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“A Must Do While in Belize! Absolutely Perfect!”

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Vanilla Hills Lodge
Ranked #1 of 35 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We were looking for a small quiet place to relax while exploring the area. We were so pleased with this choice. The cottages were beautiful, immaculately clean and so peaceful. A short stroll from the main house and nestled in gorgeous foliage, you get the feeling you are a million miles away.

There were three adults in our group and the cottage was perfect; a private bedroom, but also separate living quarters with privacy inlaid doors that could be closed, creating an additional bedroom. Kitchen with everything we needed, coffee pot, fridge, dishes and utensils. There was nothing we needed that was not provided.
A wonderful deck/porch with hammock and chairs to enjoy the afternoon breeze. We walked through their orange orchard to the river, in which Franklin informed us of their plans to build a deck near the river.

The location was a short five minute drive from town, making the shops and restaurants easily accessible, as well as numerous activities; water falls, tubing and the beautiful Mayan Ruins.

Our stay was unfortunately only two days, our only mistake was not allowing for a longer visit.

Claudia and Franklin were so gracious and friendly, eager to answer any questions about the area and their journey in building this wonderful piece of heaven!

We enjoyed breakfasts each morning at the lodge. Unbelievable! Fresh orange juice from oranges just picked from their orchard. Claudia's talents in the kitchen are remarkable. Fresh baked breads and homemade jams were to die for.
They recommended places in town for lunch and dinner, of which we were very pleased.

We have traveled extensively; Jamaica, Hawaii, Europe and numerous places in the Caribbean....
This was by far, the best.....location, food, hosts and accommodations!

You will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank P c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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166 - 172 of 226 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2014

We stayed 3 nights in the Hibiscus house. The owners were amazingly helpful prior to our arrival. Claudia recommended a great tour company and helped figure out transportation around the area. The cabin and the grounds are gorgeous. We marveled over the construction daily. The thought of every amenity. Claudia's meals were to die for (I miss them tremendously). Don't miss out on the fresh picked orange juice! Our last night, they invited us into their home and we had a wonderful meal with new friends. I can not say enough about how wonderful this place is. When I think of our vacation, I think of Vanilla Hills. I would travel back to Belize just to stay there again. A little slice of paradise in the jungle.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Monkghi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

We stayed at Vanilla Hills this past March for 3 nights. We enjoyed everything about it very much, but getting to know Claudia and Franklin, and hearing about their adventure of moving to and living in Belize, made it really memorable. The cabins are quiet, very clean, modern and well equipped. The shower was hot (truly hot!). The food was fresh and fantastic (especially Claudia's homemade breads, jam and brie!). The main house is amazing -- wish it were ours. You have your breakfast at the main house overlooking their orange orchard and forest/jungle. We saw birds and heard howler monkeys. This is not a fancy lodge in the middle of the jungle or within walking of San Ignacio -- this is a great B&B with two cabins (currently) that is a few miles outside San Ignacio but not within walking distance. Claudia arranged our tours, and uses only the best. For our last full day, we were tired of tours and wanted to explore on our own for a day, and Claudia recommended a great day trip for us. We actually stopped at one more place nearby her recommended spots (which were Five Sisters Lodge and Black Rock Falls), which wasn't as good as her recommendations. Should have just trusted her to pick the best! This was the last place we stayed on our 2-week trip and it was a great way to leave. If we get back to Belize, this is the only place we will stay in Cayo as it will feel like we are staying with friends.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dbana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

You've read the reviews with all of the reasons to stay here, and there is honestly no reason NOT to stay here! From the moment you arrive, Claudia and Franklin greet you like old friends with a delicious welcome drink and a chat up on their balcony. Claudia had booked 2 tours for us ahead of time, which we had organized via email. She uses the local guides to keep the groups small and fun. They pick you up right at the house. We ended up doing the ATM cave tour with the other couple staying at Vanilla Hills which was really great! She also helped us with maps and planning for a day at Xunantunich, Cahal Pech and the Iguana Project. We came home to a delicious homemade meal. Every morning breakfast was mouth watering and so fresh. We met amazing people and traded stories and tips. Just go - you won't be sorry!
Claudia was so helpful before we even arrived, she made great suggestions to get the most out of our stay. I would highly recommend renting a car, it is worth it. We drove from Belize City and stopped at the Belize Zoo on the way to San Ignacio. We then used the car to get into town and for our Xunantunich day.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank CanadaSevens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Danslowj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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2  Thank Paul K
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

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 35 B&Bs / Inns in San Ignacio
Price Range: £80 - £111 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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