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.