Portofino vs. Matachica

Posted By: mulatta

Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/15/03 04:29 PM

I did find more on Portofino afte changing some of the parameters on the search page. I have to honestly say though, that it doesn't help at ALL!!! Not one person said any bad/negative thing about either place that would help to sway my decision one way or the other. I don't care at all about being far from San Pedro..I will after all be on my honeymoon and I can catch a boat. I love both places, although I think one offers a better honeymoon package thant the other. I guess now it will have to boil down to price...although how can I truly pick...opening up bedroom doors and stepping out onto the beach vs. a tree top suite with windows and a view galore! Maybe I'll just have to do paper rock scissors :-) Thanks for your help!
Posted By: captjeff

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/15/03 05:51 PM

go to the honey moon post have a good thing to say a portafino ,.good luck yours capt jeff
Posted By: seashell

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/15/03 09:13 PM

I loved the layout of Mata Chica and the individual casita's looking out onto the ocean had a wonderful ambiance, inside and out.
Posted By: Nfpolaris

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/15/03 11:09 PM

I loved Portofino....and the service is great!!
Posted By: Phoenix East

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 01:01 AM

The movie stars stay with mata chica when they come to Ambergris.
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 03:49 PM

See...this is what I mean! :-) How can we possibly decide when they both sound so great! I wish I could afford a 2 or 3 week honeymoon.
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 04:08 PM

They're both very good places and excellent honeymoon spots. I'd just make these little comments:

* You might find Portofino's service a little more personal. I know that has been the comments I've gotten from guests and also that's been my experience when I've visited, as the owner-managers at Portofino are young and enthusiastic and very personally involved in running the hotel. Not that Phillip and Nadia are not personally involved at Mata Chica, but when I visit there on inspection visits for Fodor's or another guidebook I usually deal with a manager. Course, it could just be timing.

* For a honeymoon, privacy is important. Mata Chica's cabanas are single units and do offer privacy, but some of Portofino's units are duplexes. So it might depend on what is available at Portofino on the dates you need.

* Mata Chica is definitely more of a high-design kind of place. Down to the menu designs and the bathroom sinks. Very sophisticated. Portofino has more of a casual atmosphere. On the other hand, I was impressed by some of the little details at Portofino, like the way the housekeeper (or someone) had arranged flowers and shells for arriving honeymooners. (The Lodge at Chaa Creek does the same thing in its honeymoon suites.)

* Mata Chica's restaurant is more expensive.

* Portofino is newer. Mata Chica's units are in good shape, though when I was by there this summer the paint on the exterior of the cabanas had faded a lot from the sun compared to the last time I was there.

* Surprisingly, neither has an in-ground swimming pool, which is becoming a must for resorts all over Belize.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 08:55 PM

Thanks for your comments...that is very helpful. I'll keep your comments in mind...they are exactly what I needed to make an informed decision. One question...why is a pool important when you are so close to the ocean?? I guess just to relax in and float around in...would there be any reason why a pool would be a priority??
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 09:11 PM

with these hotels 11 miles away from San Pedro...will we find it hard/inconvenient to go to San Pedro for dinner or drinks??? I like the idea of being away but would like to get into San Pedro and see what its like too
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/16/03 10:05 PM

Not hard but possibly inconvenient. Both hotels have a complementary shuttle a few times a day. Otherwise you will need to take the island ferry or a private water taxi. For dinners or daytime, it is not too much trouble. For late nightlife, it can be a hassle.

If you think you want to be more accessible to town, look at Victoria House. On par with the others but S of town so accessible by road.
Posted By: klcman

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/17/03 01:26 AM

and then, if you are still betwixt & between, you could always book time at both.
Posted By: lovey and thurston

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/17/03 02:22 AM

I agree with the advise to check out Victoria House. Think it is comparable and does have a pool,lovely grounds, convenience to town. It is a very popular spot with honeymooners.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/17/03 02:32 PM

Neither Portofino nor Mata Chica is 11 miles from San Pedro !!
Mata Chica is about 5.5 Miles from San Pedro and Portofino is about 6.25 miles.
Posted By: JanetBoston

