Me and my boyfriend stayed at Tranquility Lodge for the last 2 nights of our 2 week Belizean trip. In hindsight, I wish we had planned for more time here- it was the best part of our holiday by far.
We stayed in one of the casitas, so can only speak for that room, but it was truly spectacular. The design of the structure draws the surrounding forest into the room. There are no windows, only mesh to keep the bugs out, and when you take a shower in the all-wooden bathroom it's like showering outdoors. There is no air-con, only a ceiling fan, but it provides enough cool air to make the night comfortable. There is also no TV, but for me this is a positive: too many modern appliances, glass windows and the like would destroy the rustic, sylvan feel of the room. It embodies it's Tranquil namesake, that's for sure.
However, what made our stay truly special was Suzanne and Lee themselves. We arrived unexpectedly early, but the room was ready and they welcomed us in. They cooked for us, arranged tours for us and drove us to the bus station in Punta Gorda at 5.30am! I repeat- that's AM, the morning one! It seemed as though no request was too much trouble, and they were genuinely happy to have us stay there. I think that defines what makes a great host: some smile, are polite, and outwardly do nothing wrong, but the relationship never evolves beyond customer-vendor. Others (and Suzanne and Lee fall into this category) welcome you in as a friend, share snippets of their lives with you and make sure your holiday exceeds what you expected, not simply met with it.
They arranged the Ixcacao chocolate tour for us, which was fantastic. Juan, the owner of the farm, showed us where he grows the cacao and sugar cane, and then we got to make our own chocolate. It was really interesting, and Juan is full of facts not only about chocolate but also the ancient Maya, wildlife of Belize and all manner of quirks- I almost wish I had taken a notepad and pen to jot some of it down.
They also took us to see Belize's first Earthship (located right next to the Lubaantun Mayan ruins, so you can do both at once). Made entirely of waste and glass bottles, the Earthship is an architectural green wonder. You can see pictures of it on the internet, but they definitely don't do it any justice. To truly appreciate the building you need light streaming through the bottles, birdsong all around you and a beer in your hand! We spent a couple of hours there with Suzanne and Lee, Richard and Alisa and their childred, I only wish we had more time.
If you are going to stay in Belize, then definitely make a stop at Tranquility Lodge. I think the proof that it is so great is that I have written a review about it, and I have never written a review in my life. Not about a restaurant, hotel, book- nothing. I simply felt compelled to write this review because Suzanne and Lee deserve it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in a peaceful, secluded setting on 20 acres of lush tropical gardens and jungle, Chaab'il B'e Lodge and Casitas is the best choice for nature loving travelers to Southern Belize. Use the lodge as your base for exploring the cultural, archaeological, and eco-adventure activities of Toledo District. Afterwards, enjoy great food, hospitality and pleasingly rustic yet oh so comfortable accommodations. Take the trail less traveled... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chaab'Il B'e Lodge & Casitas Belize/Punta Gorda