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“Fine, but not amazing.”
Review of Seaside Cabanas

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Seaside Cabanas
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Caye Caulker
Certificate of Excellence
Cebu City, Philippines
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Fine, but not amazing.”
Reviewed February 10, 2009

My boyfriend and I spent 6 nights here in January. I booked online and had no problems at all. We saw most of the other hotels on the island and this appeared to be one of the nicer ones. All of Caye Caulker's 'resorts' are small and fairly low key; very different from the resorts you see on Ambergris Caye.

The room
We stayed in room 6, which is the upper portion of the two-floor cabana. The room was big and clean, and had a small balcony overlooking the pool area. All of the furnishings looked very new. At first we were thrilled with our choice, but after a few days we started to notice that everything was constantly damp. Even the sheets felt wet, and none of our wet towels and swimsuits would dry at all when we hung them up. It got to be pretty unbearable by the end of our stay.

The property
We walked all over the island and this hotel had the nicest property we saw. The pool area is nicely landscaped and has lots of chairs and hammocks to relax in. The pool was one of the features that drew me to this resort, but it is actually quite small, and we never saw anyone swimming in it. The location is good, right off the water taxi pier so you don't have to haul your luggage a long way. The island is very small so you can walk anywhere. (A note about Caye Caulker: the island is beautiful, but don't expect a Caribbean-esque beach. We met a few people who were disappointed.)

The service
We didn't have much contact with the staff but found them helpful and polite. We arranged a snorkeling tour through the hotel and had no problems. There was a helpful book of information about the island in the room, including restaurants, tours, stores, and other info. On our last day, they allowed us to check out late and leave our luggage there even later.

Overall, we found this resort good compared to the other hotels we saw on the island, but not nearly as nice as other places we stayed in Belize.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank picnic26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Chicago
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2009

This is a re-post after editing prior review so a bit simplified... the other recent review below highlights some of the issues but Seaside is definitely not a 2-star experience as proposed.

We stayed here 4 nights in late Jan '09. Overall, we were dissapointed with the relative cost (by far most expensive place on Caye Caulker) given the amenities. The $60 gap between Seaside and other clean, close to water options for essentially a pool/garden prob. isn't worth it. The pool was actually very nice and we spent two nice days lounging around looking out over the water (no idea why other reviewer cites issues with the views... they're great as can be). Once night in room 12 (2nd floor overlooking pool) and then cabana 3 with the rooftop hammock. The rooftop was very nice to get shade and read peacefully.

Our issues were really with the bathrooms, lack of drinking water provided, some indifference on the part of staff, bar was a bit pricey and not really a place to hang out. One afternoon a clearly drunk man was lurking around the bar and got served a beer by the bartender. The next day, I saw the same guy cleaning the pool. Not major issue, but not top-price service. Apparently, management is remodeling the baths but they were very basic, we had issues with hot enough water and pressure, some of the tiling was reaching that icky point...

We thought the rest of the styling was fine... nice lighting and bright colors in the room. Little fridge was helpful to store some water and beers. Working, high speed wifi was great too.

Overall, this is a clear 4 star, but also not a 5. The cost is just too high comparatively. If you want the pool and a private feel, then this is probably your best option so to that end, Seaside is probably the nicest on Caye Caulker. But not $60 nicer and they have a few refinements to make. We looked at several hotels for an extra night on the island, all in the $50-70USD range, and after staying at one would have been almost as satisfied and saved >$200USD in the process.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank citytraveler1450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2009

We stayed at Seaside Cabanas for 2 nights based on reviews on Trip Advisor, wanted to try a hotel on the beach, the place we stayed at the first 3 nights did not have vacancy for the other 2 nights we needed (we stayed at Maxhapan Cabanas....see our review (awsome place)), and we thought for over $100.00 a night it would be more luxurious (good/romantic way to end our trip).

Overall the place is nice, but it was $60.00 more than the place we stayed at first. The only thing "better" was the veiw and the fact it had a pool. However, the palm trees got in the wa of the view, and the water taxi station was visable. We really didn't think this $60.00 view was worth it.

