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“A Pleasant Surprise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Lodge at Chaa Creek

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in San Ignacio
Pioneer, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Surprise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We have just looked at our slides of our stay at Chaa Creek at the end of September and it feels like we are still there. We visited Belize for a combination 60th birthday celebration for the both of us and were focused on the beach resort when we made our accomodations. We wanted to spend some time in the jungle and the beach resort booked us into Chaa Creek for 5 nights. We are so glad they did as we didnt know what to expect and it exceeded our wildest dreams. The accomodations were great, the food was fantastic, the staff ever so polite and helpful, and the excursions were diverse and there was plenty to choose from. We chose the archaeology package and we would recommend having Hugh as your guide. His energy and knowledge brought the ruins to life. There was nothing better than coming back from a day of climbing Mayan pyramids to sit in the bar and drink the daily concoctions made by Saul and Karim. We included the food package in our reservation and it was the right decision as every meal was spectacular and the soups are indescribable. We also recommend taking a morning and doing the on-site bird watching hike as you never appreciate how many birds and other animals are there until you see them. Another highlight was to have a Couples Massage at Sunset overlooking the jungle. We really enjoyed the flexibility of deciding what field trip we wanted to do as late as the night before (thanks Denise) which allowed us more options to see the countryside. We look forward to the next time we go to Belize and we will visit Chaa Creek again.

  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
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607 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
    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 (141)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

If your intention is to get away from it all, without skimping on luxury, Chaa Creek defines perfection. Picture a rainforest with a beautiful eco-resort in the center and that's Chaa Creek.

It takes time to get there (approx. 2 hours from Belize City) but it is well worth it. The staff is polite and attentive, and their food is some of the best we enjoyed in Belize.

My wife and I loved the resort's natural elements and dedication to eco-friendliness. Everything from their lighting, water usage and cleanliness is all grounded in sustainability. The management at the resort also went to great lengths to control pests and keep the grounds manicured.

But here's the bottom line folks. Chaa Creek is not for travelers looking to come to another country, then pretend their still in the States at their Marriott Suite. There might be a bug or two crawling near your room. Maybe your shoes get a little muddy or you break a sweat hiking the grounds. It's all a part of the adventure.

Chaa Creek is a romantic, private and gorgeous resort. Go there.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Firestone, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

So much to say and so little space to say it in. We stayed for 4 nights in one of their cottages which was absolutely awesome. You can't say enough about their staff especially Elsie and Alice. They are accommodating, warm, attentive, and personable. Every time we sat for a meal, they remembered our names, what cottage number we stayed in and even what drinks we liked. Granted this is near the slow season, but I know they would still remember us if it was busier.
Our first adventure was to Tikal. If you enjoy Mayan ruins, this is the place to go. Unlike Chichen Itza in Mexico, where the paths are lined with vendors all the way to the temples, there were absolutely none, which enabled us to listen to our guide educate us about the Mayan culture.
Our second adventure took us to ATM, known locally as Achtun Tunichil Muknal, a subterranean cave that is traversed through water that at times is several feet deep. The trek is not too difficult but can be tough if not at all physically fit. I don't want to be discouraging, but there is a small amount of swimming and bouldering (some of it in bare feet) to reach the final destination of the remains of a sacrificed prince. One down side to this trip is NO cameras were allowed on the hike to the cave or inside, as a result of a previous careless tourists which damaged one of the skulls by dropping their camera on it.
The butterfly farm is pretty cool, the staff collects the different stages of the butterflies life cycle and shows them to you in individual containers, we even saw several emerging from their pupa stage to become adult butterflies. Michak was a wonderful and knowledgeable teacher.
Chaa Creek provides many other activities beyond the ones we participated in, it's a shame we had limited time to experience them all.
One highlight of the trip was meeting Mick Flemming, the owner of the resort. He was a very delightful and outgoing chap, we loved talking with him.
Regarding the food, I will say one thing about their steaks, if you want a medium, ask for rare as they were cooked way beyond my liking and a bit tough. Overall the menu selection for dinners was ok, we've had worse, we've had better.
Would we go back to Chaa Creek? Absolutely!!! One of the best Belizian resorts in the country next to Blancaneaux, a true gem.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

We loved our 3-day stay here. The individual thatched rooms are charming, spacious and comfortable. Our favourite part was the indoor/outdoor shower. Of course, we used the outdoor one more, filled with plants and a view of the sky and surrounding trees. Our room was close enough to the restaurant that we got wifi in the room. Another nice touch are the hammocks on your personal front deck, a great place to relax after a busy day exploring.

