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“5 star hotel food and service for an economical price!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel Belize

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Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel Belize
14.5 Mile Western Highway, Belize City 225, Belize   |  
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Ranked #3 of 23 Belize City B&B and Inns
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“5 star hotel food and service for an economical price!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2009

My husband and I spent a wonderful week in Belize and Guatemala with everything scheduled through the Orchid Garden Eco-Village. Jason and Christine worked with all of our requests and we were able to snorkel in the coral reef and see the ruins in Tikal which is a package that was hard to find anywhere else in only a 5 day trip. We had a private tour guide that took care of all of our needs and saw us through the boarder into Guatemala and back. The scheduling was perfect and we were taken such good care of that we didn't have to worry about tickets, money, times, food, or safety for the whole trip.

The hotel grounds were beautiful and the rooms were kept very clean. We had full five course meals cooked to any and all dietary requests. The food was all cooked by Christine and we have never eaten so well on vacation before. We were looking for a great hotel without paying for unnecessary ammenities and were very happy with our choice. We felt like we were part of the family and I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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235 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
atlanta, ga
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2009

We spent our last night in Belize at this location, primarily to be close to the airport for our return trip, but I would recommend it to anyone wanting a central location to explore from. Christine and her staff were very friendly and hospitable, and made us feel very welcomed. The grounds are very pretty, with gardens, tropical foliage, a small pond and nature trail. The rooms are basic, but large and clean. Christine mentioned they were going to upgrade the beds soon. The food was excellent, and served in a common room, so we were able to talk with other travelers and learn of their adventures also. It was very quiet and peaceful there. They have a nice "common room" with full kitchen, TV, internet, library and ping pong table.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

You’ll have a wonderful time at Orchid Garden Eco-Village, IF you are clear on what it is - and what it isn’t.

What Eco-Village is is a bed and breakfast. It's not a hotel, it's not a motel. (It kind of looks like a motel in parts, but not really). If what you want is a resort atmosphere with a TV and free internet in every room, a heated pool, and a room decorated by a top notch interior designer, this is not the place for you. The part of the complex you'll mostly care about consist of a dining hall and several smaller single floor barrack like houses divided into bedrooms and bathrooms for each guest or family (we had two of these bedroom/bathroom combinations in the same building structure (see photos). I think each of the several small buildings they use as the "hotel" part of the property are divided into four sets of rooms with their own bathrooms, no complaints about layout. There were several of these small buildings, and they appeared pretty much all the same, although they had one with a ping-pong table and pool table in it which I could tell the layout was slightly different.
(The part of the complex you won't care as much about but you'll see on your eco-tour of the complex is a series of single or multi-family homes spread out over the back 40, about half of them in use by local familes and professionals and some staff, about half of them overtaken by jungle and termites.) I'll say this right now - this place was just fine compared to a few of the "resorts" I looked at online (like you're doing), not having to rough it in camp huts or anything like that. But it's not as nice as the high-end places charging alot more either.

There's no central lobby or check-in, or concierge or anything like that. (They apparently added a computer with internet connectivity in one unused room - also added a TV there and they have a room dedicated as a library, so it's not, you know, totally "off the grid"! The internet was, admitedly, a nice and useful feature, and good thinking on their part - although, we kind of got the feeling it was a "concession" that they labored over making before deciding to provide it for guests.) There are some other smaller scattered little hut like buildings for various purposes, some sheds and some specialty enclosures for growing mushrooms and the like.

You'll note that almost every review here rates the rooms low, but everything else high. Thats because the rooms are very sterile in barrack-like environs, clean and stark white. A couple beds, a couple chairs, a table, a mini-fridge, and the bathroom. And (as one of the staff was fond of saying) you can't keep nature out. So, you may see a spider in a corner, but you'll definitely see at least one gecko run around in the your room - and you'll hear them every now and then "chirp" in the middle of the night. This was "weird" at first (to us) but we got used to it and found it amusing after the first night. Our family of 5 (including three teens) stayed in two of the rooms at the Orchid Garden Eco-Village for 3 nights. Not very long, but just right for our purposes. In the rooms they do provide a small refrigerator with a jug of water in it as a concession to needing the late night cool drink, but you're on your own if you get the late night munchies. Each of the two rooms we had had a single satisfactory window air conditioner unit that softies like us needed to have running all night long. I suspect that if they ever got around to installing a couple ceiling fans in each room, that might be more eco-friendly and allow you to sleep as comfortably during the slightly cooler evenings with the (screened) windows open. The adjoining bathrooms in both the bedrooms we had were serviceable
but fundamentally pretty gnarly with very low water pressure in the shower, some peeling paint etc. A sign on the back of the bathroom door asked users of the commode not to put toilet paper down the toilet, and we still don't know what that was about: a quick poll of other guests we met indicated there was mixed adherence to the policy! So - some quirkiness, but all in all: "ok". (I'm just trying to be objective here).

