Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:51:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 38025463 2017 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Sat, 28 Jan 2017 20:26:02 +0000 We thank all of our happy guests for another top 1% ranking on TripAdvisor! This time people loved us as a romantic hotel. That’s cool. But don’t let it stop you from coming here if you’re a fun solo traveler or a group of friends, either. 😉 


Thanks again, everybody!


And while we’re at it, we should share that we got this for the hotel too:

And one of these for the Bistro:



National Tourism Awards Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:53:57 +0000 We didn’t win one of the eight coveted awards handed out by the Belize Tourism Board this year, but we were nominated in two categories (“Restaurant of the Year” and “Hotel of the Year”). Winning “Restaurant of the Year” twice in the past really made us proud, and now we have something to work toward again. Congratulations to our friends at San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Splash Dive Center and Vanilla Hills Lodge, and all the other winners too. Next year? Who knows? Like they say, it was an honor just to be nominated. 

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2016 Sun, 10 Jul 2016 14:09:28 +0000 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Maya Beach Hotel Bistro has won and Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator each year since 2013.

Wine Spectator editors announced the 2016 Restaurant Award Winners on July 6, and once again the Maya Beach Hotel Bistro was a winner (and the only restaurant in Belize to date to ever receive this award). 

We try to keep  approximately 150 different wines on our list. Our emphasis is affordable, good quality wines that work well with our menu of seafood, spice, and tropical flavors. A majority of our wines are imported directly, but we also choose some from local distributors. 

Check out and search. You’ll find us!

There’s also a free Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards app for iPhone and iPad. You’ll find us there too, and also in the August issue.


Coconut Room Tue, 05 Apr 2016 22:57:49 +0000

If you can tear yourself away from the balcony overlooking the beach and sea from your comfy outdoor sofa, you’ll notice some other features of the Coconut Room. Like the fact that it has two separate sleeping areas with queen beds, a tiled bathroom, A/C, lots of light, tiled floors and hardwood & rattan furniture. Did we mention the balcony with the comfy sofa?

Coconut Room
  • Main room with 1 queen bed, sofa(bed), small table & chairs
  • Additional bedroom with 1 queen bed
  • 1 bathroom (updated 2012)
  • In-room safe for small valuables
  • Air conditioning in both rooms
  • Mini fridge
  • Balcony with sectional sofa and views of the beach and sea
Compare our Rooms, Suites, and Private Vacation Rentals
Photo Price Sleeps Beds Balcony/Deck Kitchen Pool Other
Maya Apartment              
IMG_4438 $$$$ 6 1 King + 2 Queen Balcony Kitchen Hotel Large apartment
King Tide Apartment              
IMG_4659 $$$+ 2+4 1 King + 2 Futon Covered Deck Kitchen Hotel 700 sf modern
Kingfish Suite              
2013-11-30-4212 $$$ 3 1 King + 1 Single Deck Kitchenette Hotel Privacy and comfort
King Conch Suite              
2013-11-30-4180 - Version 2 $$$ 3 1 King + 1 Single Deck Kitchenette Hotel Same layout as Kingfish
Coconut Room              
IMG_4347 $$$ 5 2 Queen + 1 Sofabed Balcony   Hotel 1 queen in separate room
Jaguar Room              
IMG_0282 $$+ 3 1 Queen + 1 Futon  Small Porch   Hotel Great views on beach level
Toucan Room              
IMG_5295 $$+ 2 1 Queen Balcony   Hotel Sunny, views from balcony
Hummingbird Room              
IMG_4730 $$+  3 1 Queen + 1 Futon Porch   Hotel Beach view from bed!
Hibiscus Room              
IMG_0657 $+  2 1 Queen Patio   Hotel Small inside with nice patio
Flip Flop Palace Suites              
IMG_4111 $$$+  2 1 King, + some have 1 daybed Balcony/Patio Kitchen Hotel Beachfront Suites!
Joya del Mar Main Apartment              
2014-06-15-5931  $$$+  2 + 2  1 King + Futon Balcony Kitchen Hotel Large 1-bedroom apartment
Joya del Mar Upper Suite              
IMG_4361  $$$  2  1 Queen Balcony Kitchenette Hotel 1-bedroom suite
Joya del Mar Junior Backpacker Room              
2014-06-15-5934  $  2  1 Queen    Kitchenette Hotel  No A/C, no beach view
Dreamsicle House Upper              
IMG_1402 $$$+  4 2 Queen Balcony Kitchen Shared btw 3 units 2 Semi-Private Bedroom, 1 Bath, Living Room
Dreamsicle House Lower              
IMG_4359 $$$  6 1 Queen + 2 Double Balcony Kitchen Shared btw 3 units Family budget unit, 2 Sleeping Rooms, 1 Bath
Dreamsicle House Studio              
IMG_1105 $+  2 1 Double Deck Kitchenette Shared btw 3 units Small poolside unit
Agua Villa              
IMG_4840 $$$$$  6 1 Kng + 1 Qn + 2 Sngl Pool deck Kitchen Private 3 Bedroom / 3 Bath



