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“Caveat Emptor--Buyer Beware!”

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Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast
Ranked #4 of 17 Hopkins B&B and Inns
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This is the worst review I have given on Trip Advisor.

If it hadn't been for Annette (breakfast staff 4 days of 7) and the decent facility condition, the rating would have been a 0. We were so pleased with her that we gave her a gift the day we left to say thank you. When you read my review and then the expected subsequent rebuttle from the owners, don't stop there. It has been 2 weeks since returning to the states and this review will be completely by the numbers and with plenty of documentation.

Caveat Emptor--- when purchasing a Living Social deal. Painted as a bargain, this is NO bargain. There was one other offer that came up within the 30 day refund period and I wished we had cancelled this one. Don't let the website pictures fool you.

Any monetary references are in US$$.

This deal was for:
5 nights in a deluxe poolside suite.
Breakfast for two.
Dinner for 2.
2 Welcome cocktails
Roundtrip transport from Dangriga to the property
Cost: $500. Value: $595

We were poolside and the bathroom shower was nice and large. Bed large, although mattress was hard, but not awful. Website photos made room look larger than it was. I stay in many Marriott suites and they are truly deluxe. These were most likely deluxe by Hopkins standards because those locals living in Hopkins village live mostly in shacks.

#1 Problem
Dinner for 2 did not exist and we were told there would be a credit.
Non local meals were $15US.
Lunch for 2 at the property next door, Jaguar Reef, with NO drinks, not even a soda, set us back $27US.
Dinner for 2 at Barracuda Bar & Grill without drinks: $48.
Credit on our hotel bill: $20

#2 Problem
Webster's Definition of "COCKTAIL"
cock·tail (kktl)
1. Any of various mixed alcoholic drinks consisting usually of brandy, whiskey, vodka, or gin combined with fruit juices or other liquors and often served chilled.

Cocktails in the resorts & restaurants near Caribbean Shores cost $6-12 each.

We were served (2)- $2 Beers, which are clearly NOT cocktails by Webster's definition.

#3 Problem
Roundtrip Transport.
We decided to rent a car and when we arrived, we were told by Cindy in the communal kitchen as she was giving us the tour, that she would "credit" our final bill for saving her the trouble ,time and gas(which is $12 a GALLON) of coming to get us.
This was a LIE. She did not credit one dime to our bill.

In their binder with prices of excursions it included prices for transport to the airport it clearly stated $50 p/p for airport transport. Based on her verbal promise, we should have seen an additional credit for the transport.

Note: Cindy made it a point that she followed all the restrictions and policies in the Living Social voucher, but didn't honor the clearly printed deal. CAVEAT EMPTOR.

Problem #4
CONSTRUCTION NOISE COMMENCING between 7:00- 7:30AM AND GOING UNTIL AFTER 5PM the last 4 days we were there!!
Joe & Cindy are building a strip mall with apartments above. While they want to make money in their new venture as fast as possible, they are pissing off the resorts and other businesses AND the few paying customers to the B& B by allowing construction to begin before 8am and not NOTIFYING THE PAYING HOTEL GUESTS IN ADVANCE THAT THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!!

Problem #5
Looks are deceiving
Toilet CONSTANTLY overflowed, to the point where we BROKE a plunger!
Jacuzzi never worked. Begged to put the slide and waterfall on (on 1 time in 8 nights).

Problem #6
NOT on the Beach. What is advertised on the website as "ocean view"... is if you hike to the roof and sit in the blazing sun to enjoy it!

Beach is "Steps away" = 1/8 mile or so. You have to walk thru the property, then thru the Jaguar Reef Property, then across their sand to the beach.

Problem #7
A/C half truth.
In rooms yes, in communal TV area or communal kitchen NO frickin way! There are 2 A/C units there, but Cindy took and hid the remotes so that if you wanted to watch with popcorn the big TV or to cook, you were going to suffer the mosquitoes AND wretched humidity and heat to do it! And on more than one occasion when we left our room even for a short time, someone came and turned the A/C off. Don't boast about A/C if you plan to ration it!

Problem #8
Subjective Service Charges & Lies
On the Belizean government website it clearly states what "taxes" can be legally charged.
In Belize a 12.5% GST is to be collected on hotel rooms. There used to be a 9% Hotel Tax but the new GST became law in January 2013.

A Service Charge is NOT REQUIRED, but CAN be collected according to the government website.

Cindy specifically told my husband that she was REQUIRED to collect BOTH the GST and Service Charge. This was a LIE!!!! But check it out for yourself!

As for the Service Charge....

Our daughter was there on her honeymoon and I HAVE A COPY OF HER FINAL BILL and there was NO SERVICE CHARGE on her bill... and yes, if you look at the B & B website lists a service charge.

