MATACHICA : AN ISLAND ESCAPE ON AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE
Matachica is minutes away from the world’s second largest barrier reef, beside the turquoise waters and placed on the island of Ambergris Caye. This small village style resort is sprinkled with rainbow-painted casitas, uniquely decorated with hand-picked local artworks and furniture reflecting a true boho-chic ambiance.
After a short 20 minute flight from San Ignacio, we were met by a Matachica transport member who quickly got us settled onto a golf buggy to the port where the resorts speed boat was waiting to take us to the resort. En route to our abode for a few nights, we were asked our cocktail preference so they would be ready to greet us on arrival.
On arrival and alighting the boat, we were met on the resorts private pier by reception staff and presented with our coconut mojitos, after which check-in was a breeze.
RECEPTION & COMMUNAL RELAXATION
The thatched building at the end of the pier and at the epicentre of the resort was the reception. Furnished with bamboo and teak furniture and a thatched roof, its a great place to sit and relax away from the heat, or have a game of pool in the adjoining games rooms. It’s also a thoroughfare to the restaurants, pool area and bar and also takes you to the resorts gardens.
WELCOME TO LIME: THE SEA BREEZE SUITE
The 31 abodes at Matachica go from sea breeze bungalows up to luxury beachfront villas. We opted for a sea breeze suite called Lime. Each of the abodes are named after the colour they are painted. The sea breeze Suite is 500 square feet of sheer barefoot luxury.
This 500-square-foot villa of casual elegance is located 200 feet from the Caribbean Sea with garden view and features a king-size bed, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, sitting area with comfortable sofa, private patio with hammock, feather duvet, Matouk and Frette linens, bathrobes and Central American interior furnishings.
The bathroom behind the living space is open plan and features a rainfall shower, double sinks, dressing area, louvre fronted wardrobes and even an area you can soak your feet in petal scented water.
We even had a friendly Iguana residing with us in our thatched roof. He was pretty harmless we discovered one day when he decided to run out onto our veranda!
WINING & DINING
The Mambo Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge celebrate both International and the uniquely Belizean cuisine and celebrate local flavours and aromas in an exotic environment. Nestled under our two signature Palapas, Mambo offers candlelit seating both indoors and outdoors to the soothing sound of the sea breeze. The restaurant is renowned as the best on the island, combined with a creative cocktail menu and sophisticated wine list.
Freshness is of the utmost importance at Mambo and reflected in the the preparation of their own bread, pastas, and pastries by hand in-house. Food at Manbo is Inspired by local tastes and by the natural surroundings, fresh seafood is their speciality. Many of the vegetables are home-grown by Samuel, a Mayan farmer, located at Matachica’s sister resort, Gaia River Lodge, ensuring quality and freshness, while supporting local farming operations.
From the farms of the Cayo agricultural district to the waters of Ambergris Caye, Matachica’s acclaimed chef, Reynaldo, takes the best ingredients that Belize has to offer, to produce an incredible Belizean feast, which I can vouch will tantalise your taste buds and awaken the senses.
Mambo offers a varied vegetarian menu and accommodates vegan and/or gluten-free meals upon request.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served at Mambo with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks being available at Mambo’s lounge throughout the day and night.
MATACHICA’S JADE SPA
Visit Matachica’s gorgeously quaint Jade Spa and indulge your body with a deeply rejuvenating massage or treatment. The spa treatments feature natural ingredients, sourced from the Belizean wilderness and prepared locally. From banana and papaya facials to coffee-infused scrubs and from chocolate body wraps to traditional deep-tissue massages. The spa strives to treat your body to a singularly Belizean restorative experience.
ACTIVITIES AT MATACHICA
If you fancy mixing up the Matachica de-plug and relax ethos with some activity then there is also plenty to do.
A fancy outdoor pool, if dipping in the sea isn’t your thing. It’s also located quite closely to the outdoor bar so relaxing, dipping in the pool and refuelling is in good proportion here.
Additionally, Matachica offers complimentary snorkel equipment so make use of the reef and see some marine-life. Kayaks are also complimentary as well as sunfish sailboats and bicycles to explore the surrounding areas.
Off-site activities include scuba diving, cave tubing, helicopter adventures, visiting local Mayan ruins, cave tubing and many more.
We took the resorts boast shuttle to San Pedro the main town in the area for a mooch around one afternoon and explore island life in depth. It’s possible to walk or hire a golf buggy to scout out the island.
If like me you’re a Madonna fan then it will literally be music to your ears to learn that the 1986 classic, ‘La Isla Bonita’ was written after she visited San Pedro and totally fell in Iove with it. I guess that was before the secret was out of San Pedros beauty and the tourists flocked.
During our jaunt around we discovered many bars and restaurants as well as Belize Chocolate, which has British owners. They serve the most delicious Belizean chocolate products and also do classes if you’re a choc fan this is your place!
Matachica operates the same sustainability policy as their sister resort, Gaia whereby they have a priority in supporting the local economy. Recycling, using foods produced in their own gardens, adopting a no plastic policy within the resort and keeping wasteful emissions to a minimal is just part and parcel of reducing the carbon footprint on the planet.
And then for the hardest part, leaving island life!
SHEER UNADULTERATED PERFECTION FOR
Couples, Honeymoons, special occasions, Rest & Relaxation.
Matachica Resort & Spa
For best rates, book directly through Matachica’s website at https://matachica.com/resort/
Disclaimer: We were upgraded to the Sea Breeze Suite for the purposes of this review however all views, opinions and photography are my own and therefore remain a copyright of be-lavie.
Let me know what you thought of our island paradise, Matachica, in the comments below.