It's not easy finding an ideal hotel in the jungles of Belize. The area located central to many of the attractions--Cayo, Belmopan, San Ignacio, etc.--isn't exactly developed like a "first-world" country. Sure there are a few high end jungle resorts but some of them don't even have AC, are really expensive, and require a long off road ride to get to (trust me, you have to drive over a lot of rough terrain to get to the fun attractions--the last thing I'd want is an EXTRA off-road ride to get back to my hotel). After exhaustive research, we went with the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. The hotel accomodations by normal US standards is objectively 3 stars at best, but the combination of other conveniences and customer service makes up for it. I'm holding it to a standard relative to expectations.
The SIRH is exceptionally located for seeing the area attractions. You are in San Ignacio, but up a hill so you are detached from the "downtown" part of San Ignacio which we found to be mildly sketchy. A trip to Tikal is a two hour ride to the west, ATM is an hour away, Jaguar Paw is 90 min away, and Caracol is about 90 min away. Cahal Pech is right there and the Iguana Project (awesome!) is right on site. You're driving to the good stuff no matter what, but San Ignacio is very central which is key. It's all paved roads to get to the hotel.
We stayed in the spa suite converted to a family suite. It had a nice long balcony facing the jungle and three full size beds (aka "doubles"). The room was nothing fancy but it was clean, had comfortable beds, had a great working air conditioner (which was non-negotiable in our search for a hotel), and had no bugs whatsoever in the room. The only downside to the room was that our shower water ran low on hot water after 2 people used it so the other two had to take to luke warm showers. The cleaning services were prompt and there is an evening turn down service.
What sets the SIRH apart really is its customer service. We arranged for van service from the airport and shuttle service to the water taxi terminal outbound with a stop at the Belize Zoo. It was very easy and convenient. Although their concierge can arrange day trips for you it is must more cost effective to find a tour guide in advance. On arrival you get a tour of the grounds and welcome drinks. There is someone at the desk 24/7 and they are all very friendly and really do their best to accomodate all your needs and questions. We ate most of our meals at the Running W steakhouse onsite and really liked it. You can't beat eating on the outdoor patio with its views, but they will bring your meal anywhere you want it. If you want room service, no problem, if you want to eat by the pool, no problem. The pool itself is not heated and was rather cold, but it was clean and refreshing. The hotel also had very reliable wifi, and a computer for use. They can also arrange spa services like in room massages.
A big plus is that they have the Iguana Conservation project right on site--see tripadvisor attraction reviews for this. They run tours every hour from 8 am to 5 pm. It takes less than an hour to see, but it's a really fun quick thing to do. It's a great eco project and the animals are beautiful. We really enjoyed it.
Overall, the SIRH really is an excellent hotel to base the jungle part of your vacation in Belize. I was impressed with their range of services and amenities and their customer service. They have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Open to guests since 1976, San Ignacio Resort Hotel provides unsurpassed levels of luxury and Belizean hospitality. The Resort has been awarded with the title "Hotel of the Year 2012" and "Hospitality Award 2015" by the Belize Tourism Board. Perched on a hillside located within a 17-acre private estate, 72 miles west of Belize City, gives the Resort its unique name of "the only jungle in town". A short walk puts you in downtown San Ignacio or in the middle of Belize's ancient Maya temples known as Cahal Pech. The Hotel offers various amenities where visitors can relax and enjoy amazing views of Belize. In addition, it is home to the award-wining Green Iguana Conservation Project, located on-site. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- San Ignacio Hotel San Ignacio
- San Ignacio Resort Hotel Belize