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“good accommodations, tricky location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Village Resort

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Reef Village Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Reef Village Drive, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #53 of 55 hotels in San Pedro
UK
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“good accommodations, tricky location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Spending a week here via a Groupon based deal in the off season was certainly good value.

First thing to remember is that this is not a hotel, it is a let of an apartment that some will be timesharing. The difference between this and a hotel is that all the front desk services of a hotel are not necessarily present, however the benefit is you get a fully equipped apartmenent (kitchen etc).

The staff are friendly and accomodating, and can help with tours. The apartment was clean and well equipped and the TV had US cable channels in English. There is WIFI at the bar but not in the rooms (no big deal walking to the bar area). The bar is small but friendly and a really pleasant location to chat with other holiday makers, and residents.

There are two sides to Ambergris Caye - Beach and Lagoon - this is the lagoon side and the water is fundamentally a pond - it can smell a little and tends more towards mosquitos (you will want to use DEET 30%).

This is all part of a developing country... get used to it that is why you are on holiday here for such a great price! Its a fantastic experience and so long as you can roll with some surprises (e.g. a iguana strolling by, a 5 minute power cut etc) you will love it.

The only negative is the location - you will need a golf cart to get around and it is 2.50USD to cross a small toll bridge into the main town area. While it is walkable it is not feasible in the heat. Remember to add the cost of a golf kart to your cost estimates (around 40USD a day minimum).

Room Tip: Request a room away from the road and there are two blocks offering 2nd and 3rd storeys - try these...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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89 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

The suite (for five people) was very spacious. And immaculate. We had a full kitchen and washer and dryer inside.

Lovely view of the water.

The front-desk staff was EXTREMELY helpful to us in planning our activities (mainly snorkeling) and especially in facilitating a weird mail situation (we forgot something at our previous lodging in Belize and it had to be sent to Reef Village overnight).

However, Reef Village is away from town. You have to rent a golf cart to get anywhere quickly (or walk about 20 minutes into town). This includes paying a few bucks to cross the bridge each time, which is very annoying.

Also, despite the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, it has a bit of sterile feeling. Less like a hotel, more as if you're renting someone's condo in a development.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

We have just left Reef Village and wanted to date stamp my trip as it is still fresh in my mind, Reef Village is awesome, however if you are looking to be in the middle of things this is not the place, we arrived on 9/8/12 for an 11 day stay, I had booked a 1 bedroom and after reading reviews on here I decided to email the hotel to request a "sea view" , Carla at the front desk returned my email asap and answered all my questions (btw, I suggest if your renting a golf cart , do it through her, she owns the cart company and can give you rates you WONT find in town) When we arrived they had agreed to meet us at the airport and give us a life back free of charge, During check in she was friendly, funny and helpful with any questions that we had, by asking for a sea view we were actually upgraded to a 2 bedroom with a Sea and Lagoon View ( if you have any say in rooms booked ask for E303) , we were shown to our room and wow what a surprise, all of these are owned by different people so depending on the room you get will determine the décor, our owners out did themselves! The condo is decorated with alot of local art but she has carefully put her own touches through out, after extensive travelling over the last 6 months and doing so with cost as a major factor we felt as we had hit the jack pot. The resort itself has seen its problems but sounds as if things are finally under control, you need to know about a few things. 1. Because this property is on the Lagoon, bugs that bite are a MAJOR issue, come prepared and you will be fine, anything with DEET will save you, during slow season the bar area closes at 8:30 and dinner is only served Fri-Sun however the food is some of the best on the island, try to do your shopping in town....avoid the store right across the street as it is expensive and most of the food is out of date, we would prefer to give our money to the locals anyway! The bridge, I have read some thing about the cost and so on....my thoughts? if you do round trip its 5us a day, be mindful and include that into your vacation budget, I loved that we were out of the hustle and bustle of the town and reef felt like a reprieve from the tourist part of San Pedro. When we were diving Amigo's came to pick us up right across at Kama Lounge ( for those that don't have a wild side I would suggest you stay away from Kama at night, it can get a little crazy ) San Pedro is still a growing Island.....keep that in mind, my last trip was 13 years ago and I was shocked at the growth of the town itself, One thing I will say is that the locals haven't changed, they are still fun, open , accommodating and friendly. Like any island that has seen explosive growth come the riff raff, be mindful and be firm, it is not like a big city where you have to worry about pick pockets but people are always looking to make a buck. If your going to San Pedro....DO THE BLUE HOLE! Yes it is a long trip, and a deep dive but its one of those things you will wish you did. Make sure to stop in at the RUM, COFFEE and Cigar shop on center street, even if you are not a RUM fan you will have some of the best in the world, Omar at the Reef Bar is fantastic and is always quick with a smile, make sure to have a dragon fruit margaritas at Palapa bar amazing, Ivan is fun and has a great sense of humor, Wet Willys for pulled pork and the rum punch and last but not least make sure to do the chicken drop.

