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“Old-world ambiance and tranquility at the villa in the jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort

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Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Paslowfalls Road, Bullet Tree Falls Village | Bullet Tree Falls Village, San Ignacio 501, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in San Ignacio
Snohomish, Washington
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
163 helpful votes 163 helpful votes
“Old-world ambiance and tranquility at the villa in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

This is an excellent lodging option in San Ignacio for those needing a convenient site to operate from while exploring Western Belize. In other words, this hotel can serve as "base camp" for touring various Mayan ruins and archaeological sites in the region. The hotel is located about 4 miles outside of San Ignacio on the banks of the Mopan River. In my opinion this is a good thing given the unappealing character of the town. Furthermore, there are no other hotels nearby. The hotel itself is not very large and consists of one 3-story building. It is decent-looking and designed like a villa or small chalet tucked away in a tropical forest. While a modern edifice, the architectural style of the building is such that it possesses an old world charm reminiscent of the European colonial era. The staff is friendly and helpful. There are a couple of different room categories and we chose the higher category. We were in the Monkey Pod Suite located on the top (third) floor underneath the roof-line. The windows in the dormers on opposite sides of the room allow a view of the grounds on both sides of the hotel. The room is spacious, as it encompasses the width of the building, and is decorated in a colonial, tropical motif with appropriate trim and furnishings. The teal-colored walls coupled with white ceiling and trim juxtaposed by a dark mahogany floor generates a soothing atmosphere within the room. It is furnished with a large four-poster bed, sitting area, mini-kitchen area and equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fans and other modern amenities. The bathroom is sizeable with suitable décor and has a jacuzzi. However, given the overall quality of furnishings and fixtures in the bathroom, the fiberglass/plastic shower is a disappointment and cheapens the room. One unexpected feature was the extensive satellite/cable TV service available in the room which proffered more channel options than the majority of televisions found in many upscale hotels elsewhere. Because of the placement and spatial imprint of the building on the property, the grounds and gardens around the hotel are somewhat limited in area. However, there is a strip of land between the hotel and the river which has been transformed into a tiered swath consisting of an upper terrace and lower garden area bordering the river. The upper part is basically an extension of the ground floor/lobby level of the hotel and contains the pool, sundeck and bar area. The view over the lower gardens, river and jungle canopy is attractive. Overall, it is an inviting setting and creates a relaxing atmosphere. The staff is courteous and attentive. Not only do they make an effort to be helpful but, they also make you feel welcome. The quality of food and service rendered by the on-site restaurant (Rico’s) is excellent and prices are reasonable. This is important given the fact that it is four miles to town and a roundtrip taxi ride is $20 (US)! Be advised that the lobby also functions as the dining room. The cook is very good and willing to accommodate special requests. I wish to single out Mateo (Head Chef) for special mention. If you decide to eat at Rico’s ask if Mateo is working. You will be in good hands. The front-desk personnel are equally competent and willing to assist you. Their ability to arrange personalized, quality excursions to various archaeological sites, Mayan ruins and sites of natural beauty, as well as facilitating other recreational activities, is particularly beneficial. We had the hotel arrange separate tours of Caracol and Xunantunich and were extremely happy with our experience(s). The hotel seems well-connected and appears to work with reputable tour providers who are knowledgeable and committed to ensuring their guests have a positive experience. We highly recommend coordinating such activities with Marsha (Front-Desk Mgr.). Undoubtedly, you may pay a bit more by booking through the hotel but I think it is worth it. By the way, the hotel is only 20 minutes by car from Xunantunich and about two hours from Caracol by car. Be advised that if you wish to rent your own vehicle to visit Caracol – make sure it has 4-wheel drive. Also, for what it’s worth, I think it may be prudent, safer and more relaxing to simply let others (i.e. tour providers) take you to the various sites. The combination of rough road conditions, unpredictable traffic, various logistical idiosyncrasies, high car rental costs, expensive gas prices and increased risk for vehicle damage (renter’s responsibility) makes a stout case for hiring