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Casa Blanca Mata Grande
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Reviews (47)
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Reviewed July 23, 2012

With the loss of Alberto and Mar, Casa Blanca's owners are desperately trying to replace them. So far, they haven't been satisfied with the possible replacements. This is a very serious matter for them since most of the reviews posted are about Alberto and Mar and their ability to take care of the guests at Casa Blanca. The caretakers of the property while we were there were Janine, Elmer, Brian and Judy.
Casa Blanca is still the beautiful place you see in the posted pictures. I did notice that the walls needed a paint job, but overall it was clean and very pretty. The tile floors are quite slippery when wet, so BE CAREFUL. Two of our group of eight fell while we were there. Casa Blanca has two complete units upper and lower. Most of the cooking took place on the lower floor which caused the bottom floor to be hot. Since only the bedrooms have air conditioning units, we learned to close the bedroom doors at night and open them, with the use of a fan to push the air into the unit, during the day. Two air conditioning units and a water pump were replaced while we were there. Sometimes we had to shower in cold water or couldn't shower because there was no water. Also, my husband and one of the other guests ended up using a vacuum the first night to clean the coils on the refrigerator downstairs so it would cool enough to make ice.
I enjoyed being able to snorkel anytime we wanted. The current is swift around the reef, but it only takes five minutes by boat to get to great snorkeling/fishing sites. Several days we relaxed on the dock. Janine and Elmer prepared coconut cocktails for us using coconuts they cut from the trees on the property. Our dwelling was cleaned each day and clothes washed and folded by Janine and Judy. Brian, Elmer and Judy, carefully raked and cleaned the sand each day. They maintained the grounds to perfection.
Janine formerly owned and was the chef of a restaurant. She prepared every meal as if she were preparing for her customers. The presentation was phenomenal and the lobster, ceviche, snapper, chicken stew, Belize potato salad, were delicious. She even prepared a special birthday meal for one of the guests including her key lime pie. She was always courteous and kind....friendly yet professional. That said, I don't think she will be cooking for you should you decide to stay here because she was fired after we left.
Brian, who was the designated captain, although Elmer is also a captain, made arrangements for us to do tours and snorkeling trips. He drove us by water wherever we wanted to go. We had a few problems regarding honesty and trustworthiness from him. He ordered a taxi to drive us around San Pedro without asking us for permission to do so.....to the cost of $70. He also tried to manipulate us into doing what he thought we should do and wouldn't accept NO as an answer. He was very entertaining and could smile and talk his way out of just about anything. He and Elmer seemed to be very safe boat captains. I always felt safe while riding with either of them.
Even with all of the difficulties at Casa Blanca regarding staff and maintenance, our stay was a very good one! All eight of us agreed on that. We had lots of fun and enjoyed our trip!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank WarEagleFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

The grounds are striking. I want to be adopted by Alberto and Mar. Alberto is the strong and capable captain and guide and Mar is the beautiful and hardworking caretaker of the home. You will never be this well cared for...enjoy.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Brian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

We shared this trip with another family for a total of 9 people, 4 adults, 5 kids ages 6-11. We were blown away! The pics are beautiful, but still don't do it justice. Each level of the house is identical, so no hard feelings about who has the "better" room. The rooms are huge! The master has a king bed with ensuite bath and the other room has two queens with ensuite bath. The bathrooms are nice with double sinks and large walk in shower. There is a full kitchen on each level with anything you could need and a large dining/living area with satellite TV and wireless available.

The best amenities? Alberto and Mar! Alberto is your boat captain, tour guide, spear fisherman and expert on all things Belizean! Mar is the master of the house and chef extraordinaire! She cleaned, did laundry and cooked for us everyday! She even taught our kids to make homemade tortillas, which we enjoyed everyday!

Having a boat at your disposal is priceless! The water taxi costs $20/person each way and tours are pricey. Alberto took us to HolChan marine reserve (a must do) for just the ticket price of $10 each as opposed to a tour we saw advertised for $60 each. We went anywhere we wanted to on a whim with little preplanning.

Mar is an excellent cook! We had Belizean chicken our first night, my husband's favorite, homemade pizza one night and fish and lobster the rest. You must have her make her coconut tarts, made from the coconuts on the tree right outside the front door!

The snorkeling is amazing! We've snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, and this is much more accessible. We saw turtles, eagle rays, manta rays, nurse sharks, lobster, puffer fish, eels, trunk fish, tuna, barracuda, grouper, starfish, conch, sand dollars, lion fish, crabs...we saw something new everyday! Alberto taught us to spear fish and the adults each caught a lobster. Alberto and the kids (mostly Alberto) caught our dinner for us everyday. We could have had lobster every night.

Let me say it again....Spoiled Rotten!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank lovesaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2010

If you are looking for a great place to relax, this is it. Alberto and Mar (the caretakers)are the key to this place, they wait on you hand and foot. Mar is without a doubt one of the best cooks ever. Don't take to many clothes, bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts are quit enough. Mar will wash you clothes from the day before and have them on the corner of your bed when you return from your adventure with Alberto. Alberto is without a doubt the best guide for fishing and snorkeling on the island. We go to town with him and get the fresh produce, etc. that we need., he knows where to grt the best price on everything. We eat fresh lobster, fish and conch every day that Alberto will help you catch He will dress your catch and Mar will cook it any way you want. We have been twice with different friends and both loved the place and the service. Eat, fish snorkel, drink and make merry, there is nothing you can say bad about this place. It's a private home, the use of the boat, Alberto and Mar make it a great value. We plan to return, we e-mail Alberto about every week to check on them and there children. We think of them as family, and there could be no better family to have.
Don't go if you are looking for noghtlife. Sun, sand, fishing, lobster conch, food and relaxing are the order of the day at this great place.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank joe509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

We returned to Casa Blanca after two years. It was like coming home. Alberto & Mar are now extended family and you can't help but love them.
The house as always is spectacular and suits our every need. Our boys were older now and were able to experience spearfishing and scuba diving. Casa Blanca is our #1 rated holiday experience. The only problem with Casa Blanca is it's so wonderful you'll never want to leave!!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Hippo_Goose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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