Mata Chica Beach Resort Hotel, San Pedro
Reviews - Mata Chica Beach Resort Hotel
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Mata Chica Beach Resort Hotel
Romantic, relaxing paradisefrom RdJunkie
Anything that you want to do can be arranged for you. One evening we asked for a dive trip for the next day, and although it was a bit late in the day to arrange it, Brazil - Super Concierge - managed to arrange it for us by calling the dive operator at home.
The food at Mambo café is wonderful. It is very well known, and people come from other resorts to dine there. Every meal that we had there was great, and we ended up trying just about everything on the menu by the time we left.
We were there in early/mid August, and the weather was hot, but not too bad. The trade winds that blow through really helps cool things off, especially at night. Misquitos weren't too bad either. They are definitely around, and they usually love me, but I sprayed on repellent with deet each morning and evening, and was okay. Definitely got some bites, but this is a tropical envirnoment, and that's a price to pay.
Mata Chica is a perfect destination for a romantic getaway. People do come with children, but they tend to be old enough to behave themselves respectfully. A rather large group did arrive in the middle of our stay with several children who kind of took over the resort, but there were enough hideaway spots to preserve our peace and quite.
All in all, we loved our time at Mata Chica and would definitely recommend it highly.
It was well worth the pricefrom alberg
A wondrous placefrom TonyDickenson
Exceptional in every way!from liveNlearnBZ
The staff is courteous and attentive without being intrusive. If privacy and relaxation is what you crave, you'll find it here! For the sports minded, we suggest night fishing off the pier. We look forward to visiting our Mata Chica family again and again.
Mr. & Mrs. D. Gould
Paradise comes in small packagesfrom nvqc
When we were about to travel there we read the reviews, including the one from New York in February. That one caused us concern as we were flying from the UK with several flights and boat trip to the hotel and staying for a fortnight.
Having stayed at 5 stars in Europe, Mexico , the Seychelles etc we were not sure what to expect. Well the journey there was well worth it, even to a cabin with a coconut palm roof. The accomodation was very good, the staff both friendly, amusing and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and the food was excellent. Scuba diving was arranged as soon as asked for. While we stayed for 2 nights at the Maruba resort in the jungle, which was a very different but enjoyable time too, we were delighted to get back to the Mata Chica and chill out with no TVs or loud radios. This was an amazing holiday where we could not have been looked after better. If the hotel management read this, then a big thank you to them for a great holiday. None of the criticisms we had read about were present when we were there. You expect wind, and strong ones at times, in the area as well as biting insects as well as other unusual things in hot climates away from home. So what! If you want to relax and have a peaceful holiday then this was the place to be.
I should add that it was made even more memorable on the mainland when we held and fed a 7 week old jaguar cub.
Nick and Cynth
Just go here!!!from DVMDV8
They picked us up at San Pedro airstrip and deposited us at Fido's for a while until more guests arrived for the boat ride to Matachica. This gave us a chance to unwind from the trip and have a few beers and a snack. The boat ride to Matachica is ~15 minutes long and fun! We were greeted with cold towels at Matachica and a cold drink right when we arrived - what a great touch!
I can't describe how romantic and relaxing the whole experience was for us. This is far and away the most breathtaking place I have ever seen, and the Matachica folks pulled it off without a hitch. They also organized 2 dive trips for us through Belize Academy of Diving and those went very well. The water shuttle service to San Pedro seems to run on 'Belize time', but if you are desirous of a place that runs like clockwork, then maybe the tropics isn't your preferred destination. I would suggest Switzerland.
Mambo served wonderful and creative food, and the waitstaff was knowledgeable and helpful at every opportunity. We had several long drawn-out meals there and never felt rushed in the least, and there was always somebody to bring another Belikin or bottle of wine by. The restaurant next door (Rojo) also served excellent food, though the staff was a little more reserved.
If you are looking for predictable, boxy, air conditioned, plaster-lined, modern convenience that runs on time with no local color, then this is not the place for you. If you enjoy sand between your toes, don't mind a warm tropical breeze and a spot of occasional rain, can leave your BlackBerry behind for a few days, like good food and drink and have the perfect travel partner, the you will be happy here.