Orchid Garden provides great food made on site, don't worry about your food for meals, you'll be well cared for, and we had two "veggies" in our family that had nothing but praise for the food. But there's no snack bar or junk food machine to raid late at night (just as well!). Breakfast and lunch (if you're not out at a Mayan Ruin, or zip-lining, or whatever) is taken in the very nice large dining hall (for lack of a better way to put it)(see the photo) that is really spectacular with natural thick slabs of mahogany for table tops cut (legally) from the remains of past logging activity in the nearby jungle. Communal suppers were held in a smaller back dining room that had a large table that could seat over a dozen people and made for nice conversations with other guests and with Robin and Amy, full-time assistant/caretaker types that help the owners by doing odd jobs and errands for Orchid Garden. (Note to Jason [since I know you'll be reading this] I don't know how you functioned before they came along, but Robin and Amy are -gold-!) (And Robin didn't pay me to say this either!)

The thing that mostly attracted me to Orchid Garden were the packages and pricing. I really think they've got a great balance of features for the price - they're obviously considered excellent acquaintences by the various places we went to - they have relationships with many resort spas that directly run some specific activity or other and we could tell they were considered well-thought-of regulars on the various central Belizean tour circuits.

You'll be met at the airport or water taxi, shuttled to "the village" and to wonderful Belizean activities by supportive knowledgeable staff. They have a dedicated tour director - Alfredo - who knows quite a bit about flora and fauna. He is a "birder" and knows alot about the local avian population. He also seemed to have a great knowledge of plants, Belizean history, and so on; I enjoyed talking with him, an excellent resource the Orchid Garden has. They provided all transfers. Orchid Garden is less than an hour on the (well paved) Western Highway out of Belize city.

Additional features of the complex include a couple different educational areas and museums featuring a stone and mineral collection, another featuring a bottle collection that was bequethed to the owners, and many exterior botanical features, so there were some surprises.

Oh, and that "pool" you see photos of. We decided not to swim in it... we're not big fresh-water (lake type) fans and the pool is basically what we would have called a pond back in North Carolina where I grew up complete with minnows cosying up to you when you enter it. I think it's a little extreme to ask (as another reviewer did) "why aren't all pools built like this?"... it definitely wasn't to our liking, but we met some other guests that loved it, so I guess we were in the minority about that. Robin and Amy say they swim a couple miles in it every day, so there you go (but they've been there a while!). Orchid Garden has taken care to make sure the water is refreshed naturally and it was interesting (intellectually speaking) to learn about it.

All in all, would we recommend it? Yes... with your eyes open. If you're a "natural" crunchy granola-eater type and want an interesting facility (and don't mind the basics for sleeping arrangements) you'll totally love it! (If you need your hair curler to function, you may be border-line and might not care for it. You might, but caveat emptor). For botanists and ornos, you'll love it.

Oh, lastly, I communicated with Jason Liao (the owner who runs the facility with his wife Cindy) about our arrangements and was impressed by his morals and ethics - we had a minor mis-communication about one of the transfers we paid for which we later didn't need them to provide for us and upon our arrival Cindy immediately approached me with an envelope of cash returning the unused portion of our earlier Internet payment. So: kudos: definitely A-plus on the reliability scale! These people are all totally trustworthy.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biot
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

