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“Very enjoyable trip to Caye Caulker”
Review of Seaside Cabanas

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Seaside Cabanas
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Caye Caulker
Certificate of Excellence
Vermont
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable trip to Caye Caulker”
Reviewed April 27, 2009

My husband and I just returned from a week long vacation to Caye Caulker and Seaside Cabanas. We very much enjoyed our trip to Belize. We travel internationally quite a bit and extensively through the Caribbean and Mexico but this was our first trip to Belize. We generally stay in much larger resort hotels but wanted to do something a bit different.

We chose to take the Tropic Air flight (7 minutes) from Belize City to Caye Caulker which was taken care of by the staff at Seaside Cabanas. They booked our tix and charged to our room. The flight costs a bit more than the taxi and water taxi but I highly recommend this method of transportation. The views are absolutely amazing and made the trip even more enjoyable. A golf cart taxi transported us to Seaside Cabanas. I booked our room pretty well in advance and we had the opportunity to stay in Cabana #1 which in my opinion is the best cabana in the complex. It is directly on the water and the rooftop deck had amazing views of the sea. The cabanas on the opposite side of the complex were on a somewhat main street that is the direct route for all of the incoming and outgoing water taxis. The cabanas on the other side had no development next to them so they would be quieter.

The rooms were very nice and as noted in prior reviews, the lighting is somewhat dim with lower voltage bulbs but the front desk will provide additional reading lamps. The rooms otherwise were nicely furnished with bright colors. There were also mentions that the bed was not very comfortable but we found the bed to be quite comfortable. We did not spend much time in the room, however and spent the vast majority of our trip outdoors and used the rooftop cabana with its palapa, comfy lounge chairs and hammock quite frequently. The hotel serves coffee, tea and pastries at 8 am but we sometimes found this to be a bit late so many mornings we ended up going out to breakfast.

We found the island to be very casual and comfortable, the people to be amazingly friendly and we felt extremely safe the entire time we were on this island. It is truly a gem. And of course the snorkeling is amazing. One thing that travelers must be aware of is that there are very few places to swim in the sea on the island itself so if one is looking for a beach vacation with tons of immediate swimming opportunities at their finger tips, then this is not the place for you. We took a couple of snorkeling trips and the water off shore is spectacular - filled with amazing coral and sea life, although I wasn't too fond of seeing sharks so close by occasionally!!

We enjoyed morning walks down to the undeveloped southern tip of the island with beautiful bird life and lots of interesting lizards and sea views. We also enjoyed that the hotel was right in town with so many options for dining available to us. We enjoyed every restaurant that we ate it and found the seafood to be amazing. So fresh! The island does not offer much in terms of wine - lower quality wine was very expensive so this is not really a wine drinker's paradise, but excellent rum drinks and good Belliken beer from Belize.

We took a day trip to San Pedro and were not particularly fond of Ambergris Caye and believe that Caye Caulker was definitely the better selection. It really was a great little trip and we look forward to our next trip to Belize - perhaps down to Placencia!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Colleen_M_Price
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
NY
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Seaside Cabanas Feb 18th - Feb 23rd and had a wonderful time. Seaside is the first property you see as soon as the boat reaches the pier. Check in was quick and the employees of Seaside are extremely helpful and professional. I suggest buying trinkets from the hotel gift shop as we found the prices to be bit cheaper than the stores on the beach. The room was small but nicely furnished. The bathroom a good size with a walk in shower big enough for two. The grounds are filled with lush tropical plants and the pool was always clean. My only complaint is that the beds are a bit too firm for my taste but other than that I would certainly visit again.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mimi1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

I stayed in Seaside Cabanas for just 2 nights on a trip away from Belize City. I found the staff very helpful and accommodating in a low-key relaxed way. The room was large and comfortable with a great hot shower! I particularly enjoyed relaxing by the pool and making the most use of the garden/pool area watching the world go by on the beach. Seaside Cabanas are located very conveniently close to the ferry terminals and it makes the perfect base from which to explore Caye Caulker.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SarahBNorwich_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2009

I had high expectations coming to Seaside Cabanas as we had already spent an amazing four days in San Ignacio and had great interactions with the staff, Mary, at Seaside prior to even arriving in Belize. Much to my satisfaction, the hotel and staff was above and beyond what I expected.

My friend’s birthday was during our stay at Seaside Cabanas, so prior to leaving the states, I wanted to arrange to rent a boat for the day. Having never been to Belize before, I emailed Seaside for help. Mary was absolutely amazing – she arranged the whole thing for me; planning out what we would do and accommodating odd rental hours so that we could spend the evening on Ambergris Caye.

When we arrived, Mary continued to help me plan his birthday finding a local baker to bake a birthday cake – it was delicious – and placing it in our room so that it was there that night when we got back from being on the boat. She also went to the store to buy us beer for the boating trip and took it to the boat early so that it had time to chill in the cooler before we went out. She went far above and beyond her job and made the day just perfect for us.

Beyond the staff being amazing, the hotel itself was great. It was extremely convenient – located right next to the water taxi. We stayed in one of the cabanas, which was clean and extremely comfortable. The bright colors made it a cheery place to be and although we didn’t spend too much time hanging out in the room when we were lounging around checking internet, it was comfortable, peaceful and well-lit.

