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“Amazing Retreat with Impeccable staff”

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Copal Tree Lodge, a Muy'Ono Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 April 2011

Machaca Hill is simply beautiful. Your mouth will drop when you enter the place and you will be in awe of your room and the breathtaking views from your spa shower. It is situated on a hill in the forest, and along the river. You are NOT close to the sea, though many of the images on the website show coral reefs, snorkelling and diving... these are all day trips at added expense. Machaca Hill is 5-star location... and simply put if you want to relax and enjoy a beautiful calm location with heavenly staff, and you can afford the heafty bill... it will suite you just fine. We are not 5-star people. We splurged on this big trip and loved the location. If we were to rate it based on value, it is a hard call because the price point is above our typical travel. The lunches, high tea and breakfasts were great. The dinners were not our cup of tea, esp. for the costs. Everything however is served with the highest attention to detail, and presentation. Our waiting staff, noteably Dwayne, Mark, Ducky were amazing. As were the leaders, Vicente, Chan, and Will. The owners are very friendly and work hard to be accomodating and ensure a great trip. We did one day trip. It was VERY NEAT. The highlight was swimming in the Blue Creek Caves and having a Mayan lunch at Vicente's house. HIs wife prepared an amazing local lunch, and even gave you an opportunity to make some tortillas. Was disappointed to find however $2 US charges for each of the pops we drank that day... esp. given the high cost of a day trip! Again, probably just TOO rooky for 5-star travel! Overall... if this type of travel is within your pocket book, Machaca Hill will not disappoint. The surroundings and staff are hard to beat!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank DawnBurke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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229 - 235 of 269 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2011

Machaca Hill is one of those perfect little gems that you hate to review because you want to keep it to yourself, but seeing as the Inn has only 12 rooms (although there are plans afoot to add a few more), there is little chance it will be over-run.

It is set on a hill in the jungle, with rooms peering out into the forest canopy. Rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with a built-in screened balcony where you can immerse yourself in the outdoors. Showers have a full length glass wall peering out into the jungle (or the jungle peering back at you!), which is a lot of fun. Be prepared to bring earplugs, as the howler monkeys are quite committed to their howling.

The Inn has recently acquired new management, and the proprietors Christine and Devon greeted us like long lost friends on our arrival. Each day they checked with us to see how our day went, so we felt very cared for.

Food was delicious and healthy as most of it was grown on their own farm. Still the chef generously made accommodations for our picky kids, preparing chicken nuggets and pasta for them each day.

The staff are a great asset to the Inn. Restaurant and front desk personnel were unfailingly cheerful, outgoing, and friendly. The guides, whose services are built into the price, were exceptionally knowledgeable, solicitous, and fun. They seemed to know the name of every plant, bird and animal we saw. We learned a lot about Mayan history, local culture, and the flora and fauna from them.

Only one guide could have been a bit more attentive on our snorkeling trip, perhaps leading us around the shore to identify fish (rather than using that time to do his own fishing). Also, a more centralized trip planning system would be helpful. Currently, most trips are planned a day or so before with the guides. When the hotel is full, the guides must struggle to balance everyone's wishes with the length of their stay, and the process of making and confirming your trip is a little unclear. If guests could indicate which trips they want to make when they check in (or before), I am sure it would be easier to coordinate.

Our stay at Machaca was unforgettable--from the warmth of everyone who works there, to the way the Inn has nestled itself into the surrounding jungle. We would recommend this place to anyone!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank readytogo2010NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2011

My husband and I went for our honeymoon and we had a wonderful time. There isn't any nightlife or lots of other people and tourists - this resort is definitely off the beaten path if that is what you are looking for! This is the place to relax, rest, and rejuvenate the soul all the while doing as much adventure and exploring you want! All the staff were completely amazing - so accommodating, knowledgeable, and friendly. Our guide, Yogi, was awesome. There are two brand new managers and they are great as well...Our favorite excursion was to the caves/waterfalls - one of he coolest experience of our lives :) There are SO many different excursions and activities to do... By far the best thing about this place are the DINNERS they are so good! Chef Ken is great! The wildlife and scenery is beautiful as well - the howler monkeys are loud in the morning but an awesome sight to behold. If you want a RELAXING, PRIVATE, and ADVENTUROUS trip this is the place to be in Belize.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank WilliamsTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Starting with the cool small airplane flight to the resort and flying just above the water was sensational.

Upon landing, we were picked up by these cool open air vehicles and in about 10 minutes we arrived at this step mountain to the lodge right in the rainforest. Amazing!


Stayed 2nd week of March only for a few nights but it was not long enough by a long shot!

