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“Wonderful experience”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Just spent an amazing long weekend at Jaguar Reef with a deal we bought on Living Social. It was a very easy transfer in Belize City from the commercial flight to the short flight out to Dangriga, and Jamal was waiting there to drive us to Jaguar Reef. He offered to stop at a store if we needed anything and answered all our questions about where to eat and what to do.

Upon arrival at the resort, we received our welcome drinks and had lunch. Ashley gave us a tour of the property and showed us to our room. It was quite spacious, even with a roll-away bed added, and we never felt like we were on top of each other.

TOURS: We did the barrier reef snorkeling and the Mayflower Waterfall hike with rappelling. Both were excellent! It was my first time doing both, and the guides made me feel very comfortable and safe.

DINING: We only ate breakfast and lunch at Jaguar Reef. Decent food, but you should definitely explore the area for other options. We went to Chef Rob’s and Barracuda Bar & Grill (down the beach to the right) and Hamanasi (down the beach to the left). Incredible meals at all three places, although you are paying resort prices.

VILLAGE: Go into Hopkins! We rode the free bikes, but you can also take a motorbike or golf cart. There are several good restaurants, as well as shops. We had breakfast one morning at Thong’s Café, lunch at Iris’s (seafood soup to die for), and dinner at Frog’s Point. Everything is so fresh and delicious! If you are in the market for jewelry, go to Seashell Art by Alex (right across the street from Iris’s). His pieces, made from various shells, sea creatures, coconut and local woods, are exquisite, and the prices are reasonable.

PEOPLE: Everyone is so warm and friendly! Not just resort staff, but the villagers you meet, as well. One evening, we took a taxi to the main crossroad in town (at King Cassava’s). The road from the resort is very dark at night, and being 2 females, we felt safer doing that. Barbara was our driver, and we arranged a pick-up time for the ride back. We were about 10 minutes late to meet her and she was no longer there, but she lives across the street from King Cassava’s, so someone went to get her. She told us she was getting worried about us and was going to drive the road back to the resort to look for us if we hadn’t shown up in a few more minutes.

TIPS: Bring cash for shopping and dining in Hopkins (bills less than $20 US, preferably). Bug spray is VITAL, especially in the jungle.

Overall, I highly recommend Belize and Jaguar Reef. I don’t know if it’s different during the high season, but it wasn’t a wild, party atmosphere, or overrun by kids. It was a great mix of families, couples, friends. We are already talking about going back next year!

Room Tip: Beachfront rooms are better than ocean view rooms – mainly because the ocean view rooms back up to t...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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353 - 359 of 648 reviews

Reviewed 2 December 2013

My Family and I got there Saturday night around 7 pm. When we first got there the servers came over and greeted us with rum and punch, since I'm not 18 i just had punch. We went over to our place we were staying at, very nice place and they showed us around. It was beach front and there was a kids pool in front of it. We headed over to dinner and had the best waiter ever, his name was Justin. He was so funny and kept us all entertain. The dinner was expensive but we had a meal plan, so we didn't have to pay. The dinner was always great. You could have appetizer meal and then desert. If you go there make sure to get soursop ice-cream. Its a super fruit and super delicious . Breakfast was good to , They usually have women serving breakfast and they were a little slow getting your stuff. Lunch was probley my favorite, there food was so good. The Resort provide us with bikes and all we had to do was go down to the bike rack and take a bike . We went down into the villages 2 times. The people are all nice. The roads are in bad conditions so you have to watch out for the potholes. We went on 4 excursions and they were all the blast. On monday we decided to go on the barrier reef snorkeling trip. It was a long boat ride out there but it was worth it . When we were riding along we saw a group of dolphins, they didn't come up to great us because it was the moms babies and the mom was protective of them. Tuesday was a chill day and we just swam in the beach. Wednesday we went on the jaguar preserve hike. It was a short hike and it wasn't that hard . When you get to the top you get to go swim in a waterfall, its really cold. Thursday we went zip lining, That was my favorite thing ever . It was so fun. It was very safe and they had this one hipline that was the longest in Belize. It was half a mile long. You did have to hike up sometimes to get where you need to be . Friday we went on a all day excursions and that was river cave tubing. It was expensive but it was cool to see the inside of a cave . There were also to strong rapids that took you further out . That was cool. Saturday was our last day, we had to get out of the house by 11 am and we just relaxed and hung out by the beach till 1 pm and then someone picked us up and we started our trip back home. This resort was great, Everything was perfect but we may not come back because of the bugs. There called sand fly/ Sand flees and they tore us up and same with the mosquitos when your in the rain forest. Other then that everything was awesome and great.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Grace D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