We stayed in 2 different rooms (room 14 the first night, and room 2 a cabana the second night). The rooms were clean but the bed was uncomfortable as it was not on a box spring, but a concrete slab. The bathroom was basic, no shower curtain, and the shower in room 14 did not have a shower head and had rust on the wall (something I won't expect when you are staying at one of the most expensive places on the island). I thought the deck chairs on the balcony at room 14 were odd, as there wasn't a lot of room. Room 14 was very noisy at night and could hear doors slam, people talking, and noise from the main street.

The cabana room 2, was much larger, and the bed was a tad more comfortable. The shower, still basic (but larger), and it t had a shower head (but no pressure). The room was about $20.00 more than room 14 (and probably this or room 1 would the only rooms worth staying in). It was less noisy and the top of the cabana had a hammock, but the palm trees were in the way of the view. The view from the window was ok, but the water taxi dock was iin front of it (think room 1 would have the best view). Supposidly they provide free coffee in the morning, but the hotel does not provide any information about the hotel amenities.

I was disappointed with check-in. The person at the front desk was unorganized and couldn't find our reservation at first. She asked me what room I was staying in (shouldn't that be something they know). She was frusterated when I thought we were in a different room. In the end we had it in order.

Cons: Hotel did not provide any water for their guests, information about the hotel/island, only 1 flat pillow for guests (yes you can ask for more), poor water pressure/shower heads, concrete bed frame/concrete everywhere. Hotel rooms (not cabanas) small and noisy. Felt unconfortable that there were no curtains on bathroom windows.

Pros: View, landscape, pool

Overall opinion: Would be a good hotel if it was $40-50 cheeper. Not as impressive as other places to stay on the island(and many times for cheeper). For the price, I would expect better amenities and service.

  • Liked — The View
  • Disliked — value for money
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Riceinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ohio, USA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2009

I just got back from Caye Caulker and stayed 3 nights here (Jan. 23-26). The hotel is small but has everything you need. My wife and I stayed in one of the rooms (cabanas were sold out) and it came with cable tv, mini fridge, hot showers, full size bed, remote controlled AC, alarm, etc. The hotel DOES have wifi. I used it a lot. Just ask reception for WPA key as it is protected. The reception desk closes early (around 6'ish pm) due to the fact the last water taxi to come in is at 530p so they just expect the last minute arrivals. Bartenders are super friendly at local bar (Uno Mas).

The island itself is awsome. very relaxed and you just do a whole lot of nothing. snorkeling is a must, we used E-Z tour (right across from the nightclub). Captain Harry did a very good job guiding thru 4 dive points. At the end, he offered to dock the boat by the split and watch the sunset. we made sure we had plenty of booze (beer not included, but rum punch and lunch was). We paid $85Bz for each.

Yes, grilled lobster is found all over. The cheapest spot we had it at was at "Jolly Roger". Huge guy on the main drag. Runs small eatery. we paid $30Bz for each lobster. each platter comes with 3 sides, 2 rum punch and desert. BTW, if you come back next day, he will give you the platter for $20Bz.

Habaneros, Roses, Amor y cafe, Don Corleone, and Sandbox are highly recommended. i liked their food a lot. The sports bar gets wild on trivia night...for sure best nights to go. Food is ok too. Hit the nightclub on Saturday night....it gets packed.

Ther's only 1 ATM/bank in the whole island. make sure you have plenty of cash as it tends to run out of money by the weekend. Most restaurants/bars take CC though. I noticed most places charged a $25Bz minumum to use card. Also, some places (i.e tour guides, some restaurants) will add a 5% charge for CC use. BTW, the island operates one 2:1 ration for BZ to USD. the official rate is a bit over $2bz for every 1USD. Use your math sense to know when it pays to use CC to get the best exchange as banks will honor the actual official exchange.

that's it. i'm sure there's plenty more i left out.

Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Jlp187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2009

I can only agree with what most people have already said, this is a GREAT place to stay at.

We were here during New Years Eve, stayed in one of the rooms and found everything to be perfect. We did see the cabanas and would have stayed there if we would have realized how nice they look, maybe next time!

Check-in was a breeze, the rooms are nice and clean, with cable-tv, mini fridge and free WiFi. Location is great, you're right at the dock for the water taxi and within walking distance to everything else. The "Split" is located about 10min walk and that's also the most you'll end up walking on this island.

