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“Beautiful surroundings, incompetent staff”

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Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures
Ranked #2 of 20 Hopkins B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful surroundings, incompetent staff”
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We were travelling on a budget and only came here for the hiking and waterfalls.

We arranged to be picked up from the bus terminal in Dangriga ($70 USD + tax for both ways). We didn't have a cellphone to notify them of our arrival, but Elmer assured us that the shuttle would be waiting for us. Well, we waited for over an hour and ended up having to buy minutes to use a payphone (the taxi drivers at the bus terminal were really helpful with this). I suspect the hotel staff forgot that we were waiting. This was really frustrating as we were tried since we had already travelled for 4 hours and could have simply paid $40 USD for a taxi to take us there (it's about a 35 min drive) Eventually the shuttle showed up and upon our arrival to the hotel, Elmer completely down played this mishap and said that he "would make it up to us". I looked forward to this, but it never materialized. After waiting for so long, complimentary juice would have appeased me. Nevertheless, he gave us a room with 2 twins bed (where the toilet was broken) even though we were clearly a couple and booked 1 double bed. This really was not a big deal as it just involved us moving our bags, but it exemplifies his degree of astuteness. The Mayan house room we stayed in was pretty basic and met my expectations. When checking out, double check your bill as Elmer attempted to overcharge us by $55 USD.

We didn't do any of the excursions as we found them to be too pricey. The cheapest item on the menu was the zipline, $65 USD/person. The 40 min hike to the top of Antelope Falls was a little strenuous, but the swimming area there was the big reward. The hike to Bocawina Falls was far more easy. They don't recommend going past the lower falls, but we hiked to the upper falls for a little more adventure. Of course, they charge $115 USD/person for a guide to take you to past the lower falls to the other falls.

The redeeming feature of this place was the food. It was excellent and the chef was very friendly and made sure you were happy with your meal. The menu for dinner was arranged in the afternoon and the cheapest main was $35 BZE, but came with an appetizer and dessert. The portions were very large! On our second night we decided to split our meal and they thoughtfully put everything on 2 separate plates. Also, breakfast is included. One day we were given a slice of pineapple, yogurt and soft vanilla bunt cake. The next day we were able to order from the menu.

Beware of the bugs. I believe they are called botlass flies and they are far more pesky than mosquitoes. Cover up and wear lots of DEET!

If you are a budget traveller, I recommend that you take a taxi, bring your own food and stay only one night.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ivona M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 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 (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Forres, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Do Not Go There! The hotel has a private drive over 6km long and is easily the worst road I have ever driven on. It is rutted with huge potholes and even in the dry season was in places washed out. We finally managed to get to the hotel and had to tell him that we were not willing to risk damaging our car by using the road each day. The manager said he understood but then later lied to the booking company about why we cancelled and attempted to keep all our money!!!
Again do not go there, unless you have a tractor or a donkey!
For the record if like us you intend to scuba it is not as they state "near by", unless you concider 24km is near by.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank paul r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Donald T, Owner at Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures, responded to this review, 20 March 2014
Dear Paul,

First let me clarify that we NEVER charged you, although our policy clearly states that you should have been charged since you only decided to cancel your stay on the day of your arrival.

Second, the road that goes to our resort it’s not a private road, it’s a GOVERNMENT road since we are inside a National Park. Although it’s a private road we’ve invested large amounts of funds to maintain the road and as you know Belize is a developing country where not all roads are paved. That’s what makes it so special.

If you plan to stay in a Jungle resort in Belize and be close to the beach, I can assure you that our resort would be one of the few you will find. A 20 minutes drive to the beach it’s not a long drive. If you wanted to be closer to the beach you should have made your reservation on a beach resort.

We hope this answer will let our future guests know that we are an honest resort and that the road that leads to our resort is as good or better than any other roads you’ll find in Belize. We have a score of 91% and the only terrible reviews we have are from a person that never stayed with us and from a guest that visited Mama Noots in 2009, before we’ve acquired this property and started the renovations.

Thank you,

Donald Troutman (owner)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medicine Hat, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2014

We stayed at Mama Noots for 4 days. Rooms were beautiful, clean and comfortable. Service was more than excellent and the employees work very hard to make your stay enjoyable. The grounds are pristine. Meals in the restaurant were excellent. This place is run on solar power and one night in the restaurant there was a blackout for a very short time before the generators kicked in and we took a picture, which is included. This is a place we look forward to going back to.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bernadette_Darrell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Powell Butte, Oregon
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2014

We spent three days at Mama Noots. I'm a bird watcher and we were on a bird-oriented trip. The birding was fantastic at Mama Noots. I rarely left the property it was so good. You can see a Slide show of my trip at . The only thing that disappointed me from a birder standpoint was that they did not put out fruit for the forest birds. Most other eco-lodges do this and the birds come from all around to feed allowing for close viewing.

The facilities at Mama Noots were just wonderful. They have the longest zip line in Belize and it was very popular. The rooms were very nice and more modern than expected.

I reserve my highest praise for the staff. We really liked these people. They worked hard for over 12 hours a day every day and they were always smiling and willing to help. They weren't perfect. We were supposed to have a couple of tours that didn't get organized but we gladly shrugged that off as they worked very hard to make up for the mistakes.

