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Matachica is a chic, tropical hideaway roughly 9.6 km (six miles) from the main town of San Pedro by road, or a pleasant 30 minutes by boat. Thatched palm roofs sit on brightly coloured bungalows and villas, complete with hammocks for lounging. The white sand beach makes an impressive welcome as you arrive at the hotel's newly modelled dock. The 31 rooms are bright and stylish, each with its own individual design and impressive bathroom.

Although simple in style, the hotel has a very personal feel and is perfect for kicking back and relaxing in a charming Belizean environment. Service is excellent, and you can arrange water sports such as snorkelling and diving from a palapa on the beach; relax by the pool or spend time lounging on one of the quirky day beds set along the dock. Kayaks are supplied and there is an infinity pool, spa and a small gym, and the Mambo bar and restaurant serves excellent food (try the jalapeno margarita). The increasing boat traffic around Ambergris Caye does mean that it can occasionally be more difficult to swim out too far in the sea.

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Rooms

Matachica offers a choice of 31 rooms, the Seabreeze Bungalow, Seabreeze Suites, Seaview Cabanas, Reefview Suites, Beachfront Casita, Deluxe Beachfront Casita and Luxury Two Bedroom Caribbean Villa. They are all dotted throughout the resort, none of them are further than 200 feet from the sea but if you are looking to be as close to the water as possible, the beachfront rooms are best as they are just 50 feet from the Caribbean Sea.

Vibrantly coloured and exotic with thatched roofs, the rooms are individually decorated with bright, tropical murals by illustrator Cécile Gariépy, depicting the fruit they are named after. They are spacious with feather duvets, traditional mosaic bathrooms, air-conditioning, ceiling fans and patios with hammocks. There are no TVs in the rooms but there is in the cinema lounge, with an array of DVDs.

Location

Matachica is on Ambergris Caye and only reachable by boat. The resort sits in tropical gardens on a white sand beach that stretches down to the Caribbean Sea. Beyond lies the world's second largest barrier reef, so it's safe to say the underwater world is pretty spectacular.

Matachica is 30 minutes and $10 US dollars by water taxi from the town of San Pedro where you can find shops, bars and restaurants.

Food and Drink

Mambo restaurant serves up seafood and international cuisine. For breakfast you can expect waffles, huevos rancheros, pancakes and omelettes; lunch might be fajitas, quesadillas, or grilled snapper on skewers; for dinner you might try jerk seared sea scallops, slow-roasted lime grouper or chargrilled mango glazed pork chop. It's a tasty sounding menu. Choose a refreshing cocktail or glass of wine, but don't expect a jumping bar scene. If you want to enjoy a bit of the local night life, then San Pedro, a ten minutes' boat ride away, is the place.

Do be aware that the restaurant adds a 15% service charge to all bills.

Families

No children under 16 are allowed to stay at the resort.

Our opinion

A friendly and peaceful place to relax. We love Matachica's colourful rooms, set right on the white sand beach, and its laid-back Caribbean charm.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.