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“Excellent in every way”

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Cocotal Inn & Cabanas
Certificate of Excellence
Florida
Level Contributor
112 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Excellent in every way”
Reviewed April 25, 2014

Happy day,

We had the orange cabana with the front view of the ocean. You can read all the other reviews...our experience was very similar. Staff was great, the property fantastic, a phenomenal value, etc.

DO NOT buy cereal, dairy (including cheese) or fruit at the stores. We paid $95 for what in the US would have cost perhaps $25.

DO bring kleenex and some ice tea/drink mix like Crystal Light or Mio and you'll save a bundle. Also bring a flashlight as at night it is gorgeously darker than dark. Its a long way to town by bike and the food choices there cost much less and, in my opinion, were much better than the local places. Rent a golf cart and drive to The Baker for cinnamon buns and go to Robin's Kitchen for lunch. You'll be very happy. And hit the dock at night to see the stars splatter across the sky. Kayak out to the reef and bring your own snorkel gear. You'll be happy you did. And for the ladies, my wife strongly suggests you bring a very supportive sports bra, because the roads are pretty brutal and things get to bouncing quite a bit.

We loved the fresh cedar smell each time we returned to the room. Interior lighting seemed dim, but you'll get used to it. Shower power a bit on the weak side, but you won't care after the first day. Be patient with the A/C when you first arrive...after the first few hours of it running, it'll be plenty cool, so don't set it at 16C, you'll just freeze it out. Everything else is so great, these little things just don't matter. The staff smile all the time. Its a really wonderful place and we felt very much at home.

It is spooky how Mara the dog knows who "belongs" and who doesn't. Not sure how that works out.

All in all, if I ever hear of anyone wanting to go to Belize, this is the place I'm telling them to stay because I know how fantastic it is.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lord H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Algonac, MI
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Our group of 4 couples recently returned from a 8 nt stay at the Cocotal Inn property. We are all married ranging in age from 40 to 67 yoa. We rented the main house, upper floor (2 couples), lower floor (1 couple) and the beachfront casita (1 couple) . These were all spacious self contained units with full baths and kitchens. They were well appointed, with a lot of exposed Honduran pine or mahogany. Ernesto/Adalita helped plan our excursions and golf cart rentals. Two golf carts were parked and ready for us upon our arrival. Adalita booked us a boat for sightseeing on short notice. Ernesto booked the rest of our excursions; zip lining/cave tubing, snorkel sail to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley, and a sunset sail-cat cruise through SEArious Adventures. They picked us up at our dock except for the sunset cruise,. We drove into town with our golf carts but if we didn't have transportation they would have picked us up. We also booked a couple of boats (2 cpls each) for a 1/2 day inner reef fishing. These freelance fisherman had us trolling up and down the inside of the reef. We caught several yellowtail snappers and some needle fish. But the biggest thrill and fight was when each boat hooked onto large barracudas. Unfortunately only one of us landed his, a 36 incher. The group of 8 as we have become to be known as, had made previous arrangements with Doris next door at the White Sands Cove property to have it cooked for lunch. The cook Miguela, of prior Capricorn fame, did a suburb job of cooking the fish. All of us were amazed at how good the cuda tasted. On our non excursion days we lounged around the pool and at the 'honor bar'. That's a bar where we had access to the bar which had water, rum punch and Beliken beer. We just jotted down what and who consumed what and were billed later at check out. I can't say enough about Uncle Sam and Calvin, the property caretakers and Mara, the property dog. Sam and Calvin helped us with the kayaks or any questions about getting into town. They even made sure they told us about the lunch wagon that came daily. I always got what Sam ate. Usually a chicken burrito. At night after the day people left, Raul and Mara stayed on the property. Anyone coming on the property including other dogs were greeted by Mara. She chased off other interlopers, mainly dogs. Raul stayed at the back of the property and also provided security although we always felt very safe and secure. Other than other vacationers and workers, we never saw anyone else traverse the property even though it is very accessible 360. On our trips to town via golf carts, the dirt covered golf cart track/road was passible. Of course this is the dry season, so we had a dusty ride down a sandy gravel strewn road interspersed with portions more fit for beast than motorized golf carts or bicycles. The kitchen was adequate with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and bottled water at our disposal. Our breakfasts were mainly continental, coffee, juice, cinnamon bread, muffins, and /or fruit. We ate out at adjoining properties or in town: White Sands Cove, Aji, Ak'Bol, Lazy Croc, Capt Morgans, or our favorite Capricorn. Enough said because I can go on and on about this wonderful property and its people. We all liked Cocotal Inn, San Pedro and Belize but it's people are what made this a truly a wonderful vacation for us.

