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“You Get What You Pay For”
Review of Mata Rocks Resort

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Mata Rocks Resort
Ranked #23 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 15, 2013

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.

Service:

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.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ami B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 - 213 of 405 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2013

This hotel was perfect for our needs as we were only staying on the island for a few days. Upon arrival we received a free rum punch from the bar and they arranged a last minute snorkeling trip for us as well. The hotel's beachfront is great for a little dip in the water, although there is quite a bit of sea grass so you really can't do much swimming. The rooms were nicely equipped with a mini fridge and an a/c that pumped out freezing cold air (great after spending the day in the heat!) We booked a room with a balcony, which was worth the extra cost because the nights get cool enough to sit outside and enjoy the ocean breeze. The only negative about this hotel is the location. It's about a 15 minute walk into the main town area of San Pedro, however the hotel can arrange transportation to and from the water taxi if needed.
*Tip - try the Hidden Treasure restaurant just a few minutes walk away. Delicious!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Napoleonjr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2013

Tha Mata Rocks was a very pleasant surprise - not only was it available on short notice, but it was situated between two, more expensive and larger, more crowded buildings that had much less of an ocean view or accessibility.
Mata Rocks is more like a family guest house than hotel.
It is beautifully maintained, someone is forever cleaning the little waterfall feature near the pool, raking the sand by the outside bar, sweeping away the rain water from the patio.
Included is pick up from the boat and continental breakfast.
Staff is very helpful - will arrange scuba, snorkeling, etc, or land trips to Mayan ruins, as well as make reservations for dinner - without being intrusive.
There is no restaurant as part of the hotel, which makes it more quiet and private.
The bar is on the beach, next to hammocks, beach chairs and loungers; sometimes the bar tender is also the "concierge" and they remember each guest and where they ate the night before or where they spent the previous day, always asking for feedback.
This was a real spot for a retful (or active) vacation, depending on the preference of the guest.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 828JudyS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

We had reservations about staying here after some of the reviews....but it is clean, safe and right on the beach. They have a nice little bar where they serve a continental breakfast on the beach. The staff is great! very friendly staff and great for information on things tomdo. Not all hotels have a bar on the beach. Robyn's for lunch is great. Everyone was so nice and we met some nice people from around the U.S. we ran into some people that we met at our previous hotel. Other hotels that are farther from San Pedro have horrible mosquito problems even though the rainy season hasn't started so another reason why Mata Rocks is great.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Julie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We came to Belize a day earlier than we originally planned so we had to find a place to stay for just one night. My girlfriend found Mata Rocks which looked very nice online and the price was very reasonable, we both were very pleased with our stay. The staff at Mata Rocks are very friendly, everyone of them greeted us and spoke to us in passing, made us feel right at home. Everyone was very helpful no matter what our needs were. We stayed in Suite 6, which is right at the beach facing the pier. It had a spectacular view of the beautiful waters. We were footsteps from the water or the beach bar so we could not have had a more perfect location. The room was very nice, clean and we had everything we needed for the night. I would highly recommend staying at Mata Rocks, even if like us you can only stay for one night. We were very pleased with our stay, Thank you to everyone there for making our stay one of the best experiences we have ever had!

Room Tip: If you have a choice, Suite 6 in my opinion is the best room available here although i think any of...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank sgiles68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We just spent four days at this resort right on the beach. As others have said, it is a small resort, but the rooms are spacious, spotlessly clean, and quiet.

The air conditioning works great, the kitchen was handy to have, and the bathroom was spacious. Our upstairs room had a balcony and a beautiful view of endless sea. We enjoyed spending a couple of afternoons relaxing in the beach bar. It took the sting out of having to contend with e-mail when we could sip margaritas and enjoy the sea breeze at the same time.

It is about a 1/2 hour walk into town, but there are stores within a block or two. We didn't rent a golf cart. We relied on cabs instead, which cost $5 US each way. For excursions, the tour boat picked us up at the dock.

One of the benefits of a small resort like this is that you interact with the same staff members most of the time. They were very friendly and helpful here. One of them helped me choose and buy a beautiful embroidery from an itinerant vendor walking down the beach. When one of our excursions fell through a staff member at the bar was right there with ideas for an alternate plan. One of our purchases was lost in our room, and we didn't realize until we got home that we'd left it. At our request, the staff kept a lookout for it, and after a couple of days they found it had fallen behind the sofa. The carved mask is now on its way home, and we are grateful and glad that we stayed here.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Just_Wandering51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

I just returned from spending 4 nights at Mata Rocks Resort. It was supposed to be a 5 night stay but because of the Air Traffic Controllers furloughs, I was stuck in Miami for a night forced to get a hotel room.

I notified the owner on Mata Rocks Resort, Terry, that I was unable to make it to Mata Rocks the first night. I requested a credit for the first night since I was stuck in Miami but will be there for the 4 remaining nights.

He refused!!! Said it's not his policy. Sometimes moral principles override a policy especially when a customer is spending 4 additional nights at your resort. He further indicated that he lost revenue because he could not rent the room for that night which turned out to be absolutely false since when I did arrive there was hardly any rooms rented. The place was almost vacant.

As far as the hotel...I rate it next to a low budget motel 6. They supply you with a very used plastic water pitcher to fill up and put in a refrigerator for cold water, ants are everywhere and apparently form the other guests there (which added up to 6 people), they had the same problem.

On my last night there around midnight someone was knocking on my door. Obviously I refused to open it but as you can see from the pictures I attached, this room (#5) has been forcibly opened before.

My recommendation knowing that the owner Terry, could care less about customer satisfaction apposed to taking your money and the deplorable condition of the room I stayed in, I suggest spending a couple bucks more where you can actually get bottled water, soap, shampoo and conditioner that actually comes in a bottle instead of squeezing it off of a wall container and a decent lock for your door!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Jim196746
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mata Rocks Resort

Address: 45 Coconut Drive | PO Box 47, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#20 Family Hotel in San Pedro
#22 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#29 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range: $116 - $238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mata Rocks Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
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

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