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“Ok Grounds, Awful Service!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Hidden Valley Inn

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Hidden Valley Inn
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ok Grounds, Awful Service!!”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

My husband and I recently visited Hidden Valley Inn and were beyond thrilled due to the great reviews. On a positive note: The food was absolutely AMAZING and the chefs came out during dinnertime to introduce themselves, which was a really nice gesture. We are real foodies, so when we write that the food was amazing, we mean it.

Unfortunately, the food was the only really great thing about this inn. We had such a miserable experience, which resulted in us leaving the place a couple of days into our stay. We just wanted to have a peaceful and romantic vacation, but the staff kept butting into our business, interrupting our meals, asking us where we'll be spending our time every single day. Additionally, the yoga instructor kept interrupting our meals, as well, attempting to promote her services-it was beyond annoying!

There were many issues which reflected really badly on management. For example: The staff bad-mouthed guests while serving them, thinking that people didn't understand. Well, my husband's first language is Spanish, but the staff was unaware of that and bad-mouthed us and other guests loudly in our presence. There is absolutely no excuse for behavior like that and it reflects on the training, or lack thereof, they received. We travel multiple times a year and never encountered anything as unprofessional as this. Additionally, the staff stood there waiting for tips after every meal, and after every request that was made. Not only that, but if we'd ask for something from the bar, three people started attending us, and then stood there waiting for their tips. It was rude and disgusting. Happens to be, my husband tends to tip hotel employees at the end of our stays, since we hate being busy with carrying money during our vacations. We were going to give some hefty tips, but after the staff's coldness when they realized we weren't tipping, we chose to leave without giving any tips (besides for the chefs, of course).

If that weren't enough, staff kept checking up on us when we were out of our cottage. We were walking and giggling outside one day and a couple of staff members came by to check up on us. I mean, seriously? We're adults and were there to have a nice time, without anyone "babysitting" us. Another thing that was totally unacceptable: We arrived to one of the meals half an hour before the end of mealtime, so for example, if mealtime was 12-2, we arrived at 1:30. The staff made a comment (in Spanish, of course) about us arriving so late, that we shouldn't be served. Not only that, but when they saw us the next day, they "reminded" us that mealtime was between this and this time and that the kitchen will be closing after that time. We were at many all-inclusive resorts and mealtimes (and people) were respected. Even if we'd arrive 2 minutes before the end of mealtime, they would graciously serve us.

Management needs to be uprooted, in our opinion. For things like this to go on....well, it says everything about a place. We switched hotels and were extremely satisfied. As a side note: We never ever had to write a negative review at any of the places we stayed at, so we're not one of those people who could never be satisfied. This place is awful and we wouldn't suggest you see for yourself!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMHVI, Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this review, 25 July 2013
We are sorry to hear that you had a less than satisfactory experience at Hidden Valley, when you stayed with us in June. It is a shame that you did not alert us to the problems while you were here so that we could have addressed them and possibly made a difference to your experience.
In our staff training, one of the things we stress is that the guest is the reason we exist and that their satisfaction, through quality personalized service is our goal. We certainly do not encourage the behavior you describe in your review and will act to stop it whenever we come across it.
The first language of many of our staff is Spanish, and so the conversations they have amongst themselves is often in Spanish. We have asked them to be aware that this may make some guests uncomfortable and to try to use English at all times while at work, except of course, when serving guests who prefer to be spoken to in Spanish. Our staff is generally a happy bunch and they do joke and laugh quite a bit amongst themselves, and we encourage that.
A part of our personalized service involves inquiring about your well-being and your experience on the various excursions or activities that you participate in while at the Inn. We share the feedback with the guides and operators in an effort to improve. We are sorry if you found this intrusive and assure you that our intention is not to “check up on you” or to interfere in any way, but rather to ensure that things are going well.
We appreciate your comments, which we have shared with the staff in an effort to constructively address your complaints and improve our service. If there is anything you might like to add please feel free to contact me by e-mail at gm1@hiddenvalleyinn.com.

Many thanks,
Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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369 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We only stayed here for one night but it was definitely my favorite stay in Belize. Even though the road to Hidden Valley is very long and bumpy, it's all worth it for the vast hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and an accommodating staff that offers hand massages when you arrive! I wished we had more time to explore.

The meals are on the expensive side ($20 for lunch, $30-40 for dinner) but the food and service were excellent. Because of the remote location, you are almost forced to eat at the restaurant.

Our rooms were spotless and the beds and bathroom were decorated with colorful flowers. I had my best sleep here of our entire week-long trip.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank purplec0ws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

My group of 16 friends could not have been happier with our night in the jungle at Hidden Valley Inn. Misael was a pleasure to work with as we made our travel arrangements. The ride there was a bit long and bumpy, but definitely worth it to get to such a remote and exclusive location.

When we arrived, we were greeted by the welcoming staff, including the hand masseuses, for a casual orientation in the sitting area. All our luggage was taken to the appropriate rooms, and when we arrived we were pleased with the tasteful accommodations and obvious effort that went into making us feel pampered. Being the one making the arrangements, we were placed in one of the estate suites, which had the perks of a cozy hammock on the screened porch and an amazing outdoor shower -- a warm morning shower never felt so good!