Staff are amazing..so genuinely friendly and helpful..just to name a few: Timothy & Ducky & Vince. Christine & Devon, the new managers of Machaca were so friendly and accomodating ... very seasoned at what they do. They have worked in the Caribbean for the last 5 years at Laluna and you can tell they are really happy to be in Belize. It is the joy that they exude that really adds to the whole experience...so funny and easy going yet super attentive!


The bathrooms are incredible with these enormous stone showers and a full glass floor to ceilling window looking out to the rain forest. Truly amazing. I can't say enough about the place. I can't wait to go back. Breaathtaking and relaxing all at the same time.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank 7trailblazer7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2011

This place is truly unbelievable. The lodge (a series of cabins) sits high on a hill over the Rio Grande. The jungle is lush and there is abundant wildlife, including howler monkeys that will serenade you to sleep. The lodge provides kayaks and canoes, plus rentable motorboats, for use on the river. There's a quaint little tram that you can take back up from the river if you don't feel like walking the 300+ steps. There are paths throughout the property for hiking. The spa is lovely and the pool area is very nice, though we did not spend much time there. Most of the food is farmed onsite and, as a consequence, every meal is made with fresh ingredients. You will want to go with one of the meal packages since the place is pretty remote; you won't be walking anywhere for your meals. The room itself was very spacious, clean and comfortable. The staff are incredible -- nice, helpful, knowledgeable. We took a number of excursions from the lodge (Mayan ruins, national park, chocolate making) and were escorted by lodge staff. The trips were a lot of fun.

Change is afoot, however, and travelers should pay attention to more recent reviews. We had the privilege of staying there during the departure of the outgoing managers, Brian and Jane. Brian and Jane are responsible for many of the positive changes that occurred over the past 3 years. They've returned to South Africa before joining a new venture in the Maldives. It is clear that the staff revered Brian and Jane and that the new management team will have big shoes to fill. Since we were there for the transition, reviews after this one should reflect the impact of the new management team.

Finally, be advised that expenses for your stay can mount quickly. While all of the activities on the lodge grounds are included in your room rate, anything off grounds generally includes (excellent, excellent) guide services from lodge staff. Don't be afraid to ask what these services will cost you if price is a factor.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jackonferry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2011

The staff are remarkable: the people of Belize are truly wonderful. Having previously lived in the Caribbean, we have NEVER encountered such consistently, untainted, un-pretentious, genuinely nice service staff. Nothing is too much trouble! The atmosphere, the environment and surroundings are gorgeous, but only exceeded by the employees. The food and accommodations are good, but we would return for the staff and the outings! ( and the massage in the spa!). Thank you to Wilfred, Vince and George in particular.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank teddytoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

Just go!
We were welcomed into the hearts of Ms.Jane and her family with an outstanding staff! Our personal guide, Vincent became our dear friend, amongst others at the Lodge. From bird watching, chocolate making, canoeing, cave exploring, jungle biking .....meals.....first class service in every way imaginable. What a special place this is. Words can't describe. Simply, a piece of heaven!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank foxy90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Copal Tree Lodge, a Muy'Ono Resort

Address: Wilson Road, Punta Gorda, Belize (Formerly Belcampo Lodge)
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Toledo District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Price Range: £158 - £549 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Copal Tree Lodge, a Muy'Ono Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Agritourism-chic in Punta Gorda: a Jungle Lodge, organic farm and a 12,000-acre nature reserve. Set in the verdant hills above the Caribbean coast of southern Belize in the town of Punta Gorda. From our dock you can embark on our tranquil cruises on the jungle reaches of the Rio Grande, or our guided snorkeling and fishing adventures on the Caribbean Sea. Nim Li Punit and many other attractions are located nearby. At the heart of Belcampo Belize is the Main Lodge with our Jungle Farm Restaurant, the Rum Bar, the Jungle Spa, lounge areas, a swimming pool, and observation decks that open to stunning vistas of the coast, the Maya Mountains and a seemingly endless pristine rainforest. Our 16 individual, spacious suites are well appointed with plush beds, screened fresh-air verandas, and spa-style bathrooms with floor to ceiling tropical rainforest views. Belcampo Belize has 16 private suites offering the best in luxury and comfort. A testament to Belize's natural beauty and craftsmanship, nearly every detail, from the woodwork to the tiles to the artwork, is sourced from local artisans. If you're relaxing on one of the canopy beds or lounging on your own private veranda, you will experience the magic of the jungle within the comfort of your room. Enjoy a drink in our Rum Room with ingredients sourced from our own Cocktail Garden. Meals (including complimentary breakfast daily) are served in our Jungle Farm restaurant. We produce on-site more than 70% of the food we serve to Lodge guests. With extensive gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock, our day-to-day food production is a hive of activity year round. Optional tours available are: •Snorkeling •Scuba diving •Fly fishing •Birding •Cultural tours ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
Copal Tree Lodge, a Muy'Ono Resort Belize/Punta Gorda

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