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“#1 Ranking Around San Ignacio is WELL DESERVED”

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Mariposa Jungle Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 February 2012

My husband and I spent an incredible week in Belize at the end of December 2011. We started our trip in Placencia at Robert's Grove and 3 days later transferred to Mariposa Jungle Lodge for the jungle portion of our trip.

I agree with the other positive reviews about the beautifully appointed cabanas (with the most comfortable beds!), the cleanliness of the Lodge and the kind and attentive staff. Our meals were delicious and varied--every night had a different theme and cuisine. But the most special night was New Year's Eve. It was an unexpected surprise to have a New Year's Eve celebration complete with a DJ, music, wonderful food, great company and dancing, dancing, dancing! Everyone had a blast!

It is troubling to read reviews by someone that so clearly advances an agenda of sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt about this very kind and hospitable group of hard working professionals. We are the kind of travelers who generally plan our own trips and entertainment. We enjoy the serendipity of the road, but we opted to have others do the work and it was both economical and a big time saver. We booked all our excursions (ATM, Caracol, Butterfly happy hour, Zoo) through Sharyn, who was most helpful and who did not try to push any particular agenda. Tour guides were knowledgeable, professional and friendly. In the middle of the jungle, we had a most comfortable, relaxing, secure and enriching experience.

All we can do is suggest to others reading this that you research thoroughly and dismiss those reviews that seem to have an purpose other than to simply inform. This was a great place, and it was a wonderful way to experience a part of the world that is still removed from the touch of corporate hotels. We are certain that you will enjoy your experience at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Rose P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 - 191 of 282 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2012

With 2 thirteen year old girls in tow (my granddaughter and her friend), together with my wife and I (two fifty year old plus farts) and sister-in-in-law ( a young 70+), plans for celebrating New Years 2012 in Belize together was destined to be very quiet. That all changed very quickly when we decided to have dinner and participate in celebrations at the Mariposa. Initially the girls were not too thrilled to spend New Years with their grandparents and strangers but agreed when they realized the Mariposa had internet. Wow, now they could text, text and text some more to all their friends back home in Canada. I think the girls had only been away from the internet for a week! From the time of our arrival we were warmly greeted by Sharyn, Clara and staff and quickly made the rounds of introductions to all the folks staying at the jungle lodge. We were treated to a very nice meal that evening and a disc jockey was set up around the pool to accomodate those who wanted to dance. To say we all had a "hoot" is an understatement! Donning party hats and horns we worked up a "sweat" and I do mean a "sweat", young and old alike, taking a midnight plunge in the pool "avec" all our clothes and arriving back home at two in the morning. Believe it or not "alcohol" was not a mitigating factor either. The girls remarked it was their best New Years ever. It was nice to see that in this day and age girls would still rather dance the night away than text! Thank God! We have stayed at the Mariposa many times, always treated royally and recommend it to our family and friends.
John, Penny, Rileigh and Marisa

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank JOHNNYREMAX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

The self-ascribed title of 'luxury' is laughable. On the surface it looks nice but a discerning eye will notice all the little corners they cut. It's more like a shoddy, novice attempt at luxury. If you've stayed at other luxury/boutique hotels you know what I mean. The pool is a good example. The photos of the pool look nice. But the design quality is less than flawless and that charming red ground around the pool WILL stain your clothes a lovely blood color.

The 'fine dining' is a joke. The $45USD dinner-breakfast combo is a rip-off even by US standards and an extreme one by Belize standards. Let's split this 50/50. So for $22.50, the dinner was scant portions of soup, tacos, and a slice of fruit. Drinks not included. The $22.50 breakfast was equally basic. The flavors were good but one could obtain equal quality in Belize for a fraction of the price. Also, do plastic plates make you think of fine dining?

The real kicker of the food and Mariposa at large was this: I ate nothing but Mariposa between
4:00pm and 11:00am the next day. My stomach started to really ache around noon. I thought it might be hunger so I gave lunch a shot elsewhere (we readily moved on from Mariposa). I couldn't stomach half of the meal (unusual for me) and went to rest. About 15min later, I vomited my lunch in full. I tried to hydrate yet was so utterly sick I couldn't even keep clean water down. Basically, I had the worst, most hellish food poisoning I've ever had in my life. I've traveled somewhat extensively and have been exposed to a variety of exotic bacterium and unclean food prep. Of all the food-borne illness I experienced, this was undoubtedly the WORST. Can I prove to you it was Mariposa? No. But the 'fine dining' at Mariposa was all I consumed for approx. 20hrs prior to being sick. Personally, I have no doubt it was Mariposa. So my bad experience w/ Mariposa extended long after check out. Does this sound like 'fine dining' to you?

