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“Wonderful week of adventures”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2014

Traveled in a group of 4 people (two mid-twenties couples). (Found JRL through Living Social deal). Our trip was better than could have ever been expected! We had a 2BR/2Bath suite (Hibiscus). There is no stove/oven in the kitchen, but there is a microwave. There was plenty of space, A/C in all areas, and we overlooked the "family" pool as well as straight out to the ocean. I Think JRL is one of the few places I have traveled where the it's actually better in person!

We flew into Belize City and rented a car to have with us all week, which turned out to be great. The drive can be confusing but I had really good directions from a friend. There are bikes at the resort that are free, but they are first come, first serve, and only single gear bikes (also as many have mentioned, scooters and golf carts for rent).

The beach was pristine. We did not have any issues with bugs. Our beds were comfortable. Honestly we did not spend much time inside - why bother?!?! The pool bar was gorgeous, and we all made friends with Juan, Flaco and Swift. The Happy Hour deal (2 for 1 drinks from 5-6) is great and the "bar snacks" are really tasty (especially the cajun fried shrimp and the ceviche!). On Tuesday nights in Hopkins, all the way down to the other side of the town is the Driftwood Bar that is on the beach and has live drumming with pizza - an amazing time!!!!

There was an issue with water pressure, but as I understand it, the town of Hopkins was in a bit of a drought and the resort was getting more water than anywhere in town (some of the employees said they hadn't had any in 5 days!). Such is life in Central America during dry season!

We like to adventure to "local" eating places... delicious, authentic, and much more affordable than any kind of resort eating. We also had a fancy dinner at Chef Rob's (4 course meal for BZ 59pp (that is 29.50 US! I felt it was a really amazing deal). For local Belizean food we went to: Innie's, Tina's Kitchen, Iris' SunnySide Up Cafe, and King Cassava. They were all great and I recommend them.

For tours:
We did the Cave Tubing/Mayan tour which was $140pp but AMAZING. A full day with lunch included.

Bioluminescent lagoon boat tour - the salinity of the lagoon was just right when we were there and we got to see the bioluminescent activity... amazing. We even convinced them to let us swim in the water (originally "not allowed").

Snorkeling - two different spots with snacks on an island in between. A highlight.

Mayflower waterfall hike - our counterparts did this, they loved it. HOWEVER, if you have your own transportation, the entrance fee is only $5 pp and you can do it without a guide (as opposed to $70pp thru JRL).

Jaguar Preserve - Also a tour we did on our own, instead of through the resort (this is how the rental car expense actually ends up saving you money!). We drove the 10 minutes to Maya Center town to buy our $5 pp national park entrance fee and then drove to into the jungle. We rented tubes for $2.50 each and tubed the Stann Creek river through the jungle for about an hour, then hiked to a waterfall and Ben's Bluff to take in the stunning vista. We saw lots of beautiful butterflies, a snake, ants, a rubber tree (we think), and also possibly an ocelot!!!

Check out was a bit of a problem because we had two separate credit cards for room charges and they were completely incorrect. We eventually sorted everything out but it took a long time. I guess they have just implemented a new computer system so hopefully this becomes better! Despite this, I would not change my overall rating. We would love to go back any time.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank merrymere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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334 - 340 of 662 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2014

The grounds are kept so lovely & there is plenty of help around. The rooms are large and comfortable. It is nicer in person then from the Internet pics! The porches and hammocks with the ocean view and so many lovely birds singing make it so relaxing. And not to mention the ocean breeze! You can't get much closer to the ocean, this is truly right on the beach. We loved it and the village people. Great tour guides. If you want posh and to pay triple then go next door.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view you get it here! Even if you don't get ocean view you are still on the...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CindyHassfeld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

Jaguar Reef is paradasaic! Besides the beauty of the property, the staff was outstanding. They bent over back-wards and side-ways to make sure we were comfortable. Eugene, the General manager, took a person interest in us and made sure we were taken care of. My husband, daughter, granddaughter and niece stayed there for about 6 or 7 days. We invited some friends from another part of Belize to join us, and oh, how the staff welcomed them and made sure they were taken care of as well. Mary, in guest services was a phenomenal host as well. Gilroy and the rest of the front desk staff, whose names escape me, were very accommodating as well.
The place is always so clean, even the sand is raked every morning! I would highly recommend this place. As a matter of fact, I am planning a family, and I have a big one, vacation to Jaguar Reef. Be sure to talk to Eugene, he is the best! Can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Suites have 2 bathrooms and are very roomy but no working spa tub.Only microwave and fridge so don...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Shela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

You will not be disappointed! The resort is very clean and well maintained. The staff is extremely attentive and is always striving to make sure all your needs are being addressed. The bar staff is fantastic!! The Spa staff is over the top! I highly recommend the 1hr full body massage on the pier. It will leave you forgetting all the stresses of everyday life.