2016 Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:25:08 +0000 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award 2016

TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award 2016

Maya Beach Hotel has won a 2016 Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor! We were named #2 in the Best Bargain Hotels – Belize category. Special thanks to all of our guests who have taken the time to review us online. 

For the 14th year, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travelers around the globe. Winners were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Luxury, Service and Small Hotels. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value.

“We are thrilled to be one of the handful of resorts in Placencia that have received Traveler’s Choice awards,” says Ellen Lee, a Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro owner. 

Maya Beach Hotel also won Traveler’s Choice Awards in 2012 and 2013, including being named on Central America’s Top Small Hotels list.

“We congratulate the properties that have won Travelers’ Choice Hotel awards,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “As travelers consider where to book their next trip, they should be sure to check out these award-winners that have already delighted millions of members of the TripAdvisor community.”



Chef Mary Kay Bader Fri, 22 Jan 2016 13:00:15 +0000 John Lee had been our chef since we opened in 2004. He and Ellen created the menu, updated it along the way, and managed every aspect of the cuisine and operations of the Bistro as it grew. But the hours John was putting in increased right along with the business.

393252_2903186775303_477200100_nIn 2011, we decided to bring in a short-term consulting chef to give John a break, help upgrade the kitchen, and generally improve our organization. This was really successful, and late in the same year we invited Mary Kay Bader, an experienced chef and trainer from the United States, to see what she could do to help us develop things even further.

Wow, what luck to have found her! Mary Kay quickly grasped our concept of “tropical comfort food” and started working with our all-Belizean kitchen crew on new specials and eventually new menu items that fit brilliantly within our menu.  Creative fish and shellfish specials have been flowing out of the kitchen.  New menu favorites have emerged. Our wait staff have it super easy – everybody’s happy!

Mary_Kay“Mary Kay has more experience as a chef than I have,” John says. “Plus, she has so many skills and creative talents. Our kitchen crew are like sponges, learning so many new ways to use the fantastic local ingredients that we have.  Mary Kay has a way of teaching by doing and they all have a lot of respect for her. So do I.”

While Mary Kay has trained at cooking schools in the USA and abroad, like John, she didn’t decide to pursue a career as a chef right away. After attending University she took a position as a social worker. Of course that’s a skill that comes in handy at the Bistro too…but we won’t go in to that right now.

As a trained chef working in Denver, Colorado, she gained some teaching experience at a culinary school in the city and also spent nearly 10 years at one of the consistently best restaurants in Denver — Potager. There, she was one of the key members of the team of chefs, putting her creativity and sense of taste (in more ways than one) in to every dish.

While Mary Kay missed out on the Bistro’s first Restaurant of the Year award, she was certainly a major contributor to our second award and all the accolades ever since.

All hail Mary Kay, queen of fish specials. And bananas.


Vacation time. Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:33:05 +0000 Time to slow down, buy some sunscreen and head to Belize.

New furniture on the beach! Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:32:11 +0000 Look how beautiful the water is today. And the beach. And even our new beach furniture made by some guys right in our own neighborhood.

We’re all ready for your group! Sat, 29 Aug 2015 23:24:09 +0000 Groups of up to 20 are right up our alley! Reservations are necessary, though – and you’ll need to be ready for an early seating of 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. so the kitchen can handle everything efficiently for you.

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2015 Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:40:25 +0000 It’s an honor to represent Belize in Wine Spectator’s annual Restaurant Awards issue. We consider it a challenge to find reasonably-priced wines to pour by the glass and offer by the bottle, given the high duties and taxes on wine imports to Belize. Our head chef Mary Kay and original food and beverage team of John and Ellen take the time to seek out wines that compliment our menu, and we train employees by involving them in tastings, service training, and wine research.