Who gets this EXTRA money? Certainly not Annette or those who genuinely care for the welfare of the guests.

Problem #9
60 Cancellation Clause
This is ridiculous! Especially when the Caribbean Shores is clearly subjective about their policies, makes false claims and commits sins of omission on their own website. Good thing credit card companies support the consumer with this mountain of evidence of outright lies and disingenuous business practices that Cindy and Joe displayed.

There are clearly MANY choices for accommodations in the Hopkins area of Belize. We could never recommend this B & B to the many travelers to the faithful TripAdvisor readership or to those who followed our Facebook postings and blogs.

A final note:
Bring copies of all email communications with hotels & excursion companies. Take pics on camera phone of hotel binder, website pages, government pages, any policy & restrictions. Know the Belizean laws and be a wise traveler. Belize is not well suited for children under 13.
Above all...
do your research and carry lots of cash in small bills.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank msmarie22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cindy M, Owner at Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

I do not understand this, all I can say is I will post the daughters receipt on my Caribbean Shores Facebook page and that will prove that these 2 reviews may not be all they say they are. Saddens me, but check out our other reviews, check the receipt copy on FB and make up your own minds. thanks and I appreciate all our wonderful guests! Cindy and Joe

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (119)
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63 - 69 of 119 reviews

Reviewed July 10, 2013

My husband & I stayed at this B & B after purchasing the Groupon that was on Living Social & we had done extensive research the little B & B. We were really excited as it was his first out of the country experience & I was excited to get out of the country for a little while.

Our room was gorgeous, we loved staying there & the facilities in general were clean & tastefully decorated. The pool was lovely but when we got their the jacuzzi was broken & had apparently been for awhile & we were told when Joe returned, he would fix it. He returned 2 days later... & our stay with them was for almost 2 weeks. During our whole stay, & after my husband asked on 3 different occasions if it would be fixed, it was not. His response was "Oh... I haven't even really thought of that... not really a concern." Very shocking & we were never able to enjoy the jacuzzi while asking to turn on the slide always seemed like a hassle or a nuisance to either Joe or Cindy.

When we arrived, on the Groupon it says that you would get dinner & drinks at Joe's Place. Well, not only is Joe's place no longer in business, we did not receive any dinner or drinks but instead were given a $20 comp for 2 meals & 2 drinks. In Belize, dinner & drinks cost you close to 40 dollars!!! That was ridiculous & for a budget conscience couple who arrived past dinner time, it would have been nice for them to change their website to say it no longer is open. It closed in February apparently & we were there in May! Breakfast was good, made by the lovely Annette. We loved her :) So sweet & helpful! Her boyfriend also worked at the b & B (Miurco) & he was also an easy person to work with in booking tours.

For tours, they are VERY expensive if you book through the B & B as they include the gas price (plus some) to the total tour or excursion. I did not know that coming in & wish they would put the price of certain excursions online or be sent it when I asked. She only said that they would handle everything when we got there & so I trusted her but due to the $100+ price on everything (per person by the way) it cut back on our list of things we really wanted to do. Just be aware.

However some things were quite delightful here at the B&B. The location was perfect for getting around the area & going into town & going to the beach. Bikes were readily available & Joe was happy to help you out. Breakfast was always good & had a nice variety. The rooms felt like a getaway & home at the same time & they had a great staff who would come each day to bring you new towels for the day. Staff was friendly & knowledgeable of things you could do while there was worth it & fun.

I was hesitant to write a review about this place because when I looked on Trip Advisor & saw the forceful comment/response that Cindy gave to anyone who wrote a review below a 4 star, it was intimidating & I believe more people have had our experience but are intimidated by the possible brutal response that they will receive. Another couple we made friends with there have decided not to write one because they also fear that kind of response. I do not believe this B & B deserves an "Excellence" award because of the way the management is run. The staff is amazing & friendly but the poor hospitality we received from Cindy & Joe was very disappointing. We also heard they are closing the B & B as soon as they get their apartments built (they are being built next to the facilities there now) which I think is a better choice for them... I've stayed in B & B's before & they did a great job picking the staff & doing interior decorating because Annette & Miurco saved their review on here from it being any lower. Very disappointed & will someday return to Belize, but not to Caribbean Shores.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank ScienceTeacher1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Our stay at Caribbean Shores was excellent. Cindy, Joe and their wonderful staff took care of every detail of our trip! They provided our transportation from the airport and arranged all of our excursions and outings - all of which were great! Snorkeling, cave tubing, and Mayan ruins. We wanted to do a hike at the nearby Cockscomb Wildlife Basin and they arranged our transportation through another hotel nearby. One thing I will say is transportation costs are extremely expensive, and they arrange all of the excursion trips to be early in the morning. When I'm on vacation, I like to be able to sleep in, which I didn't do much of on this trip.