Shout out to the most exceptional guide, Miguel, who was articulate, thoughtful, and could find hidden wildlife tucked away behind the depest brush. He knows his flowers, plants of all sorts, Mayan history & culture, and every Belizean bird. More important, he is a pleasure to be around and helpful in every way.

The property includes more to do than a short stay permits. We enjoyed the medicine walk tour, butterfly farm, early-morning bird-watching, had a superb 2-hour horse-back ride (all included price-wise, though available for a fee to people not staying at the resort) and massages oudoors on the spa palapa listening to the sounds of the jungle (we asked for the new age music to be turned off).

The food at the restaurant is pretty good to very good. Our favourite meal was breakfast, especially the fresh goat's milk yogurt with honey & granola. There are lots of hot selections available, from eggs any style to banana pancakes. The servers are all delightful.

In summary, this is an extremely well run establishment that offers terrific offsite excursions (ATM most highly recommended, but not for the timid!) and a warm, beautiful environment to come home to.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Burlington, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

We stayed at Chaa Creek for 5 nights in one of the treetop suites. The room was absolutely gorgeous - the pictures online do not do it justice! We enjoyed soaking in the outdoor jacuzzi at night and gazing up at the stars. The property was beautifully maintained, and really seemed to fit in with natural landscape. The meals were delicious - Chef Mario is amazing! The kitchen did a great job working around my gluten-free diet, which we really appreciated. They even made some special desserts that I could have. What a treat! All the staff that we met were so friendly and kind (Rosanna, Chef Mario, Derby, Rene, Andreas, Ben, Alice, Miguel and many more....).

The pool was fantastic and we spent a lot of time relaxing and swimming on our first afternoon at the Lodge. On our second day, we tried "The Coma" massage at the spa - Anna and Videlma were awesome! My husband and I both felt so relaxed after. We also did the sunset canoe trip upriver with guide David. David was wonderful for answering all the questions that I had about local wildlife, the Lodge, and life in the village. That night we also had a private candlelight dinner by the pool - the food was delicious and the staff did a fantastic job of decorating things for us. The following day we did a tour of ATM caves, which I would highly recommend.

During our stay we also had a guided tour of the Mayan Medicine Trail with guide Selwyn, who was extremely knowledgeable. On Saturday we canoed downriver to San Ignacio (it took about 1.5 hours) and saw the market, which was a great experience. We also walked down to the Macal River Camp - it seemed so quiet and serene. We also really enjoyed the butterfly farm, and watch the butterflies emerge from their coccoons was fantastic.

Overall, we would recommend Chaa Creek to our family and friends, and hopefully we will be back again one day soon!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We initially planned to spend 3 nights at Chaa Creek, but loved it so much we ended up staying an extra night. The resort is beautiful and the service is outstanding. We spent the first three nights in a cottage, which we loved. It was booked for the additional night and we were moved to a treehouse suit. Lucky us! I didn't think there could be any place nicer than our cottage, but the treehouse was absolutely amazing. We enjoyed all our meals at Chaa Creek. There was something different every night and it all was delicious. We also enjoyed hanging out at the bar, chatting with the bartenders and sampling their drink of the day. A dip in the pool is a great way to wind down and cool down after a day of adventures and tours. We did a nature tour of the resort as well and a "night crawlers" tour. The guides were so informative. We set up a couple of off-site tours though the concierge that we also enjoyed. We toured Tikal and Barton Creek. Even after our additional day and night, my husband and I felt like we could have used more time to do all that we wanted to. THis was probably one of the nicest and most enjoyable vacations we have taken and we will definitely return to Chaa Creek.

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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Evergreen, Colorado
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

My husband and I spent our 20th anniversary in Belize (Sept 23-30, 2012). The first 4 nights we stayed at Chaa Creek, and then the remaining 3 on Ambergris Caye. In hindsight, although the "beach" (if you can even call it that) was nice on the island, I think we both would've preferred to have stayed at Chaa Creek for the whole trip. The resort is stunning... it satisfies all of your senses! Between the good food, the jungle sounds, the gorgeous landscape, the comfortable thatch-roofed huts (we were in #27), the friendly staff, the beautiful saltwater pool, and the exciting excursions, there is really nothing lacking. We could have easily spent a few more days there and not been bored.

