Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#82727 - 03/22/04 08:22 PM Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
dryhorse Offline
We are booked there from 3/28 to 4/4 and we are hearing mixed reviews at best. Dose anyone have the real story about this place?

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#82728 - 03/22/04 08:31 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
goody2shuz Offline
Dryhorse...been in your shoes about a month ago...we'll be visiting for first time in 14 more days...the same time as you. Best bet is to do a search above and put in Costa Maya... what info I have to share is in there and would be way too repetative. If you have any further questions feel free to ask...I am certainly not too knowledgeable and intend to check the place out when we get there...unfortunately it wil be too late to share with you. Good Luck wink

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#82729 - 03/22/04 08:55 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
sandytoes Offline
Dry Horse

By looking at the message board, there are mixed reviews. I will be staying there in April. I wrote directly to the resort a month ago and they said they are making improvements. I would love to hear from someone who has been there recently and possibly see some pictures as the ones on their web site aren't that great.

Thanks

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#82730 - 03/22/04 09:15 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
dryhorse Offline
Quote:
Originally posted by goody2shuz:
Dryhorse...been in your shoes about a month ago...we'll be visiting for first time in 14 more days...the same time as you. Best bet is to do a search above and put in Costa Maya... what info I have to share is in there and would be way too repetative. If you have any further questions feel free to ask...I am certainly not too knowledgeable and intend to check the place out when we get there...unfortunately it wil be too late to share with you. Good Luck wink
Are you staying at Banana Beach or Costa Maya Reef?

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#82731 - 03/22/04 10:22 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
goody2shuz Offline
We're staying at Banana Beach...got out of Costa Maya when we read mixed reviews on the board. Not to say that Costa Maya is not worthy of staying at....we just weighed the mixed information with wanting to make our first trip a memorable one. Costa Maya seemed too far away from things and once we learned that they didn't have the amenities our timeshare listed...we decided to get out and make other arrangements. We intend on checking out the resorts that could posssibly be an exchange for us in the future during our stay. I notice that you will actually be leaving the exact day we are due to arrive laugh Hope all works out...Costa Maya seems to be in a period of revamping and may vey well be a great place to stay. You can help others out by posting more info upon your return as I intend to do as well....Goody

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#82732 - 03/23/04 01:45 AM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
taters & dab Offline
Dryhorse,
We are in the same position as you. Just later. We have several reservations about CMR but we are going to go for it on the 8th of May til 15th. I wrote to the management about all the things that I had heard about the place. They replied that they took over the place last fall. II came and approved them for II but required certain things that were missing. They assured me that they are working as fast as possible (which is not very fast in Belizean time) to correct things there. It is pretty remote but my wife and I don't really mind remote as long as it has enough amenities to make life easy in "easyland". We are going to be close to town for the first part of our trip so we may be ready to "chill out" at CMR. Plan to do some diving, reading and sunbathing.
Hope I have lent some confidence of numbers to you. cool

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#82733 - 03/23/04 05:17 AM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
goody2shuz Offline
Yes....Tators you are correct, Costa Maya is working hard towards upgrading to II's standards...it truly appears to be a nice place. One big plus is that it is very close to Mexico Rocks a terrific snorkeling site which I believe (if I'm not mistaken) you can actually kayak out to with use of the kayaks that the resort supplies....please be sure to post your firsthand information upon return, we are going to try our best to make it up there but just in case I'll be looking for anyone's findings that has actually had the opportunity to stay. As a member of II I would like to eventually use Costa Maya as an exchange resort....have a feeling one trip is not going to be enough...12 more days and counting laugh

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#82734 - 03/23/04 06:30 AM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
dryhorse Offline
OK - We have done some major searching on the BBS and it seems that the negative info came from one user in December. Since then there is no real positive or negative info. Through the very kind and generous support of the users of this site we have gathered some information that I think you all could use. First are these pics that were taken in 2000 (I think). There may have been a huricane since then, but they show the layout and the proximity to the other resorts.

http://ambergriscaye.com/wallpaper/art/casacaribe2b640.jpg

http://ambergriscaye.com/wallpaper/art/barbeach6.jpg

http://ambergriscaye.com/wallpaper/art/casacaribeb640.jpg

Next is the issue of being far from San Pedro. Based on my best estimation the treck can be made from San Pedro via golf cart. It would take 45 minutes. This is based on one account of taking 20 minutes to get to Journey's End from the ferry (3 Mile). It is app. 2 more miles to CMR. So use a gas cart or you may run out of juice. The roads are unimproved so it may be an adventure. One person recommended using the taxi's.

Lastly is the issue of the negative vibe from the users of this web site. There are a few sources of this from what I can determine.

1. The resort used Ebay to sell vacation stays in what may have been (by one user's account) a deceptive fashion. Based on my searching there are no more CMR packages on EBay.