The main thing that kept me from rating Mama Noots 5/5 was the biting insects there. When you come (and I do recommend you check this place out), be prepared to do battle with the local biting flies and mosquitoes. Also be fully prepared to lose that battle. That said, Mama Noots was worth every welt.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Charles G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
73 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2014

Our group of 4 stayed in the 2 rooms that comprise a duplex--Howler Monkey and Parrot's Nest. The rooms were absolutely beautiful, and the little touches made it incredibly inviting--fresh flowers, animal shaped towels, etc. The room stayed nice and cool with windows covering most of the walls, and a nice high ceiling with a powerful fan. My only complain would be that, particularly with a door separating our 2 rooms, noise easily traveled between us, so if you're looking for privacy, I wouldn't stay in one of those 2 rooms. I'm not sure how the others compare. The staff here was very attentive, gave excellent recommendations, and were friendly beyond what professionalism requires. They took excellent care of us, both at the resort and while we were away. The chef, Gilroy, was incredibly caring and greeted us as soon as we arrived to find out any food allergies or preferences, and every meal we had there was catered to our likings. I can't speak highly enough of the staff! And the food...oh the food! At first I thought it a little pricey, but for the amount of food you get, I understood completely. You will certainly not leave the restaurant hungry, and the food is incredible. I loved every single meal we ate there, which was good because there isn't much else around. But that only adds to the charm of the place...the perfectly manicured landscape of the resort is expansive and inviting, and incredibly peaceful. We hiked a bit and came upon a waterfall that, while cold, was a wonderful afternoon swim and beautiful escape.

All in all, I would 100% recommend a stay at Mama Noots to absolutely anyone. It's a stunningly beautiful and quiet place, the staff is energetic and ridiculously helpful, the food leaves nothing to be desired and is plentiful, and the rooms are perfect for relaxation or enjoying the sights and sounds of the surrounding rain forest!

Room Tip: The Howler Monkey and Parrots nest rooms have a huge screened in porch that is perfect for shielding...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christina E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2013

My husband, sister, brother-in-law, and I stayed at Mama Noots in August of 2013 and what an AMAZING time we had!!!
Vidal was the awesome man who brought us to our resort - and ended up our tour guide on other expeditions - so kind and knowledgable!!
The resort is beautiful, welcoming, and truly warm! There are hikes all around - we did both of the waterfall hikes on our own - DEFINITELY worth the work (even in the heat and with the bugs!)!
Speaking of bugs, there are these things called Doctor Flies - do not fool yourself - Deet is the ONLY thing that will stop these creatures (I tried everything from skin-so-soft, hemp lotion, Off, etc). And make sure you pack plenty of clothes to sweat in - there was no A/C - but the rooms had a nice breeze.
The food was INCREDIBLE - thanks to Sean!! He even made us a special dessert one night per request of my husband! The menu was different each night - with such wonderful flavors and cooked perfectly! I am gluten and dairy sensitive - this was not a problem for Sean - he made each meal with such detail - selecting the freshest meats, fruits, and veggies each day.
Natalie was our fantastic host! She arranged all of our expeditions - the Mayan Ruins, cave tubing (SO AWESOME!!!), and the Riverboat tour (we saw Howler monkeys, crocodiles, birds hanging in bird houses (hard to describe), huge spiders, tons of interesting birds, and MANATEES!!
(I know I am leaving out a ton of stuff, but we only took 1,000 picts!)
Such a fun, welcoming place to stay - we definitely want to come back!!!
Thanks to all of the INCREDIBLE people who work there - you truly made us feel like family!!!

Room Tip: We had an adjoining room with my sister and her husband - we shared a front porch - this was fantast...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rebeccaayn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2013

My friend and I recently stayed at Mama Noots Eco Jungle Resort for the first time, and it won't be our last! From the moment we stepped onto the property we were treated like revered relatives. The resort is remote, yet everything you could want to see, do, eat, or experience is a convenient drive away. We booked tours to the Monkey River, Xunantunich ruins, and cave tubing and everything was taken care of in a most professional way. All staff are kind, courteous, and committed to making your stay FABULOUS. Plan to eat at the Wild Fig restaurant for some of Gilroy's delectable meals. There is plenty to do and see here but it is also a great location to just relax and renew. I highly recommend that you spend some time with the staff and allow them to share about their culture, food, surroundings, and history.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank DBstravelbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures

Property: Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures
Address: Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Hopkins, Belize (Formerly Mama Noots Eco Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Hopkins
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures is located in the heart of Mayflower Bocawina National Park. We are powered by hydro and solar. We have 6 standard rooms, 3 rooms in Traditional Thatched Cabanas, 3 deluxe rooms, all with with ceiling fans and private bathrooms hot and cold showers. We have a restaurant and bar on location and we serve local food as well as other dishes and we provide vegetarian meals on request. Our on-site activities include: Zip-lining in the longest Zipline course in Central America (Night zip-lining also available); Waterfall Rappelling in three different waterfalls; Hiking trough the jungle and swimming on different waterfall pools (we have 5 waterfalls); Birdwatching tours (with local Mayan guide with over 20 years of experience); Mayan ruin tours (the park has two unexcavated Mayan Temple Mounds). Off-site activities include Mayan Ruin tours, Monkey River tours, Cave tubing, Horseback riding in the jungle, Cultural tours, Spice farm tour, and snorkeling/diving. And our new Tikal National Park tour (Guatemala). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mama Noots Eco Hotel Dangriga
Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures Belize/Hopkins

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