Since it was late afternoon when we arrived, we were extremely grateful for the van ride to the trailhead for butterfly falls. A short 20-min hike, complete with a tiny snake sighting, got us to the spectacular but chilly pool of the 100-ft falls, which we enjoyed tremendously! Having taken a radio to call for our van, we found the driver waiting for us as we returned to the trailhead. He kindly offered to take us to the lookout for the 800-ft King Vulture Falls, an impressive sight from across the valley. Upon returning to the inn, we enjoyed cocktails by the jacuzzi followed by a delicious dinner, my only comment on the food being that the duck was just a tad overcooked, though friends commented that the steak was grilled to perfection! After dinner we settled in for the night to prepare for the early morning of caving ahead of us.

In the morning, we were treated to a continental breakfast of yogurt and granola, fresh local fruit and juices, and yummy banana-bread and muffins. All around, our jungle adventure started out more like a spa retreat, and I don't think we would've wanted it any other way!

Room Tip: Definitely go with the Estate Suite and if you have a group, get both! You won't regret it!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jackie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 July 2013

On our trip to Belize, we combined a stay here with a stay at La Perla del Caribe in Ambergris Caye. The staff at both properties (different ownership, but they consider themselves "partners") were extremely accommodating and capable when it came to arranging transportation back and forth. Misael was particularly helpful in that regard. This turned out to be a great decision, as the two experiences were very different, but equally wonderful, and we feel like we got to see much more of the country that way.

There is a bit more formality to the experience at Hidden Valley, but not in an off-putting way. In fact, our 7 and 9 year old sons felt so welcome and comfortable there, that my oldest is now planning on applying to work there as soon as he turns 16!

As if the staff and wonderful accommodations weren't enough, the property and trail system is the real reason to stay at Hidden Valley. There are endless possibilities for exploration, and the staff will arrange to have you driven and/or picked up anywhere, and even pack you a lunch and provide you with a 2-way radio so you can always contact the office no matter where on the property you are. Swimming at Butterfly Falls was one of the great thrills of my lifetime, no exaggeration.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Erik Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 June 2013

We booked the room with the outside shower and it was super amazing. We had a hammock in a screened in room and it was super comfortable. The property is huge with tons of trails and the staff is lovely. We did a couple adventures -- to ATM and Caracol and then hiked around the property. To those that dissed the radio receivers -- we got caught in a huge rainstorm monsoon and had to call for them to pick us up since we were miles from the lodge. Maybe the best $10 i've ever spent.

Food is quite expensive here (esp lunch - avg $20 USD) so you might want to plan for that extra expense since there really isn't anything else around.

From timing -- be careful of booking in May/ June around "the first drenching" when all the termites get their wings. They don't live long, but it definitely isn't a pleasant experience. It will happen throughout belize in the mountains so just do your visit timing right!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank melwong2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed 27 June 2013

This is a place where you can adventure, rest, learn, or just be. The service is pleasant, fun, thorough. Little left to be desired. The room we stayed in reminded me of a movie set from 50s films of tropics- shuttered windows with gauzy curtains fluttering in the breeze, overhead fan, warm wood tones, flowers scattered and birds singing. Felt as though we'd slipped into a gentler time. Freddy our driver/guide was a delight. Each activity we chose was in it's individual way, a pleasure. Meals a treat. It really was a vacation for the entire family, ages 7-70.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank J S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baytown
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

This was our fourth trip to Belize but our first visit to the interior. This is a very relaxing place with no television in the rooms but with WiFi internet access should you need or want it. Our room was not air conditioned but none was needed. (There are ceiling fans and plenty of screened windows) Nothing ultra modern here. But, a clean, nice, relaxing room with a comfortable bed. Our bathroom was not big, but hey, you're here for the outdoors and the great food! All of the staff we had contact with were excellent and immediately memorized everyone's name. The food was excellent and the chef visited our table each night to make sure we were happy with the evening's creations. If you are into hiking you will have miles and miles of trails to enjoy. We were not there long enough to do many trails but Cascade is a must do and can be easily completed in a few hours without much difficulty (for this 53 year old anyway, 24 year old daughter with Mountain Goat like ability only had to slow up a little) and Butterfly Falls is well worth the 20 minute hike from the road. The friendly staff will drop you off at the trail head of your choice (with a hand held radio) and pick you up when you have completed it or you can start your hikes from the lodge. Guided trips to other locations are also available such as the trip we took to the Mayan ruins at Caracol with our guide, Rick. Rick is very knowledgeable and courteous. He explained not only the ruins and Mayan beliefs but also other interesting items like what specific plants that we came across were used for by the Mayans. All in all, a very relaxing place with excellent service and food. Not the cheapest but easily worth it. (Side note: Vern with Javier's Flying Service (Actually, he's the owner) flew us to Hidden Valley Inn from Belize City and, if you want easy and fast access to Hidden Valley, Vern is definitely the way to go. He whisked us through the airport at Belize City and we were on our way in no time. He also flew us on to Placencia from Hidden Valley with the same great service.)

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hidden Valley Inn

Property: Hidden Valley Inn
Address: 4 Miles Cooma Cairn Road, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hidden Valley Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden Valley Inn, a Luxury Life Style Boutique Hotel with only 12 rooms, is located on a 7200 acres private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District in Belize. This intimate eco resort offers quality accommodation, fine gourmet food and attentive service in a natural environment. The flora, wildlife and bird watching here are truly unique in the region. Guests staying at this Intimate Luxury Boutique Hotel enjoy exclusive access to over 90 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails as well as many secluded Crystal Pools and Waterfalls set in a tropical rainforest. For those seeking romance, one of the waterfalls may be reserved exclusively for the day.Situated in the Maya mountains, also serves as a convenient base for visiting the various scenic and historical attractions of the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hidden Valley Hotel San Ignacio
Hidden Valley San Ignacio

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