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“Cute, clean, quaint, great location.”
Review of Mara's Place

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Mara's Place
Ranked #13 of 32 Caye Caulker B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 3, 2010

Went with a group of friends & my boyfriend. We're all mid-late 20's - early 30's. Have lived in New York for 10 years and traveled around the world. I work in the hotel & entertainment industry. Have stayed in hostels and 5 star hotels alike.
I stayed at Mara's with my boyfriend and a group of friends. My boyfriend & I had the front cabana, which had a nice ocean breeze. However it was a bit off putting that one of the locals sat beneath our window trying to sell things to passer-bys (Drugs being one). Another couple stayed in a cabana on the 2nd floor towards the rear and it also had a nice breeze. I thought the upstairs location was nice. It felt safe - it always add a little security. A few guy friends had the room right under the home of the owners, which was a bit dark and they said the family & kids woke them up in the morning with noise and running around upstairs. One of he ladies at Mara's was so helpful when my friend needed to do some laundry. She brought a bucket up, along with detergent. (my friend wanted to hand wash everything herself) The price & value are great at Mara's. The hammocks are also a great touch. No a/c, but wasn't needed. Water pressure was so-so.
The rooms were kept clean. Unfortunately because the owners live on property, you have to be respectful and keep it quiet at night. They have a picnic bench which is nice to sit around at night & have a beer, but just don't make it very late.
The location is a bit of a walk from the water taxi dock and most of the town, but it's worth it in my opinion. Mara's is close to the "split" & the Lazy Lizard which is really the one place to be during the day to hang out & swim if you want to. There's also a local who comes by & feeds fish to the birds. It's a nice sight to see. There's a few restaurants pretty close with great smoothies and breakfast where we went every morning, but just don't be in a hurry, because everything moves a lot slower on the island.
There wasn't much nightlife on Caye Caulker. There are a few bars, one being the I&I bar. It's about half locals & half tourists. It's really cool with swings upstairs to sit on & drink. In general you should be a bit cautious while out at night though. One local who was initially really friendly to my boyfriend instantly turned on him because he offered to buy him a drink after talking to him for a while. The local was very offended for some reason and in an instant my boyfriend found himself surrounded by locals on the roof of the bar. They were all high, too. Kinda scary. (I k now this because they were all smoking weed up there.) Thankfully, we were a large group and were nearby. It's also good that my boyfriend is a very peaceful guy and was able to keep the situation from turning very ugly, which it very well could have.
There were a few situations like this that happened over the course of the week we were in Belize, so a joke when we returned to the U.S. was that going out was boring now unless we felt our lives were threatened! The locals in general came off very agressive, which just left a bad taste of the country in my mouth to be perfectly honest. If I was walking by myself through town or just laying out in the sun at the Lazy Lizard by myself, I felt a little harrassed. I don't like feeling like a piece of meat. Also, if we walked by a street vendor and didn't buy anything, they would get angry & spit out a few bad words.
On another night, we decided to partake in a a trivia game at a bar/restaurant. It was fun, but the game was totally rigged. They lure you in with the notion that you could actually win your dinner & drinks, but some locals came in halfway through the game, didn't get many questions right, but somehow "won". Yeah, right. I'd rather the bar make the game just for fun or make the prize smaller. We just felt conned, yet again. Why does eveyrthing have to feel like someone's trying to cheat you or rip you off here? Take note, Belizeans. It just makes me not want to spend my money here. Needless to say, we didn't go back to that spot.
Part of our trip itenerary was to head over to San Pedro for a few nights. It's larger and lots of fun riding around in golf carts, which are defintiely recommended. Keep in mind that unless you are staying at one of the resorts to the south or north, there isn't much beach area. also keep in mind that San Pedro is like cruise ship central. so if that's your thing, knock yourself out. it felt a bit fratty for us, so we went back to Caye Caulker the next day!
A few of my friends tried windsurfing & had fun. We took a snorkelling trip which was a highlight. I also rented a bike & went for a ride around the island, which was worth it. Being out on the water is definitely one of the best things you can do while in Belize. It's just so beautiful. Caye Caulker got a little chilly & breezy at night, though. So keep that in mind. Also, watch out for sand fleas. Definitely bring your Deets.
All in all, Caye Caulker was a great trip. I was in great company and Belize is a beautiful country. If you go knowing that they are a bit more agressive people and are prepared for that, it's worth it. There's lots of island hopping to do, ruins inland and snorkeling & scuba diving. Do it all.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank soupernova9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 - 80 of 121 reviews

