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“Very nice experience”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very nice experience”
Reviewed 13 January 2014

My family and I just returned from a one-week vacation at Jaguar Reef Lodge. Staff is very friendly, very accomodating, and the grounds are very nice as well. They have a number of activities you can sign up for each day, free kayaks, snorkeling gear, bikes, beach towels, etc. The restaurant/bar is probably the most upscale in the entire village, but the prices are also pretty high (in US dollars, not Belize) and the food is just OK. Luckily, Hopkins Village has a variety of good places to eat at very reasonable prices and almost all of those are run by Europeans..

Room Tip: Some cabanas are truly beach-front (13-14, for example) while others are little behind and closer to...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank slyhigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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626 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2014

My wife and I honeymooned at the Jaguar Reef in December 2013 after our wedding. With an early morning flight to get to Belize we were quite tired by the time we got there. As others have said, Belize is a third world country. Most roads are dirt roads, apparently it costs $500,000 per mile to pave since all of the supplies have to be imported. You will see poverty, run down houses, stray dogs with mange, and you will deal with lots of pot holes. I would suggest to clarify how you will recognize the driver when you arrive. I did not and when a man came up and said he was going to take us I wasn't sure. I asked the airport (really an air strip) staff if he was legitimate and they said he was. He turned out to be a great taxi driver, telling us of the history and local culture.

I was nervous what the resort would be like seeing the conditions of the road and the village Hopkins. The resort was beautiful, looked just like the pictures. The staff was so friendly and helpful right from the start. We got the all inclusive package so we didn't worry about the cost of food. The food was delicious and the wait staff was always great. It will take time to get to the excursions. The longest being the Cayo Mayan ruins, 2 and half hours one way. We had an extended rainy season when we were there and alot of the excursions ended up canceled. The staff was great at helping us use up the excursions we paid for whether by exchanging for a massage or credits in the gift store.

Things I didn't like about the excursions were the early leave time, usually around 7:30 to 8:00 in the morning. The sand flies were atrocious. If you are going into the jungle at all, wear light, long sleeve shirt and pants. Waterproof is better for rain and if you do waterfall repelling. The sand flies make mosquitoes look like ladybugs. They draw blood when they bite, they itch for weeks, to many bites can cause a rash and even a fever. Get a good bug spray that protects against sand flies, no-see-ems, and chiggers. If you are caught unprepared smearing mud on your legs and arms can help.

The people in the village of Hopkins were all very friendly and kind. We rented a golf cart and went into town. A couple local children jumped on the back at one point and showed us around. They were very polite and friendly. I was surprised when I tried to haggle with the local shop owners, they seemed to be offended. Across the street from Jaguar Reef is a small store that had the best prices for Belize souvenirs about half what the other shop owners were offering, but not the largest selection. They also rented golf carts for cheaper then the resort.

All in all Belize was a great country filled with friendly people. Everyone speaks English and American money is interchangeable with the local currency. I never felt like i was in danger while in Belize. It is a great place to visit with a bit of adventure thrown in.

Room Tip: Forget the room, remember to prepare for the sand flies. They can ruin a trip. They are that bad.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Aaron Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2014

My friend and I took my 8-year-old son to Belize, which was always a dream of mine. The rustic charm of our little cabana on the sand and the laid back vibe reminded me of how Mexico was back in the sixties and seventies. The staff and the locals of the area are really a treasure, happy go lucky people who have a great energy, zest for life and a strong knit community. Truly had a great time here. The food was good, not great, so you'll want to explore other restaurants if you stay a whole week. Chef Robs and Barracuda are just a few steps up the beach and they're both quite good.



For balance, here are the negatives I could find, so you can take me seriously: #1 complaint is that the hot tub wasn't working and it didn't seem like anyone was in the mood to fix it. We were looking forward to enjoying that, and were bummed that it was just a big warm bathtub. #2 complaint is that there was a big buffet every morning and you couldn't order off the menu. My son only wants pancakes, so he literally did without breakfast almost every day. #3 complaint, I kind of expected the coffee to be amazing and i'll be kind and use the words "barely acceptable." They should work on that. #4 complaint (or should I say suggestion) is that the dirt road in front of the string of hotels on the beach is in very bad shape. They should ban together and pave this section. It changes your impression on the way in, and on the way home.

All in all, I'd do this trip again in a heartbeat. We truly had a surprisingly wonderful experience and I hope to revisit one day.

Room Tip: I had Cabana #1 and it was right next to the kid's pool and about 20 steps away from the dining...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Newtzlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jcm47
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

My wife and I had a great time at JRL. The cabana was really charming and had some unique touches. We spent quite a bit of time at the swim up bar and Swift really took care of us. Bring your sunblock and plan on spending some time there, its fantastic. The food was also really good, you will get a large portion for the money spent. Everything was good. Sunday is beach bbq day and it was delicious. Snorkeling is very good, we had a great time with our guide, Nick. There is a lot of attention to detail at JRL, you will notice it. I will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

While you are there check out Hopkins, it's a great little place. I miss it already.

Room Tip: I saw a bunch of different rooms, you can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jcm47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calgary
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 December 2013

jaguar reef was a beautiful experience. The people here were beyond wonderful. they were friendly, helpful, cheerful, and did all they could to help us. our room was a cute little cabana, it was clean and comfy. We spent so much time relaxing on our porch, they offer you a hammock or some very comfy chairs.
the pool is open 24 hours! so we went for a lot of late night swims and hot tubs. It is quite close to town and easy to take a complimentary bike or a $13/hour golf cart into town. Every restaurant we chose had great food, and the town of Hopkins is a charming little town full of amazing people that were so proud of their culture and graciously allowed us to share it with them. It's so relaxing, quiet and peaceful here.
My only tiny complaint would be that I wish the menu at the resort offered more local dishes!
We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mylovelytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2013

We book the hotel for my wife's birthday. What an amazing experience. They went out of their way to accommodate us in every aspect. We did not like the location of our room and they move us to much better room without hassle. Didn't have to wait, When we came back from our excursions, the room was waiting. We wanted a cake from a local place in town. and they were not answering the phone. They drove over, they picked it up and put it in our bill. The staff is amazing. The manager Eugene is exceptional, always had time to greet or answer any of our concerns. Swift was our bartender extraordinaire. What a great asset to the hotel and our vacation. I want to make special Thanks to Shiann. She was our hero. She went out of her way to make everything happen. Her attitude, professionalism and willingness to help were above and beyond all our expectations.

I can't recommend enough this Hotel. you guys will not regret it. If you go to Belize, you have to stay at The Jaguar Reef.

Room Tip: Ask for Beach front
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Miguel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We booked the honeymoon Package and stayed for two weeks for our 31st anniversary. The staff is really quite remarkable. The lodge and rooms are great. Close to lots of adventures. We would stay here again and recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Ask for room 13 or 14
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ken A
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

Property: Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Address: Hopkins 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 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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- A Diver's 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 -PADI 5 Star Dive Centre -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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