Things to do:
We toured Xunantunich (didn't want to spend the time driving to the farther ruins), explored Barton's Creek Cave, took a horseback ride, paddled down the river to San Ignacio, went on an evening critter walk, toured their butterfly farm, saw wildlife on an early bird watching walk, and hiked their trails... we would've loved to try out ATM as everyone raves about it, but we ran out of time. We would recommend any of these things, and there are several other things to check out as well. Denise, the concierge, was fabulous at getting our excursions booked. They also have a spa, but that was another thing I didn't get to.

Dining:
The dining was very nice - romantic even. They offer 3 different entree selections each night, along with an appetizer, soup, salad, and dessert. Plenty of choices for breakfast and lunch if you don't care to try the special of the day - which is usually an authentic Belizian recipe. We were treated one afternoon to fresh coconut water - the guys were knocking some out of the trees and offered one to us... they cut the top off and stuck a straw in first, of course. Delicious!

Accommodations:
Remember that these are THATCH-roofed huts... and as such, you may receive a visit from a critter or two. We had a frog in the room one morning and a baby lizard another morning. Perfectly fine by us! Our porch had hooks for two hammocks (provided) and it was a favorite spot for us. The rooms have safes in them, which you will probably want to use because there are NO ROOM KEYS!! You only lock the door when you are IN the room. Another note - the hot water takes a while to arrive... at least it did in our room (#27). We learned that in order to get hot water in the shower, we needed to turn on the hot water in the sink and keep it running. For some reason, the shower wouldn't stay hot without the sink running.

Various other notes:
You may want to have a small flashlight if you don't like walking along dimly lit paths. We liked it dark, but some may not - if that's you, then bring a small flashlight for your evening walks to the dining room.

We did not have trouble with bugs until the morning bird walk where I got bit on the leg a few times. No big deal.

Please be warned of the VERY bumpy roads leading in to Chaa Creek and some of the excursions. Might take you by surprise if you aren't prepared for it!

Final thoughts:
We would LOVE to go back to Chaa Creek someday and bring our kids (boys ages 6, 13, and 15) - they would love it as well. In a nutshell, don't hesitate on booking this resort - it will feel like home before your stay is over and you'll be sad to leave!

  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Address: Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Business Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Chaa Creek 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over 30 years Chaa Creek has been providing a comfortable base for exciting inland adventures for thousands of visitors, from explorers, scientists, filmmakers, research groups, students and people of all ages looking for intellectual and physical stimulation in Belize's vibrant rainforest - the heartland of the Maya. We also realise that any rewarding adventure is enhanced by comfortable accommodations and excellent food. Our 23 palm thatched cottage rooms ensure a good night's sleep and delightful mornings accompanied by the sing song of a rainforest waking up, and guests can choose a Complete Garden Suite, an Orchard and Spa Villa, Macal Cottage or Tree Top Suite, all equipped with a Jacuzzi for even extra comfort. As one example, under our Chaa Creek Cares program, 10% of all accommodation revenue goes straight into environmental and social programs, and in supporting Green and community groups. We sleep better, and you will too, knowing that your stay at Chaa Creek has a positive effect on Belize and our very special pristine natural environment. Families share some of life's most cherished moments - and memories - during a Belize family vacation. And to guarantee a family vacation that everyone will enjoy, multi award winning Chaa Creek is the only Belize destination you'll need. Our affordable, all inclusive family friendly adventure holidays are absolutely stress free and bring everyone closer together through sharing a variety of amazing adventures along with quiet moments to reconnect - all in a stunning rainforest setting. Nature and romance bloom year round in the stunning beauty of Belize. Our all-inclusive romantic vacation packages allow lovers of all ages to immerse themselves in nature and each other. An exquisite rainforest filled with colourful tropical birds, canoe trips down the meandering Macal river with the misty Maya mountains in the background, unwinding together in your private Jacuzzi surrounded by a tropical garden, couples massages, candlelit dinners and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences create the perfect conditions for love to flower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Hotel San Ignacio
Hotel At Chaa Creek
At Chaa Creek Hotel
Chaa Creek
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Belize/San Ignacio

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