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“Forget Matachica - THIS IS THE PLACE TO STAY!!”

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Cocotal Inn & Cabanas
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Forget Matachica - THIS IS THE PLACE TO STAY!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2014

Let me start this by saying that I did a TON of research before booking a hotel for our anniversary trip to San Pedro. We looked at the top resorts in the area but my husband wanted to stay closer to town (and looking back now that was a good idea). Cocotal’s staff was amazing, they helped us book trips through requested vendors, the rooms were spotless and the beach was beautiful. We spent 2 nights in the beachfront room and 5 nights in Cabana #4 which looked out at the ocean.

Ernesto, Sam and the rest of the staff were extremely helpful on a daily basis. My husband planned several “honeymoon type” surprises during the trip and the staff was eager to accommodate those requests. These little surprises included decorating the room with flowers, having the table set for dinner, champagne delivered to the room and several other small surprise. Cocotal executed them seamlessly and was able to keep me out of the loop even though I was the one formally planning the trip itself. Even better – the Inn didn’t charge extraneous fees for the helping execute these requests; you won’t find those enormous 15%+ service fees here!

All the staff new us by name and Mara (the pup who lives on the grounds) was an excellent companion. She somehow knows who is and is not supposed to be on the grounds. She’s extremely well behaved and will not follow you into your rooms nor get on the pool deck. A few nights she walked with us down the beach for dinner and slept by our feet during the meal.
Cocotal does offer FREE snorkel gear, bikes, kayaks & wifi. We brought our own snorkel gear and was surprised with how many fish live in and around the palapa ( dock). It’s definitely worth a look if you have some spare time. As for the bikes, although nice – it is a LONG trek to town. Although only 2 miles, when you consider you are riding on sand… the way there isn’t bad – but the way back is tiresome. We ended up just renting a golf cart as we needed it from Cocotal. I would HIGHLY suggest you consider this. My husband and I are in our mid 20s and we got tired.

While staying at Cocotal we found many yummy places to eat in the area. I would recommend Aji, Ak’bol and Capricon. Also, while in town check out Estel’s Dinner by the Sea (bfast/lunch), Fiddo’s Bar & The Blue Water Grill.
While staying at the Inn we used two tourism companies: SEArious Adventures & Ecologic Dives. SEArious is WELL priced and the guides are EXCELLENT. Eco was pretty good as well. All picked us up at the dock for our scheduled trips. Also, make sure to leave some time free for a sunset on the Inn’s lagoon pier. It’s beautiful.

A few other notes:
1) OVER ALL: This is a small place with a TON of charm. Online they say they are in an “up and coming” area but I think it has arrived. We took a golf cart up to Matachica and was very disappointed. The water was nice but for the price, we had BETTER service at Cocotal. Typically, I set high standards for our hotels when we travel and this place EXCEEDED them all! If we ever return THIS IS WHERE WE’LL STAY – no question.

2) THE ROOMS: They were killer. The ceilings are beautiful & the beach suite is exactly what you’re hoping it will be. Air condition is EXCELLENT – we used it every day and it def. keeps the rooms cool; no question. Also, you’ll notice each room has a foot bathe at the door, this is to remove sand from your feet. It great and keeps the room nice and clean. They change the water every morning. Also each room has a safe (similar to those in door rooms or cruise ships, but there is no fee to use). Also please note Ambergris Caye is NOTHING like Belize City. We felt safe and relaxed the whole time. Only used the safe to help keep things organized during the trip.

3) THE STAFF: The staff is so amazing that they even offered to help us ship a giant mask my husband bought, home. We ended up leaving it for the Inn to use in the main office. It is hand carved and was bought in town from a local craftsman. Hopefully you can enjoy it as much as we did. Also, Sam was great – ask him about the daily food carts that come around. He even offered to take us around the island on his day off, but we ended up running out of time to take him up on the offer. Long story short – they take care of you. They even helped us mail post cards home on our last day of the trip. The Inn treats you like family and they know you by name. BY FAR THE BEST STAFF on the island!