My husband and I came here for our honeymoon at the end of October after purchasing a deal on Tripadvisor. It had been raining in Belize for 4 days straight prior to our arrival and when Alphonso came in his van from the lodge to pick us up, he wasn't sure we were going to be able to make it because of the flooded roads. He made a few phone calls and the lodge sent a larger van to come and take us the rest of the way from Dangriga. This man was amazing, but what is also amazing is that the lodge paid for him to rescue us and get us there safely - in waist-deep water! When we arrived we were greeted by some of the nicest people and a rum punch (which was much needed after the ride to the lodge)!

We stayed in a beachfront cabana which was lovely. The room was very spacious and clean. I know they have oceanfront cabanas as well, but honestly, ours was steps from the beach and I don't know if it's really worth the money you'd spend upgrading. The food was delicious every single night (I had seafood chowder twice, so good). I think what really struck us about the lodge was just how friendly and hospitable everyone was. Every single person went out of their way to smile and check in with us during our stay.

We did two excursions on our trip - snorkeling and the Cayo Mayan ruins. Snorkeling was amazing! The guide was really knowledgeable and the sea life was beautiful. We wished that we had done more while we were there. The ruins were equally amazing. Unfortunately we were only able to see one set due to flooding of a river but our guide let us walk around the town of San Ignacio in an attempt to make up for it. The drive through the country to get to the ruins was beautiful and the guide told us so much about Belize that we never would have learned otherwise.

There were really only a few things that kept us from rating this at 5 instead of 4. First, there was some pretty slow service a few times. You can ask that food be brought to your room and it's a free service, which is wonderful. The only problem is there aren't any phones to just dial the desk to place an order, you have to walk to the main building. We ordered nachos one afternoon and it took them an hour to bring them. My husband went to check on them after a half an hour which meant he had to walk back over to the main building again. It was another 30 minutes before they arrived. Second, there was one bar tender who was incredibly slow (I think his name was Alex). We sat at the bar in the main building and it took him 25 minutes to take our drink order. He was filling orders for the servers who had tables, but there really weren't that many people in the restaurant at the time so I'm not sure what the hold up was. He was very nice, but another night he was tending bar and we ordered drinks with our meal, it took him quite a long time to fill those as well so it wasn't a one-time thing. Our waitress that evening even commented on how slow it was. We didn't have any problems with any other bar tenders. Finally, I wish that we'd been able to get some reimbursement for the Cayo Mayan ruins trip. We were only able to see one site and we paid for two. The one we missed was the one I was most looking forward to. I let a manager know, but I didn't ask for any sort of compensation so I can't really fault the lodge for that. I should have pressed it if I wanted results so that's more on me. Still, it would have been nice if it had been offered.

Overall the place is beautiful, the beach is wonderful, the food is great and the staff are amazing. I would definitely recommend a trip here!

Room Tip: You don't need to upgrade to an oceanfront cabana. The beachfront ones are only steps from the...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank MoonliteMaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Go to Hopkins village!! It is just a matter of time until the cat is out of the bag. This cozy little village has some great resorts located in close proximity. Jaguar Reef is one of the best. Our trip started when we landed in Belize city and caught our transfer to Dangriga. The Maya Air rep said that he would contact the resort and they would be waiting to take us the 40 min. to the resort. Sure enough they were there when we landed. We arrived to a fresh rumpunch and a great table for lunch. Our room was very spacious and clean, the bed was a little rickety but comfortable... the lounge chairs and hammock on the porch was a great addition. I would return to Jaguar Reef for sure. I think they have a sister resort in the Cayo district so you get the best of both worlds.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Heath J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We were here for three days in November. The hotel is well landscaped and beautiful, right on the beach which was raked every morning. The room was well appointed and quite large, with efficient, quiet A/C. We enjoyed sitting on the porch, reading our books once the dusk made it too dark to do so on the beach. Two mornings we were taken out to the reef ( about a 45 min boat ride) for the best snorkeling we have seen in years. It was great having a guide with us to point out the subtleties of the reef. The food in the restaurant was good to very good but the service was inexperienced and, as a result, was very slow. He tried hard; he just seemed lost. We found the free WiFi to be adequate. The $10 charge for a whole bag of laundry was a great value given how dirty our clothes had gotten from being in the rain forest previously. With better dining service, this would have been 5 dots instead of 4.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Paradocs22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2013

