We just got back from Costa Maya Resort 3/27-4/3. We went diving with BAD--they were great! I have written more info on that in response to "not so B.A.D.?", for anyone who is interested in the diving.
We had some fears about staying at Costa Maya due to some of the things we read on this board. While Costa Maya is not as nice as their "five star" advertising would lead you to believe, it is not a horrible resort. I never felt unsafe while staying there, and found the staff to be pleasant and helpful. We went to Belize to dive, not to be pampered at a luxury resort. So, we were pleased with the vacation and the diving.
Since people's tastes and expectations vary, I will try not to be judgemental, and just provide facts on the resort. Prior to leaving for vacation, we received notice from II that some of the features were not going to be available at the resort. The week before our trip we got a call from Costa Maya, re-explaining that. At that time they made arrangements with us for transportation from the airport to the resort. As promised "Jesus" from CMR met us at the airport, he took us and our bags to Fido's to catch the water taxi. He also brought us to the supermarket to pick up items to bring to the hotel, since there are no stores in the resort area.
Checking in at the resort consisted of being handed a key, and giving a copy of your credit card. The front desk person then said, "someone will show you to your room". After a few minutes of waiting, we asked to just be pointed in the right direction.
When we entered our room, we found it clean, but a bit outdated. The floors were all tile. The living room furniture was showing some wear. The kitchen had a bar sized fridge, which was roomy enough for all of our groceries and drinks. There was an electric frying pan, which we cooked in almost every night. The microwave looked new, and was quite powerful. There was a toaster, a blender, and a coffee maker. Dishes: 3 spoons, 4 forks, a cork screw, one steak knife, a few butter knives, 4 coffee mugs, 6 drinking glasses, 4 dinner plates, 4 bowls, 4 small plates, a spatula, and a slotted spoon. They DID NOT provide a can opener, a bottle opener, a cutting board, knives, large bowls, or food storage containers. The miniblind above the sink was missing, but the brackets were there. The bathroom was clean, but we noticed tiny bugs in there when we checked in. They went away when we cooled the room with the air conditioner. They came back in the kitchen one day when I forgot to wipe down the counter. The bed was queen sized and extra firm, with two pillows. The closet was roomy. We did not store anything in any drawers, but they are available. They supply you with drinking water in the room. I noticed our water tank had some small particles floating in it, we dumped it, cleaned the container and spigot, and got a new bottle. The water was clean for the rest of the week.
All of the rooms view the ocean. They all have decks. Some rooms had resin chairs and a table on the deck. Ours didn't, but they brought some to us from a vacant room when we asked. The pool is very small, and shallow. I didn't swim in it, but saw kids in there most of the week. There is a beach, but not really for swimming. It is a beach, with a step down to the ocean, there is lots of seaweed, and very few swimmers. With the tradewinds, you can lay on the beach with out getting too warm anyway.
We did not eat in the restaurant. We did walk to Portofino's one night for dinner. There is a beach bar, that was quite popular. It seems that Costa Maya has the cheapest transportation in to town. $5 US in each direction. Other resorts and the island ferry charge $10 for the same trip.
There was a notice in our room that towels and sheets are changed every 4 days. We left our dirty towels on the floor and they changed them daily.
I did not love the resort, but it was comfortable. I didn't want to leave at the end of the week, but I probably won't go back. I would suggest that Costa Maya be a little more honest with their advertising, and finish their improvements as soon as possible.