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“Tranquility and luxury in the forest”

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Vanilla Hills Lodge
Ranked #1 of 34 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Tranquility and luxury in the forest”
Reviewed 19 May 2014

Firstly, Claudia and Franklin are highly attentive, warm and engaging hosts, and we much enjoyed sharing their experiences of their life in Belize so far.
They have an amazing house (forest views for breakfast), and the bespoke wooden cabins are both extremely comfortable - something to look forward to after a long hot day exploring the nearby Mayan sites.
Claudia is one of the best bakers and cooks I've come across - using local ingredients (plus a few imported from Germany), she whipped up different masterpieces and fresh bread every day. Far better food (and much cheaper) than eating in town. The orange juice is grown onsite, and is outrageously good - we were having 2 glasses a day each!
They also provided excellent recommendations for local tours - they strongly favour operators with small groups, and my friend Liz and I were often the only ones on each trip. Exploring Caracol and ATM caves without the crowds is a real treat! They also usually pick up and drop off at Vanilla hills for no extra charge, so don't need to worry about taxis into town.
Overall, we loved our stay, and it was the perfect base to explore the Cayo area. Will definitely be returning!

  • Stayed May 2014
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Helpful?
Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I couldn't recommend Vanilla Hills Lodge more highly! Even before I arrived Claudia was more than helpful in arranging things for me to do and telling me how much things should cost etc. I booked my own transport from the airport to the Lodge and she even contacted them directly with instructions. Vanilla Hills is still pretty new, no sign posts up just yet. Yet Claudia & Franklin have more plans for the 9 acres of land they are transforming. I had the smaller of cabins, yet it's own deck with a hammock and couple of chairs, living area, bedroom, bathroom and kitchenette even a couple of boardgames provided.
Claudia is an amazing cook! Bread to die for, amazing breakfast and dinners I had there in a beautiful setting and great company.
Excellent wifi connection, but if you've booked this place you probably want to get away from it all... get Claudia to book you on ATM cave tour - the driver will come to pick you up no need to make your way into town - which is around BZ$10-15 one way. It isn't within walking distance.

Room Tip: Currently only two cabins available to book - although more are planned. One is bigger than the oth...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Danslowj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elkton, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2014

A hidden gem of Belize!
The location was perfect - there were no shortages of activities and adventures within a close distance. The ATM cave tour was one of the best experiences of our lives!
The hosts were truly delightful, interesting, dynamic, inspiring and adventurous people that we genuinely enjoyed meeting.
The food was everything we had expected from the reviews we had read (the pancakes were to die for, but so was the fresh squeezed orange juice, and the delicious dinner.)
The accommodations were pristine, comfortable, and quite. And above all, we felt like we got a great value for our dollar.
Every aspect of our experience there exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 25 April 2014

A great opportunity to experience the real Belize! We starting the day's with a wonderful breakfast with home made breads and fantastic home made cheeses and jams. The Cabaña Orchid gave us such a beautiful place to come back to and relax before dinner after a fun packed day. Evenings sitting on the deck listening to sounds of the jungle, the chirps of the gecko's, visiting with the other guests, sharing experiences, enjoying an exceptional dinner puts you in such a state of relaxation! You just didn't want the days and evenings to end! Claudia and Franklin were exceptional hosts helping us to enjoy our stay to the maximum! Without them we would have missed so much. The help they gave us was instrumental in making this vacation the best ever!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Christopher R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

I traveled to Belize on vacation a few weeks ago with my boyfriend. Our stay at Vanilla Hills was absolutely amazing! It was the perfect balance between feeling one with nature while still having the safety and cleanliness of a beautifully crafted lodge. I am an Interior Designer, and normally quick to critique places I stay, but here I was admiring all of the thoughtful details that went into building these cabins. The service was far beyond anything you could get at a five star hotel. Claudia and Franklin have the personal touch, and a true happiness for their new Belizean life, making your vacation experience even more of a pleasure. They genuinely want to make sure that you get the most you can out of your stay. And of course Claudia's cooking, completely from scratch, was better than anything you will ever eat. We were there for four nights before heading off to Ambergris Caye, and we were sad to say goodbye!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank sophie k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dfw
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We stayed 4 nights at Vanilla Hills and it was marvelous. Franklin and Claudia are warm, informative, and exceptional hosts. The lodge was beautiful, clean and had everything we needed. Breakfast was always a hit with all of us.I would recommend Vanilla Hills to anyone who is looking for a magical place to stay and relax.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank flipskateboarder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bozeman, Montana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 April 2014

Claudia and Franklin are amazing hosts. We stayed in their Hibiscus cabin, the sheets, towels, everything was first class, a lovely deck to relax on - very nice. The bonus to staying there is that you have the option of having breakfast and/or dinner up on their beautiful deck overlooking the valley. Claudia is an fabulous chef. The food is excellent!! Vanilla Hills is a bit off the beaten track so staying in for meals was a wonderful luxury. We should have stayed longer! We would go back in an heartbeat and stay longer.

Room Tip: Both cabins are lovely and private. Good value too.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank blancotornado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vanilla Hills Lodge

Property: Vanilla Hills Lodge
Address: Vanilla Hills Rd., San Ignacio, Belize
Region: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Vanilla Hills Lodge is situated in the rolling hills of Cayo on a wooded lot on the banks of the Mopan river. Although only five minutes from San Ignacio Town, the tourist center of Western Belize, the lodge is surrounded by peaceful nature. Vanilla Hills is your ideal starting point for a multitude of tours. From here you are within easy reach of famous Maya sites, impressive cave labyrinths, the tropical jungle and many more day tours. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vanilla Hills Lodge Belize/San Ignacio

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