This was our reality for the 5 days we stayed at Jaguar Reef:

1. Go on excursions from 8 a.m. to around 1 p.m. - getting some exercise in!
2. Come back and go in the pool and hot tub, have lunch and drinks
3. Shower around 6 p.m. and walk down the beach to an outside cafe for dinner
4. Come back and relax on the hammocks, dock or lounge chairs and watch the stars

The Best Parts:

- Excursions. We went snorkeling and on the rainforest hike and both guides were knowledgable and helpful. We ate termites (!!) and coconut on the rainforest hike, and swam in a lagoon with a waterfall at the top of a mountain. We snorkeled the barrier reef (about 45 minutes boat ride from the Jaguar Reef dock) and saw sting rays, lionfish and a lobster. Both excursions had us back by 1 p.m. to enjoy the resort pool. The hotel makes the whole process really easy.

- Price. Jaguar Reef was affordable and offered a lot of free amenities, including equipment (kayaks, snorkels, bikes). Even a pot of coffee in the morning was free.

- Location. Hopkins is a great town with friendly people. We rode bikes into town and had a few beers at King Casava in town and it was a blast. It's also close to Chef Robs and Love on the Rocks, 2 great restaurants that are a very short walk down the beach.

- Pool. The pool and hot-tub has a bar with great drinks and atmosphere. There are chairs in sun and shade.

- Rooms. Our beds were very comfortable and the air conditioners worked great. We had more US TV channels than we have at home, including NFL network, HBO, etc. (Not that we watched TV much, but it was great to have right before bed.)

- Atmosphere. We felt welcomed, comfortable and safe the entire trip. The staff would go out of their way to say hello and make sure we were taken care of.

The Good-to-Know:

- Getting to the hotel from BZE is either a 2.5 hour car ride or 15 minute ride on a tiny prop plane. I am not a good flyer and I LOVED the plane. You get to see Belize from the air, and it's not an uncomfortable ride. The roads are not in great shape so I would recommend the plane.

- This is not a swanky resort - it doesn't feel like Miami or Vegas. It's extremely comfortable, clean and beautiful, and all the amenities you need are at your fingertips.

- The food was good and affordable, but the places down the beach (Chef Robs and Love on the Rocks) were better for dinner.

- There are bugs! Bring and wear bug spray. They weren't too bad at the resort but the worst times were early morning or night when the wind wasn't strong.

- The road to get to the resort is not paved and very bumpy so be prepared.

- They charge in Belizean (2x American dollar) and you might incur a small credit card charge.

- We had so-so weather (rained every morning, sometimes all morning) but it didn't stop us from going on excursions, and it typically cleared up by early afternoon for us to enjoy the pool. We were told it was bad for November but we still did everything we wanted to do!

Room Tip: The individual rooms were covered with personal hammocks!
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Krystle K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2013

This resort was fantastic. The only drawback is the that internet service within the resort is very poor. If you want to check your emails or do a bit of web surfing, then you will have no problems. However, if you want to do more (e.g. get into iTunes or download anything) you will not have any luck. The rooms were great and everything was kept very clean. All of the staff were super friendly. I would definitely stay there again!

Room Tip: This resort doesn't have any elevators so if you don't like stairs be sure to ask for a room...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Candice1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa

Address: Sitee River Road, Hopkins, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range: £98 - £354 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Proud member of ViVA BELiZE, the leading Hotel Group and Adventure Company in Belize for the past 20 years. This beachfront resort is - An Untouched Paradise offering a unique Jungle and Sea Venture. It is an oasis of relaxation, with sunny skies, panoramic views of the ocean and just minutes away from the Garifuna Fishing Village of Hopkins. Other features of Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa: -WINNER 2015 TripAdvisor HALL OF FAME Award -FULL Service In-house Spa -Longest & Finest Beach in Belize -Pool with Swim up Tiki Bar -Kids pool -Beachfront Dining -Water Sports & Land Adventure Tour Desk ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jaguar Reef Hotel Hopkins
Jaguar Reef Resort
Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa Belize/Hopkins

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