved in, and it seems like they are positioned to take/share Marlon's job. It is not immediately clear who is in charge of what or when, which makes seeking help awkward. And I get the feeling that the group dynamic is not cozy.

As a result, getting straight, timely answers is not always easy. You will go to the office, and nobody is there. Or sometimes too many people are there. Or Marlon will help you with something, but Ben will too, and then two taxis will show up instead of one! I am not sure what the endgame is, but in the interim the situation is inconvenient, and I hope Marlon isn't getting pushed out of something he has worked for for so long.

The miscommunications between the staff led to other strange problems. The day before we checked out, my wife an I were returning to our (double bedroom) room, in hurried need of a bathroom. When we got inside, we strangely found that the door handle to the bathroom we had been using was replaced with a lock! Not a locked door handle, mind you, a locked deadbolt (see photos). I honestly thought I had walked into the wrong hotel room! All our possessions from the room had been moved, and there was no notice or obvious reason why this had happened.

When we spoke to the staff, they told us they locked the bedroom because they were concerned we would run the A/C in both bedrooms (we hadn't done this) and they wanted to save power. You would think they could just talk to us, or leave us a note, or... I perhaps (is this insane?) just wait the 12 hours for us to check out before locking us out of our rooms. Ironically, when they agreed to open the door, we found whoever locked it had left the ceiling fan running! In their effort to save power, they actually wasted untold hours of power. What was I to think?

Unfortunately, the staff was not the only awkward element of our stay. During our trip, we came to realize that half the "guests" at the hotel were actually condo owners. While there was nothing wrong with them as people, they all knew each other and hung out together, which made the hotel feel cliquey. The other traveling couples we talked to agreed the dynamic was weird, and they felt uncomfortable striking up real conversation with all the friends and family that owned White Sands Cove. We felt like we didn't belong, and that, in the ideal world, WSC wouldn't have hotel guests at all, and it was just a temporary evil until they could finish selling condos.

So, with so many problems, why did I give WSC an "average" review? Well, there were a decent number of positives. The rooms themselves were nice, clean, and quiet (minus morning barking from the otherwise cute dogs). The grounds are well maintained, easily traversed, and very beautiful. The views overlooking the ocean are gorgeous, and while the hotel isn't perfectly situated, it's not hard to get to places you need to go. Most importantly, the pricing was very fair, as long as you keep in mind you will be paying more to go into town.

The on-grounds scuba/snorkeling shop was also good, with friendly, enthusiastic staff. They're a little averse to bad-weather trips, which I guess is good, but if you're planning a short vacation, you may be forced to hire another company if WSC's crew won't take you out.

In summary, White Sands Cove is having an identity crisis. It's nice to look at, but it doesn't feel like the management has figured out how it wants to run, who's in charge, or what amenities it wants to offer, when. Hell, when we were there, the staff had only just learned they owned a coffee pot! As a result of this confusion, the customer service is often absent, ambiguous, or simply unfathomable, as noted with our door lock issue.

It feels as though WSC is trying to "grow up" from being a hotel to being a condo resort, and it's in the middle of its awkward teenage years. There are some growing pains, some acne, and a few social faux pas. Will White Sands Cove mature by the time you arrive? Perhaps. But if you're not willing to take the chance, there are many comparable options along the beach.

Room Tip: The garden rooms are only a 30-45 second walk from the beach. Unless you absolutely need an ocean vi...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tallahassee
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

My husband and I stayed at White Sands Cove for five nights and loved every one of them. The hotel is beautiful. The room had a small kitchenette, TV & DVD player, very comfortable bed, and nice, hot shower. It's located a mile or so north of San Pedro, which we found to be the perfect location. It was easy to get into San Pedro when we wanted - either via water taxi or bicycle - and easy to get back to the hotel when we were ready to relax. There are numerous restaurants along or near the beach, in close walking distance to the hotel. Nikki and Ben are incredibly friendly and helpful. Anything we needed, they helped with. Nikki, Ben, & Marlin helped us organize outings, and helped us to order dinner in on the nights we needed down time (which we often needed after all day snorkeling trips). I don't have one complaint about my stay at White Sands - in fact, I've decided to make it a new annual tradition. So, if you're thinking about going to Belize? GO! And if you're thinking about staying at White Sands? DO IT!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

White Sands was very relaxing. Marlon,Doris and the cute lil guy that took us diving were all very accomadating. Bikes available on premises to ride along beach with the locals, book excursions or just lay around in a hammock drinking coccunut thanks to the personal service you get from Marlon. Grounds were quiet and clean. Between bikes and golf crts we covered most of the island and I would like to say we were at the best Resort by far. I don't like to visit the same place twice but I will be returning to White Sands in 2013.

Room Tip: All great view. Upstairs closest to beach.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We stayed at White Sands Cove at the beginning of November. It's well-located on the island, being just a short water taxi ride away from all of the action, yet still separate enough to provide tranquility. The resort offers the perfect balance of fun and relaxation. You can do simple things like ride the bikes on the beach or take a kayaks out for swimming and snorkeling. It's also the right place to depart for some of the islands more adventurous activities. The onsite dive shop was a convenient way to snorkel, fish, and SCUBA. We ate and drank at the bar every day and thought the food and staff were great. The staff even made fresh ceviche with the lobsters that we brought back from a spear fishing trip. It was awesome!
The biggest surprise of the trip was the balance of a small perfectly manicured resort with the company of a nice group of guests. I do believe that there were more guests at White Sands than there may have been at some of big commercial-looking resorts nearby. Yet, it always felt intimate. It was my son and I there, on our first ever father-son trip and so many of the guests at the resort embraced him and his young adventurous spirit. It was pretty amazing.
Special thanks to Ben for picking us up one rainy night and to the kitchen staff for going out of their way to accommodate some special request.
We like to try new places often, but White Sands Cove will definitely see us for many repeat visits. Great resort!!

Room Tip: We got to stay in the unit closest to the water and on the upper level. It's spacious enough fo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about White Sands Cove Resort

Address: Laguna De Cayo Frances, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#3 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#5 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#6 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#15 Family Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A lovely boutique hotel on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Sands Cove Hotel San Pedro
Hotel White Sands Cove
White Sands Cove Resort Belize/San Pedro

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