I have tried to be helpful for your trip.....Couple of notes.....slow season is Sept - Mid - October.....ALOT of places are closed for that time, I preferr less tourist and more locals for for us it wasnt a big deal, prices are cheaper and you can keep your dive costs down, for diving we used Amigos Del Mar, Ask for Alex to do the Blue Hole and Juan for local dives, Shark Ray Alley is a must as well as Hol Chan, if your lucky you will get to see the Lagger heads waiting for lunch.

All and all....Reef Village gets a huge thumbs up from us, the people , the lay out of the place and the experience was amazing.

Room Tip: E303 , offers both Sea & Lagoon View
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edgewater,FL
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

We had never been to San Pedro and found this through Expedia. I was low season so not too many folks here. The locals were friendly. The office closes at 4:30-5 pm and housekeeping leaves. So if you have a need after hours it is not able to be filled. The sheets in our room (masterbedroom) had long hairs left behind..hope they were washed prior to our stay. We had a 2 bedroom condo for three nights on the third floor. The overall location was good, just on the other side of the bridge so you payed to cross daily. We were leaving early in the morning and the office arranged for our taxi..guess what. Never showed. My husband had to walk to the bridge and hail another cab. The "security" just said -oh no mon, he must have overslept-.They did not even have a golf car to bring us to the water taxi- I was not impressed with the service. It was okay overall. I think I will opt to stay elsewhere my next visit,

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Indian Wells, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

For those who may be accustomed to a 5-star resort, you might be a little dissappointed but what it may lack in "5-star" it makes up for it with the friendliness of the staff.
Reef Village is located about a mile north of the town square, over what everyone knows as the bridge. The resort will pick you up from the airport or dock free of charge. Once you cross the bridge, you are on a dirt road, but they do try to keep it maintained. The resort itself is not directly on the ocean, but is surrounded by a lagoon.
From what I understand, each unit is individually owned so you might find one unit nicer (or less so) than another. The unit I stayed in was one that could use a little more attention, although it was not unbearable. I'd suggest asking for a unit not directly facing the main road as you can hear the golf carts (yes, gas-powered golfcarts is the norm) and other traffic sometimes early in the morning. Golf cart rentals are a little high in my opinion (from $200-300 a week). The resort is close enough to town to walk, which I did all the time, usually walking down the beach to the town square, enjoying the pleasant breeze.
I think the resort is actually in a perfect location, close enough to town to walk, but far enough away so you are in the middle of traffic - Yes, they have a LOT of traffic due to the narrow streets and everyone driving a golf cart or taking a taxi. For those staying at the resort and wanting to take a taxi, your cost will be cut in half if you just walk over the bridge and get picked up there - all vehicle traffic has to pay a fee to cross the bridge. Taxi fares really aren't expensive however. Another plus is that if you want to go to one of the finer restaurants on the north end of the island, there is a dock across the street from the resort where you can be picked up by a water taxi or the restaurant/resort's boat.
Back to the resort itself. The restaurant has a decent menu and pretty good food. The have a bar and have some activities on different days so be sure to ask. Omar, the bar manager is very friendly. There is a pool at the bar/restaurant. Karla and David, at the front desk are happy to make reservations, suggestions, and book tours for you. You'll find them very friendly and helpful.
There is also a very good hamburger restaurant (Legends) just a short walk north of the resort.
There is also a small grocery store within walking distance of the resort, but be sure to check expiration dates on anything you buy from there.
There is also a free washer/dryer in each building, but I strongly suggest not washing any lighter colors/whites or expensive as the water sometimes comes out of the faucet (and into the washers) brown and you will probably have stained clothing....which won't come out when you get home and try to get them clean again. The brown water is just part of the reality that this is still a developing country and you can't expect it to be just like home.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay. I didn't stay anywhere else on the island so I can't compare it to other resorts there but if you are using a time-share trade or paying a nightly fee, it's not the worst place. Recapping the best things about the resort - location and friendliness of the staff.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

I'm glad I waited to get back home and write this review. It gave me more time to reflect on our vaction stay at the Village Reef. We stayed at this property after exchanging through Interval International. I'll start with the thumbs up comments.
The rooms are sizable. Depending on what building you're in and floor of the unit, great views.
Great central AC. Very nice pool, albeit small. Very nice staff. Semi-close to town.

