Formal Complaint about Costa Maya Reef Resort

Our names are Jason Davies and Rosalie Verwey and we are embarrassed to say we are owners at Costa Maya  Reef Resort.  We are writing this letter in regards to a recent incident we had involving  management and staff at Costa  Maya.  We were scheduled to stay at Costa Maya, along with friends from May 22nd to June 4th 2010.  We own a 2 bedroom unit which sleeps 4 people and it was just Jason and myself staying in this unit.  Wally and Sharon had their own 2 bedroom unit.

During our first visit to belize in 2006 we had the pleasure of meeting and becoming very good friends with a local carpenter named Winston Henderson who was working at Costa Maya at that time.  We keep in close contact with Winston and anticipate our visits with him each time we return to Belize.  In March of this year Winston and his long time girlfriend Ievette were married in Crooked Tree, we were invited to their wedding but unfortunately we could not organize our yearly trip to Belize for that time.  We decided that as a wedding present to Winston and Ievette we would invite them to come and stay with us at Costa  Maya during our trip in May.

Upon Winston and Ievette’s arrival at Costa Maya  on Sunday May 23rd 2010 we were stopped at the end of the pier by resort security and informed that our guests were not able to enter the property. We immediately requested to speak to the manager.  Rodrigo Noguera came out of his office and told us that it was resort policy that Belizean locals were not welcome at Costa Maya. We were absolutely disgusted by this and demanded that these were our guests and as owners at the resort any guest of ours should be a welcomed guest of Costa  Maya!  Since we would not take no for an answer Rodrigo finally said that Winston and Ievette could enter our room as long as we registered them as guests with the front desk. 

We registered them as guests immediately and headed to our room for a cold drink.  We visited for a couple hours and looked at pictures of Winston and Ievettes wedding, then we decided to take to ferry into San Pedro for dinner.  Upon returing to the resort at 10:30 that night after a lovely evening, we were once again met by security at the end of the pier.  They informed us that our guests were only registered for the afternoon and that they were no longer allowed to enter the resort.  Rodrigo was not around and we demanded that the security guard call him immediately.  Upon Rodrigo’s arrival he admitted lying to us earlier and confirmed that the registration of our guests was only for a few hours.

As a heated argument ensued between us more and more staff members began to appear. We were told that we could go to our room but that if our friends (Winston and Ievette) crossed the line on the pier they would be removed from the resort with force!

Realizing that we were outnumbered and obviously were not getting anywhere we had no choice but to send our friends back to San Pedro. Fortunately, they caught the last ferry and Winston assured us that they were okay and would find a place to stay. The next morning we were followed to the end of the pier by security who told us that he thought we would be better off spending the rest or our vacation in town.  We spent all of Monday in San Pedro trying to enjoy our visit with Winston and Ievette.  When we returned to the resort that evening we were made to feel very uncomfortable and unwelcome by all staff members.  Security guards followed us everywhere we went, writing down what we did.

We felt so unsafe and unwelcome that we decided we had no choice but to check-out on Tuesday morning.  With 11 days remaining in our stay we left as staff and management laughed at us.  We left without knowing if we would be compensated or not.  In no way do we feel that this incident is a reflection of Belize or it’s beautiful people. We do however realize that there is a serious problem at Costa Maya that needs to be addressed and by writing this letter we hope that it will be.

6 Responses to “Formal Complaint about Costa Maya Reef Resort”

  1. Martin Smith says:

    If you are owners you should have full access to your property and the so called manager is fortunate it was not me he was talking. I would swear out a warrant for him at the earliest opportunity. This is disgusting!

  2. Liz Melton says:

    You have got to be kidding me! I cannot believe the management at Costa Maya is so stupid as to believe owners do not have the priviledge of having any guest in their own property much less any rule discriminating against any person of any race, creed or religion.

    As a potential new owner in SP I would be very wary of this type of management regarding any potential purchase of real estate at this resort.

  3. T says:

    This is not the first time something like this has happened. i am just glad that someone finally had the courage to voice their complaint out loud. Unfortunately, the staff at costa maya have no voice as they live in perpetual fear of being fired. i have witnessed Rodrigo’s management skills in action several times. it is an absolute disgrace and i only hope that this letter finds its way to the Canadian Management company in charge of Costa Maya Resort. I have additional documentation from guests regarding similar instances. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR-PUBLISH YOUR REVIEW ON TRIP ADVISOR and contact the Canadian company who runs Costa Maya.

  4. F says:

    This is like the 4th person in a month that complains of Costa Maya Reef Resort, i met some people on costal exp the other day and they said Rodrigo was giving them a hard time. Like when the power went out and they would also not allow any LOCALS at the bar! I think the tourism board should request permits to manage hotels!! Especially for managers like RODRIGO that is not even Belizean! CAUSE HE AINT CARE!!!

  5. GH says:

    I think this AH should be fire cause HE DONT CARE!!!! I have seen his poor staff cry and it comes right back to us the costumer!!! I don’t recommend costa maya to anyone…..SORRY but thats the truth! 🙁

  6. Jim Titheridge says:

    This is appalling, what are they trying to achieve by banning locals from the resort. What would happen if one bought a property on site?
    This is what happened in some resorts in Jamaica and it led to serious security problems and resulted in many resorts being segregated from the nationals with high barbed wire fencing, is this what Costa Maya Reef resort want for their customers?
    As a future investor they have now lost any chance of seeing any of my money!!

    The owners of this resort need to get control of their employees and do some serious reorganising if they want to have a business worth anything in the future.
    I agree with “T” This should be put on Trip Advisor. And someone should get in touch with the owners and point them to this site 🙁

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