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.
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
Webster's Definition of "COCKTAIL"
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.
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.
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!!
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
do your research and carry lots of cash in small bills.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Caribbean Shores Bed & Breakfast Belize/Hopkins