The roof-top area was extremely nice to have, even when our neighbors were up there. Whether I was reading on the hammock or just enjoying the view from the lounge chair, I was truly happy that we had opted for the cabana. I loved being able to watch the waves roll in, the boats go by and enjoy a drink from a private setting. It was great - I wouldn’t stay anywhere else!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GetOut11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PHL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2009

My wife and I selected this hotel based on reports here. We were disappointed in a lack of comfort. I know, I know, Caye Caulker is a "backpackers destination", but.. this place is not $25 or $45/night and for the rate we paid ($120/night for a cabana room) I expected more, so did my wife.

For Background:

We had spent a week on Ambergris Caye (Matta Rocks) in December 2008 at $100/night and had a very relaxing comfortable visit. (Bed and Lounge chairs available with cushions, were very comfortable and very nice.)

Good News:

Room was clean, and the staff was friendly, and professional, Laptop and electronics left in room , in the open , with no room safe were completely safe with no concern about theft. No one will steal anything from your room here.

Bad News:

It rained the first two days on the Island, and the only chairs available to sit on (in the room) were two of the $3.99 Kmart white plastic chairs. So.. if you stayed in the room to read that is what you sat on. (Or stayed on the very uncomfortable bed)

Room was very dark (like a cave actually), and water pressure for shower and hot water availability was "hit and miss".

The room lighting was also very poor, and there was not one bright light available to read a book. Hotel did offer a small battery powered LED "reading lamp" and I spent several hours lying in the bed reading with this light balanced on my chest, since it was about 8 inches tall and too small with a too small light output to use any other way. LED reading lamp was a nice try but.. you must be kidding....Sigh..

Bed had no box-spring and mattress was placed directly on concrete "bed frame" which was 'stiff" to be polite, one of the other guests commented that it was suitable for "monks in a monastery" unquote.... I agree. Not a very comfortable bed at all is being polite. Closer to camping out and my portable camping mattress is more comfortable.

When the weather cleared we tried the upstairs "private cabana" rooftop advertised, all should note that this area is not really private and the stairs up to it were in the middle so.. anyone who came up to use the other rooftop cabana had full view of both.

The wooden lounge chairs to sit on were poorly constructed (very non ergonomic) and could have really made effective use of a lounge pillow....None were available , Again.. I know this is a backpackers destination, but.... if you are paying $120/ night I expected more.

Note: I have no issue with sitting on wood.. but there are wood chairs that are built and designed to be comfortable, and there are wood chaise lounges that are poorly designed and very uncomfortable. That is what they had here.

After 7 nights (to fulfill my reservation commitment only) we moved to a condominium 20 yards down the beach, with a full bedroom, living room with futon, and two comfortable chairs to sit in for $100/night. Much nicer and a good value for the rate paid. This place had inexpensive aluminum/web plastic loungers..and these were much more comfortable without any pads.

So..my advice is if you want to try this hotel go ahead, but book one or two nights and walk about the island asking for a "walk up" rate and you will find much nicer places to stay for less money.

If this hotel wants to improve, I strongly suggest:

1.0 investing in some better mattresses, or adding a 3 inch foam pad to the current setup.
2.0 one room light with enough light output to read with, (nice try with the reading lamps available at front desk, but a flashlight clamped in my teeth would be almost the same .)
3.0 one cushioned chair per room to sit in and read in.
4.0 lounge chair cushions for the chairs by the pool.

None of these changes come at great expense, and all of them would significantly improve guest experience. If you want to charge a premium for the cabana rooms with "private" rooftop area.. go ahead.. but.. maybe those guests could at least rate a better mattress, a decent room chair, and a light suitable for reading with.

I will go back to Caye Caulker.. but.. this hotel will not be on my list.

  • Liked — Clean and safe
  • Disliked — No comfort in room or at poolside poorly designed wooden deck lounge chairs
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank cpumechanic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seasidecabanas, Owner at Seaside Cabanas, responded to this review, February 17, 2009
Hello,
Sorry to hear you thought the beds were not comfortable. We have very high quality matress at the hotel and are generally complimented on their comfort. We do have concrete basses as they do throughout Mexico and in hotels far more expensive than ours. This is part of the design style and ensures that the matress stays cool and is free from dirt or bugs that you get in a box spring in the Caribbean.
We have been waiting for our sun bed cushions for several weeks. They are being custom made for us. We have been promised they will be on site within 2 weeks.
These will be on all sunbeds, both around the pool and on roof tops.
We do have brighter lamps availale on request. We encourage guests that are unhappy with anything to ask at reception.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newbury
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 15, 2009

I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Caye Caulker where we stayed at Seaside Cabanas with two other couples. We were really impressed with the Hotel and it's staff. Our room was clean and bright with all we could need for our week's stay. There was some beautiful local artwork on the walls - so beautiful we bought one to bring home with us!I was grateful for the free wireless internet as so many places i have stayed at charge an annoying fee.
We thought the price was really reasonable compared to other places we have been in the Caribbean. The Hotel has a great location and amazing views out to the reef. The pool was a welcome relief from the intense heat. The beaches are not the best but with the reef only short boat ride away, we got over it.
Some of our friends were not divers and spent a lot of time around the pool and in the cool little bar. They also went off to see some Mayan ruins so they were very content.

Highly recommended for couples or group trips, we have booked up for New years so see you again guys!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mikewalker2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cobalt, Connecticut
Level Contributor
49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2009

If you take the boat taxi, this is the first property that you come to when you get off the boat - very convenient. The rooms had internet access and a TV. The pool was lovely with nice landscaping. close to many restaurants. It's particularly nice to have a pool, since there really aren't any good beaches on the island.

Stayed January 2009
Helpful?
1 Thank lschroth
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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