The only reason I gave this 2 out of 5 is because the cabanas and the non-owning staff WERE nice. The cabanas were spacious and new despite (once again) the cut corners. Examples: look in the bathroom mirror. In the reflection behind your head, you'll see a big ugly water heater. Whatever, no big deal, but real luxury would have that out of sight. Cheap, most basic toiletries. I'll gladly stay in the dingiest of hotels but don't call something luxury when its not.

I also don't mean to hate on the staff as they were very nice and helpful. Unfortunately, the owner's decorum/service outweighed the rest. I love independent, closely managed hotels similar to Mariposa but there are boundaries to the host-guest relationship that were violated in variety of ways.

Mariposa might be good for travelers who want to get to a sweet area and have all their plans made by someone trying to get a cut from setting it up. Frankly, I don't know why. You're on tripadvisor. If you plan on doing a specific activity in Pine Ridge figure it out for yourself, get the money to the guides without a non-local middleman. And anyways, Mariposa isn't even in Mountain Pine Ridge.

In summary, you couldn't pay me to stay here ever again. I saw/stayed at a variety of the other Mountain Pine Ridge hotels and would recommend any of them over Mariposa. I heard Mariposa is on the market. Someone with more hotel experience should buy it and turn it around.

Room Tip: stay somewhere else
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Moonsouljah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sbrink, Owner at Mariposa Jungle Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2012

Were it not for the marketing power of Trip Advisor, this malicious, dishonest and inaccurate review would not be worth acknowledging. Mariposa Jungle Lodge has been blessed with myriad exceptionally interesting and enjoyable guests. It was only a matter of time before we were cursed with the guests from hell, one of whom is clearly the writer of this review.

I’ll start with the bottom line. The reason for this review is that we refused to return a nonrefundable payment for a triple occupancy room for December 31 through January 2, part of our peak season. The person who made the reservation tried to cancel it one week before the scheduled New Years Eve arrival because of an alleged serious family medical problem. When she learned there would be no refund under the circumstances, the problem was magically resolved and she emailed for driving directions and other advice. She and her friends were “challenging” and high overhead from the day of arrival until departure. I could write pages of details but it would be politically inappropriate and inconsistent with Trip Advisor guidelines.

The food or meal described bears no resemblance to the one meal these ladies enjoyed or anything offered at our Lodge. The description and the discussion of prices is entirely fabricated and irrational. They paid only for the New Years Eve event dinner at $32/pp. Dinner consisted of a choice of fresh shrimp or tilapia ceviche, a choice of zucchini/cilantro or black bean soup, baked Virginia ham, mashed garlic cauliflower, green beans almondine, and dessert. My chef and server later told me these ladies preferred to make no choices and asked for and ate a portion of every single option on the menu, which I was happy to learn because it indicated they were pleased with the offerings. The traveling companions had no health problems. Nor did any of the other 20 or more guests.
This unusual case of food poisoning took 14 hours to manifest itself. The alleged victim (who didn’t speak any English and could not be writer of this review) may have had stomach pains at 11 am because she ate so much the night before. The writer acknowledges she vomited 15 minutes after eating lunch elsewhere, yet she assumes it was based on dinner from the previous night. If she was sick at all and the ladies weren’t just using another excuse to get out of their reservation, it was clearly not because of Mariposa food. At about 3 pm that afternoon, I was called with a request to refund their payment for the second and third evening of their reservation because they did not want to return here and wantyed no more hotel food because one of them had food poisoning from the hotel food and they were looking for a doctor. I volunteered the name and location of a good doctor in San Ignacio and explained again that room payment was nonrefundable.

Rather than mock the absurdity of the writer’s criticisms, I offer these assurances to potential guests: We use good quality plastic plates at poolside events because accidental glass breakage creates a possible safety hazard. We use dishes and china in our restaurant. The individual hot water heaters in every cabana were installed at considerable extra expense as part of our commitment to the environment and our status as an eco-lodge. These heaters provide immediate, on-demand hot water without the waste of energy or water in a networked system with central heater. For our most discerning guests, these heating units have significant benefit and are an understandable deviation from our usually high aesthetic standard. Perhaps the normal guest doesn’t spend as much time as this writer looking in the mirror and the background it images.

