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“Perfect location and friendly staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pook's Hill Lodge

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Pook's Hill Lodge
PO Box 14, Belmopan, Belize   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Belmopan
Alexander City, Alabama
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Perfect location and friendly staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

This was the second part of my wife and I honeymoon. We stayed at the beach in Belize for the first 4 days and then stayed at Pook's Hill the final 4 days. Perfect location for the ATM Cave!! I highly recommend just to plan on staying at least 2 days or more at Pook's Hill for the best experience. The food was very good, very experienced guides, great bar, great walks through rain forest, lots of wildlife, and very nice sleeping quarters.

Room Tip: Select the bird watch huts. Lots of privacy and bigger rooms. They have two beds also unlike the s...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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180 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

We stayed here on our honeymoon and we really loved it. From the warm welcome from the staff to the note we received in our room congratulating us on our honeymoon, we were treated really well during our stay.

The accomodation was lovely. We had private cabana with a big comfortable bed and plenty of room to take our 2 large suitcases.

The food was simple but really tasty and the seating arrangements for meals meant that everyone who was staying here at the time got too chat with one another.

We took part in night walks with a local guide during which we saw a tarantula, a poisonous toad and numerous types of snakes, lizards and spiders. For those of you who don't like the smaller creatures, we were never in danger.

One of the highlights of our stay was our tour to the ATM cave. I cannot stress enough how much of an advantage it was to be staying so close to the cave. We were the first people to arrive at the cave which was obvious when we found the park ranger was still asleep when we arrived. Not a common occurence by all accounts but he could be forgiven for it as it was quite early.

Having the ATM cave to ourselves with a brilliant guide, provided by Pooks Hill, made this one of the highlights of our honeymoon. The real advantage of the peace and quiet that we experienced in the cave became really obvious when we met several other tours coming against us as we were leaving the cave. The noise of the extra people and the reduced space, which is at a premium in several parts, meant that the other groups did not get the great experience that we had when we were alone.

I would highly recommend Pooks Hill to anyone who wants to experience living in the jungle, with all it's noises and attractions.

Room Tip: Bring a torch as there is no lighting between the main meeting area and the rooms. Also bring your c...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We absolutely adored Pook's Hill and believe it to be the most unique and enjoyable lodging we have ever encountered. It is not luxurious, but very comfortable and clean in a nice rustic-jungle way. We loved our little cabana! The grounds are gorgeous, you feel truly away from civilization. The evening gatherings for Happy Hour at the communal terrace by lamplight was romantic and fun, and the family style meals a delight. I am not an extrovert, but ended up loving the talks with other guests about their adventures and hearing about all the international places they hailed from. Taking the ATM tour early before the crowds was a real gift, and the wildlife we saw exciting. We made fast friends with our little tour group and enjoyed socializing with them and sharing inside jokes the rest of our stay. The trails on the property and swimming in the river were delightful. And the staff are exemplary! From the cleaning and cooking staff, to tour guides to the proprietors, everyone was helpful, efficient and dependable. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the lodge and can't wait to return. Before booking you need to realize you will be isolated, the road in is VERY bumpy. The cabana we had was simple but comfortable but there is not a lot of privacy: one queen bed and open ceiling bathroom area with windows 360 degrees. No air conditioning- just ceiling fan. There were some spiders, mosquitos but not many.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundee, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

We spent 3 nights of our honeymoon in one of the bird walk cabanas and were not disappointed. Such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere created by Ray and his staff who were always willing to be of assistance and have a wee blether (chat). The array of wildlife was amazing and within a couple of hundred metres of the main lodge we saw a Boa Constrictor, Kinkajou, Basilisk lizards, bats, humming birds and countless butterflies, to name a few. Our alarm clock in the morning were the nearby Howler Monkeys which was a pretty nifty way to start the day. The buffet style, locally sourced food was simple but delicious and you could pretty much eat as much as you want. All of the staff and guides are very knowledgeable and obviously have a real love for the jungle and its creatures. We went on a day trip to the Mayan site in Tikal which was worth seeing for the history and additional wildlife (Spider Monkeys, Coatimundi, Agouti, Leafcutting ants, Ocellated Turkeys, Emerald Toucanets). Biting insects aren't really a problem around the Lodge but it you go on any trails it's definitely worth covering up or applying repellent as we found out. The guided walks are definitely worth doing as the guide (Isidora) certainly knew his stuff and pointed out all sorts of animals, birds and medicinal plants and trees. Unfortunately on the last evening we were due to go on a guided night walk but the rain prevented this (we were there during the wet season so it wasn't entirely unexpected) therefore it's worth taking advantage of good weather to make the most of your stay. The Lodge and organised excursions weren't particularly cheap but, on reflection, were well worth it. We would go back in a second! Many thanks again Ray, David, Cat, Chris Liz, Isidora et al.