Hang out in the bar with a rum fizz, take a dip in the hot tub under the moonlight, sit on the beach, go diving, be romantic and enjoy this great and unusual place!
matachica is fantasticfrom carry_on_7
Add to this a genuinely courteous, helpful staff that is always attentive and yet not intrusive and you have what we found to be a hidden gem. Matachica is Travel and Liesure magazine's selection as one of the top 25 island vacation bargains and it is easy to see why. We have stayed at much pricier resorts throughout the Caribbean and not had the value that Matachica provides.
With only 11 casitas, even when at capacity, it is not crowded. In fact when we arrived we were one of three other couples there and obviously felt like we had the entire resort to ourselves. By the time we left, they were booked up and the feeling was not any different. We stayed in a beachfront casita and highly recommend it. The sound of the wind and the waves rocked us to sleep each night. The room was simple, cleaned to perfection daily and comfortably appointed. The hammock on the front porch offered a fantastic view of the beach and the waves breaking on the reef beyond. The large open showers in the bathroom made us wish we had one at home.
Tours and excursions can be arranged at the front desk. The staff is knowledgable and can accomodate special requests. A large selection of DVD movies for viewing in the media room, games and reading material are on hand for guests in the lobby. Computer access and an international pay phone are also provided.
Matachica has a casual appeal that may not be sophisticated enough for some. Those types are better served by corporate resorts on other islands. However, if you want a memorable vacation at a small, well-run, island style resort that definitely gets the details, this one is for you.
Matachica is on our list of places to revisit!
+Meet Ron, the proprieter at the Lime Bar across the road from the San Pedro airport. Nice guy with tons of local information and glad to chat. Plus he has a speaker in the bar connected to the airport intercom so you can hear when your plane is boarding.
+Get to know Oswald, the friendly bar tender at Matachica, who is quick to remeber you and slide a cold Belikin (Belizean) beer across the counter.
+Try the grouper sandwich at Mambo's, Matachica's restaurant. Also, lobster dishes, when in season, are tasty. Actually everything on the menu is excellent. This is quite an impressive restaurant for a boutique resort.
+Carry some insect repellent. This wasn't a problem for us since the trade winds blew steadily the entire six days we were there. Note: Insect repellant is sold in the gift shop and available free to use in the restaurant and bar. The hotel 'fogged' the areas around the casitas with repellant when guests were out of their rooms and had bug zappers located around the grounds.
+Walk San Pedro. This small town is an interesting collection of typical Caribbean culture. Friendly people. No cats!?
+Visit Fido's Bar & Grill in San Pedro. Good food (calamari), cold beer, beachfront scene, island atmosphere.
+Visit a well stocked grocery store within a couple of blocks of the dock where the hotel boat and water taxis tie up. Good place to get snacks and staples. Ask anyone for directions.
+Take a discovery scuba excursion to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. They chum the water and you can pet sharks and rays.
+ Go snorkeling on the reef just offshore from Matachica. The resort has snorkle gear and ocean kayaks you can use for free. Easy and fun. The coral is awesome and the fish are varied and plentiful. Too many to mention except for an impressive barracuda and an eight foot nurse shark that was 'resting'; under a ledge. Very cool.
+Matachica sailboats and bikes are also free to use.
+Eat at Rojo's next door. Nice menu, understed elegance.
+Tune in to the local radio station on the clock radio in the casita. What a musical treat.