We stayed in the Toucan room which is one of the smaller rooms up on the second floor. While the room was small, it was very nice (especially the bathroom) and it really didn't matter in the end because we were always out and about.

There is a great pool with a water slide and a gorgeous patio where they serve breakfast every morning. Getting into town (the little village of Hopkins) is easy via bike or you can rent a golf cart from a place across the street. The beach is only a few steps away. Hopkins is absolutely gorgeous and very peaceful. Great place for a relaxing vacation. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Book as early as you can as it is a small B&B and they only have a handful of rooms to choose fr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hillary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed five nights at Caribbean Shores in late May. We stayed in one of the poolside suite units. Based on some other reviews, I was a bit concerned about the noise factor of out unit being so close to the pool and directly under the (absolutely beautiful) covered breakfast terrace upstairs. But we found our room to be very quiet, comfortable, clean, and lovingly maintained. The hibiscus blooms on the pillows and towels on arrival were a nice touch and speak to the personal care Cindy and her staff are able to provide to their guests.

While the property is not directly on the water, a short path through the neighboring resort makes this fact totally insignificant. In fact, there is something to be said for being just a bit beyond the boundary of the bigger cluster of resorts in the area. Caribbean Shores more than makes up for this with two levels of terracing that offer spectacular views of both the sea and the mountains. It was great to sit on the top floor and and read or sip a drink while taking in the view and feeling the breeze sweeping in from the sea. Exactly what we were looking for. The breakfast each morning was filling and featured plenty of fresh fruits, and the pool and water slide made both of us feel like teenagers again.

Caribbean Shores is affiliated with Flying Boat Adventures, which is housed on the property and can be used for booking any number of tours or arranging transportation to virtually anywhere. This was a much appreciated convenience, and we found their pricing and options quite competitive. The local driver who was hired to take us to Xunantunich and then to the airport in Dangriga was very good. There were no enough interested people for us to do a catamaran trip as we would have liked, but we hope to do that on a return trip.

Overall, we could not have been happier with our stay. Cindy and her staff know how to provide the personal touch that their guests expect and see to their every convenience while also giving them the privacy they need to relax and enjoy themselves.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ryan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2013

Forty feet of relaxation, enjoyment, and fun! Overall it was a great day of snorkeling, delicious food (Tender pulled port sandwiches with homemade buns, fresh fruit, cole slaw, baked beans and amazing brownies for dessert!) and great company. The captain, deckhand and owner of the catamaran were very accommodating, knowledgeable of their surroundings and fun to be around. It was for a great price, one of our favorite adventures in Belize.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We read all the reviews and were really looking forward to this vacation. As we quickly discovered, all the good reviews are justified. This little BnB is wonderful. The location, the room, the pool and of course Cindy and Joe were all great. They even have a concierge on site that will schedule all your activities. We took advantage of that by going on outings almost everyday. Snorkeling, kayaking, visiting Mayan ruins, even hiking up to a waterfall, all arranged by the concierge. The snorkeling was fabulous. Each day started with a breakfast prepared by Cindy or Anett and ended with cocktails and dinner at one of the many restaurants on the local beach. The weather was warm and a little humid, but it was sunny everyday and never rained. We came back after each outing to a nice, clean and air conditioned room. We had just a wonderful time and really enjoyed this resort.

The only negatives have nothing to do with resort but need to be mentioned. Belize is definitely a third world country. As beautiful as the resort areas are, it was quite a contrast to see how poor the locals are. It was hard to believe that they lived in those rundown shacks. But we did not have a negative experience with any of them.
The roads are another problem. They are horrible, but we spent most of the time in or around the water and rode bikes that were available at the resort.

A final tip: make sure you get to airport at least 1 and 1/2 hours before your flight. We got there 55 minutes before our flight and they would'nt let us board. We had to wait 4 hours for the next flight.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank berniek1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

This trip was magnificent! Cindy and Joe and their wonderful were so helpful and inviting. They absolutely always did their best to accomodate us whatever the need. It was paradise sitting up on their roof deck watching the sunset. Our kids LOVED the pool and spent long hours in there. Joe and Cindy (and staff) were extremely patient with all the children there. The catamaran trip is a DON'T MISS! Gorgeous.


  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Trawalsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast

Address: Sittee River Road, Hopkins 00001, Belize
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Hopkins
Price Range: $71 - $140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A beautiful colonial style building with covered verandas, rooftop deck, pool with waterfall, jetted tub and water slide. A large great room with full kitchen, big screen TV and recreation area equipped with a library of games and movies to choose from. Great for groups to rent the whole resort, room for 14-20 adults and kids. Great diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, zip line, cave tubing, Maya ruin exploring and chocolate making expeditions just a short distance away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast Belize/Hopkins

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