tour operators/guides to take you around. But, that’s just my opinion! By the way, as an aside, the road leading from the main thoroughfare to the hotel (about 1/2–mile) will definitely test your vehicles shock absorbers and rattle the car’s interior panels, dashboard and related hardware because of the lumpy and rocky surface. After all this positive commentary one may naturally ask – what are the negatives? There are none per se. But, there are a few things you may wish to consider. They are subjective in nature and may be inconsequential for some. This hotel is in a fairly remote part of Belize. The drive from the international airport near Belize City takes about two hours. It is an excellent choice for the reasons mentioned at the beginning of this review or for having your own place while visiting friends and family in San Ignacio or other nearby towns, or while doing business in the region. It can also serve as a “lovers’ hideaway” or as an “escape from civilization” for a few days. Beyond that though, it may become monotonous because there is not a lot to do and the hotel’s amenities are limited. Although attractive, the pool is very small and seems to be more of an ornament adorning the grounds. In fact, given the setting, it functions more like a fountain or pond. On the other hand, the river is certainly large enough but it was flowing briskly and seemed rather brown in color. Apparently, the water action and color were the result of the heavy outflow from the mountains following the rainy season. The staff indicated that it was okay (re: suitable) to enter the river. But, I did not feel comfortable in doing so - particularly as I couldn’t determine the depth, composition and terrain of the riverbed. This brings up another issue – the weather. This part of Belize can have lots of rain during the rainy season. We experienced rain every day at some point even though it was supposed to be the dry season. While the hotel has no control over this aspect, it is a factor that prospective guests may wish to consider in planning their trip. Sightseeing in the rain can be unpleasant and will obscure the views and make for poor photographic opportunities. Moreover, this brings up another matter – insects. Bugs exist but, we were not really bothered by them. However, we did experience some pesky flies that were attracted by the food while having lunch at the bar’s outside seating area during the afternoon. It is better to eat in the regular dining room during daylight hours because the downdraft from the ceiling fans drives the flies away. At night this is not an issue though there may be an occasional mosquito. The stairwells and hallways leading to the rooms are a tad narrow and rather plain. (There is no elevator.) Guests staying in suites on the top floor will get a work-out going up and down two flights of stairs regularly and this may be an item of concern for guests that are elderly or afflicted with certain infirmities. They may wish to consider this aspect when selecting a room at this hotel. Moreover, lugging suitcases up and down these steps is a workout so we recommend that you let the staff do it. Lastly, I wish to make a comment about the room rates which are not cheap – particularly with the addition of the lodging tax (9%) and service charge (10%). Let’s be clear, the rates charged by this hotel are on the high end of the spectrum for the locality (greater San Ignacio area) and level of services and amenities. While I have not seen the lower room category to ascertain if the rate charged for that category is fitting I do feel that the rates charged for the higher room category should be a little less. There are several cheaper lodging options in and around San Ignacio. Moreover, I have stayed in hotels and rooms of equal quality and/or higher standing elsewhere in the world for less money. And while I think the rates may be exaggerated, they need to be put in perspective with the rates charged by competitors of comparable rank as well as the cost of constructing, operating and maintaining a high quality hotel in a remote region of a developing country burdened with infrastructural, political/bureaucratic and cultural challenges. At this juncture it is important to recall the old adage that you get what you pay for. One of the benefits of higher pricing is that it generally ensures a better level of clientele. Apropos our stay, the hotel was not full and we enjoyed a certain level of tranquility and intimacy that may not have been experienced at lesser-priced and/or lower grade hotels. Also, the lack of select amenities and features at this hotel is probably a positive because it deters the loud, party-going crowd along with families requiring the hotel to function as an amusement park or daycare facility for their kids. I/we recommend this hotel to all because of its unique setting, restful atmosphere, clean and well-appointed rooms, decent facilities, great food and commendable service.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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91 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Bay Springs
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

