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“Out of the place but still perfect”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Out of the place but still perfect”
Reviewed 23 February 2014 via mobile

A little farther into country than I imagined but great food, service, and staff made for a memorable vacation. Snorkeling was amazing and the Sittee River Tour was nice. Beach was great and with a few other resorts near by the need for leaving the area was diminished

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Ed B
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
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • 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
Drumheller, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

This was a nice place to stay but we thought we would have a full kitchen and there was Bo stove. Friendly staff, clean rooms. Very expensive restaurant where American money was used and the rest of the town was in Belize dollars. The roads in Belize are awful and it took a long time to get there

Room Tip: Our rooms were nice right on the ocean.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Karen-Lee A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We stayed in three separate room in the Almond Beach part of the resort. The rooms are nice and clean, beautiful bathrooms, more spacious in some than others. Right by the ocean with beautiful views of the ocean. Fridges, TV, AC, safe provided. Interestingly enough the beds are not made and rooms are not cleaned as one would expect in this price range. The staff is ultra friendly with an excellent sense of humor. The beach is clean and there are lounge chairs, kayaks, tubes for free for guests. There is a restaurant and several bars all charging US big city prices. While we are on the topic of big ticket prices, the "butterfly spa" on the property has Ritz Carlton prices which we would have been happy to pay at a Ritz Carlton, but not here. There is a coffee shop that offers lattes etc, ice cream and misc snacks. The resort offers excursions from.smirking to zip lining to Mayan ruins. All at steep prices e.g.$70 for a half day snorkeling. They offer free bikes for guest so you can venture into tow. Otherwise we were dependent on local taxis who charged $2.50 per person for a group of 6. So overall a nice 3 star experience but grossly overpriced!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank EGDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shamong, New Jersey
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2014

We stayed at Jaguar Reef. This place is gorgeous and clean. Staffed at night also, makes you feel secure. I was not sure if I had made a review on Jaguar so if I am repeating myself sorry. You won't go wrong staying here. We had a great relaxing stay. The beach is at the porch of the cottage we stayed in #11. Queit and cozy. Staff is very friendly and knew our names by morning. I can't say enough about the town Hopkins its just beautiful. Make sure to shop up the road and make a donation to the animal shelter on corner. Every bit counts !!!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank maof7shamong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blaine, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

These guys were great. I stayed with my girlfriend and parents for 5 days at JRL and had a great time each day. The food was pretty good but I would recommend going into town/other resorts and trying other dishes as well. The staff really made the experience. They were all friendly and outgoing. Snorkeling on the reef was one experience I will never forget. The Mayan tour was amazing with our tour guide gabby. He was able to give some history and context during the tour which made it even better. Jamiel was our waiter most nights and gave great service. Swift and Andy were great bartenders. Ask for the Swift special. Overall, this was a great resort and I would come back as soon as possible.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jesse B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsboro, Oregon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

My wife and I had a wonderful, relaxing, much-needed break from reality here at Jaguar Reef. The facilities were wonderful, the staff friendly, and the Caribbean refreshing and restorative.

When we arrived, the casita that we were assigned turned out to be too close to some construction going on across the street (it was out of the resort's control, but we were both recovering from a bug that we picked-up in the states and knew that we wanted to spend time relaxing in our room during the day so it was important to have quiet). There was no argument at all; they just packed us up and moved us to a quieter place, and were very understanding and nice about it. The staff were consistently, friendly, caring and accommodating.

We found the food to be excellent. I became addicted to the Belizean Breakfast (stewed chicken and refried beans) with the fried jacks. Sunday is beach BBQ day, and that is really fun, too! I agree with other reviewers that it would be nice to have more local dishes, but the specials were usually local in flavor (though sometimes a little pricy, so ask what the price is if you're on a budget). My wife tends to be a little less adventurous (especially while recovering from our bug), culinarily speaking, but there were plenty of options for her to choose from.

As stated in many other reviews, though, you'll want to borrow a bicycle and head into Hopkins as often as possible. Don't miss the Hudutu at Inne's! He will fix it with a fish fillet instead of the whole fish if you like. I fell in love with the subtle, delicious flavor of the local foods, and could never get tired of the fresh seafood. There are a couple of small markets (most small markets are Chinese-owned) where you can pick up snacks and some of the local beer to take back to your room.

Don't be put off by the village's rustic appearance; it is very safe, as long as you don't try to bike the road at night with no lights. The local people are all very friendly and helpful. Our driver, who was from Hopkins, said that with 1800 people everyone knows everyone so nobody dares do anything bad. It's the Belize way, at least from what we saw: People just expect each other to be friendly, and they are seldom disappointed.

Most of all, though, we will remember what it was like to really, truly relax. I swam and snorkeled right off the beach (you can borrow gear and/or a kayak). No, it's not a reef and so you don't get the variety of fish you would if you choose to go on a snorkeling excursion, but it is intensely pleasant and relaxing. I found myself migrating from the sea to the lounge chairs over an over.

Many others have mentioned bugs, so I'll say this: Bring a good spray and use it, especially on your legs and especially in the twilight hours, even if you don't see any bugs at the moment (that's why they call them "noseeums"). And yes, the Jungle Salve that you can get in the gift shop works to sooth any itchy bites. Having said all that, the bugs did not really distract us from our enjoyment much. People make too much of it sometimes, in my opinion.

While our driver did refer to Hopkins as, "a drinking village with a fishing problem," if you're looking for a place to go on a three-day drunk, this probably isn't the right choice for you. Look into a mega-resort instead. If, on the other hand, you're looking to relax and enjoy the company of friendly people at a slower pace with NO CROWDS AT ALL, I can't imagine a better place than this to find it.

We miss our little paradise already. By the end of our time there, we found ourselves fantasizing about buying a lot. At the very least, we hope to return to Hopkins and Jaguar Reef someday soon!

Room Tip: The rooms are all beautiful. We ended up in "Hibiscus," which would be PERFECT for a small...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sagebush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

Overall, the accomodations were mediocre. They were much better at neighboring hotels, including almond beach. If i would do the trip over, I would book at Hamanasi, where the service was much friendlier, the food superior, and the accomodations better in all ways.
Jaguar reef might have been lovely 20 years ago, but it has not been kept up. The food was barely edible, and the service for the food was incredibly slow. I was very glad that it wasn't all inclusive, because i definitely ate off site as much as possible. The bed in our booked room was so uncomfortable, we hardly slept at all the first night. Thankfully we were able to be moved to a different room, because otherwise I would have slept outside in the hammocks. All of the towels were frayed at the ends with holes, and some of the sheets were stained. The soap and shampoo were dispensed through liquid dispensers, like those found in locker rooms, so you should bring your own. Thankfully later in the trip we were moved to almond beach, which was much nicer. However, even it suffered from maintenance issues, since the towel rods were falling off, and the bathroom door couldn't close because the door scraped too close to the floor.
The front desk people were overall helpful, especially Angel.
Note that you will be charged an 8% service fee at the end, and keep that in mind as you give out tips.
Otherwise we had fun on the trips, and the beach was lovely.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Margo S
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 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#3 Top resorts 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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