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/17/03 08:29 PM

In answer to your question about the need for a pool, do a search on "beach". Since you'll be inside the reef there's alot of sea grass and not much wave action. Some people don't like swimming in those conditions so a pool is a good option. The beaches are pretty, but not what you'd see on Caribbean islands usually.
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/18/03 09:25 PM

Now I am thinking maybe we should look into Victoria House. Are the casitas nice? I would like to stay in the Honeymoon suite, but it looks a little expensive. They have a great honeymoon package tho.
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/18/03 10:44 PM

Casitas are very nice. Honeymoon suite is also very nice but not worth the extra bucks (IMHO)
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/18/03 11:45 PM

OH indecision!! I just want to visit Belize/Ambergris Caye. I have been researching for so long and the sad thing is...I'm not getting married until AUGUST! I want to lay on the beach, visit San Pedro, see all that there is to see... and I'm starting to sound cheesy laugh
Posted By: seashell

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 12:50 AM

Then Victoria House it is. There. No more indecision and meets all of your criteria and more. Enjoy.
Posted By: toad

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 12:56 AM

the casitas are hot.
Posted By: Who's Your Daddy

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 01:34 AM

What is the customary tip for fishing trips?
Posted By: kayak4

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 02:44 AM


We honeymooned in Barbados 11 years ago and then got stuck on Bermuda. It was only this past May that we found Mata Chica and Belize. We've made 2 trips in 2003 and we have kids aged 1 and 2. Does that tell you something?

Mata Chica is everything a newly married couple could want. It is private, yet you can have anything you want. Get an ocean front casita...Papaya if you can. Mambo's (the restaurant is expensive but no more so than a nice restaurant in the US) and is fabulous. I'm a true, blue Southerner and love to eat.

I promise that if this is where you choose to stay you will not regret it. E-mail me personally if you want more.

Christine (booking our next trip TOMORROW!!!)
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 03:43 PM

toad--what do you mean the casitas are "hot"? Like temperature hot???? confused
Thanks for the suggestion about mata chica. We are still deciding since we have plenty of time until the honeymoon. I think the honeymoon is becoming first priority over the actual wedding!! Portofino vs. Mata Chica vs. Victoria House ...maybe I should just take a 3 week honeymoon and stay at them all
Posted By: Nfpolaris

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 04:37 PM

Casitas have a thatched roof, so even with the a/c on, cold air escapes. It's not bad, just not a cool as the rooms with concrete ceilings that "seal" in the air. I love Victoria house too...if easy access to town is a priority, this is your best bet. Plus, in my opinion they have the best Ceviche on the island!! smile
Posted By: dogmatic prevaricator

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 04:52 PM

My understanding of convection has been turned upside down.
Posted By: Nfpolaris

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/19/03 05:20 PM

Cold air escapes, hot air gets in....Whatever! Outcome is all the same.
Posted By: k8bug

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/22/03 05:52 PM

my fiancee and i are considering going to mata chica for our honeymoon- christine (kayak4) or anyone who has been there:
could you tell me about the beach around the resort? we have some friends who went to victoria house who said the beach near there was kind of junky.
also, how secluded is mata chica? we would like to feel like we are in the middle of nowhere!
other advice/opinions welcome.
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/22/03 09:07 PM

Victoria HOuse is booked during the week of my honeymoon! Not that I won't enjoy myself if I don't stay there...but after talking to everyone I REALLY was geared and excited to stay there. Hopefully, Portofino and Mata Chica are available...guess I better get on the good foot with my reservations...geez, my honeymoon isn't until AUGUST! Plus, I really wanted to stay somewhere with a pool and closer to San Pedro after talking to everyone. confused But, I guess that narrows my decision down, huh? wink
Posted By: dms

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/22/03 09:20 PM


Call Victoria House again (it never hurts)
Posted By: mulatta

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/22/03 09:45 PM

I just tried today after seeing on their website last week that it was booked. I am going to try one more time before I book anywhere else. It looks so nice...but so do Portofino and Mata Chica...
Posted By: blg8878

Re: Portofino vs. Matachica - 12/22/03 09:48 PM

we just booked our honeymoon for June and are staying at Ramon's...have heard wonderful things about it..if you are looking to be close to town with a nice pool, you may want to check it out.
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