Went to Belize for our honeymoon and stayed at Mata Rocks for four nights. Since we booked late, this was one of the only places with vacancies. Overall, the experience was average. I would give it a "good" rating due to value for money except for a few significant downsides that put a damper on our trip. Other reviewers have written extensively about the location and ambience, so I'll just add my two cents based on our trip. We had no major problems, but felt that for the amount we were paying to stay on the island during June, the experience could have been smoother.
Overall verdict: if you can afford it, stay somewhere else. There are many nicer places in better locations closer to town. We wondered why it was so easy to book at this hotel, and it seems that other travelers made different choices.
Features of the Hotel:
1. The beach is not private at all. It's a very small strip of sand, and all of the beach chairs are in full view of all of the rooms and the bar. That means if you're sunbathing in a bikini, everyone at the entire hotel can see you. This was a little uncomfortable, especially around early evening when happy hour begins and the bar is full of random men. There's little shade on the beach and many of the lounge chairs are broken. The two hammocks are small and uncomfortably tight and are in full sunlight. The pool is much the same: it's small, in full view of all of the rooms, and has no shade anywhere nearby. Not quite the sunbathing experience I'd hoped for and very different from the surrounding hotels, which offer private and public areas and shaded and unshaded sections.
2. The free breakfast is disappointing: just one or two kinds of fruit and various stale bread products. Not a reason to book this over other hotels. We ended up eating elsewhere almost every day.
3. This is a small complaint, but all of the free toiletries, from handsoap to shampoo/conditioner contain a ton of menthol. They really irritated my skin, especially after hours in the sun/sand.
4. No screens on the windows/doors in our room meant we had to sit inside with the air conditioner on to avoid bugs. This wasn't a huge problem, but seemed unnecessary considering the cool seabreeze and the large balcony.
1. The hotel is connected to one specific tour operator and tries hard to push its services. It's clear they are out for their commission and not necessarily to please their guests. As an example, when we asked to go night snorkeling, we were told this was not an option and were pressured into booking a day snorkel trip instead. Later, we found out that most other tour companies do offer nighttime snorkeling. There were signs everywhere a bit further down the beach, but since we had recently arrived we didn't know this yet. However, Mata Rocks would not allow us to cancel the day trip since they would presumably lose their cut. We were angry since we only had a few days on the island and wanted to do some other activities as well. The whole thing felt a bit dishonest to us.
2. Although we booked under the "honeymoon special" featured on their website, we were not given a suite as promised under this deal. Instead, we were in one of the regular, more cramped rooms. Considering we booked specifically in order to have a suite, this was disappointing.
3. I found the staff average: not overly friendly, but willing to help if asked. To be honest, I didn't feel particularly welcomed, but neither were they hostile. They mostly ignored us.
All in all, it was a fine trip and a reasonable place to stay, but not really recommended when there are so many more competitive, nicer places nearby in similar price ranges.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Intimate beachfront hotel providing personalized service in a casual atmosphere. Located one mile south of San Pedro on a beautiful sandy beach. All rooms and Jr. Suites have ocean views, A/C, cable TV, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, hair dryers, safes. Some rooms have kitchenettes. Complimentary continental breakfast, daytime use of bicycles, and taxi transfer upon arrival/departure are included in room rates. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mata Rocks Hotel San Pedro
- Mata Rocks San Pedro
- Mata Rocks Resort Belize/San Pedro