Now the thumbs down. As other reviewers have mentioned:
The mosquitoes are awful. I think some of them are on steroids. I'm still hurting from a couple their bites. you definitely have to bath in DEET before going out, especially after 4PM. Around the pool area can be a challege. one of the reasons for the mosquitoes is the property is built on a swamp/lagoon as most properties north of the bridge and on the west side of the island. if you're going to spend your time diving (world class diving), you'll be ok.

There are little to no beaches on the island. If your looking for beaches close to Village Reef, what you'll get is areas with scattered trash everywhere.

One Bar and one restaurant. keep in mind the mosquitoes I mentioned above.

Having to pay every time you cross the bridge. $5 BZ roundtrip.

You'll need to get a Golf Cart if you want to go anywhere beyond the property. DO NOT accept the offer you get from the front desk to rent there. Shop around.for carts.

Once you're off the main roads in town, the roads are not in very good shape and I'm being kind in that statement.

There is a store across from the property but very expensive. Try the others south of the bridge. Keep in mind most items will be expensive since all items have to be shipped in.

No phones in the units. You'll have to pay to use the phone at the front desk.

No internet access in/near the rooms. You'll have to go near the front office/bar/pool to get access. Remember what I said regarding the mosquitoes, Olympic trained bugs.

All in all, Ambergris Caye is a great island. World class diving, incredible food, and very friendly people. When we go back we'll probably look at another property to stay.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
2 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for a week in early May.

We were met at the airport and given a golf cart for the week (you do have to pay extra to have a cart for the week). The check in process was smooth, albeit a bit shorter than I anticipated (read, we received less information that I expected). Our one-bedroom condo was great (B202)! The balcony ran the full length of the unit with a beautiful view of the lagoon and restaurant/pool area.

As to the unit itself...there were TVs in both the living room and the bedroom; the bathroom had two sinks (great for 2 people), there was a small walk-in closet; nice furniture; a living room area and separate dining area, as well as a kitchen bar area; a microwave and wine chiller in the kitchen but no dishwasher. Bring your own shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. Those were not provided (as one might expect given where you are, see below). There were, however, a hairdryer and bars of soap. We received plenty of towels--both for the pool and the room. The unit is easily accessible to the pool area, with or without a golf cart. (We found having a golf cart very helpful.) Daily maid service is provided, which is really nice. Laundry facilities are also available, free of charge, but you do need to provide your own detergent. Also, you will want to buy water while you are there. All you have to do is go to one of the local markets and pay a small deposit for a 5 gallon bottle of water (we recommend Richie's, but you'll need a cart to get there if you are purchasing a 5 gallon bottle). The units have a dispenser for you to use.

People have criticized Reef Village as having items that look run down or not new. I encourage people to remember, you are in a third world (or developing, depending on who you talk to) country in a humid environment, and on an island on top of that (i.e., items don't just get delivered by truck). Replacing a miniblind because a slat is missing is not the easiest or cheapest thing to do, nor is getting a replacement coffee pot. So, is everything perfect at Reef Village? No, certainly not. But the unit was great. If you are looking for luxury, I encourage you to stay at The Phoenix.

Also, the resort is still under construction, so don't be put off by partially finished buildings. When you are in your unit or at the pool or restaurant, you can't even see them.

At Reef Village, they leave your trip up to you. They do not try to push you to do things with particular companies. The staff is there to help you, but you do need to be proactive (i.e., be ask them abut things!). The staff was very helpful with any question I had. (We really enjoyed the ACES Crocodile outing on Friday night. Be sure to ask about this and read the fliers! It is awesome!)

Do realize that you are just north of the bridge in San Pedro. Every time you take a vehicle (car, golf cart, or bicycle) over the bridge, there is a toll. We purchased a bridge pass, and that was a great help. If you like walking, there certainly is no need to purchase one.

One quick note...if you go during the "off" season, dinner is not served every night in the restaurant. In fact, regular hours seems to be a foreign concept at many places on the island.

If you keep in mind that you are not in a leading nation, I think you will find Reef Village very nice and accommodating.

Room Tip: I would certainly ask for a unit with a view of the lagoon.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Reef Village Resort

Also Known As:
Reef Village Hotel San Pedro
Reef Village Hotel
Reef Village Resort Belize/San Pedro
Address: Reef Village Drive, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#31 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#34 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Reef Village Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reef Village Resort - one of the most beautiful places in the country offering luxury condos and villas with up to 4 bedrooms at reasonable rates among some of the finest amenities on the island, restaurant with delicious local and Intl. cuisine, bar and pool on a cool island in the middle of the lagoon. Incredible packages and tour offerings ensure your Belize vacation will exceed your expectations of luxury, comfort, adventure and fun! ... more   less 
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