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“Jungle Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ek' Tun

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Ek' Tun
Remote Location | on the Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 28 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
St. Petersburg, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Jungle Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We spent seven wonderful nights at Ek Tun. As soon as we were transported across the river by Phyllis and her staff, we entered another world - a beautiful, wild jungle, groomed just enough with tropical landscaping and paths. With just two casitas on the 200 acres (and the second one not occupied during our trip), we had the experience of exploring the lush jungle, pristine natural waterfall and pools (swimming heaven!), and river in a totally natural environment, sans other humans or vestiges of civilization. At the same time, the casita was lovely (quite large room with large windows and seating area, so one always feels part of the jungle), and the food was extraordinary. We are vegetarian, and although my sense was that this may have been unusual relative to other guests at Ek Tun, Phyllis created the most delicious and healthy vegetarian meals for us.

We enjoy meditating, hiking, swimming and relaxing, so seven days at Ek Tun was perfect for us. Phyllis and her staff were always available to accompany us, make suggestions, or arrange tours with others, if desired, but we were largely satisfied to gently and lazily explore the extensive jungle environment of Ek Tun. We enjoyed having Gilberto light our kerosene lanterns each evening at 5 pm, and the general absence of the normal trappings of civilization. For those who truly want a direct experience with the jungles of Belize, Ek Tun is ideal.

  • Stayed January 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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40 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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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
    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 (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

Ek Tun is a jewel of a place in which to become acquainted with the natural side of Belize. Its isolation and intimate size (in terms of accommodation ability) cater to those who are not looking for a tourist destination but rather an experience out of the ordinary and private. The expansive tract of rainforest that Ek Tun boasts is laced with beautiful paths which provide ample opportunities for memorable walks and wonderful bird and iguana watching. The charming accommodations fit into the natural beauty of Ek Tun perfectly and provide a very comfortable stay. At the same time, the hostess and her staff guarantee that guests are very well fed and stimulated through meaningful dinner table conversation.

  • Stayed January 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

Ek Tun was a highlight of our month-long holiday. As soon as we arrived the adventure began with the very welcoming Phylis meeting us to help us across the river into her piece of paradise. The accommodation was simply stunning, beautifully decorated cottages with spacious rooms and huge gardens to roam freely. And the welcome from the host was more than we could hope for, friendly and fun.

Meals were spent at the dinning cottage with Phylis, and the food was also top quality with all our special requirements catered for. We wouldn't get better in any restaurant.
This place is a haven for relaxation by the natural pool but there is plenty to do in the area as well, caving, horseriding, jungle treks. You should be a little adventurous to stay here and be comfortable in amongst the nature of the jungle.
If you are the type of person who enjoys all the mod-cons of a large hotel chain then this is definately not for you. This is a special place, a hidden gem set in stunning jungle surroundings.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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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Tavernier
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

Staid 2 nights at Ek Tun and it was lovely: Leave all your sorrows, worries and expectations to civilization back and take the risk to be in nature - real and un-spoiled nature. I never saw such a beautiful natural resort with a landscape that's breath-taking. I already saw a lot of "jungle-resorts" in Belize; Ek Tun ist the only real jungle resort. There are no compromises and it's the perfect place to have only two things in mind: Your loved ones and your environment.
Phillis, the owner, is a very passionate host and you can tell from her eyes that she's into it 100%. We recommend to everyone to try it out: It's brilliant!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2009

My boyfriend and I really enjoyed Ek Tun. The landscape is fantastic! Very remote, yes, it's not exactly easy to get there, but it is a little corner of paradise with a wonderful host. If you are the outdoorsy type and looking for a romantic getaway, this is definitey for you. You don't run into other people anywhere around, but it doesn't feel isolated due to the location on a river valley with majestic views all around. Phyllis serves great food prepared with outsmost care, with fresh and healthy ingredients. If you like to cook, I promise you will be asking for recipes by the end of the trip.
If you decide to go there, plan to spend some time by the pool, there are plenty of hummingbirds around, and the most relaxing sounds of nature. We really enjoyed ourselves and would definitely recommend staying there. Temperature was very nice, in the 70's - at the end of November, and there weren't mosquitoes almost at all. If you need all the amenities, this is not the right place for you. I read some of the negative reviews and it seems that those reviewers did not do their homework before they chose the location. We hiked, cayaked, explored the surrounding, visited mayan ruins, admired the flora and fauna, went to bed early, and not for one second did I miss watching tv, or styling my hair. As for cold drinks, the host had plenty of cold beers, wine, and ice water if you desire. Great vacation, thank you Phyllis!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
washington dc
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2008

I have had the privilege of traveling to many parts of the world, and staying in some of the world’s best hotels, but I have never seen a place as beautiful or magical as Ektun. The owner, Phyllis, has created a paradise on earth that I thought only existed in my imagination.