We needed to get in contact with a doctor on the 1st of Jan and the reception were very helpful in arranging this for us, they also helped us with information regarding water taxis, air planes etc...

I would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone...

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything to complain about...
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Kalthor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, USA
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2009

Seaside Cabanas is a recently-reconstructed resort located right at the foot of the water taxi pier in Caye Caulker. Comprised of about a dozen motel-style rooms and three cabanas (one bedroom suites with roof terraces), it also has a swimming pool and bar. The rooms are clean, well-maintained and decently appointed.

Strengths: it is the lowest price resort on CC to have a swimming pool. The location is central. The rooms are comfortable. The pool is lovely. Cable TV in each room was a plus. No wifi, but you can "borrow" a wireless signal from a neighboring hotel.

Problems: One staff member seemed reluctant to help us arrange our diving and snorkeling excursion. When prompted, she ultimately made a call on our behalf, but we had to finalize the arrangements. No beach/pool towels are provided and, although our confirmation specified this, I found their explanation for why they don't offer guests pool towels a bit lame. Because of its central location, it can get a little noisy in the morning, with people headed for work, the first water taxis arriving and departing and, of course, an occasional drunk tourist or local shouting in the streets.

  • Liked — Location and pool
  • Disliked — The shortcomings of one staff member
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank famdoc67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seasidecabanas, Owner at Seaside Cabanas, responded to this review, January 26, 2009
Hello,

Glad you enjoyed your stay, though just want to address the points you made.
Wifi for the hotel is fully available, network name SEASIDE01. We do encourage guests to ask at the office if they have any trouble connecting.

We were having trouble with one of the dive shops as they had a new receptionist, so apologise for the problems with booking a dive. We are no longer using that dive company and are always happy to arrange trips and dives for our guests.

As far as beach and pool towels. It is very expensive to do laundry on a small island with a delicate eco system so we have tried to encourage people to bring there own towels for use outside the hotel rooms. We have however just ordered a batch of outdoor towels that will be available to sign out to your room from the office.

We have also ordered some weatherproof sun bed cushions for around the pool, for greater sunbathing comfort :)

Regards

Owner
Seaside Cabanas
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis, MO
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2009

WHERE: Seaside Cabanas, Caye Caulker Belize

WHEN: Christmas 08. While the airports were packed with Christmas and weather-delay crowds, Caye Caulker was a great place to get away from all of them. Not once during my 4-day stay, did I have to wait in line for anything or feel crowded. There were a couple small rain showers, and the seas were pretty rough for a day or two, but that’s about it. Temperatures stayed between the high 60’s and 70’s (F).

WHO: I spend probably 25% of my time on the road for business. I typically stay at Hiltons and Marriotts, with the occasional Sofitel or Star Hotels thrown in for good measure. This is just to give you some idea of my frame of reference.

WHAT: I booked (from their very convenient website) room 16, and paid the posted nightly rates. I think it was $110 a night. VERY reasonable for a nice place during the holidays. I would much rather have had a ‘cabana’ with its own private rooftop lounge area, but it just wasn’t available at the last minute when I booked. My rating and review is based on the value received here, rather than luxury.

ARRIVAL. From Belize City, I opted to take the 8 minute ‘Tropic Air’ puddle jumper to Caye Caulker. I highly recommend this route as opposed to hauling luggage to the pier to catch the water taxi....for pretty much the same price when all is said and done. A short (5 minute, including a stop at the ATM, $4US) golf cart ride later, I arrived at the hotel.

LOCATION. Seaside Cabanas is located across the ‘street’ from the main water taxi pier, and essentially on the edge of the touristy area. Everything on Caye Caulker is within walking distance, even the airport.

LAYOUT. The hotel layout is “U-shaped”, with the open side facing the ocean, and the buildings arranged around the freshwater pool. It’s a pretty small operation, so the pictures on the website + tripadvisor really tell the whole story, and there’s absolutely no danger of getting lost or turned around. The bar is just opposite the main office.

CHECK-IN. There were no problems with my online booking, or with the check-in process. Everyone was very helpful and friendly. It’s worth noting that guests sign for and receive the remote controls for the TV and AC unit on check-in, and must return them when checking out.