Reviewed December 13, 2009

We stayed at Mara's Place for the second half of our honeymoon, and it was perfect. We had the front room, which wasn't as noisy as I thought it might be. Mara's is a short, easy walk from the water taxi, but we took a golf cart to the airport whn we left- its a little far to hike with all your gear and the hot temperatures. The location is awesome. The split is literally across the "street," and the Lazy Lizard, the best place for sunset drinks, is a very short stroll down the road. Mara's Place has a pier with hamocks at the end, which was a lovely place to swing and read and watch the ocean. Since we had the front room, we had a great view of the water from our porch hammock. I think our room or the rooms on the second floor were the best, I don't know what kind of a view you would get from the other rooms on the first floor. We didn't use the kitchen, but it seemed decent- clean and basic. No A/C, but ceiling fans kept us cool, even though they looked a bit shaky. It was clean, had a fridge, and a small private bath. Overall, I thought Mara's was a fantastic value, and if we ever return to Caulker, we'll stay there, for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank GuavaJelly80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2009

I'm a solo female traveler, and I felt right at home at Mara's Place. I heard stories of bedbugs at other places but never had a problem with them at Mara's. It's right next to the Lazy Lizard, so I felt okay going out alone for a drink in the evening because the walk home was very short. Swimming and snorkeling are right in your front yard. I went in the off season, but I imagine that during the busy season, when other parts of the island might get noisy at night, Mara's is probably quieter because it's on the end. The room itself is basic but doesn't leave out any necessities as long as you're not a high maintenance traveler. The rickety old ceiling fan works wonders... better than my ceiling fans at home!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled solo
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Thank PhoenixRoadrunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

We stayed at Mara's for 4 days, and it was a great spot. You're right next to the split, which is the only swimming spot on the island. The communal kitchen and dock were pretty good, the and room was great (no a/c, but the ceiling fan did the trick). Ask for the room in the front of the property (I think room #2), which has the best view of the water.

  • Stayed: July 2009
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Thank epitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2009

Mara's Place was my home the first 3 nights of my stay on Caye Caulker. I chose it and booked online because of the positive reviews here on Trip Advisor, and for its proximity to the famed "Split". The swimming/snorkeling there was wonderful, the water clear and warm as bathwater - just avoid swimming in the boat channel because the currents there are very strong. It was so nice to snorkel out hundreds of yards from shore and find shallow, waist-deep sandy patches to take a breather and enjoy the view. Absolutely beautiful! As for the hotel, it's a good deal for what you get, no-frills, comfortable and secure, with one double bed, a private bath, table and chairs and your own private porch with hammock (awesome!). Mara and her staff really go out of their way to take care of your needs - my first night I was really bummed to discover there were bed bugs in my bed (I was staying in the room with the best ocean view too, on the 2nd floor, right in front of the property)! Of course I told Mara about it the next morning and she was very apologetic, saying they've never had that problem before and would take care of it immediately. I was moved to a room also on the 2nd floor, but at the back of the property, so the view wasn't as nice, but I still got some ocean breeze (there's no A/C at the hotel, but it wasn't really needed). No problems whatsoever after the move, and I really enjoyed the rest of my stay. I liked also that Mara and her family are right there on the property overnight, which added to the feeling of security. I probably will try another hotel on my next visit, but have no regrets staying at Mara's, and would definitely recommend to friends on a budget who don't mind basic accomodations.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank HolboxBound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2009

My friend and I stayed here for 9 nights back in July 2008 and we loved it. For the price, it's unbeatable. Located right next to the split with good views of the water from all the decks (even ours which was the furthest back on the first floor).

The rooms are very basic with two double beds, a tiny bathroom, fan, cable TV and ice chest. There were some nights it was a touch too hot, but usually there was a nice breeze to compensate. Our favorite part was the little patio attached to all the rooms with chairs, a small table and a hammock.

Mara's has it's own private little pier with loungers and hammocks. Since it is right next to the split, the surrounding water is gorgeous and we swam from the dock one day. Be careful of sea grass!

We also enjoyed the outdoor kitchen in the back of the property and used it to make breakfast everyday. Be warned, there are lots of flies.

All in all, I would highly recommend this to someone looking for budget accommodations with a nice view of the water.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank emetucson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

We enjoyed out stay at Mara's Place very much. It is inexpensive, super clean, cute decks with your own hammock, and near the split which is the only place really to swim and snorkel from the shore. You can also grab a drink just around the corner and watch the sun set from the Lazy Lizard bar. The owners were also very helpful and informative. They left a key for us in the door of our room as we arrived a little late. Excellent place!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank michael h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mara's Place

Address: 27 Hicaco Ave., Caye Caulker, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Caye Caulker
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Caye Caulker
Price Range: $53 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Mara`s Place Hotel Caye Caulker

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