The meticulous attention to detail, reflective of Owner Richard’s impeccable taste, is present at every turn. From the beautifully unique architecture to the gorgeous (and abundant) displays of fresh tropical flowers, the entire place was aesthetically impressive. All the while, the utmost comfort was maintained.

The well thought-out floor plans allowed for spacious rooms, and relaxing outdoor seating areas. Although it was available, we did not need our A/C at night (it was late January); rather we enjoyed opening our balcony doors to be lulled to sleep by the soothing, nearby river rapids. Insects were not an issue at all. With the 5-star quality bed linens, stunning views of the Mopan River and of the lush landscapes accented by perfectly romantic lighting -- all from two, fantastic, in-room balconies-- it was tempting to never leave our room! However, we couldn’t resist the refreshing zero-entry pool, over looking the river, which was literally just a shout away from the bar. Additionally alluring were the Adirondack chairs and hammocks on the river bank - a cozy spot ideal for morning meditation with coffee, an afternoon siesta, reading a book or bird watching, and of course, my favorite nook for afternoon cocktails. Mahogany Hall has a quaint, family atmosphere and is so animal friendly, which is important to me! Richard’s dog, Coco, was always available for a scratch behind the ears and provided my daily “fix” of puppy lovin’ until I could get home to my own three furbabies! One evening, we enjoyed a family-style barbecue to celebrate Mary's (a business partner of Richard’s) granddaughter, Gaia's, 4th birthday. The food was fabulous! We had fried Bread Fruit with Matteo's garlic pate that truly rivals anything we've eaten anywhere else in the world, and currently stands as “the best new thing” for my husband and I! That food alone was worth the trip!!

Good eats didn’t end at the barbeque, however. You must try Rico's restaurant (Matteo is the man!). They offer custom orders for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast always started with fresh fruit and exciting, unique fruit juices, and always included the freshest, free-range eggs and organic ingredients from a local farm. My personal favorite dinner entree was a specially prepared, plantain-encrusted fresh snapper!

You can be as active or as inactive as you wish at Mahogany Hall. I recommend tubing down the river with Teddy, a local young man who is very knowledgeable about every tree, Iguanas, bend and bar along the Mopan. And he's so tech savvy too; he took great video of us on the rapids! The staff will arrange for excursions anywhere you like. We enjoyed a day trip to the Mayan Ruins at Xunantunich, and canoed the cave at Barton Creek with an extremely interesting and knowledgeable guide.

The entire staff at Mahogany Hall is so respectful of their guests and their guests’ needs; they are always available yet, never hovering! We always felt safe and welcomed. Our daughters are already planning a trip with friends for later in the spring. We are really missing Richard, Coco, and the entire staff and cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Placencia, Belize
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

I live in Belize and travel extensively there. Mahogany Hall is an outstanding place to stay, combining quiet elegance with the kindness and warmth of great owners. I generaly choose a top floor room as I like the views over the river first thing in the morning, the stairs are a bit narrow and steep but the climb is worth it. The rooms are very large and beautifully appointed, with all the comfort you could wish including free wifi. The beds are huge and soft as clouds, I once shared the double with a girlfriend when we had a girls 'weekend there, and it was totally comfortable, we had acres of space each to stretch out. Would be great for a honeymoon as the room also has a shower and a jacuzzi.

Many Belizean hotels are let down by the food, but not Mahogny Hall, which offers beautifully cooked and presented meals with a local flavour, but with the hand of a decent chef very much in evidence.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms for ambience and view, but if you have trouble with stairs, choose a lower floor roo...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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.
CA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

The hotel is right on the banks of the river and it is beautiful. The rooms and big and spacious and so are the bathrooms. The french doors overlooking the verada are small and curtained so you don't get to appreciate the beautiful location as much sitting in the room but the veranda is nice. Rooms do not have telephone so if you are staying on the 3rd floor, be ready to go up and down the three flights of narrow (2.5 to 3 ft wide) staircase. Beds are big but it sinks in the middle so if you have a bad back, I would not recommend this place. Although everyone seems to try hard, especially the owners, the service was not your typical 5 star service. We were disappointed because it was not a luxury hotel that we were looking forward to staying in.

Room Tip: Don't pick third floor if you are not ready to go up and down the staircase. Make sure the bed...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
nj
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

What a great boutique hotel with such lovely hosts. We spent a lot of time researching different hotels to stay at in the area. i'm so glad we ended up at MH. Food is awesome, our top floor, river view with balcony room was the best. Spacious, clean, quiet and great AC. Thank you Richard, Mary, Jonathan, and Chris. Your hospitality and graciousness really made our experience at your hotel THE BEST! (Jonathan: we mentioned to people we met in Amberguis Caye that we stayed at MH and they all knew you!)
THANKS again for making our memory of Belize such a great one.
-Roger and Kay from NJ

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, Arizona, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

We never come to Belize without spending time at Mahogany Hall! The bar is created with mahogany walls and bar. The kitchen is right behind and watching the cooks create their delicious food is fun and reassuring that all is done with the utmost care and attention to detail and cleanliness! The dining room is open to the outside creating a cooling breese with the hypnotizing sound of the river right there! Mary, one of the owners and designer and builder of this incredible place, is welcoming and funny! Since we own our own place in Belize, we havn't stayed there, but go often for drinks, dinner and lively conversation.