THE ROOM. I was extremely happy with the condition of the room. Everything looked like it had been freshly painted, both inside the room and around the entire hotel. The room had all the necessities: Air Conditioning, Television, mini-fridge, and a small closet. Being honest, however, I can only describe everything as no-frills. The “bed frame” and “sofa” were simply concrete slabs, with a mattress and cushions on top. They were perfectly comfortable, just basic. The “closet door” was a wicker panel, with a little hand-rigged stick for a latch. Again, I’m not complaining, it’s just important to manage expectations.

FYI, the electricity and plug type in Belize are the same as the U.S.

Earlier reviews for this and other hotels in Belize, made reference to not being able to flush toilet paper. There was no mention of this during check in OR the room literature, no notes in my bathroom, nor did I have any issues.

The hot water side of the bathroom faucet simply didn’t work, but that wasn’t a big issue. The shower had lots of very consistent hot water, and the water pressure was surprisingly good. There weren’t many hooks, pegs, shelves, etc to put toiletries. As a result, most people would hang wet dive gear on the railings of the walkway outside their rooms. That normally wouldn’t be a problem, except that the upstairs walkways are extremely narrow. There are wooden chairs outside each room, but they pretty much take up the entire width of the walkway. People sitting are constantly having to scoot to let walkers pass, and people passing are constantly having to dodge sitters and wet dive gear.

I don’t know if light bulbs stronger than 15 Watts are illegal in Belize, but there certainly weren’t any in my room. I had to open the window shutters and even the door at times to get any light.

The only other downside I can recall, was the lack of soundproofing in the small rooms. Unfortunately, every time someone in another room opens or closes a door, slides a chair across the tile floors, or wants to watch their TV, the sound really carries to other rooms. This isn’t something a concrete-and-tile hotel can control. The upside is, there wasn’t even one incident of people getting loud and stupid. Most noise and activity was over by 11pm every night. Luckily, the crowd here seemed to be more focused on diving than partying. It is explicitly posted that the pool area is closed after 8pm.

SERVICE:

Room – The housekeeping lady came every day, mostly in the afternoon, and did a fine job.

Front desk / admin – Everyone was always very friendly and helpful. I also booked a dive thru them, and had no issues.

FOOD: Seaside Cabanas doesn’t have a restaurant, so the choices on Caye Caulker are to either stock up at the local grocery stores, or to eat at a nearby restaurant. The grocery stores, of which there seemed to be quite a few, were surprisingly well-stocked for a small island. The restaurants I tried were all....okay. No, you can’t swing a stick without hitting a lobster dinner, but at the risk of sounding like a food snob here....just because it’s lobster doesn’t mean it’s good lobster. The Rainbow bar and grill did the best job of not overcooking the little critters.

DRINKS: Rum is the local specialty, and it all seemed pretty good. Don’t expect to find a decent margarita on the island. The mojitoes, on the other hand, were excellent.

SAN PEDRO: I took the water taxi to Caye Caulker’s nearby bigger sister, Ambergris Caye. San Pedro is the tourist draw there. I walked around for 30 minutes, and couldn’t wait to hop on the next boat back to my little oasis of serenity. The hotels were perhaps a little ‘nicer’, but the bars / restaurants / shops were no better....only louder and more crowded.

SUMMARY: For what little I paid during the Christmas time period, and for what I was expecting on the tiny island community of Caye Caulker, the Seaside Cabanas was a great value and very nice experience. If I find myself returning, I would happily stay at there again. I hope, however, that I have enough advanced warning to book cabana #1.

  • Liked — Clean, cheerful colors, great service, PRICE PRICE PRICE!!!
  • Disliked — Noise echoes, low light, narrow walkway
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank travelducky2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seaside Cabanas

Property: Seaside Cabanas
Address: Caye Caulker Village | PO Box 39, Caye Caulker, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Caye Caulker
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Caye Caulker
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Seaside Cabanas offers Caye Caulker in luxury with a true atmosphere of the tropics. Hotel reception staffed by our friendly and professional team. 24hr security. Free Wifi, pool, bar, gift shop, tour/dive office. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Seaside Cabanas Caye Caulker
Seaside Cabanas Hotel Caye Caulker

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