Room Tip: The bird walk cabanas are a bit more secluded and couple-friendly
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

My husband and I spent three weeks exploring Belize, and based on the top reviews and the proximity of ATM caves, we decided to give Pook's Hill a try. We definitely made the right call, we only wish we could have stayed a couple more days.

The lodge is very isolated, tucked into a large private property which includes acres of jungle, and borders on a nature reserve. We drove in a jeep from St Ignacio, and you definitely want that 4x4 action to get to the lodge if you're planning on driving. There are only something like 11 cabañas, with traditional palm roof design, but very comfortable, fully screened so no need for a mosquito net. I'm not saying there were not insects, but for me mosquitos are the most annoying, and actually it was better at Pooks than on San Pedro in that regard! The cabañas do not have AC (it's an eco lodge after all) but there is a ceiling fan and it was humid but not too hot at night, in fact we had to use the thin blanket a couple nights! There is hot water in the showers, and electricity too, they run a generator with cohune (palm) nut oil!

We spent the first days exploring their property on well marked trails, and swimming a bit in the river. We did night and day jungle walks with their guide Isodoro, who was amazing, a Mopan Mayan who could explain so much about the plants, animals and insects, medicine and survival skills, etc, it was really a privilege to learn so much. We also went tubing on the Roaring River and returned a couple times just to go swimming in one of the deeper pools.

The food is served family style and is really good, even my skeptical, carnivore husband was happy, while I got great veggie dishes. Every night around 6:00, people gather for drinks in the main palapa and chat about their days, share tips for future travels, etc, before heading down to dinner. It sounds cheesy but it's really not, and we really enjoyed meeting the other guests and hanging out with the owner Ray and Cat and Dave, who manage the lodge, and Isodoro.

The ATM cave was the frosting on the cake, one of the highlights of our entire trip. The guide they use, Hector, was amazing. We left at 7:00 and sort of rushed though the jungle trail to get to the cave, but it was so worth it because our little group of three + Hector were the only ones in the caves for hours!!! We only started running into other groups as we were heading back, and I would strongly urge any of you considering going to ATM to go via Pooks. I won't say anything about ATM itself since you can read about it elsewhere, but we loved it so much, not just for the sacred nature of the burials but the sheer beauty of the caves and underground river so pure you can drink from it. And we had too much fun navigating the cave itself, after we got out, we half joked with Hector that we wanted to do it again, and he took us back in another way, that was a lot more challenging, and so much fun to scramble around in!!

The only slight downside is that it's far from cheap, we just decided to splurge and felt that it really was worth it, it's a very special experience. Keep in mind that since food and water are included, and the local guides, you really get a lot out of it for the price. It was hard to leave and find ourselves back in the bustle of the islands, it's like an oasis of calm, I would go back in a second! The night sky there is perfect for stargazing, and the sound of howler monkeys off in the distance is really cool!

Thanks to Ray, Cat, Dave, Isodoro and the cooks for making Pooks a special place to visit! I hope we make it back some day.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

We spent 4 nights at Pooks Hill in one of the raised cabanas. The experience was amazing- we saw loads of wildlife from large birds like motmots and trogon to the smallest hummingbirds and even a Coral snake. The guided trips were well organised and run with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides. We were able to custom-build our own tours which were arranged for us in advance (eg. horse riding to Barton Creek). The owners are friendly and keen to make guests feel part of a large family- we ALL ate a buffet-style meal (food was excellent throughout our stay) together and spent the remainder of the evening socialising in the living area. The enthusiasm of owners and staff for the wildlife (even moths) was infectious. The site includes a small excavated Mayan ruin (ask for a quick tour).

Room Tip: Most rooms are on the ground with 2 raised cabanas (your choice- we were in the end cabana & saw...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We enjoyed our stay a lot. Stayed in the bird cabana. More animals than on a 3 day jungle trip. Also the small animals at the lamps and a house tarantella. Nice walks. Great guides. In the river we went snorkeling and on a relaxing tubeing. Great food. Nice people. And we played chicken foot. Lots of information. We stayed there in July 2011.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pook's Hill Lodge

Address: PO Box 14, Belmopan, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Belmopan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 hotels in Belmopan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pook’s Hill is a small eco-lodge situated within the primary rainforest of Western Belize. It borders a 7000 acre reserve and the Roaring River, and is only 4 miles from the ATM cave. Eleven thatch cabanas surround an ancient Maya site and look out over the jungle canopy. Each has a private bathroom with hot water and 24 hour electricity. Pook’s Tours offers a full range of day tours to attractions in Western Belize as well as transportation services to or from any destination in Belize and Tikal in Guatemala (it is a two hour drive from Belize City). Pook’s Hill provides visitors with truly unique jungle experiences in a breathtaking natural setting and is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the treasures of Western Belize. All management and operations at Pook’s Hill are carried out according to sustainable business practices. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pook`s Hill Hotel Belmopan
Pooks Hill Hotel
Pooks Hill Cayo
Pook's Hill Lodge Belize/Belmopan

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