As a hotelier, I had to ask myself whether a potential vindictive Trip Advisor review was worth the loss of 3 nights high season revenue in a triple unit, because that was the only consideration in denying the refund demand. Colleagues of mine have been threatened with bad reviews if they didn’t waive charges or offer something for nothing. As a matter of principle, I refuse to be blackmailed. Only time will tell if I made the right decision by sticking to published and standard Belize hotel industry policy. We hoped Trip Advisor would disregard this review in evaluating our ranking, but it looks like the writer succeeded in pushing us to #2. There are several excellent resorts in Cayo, each of which has its own special personality. I hope potential Mariposa guests recognize the aberration of this review in determining which resort is right for them.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

We just returned from a week's stay at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge, and our first trip to Belize. The reviews on Trip Advisor are totally on the mark. This place is a real gem!

We are a 30 something couple and wanted to spend 7 nights in the Cayo to do a combination of outdoor activities and Mayan culture/sightseeing. The lodge is perfectly situated to take advantage of all that the region has to offer. Highlights for us were the ATM cave (a must do!) and a day at Tikal in Guatemala. Also great were happy hour at the butterfly farm (sounds crazy but at dusk thousands of incredible butterflies are active), horseback riding, Caracol, river canoeing, Mountain biking, Xunantinich, and zip lining.

What makes this place special, however, is the very personal care from the owner, Sharyn, and her great staff that feels more like family (thank you Clara, Nelmarie, Damien, Esau). When we arrived, one of us had a banged-up toe and Sharyn quickly re-arranged our activities. She checked in with us every evening, asked about our guides/impressions of the day, and suggested activities that we might enjoy. We were treated to delicious meals (they accomodate a range of preferences and send out a detailed food questionnaire in advance of your stay), an immaculate and comfortable cabana, and knowledgeable and fluent English-speaking guides. We felt very lucky to always have a guide to ourselves (with the exception of ATM where we were with another couple), especially when we saw the large groups from other lodges.

If you are considering a combination of jungle and beach, we recommend staying in the jungle first, and then going to the coast to relax after all of the activities...

No matter what, stay at Mariposa Jungle Lodge. It's an unforgettable experience.

Room Tip: Jaguar is a great cabana for couples - quiet and private.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank katebfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We just returned from Mariposa Jungle Lodge, a place we chose based on Trip Advisor reviews. Our purposes for going to Belize were birding and Mayan ruins of Belize and Guatemala, and by staying in the Cayo region, all that is possible. Our cabana was very clean and comfortable; meals were fashioned to meet our tastes by Esau; Nelmarie is a very attentive host: all of the wait staff were anxious to please; Augusto's knowledge of the history of the Mayan ruins at Caracol made the visit a great experience and Sharyn makes things happen.

We are young seniors (one of us with joint replacements), and, at first, Sharyn felt Tikal would be too difficult for me to manage. But she looked into it further and found out that there are accommodations at Tikal to make the trip doable - and it was. When I told Sharyn that I was amazed at the success of the large Mennonite community in the area and would like to see it, she arranged for a tour guide, Louis, a birder, to take us there to see the community and bird.

We extend our thanks to all of the above, especially Augusto for his tour of the Zoo and his excellent driving. If you are looking for a quiet jungle base, good food, cleanliness and a staff that tries to meet all needs, go to Mariposa Jungle Lodge.
,

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pharmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Having traveled extensively, it is a rare treat when I find a resort or location that offers something new that exceeds my expectations. The jungle setting of the resort allows you to experience nature at its finest. The thatched cabins blend into the environment, si I was pleasantly surprised by the well-appointed interior, with a very comfortable king bed, a generous sitting area, great screened in porch with hammock and unbeatable jungle view. The tiled bathroom was spacious, modern and immaculate. Although the guest rooms are built under the jungle canopy, the pool is situated in an open area and you can sunbathe by day or swim under the stars at night. The jungle birdwatch tower offered another unique opportunity for stargazing without ambient light. The bar and dining area are nice and completely appropriate for the jungle location. The new chef focused on what I would call a gourmet level of Belizean offerings. The food was excellent overall, but the coconut and pineapple shrimp dinner and the delicious soups stand out in my memory.
The Mariposa experience was enhanced by the excellent stewardship of Sharyn, the proprietor. Based on her advice I was able to use my limited time more efficiently. I enjoyed a highly informative and interesting visit to Caracol, the great Mayan ruin of Belize, and an amazing visit to ATM, a spectacular ceremonial cave that is reached by hiking, wading and swimming. After two active days, an easy hike and river tubing offered, peace, relaxation and wonderful scenery at nearby Macaw Bank Jungle Lodge where Ron and Al, the proprietors, provided an excellent meal and fun company. Sharyn also introduced me to Happy Hour with the Butterflies at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch where I sipped wine and watched thousands of butterflies engage in a ritual pre-slumber dance at sunset.Jan and Tineke, the gracious proprietors of Green Hills, were most engaging in their descriptions of the butterflies, humming birds, local lightning bugs that emit enough light to read in the dark, and tarantulas, including the Meerman Tarantula, a species that was discovered and identified by Jan.
My jungle trip was actually a too brief adjunct to a week -long diving cruise around the Belize Cayes. At the end of my Belize experience I realized that my time at Mariposa Jungle Lodge was the highlight of my trip. Mariposa delivers what it offers - "Adventure by Day and Comfort by Night". I plan to return to more Mariposa magic.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank Bill A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

