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“Exceptional hotel and extraordinary staff”
Review of Gaia Riverlodge

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Gaia Riverlodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 April 2014

It is difficult to put into words just how special the Gaia Riverlodge is to my family. We stayed only three nights, and wished that it could have been longer. As a guest, you are in a cared for by an excellent, attentive staff in surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.

We stayed with our 13-year-old daughter at the Riverside Villa. It is set far apart from the rest of the property. It's a short hike to the main lodge, but over steep terrain. I was on crutches, so the staff always drove me to and from the villa.

The villa itself is out of a dream. It consists of two separate stand-alone rooms, each with a full bath. The main room also has a fully equipped kitchen, it a guest chose to cook. We did not, but enjoyed making coffee each morning and watching the birds. My husband and I opted to sleep on the fold out couch so we could use the kitchen in the morning. The couch was as firm and comfortable as a regular bed, and our semi-teenage was able to sleep in. There are no real walls, only screens. You are lulled by the sounds of the river and the jungle.

The house has private access to the river with a private cabana. It is easy to climb on the rocks and enjoy a dip in the river. The main drawback is that the property is so nice that we opted not to do an extra tour, so that we could maximize the relaxation benefit from the villa. We all vowed that we will return to Gaia to see more ruins AND spend time at the Riverside Villa.

We were delighted with the food. A very intelligent kitchen sticks to excellent, fresh ingredients to make delicious meals. We ate mainly the meats, although the conch fritters and shrimp ceviche were quite good. Try anything with the corn tortillas -- also great. The hot sauce that is served with meals is quite spicy, but also packs great flavor. I wish they sold it.

A quick word about the spa -- I had a facial while my able-bodied family went to ATM. I thought the service was excellent, and a very good value.

Last of all is the staff. They provide world class service with a warm and friendly attitude. The Four Seasons in Costa Rica is the only other place I have been to where people anticipated my needs and wishes to an extraordinary degree. When you consider Gaia's remote location, it only reinforces how extraordinary the service is by the Gaia staff. Javier and Aisha, Nigel, Sylvia, Luci, Francisco, Calvert -- all such nice people who went far out of their way to make sure we were always happy.

I cannot imagine staying anywhere else in the Cayo region.

Room Tip: The Riverside Villa is an amazing residence set apart from the lodge. For a beautiful private retre...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank MLP0316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 - 174 of 246 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2014

We went to the Gaia Riverlodge for our honeymoon and got one of their packages that included several nights at the Matachica, their sister resort at the beach. The Gaia guide picked us up at the airport and drove us to the lodge, which took about an hour over some very bumpy roads. When you go there, be ready to be in the middle of nowhere. There's some fun stuff to do but every activity involves travel. Fortunately, the guides are great and can tell you all about the region and the people and the time passes quickly. We had Francisco for all of our adventures and I can't recommend him enough. The lodge itself is situated over a beautiful waterfall and they have chairs and hammocks set up nearby so you can lounge around and relax by the water during your free time. The staff was wonderful overall and we had a great time exploring the Caracol mayan ruins and going zip lining. One warning - there's no air conditioning and the bugs and birds are really loud. We went in early April and my wife found the heat at night pretty unpleasant.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ryan-from-Atlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2014

We visited the Gaia Riverlodge at the end of March 2014. There were 4 of us traveling together....two couples. We have traveled the world but have never had better service, felt more welcomed, and cared for then we were there.

The team led by Nigel, and including Derby, Sylvia, Chef Tony, Javier, Francisco, Sonia, Lucy, Calbert and Elmo made this vacation our best ever. From the time we arrrived to the time we left we were treated like family. It was really special. The food is excellent with a menu that was diverse enough to satisfy most palates and the special was always great. The facilities were outstanding and the views breathtaking. We enjoyed the daily excursions and always felt well cared for. The guides were knowledgable, friendly and funny. Being from the US the fluency in English made the communication simple. The accomodations were also wonderful. It's a great place to get in touch with nature. I'll never forget the view of the waterfall and river nor the swims we took in them.

As beautiful as the place is it was Nigel and his team that made the difference. Its tough to describe how special they made us feel. One of our group had a birthday during the trip. We asked if it would be possible to isolate a part of the restaurant so we could have a cake and sign and celebrate the occasion. When we returned from our daily excursion we found our bed decorated with flowers and grasses that said Happy Birthday and our towels were made into a birthday cake. They blocked off half of the lower deck of the restaurant and hung a Happy Birthday sign and decorated the table with fresh flowers and made it real festive. After dinner they brought out a wonderful cake decorated with our friends name. It was amazing. The staff is genuinely happy and it shows.

I would recommend the Gaia Riverlodge to anyone. Our experience was fantastic and I'm sure yours will be too. I'm not one to write reviews but our trip was so special I felt I had to.

If the Gaia team reads this, thanks again from Deb, Steve, Anita and Jerry...you guys are great!