2. The pictures on the CMR web site suck. By one user's account they are very old and not representative of the real thing. This lead to false expectations. The room layouts are also not correct, proven by the fact that they show a stove (so do the digital pics). They have no stoves there.

3. Interval International signed on to book time shares either early '04 or late '03. Amenities that were given to the II people to sell were incorrect. Each side blames the other for this mishap. This caused fear in the people that trusted II and did not expect this kind of a curve ball. I was one of those people, especially only 3 weeks before the book date is when we were notified. Here is the email from one of the resort personell when I emailed with concerns...
___________Start
Dear XXXXX,

You are certainly correct in that there seems to be a great deal of
confusion about the amenities we presently offer at the resort.

The confusion started when II came to view our resort for affiliation. At
that time they saw what we presently have and went through our renovations
plans. Inadvertently on the part of II, someone in their office either got
confused or thought renovations were completed and advised all guests of
amenities based on renovation plans. As we have only started minor
renovations, we have the amenities as originally viewed by II.

Having said that, the resort is very nice, clean, modern and comfortable and
all villas are fully air conditioned. All units have a complete kitchen
except for a stove. In place of the stove we have a microwave over and a
large fry pan for cooking. The kitchen is also equipped with a blender, a
toaster, a coffee maker and the necessary dishes.

We have a mix of queen and king size beds. All one bedrooms have a queen
size bed and there are some king size beds in the two bedroom units.

All one bedroom units have a single sink and the two bedroom units have a
double sink. All units have counter space, cupboards and cabinets.

We have a full service restaurant on site that is opened from 7 a.m. to 9
p.m. and there is one resort with a full restaurant within walking distance.
Other fine restaurants can be accessed on the north shore and in town by
water taxi, our resort boat or golf cart.

We do not yet have telephones in the rooms but we do have a pay phone in the
main lobby.

Golf carts and bikes can be rented in San Pedro Town or at the resort. The
information that we do not rent this equipment at the resort is incorrect.
We have 3 - 4 golf carts at any time and 5 bikes.

We have 4 scheduled boat trips to town each day. As I am not yet aware of
your arrival time in San Pedro, I can not confirm your wait time, however 3
hours certainly does not seem correct.

For your information, we also have kayaks and snorkel equipment for the use
of our guests and these items, along with all other sporting equipment is
complimentary. We also have a pool, a pool table, darts, volleyball, soccer
and horseshoes and a dive shop and dive master on site. In addition, we
have special events several nights a week and some of the best snorkeling in
the area 300 yards off our dock.

Myself and our staff will do our best to make your trip memorable.

If I can be of any further assistance, please email me back.

Regards,

Eric Lawson
Finish_________

Most of these three issues have caused all the problems. Only to be feuled buy the CMR not responding to any of the bbs posts. I have since asked a few more questions with no reply.

We are going to try this place out and put all the myths to rest. I'm even taking my GPS to get some freek'n actual distances between these places.

I can't figure out why more people who have stayed at the CMR are not chiming in.

Thanks to all of you for your support, I hope to return the favor. If anyone has information to the contrary of what I wrote above I welcome the input.

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#82735 - 03/23/04 02:17 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
goody2shuz Offline
Dryhorse...your info is correct...and yes most of the negativity comes from II listing certain amenities on their exchanges that were not there and thus people returning disappointed. I spoke to Eric as well....one thing I can tell you for sure is that he told us the resort is 6 miles from town. On various posts I learned that people could barely get as far North as Journey's End utilizing the golf carts due to lack of useable paths and that resort owners are trying to improve acessibility by putting in their own roadways in front of their resorts. I think that CMR would highly benefit from providing complimentary shuttles to & from town such as Caribe island resort does which is about 5 miles south of town. The expense of $5US/pp each way to get to town via water taxi can really add up for a family of 4,that would be $40 roundtrip each time just to get to town. After spending my first time on AC I may want to return to the tranquility of CMR...that's one of the advantages it does have being away and secluded for those that want to be away from the crowds.

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#82736 - 03/23/04 07:38 PM Re: Costa Maya Reef Resort - HELP
BNBelizeSoon Offline
We were in the same boat as you too, goody and I both bailed at the same time after receiving the letter from II. I was very nervous about staying that far from town ONLY because of my daughter.. I would have had to spend a fortune for water taxis and would have done a lot of worrying about her because the drinking age is 18, and I know she would have wanted to be in town partying! If it would have been just my husband and myself, we would have enjoyed the peace and quiet and have only read good things about the scuba shop there (BAD). I have seen some pictures of the place and it looks beautiful!!! Remote has it's benefits, but it's a downfall when transportation and partying are an issue! We do plan on going and checking it out soon... 17 more days! I really don't think you can go wrong wherever you stay on AC, it all depends on what you want out of it.

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