My family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children -- 13 and almost 12) has just returned from a fabulous trip to Belize for 2 weeks. We were at the Mariposa Jungle Lodge 12/17 - 12/21. We chose the Lodge because of its wonderful reviews and it definitely met or exceeded all of our expectations.

The planning part of the trip was so easy and both Sharyn and Clara were wonderful. They answered all my questions, planned our excursions and Clara even booked in the remaining part of our trip on Ambergris Caye. She also gave us a wonderful referral for excursions while at Ambergris Caye. (that will be posted under Coco Beach Resort).

First of all, my family can't say enough wonderful things about Sharyn and her staff. What an exceptional group of people. Ever member of her team is polite, hard working and just a pleasure to be around. The people there alone would have made the trip worthwhile. However, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you how beautiful her property is. The cabanas are terrific. We have not slept on a more comfortable mattress, and to wake to the sounds of the jungle each morning was amazing.

Our food was delicious and Eso is a fabulous chef. I couldn't wait to see what he prepared each night for dinner and every morning for breakfast. While we are not picky eaters, there are a few things that we don't eat and through their food survey, they were extremely accommodating. One night they served an entire fish for dinner, and my daughter was a bit squimish about having the head still on. Sharyn took it away and Eso graciously removed the head and all bones from her fish.....my son on the other hand had a ball picking and eating around the head and bones :) While most nights we ate in the lodge, one night we had a dinner of pork, chicken and shrimp served buffet style by the pool. It was amazing!!!

The first two nights Sharyn joined us for a glass of wine after dinner and on our last night there, we asked her to join us for dinner and she pulled up a chair and did just that. We loved hearing the stories of her travels and how the Lodge came about. Nellmarie, Sharyn's manager, was also available and I loved talking with her about her two beautiful children and recent wedding to the chef, Eso :)

Our bartender, Asad, was an absolute joy....always with a smile on his face. He challenged both my children to arm wrestling matches....quite comical, given his size, but my kids tried hard! Sharyn even joined in a game of cards with my kids and another guest on our last night there.

Another employee, Damien, was our tour guide and transportation to and from the airport. What a remarkable man! So proud of his heritage and so adept at telling us all about it! We truly enjoyed our time with him. He definitely made each excursion even more memorable.

The excursions we went on were the ATM (not for the faint of heart but well worth the effort), the zip lining (most beautiful zip lining we've done thus far), Caracol (amazing ruins), Happy Hour at the Butterfly Farm (must do), and the Belize Zoo (great way to see the animals of Belize).

If there is anything negative to say, it would be regarding the roads, but that is something that unfortunately can't be fixed. While it may have been a bumpy ride to the resort (last 9 miles), it added to the experience and really let my children see what it's like living in other countries and what the people have vs need. Not once did we hear any complaints from the Belizeans. They are proud of their country and thankful for what they have.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful things we experienced while at Mariposa. It was definitely the highlight of our trip. In hindsight, it would have been nice to have more time there. We got to know the other families/couples staying there and even saw one of them in Ambergris Caye :)

Thank you Sharyn, Clara, Nellmarie, Eso, Asad, Damien and all the other staff for making this a fabulous trip! Keep doing what your doing, cause you're doing it Great!!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank nyyfan2!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mariposa Jungle Lodge

Address: San Antonio Road, San Antonio, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > San Antonio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Antonio
Price Range: £160 - £206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mariposa Jungle Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This boutique eco-resort nestled under the jungle canopy of San Antonio, Belize, offers six luxury cabanas with air conditioning and wifi, mosquito-netted canopy beds, private screened porches with hammocks, and comfortable sitting areas for relaxation. Enjoy local and international cuisine, full bar, and the library with an eclectic book collection, games, and array of international art and memorabilia. Mariposa is well-located for tours to regional Maya archaeological sites, waterfalls, caves, and rivers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mariposa Jungle Hotel San Ignacio

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