Room Tip: The newly weds loved the beachfront casita with the front door facing the ocean and the back door ta...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Algonquin60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, Minnesota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We stayed our first 7 nights in the 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom upper level of the main house. It was far more spacious than we had expected. We loved the outdoor table and grill for dinners "at home." We also used the other seating area on our "balcony" for breakfast and reading in the evening. We had groceries delivered from Mate Grande prior to our arrival since we felt we would be tired upon our arrival. It was expensive but worth it to have milk, butter, jam, eggs, coffee, sandwich stuff, juice, pasta, chicken etc right there for us. We had breakfast at home every day ate out for either lunch or dinner each day. As others mentioned we enjoyed Aji, Capricorn, and The Lazy Crocodile and White Sands. Aji was our favorite!!! We used the kayaks at least 3 days to get to the reef. We used the bikes almost every day! We got into town via the beach (much smoother than the road) although you have to take the road for part of the trip. We had lunch in San Pedro at Carambas, the Blue Water Grill and El Patio...all were good but we had the best service at El Patio. I can't say enough about Ernesto at the Cocotal!!! Upon our arrival we took him a paper with ideas of things we wanted to do during our stay. We had researched activities based on the info on the Cocotal website. He made a few suggestions and then took care of everything. We did a full day Catamaran sail to Caye Caulker with snorkel stops at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. This was our favorite excursion!!! We did zip lining combined with cave tubing on the mainland...very fun, especially since we were advised by Ernesto to avoid a cruise ship day. We were not rushed through at all. We also visited Lamanai which was amazing (long day with lots of transportation though) We also did a power boat trip up to Bacalar Chicco which included lunch on the beach and snorkel stops. All tours were set up by Ernesto and run by Searious Adventures. At Cocotal we spent the last 3 nights of our stay in the new green casita. It was great as well. Our teenage son slept on the futon type couch and the staff put in an air mattress for our daughter. It worked out perfectly. The entire staff at Cocotal was fabulous. On our first morning coming down the stairs I heard someone greeting my kids by their names!!! Each person we spoke with was friendly and helpful with suggestions of places to eat, things to do, kayaking advice (finding the bouys), adjusting the bikes, loaning us aloe...they could not have done a better job. All in all Cocotal was perfect for our family. It is small, quiet, beautiful and well located. We enjoyed how the resorts north of San Pedro are a bit more spaced out than the ones right in town or just outside of town. We loved biking the beach towards the North as well...less crowded and many beaches where you can wade into the water. The Rojo bar, right on the beach, was a great stop after a hot bike ride. They offered to make virgin drinks for our kids and they were beautiful and delicious. The beach and dock at Cocotal were clean and well maintained. Despite there only being a few chairs there, they were always available during our stay.The hammocks were a great way to enjoy the ocean breeze. I would recommend the Cocotal to anyone who is looking for a small, beautiful,quiet low key place to stay!

Room Tip: I have a preference for the lodgings closer to the ocean although Cocotal is small enough that nothi...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Didier R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
142 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

We booked the 2 bedroom upstairs with the beach right in front of us. It was clean and very spacious! No one told us that the little town here was pretty small, and there are hardly any transportation, meaning no cars to rent. However they did have bikes for us to use which we did to ride into town, we got some eggs and other stuff in the market, however all broke but 3 on the way back from the bumpy road. Most grocery items are pricey, guess because it's an island. We mostly ate ramen, rice, and beans, along with onions and bananas which were cheaper. And I cooked whatever I could find in the kitchen we had. We took the kayak out daily to go snorkeling, there were plenty of fish! Also walked up and down the beach to other resorts along the way, there's a closer little food mart in one of the resorts close by, and we shopped there frequently rather than biking to town everyday.
This was a relaxing vacation, mostly laying around as there wasn't much to do in town. It was quiet, which was a plus++

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jollygirl2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
178 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