This is a polished diamond and we highly recommend it to all our friends and to anyone traveling to Belize!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Jeffersonville, VT
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

Ok, so I travel in Central America a bunch. I'm either with my GF's, husband or both. I've been to Mahogany Hall with myself, the GF's and my husband. EVERYTIME I've been, it's improved and I LIKE IT A LOT! I don't return to places that don't meet my standards and I surely do not take family and friends for repeats if places don't meet my cut. The Rundown:

1) Everyone who knows me knows I'm a clean freak. I could eat off the floor. It isn't overly chemical either so my eyes didn't water once.
2) Everyone who knows me knows that I have an issue with beds. I only sleep on Tempurpedic products if I have a choice. NO NEED to worry at Mahogany Hall. The beds and pillows are hedonistically comfortable and the linens are beautiful, soft and clean. If my back wakes up happy, everyone is happy. Everyone was happy, especially me.
3) The Food: I'm picky as heck. Resident Foodie. I have learned there is no such thing as a bad meal at Mahogany Hall. Matteo is a great chef! Excellent Food takes time and price for value is a consideration. Trust me, we were all happy about the food and service. Great bar and dessert is a must. That gets better as well but I'm not sure what magic happens with so little room for being better. The chef's special is always a great bet. There is no lose at any meal.
3a) The Bar: Had everything we wanted. Juices were exceptionally fresh, seating available and comfortable, great liquor selection, food and drinks were better than some of the best SF, NOLA, Boston, DC and NYC upscale places in which I've stayed for business or pleasure .
4) Rooms: Every room or suite I've stayed in has been clean and quiet. I have ears like a bat. Nothing escapes my radar ears.The above regarding the beds, furnishings and linens applies.
5) I love the location! It's out of San Ignacio but I don't feel like I'm missing anything I don't want to miss. It's in Bullet Tree Falls Village. Beautiful River View, Local color, peaceful. Great Bird watching as well.
6) No one bugs you. The staff are more than attentive and anticipate guests' wishes quite well. It's great to have a well trained staff and it shows. Guests are priority one. Amazing I find in a service oriented business because that is often a misnomer.
7) We take trips on the side. They cost what they cost and are arranged so that the trip fits me or us, not a cattle car with a group that wouldn't mesh with us. That is not a pricey thing either.
I received what I paid for in spades.
8) House "pets": A few and they are wonderful and make it more like home. If you don't like them, they are not out to bother you. We liked them just fine but I swear they have radar too.

Overall, and once again, we had an excellent time. The amenities are of HIGH quality and the value for the dollar (or your currency) is well spent from room, to food, to ambiance to learning tours. *Value exceeds expectation.* It is that simple for me and it was for us. That does not change whether I go solo, with my husband or with the GF's and fam. I'd have to be dead to not enjoy it here. Actually, I would be dead if I couldn't love Mahogany Hall and not return. I'll be back again and for the foreseeable future. We ALL looked at each other and gave the thumbs up plus. With that many folk with me, I'd have expected a little flack (because they could!) and got NONE. So yes indeed I'll be back as a solo or with friends/family. It's a hugely gratifying experience to have a spot that tailors itself to you with excellence. It's worth every minute and not a minute of it is a waste. Thank you for a delicious and delightful time Mahogany Hall. I'll see you again SOON!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort

Address: Paslowfalls Road, Bullet Tree Falls Village | Bullet Tree Falls Village, San Ignacio 501, Belize
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Air Conditioning. The newly open Ma­hogany Hall Boutique Resort, which has 8 fully equipped AIR CONDITIONED rooms in a colonial style mansion, nes­tled on the banks of the mighty Mopan River in the beautiful village of Bullet Tree Falls near the town of San Ignacio in Belize Central America. Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort features an exquisite romantic old world style accommodation reminiscent of days gone past, yet with all the comforts, class, and services of modern life. -Luxurious 8 room colonial style mansion..-Breathtaking spot on banks of the Mopan River...-Bird watching, and Nature walks...-Unsurpassed level of service... 24 hour onsite management/front desk -Gateway for jungle & Mayan adventures…-Romantic getaways and Retreats...Tarzan has nothing on us! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mahogany Hall Boutique Hotel San Ignacio
Mahogany Hall Boutique Resort Belize/San Ignacio

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