The town of Hopkins is very friendly and always welcoming to tourist. I recommend eating in as many local establishments as possible, as the food is fantastic! The market and various gift shacks are a must as well.

Look out for the no-see-ums! They will eat you alive unless you have plenty of bug spray with you at all time. If you don't like the smell, We learned that the best defense is Baby Oil. It doesn't allow the bugs to land on you. The locals swear by it and you'll see a bottle next to them wherever they work!!

Room Tip: Every room is a good room!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank whaler1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2014

We stayed at Jaguar Reef Lodge in 2008 and wanted another vacation in a warm place this year. We looked at many, many places on the web that were in the Caribbean and finally decided that going back to Jaguar Reef was exactly what we wanted! We love the area of Hopkins and the people there. We enjoyed riding bikes into town to eat at a restaurant there and to buy things from the small gift shops. I don't believe there was an ATM in Hopkins when we were there in 2008, but we used it three times this trip! The staff at Jaguar Reef is wonderful--responsive to our needs, very friendly, and kind. We really love the beach cabana rooms; they are large and very pleasant, with a hammock and chairs on the porch. We liked to use our iPads, so we just sat on the beach, or at the pool, or in the lobby/restaurant area to do that and didn't find that a problem at all. Over the course of our two trips, we've gone on many of the tours. We've gone snorkeling twice and found that fascinating. The Mayan ruins trip was also wonderful, although it does take awhile to get there, but we expected that. This time we went horseback riding and loved that; looking out on the countryside from a ridge was lovely. Last time we did more hiking, but this time enjoyed swimming in the ocean with the large tubes that were provided, sitting on the lounge chairs under thatched roofs, and swimming in the pool. We rented a car (there is a great car rental place in Hopkins-Hopkins Car Rental--that the Jaguar Reef desk can call to make your reservations) and drove down to Placencia, since we'd never been there. It is much more touristy and we prefer Hopkins. We really like the way the country of Belize is interested in preserving the natural environment and has so many eco-tourism resorts. We thought the food at Jaguar Reef was much better than in 2008 (when it was okay, even so) and love the ambience of the restaurant, which is octagonal, and right on the beach, with doors that open up to it, so that you feel you're eating on the beach. One night we went to Chef Rob's, a few doors down, but liked the restaurant at Jaguar Reef better for the beauty of the location. The food was also much the same as at Jaguar Reef, we thought. We plan to go back next winter! Another note: If you want to help out the local people and animals, there is a Hopkins Belize Humane Society, a Clinic (for humans), a school for the kids, and a library. Last time we brought books in English for the school and this time visited the Humane Society when they had a spay/neuter clinic going on. All of these places can use donations. Easy things to bring for the Humane Society are leashes and collars for dogs, Revolution heart worm medication, and dry dog food (they give dog food to those in the area who need it for their animals). We didn't visit the Clinic, but I'm sure they need any kind of first aid supplies, latex gloves, and other items found easily in a drug store. We are not people who like a lot of "nightlife," so this area and resort are perfect for us. If you prefer much more excitement, this is not the place for you. It's peaceful and a wonderful, relaxing place to get away from a terrible North American winter!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Northstar35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

My wife and I went here for our honeymoon. While we had a great, 4-dot experience, it should be mentioned that we got there on a Groupon/Living Social deal. This greatly increased the value and I am sure I would be less enthused if the deal was not so good.

The service is very cordial and the rooms are little more than the bare necessities, but they are tastefully furnished and comfortable. The beaches are beautiful and the whole resort is fantastically out of the way.

One note on the food: if you value convenience above all, go ahead and eat at the resort (if you plan to eat literally ALL your meals there, I suppose it's a good deal to get an eating plan. If you plan on eating at least once off property, it stops being worth it). But, just down the road/beach is another resort, Beaches and Dreams, which is run by a former chef, has better food at better prices, and happy-hour drink and food specials.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Daniel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

My husband and I just came home a week ago from our trip to Belize which was also our honeymoon. After a lot of research our first stop was jaguar reef lodge. We absolutely loved our time here. The staff Gilbert, Abner, Gereth I can't name all of the amazing people who work here but they all made us feel like we were amongst friends! Mary in guest services was very welcoming and helpful as well. The location was fantastic to do all sorts of activities land based as well as snorkelling the reef. Gabby was an amazing tour guide, he was like a walking encyclopedia of facts and even stopped to pick us some fresh fruit! The food in the restaurant was very good although the village also has lots of options as well. Over all I would highly recommend Jaguar Reef Lodge our room was beautiful and the entire resort has a vibe of relaxation we will for sure be planning a return trip! Thanks for everything guys!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Lorena J
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: £120 - £403 (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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