We were really in need of a break that balanced relaxation with activities that we enjoy, and Cocotal could not have been any better for us. Ernesto helped us arrange for a daily snorkeling trip all but one day during our five-day stay, and tried his best to ensure that we got to all the locations we wanted to explore. Having kayaks right there for guests was a real bonus and Samuel was always at the ready to get one ready for us to use (thanks, Samuel!). We kayaked out to the reef with our snorkeling gear one afternoon, paddled our way to a popular beach bar (Palapa Bar and Grill) on another, and just explored north of Cocotal on a third. We contemplated heading into San Pedro for dinner one evening (and would have gotten there by water taxi), but there were enough restaurants nearby that we wound up walking to dinner along the beach path each evening, flashlight in hand. We especially liked Capricorn and Aji. A great spot for lunch, and only around a half mile walk from Cocotal, is Lazy Croc BBQ. Although they're not open for dinner, you can pick up some really good pulled pork or delicious chicken (and don't forget their jalapeno mac and cheese) before they close at 7:00 pm, and just bring it back to your cabana and enjoy it there along with a beer or some rum punch from Cocotal's honor bar. We didn't want to overload on groceries for our five day-six night stay, but found that a short walk also took us to a small but adequate shop on the property of Captain Morgan's where we were able to purchase more milk and cereal.

The last reviewer shared many helpful suggestions with which we'd concur. Take lots of sunscreen (and don't forget a lip balm with a high SPF, especially if you plan to snorkel a fair amount). Ernesto emailed a very helpful information packet when we made our booking. Take the time to read it, to ensure that you bring what you need and and can plan for the best stay possible. We learned from that packet about what amenities were/were not included, and also what was available upon request (such as a hairdryer).

We booked at Cocotal based on the many excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, and now add ours.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atastefortravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

We had a great stay at Cocotal in the end of January 2014. We stayed in the yellow cabana for five nights. We enjoyed our stay and would stay here again.

Pros:
- The cabanas were clean and very nice. The bed was comfortable and the air conditioning worked well. The staff was great! Ernesto and Tanya were so kind and always available to answer questions. Every staff member we interacted with on the resort was nice and could answer our questions.
- The bikes and kayaks included the room cost are wonderful to have. We used the bikes every day and took the kayak out one day.
- Jesus picked us up from the airport and took us to get groceries. I would recommend buying everything you need then, especially if you are not staying long. It is a little bit of a trek to get back into town and we usually did it on the bikes (about 25-30 minutes) which would make taking a lot of groceries back difficult. Cocotal has a golf cart you can rent, but if you know what you want you should just get it while you have a car driving available to you.
- There are plenty of restaurants nearby (Capricorn, White Sands, Aji, Ak Bol) and the town has good restaurants as well.
- We used the White Sands dive shop to go snorkeling twice. It is conveniently located right next-door and they have a lot of tours. All the guides are great, but we especially liked Bernie.

Cons:
- The water pressure was not very strong in our cabana. We usually had pretty warm water but it was not always hot. It was not a huge issue, but definitely something to note.
- The sand flies were terrible, this is not Cocotal’s fault, but make sure you bring and wear bug spray. I did not one night and I paid for it.

Other things to note:
- Bring a flashlight to walk around at night.
- Everything is causal so need to bring dressy clothes.
- There is no shampoo or conditioner in the rooms, however there is bar soap and hand soap. You can also buy shampoo in the grocery store in town.
- The room has a coffee maker so buy coffee when you are in town.
- The location worked well for us. It is a little ways from town but we liked the privacy. You can easily get to town by day, but getting back and forth at night would be difficult.
- The beach is small but there are a couple of chairs to relax in and you can bring the pool chairs over if all the beach chairs are full. The dock was great and the hammocks were lovely.
- I had no problem with this cabana but I thought the orange one had the best view since you could see the water from there; however the yellow had more privacy. The beachfront casita has the best view.
- Overall it was a great stay and I would recommend it!

Room Tip: Orange cabana is closest to the ocean and may have a slight view.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jo_McPete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chestertown, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014 via mobile

Outstanding experience! Very casual and friendly, the staff were wonderful. Beautiful sunrises in the front of our cabana and sunsets out of the back on the lagoon. Loved every minute of our stay and we can't wait to go back!

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Teri K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cocotal Inn & Cabanas

Property: Cocotal Inn & Cabanas
Address: Beachfront 2 1/2 Miles North, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 30 Specialty Lodging in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cocotal Inn and Cabanas is a beachfront vacation property located 2- 1/2 miles north of San Pedro. There are seven units available for nightly rental. Intimate and low key, Cocotal is still only a bike ride from town in a great up and coming area. Our units are well appointed with fully equipped kitchens, air conditioning, cable TV, wifi and maid service. There is an in-ground pool, honor bar, BBQ, and free bicycles and kayaks for guest use - a beautiful property and a great value! This description is based on information provided by the specialty lodging. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cocotal Inn And Cabanas
Cocotal Inn & Cabanas Hotel San Pedro
Cocotal Inn & Cabanas Belize/San Pedro

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