A piece of Heaven on Earthfrom DianaJerseyCity
I had researched vacation destinations for months before we decided on Mata Chica. The service was insanely amazing – which we expected from all of the glowing reviews, but it was beyond what we had imagined. One example, when we got off the boat, after being picked up at the airport, we were greeted by a gracious hostess with a perfectly mixed drink. The Mata Chica Beach Resort is strikingly beautiful. I would even say it is down right SEXY, with its eclectic decorative style and it’s warm and welcoming staff; it is certainly a peace of heaven on earth. We took a walk through the grounds before checking in, and it was glorious! Well-maintained with a great view of the Ocean, it was exactly as described in the brochures. Check-in was seamless, our room was flawlessly decorated, the bed was comfy, and linens were super plush, and the air conditioning, when needed, worked perfectly. The pool looked quite nice, we were sorry that we didn't have time to enjoy it. The breakfast buffet was excellent. There is nothing like sipping a chilled glass of fresh orange juice and enjoying the sweetest fruit on earth, while soaking in the view. Lunch and dinner were laidback and equally delightful.
In summary, if you go to Ambergris Caye and you stay anywhere other than Mata Chica, I am sorry! If your destination is Ambergris Caye, and you are in search of a romantic, mature, unstressed vacation then you have to check out this amazing piece of property. The resort is quiet, and definitely geared toward the grown and sexy. Both my girlfriend and I will forever visualize the view from our cozy evening hammock on the pier at Mata Chica. It was so beautiful it has been permanently captured in our memory.
Top Ten Reasons to stay at Mata Chica Beach Resort, Ambergris Caye, Belize:
10 - Diving off the Mata Chica Pier for a bit of snorkeling, with all of its multicolored fish, is unforgettable.
9 - Watching the sunset while sipping a great drink made by Oswald, priceless.
8 - Mata Chica is perfectly situated for a quick water-taxi ride to town for shopping, yet secluded enough to immerse in privacy.
7 – Become mesmerized by the light and color of the Sea and Sky.
6 - The Sea has the perfect myriad of shades of blue for every type of beach lover.
5 - The Casitas, Beach Front, Sea View or Sea Breeze are immaculate, with beautiful dark woods and lovely views.
4 - The delicious cuisine will captivate all pallets
3 - The drinks are flawlessly mixed and the conversation at the bar is always engaging.
2 - The staff immediately makes you feel at home (Grisel, Anita, Oswald, Ruben, water taxi staff, Danny). What a great team!
And the number one reason to say at Mata Chaca… its as if God decided to share a piece of Heaven on Earth and called it Mata Chica.
Can't wait to go back to my home away from home.
Diana & Michelle
Boutique resorts are not for everyone...from divelovers
We have stayed on Ambergris once previously at Victoria House and also stayed on Blackbird Caye. We have stayed in boutique-style resorts in Honduras and Thailand and have stayed in 4 and 5 star hotel-chains around the United States. We would put Mata Chica near the top for active vacationers that want something clean, unique, local, and rustic (in a good way).
Now to our experience, Mata Chica "gets" the details. We tend to prefer active vacations, so walking up the dock to see kayaks, sailboats, windsurfers, and bikes available was a great start. (We had a blast learning to sail for the first time even though we dumped it once 100 m away from shore.) We loved the drinks waiting for us when we arrived as well as the efforts of the intown transfer people to get us to and from Mata Chica. The staff were perfectly timed in asking if we needed anything.
The beach is beautiful. Beachfront on the shore of a reef should be expected to collect seagrass, debris, and contain only coarse sand. We found none of this at Mata Chica. We LOVED the beach. The sea grass in the shallows of the ocean is considered part of the reef habitat and Mata Chica has done a great job of not disturbing this part of the reef ecosystem. (If you don't like sea grass, go to Cancun.)
We stayed in Watermelon (the southernmost beachfront casita) and found the room to be perfect in every way. (I hope they don't change to glass shutters.) The water in the room is culinary and hot water seemed plentiful. The architecture and design of the room was fun and local. The thatch roofs and the wooden shutters are beautiful, but if you get concerned about staying in an airtight bubble, this might not be for you. They don't leak in terms of water but the ocean breeze (which we loved because it kept the bugs away and kept things pleasantly cool) is part of staying anywhere in the Carribean.
