I won't soon forget my stay at the Banana Bank Lodge. First there are the owners - the Carrs, who are American ex-pats who have lived in Belize since the 1970s. Mr. Carr is a former rodeo cowboy from Montana, and Mrs. Carr is an artist of some reknown in Belize. She designed many of the buildings on the grounds, and it shows that they were designed by an artist. My room had a beautiful carved mahogany headboard and a stained glass window but no night stand, towel rack, or toilet paper roller.
One of the best things about Banana Bank was the service, which was excellent. The staff made sure I was able to schedule trips I would enjoy, my guides were on time, including one early morning departure to get me connected to a tour out of San Ignacio, and everyone was friendly and helpful. While I was at Banana Bank, I had a day out to see Xunantunich, a couple of horseback rides through the jungle, a river tubing trip (the Lodge is located on the bank of the Belize River), and a visit to Tikal.
Another good part of my stay was the food, which was basic, but well-prepared. Many of the vegetables served at meals were grown on property. It's a good thing that the food is good because it's more than 2 miles to the nearest paved road. Luckily, unless you are really into partying, most of what you need is at the Lodge, including a little cafe that serves drinks and light snacks and where one can often find interesting people to talk to.
I do have a few complaints about the Banana Bank Lodge. The main one was the warped window in my room that would not close all the way, so most of the AC escaped and my room never got cool. Also this is not a great place if you like to sleep late. Not only does the sun rise very early, but there are no blackout curtains, and the birds in the aviary start squawking. I never could sleep past 6:30 AM.
If you stay at Banana Bank, say "Hello" to Tikatoo, the jaguar who lives in an enclosure on the path to the dining hall. As I said, this is a most unusual hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In a beautiful rainforest setting beside the mighty Belize River sits a jungle paradise where horses roam freely. Parrots, toucans, macaws will greet you with a "tropical Hello" while and our jaguar Tikatoo and other animals delight your stay. Here you'll find adventure, great food, congenial hosts, exotic artwork and memories to last a lifetime. Family style dining and our helpful, friendly staff all ensure your stay at Banana Bank is an unforgettable experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Bank Lodge & Horseback Adventure Hotel Belmopan
- Banana Bank Lodge And Horseback Adventure
- Banana Bank Lodge & Jungle Horseback Adventure Belize/Belmopan