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“A piece of heaven!”
Review of PAUSE Hostel

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PAUSE Hostel
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A piece of heaven!”
Reviewed July 27, 2014

As we left our home we shot a picture of the snow covered lawn and cars. We arrived in Belize & took the water taxi over. It was beautiful to watch the sun set as we traveled to the island. Pause Accommodation was just a couple of blocks from the dock in Caye Caulker, on the back side of the island. We could have easily walked it, but we hopped a golf cart taxi and were there in a jiff! Madi greeted us when we came through the gate and we immediately felt like we were home! She took us to the pink cabana house. It was perfect for our needs, Restaurants, shops, watersports - all were within walking distance from the hostel. The next morning we got to see a lot more of the place when the sun came up. There is a little cove with a couple of lounge chairs set up on the beach. There is a little dock, that has a second partial deck above it, giving shade to the deck below. We spent hours on that deck in the comfortable beach chairs playing cribbage, watching the pelicans and boats going past above water. But all around the dock were cast off conch shells that had become a reef nursery for the sea creatures. There were miniaturized butterfly fish, and sergeant majors and wrasse and so many others that I can't remember the names of. We saw young stingrays and huge old stingrays, pipe fish and baby barracudas. There was even one creature that looked prehistoric - toad fish!
Being at Pause was like a being in an international village. There was Graham from Britain who became our fast friend and Bill from NY in the Leopard Cabana, a couple of young women who had just graduated Oxford on the first floor of the main house, and different delightful people over the week camping. One group even gave us a few lessons on their slack line.
Madi lets all the humans stay on her property and treats them like family. The little money she makes from us goes to support the cats and dogs she rescues from around the island. The animals are all well kept and some of the cats are released daily and really added to our fun while on vacation. Our favorite pet though was Peaches, one of Madi's dogs who joined us on the dock every day and barked to let us know when the toad fish was around. There are 2 adult kayacks, and 2 or 3 kids kayacks available for guests to use- small donation requested. And the property and view were just beautiful.
It is not the Ritz, but it was heaven for us! Oh - and we never pull out the snow picture to look at - but our screen savers are all pictures we took on or near her property! Wish we were back there now!

Room Tip: Tell Madi what you are needing for your room and she will make a good match for you. She was working...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank Colleen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2014

Staying with Madi made our visit to Caye Caulker truly something unique and special. We wouldn't want to stay anywhere else on the island! We stayed in the largest suite, it was spacious and very affordably priced, it has its own private deck in addition to the 2-story dock over the water with a gorgeous view of the sunset. We laid out on the upper level of the dock almost every night, watching the fish and the boats go by. There are kayaks at the dock to borrow whenever. Our room had a stove and refrigerator, and cold-water shower. Everything was clean and nothing was broken. Pause is located a street away from the main drag, so it's peacefully away from bars and spring breakers while still being only a couple minutes' walk to everything. Madi and her animals at Pause are wonderful company! I only wished she had more time to relax and hang out with us! She works from before dawn to after dark cleaning and taking care of her rescues. Most of them had been abused or neglected before coming to Pause. She's also the director of a spay/neuter clinic in order to control the population of unwanted strays. If you are the kind of person who needs to be pampered, and you don't care about animals, this is not the place for you. These are simple, non-luxurious accommodations for people who care more about their overall experience, spending time around good people doing good things, than staying at a fancy resort. We could not have been happier.

Room Tip: We loved the beach suite! The biggest room, still affordable, and you get your own porch.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Terra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2014

My fiance and I went here as a pre-honeymoon vacation, and she picked this place out of all the other places on the island because the animal sanctuary aspect, but when we got there there were a ton of bonus features:

-- there's a private dock with an upper deck that's perfect for viewing the sunset on, or just looking down into the water to watch the abundant sealife (the water is very clear).

-- Madi (the owner/propietor) and her mother maintain the place, and look after the animals. People with needed skills (veterinarians and carpenters / plumbers / electricians) can stay free in exchange for helping or making improvements to the facilities.

-- The whole property is fenced in and safe. We felt comfortable leaving our door unlocked while away for long periods of time.

-- It's tucked away from the "main drag" so it stays nice and quiet at night

-- Madi's brother catches crabs and lobsters and lands his boat right there on the private beach (though it's not a good place to swim because of the mangroves and all the seaweed)

-- They have recycling and composting all set up there, which doesn't seem like a big deal until you realize that the rest of the island barely has any sort of trash service at all.

We used the place as a base camp for exploring the island and the central location proved to be most convenient. Madi will personally tell you anything you need to know about the island and is always pleasant to talk to, plus it seems that other like-minded (animal-friendly) humans tend to stay here so we had some good times hanging with them, too.

Don't expect much in the way of amenities and services, though -- Madi has her hands full looking after the animals and her aging mother -- this is strictly a place for people who want a more genuine, personal experience, away from the imported American comforts of big resort hotels (which you would find in San Pedro if that's your thing).