The food at Mambo is as good and well-presented as a Danny Meyer restaurant in New York. If that doesn't mean anything to you, trust me. Unless you prefer hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, and hate seafood, Mambo will knock your socks off. The menu is well-rounded with some traditional seafood favorites with a Mambo-added twist. We dined in bare feet most nights. The wait staff, considering they are locals (which is a huge plus for us) and have minimal culinary training were impressive and constantly trying. As with our previous visit we ate one evening meal in town at Elvi's. It was ok. The bakeries around town are nice for a local pastery during the day.
The diving in Ambergris Caye is the number one reason we came back. We like it better than Southern California, Hawaii, Baja Mexico, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Honduras, Thailand, or Blackbird Caye. We like it because of the variety of coral and fish, the short boat rides(10-25 minutes for most), and the quality of the dive shops. Mata Chica does not have a dive shop but was happy to arrange our dives after we arrived.
If you are not a diver but want to see coral and fish, we found a 20 minute kayak toward the reef and jumping off the side with snorkelling gear to be a great diversion. (Note: If you want reliable snorkelling gear, bring it from home. No dive shop anywhere in the Carribean can be expected to have gear that will fit you perfectly.) Also, the Hol Chan trip as well as the Shark Sting Ray trip are both great snorkelling options.
We also did an inland boat trip to the Lamani ruins. If you prefer ruins that are remote and less-accessible to the cruiseship crowd, this is a great choice. The boat ride is LONG, but, feels like you are going deep into the Amazon or something. On the boat ride we saw crocodiles, howler monkeys, and many exotic birds, as well a small village representative of rural Belize. If you like ruins I highly recommend it. It takes all day (leave at 6:30 am return at about 5 pm) .
We tried the spa for massages and found them to be worth every penny. The facility is rustic but clean and very typically Carribean. We also enjoyed the pool and the hot tub. Both are typically Carribean so adjust your expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised.
We went flyfishing for bonefish in the flats on the Western side of the island. I loved it but would not recommend it for a novice flyfisherman. It is challenging because the bonefish spook easily and require near perfect presentation. We went reef fishing last time for red snapper and found it much more forgiving and productive.
As for management, we found them to be friendly, accomodating, and creative in solving problems. One in particular involved the unfortunate necessity on my part of an unavoidable business conference call. They helped make it happen and my deal took place as a result of it. Outside of that call we never used the phone/media/internet room. Stay away if you can! You're on vacation!
In summary, we like it better than Victoria House and paid 20% less for a comparable room. We have never stayed in the same place twice but it turns out we are already making plans to return to Mata Chica. Thanks guys for a great and memorable trip.
A great experiencefrom Superman12
Top Local Tips for San Pedro
Rojo Lounge the Best food in Belize It feels like a hidden gem when you dine at Rojo Lounge. The food is some of the best food you'll eat anywhere, set in a romantic beachfront dining area decorated with red hues. We can't say enough positive things about Jeff and his magical cuisine. If you are lucky enough to be there when they have hog fish (I think that is the name of whole fish we ate) then you MUST eat that. Easily the best fish we've ever eaten and we live on the west coast and eat fresh fish on a regular basis. And if you miss that, eat the gyoza, or the pizza, or just about anything on the menu!!! Just eat there!! And say hi to Jeff (and their 6 dogs if you are lucky enough to see them) from the two Canadian honeymooners that ate there 5 times during their visit.
Tip on dinning at a fraction of the price... For great fresh fish and coconut rice at a fraction of the price, take a quick ride on the Mata Chica ferry service to town and go to Carambas on Middle st. Make sure you let the ferry captain know you will be taking the ferry back to the resort on his next run. Also, when you get to Carambas ask them for take out. The food is great/inexpensive and you avoid the 25 US dollar water taxi fare. This was a great bargain.
Stay North I would recommend that you find a resort on the North End of the Island. It's only a 20 minute water taxi ride into town if you want bars, shopping, night life, etc., but you feel a world away as far as private and beautiful surrounding on the North End.
Other names for Mata Chica Beach Resort Hotel
- matachica beach san pedro
- matachica beach hotel
- Address: Ambergris Caye - San Pedro - Belize
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