First, the grounds of the property are stunningly beautiful. Insanely beautiful. Rolling green hills sit on the banks of a river. Giant flowers and trees line the walking paths. Gorgeous birds fly above, and the sound of roaring howler monkeys can be heard at sunset. One path leads to an astonishing waterfall that spills turquoise blue water into a perfect circular pool, around which Phyllis has carved steps, so that you can gently enter after a day’s hike. The hundreds of acres of well-maintained trails lead through thick jungle to bat caves, giant boulders and Mayan artifacts. Two horses roam the property, munching on grass and playing with each other. A sand and rock-filled “beach” provides a perfect place to picnic by the river.

Second, the rooms are beautiful. There is a main lodge, which is Phyllis’s home, and two guest houses. Phyllis’s home is simply stunning – an open air palapa structure with a wood fireplace that rests on top of a cliff overlooking the river. The guest accommodations – two separate palapa homes, each with two bedrooms -- are perfect. The rooms are large and beautifully decorated; the bathrooms modern and immaculate; the beds irresistibly comfortable; the ceilings high and light-filled; and when the sun sets, Phyllis fills the rooms with romantic candles.

Third, the food is incredibly delicious. We have dined all over Belize, in some of the country’s most renowned restaurants. Phyllis’s cooking is BY FAR the best we’ve had in the country. She prepares creative, delectable, and healthy dishes – from nut-encrusted tilapia to banana-filled French toast – with only the freshest of ingredients. You enjoy your meals in the open dining room of her home. (Breakfasts are eaten alone, and dinners are often shared with Phyllis and her delightful partner, Lee.)

Fourth, at Ektun, you are joyfully removed from the world, in a sort of hidden sanctuary. Though only 40 minutes from the town of San Ignacio, Ektun feels like another planet. The gorgeous drive takes you past rocky mountains, cows and iguanas, banana plantations, and into the jungle. And the only way to get to Ek-tun is to cross the river by boat, with Phyllis’s assistance. It is very romantic. (Yet, within a 10-mile radius, you can find a wonderful botanic garden, a spa, and three restaurants in nearby lodges.)

Ektun is the closest thing to the Garden of Eden that I’ve ever seen. But, like the Garden of Eden, there is a price to pay for paradise. This is not a Sheraton hotel – it’s the jungle , and be aware that you may confront obvious natural dangers that Phyllis can’t protect you from, i.e. snakes or sharp rocks or bugs or bizarre conversation. And there isn’t a massive wait-staff or receptionist at your beck and call. But hopefully, that’s why you came to Belize.

If you have a chance, go to Ektun. You will be transported to someplace that you thought only existed in your dreams.

Stayed November 2008
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Finger Lakes, NY
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

Ek Tun is a remote lodge (not resort by any means) at the end of 6 miles of rough dirt/rock road and across a river. It is an absolute piece of paradise once you are there.

Phyllis is a wonderful character, knowledgeable of the area having lived there for many years, an extremely good and creative cook and very caring and sensitive to her guests' needs.

The reason we chose Ek Tun was so we could experience the jungle of Belize in a non resort setting. Even though there was no electiricty in our thatched roof cabana, we cannot say that we were roughing it. We had a spacious bathroom with plenty of hot water, a comfortable and charming atmosphere, kerosene lanterns lit for us each evening, and coffee delievered to our door each morning at the appointed time. We did not see any unwanted visitors in our cabana the four nights we were there.

Bottom line - Ek Tun is not for the "resort" traveler but a jewel for those of us who would appreciate a pure Belizian experience.

Hope you have a chance to meet Phyllis and experience Ek Tun.

Stayed November 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Ek' Tun

Address: Remote Location | on the Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ek Tun is a secluded, private retreat, featuring lush tropical gardens in the midst of a rugged, neotropical rainforest. Not open to the general public, exclusive to our registered guests, we have no roads and are accessed only by boat to the wild side of the Macal River. Our two spacious, rustically elegant thatched cottages both have views of the river and are comfortably furnished with a charming combination of mahogany, wicker and hand-crafted furniture, with romantic evening lighting provided by oil lamps and candles. Each has a sitting area and double bed downstairs, and double bed in the loft. Bathrooms have hot and cold water in both shower and lavatory. The cottages are situated for privacy and our "adults only" policy assures a secure, restful or romantic hideaway where you can meet the challenges of the jungle and restore your connection with nature. Deliciously healthy gourmet meals with many ingredients grown on the premises are prepared to your dietary preferences. Meals are served family style with your attentive host and other guests or can be catered to your cottage. Enjoy the extensive hiking trails and the unsurpassed birding on the premises, skinny dip in the spring-fed mineral pool, kayak, go river tubing, explore caves or visit numerous Mayan ruins and local attractions in the surrounding area. Rediscover your own wild side with our unique blend of hospitality, tropical nature and adventure. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ek` Tun Hotel San Ignacio
Ek' Tun Belize/San Ignacio

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