4) THE BAR: The rum punch is AMAZING. We actually ended up ordering our own pitcher of it for the room which meant we didn’t need to use the honor bar – but it was a nice set up and they always had ice, beer, rum punch and soda stocked.

5) FOOD: Most food is only a short walk up/down the beach. At first when booking this, I was nervous about the Inn not having a restaurant. That ended up not being an issue at all as the whole beach has restaurants in both directions. Also, White Sands (the hotel next door) has a small kitchen and good food if you don’t want to take a stroll at the beginning/end of the day.

6) WATER TAXIS/ISLAND TRAVEL: We tried the water taxi system but it doesn’t run as often as we would have liked. I would suggest renting a golf cart when you want to go into town. It’s the best way to get around quickly and to not be tied to the boat schedules. Private water taxis are available in town and were helpful a few times when we didn’t want to wait for a boat. The free bikes are fun – but be ready for a sore bottom if you’re planning to go to town.
Overall, we really loved staying here. I’ve tried to include several photos so you can really get an idea for the place. BOOK IT – you won’t be disappointed!!!


**MORE PHOTOS OF THE HOTEL & SAN PEDRO AT https://www.facebook.com/Mrs.Plus.Photography

Room Tip: Consider the beach front room. The ceiling and french doors or gorgeous. If it's already booked...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
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8 Thank JustinChelsea L
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
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English first
Suffolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2014

We stayed at the Cocotal Inn in May 2014. It was very clean, relaxing, and quiet. The staff were extremely friendly and the price was more than reasonable for the two bedroom apartment. It is out of the main traffic area of Ambergris Caye, but a short golf cart or bike ride (8-10mins) and you are in the shopping area. Also, access to water taxi just outside your door. The Inn has bikes free of charge. For all our activities, we were picked up right at the Inn, either by water or golf cart. My only disappointment was the beach area was not ideal for an early morning swim, but great dirt path for a run along the water. Great place to stay!!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
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1 Thank Vajo2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perrysburg, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2014

We just returned from an 8-night stay in Belize, including 5 nights at the wonderful Cocotal Inn & Cabanas (May 28-June 2). This immaculate property is 2.5 miles north of San Pedro -- an easy water taxi, taxi, or bicycle ride away. The complimentary bikes and kayaks were terrific. We paddled in the lagoon & in the sea. For the latter, we paddled out to Cocotal's buoy right off the reef and snorkeled. Spectacular! Others have commented on the amazing staff, great location etc. I agree on all counts! Cocotal can't be beat, and we'd stay here again in a heartbeat. We especially loved the 1BR suite. Because we booked late (less than 30 days), the 1BR suite was the only room left. I worried that perhaps it was less desirable than the cabanas. Oh my goodness, was I wrong! We'd request the 1BR suite again for sure. It is so spacious, with high ceilings, 2 AC units that worked great, a separate bedroom, and the whole place is very nicely furnished with lovely artwork. It looks out on the pool and lovely plantings, and beyond that, the sea. Although we did not have our own veranda, we didn't need it. We were steps away from the pool deck, comfortable deck chairs on the beach, etc. We occasionally took our breakfast and lunch outside and ate pool-side. There was a nice tray / basket to carry things, and a little table on the pool deck. Even though the property was full during our stay, it is not large, so neither the pool nor its deck were remotely crowded. The pool, incidentally, is lovely and refreshing. We swam each day. Cocotal is a gem of a property on Ambergris Caye, with an amazing, friendly staff (especially Ernesto & Samuel), beautiful accommodations and views. There are multiple restaurants within walking distance. Ernesto, Cocotal's manager, also set us up for a full-day catamaran sail to Caye Caulker with two snorkeling stops. The company -- Sea-duced -- picked us up right at Cocotal's pier. It was so easy. Ernesto can book other trips for guests, although this was the only one we did. After 3 days in the jungle, we were largely in "beach mode" at Cocotal. But the catamaran sail was amazing and everything Ernesto arranged for us -- taxi transfers to and from San Pedro, taxi from the dock in Belize City to the airport -- went off without a hitch. Honestly, Cocotal is terrific in every way!