For me, this accommodation fits my idea of a low-impact vacation, and I felt that my tourist dollars were going into the pockets of someone who would use them for a good cause.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Teddie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2014

We booked this last minute as we hadn't originally intended to go to Caye Caulker but we are delighted with the island We cut our trip short in Guatemla and got to spend two nights on this beautiful place. The reviews are honest" Don't stay here unless you like cats".It's a cat santuary Location is excellent with its own jetty and tiny strip of white sandy beach. Madi the owner was very welcoming and showed us round. We had two rooms in the garden. a double and a four bed dorm for the family. Accommodation was basic but comfortable. the double room was very spacious and had a single bed in it also. No A/C but the double room had two fans which worked very well. The dorm was smaller and the fan insufficient so the guys had poor sleep the first night! On top of this they heard scratching noises during the night on the roof thought some rodent was trying to get in. Maid told us the noise was fruit bats having a midnight feast on the plum tree. We had a good laugh about that the next day. You feel like you have the place to yourself because Madi and her Mum are working all day caring for the cats . they have a few dogs also but the animals are not invasive and the place is kept very clean. Convenient to everything. We used the kayaks on site to go for a spin in the evening at sunset. snorkel mask available also for use. Really reasonable price for basic but clean accommodation. We didn't have any problem with sandflies at Pause but we did when we hired bikes and went for a cycle around the island Sheets and towels provided

Room Tip: We only tried the garden rooms and they were fine. the second fan in the four bed dorm did not work...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jackie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Grande, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 4, 2014

This is a quiet, relaxing property with great views of the sunset from the dock. It's a great location, with easy walking distance to stores and restaurants. I spent couple weeks helping at the property and thoroughly enjoyed it. The accommodations are simple, but it is a budget friendly way to see the Island. Madi is busy, however she is always willing help out anyway she can. As stated before there are animals, they are all great and makes for a one of a kind experience.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jordan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2014 via mobile

This hostel may be a great hostel to stay at - we never found out. We arrived there after a 10 hour journey from tulum for nobody to answer us, despite banging on the gate. We then had to find alternative accomodation. In the morning, we went to investigate and were told by a volunteer that she didn't hear us because she was tending to the cats. We asked her to ask the owner if we would be charged, to which she replied she would email her and let us know. 4 days later, on the last day on the island, we hadn't heard from her so went to see what was going on. We were told by the same volunteer that the owner said she wouldn't charge us anything so we left it. We were then sent an email saying we were going to be charged for half our stay as we had shown up a day late and decided not to stay. Even when we explained what had happened, all we got told was that it has never happened before- which was funny as we found a review describing exactly the same experience as us. Really dissapointed with this as it was through no fault of our own that we did not stay at pause. If you want to stay at pause, it may be a very nice place - but i highly reccommend you do not book ahead as the same thing that happened to us may happen to you.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Claire M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Before I write this review, I want to say - don't come here if you are looking for 5-star resort accommodation. This is not that. It is not meant to be that. This is simple, but lovely accommodation - there is no house cleaner, there is no room service, no reception etc.

If you enjoy privacy, cats (and animals of all sorts) and want to get away from the busy main street of Caye Caulker without being too far away, then this is perfect for you!

I volunteered with Madi for 1 month and stayed 2 weeks in the garden suite and 2 weeks in the beach room.

Both rooms were very nice, the beach room was my favourite - it had a gorgeous view and little patio at the front which you could sit and watch the sunset :)

Madi is very friendly, although very busy, so you may not see her much depending on the time! She is always happy to have people help out, even if you are not a volunteer with her, the cats are lovely to play with and will love you forever if you help her with the feeding ;)

The accommodation itself is not 5-star, as I said before - do not come here expecting your room to be cleaned every day, or your towels or sheets to be changed every day. This place is not for people who want that kind of accommodation. I thought the room was very adequate for myself and enjoyed the quiet the the place offered.

Overall I loved it and would definitely come here again, whether I was volunteering or not.
Also, it is fantastic to know my money is going to a great cause - Madi gave up her life to look after these animals and she already struggles enough as it is, so it is good knowing you're helping her by staying here :)

Lastly, just make sure you have a good insect repellant because the property is covered in sand and there are sand flies around - no they're not fleas as someone wrote in another post, a friend of mine staying no where near Madi's place or cats had exactly the same bites.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sharklovergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about PAUSE Hostel

Property: PAUSE Hostel
Address: 1 Pasero Street, Caye Caulker, Belize (Formerly Pause Accommodation)
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Caye Caulker
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 30 Specialty Lodging in Caye Caulker
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pause Accommodation offers guests a unique Caye Caulker vacation experience removed from the bustle of the main tourist areas. This charming, waterfront property offers a variety of different accommodations with something to suit an array of travel preferences. Our Garden Suite has a double bed, kitchenette with fridge and microwave, fan and private shower overlooking the garden. We also have A private Cabana which sits right on the water's edge, sleeps 2, with shared outside bathroom, a 10 bed & 4 bed dorm with shared bath & kitchen & a 6 bed dorm with private bath. We offer bike rentals & free kayaks, wifi & loads of coconuts for all our guests. ... more   less 

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