I stayed at the Orchid Garden Eco-Village on my arrival in Belize. It was a wonderful warm welcome with freshly made Hortence flower juice and a traditional meal. Just what you need after a long Atlantic flight. The rooms are spacious, beds comfortable, there is free internet access. I saw the new (naturally filtered with plants) swiming pool, what a shame that it was still a bit cool to swim, it was soooo tempting. The rocks in the museum are amazing, and we had a lovely day trip into the mountains. I didn't have time to return to the hotel as I was on a course up near San Ignacio, but on my next trip it is a MUST and next time I will stay longer.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St Louis, MO
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2009

I took my children (10 &12) here for Spring Break. We all thought it was awesome. So relaxing in that they took care of everything. Wonderful excursions, both exciting and educational and Alfredo is an outstanding guide both in terms of knowledge and service. The feel is more like a bed and breakfast as the staff caters to your every need. The grounds are beautiful. The rooms are not plush but roomy and comfortable. The food is delicious and they take requests. We also enjoyed the swimming pond, the rec room and the free use of their computer.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

We loved staying at Orchid Garden, Eco-Village. The staff are amazingly friendly and courteous and they will go out of their way to make your vacation the best it can be. We felt like family. The garden is beautiful, and there is a nature swimming pool.
The food is the best food we had in Belize, and we never went hungry. It is made with the freshest ingredients.
The rooms are big and comfortable and very clean. There is internet available at no cost, which is great for keeping in touch at home. There is a games room availabe for guest use with pool and ping pong.
It is centrally located in Belize so it is easy to travel to many destinations. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and took the time to explain and show us many different things.
We were backpacking around Belize and left one place that we had already paid for to return to Orchid Garden Eco-Village because we missed the people and how comfortable we felt there. Staying there was the least stressful part of our vacation and allowed us to relax and enjoy, rather than worrying about planning how we were going to do everything and get everywhere.
We went cave tubing, zip lining, to Mayan Ruins, travelled into various caves. It was quite the adventure. We always felt safe and secure but still had the experience of a lifetime.
Their prices are more than reasonable and everything is included (except alcohol), so no hidden costs. They are familiar with the area and are able to plan amazing trips throughout Belize in coordination with other hotels, which saves the trouble and cost of transportation and everything that goes with travelling around a Country.
I definitely recommend planning your trip through Orchid Garden Eco-Village

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

Many places advertise themselves as eco-friendly, but this is the real thing, boasting a variety of landscaping to boost bird attractiveness and even iguana sanctuaries. The swimming pool defines the philosophy. Water is kept circulating via solar powered pump, and the water is purified by a ring of water lilies and plants with a natural bottom and no poured concrete. Why aren't all pools like this?

My husband and I are birders and in our travels across the country, we found no better place to observe a wide variety of birds so effortlessly. We spent a few hours each day as literal "armchair" observers, having set up chairs, binoculars, and cameras on the grounds, and watched the birds come to us. We spotted over 40 species within the 4 days we were there including 3 varieties of hummingbirds, 2 woodpecker species, and a number of wood wablers from northern climes.

Now let's talk food. I took a year off and pursued a passion by taking a one year Chef Training program, and earned my Red Seal on top of that. So, when I say we may have located the best chef in the country, trust me. Many of the foods appearing on our plates were grown right on the grounds. Flowers are distilled into "juices", bread is made by hand, and the green beans are a delight. All foods are healthy and exquisitely delicious and can be tailored to your needs.

The place is small and the staff make it a very personal experience. If you are put off by the small number of glowing reviews, please keep in mind the owners have been operating for only a couple of years, so word of mouth will taime time to grow.
Rooms are unusually spacious, clean, and comfortable. When the environment and chef are considered, it wouldn't surprise me if, with a small upgrade in furniture, that this place will give the Lamanai Outpost Lodge serious competition, so go before they realize they can raise their rates.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel Belize

Address: 14.5 Mile Western Highway, Belize City 225, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize District > Belize City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Belize City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Belize Vacations package take in the tropical rain forests, abundant wildlife, fascinating Mayan monuments, awesome underground caves, amazing coral reefs, mangroves and wetlands; they involve activities such as world-class snorkeling or diving along the coral reef, zip-lining through the rainforest canopy, tubing through a caves branch system, jungle horseback riding, river and lagoon wildlife cruising, exploring the ruins of ancient Mayan cities and other activities to experience the beauty of the tropical ecology in Belize. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Orchid Garden Eco-Village Hotel Belize Belize City

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