Room Tip: The 1BR Suite was awesome. We loved it. It's large -- over 600 square feet -- with lovely furnis...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Melissa1444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
219 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 218 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

Cocotal Inn & Cabanas…. May 09 to May 15, 2014
Ambergris Caye, Belize
we came here by water-taxi from Caye Caulker, which is a 30 minute trip. We stayed at Cocotal Inn, located in the northern part of the Caye, over the brig and in the more quiet part vs. San Pedro which is the HUB.
We are accommodated in Cabana 6, which is a large room, well appointed with a comfortable King Size bed, a kitchen and Shower. The room was clean, in addition you have a safe, a flat screen TV, the Inn provides plenty of drinking water (no need to buy). When you arrive ask your driver to stop at the Super Market owned by the local people and not the Chinese or Lebanese one (they are much more expensive), stock up with Coffee, Cream etc. because once you are at Cocotal, there is absolutely nothing except a smaller Convenience Store at Captain Morgan with prices going through the roof. If you have to go back to San Pedro you have to rent a Golf cart and that can cost up to US 75.00 for 24 hrs. or go by Water Taxi from the White Sands Cove Resort, located next door, (don't know how much that is) . The only complaint we have is, that the water pressure in the Shower is very low…. I told this to "Ernesto" the Manager- he is a very nice young man, very pleasant, very helpful, always willing to assist. His staff is equally very attentive, the place is clean and well kept. There is a pool and Jacuzzi on property too. The beach is what I call an artificial beach, a seawall build up with a hard surface and some sand sprinkled on it. Here you find the beach lounges to relax, there are also Hammocks to swing your time away, dream and inhale the Ocean Breeze . If you come for the BEACH you will be disappointed, there are none on the entire Caye. If you come for relaxation to let your hair hang down this is the place to came too, you only will see Golf Carts, Bikes or just walk the unpaved streets or walk along the Ocean. There is a Bike path along the Ocean, (up and down) in certain areas it is OK in others I would say it is not safe, for the LOCALS it is, they do it every day to commute here. There are little stretches of sandy beaches, full of dried seagrass. To enter the water is not inviting at all, the water is mercy full of live growing seagrass. The locals told me, this condition exists because of the Barrier Reef. For scuba diving, snorkeling Ambergris Caye, is great but not for a "Beach fan" for that you Must go to Punta Cana, Bahamas, & Florida. The Cocotal Inn -see my pictures- is a good place to do NOTHING, be away from it all and enjoy the simple LIFE, to have a *do not care in the WORLD attitude* . Be aware of the sandflies on the Island, they are your enemies, not your friends. You can combat them using Johnson & Johnson's BABY OIL…. when they bite you you feel the sting and itching for the next three days for sure. The local people are very nice too. For eating some food do the following, Breakfast: at the Resort turn to you right, walk along the ocean shoreline for 20 minutes and you reach "Ak'bol" , situated right next to the Caribbean Sea with great views, you will enjoy your Breakfast / Lunch in this tropical Robinson Crusoe atmosphere, or you turn to the left and walk toward the Capricorn Resort, where they also serve Ocean front breakfast Lunch and Dinner, or you go to the White Sands Cove Resort located next door for Lunch and Dinner. Those are the places we visited and were very satisfied. By the way ,once you are at Capricorn, keep on walking towards the Captain Morgan Retreat, they have the best of the artificial beaches I came across. There is another restaurant close to Ak"boll called " AJI " it is not direct Ocean Front, you see the Caribbean Sea a little bit, but I never saw anyone there, therefore I am neutral. The food prices in the various Restaurants are much higher vs. Caye Caulker. Example : fresh grilled Grouper in Caye Caulker US $11.00 while in Ambergris Caye you pay US$ 18.00 to 20.00. One day we rented a Golf Cart to explore Ambergris Caye……be aware of the dirt roads, they are full of pot-holes, it's not an easy ride. You drive over the little bridge (BZ 10.00 round trip / US$ 5.00) on the way to the San Pedro, where the action is. It's a matter of taste if you like this village or not. We were headed for the "Victoria House" at the southern end of the Caye. This is an upscale Resort, the grounds are well taken care of and their artificial beach is big. The accommodations are plush and we had LUNCH in their restaurant and it was very good. There is no need to drive further south because the so called left over of Mayan ruins is really a joke, don't be fouled. Cocotal Inn is also a good place to watch the sunrise, the rise of the full moon and sunset.