Room Tip: We stayed in Cascades and the view of the waterfall was really neet. It was close to the lodge and...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Jerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at Gaia Riverlodge for 2 nights at the end of February. We stayed in a Garden View room and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The room itself was perfect, with a beautifully thatched roof, comfortable and cozy sitting area, great bathroom amenities and very comfortable bed. A favorite part of our stay was a stormy afternoon, listening to the thunder, relaxing in our room, and enjoying the rainforest setting.

The staff at Gaia Riverlodge were accommodating, hard working, and genuinely friendly. It takes a lot of work to run a remote lodge day in and day out, and the staff at Gaia does it very well.

The beach area and swimming in the river is incredible (yes part of it was washed away, but it's basically back to the way it was now, and it's a natural river...these things happen). I thought we would be able to hike up the river to the larger Big Rock Falls, but upon the recommendation of the hotel staff we wisely choose not to. Instead we borrowed bikes, rode up to Blancaneaux lodge for pizza, and rode back to the lodge with a stop at Big Rock Falls for a swim. A great day if you choose not to join a guided trip. Although if you haven't seen the other sites in the area then I would recommend without hesitation joining a guided adventure.

Our meals for breakfast and dinner were perfect. They were not life changing but certainly prepared well, and with good ingredients. The setting of the main lodge, dinning area, and bar is well appointed and beautiful, contributing to a great dinning experience.

Overall this is a great place to experience Belize's Mountain Pine Ridge and an eco-lodge retreat. I would not go anywhere else, and look forward to returning in the near future.

Room Tip: We were very happy with the Garden View room.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank mszymano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed Gaia River Lodge. The hotel is very remote - located an hour's drive from any major road by (bumpy!) dirt road, but the journey was part of the fun and well worth it. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful - tropical flowers and thatched huts abound in the strange Caribbean pine forest setting. The main lodge overlooks a gorgeous stream that is accessible for swimming by a 300 step staircase (there is a tram that goes down to the base of the stream as well.) It is very special. We enjoyed the hotel's breakfasts as well - especially their memorable banana bread.

I must say, however, that the most outstanding aspect of this hotel was the hospitality of the staff. My husband fell ill during a drive back from Caracol and our guide Calbert was so helpful and supportive on our harrowing drive back the hotel. Back at the lodge, the hotel's staff did everything possible to help us out -- getting quotes from nearby hospitals, booking a doctor in town, and briefing other staff members. We felt so cared for. Luckily, it turned out my husband's scare was just dehydration but we were so blown away when upon checking out of the hotel, the manager called our guide to ensure that our doctor's visit the next day went smoothly... thoroughly recommend visiting Gaia, not only for the beautiful setting but for the amazing, genuine hospitality.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Rupa2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2014

We stayed at the Gaia Riverlodge for the first four nights of our honeymoon earlier this month. We were originally drawn to this hotel after looking at their sister hotel, Matachica in San Pedro. After deciding we wanted something more of an "escape" and less of a "beach trip" we booked half our trip at this resort, and traveled on to Placencia from there. We loved everything at this hotel. Planning our wedding ourselves gave us less time to plan the details of our honeymoon, and Gaia was ever so helpful. Through their friendly staff we managed to arrange last minute transfers to and from their resort, with a tour stop to cave tube and zipline en route to the Mountain Pine Ridge. When we did finally arrive at the hotel (it's quite a ride there!) we were stunned by the beautiful setting. The staff was warm, friendly & helpful the minute we arrived. Our room, the "Breeze" waterfall cabana made us feel exactly where we wanted to be, far far away from home in paradise. The room was not air conditioned, but we loved having open screens to hear the waterfalls at night and the birds in the morning. I wasn't worried about no A/C when booking this hotel because I read the Mountain Pine Ridge can be cooler at night: this is correct, we were incredibly comfortable temperature wise our entire stay. Overall, we loved the cozy atmosphere of this hotel & the outstanding service and setting. Between the staff and the friends we made while on tours and at the bar in this lodge, I would say our time at Gaia and on the tours they arranged were the most memorable of our time in Belize, and that says a lot, as we felt very accommodated and welcome at every hotel, restaurant, and airport we stepped into in Belize.

Room Tip: Setting & Rooms are amazing, however this mountain getaway comes with the expected buggy friends...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jami L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

This is a world-class lodge tucked away in the mountains of Belize. The service is impeccable. The food is excellent. The birding guide was great. The drinks seemed to lack alcohol, but everything else was great. No A/C made it a bit humid at night but the ceiling fans are good.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank BirderPenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gaia Riverlodge

Address: P.O. Box 173, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range: £160 - £175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gaia Riverlodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Eco-Lodge is located in the Scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. We offer earthy yet stylish thatch roofed cabanas with excellent views of our waterfalls or Mountain Range, amazingly comfortable beds, Frette and Matouk linens and towels and bathrooms with hand painted Mexican tiles. Among our amenities are our natural fresh water pools, waterfalls, authentic Belizean cuisine, nature trails, day tours to the many Maya archaeological sites and adventure trips. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Five Sisters Hotel San Ignacio
5 Sisters Lodge

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