Room Tip: Bungalow No.6 is perfect
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Erfurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2014

We stayed at the Cocotal Inn in April and loved every single minute of our stay! I've never been somewhere so private but close enough to everything you would need or want. We didn't want to stay in your typical resort so this was exactly what we were looking for. Everything we read before arriving at the Cocotal, was true after we arrived. Be prepared for a clean, well maintained property. A delightful dog that will follow you around and somehow knows that you belong there, it was the strangest thing. You have access to kayaks whenever you would like to paddle out to the reef as well as bicycles whenever you wanted to explore the island. Sam, our favorite Cocotal employee, was more than willing to bring a kayak to the water or unlock a bicycle for you. I would encourage anyone to ride a bicycle into town and explore. It is a very easy ride with so much to see. If riding isn't your thing, it would be a very easy walk as well. We also went on 2 excursions which were arranged by the Cocotal and I would highly recommend letting the Cocotal assist you with the reservations. They made it completely painless. Snorkeling at Shark Ray Alley & Hol Chan and a sail to Caye Caulker was wonderful with the Lady Leslie tour company (this is another great review by itself). We also went on a tour of the ruins on the mainland which I would highly recommend. We hope you enjoy the serenity of the Cocotal and the island of San Pedro as much as we did!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank natalieb505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014

Cocotal was perfect! Spend seven days in San Pedro and explored most of the island. If you are looking for some place that is quiet, clean and comfortable this is the place. We didn't want to stay in a big resort and this was perfect. We had access to bicycles, kayaks and a pool. Love the location. We could walk to many nice restaurants along the beach and also had access to the main road for biking when we were feeling adventurous. Ernesto the manager arranged for our transportation from downtown San Pedro, booked a snorkeling tour, and arranged for a golf cart for us to rent. Everything was perfect and he was really easy to work with. We stayed in the guest house on the first floor right outside the pool area. The only negative was that it wasn't real private when the grounds people were cleaning the pool. We had to keep the curtains closed sometimes. Other than that it was a huge room and the air conditioning worked great. I also love having the pool in addition to the loungers in the sand. The pool was a perfect temperature and was kept very clean. Would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: The only negative was that it wasn't real private when the grounds people were cleaning the pool...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Langan63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, Indiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

Cocotal Inn really is an amazing place to stay! Since I have nothing negative to say, I will mention the positives!

The Location: 2 1/2 miles North of town, and situated next to other nice properties. It is walking distance to several restaurants such as Capricorn, Aji, Ak' Bol, the Lazy Croc bbq, Palapa Bar, and the bar/grill at White Sands.

The Grounds/Accomadations: immaculate, clean, and well cared for. The property consists of a beach front casita, main house with 2 apartments, and 4 garden cabanas. They are all beautiful. We stayed in the Yellow Cabana and it was lovely! I will mention the cabanas are not as close to the oceanfront and pool, so no breezes. Also, be prepared for slightly weak water pressure.

The Staff: very friendly and welcoming. Everyday we were greeted with smiles, waves, and hellos from the very hard working staff at Cocotal. We really liked Samuel, who always took the time to say hello and ask us about our day. You can tell he loves his job!

Mara: the resort dog is perfect in every way! She spent so much time walking us to restaurants, visiting our cabana, playing with us on the property, sitting on the pier with us, etc. She is so well behaved that if you let her, she will walk, and stay with you, while you eat. All the restaurant staff nearby know and welcome her. If you are venturing farther away, just tell her to stay and she will. She really was the Cocotal Inn concierge and welcome wagon! Just a hint...I brought some dog treats to keep on hand to give the island dogs as we would pass them, and Mara would ask for her "biscuit" a few times a day!

This was our 2nd visit to Ambergris Caye, and we are already thinking about our next! We will difinitely stay at Cocotal on our return! It really was the Best. Stay. Ever!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Kelli 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
Phone Number:
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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